Friday, January 27, 2017

Spoilers for the 2016 Youth Media Award Winners

This past Monday, the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2017 Youth Media Awards. All one hundred of them! No, actually not that many, but close when you add in all of the lists, too. It is an exciting time to see who won, but it may also be overwhelming to the slow or busy or selective reader.

Thankfully, our sister blog, Spoilers, Sweetie, is working hard to help in this endeavor. (After all, there's still reader advisory to do!) Since the winners were just announced, it'll take them a while to compile spoilers for the 2017 winners. But if you didn't have a chance to read last year's winners (and in some cases, winners from 2015), here's your chance now. We divided them up into three categories, depending on where you are most interested in:

Outstanding! Distinguished! Excellent!

Newbery Medal, 2016 and BONUS: 2015
Caldecott Medal, 2016 (American Picture Book)
Printz Award 2016 and BONUS: 2015
Odyssey Award, 2016 (audiobook) and BONUS: 2015
Theodore Seuss Geisel Award, 2016 (Beginning Reader)
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for YA, 2016
Scott O'Dell Award, 2016 (Historical Fiction)
Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Reads, 2016
Great Graphic Novels for Teens, 2016

New Talent

John Steptoe, 2016 and BONUS: 2015
Morris Award, 2016


Coretta Scott King Author Awards, 2016 and BONUS: 2015 (African-American author and illustrator)
Schneider Family Book Award 2016 (disability experience)
Stonewall Book Award, 2016 (GLBT)

To be notified of spoilers for 2017 (and they're finishing up 2016), make sure you follow the Spoilers, Sweetie blog! Each award is posted only after all of the winning books are read and spoiled by a fabulous volunteer team. If you plan to read a 2017 winner and would like to submit a spoiler, please register here.

Happy reading/spoiling!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Ready to Go Book Display: Twins

Welcome to our series, "Ready to Go!" Book Display. Once a month we'll highlight the latest or greatest for every age group that you can promote within your library or order for your collection. This month double the fun with books with twins.

Books for Adults:

Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss (June 2000)
A fictional retelling of the lives of Chang and Eng Bunker - the original "Siamese twins" - from their lives of poverty in Siam to their success in the United States.

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan (Jan 2016)
Twenty-five years after identical twins Helen and Ellie switch identities, Helen receives a call that her sister is in a coma after an accident, a situation that forces Helen to confront her personal demons.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld (Jun 2013)
When the strongest earthquake in U.S. history occurs just north of their St. Louis home, Kate and Jeremy find the disaster futher complicated by Kate's self-proclaimed-medium twin's prediction about a more powerful earthquake, a situation that places Kate under public scrutiny and reveals her own psychic abilities.

Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough (Jun 2013)
Because they are two sets of twins, the four Latimer sisters are as close as can be. Yet each of these vivacious young women has her own dream for herself.

Will & I by Clay Byars (Jun 2016)
Twins Clay and Will Byars have different lives after Clay is in a traffic accident and suffers a stroke.

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin (Jan 2017)
A story told entirely in uproarious emails follows the misadventures of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda, who fumble their way into adulthood by telling lies and keeping secrets before eventually confronting the dynamics of their complicated twinship.

Books for Teens:
Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee (June 2016)
In a small town, as high school graduation approaches, two conjoined sisters must weigh the importance of their dreams as individuals against the risk inherent in the surgery that has the potential to separate them forever.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Sept 2013)
Being consummate fans of the Simon Snow series helped Cath and her twin sister, Wren, cope as little girls whose mother left them, but now, as they start college but not as roommates, Cath fears she is unready to live without Wren holding her hand - and without her passion for Snow.

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Sept 2014)
A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah.

One by Sarah Crossan (Sept 2015)
Despite problems at home, sixteen-year-old conjoined twins Tippi and Grace are loving going to school for the first time and making real friends when they learn that a cardiac problem will force them to have separation surgery, which they have never before considered.

This Side of Home by Renee Watson (Feb 2015)
Twins Nikki and Maya Younger always agreed on most things, but as they head into their senior year they react differently to the gentrification of their Portland, Oregon neighborhood and the new - white - family that moves in after their best friend and mother are evicted.

For This Life Only by Stacey Kade (Aug 2016)
A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this contemporary novel about loss, redemption, and love.

Sisters of Blood and Spirit by Kady Cross (Mar 2013)
Twin sisters, one living in the Shadow Lands - the realm of the dead - and one in the land of the living, are called upon to try and save a boy and his friends who have been marked for death by a long-dead serial killer.

Happy Families by Tanita S. Davis (May 2012)
In alternating chapters, sixteen-year-old twins Ysabel and Justin share their conflicted feelings as they struggle to come to terms with their father's decision to become a woman.

Books for Children:

The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly (May 2016)
After her troublemaking twin, Scarlet, vanishes from Rookwood boarding school, shy Ivy tries to track her down, using pieces of Scarlet's journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (Mar 2014)
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! by Grace Lin (Jul 2010)
Ling and Ting are identical twins that people think are exactly the same, but time and again they prove to be different.

Twins Violet and Victor write a fairy tale together, with Violet contributing a castle, a princess, and unicorns and Victor adding a fairy tale-hating witch and a bevy of Australian animals. Get more of these twins in the first book: Violet and Victor Write the Best-Ever Bookworm Book.

Full Steam Ahead! by Paul A. Reynolds (Sept 2014)
Twins Sydney and Simon learn about the water cycle and use science, technology, engineering, arts and math to solve the problem of their stuck window and thirsty flowers.

One of a Kind by Ariel S. Winter (Jun 2012)
Lysander Singleton tries his best to fit in at Twin Oaks Elementary, where all students are twins except him, but on the day of the Twindividuation contest his experience as an only child gives him a competitive edge.

Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Easy Tips to Organize Your Library Life with Trello

Trello is one of my favorite apps to use to stay organized, both professionally and personally. It is really intuitive and fun to use. You can also access it both on your phone or computer, which was really important to me.

When I first tried it out, I wasn't sure what was the best way to use it, But after a year, I now have a system in place that has worked really well. If you are curious about Trello, want to organize your life better, or see how an online organizer could work in a library setting, this post is for you!

1. Make a Column for Each Month

I have 12 columns (called "lists"), one for each month. I added tasks (called "cards") to each month to remind myself what needs to be done. As new tasks come up, I add them to the list. Anything that was a one time deal, I archive/delete when I complete it. If it is a yearly task, I move it to the bottom of my list so I know it is done, but it remains on my list for next year.  For example, I would always forget that my Director asks for my program numbers in August for her yearly report. So, in May (my last "quiet month" before the Summer Reading craziness) and in July (to catch my Summer Reading stats), I give myself a task to make sure I have a list typed up with all of my numbers. Now, when August comes around, I'll be expecting her to ask AND I already have the work done, completed at a time that's best for me.

2. Utilize the Deadlines Feature

You can enable Deadlines on your tasks. When you get close to the due date, Trello will email you a reminder. The deadline will also turn to yellow when it is due in 24 hours and then red after the deadline has passed, so you can easily see at a glance what you need to get done for the day. Recently, Trello has added a feature in which you can cross out a deadline after you complete it, so you can now see your progress, too, on the calendar as a strike-out.


3. Streamline to Decrease Clutter

I have learned two simple ways to decrease clutter and help me plan ahead. Trello recommends that you make a column to move your completed tasks, but I don't do that. When I complete that month's task, I add it to the bottom of the list for next year. If it is a reoccurring task (say a reminder to email members that your monthly meeting is coming up next week), I update the deadline and then move it into the next month's column. So when I look ahead, I don't see these minute tasks and can easily plan around my big projects.

My second recommendation is to utilize their Checklist feature. For tasks that have multiple steps, I make just one task and add a checklist breaking it down into smaller parts. You can even make generic checklists so you aren't constantly creating a new one. For example, I have a generic checklist for programs. When I create a new program, I can pull up my Program Checklist and it will fill in with my advertising, material shopping, etc. and then I can customize it for specifics.

4. Plan Ahead for Next Year

I add new tasks to each month as they come up. If it was a one time task, I delete it when I complete it. If I need to do it yearly, I leave it in that month's queue (dragged to the end of the list) and update the deadline for next year. When the month ends, I move the whole column to the end (far right). Now my first month in the list would be February and January 2018 is already planned out.

5. Collaborate with Your Colleagues

Trello allows you to share your boards with anyone. In my previous job, I had a Teen Staff board and an All Library Board, sharing it with the appropriate people. We could work together to shelf read sections of the library (we had a task for each section and people wrote where they ended in that section), build book display lists, keep track of when we pulled off the new book sticker. Every time someone posts, it is time stamped. There is also an option to write comments to each other (you can also tag specific people) and attach documents.

These tips can really work for almost any other program (Google Calendar, Asana, and others!) and you can also do some of them with a paper calendar. For my daily tasks, I do reference my Trello board and then write them down on paper. So, feel free to mix and match online and paper techniques. It doesn't matter how you do it, just that you find a process that works for you.

Friday, January 6, 2017

5 Ways to Stay Passionate Working in Libraries

Our post about librarian burnout was really popular, so we thought we'd start off 2017 with five tips to help any librarian renew their passion to their profession:

1. Each month, make sure you take time to learn something new

We wrote a blog post a few months ago with a great list of  webinars and courses. But even taking the time out to read a library journal or listen to a library podcast would help keep new ideas and information coming in. Don't be afraid to broaden beyond the library world, too -- social media tips that are geared for nonprofits and small businesses will also work for libraries. Design programs will help you make a great birthday card will also make a wonderful flyer. 

2. Connect with colleagues 

Go to conferences and roundtable discussions. Sign up for library email lists like ALA's electronic email lists (If it is too overwhelming to keep up with daily, carve out a weekly time in your schedule to go through the emails). Join librarian Facebook groups. Do whatever you can to connect with colleagues outside of your library, even better if they are working with the same age group as you. In my previous position, I started a YA Collaborative Group, where we met just three times a year. It was invaluable to see people face-to-face, and learning from each other's successes, sharing our future plans, and commiserating with the rough parts of the job.  

3. Keep a folder of comments, praises, positive feedback

This suggestion was shared by one of our readers, MsFrisby, on the Burnout article and we think it is fabulous! Start a folder where you can collect comments, praises, and positive feedback. Don't forget to include drawings from kids, great photos of your patrons having a good time, and those thank you notes. I even take screenshots of positive comments on social media and save them on a folder in my computer.  If you are having a rough day, go to that folder and browse through. You are making a difference in people's lives, keep up the good fight! 

4. Use Your Stats for Competitive Fun

I know most libraries keep track of how many people are coming to their programs and how many programs they've held. But go a step further -- every year, make a list of your top programs. Compare them to years prior. Keep track of your highest attended program and try to beat it the next year. Find books in your collection that haven't circulated and book talk them everywhere. Every month, check up on their stats. Which one is circulating the most? It is even more fun if everyone in your department picks a book to "sell" to patrons. Or find a different small goal and make that your focus for a few months. Think up new ways to beat your previous number, and even carve out some time to research fresh ideas.

5. Bring your hobbies into the library

What do you love talking about? What do you enjoy doing? Find ways to incorporate that into your library programming. Even something as simple as enjoying coupons could lead to a great coupon sharing program. Cooks have brought cookbook programs to the library. Writers run writing workshops. Animal lovers have done collaborative programs with animal shelters and teen/kid volunteers. One of my favorite parts about public librarianship is that it is really easy to justify any idea for a library program. Even if you don't normally run programs or it is for an age group you don't work with, talk with the head of programming to see if it is a possibility. When I was a YA librarian, I was given permission to run a monthly adult writing group. Five years later (and even though I no longer work at this library), we're still going strong. So you never know!

Happy new year, everyone! We hope these tips help. If you have any other tips, please share in the comments below.