OYAN Review: OASL Conference

This post is an article from the Summer 2018 issue of the OYAN Review and has been edited slightly for publication on the blog. It was written by Kristy Kemper Hodge at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

October 2017 was my first foray into OASL. It. Was. Incredible. There were amazing and inspiring authors, as well as passionate and inspiring librarians, sharing their expertise, secrets, and awesomeness.

Jason Reynolds Author Talk

We published a post about this earlier!

Stranger Things: Middle School Programming
Presented by Lori Lieberman, Library Media Specialist, West Sylvan Middle School and Da Vinci Arts Middle School (Portland)

I always appreciate a conference session that is both inspiring and actionable; where I can take away concrete ideas to implement as soon as I return to my library. Lori Lieberman’s Stranger Things presentation was just that! She presented all sorts of low-cost and awesome displays, programs, and games that she’s successfully used with her middle school students. Here’s a list (and some photos) of those ideas!

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OYAN Review: Libraries in Profile: Athena Public Library

This post is an article from the Summer 2018 issue of the OYAN Review and has been edited slightly for publication on the blog. It was written by Kristen Williams at the Athena Public Library.

Athena is a town of 1,300 people nestled in the wheat fields near the Blue Mountains by the Washington border. There has been a public library in Athena for more than 100 years, and almost 15 years ago the town came
together to build a beautiful new library.

Our new building has some of the only public meeting space in town, and it has a cozy reading room with soft chairs in front of a welcoming fireplace. And, unlike the old building, it has dedicated spaces for children and young adults. Athena is understandably proud of the new library building. In fact, even though it’s been nearly a decade and a half since the building was completed, when someone new comes to town, you’re likely to hear people asking them if they’ve “seen the new library.”

Life in a rural library presents some challenges, such as a limited budget. We are an autonomous city library, but we are also a member of Umatilla County Special Library District. Through this county-wide taxing district, we receive half of our annual funding and also some programming and cataloging support. In addition, we are a part of the Sage Library consortium. Sage has 77 member libraries in 15 counties in Eastern and Central Oregon. Being a part of Sage offers very tangible benefits to our customers in terms of access to resources we couldn’t provide on our own.

I started as Library Director in November of 2017 and was able to work side by side with the previous Director until her retirement. That time of transition was so good, both for me and for the town. There was a lot concern about the previous librarian’s retirement. Change is difficult for library users of all ages and can be especially difficult in a library with only one full-time librarian. The time of overlap was useful in reassuring customers that the library would remain open and that, for the most part, the things they loved about it would stay the same.

There has been a thriving program for children for a long time. We have a long-standing toddler storytime on Monday mornings that is well attended. We have an excellent collaborative relationship with the local preschool that helps us reach the younger kids in our community, and we have a great relationship with our local elementary school. There is no librarian in our school district, so last school year I provided library instruction at the elementary school library, and I’m hoping to do something similar this year.

A main part of my goal planning for this year is our lack of teen programming. We have a core group of teens who use the library on a regular basis, but I’d really like to build on that. I started working toward this goal by including teens more intentionally in our Summer Reading Program. We have offered some library activities and have also created some volunteer opportunities for teens within our elementary and preschool programs. The hope is that these opportunities will help build a feeling of ownership in the library. At the beginning of this upcoming school year, we will launch a teen advisory board to give teens a voice in programming, collections, and leadership in our community. We’re also planning to letting them redecorate the teen space. We hope to use this core group of teens to help us better serve the other kids in our community.

I feel like a big part of this first year as Library Director has been about getting to know the community in my new role. I have lived here in town for ten years and have fairly deep connections, but telling someone you’ve lived in a small town like this one for ten years is the same as telling them you moved to town yesterday. I’m still introducing myself to people and trying to ease in to new ideas. I do regularly remind myself to slow down and not to force things. Athena Public Library is in a season of growth and change, and it’s really exciting to plan for the future.

OYAN Review: Four Days in Pendleton

This post is an article from the Summer 2018 issue of the OYAN Review and has been edited slightly for publication on the blog. It was written by Stephanie Goodwin at the Klamath County Library.

I have never been one to keep a bucket list of things I want to accomplish or experience in life; instead I choose to take advantage of opportunities as they land in front of me. Throughout my library career I have known several who have had the opportunity to attend various leadership trainings. Every time one of them went, I was intrigued and would think how someday I’d like to go one myself. Then one day I saw an email about a new leadership training opportunity called LIOLA (Leadership Institute of the Oregon Library Association). I decided that this was my opportunity, so I quickly submitted my application. I was delighted when I was accepted and began my hunt for scholarships. The OYAN scholarship was ideal. For anyone out there who is looking for scholarships to library trainings or conferences, this is an easy application. The only requirements are that the conference relates to serving young adults in Oregon and to do a brief report when you get back so others can get a glimpse of what you learned.

After receiving the scholarship I eagerly anticipated the approach of LIOLA by reading the book Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and taking the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test. Continue reading

Summer OYAN Review Call for Articles

How is your Summer Reading program going? Do you have any interesting young adult programs happening? Did you have any *ahem* learning experiences that would be willing to share with your colleagues? Do you have any unique challenges or opportunities that are worth sharing? Let your colleagues around the state know. Send in your articles (1/2-1 page) to be included in the summer newsletter. Pictures with captions make for an especially interesting reading experience.