Thursday, March 20, 2014

Library Village ladies meet their mentors at the PLA

Last week I had the chance to go to the PLA (Public Library Association) Conference held in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Miss Kristen and Miss Kristie also were able to attend on the Friday of the event, so it was really spectacular for the Library Village to be all together sharing this experience.  Besides the great exhibits, great speakers (I am still talking about Amy Cuddy), great author signings and luncheons (John Green!  Whoot!), and programs, there were wonderful opportunities to meet some of the professionals in the field who have really inspired us.

Miss Kristie, Miss Sue, Miss Kristen
I have been a children's librarian for two years this week (Yay, happy anniversary to me!).  My boss at the time gave me the link to Melissa Depper's Blog Mel's Desk and said, "Read THIS."  I did, and got some great ideas on how to create my own story times in my own way.  Then I discovered Katie Salo at Storytime Katie.   You have to know these blogs.  I mean, a google search on ANYthing story time, and their blogs come up.  I followed these two blogs for a year and a half and wondered, "could I blog too?  But who would read it?"

Other blogs we read are listed on our blog roll, and several I am sure I have missed.  We follow them all, see what works, take away what we think would work in our story times, and share our secrets.  This is what the online community is about.  We are all there for each other, cheering each other on.  I decided, whoa, maybe we can do this.

During the last week of July last year, I blogged for the first time.  I decided to model my blog similarly to Lisa Mulvenna's blog Libraryland.  I really liked what she was doing on her blog so I took a deep breath, and copied her layout at the time!  (Thanks Lisa!)  The three of us continued to follow other bloggers, Flannel Friday (if you do not follow Flannel Friday, stop reading this blog and go learn more!), and Story Time Underground (Love those librarians!).  We also took to Facebook to follow these groups and we contribute when we can. 

Guess what?  People started reading!  Our minds are blown over how many people pop over from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or even from other blogs we are mentioned in!  We thank you for that.  We love what we do and we love sharing what we do.  It's what it's all about, really.  We all support each other.  Shout out to Marge Loch-Wouters for being a huge advocate for children's librarians and their blogs, the Dana and Lindsay at Jbrary for inspiring others to bring music and finger plays back into story time (and for their support),  and to Storytime Underground for their advocacy and support!. 

So at the PLA, I got to meet some of the superstars.  We had a story time underground lunch meeting where I got to sit down with Amy Koester (Show Me Librarian), Lisa Mulvenna (Libraryland), Brooke Rasche (Reading With Red), and a bunch of other ninjas.  We talked about blogging and encouraged others to give it a try.  We also shared ideas for story time.  I went to meet my mentors, and found myself mentoring others.  What an amazing feeling.

I also got to meet Katie Salo (Storytime Katie) and Angie Manfredi (Fat Girl Reading) since I attended one of their presentations.  I made sure to say hello, thank Katie for inspiring our blog, and Angie for inspiring me to get more involved in Twitter.

I also attended Guerrilla Story Time!  What a blast!  The recap written by Amy Koester is HERE. Amy is another superstar I got to meet and thank for her inspiration.  I have been talking about this for days and hope to get a Guerrilla Story Time going here at our library.

All of us have an online presence.  The library world is small and not often understood by those who aren't in the field, so we all need to be there for each other.  We all do good things.  We are advocates for children, teens, and libraries.  Read each others blogs. Follow each other in social media. Meet each other at conferences.  To the librarians who write blogs, I thank you. You have all inspired me to be the best I can be. You are all doing amazing things.  You are all superstars!


  1. Can I just say that it makes me snicker when you put be in the superstar paragraph??? :)

    1. Sure you are! I could see some people getting excited when they put your face with your blog. It was cool.

  2. I went through the same being-mentored and take-the-plunge process when I started Mel's Desk, and I love love love seeing how we are all reaping the benefits of this great online network and paying it forward in our own ways. You guys are rocking it.

    1. The online community has been amazingly supportive! It feels great to have a broader reach. Thanks Melissa!