|Hafuboti expresses what everyone feels in the CE class|
I am teaching an online CE course for UW-Madison on issues in youth library management. In the description I lay out the narrow set of issues we can address in a four week course - some good stuff but by no means ALL. THE. THINGS. I also, as in all my CE classes, made it known that this isn't a guru-to-grasshoppers paradigm: "The course will be collaborative as you share your experiences and ideas that have worked in managing your youth services area."
Bless the participants. They are taking me seriously! In our first week, over 300 posts flew back and forth. Questions, answers, ideas, sadness, happiness, problems, solutions, thoughts and support, support, support for each other. It is clear that a community of practice is budding. We are all learning a ton. And I think we are all learning to be unafraid to put our thoughts and fears out there. The graphic in this post is from Rebecca Brooks who blogs at Hafuboti. It's her meme on how she feels about wanting to jump in. That's what I'm talking about!
Our state youth library consultant, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, is deservedly being named Wisconsin Library Association Librarian of the Year in a few weeks. Right there that is a Thing 2. It is very rare to have a youth person win this award and it makes my heart very happy.
Happier still, though, is what brings Tessa to this award. In just 2.5 years on the job, she created a statewide initiative, Growing Wisconsin Readers, that supports early literacy throughout our state with ready-made materials. She planned a Youth leadership Institute in 2013 that brought non-MLIS children's librarians together and gave them information and power that have made these people mighty. She has created shared system workshops and powered a new look at youth statistics that honors not just active programs and SLP statistics but all the ways we program and bring children to literacy.
But best, best, best of all??? Tessa has been a mighty person who has given voice and power to youth librarians (whether MLISed or not) throughout our state. She has empowered staffers from our smallest libraries to share their amazing work - through blog posts, through invites to present at statewide conferences and as part of webinars. She has opened the door and invited everyone through. As she says, "You're only leading if you're extending forward as much as you are reaching behind and pulling up others."