Assess, Reassess, Repeat
Happy New Year! I’m actually not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions (really, who is?). However, I am always a fan of setting goals, and you can do that pretty much any time of the year—not just when the New Year rolls around.
Ideally, assessing your past year and setting goals for the following year should be done shortly before your fiscal year ends—giving you enough time to advocate for budget changes that may need to happen in order to meet your goals—but that doesn’t always happen, and that’s okay! Last year I set a few goals upon staff evaluation results in June, and my youth services department staff and I set our latest goals in September, a few months into the fiscal year and after we debriefed over our Summer Reading Program.
In advance of our department meeting, I determined that we would set goals for the following areas: programs, collections, and professional development. We used summer reading survey data, patron feedback, program attendance, and our own experiences to create the following goals:
For more ideas on areas you might consider covering when setting goals, take a look at the OLA Youth Services Guidelines (remember that CSD is surveying members about new guidelines), the Edge Initiative, and the National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment.
And last but not least, one of the most useful mantras I heard at the 2015 OLA Conference was, “think big, start small, act fast.” Use that to your goal-setting advantage when you’re attending conferences, participating in meetings, and sitting through webinars.
Written by MacKenzie Ross
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CSD Reviews: Firefly Hollow
book discussion or read-a-loud. Beware, though, that death touches the lives of some of the characters, so there are somber moments in the book.
Firefly Hollow has simple sentences, larger text than typical juvenile fiction, and is beautifully illustrated. Black-and-white, small pictures are complemented with intermittent full-page, colorful illustrations that bring the story to life. I looked at the magical color illustrations many times over and think young readers will be drawn to them as well. Firefly Hollow reminded me a bit of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Charlotte’s Web. This is a great story!
CSD Reviews: All American Boys
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
While recovering in the hospital, Rashad struggles to come to terms with this tragedy and his father’s harsh response to it. Quinn, despite initial attempts to ignore what happened to Rashad, finds that the incident has awakened in him a new sense of social responsibility. Meanwhile, on the boys’ high school campus, a groundswell of activism begins to emerge.
In the final scene, the names of unarmed Black Americans who have died at the hands of police officers are read aloud. I wept as I read this final scene, the list of names going on and on, the fictional story morphing into the tragic reality of so many Black Americans.
All American Boys, which received multiple starred reviews, is written in a style that is easily accessible to both teen and advanced middle grade readers and simply begs group discussion. I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed by Lorene Forman
Publishers Weekly 05/11/2015 (EAN 9780545812542, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
Kirkus Reviews 06/01/2015 (EAN 9780545812542, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
School Library Journal 07/01/2015 pg. 77 (EAN 9780545812542, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
Booklist 08/01/2015 pg. 61 (EAN 9780545812542, Hardcover) - *Starred Review
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