Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Don't Miss Our Library 2.0/Social Networking Workshop this Friday!

Please come and see us at this workshop.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Reader's Advisory for Children

Last week we held a reader's advisory workshop here in the Alamo Area Library System presented by Kathleen Baxter. The title of this workshop was "Grab Them: Books with Real Guy (and Gal) Appeal!"

Ms. Baxter gave an entertaining and informative presentation; she was very funny. Her recommendations were practical and attainable. New ideas for titles to suggest to boys (and girls) were discussed. Most of the titles she mentioned are great to suggest to boys who struggle to find material in the library that interests them. Parents and librarians can use the title list that was handed out in this workshop to find great materials to read to kids. Many kids will want to check these items out for themselves too. All of the books listed involve things which are frequently a fascination for many boys. But she made the point that girls might like them too--don't assume that they won't be interested. Some examples included titles on unsolved mysteries, man-eating tigers, war planes, gross things, BMX, bugs and more. Most of these were nonfiction, although there were a few fiction titles.

Ms. Baxter demonstrated storytelling by reading some children's books and singing songs (which was a nice surprise!) while generating tons of laughter from the audience. Participants each received 5 hours of CE credit. A good time was had by all who attended.

Kathleen Baxter is currently a children's literary consultant who gives booktalks and speaking engagements nationwide. She will be speaking at the Public Library Association annual conference in her hometown of Minneapolis in March 2008. More information on Ms. Baxter can be found on her web site at

Monday, September 10, 2007

October 4 - Continuing Education Committee Meeting

It's time to begin planning for FY08 & beyond to FY09. Your participation and ideas are welcome at the annual AALS Continuing Education Committee Meeting coming up on Thursday, October 4. It will be held from 10am to 1pm at San Antonio Public Library in the Board Room on the 3rd floor.

Thanks in advance to all committee members for your feedback. AALS wants to make continuing education workshops meaningful to you and your staff, and even your volunteers. I hope to see you here in San Antonio on the 4th.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Video Gaming Workshop

Last week's video gaming workshop was an incredible success! I think this was our most unique professional development workshop this fiscal year. AALS has attempted to open up new ideas to our libraries, video gaming programs being one example. The presenters, Eli and Erin from Ann Arbor District Library, clearly explained the benefits and drawbacks of using video gaming programming in your library. They are both familiar with issues that public librarians face, so they had a practical view of what works and what doesn't. This was very helpful because some libraries are thinking about trying this type of programming for the first time. Tournaments seem to be the best way to go. The presenters explained how kids often are willing to bring in their own consoles for these programs. Another option is to buy one for your library since you can find cheap ones--under $100. They also demonstrated the tournament bracket structure--very easy to do + you can find many templates online, or just use a basic Excel spreadsheet instead. AALS is thinking about developing a video gaming kit for our libraries to check out. If we do this, it will be stocked with a few games and other equipment in one package. What do you think of this?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Workshops Happening This Week

This week's workshops bring something to the table for everyone. On Thursday, we will have the fun and exciting video gaming workshop, offered by our friends at the Ann Arbor District Library. Then on Friday, we will have a "Fun with Funds" workshop offered by the Texas State Library and Archives. Both workshops will prove to be invaluable to librarians as they are trying to find innovative ways to serve the public, while seeking funding at many levels. Come to one or both workshops to find some practical examples of how you might want to include video games on your library's radar screen, or find new ideas for fundraising projects.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lessons learned at TLA

Attending the Texas Library Association conference in San Antonio last week reminded me that there are so many possibilities for professional development in this fast paced world of information delivery. I stopped in and listened to a handful of the lectures, dealing with podcasting, Web 2.0, issues school and academic librarians are facing, library buildings of the future and Google's latest features. Where to begin? Beyond the information I learned in Google's presentation, most of the other presenters didn't have much of anything new to say. They mainly stated that these services are out there and librarians should be aware. I am planning on doing a Web 2.0 workshop to keep up with momentum. My rationalle behind going to the school and academic library presentations at TLA stems from the fact that AALS has opened up our continuing education program to schools and academics, whether they are attending or not. I hope they will be soon. One of my goals includes reaching out to these professionals, so librarians of all types can network and grow professionally. This way, we are acknowledging that librarians, of all types, are all in it together. What better way than to learn from eachother?

Monday, April 2, 2007

FY07--FY08 Workshops

It's about time for me to add a couple of workshops to the end of FY07's schedule and begin planning for FY08. Please send me feedback re: what kinds of topics you'd like to see in FY08. I have several in mind already, but I'd like to hear more ideas from those of you working in our libraries.