Conference Time! – Day 1

This past weekend was a blast! I think I worried too much but otherwise it was an awesome library conference and I’m glad I went.




More or less that was how I felt both days. What a whirlwind! Thanks to everyone at the Hawaii Library Association for a wonderful joint conference with the Hawaii Association of School Librarians. A listing of the schedule found here!

Day 1 had interesting panels, two of which sparked interest and an ongoing situation in public libraries here.

Sustainability of Public Libraries in this Digital Climate: Transforming Communities Through Digital and Information Literacy (presented by Sharrese C. and Kelsey D.)

“Welcome to the Public Library. May I help you find a good website?” More and more public libraries are shifting their focus from helping patrons find book resources to digital resources. And with that push, patrons visit the library needing help with online job applications, using smart devices like smart phones and tablets, or accessing the library’s digital resources. Digital and information literacy instruction in libraries addresses this issue while promoting the Public Library’s basic tenet of lifelong learning. In this presentation, we will look at how public libraries can sustain and empower our diverse communities through digital and information instruction and engage with patrons on the importance of digital and information literacy. We will also discuss some examples of what some public libraries are doing to promote digital and information literacy and provide tips and tools for implementing digital and information literacy instruction in your library.

Digital Climate

Indeed we need to provide the best service we can in an age where technology is becoming the norm and the public is attempting to keep up. However how much is too much help? Do we go by a case by case basis determining if a patron needs help setting up an email account or if they want you to write their personal letters? This presentation helped put into perspective how public libraries are helping their patrons out using technology. I reflected on this, yes we should provide the best service we can offer but we also cannot be there at every little thing but how can we get this started? Sharrese and Kelsey, managers in the public library system, bring up good points and here I also reflect upon what librarians can do.

  1. Ensure the library staff knows about technology or common questions patrons might have regarding technology. Many libraries might have a staff of three versus a staff of fifteen so it is always helpful when library staff–not just the librarians–have knowledge of technology and customer service.
  2. Know your limits. Helping someone print their resume is one thing but being asked to type the resume out to the letter can be going too far. Assess the situation and guide the patron so they see what you’re doing and can emulate the procedure.
  3. Build repertoire with the patron and ease them into technology situations they may normally push away.
  4. Customer service. Assisting patrons is what we do as library staff but understandably we all do not have teaching degrees nor have formal experience as teachers. Here is our time to shine showing empathy with patrons while guiding them to use a computer or understand technology in a positive way.
Boom, there it is. via Everylibrary

Next we had a cool presentation about professional development via social media.

Unbusying the Busy: Public Librarians Employing Social Media for Professional Development (presented by Dr. Irvin, Michelle M. and Michelle Y.)

The Librarians’ Inquiry Forum (LINQ) is a professional development model that uses social media as a means to create sustainable librarian communities of practice for the purpose of professional development. Librarians working with the Hawaiʻi State Public Library System gathered across the islands, online, via the social media platform, Slack, to enact ongoing, real-time professional networking and learning in inquiry-based discussions to learn the intersections between one another’s practices, questions, and concerns about public librarianship. The goal of LINQ was to have front-line “busy” librarians learn how a social media-based community of practice can be employed to “unbusy their busy” via collaborative inquiry, reflection, and learning for the purpose of ongoing professional development. This session will present data from the LINQ project that conveys ways in which front-line librarians learned how collaborative inquiry transformed their “busy-ness” to enhanced, more effective professional practice and identity.


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We are busy. At times we can get overwhelmed. We definitely love what we do but there are times when there is a feeling of there is so much to do! Never a dull moment is what I say. Two points stood out in this presentation and I thank the presenters, Dr. Irvin from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and two managers from the public library system, Michelle Y. and Michelle M.

  1. The definition of “busy”. Are we busy because without being busy, we are no one? Are we busy because being busy is our identity tied to our job? Are we busy because we resist (change/work/specific duties)?
  2. Slack as a social media platform for building ideas and communication between librarians! Similar to the platform I use for video games (Discord), it really is something to consider. The pros of Slack being that we can communicate instantly versus creating a long email while sharing documents and pictures. The downside being that unless there was a something similar to a storage locker that has all the documents shared and properly labeled so it can be easily accessible, it is limited. The other thing being that not every librarian has their own staff computer so there is the risk of being met with a block of text when checking back on Slack.

I’ve been looking to plan a website for librarians in our system to communicate and share ideas. Thankfully going to this panel and hearing how Slack can be used as a professional development tool as well as a communication tool brings hope that we may be able to implement this into our work lives.

*Apologies for the quality of pictures.

Movie Programs

Movies! We all love them! Especially when they’re free!


The library I work at has a movie license through Movie Licensing USA, which has a nifty search feature that shows what movies can be shown at X location.

Choosing the movie can be difficult. From experience I’ve found that screening movies that have just released get more people in the library program than movies that have been out for a few years. Also due to the rising costs of movie tickets and large amount of movies being shown at a time, a free screening at the library doesn’t sound that bad.

Promoting is essential. Get that promotion out there! Plan the dates around school breaks or after school. Screen the movie around a special date. In July of this year, I screen Jaws (PG-13) during Shark Week! Surprisingly a handful of people were there but because they know that hey, you’re showing a free movie and it’s around this occasion, maybe you’ll do it again next year!

Two movies that surprised me in having a large crowd, many children, were Iron Man (PG-13) and Captain America: Civil War (PG-13). Parents/caregivers were present but it struck me interested that children, some as young as 6 were glued to the movies without making a sound. Understandably, both movies are part of Marvel which is owned by Disney. There are also children books and toys with these same characters. Are kids growing up fast or is the understanding that “this is a movie” with their favorite characters has reached its zenith?

Keep on going~

Reader’s Advisory: Advisory on the Past

Note: This isn’t an R.A. post on books about the past. I found a treasure chest and I’m currently wondering what to do with it.


I’ve been focused on creating new booklists that I forgot about the ones that I currently have. I have a 5 inch binder full of booklists and reader’s advisory notes going back to 1986 (or more, I’m still looking through it). The archivist in me is super excited with this find! Yes, I want to keep it because hey, it could be useful in the future.

However… It is a very large binder. I haven’t used it nor have I seen others use it. Is it due to the size and weight? I’ve been keeping the booklists I’ve made in a separate binder. Seeing this, it seems redundant to have.

I’m wondering about scanning the papers and having them online but… It feels like the same as having the binder but not reading it.

I’m thinking 10 years? Maybe I’ll go with 5 years and update from there. That way the binder will be compact, light, easy to handle and with up-to-date information!


Radical Rubix Cube Program

The Radical Rubix Cube Program was my first program that a high school student helped plan and execute. J.W.* is interested in Rubik Cubes, specifically Speedcubing. The planning took 3 months and in the end, it was worth it!


The program was for 5th graders and up. Parents and caregivers were welcome to show up to learn more about the Rubik Cube. First we started off with a slideshow created by J.W. on the history of the Rubik’s Cube. From there we went into solving techniques, then going into detail on Speedcubing. We watched videos of people speedcubing in seconds and that go the crowd going. Free Rubik’s Cubes were given out to youths on a first come, first serve basis as we had a limited supply.

Since J.W.’s goal was speedcubing, he created a tournament for interested youths to enter and attempt to solve their cubes in a speedy fashion. While the tournament was going on, on the other side of the room we had families and youths practicing, talking story, and getting to know one another over this 3×3 brain teaser.

We had a total of 50 people show up. The program lasted 2 hours with an enthusiastic crowd. Would I do it again? Yes! Definitely. Am I able to solve a Rubik’s Cube on my own? Not yet… But this is encouraging.

Did you know that it is spelt “Rubik” and not “Rubix”? Something to remember when going on Jeopardy.

*Initials to protect privacy

Books to Read (Found in Library System)
Handbook of Cubik Math by Alexander Hamilton Frey and David Singmaster [512.2 F]
Inside Rubik’s Cube and Beyond by C. Bandelow [512.2 B]
Notes on Rubik’s Magic Cube by David Singmaster [793.74 SI]
Mastering the Rubik’s Cube: The Solution to the 20th Century’s Most Amazing Puzzle by Don Taylor [793.73 T]
Speedsolving the Cube: Easy-to-Follow, Step-by-Step Instructions for Many Popular 3-D Puzzles by Dan Harris [793.74 HA]

Rubik Cube Information
History of the Rubik’s Cube
Rubik’s Cube Home Page

Speedcubing Guide
You Can Do the Cube
World Cube Association

Teen Library Council

The Teen Library Council! Let’s get started!


It has been two months since opening applications and holding monthly meetings for the Teen Library Council. This underutilized yet goldmine of a resource has helped me in one meeting more than I could ever ask for. Although small, we got into the details of what kind of programs the library should offer and more importantly, how to get teens coming into the library (for more than just Internet and A/C).

I’ll admit. It’s nerve-wracking for me. My first program held for almost a whole year (September – May) and with teens. I’m a bit more introverted and feel better making booklists and helping patrons 1-on-1. Is it scary? Sure, anything could come up, no one could show up, there’s a 3-day weekend (so it’ll be risky having it on a Thursday before that weekend or rescheduling), it slowly peters out, etc. But! Hearing from teens that so-and-so program would be attractive since a lot of teens at school are talking about it, it’s worth the feelings akin to butterflies in my stomach.

giphy1 A YA librarian colleague lent me her Teen Library Council materials as a good starting point. The goal was to make applications for teens to sign up with. The application was similar to a job application (good practice for the future, right?) and an agreement that stipulates the teen, should they become a member, must attend x amount of programs during their term as member, attendance is mandatory, etc. Main requirement: Have a library card in good standing.

Next came the promotions. Flyers, bulletin board, white board, emails to school librarian contact became important.

So what’s the lure? What’s the catch? Why should teens sign up for the Teen Library Council anyway? Volunteer hours.

For every meeting a TLC Member attends, that’s one hour of volunteer service. For every program they attend/volunteer, that’s double the hours. Same if the program they attend/volunteer for is an idea they thought of.

Since they’re doing library material suggestions on their own time, I think that doubling the hours if they attend program is a good balance. Suggestions can be music, books, movies for the library to purchase with library funds. Subject to approval. The members do their research on the item by looking at sources (New York Times Best Seller Lists, Kirkus Reviews, etc.) and turn in to me for review. Should we purchase the items and put into the library’s collection, that feeling of contribution is there. Also it helps the community by being the voice of the community.

I’ll have to come back to this post in a few months to detail my first journey into being a Teen Library Council Advisor!