Monday, January 21, 2019

Shifting Shelves

I know all about switching books out on shelves according to season, themes, colors, etc etc. You can't be on Instagram/#bookstagram and not see that stuff, honestly. While I understand the concept and appreciate the idea, I just never had time for it. Plus, whenever I switched out my kid's toys, he would immediately ask for the toys I just put away, even though he hadn't touched them for two months prior! So playing the same game with his books just seemed exhausting and pointless.

After doing the 12 Days of Christmas Storytime with my son, I realized how fun it was to have a different book to read every night. I'll admit I have some favorites that I love to re-read, just like he does. But... we often don't agree on which ones we'd like to read over and over again. Reading new books together made bedtime fresh and exciting for us, so I realized it was definitely time to go through his shelves and change things up.


   I pulled his books into stacks, such as:  
  • spring and summer books, including birthday books because he's a summer babe
  • fall and back to school books
  • Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and winter books
  • series and favorites

I left the series and favorites on the shelves, because we read obviously read our favorites a lot, and with series, there are multiple titles, so while we're reading the same characters for several nights, each book is different. I also left out some of his board books. While some board books can be intended only for babies, the ones I left out have more of a story to them, or are favorites, or are ones he can "read" independently.

We have tons of children's books, so I added some "random" anytime titles to the seasonal stacks, just to have fresh books on the shelf that aren't specific to the time of year. I also culled some to donate, because we already have more than we need, and we go to the library to max out our cards fairly often! We'll donate some to a local women's and children's charity, and keep some to put in Little Free Libraries around town.

As an added bonus, there's now room on his shelves for some of his smaller toy bins. They also fit under his bed, but often get pushed back too far to reach, so this is a great solution. I love how his shelves look right now, but the real test will come in March when I get out the spring and summer books, because... what will I get rid of? I guess I can use his Goodreads account to keep track of what we read this year and put those away to bring out next year after Christmas? Who knows! It's an interesting experiment I hope I can keep up with, especially given the volume of books we own!

Do you change out your child's bookshelves? Or your own? What themes or system do you use to change them out? Share in the comments!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Bird Box: Books to Movies

Everyone has something to say about Bird Box, the book, the movie, or both. So I'm going to assume that if you're reading this, you've read the book and seen the movie. If not, stop here because SPOILERS. I am going to be comparing the two, so be warned: no holds barred.



Monday, December 31, 2018

UPCOMING RELEASE - Library Volunteers: A Practical Guide for Librarians

I'm so excited to announce that I have a book coming out in May 2019 from Rowman & Littlefield!

by Allison Renner (WHAT?!?!)

Though it's not released until mid-May, I spent so much of 2018 researching and writing that I knew I needed to include it for a year-end wrap-up post. I can't tell you how many of my hours (waking AND trying-to-sleep) have been spent thinking about this book. I can't wait to have it in my hands and look through it!

I have always been passionate about volunteering, so the pitch was a no-brainer! I volunteered for a few non-profits as a child (with my mother and grandmother), and continued that as an adult. Volunteering really changed my life - a simple weekly volunteer commitment turned into a career that altered my path. I helped with a weekly art class at SRVS, then was hired to be their volunteer coordinator! With help from PR and the Learning Center, I created a program from the ground up, based on my experiences volunteering. I went on to volunteer in libraries, then become a volunteer coordinator at a library branch. I took my knowledge of library volunteering to the public schools, and created volunteer opportunities for elementary students in the school library. In my current position as a Montessori elementary MakerSpace Librarian, I'm still using volunteers within the school, and hoping to broaden our scope to include outside opportunities as well.

Phew! All of that to say - wow! I am so proud that the first book I'm publishing is going to be a Practical Guide for Librarians. They have Practical Guides for any library-related topic you can think of! I can't tell you how many times I consulted these books during my MLS and work in public and school libraries! I used them expensively over the summer to help build our school's MakerSpace. These books have helped me in so many ways, because they are so easy to consult and put into action! They look like textbooks and are very informative, but the information you get from the books can be used immediately. Real life applications and examples are given, and they are a great resource for the library community.

I'm hoping that my book will be used in other fields, as well! A lot of the information I pulled from were my own experiences volunteering with nonprofits, period - not just libraries! And honestly, the groundwork of creating a volunteer program can apply to so many different fields. Examples of job duties are fairly library-specific, but the sample paperwork and overall guidelines included can help any organization who can use volunteers, so I hope it's used in that way!

It's even on Amazon for pre-order! AH!