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Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Thank you so much to the Bay Ridge Democrats (plus the assembly and city council) for these special honors and a great night. Keep on working hard, librarians. Sometimes people notice!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Now that I've got your attention: JOBS!

If you are a children's librarian and want to work in Brooklyn, then you're in luck, my friend! Below are some current job/internship opportunities at Brooklyn Public Library for youth specialists. We haven't hired any librarians in over five years, so this is a BIG DEAL, you guys. 

Click on the links for more details and information about how to apply!

Children's Librarian

"Brooklyn Public Library is seeking a committed and enthusiastic Children’s Librarian to deliver quality library services and programs in one of our 58 neighborhood branch libraries. The Children’s Librarian, under the supervision of the Neighborhood Library Supervisor, works as a part of the branch team and performs basic library work concentrating on service to children and their parents and caregivers."

MyLibraryNYC Outreach Librarian

"BPL is seeking an Outreach Librarian to work as part of MyLibraryNYC (a partnership with NYC DOE) providing outreach services to participating Brooklyn schools. The successful candidate for this position will perform library work introducing students and faculty in MyLibraryNYC schools to the program. He/she will collaborate with colleagues to identify the needs of each school and develop programs and services accordingly. This position requires professional knowledge and judgment, including, but not limited to, reference and reader’s advisory services utilizing materials both in print and electronic resources, collection development, and individual/group programming. The successful candidate will also possess strong ability in and comfort with presentations, outreach and training. Staff at this level report to the Coordinator of School-Age Services and other assigned supervisors. This is a one year, grant-funded position. The grant will end August 30, 2014 with possibility of extension with additional funding. The position may transition to a traditional Children’s or Young Adult Librarian position in Brooklyn Public Library neighborhood libraries."

Also, if you're looking for a shorter-term thing, this internship is a really great opportunity, and it's PAID. (I have been a mentor for the RSK program the past few seasons, and I can tell you that it's a lot of fun for all involved.) Information about how to apply at the bottom.

Ready, Set, Kindergarten! Storytime Program Intern - Fall 2013

Brooklyn Public Library

"Applications are solicited ASAP for Storytime Program Interns for BPL’s Ready, Set, Kindergarten programs. The Ready, Set, Kindergarten Interns will provide a six session series of preschool programs in designated branches of the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) on specific dates in the fall of 2013.  The interns are scheduled to work at for 3 hours on each session of the series.

All interns must also attend a paid training session scheduled for Saturday September 21, time TBA (likely afternoon).  Each intern will be assigned a branch for all six sessions, and all interns must be willing to travel to their assigned branch, and be available to present programs on the following dates: September 28/29, October 5/6, 19/20, 26/27 and November 2/3, 9/10. (Interns will be assigned to Saturday or Sunday programs, not both—most of the opportunities are for Saturdays).

Duties and responsibilities:
  • Using BPL’s curriculum, plan and conduct storytime programs for children 3-5 years of age and their parents or caregivers.
  • Coordinate with assigned branch to prepare for the storytime series
  • Share picture books, songs, rhymes, fingerplays and other activities with families to promote the development of early literacy skills and science and math skills in young children. 
  • Share tips and information with parents about early literacy skills and how reading with children can promote their development. Share tips on incorporating basic math and science skills into daily life with children, and tips on school readiness.
  • Gather information and surveys from participants for an evaluation of this project.
  • Set up and clean up program materials. 
  • Communicate clearly with Ready, Set, Kindergarten coordinator, and consult with assigned mentor on at least three occasions.
  • Report any problems to mentor or library staff overseeing the program. 

Skills and qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience working with young children or knowledge of children’s literature.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Flexibility and willingness to travel.
  • Enrollment in a graduate library or education program desirable, but not essential.   
  • Fluency in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Chinese, Bengali, Polish, or Russian a plus. 

Stipend: $100 per program & $100 to attend the training session. 

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter (email preferred) to: 

Katya Schapiro
Ready, Set, Kindergarten Program Coordinator
Brooklyn Public Library
10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY  11238

So, join us! We can sit together at meetings! YAY!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Book Solution

A couple of weeks ago I vague-tweeted this: 

In the interest of being non-vague, here's the backstory:

I was walking through the children's room on my way to a desk shift on the first floor when I saw a young girl crying in the middle of the room. A boy (only slightly older than the girl) was talking to her and patting her back, trying to comfort her. Naturally, I stopped and asked if she was okay. 
The boy said "She's crying because her dad said she couldn't check out any books." The girl nodded, still crying.
Well. There's ONE way to break my heart.
Then one of their friends who had wandered over said "Yeah, he doesn't  even like to take her to the library."
 Aaaaand there's ANOTHER way to break it.

I didn't ask the girl why her dad doesn't like to take her to the library or to let her check out books. The reasons didn't concern me directly, and I didn't want to put her on the spot. The fact that this was her truth, however, made me very sad. My entire life would be completely different today if my parents had not taken me to the library on a frequent basis when I was a kid - I wouldn't love books as much as I do now (or at least I wouldn't have been as voracious a reader back then without access to library books), I wouldn't have had a place where I felt completely welcome (besides home - school wasn't exactly my happy place), I wouldn't have gotten my first job at the library and ended up a librarian today. I'm sure of these things.

So I did what small thing I could do in that moment to try and let the kid know that the library will always be there for her, even if she can't always get to it when she wants to. I showed the group of about four kids (the girl and her kind friends) where we keep our free summer giveaway books (a precious commodity these days, to be sure) and let them each take one free book. 

The girl stopped crying and started beaming. She (and her father) wouldn't have to worry about late fees, she wouldn't have to stress about returning the book, she could just keep it and read it and love it and want to read more. At least I hope so. And I hope that she'll keep finding her way to the library.

I don't know if the book solution was the best solution, but sometimes it's the only solution I have.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Found in the Library

Found a cute bookmark in the library.

I love that it's actually labeled "bookmark" in the corner, as if this kid has soooo many index cards that she has to keep track of which ones are for what purpose. (Of course, this isn't the first time I've run into this phenomenon.)

"Read is awsome" indeed!