RA for your Holiday

Has Christmas come early? No? Then why has NPR released Books We Love already? We can’t know, and it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that now you have a diverse, robust (sortable!) list of book recommendations to share with patrons, just in time for summer reading! Huzzah!

In other summer reading news, we’ve got picks from Parade and Shondaland, and we’ve also got the #BookTokChallenge! Here’s more on that:

“Starting today through August 31, we’re encouraging people to discover and read new books and authors and then share their reactions with the TikTok community using #BookTokChallenge… With nearly 11M videos and reaching over 60B views globally to date, #BookTok is the go-to hashtag for books, reading, writing and everything in between and it’s just one delightful corner of TikTok that has led to a widespread cultural impact off platform.” A great way to engage teens this summer!

We’ve gotten an update from OverDrive about transitioning patrons over to the Libby app:

Starting the week of July 25, users of the legacy OverDrive app will receive an in-app message that the legacy OverDrive app will be discontinued in early 2023 and encouraging them to switch to the Libby app.

You can find an archived webinar about helping patrons transition to Libby here, and I’ll be sending an email with more details to all member library staff early next week.

Just a reminder that the ESLN webinar about collection development and materials challenges is coming up on July 19 at 10am. Sign up here!

Finally, #FridayReads: I have been gathering up holds like I’m about to be snowed in. I don’t understand it, but I’m going with it. I’m currently in the middle of This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub, and have got a tiny mountain of fiction on the nightstand to follow it up. In my earbuds is Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks, by Patrick Redden Keefe. I’ve spent the entire spring watching all ten seasons of Call the Midwife on Netflix, and now I’m feeling a) like I need more dresses, and b) like I need more stories about feminism, community, and accessible, compassionate healthcare. Happy reading/listening/viewing!

RA for your Friday

First things first! New Book Club in a Bag titles are now available!

The Guncle, by Steven Rowley

Somebody’s Daughter, by Ashley C. Ford

Slow Horses, by Mick Herron

Just a quick note for those who are new to the system that NCLS loans books exclusively for local book clubs to use for their discussions. Books are checked out in a sturdy canvas bag containing 12 paperback copies of each title and a printed list of discussion questions. Bags are checked out for six weeks, and they can be picked up and returned at any NCLS member library. Please remember to scan the bags in when they are received – and check them out to patrons promptly – so that the hold doesn’t linger in holds limbo for all eternity.

You can find all our book club titles right here, and you can find printable bookmarks here. NCLS has social media posts on the new titles today, so please like and share!

I’ve made my first pie of the season and have already given up on the weeds in my garden. It’s officially summer! We’ve got summer picks from USA Today, People, and NPR, who are sharing their favorite picks from each of the 50 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico.) Want to chime in? You can do that here.

And now for some June news.

We’ve got picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the LA Times, Bustle, Shondaland, and The Millions. For all you genre fans, we’ve got romance from SBTB, fantasy from Paste, sci fi and fantasy from Lit Hub, and of course, crime reads from Crime Reads.

In other June news, it’s Audiobook Month! AudioFile is here with their June Earphones Award winners, and Book Riot has rounded up the best audiobooks of 2022 so far. The RA for All blog goes deeper on how to use AudioFile and Book Riot to find great picks for patrons and reminds us:

“Audio books are an excellent option that some readers may not think about. And they are the perfect choice for people who don’t think they have time to read.”

If you’ve got patrons looking for Stranger Things readalikes to tide them over to the July 1 release of the rest of season 4, check out these lists from Book Riot, Epic Reads, Books Are Our Superpower, and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. (And if you’ve got Opinions about season 4, let’s talk.)

There’s still time to sign up for this afternoon’s book sharing session, Friday Reads, at 3pm. Join your fellow North Country library staff for a virtual discussion about what’s flying off the shelves at your library, what you just finished and loved (or what you just finished that you know someone ELSE would love), what author or series you’ve just discovered, and more!

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve been tag-teaming fiction and nonfiction this week, bouncing back and forth between Last Summer at the Golden Hotel and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the latter of which is almost, ALMOST enough for me to attempt another vegetable garden. (Still not over that deer that ate my apple tree. Still. Six years later.) In my earbuds is In Defense of Witches, which comes on the heels of Pandora’s Jar. Happy reading/listening!

RA for your Friday

The Publishers Weekly Summer Reads list is out! I know it’s hard to believe, given the weather event earlier this week, but I promise it’s true – summer is just around the corner.

In other exciting summer news, the SYNC program returns next week! SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for 13 and up that gives participants two thematically paired audiobooks each week. Titles are all available worldwide and change every Thursday at midnight Eastern Time during the season. Be sure to let your teens know!

In other teen news, the Brooklyn Public Library is issuing digital library cards to anyone in the United States aged 13-21 to challenge book bans and censorship.

The May Library Reads and Indie Next lists are out!

Looking for your next pop-culture display? Lit Hub can get you started with 8 Stories About Scammers for When You’re Done Watching Inventing Anna.

And just a quick reminder that next Friday I’ll be offering an updated version of Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them:

“Materials selection is something all libraries do, regardless of size or budget. Join us for a discussion about the best resources for book discovery and reviews, how to keep up with release dates, and what goes into maintaining a balanced, robust collection in a small community library. We’ll also talk about avoiding self-censorship and the importance of your collection development policy.” Sign up today!

Finally, #FridayReads: You know that thing where you’re an English major and you break up your heavy reading not with exercise or social activities but with lighter reading? (Disclaimer: I am fully aware that this is very possibly something that only I have done.) That’s where I am right now. Nothing new on the nightstand, so I’m just on the lookout for some breezy reads that I can start (and finish!) over the weekend. In my earbuds is Girly Drinks, by Mallory O’Meara, which is proving to be a delight. Happy reading/listening!

Youth Services Roundup – All Summer Edition!


Just a reminder, the first part of our summer reading workshop will be held on Friday, February 4 from 11am-noon. During this virtual workshop, participants will get a chance to meet our new Youth Services Consultant and review the basics of what goes into a summer reading program. All attendees will receive promotional gear from CSLP, so sign up today!


If your library reported that they used the Collaborative Summer Library Program manual in 2021, you’ll be getting the flash drive and online code automatically in your delivery very soon. If you did not use the manual last summer but would like one this year, please let me know, and I’ll send one your way.

New for 2022: Schools and school libraries working with local public libraries to collaborate on Summer Reading can get the code to access the materials in the 2022 online manual, so please feel free to share with your school library partners.


The NYS Library is hosting a webinar about how to get started with READsquared, the online reading program solution provided at no cost to public libraries statewide. This introductory webinar will be offered by the state library on February 22 and March 3 and is open to any library getting started with READsquared or needing a refresher on navigating the control room before summer reading. No registration required – find more information about READsquared here.


Just a reminder, the deadline for NCLS’s StoryWalk mini-grant is next Friday, January 28. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Youth Services Roundup


Programming is an increasingly important part of library service, and literacy-themed programs and events are a great place to make an impact. Join NCLS on December 21 from 2-3pm for an overview of these celebrations and programming ideas to promote them at your library. Sign up today!


The latest bundle from Talking is Teaching is all about caring for the earth! Check out posters, parent tip sheets, social media content, and more in this shared folder.


From No Time for Flash Cards: “Not A Box by Antoinette Portis is a wonderful book for children, and it celebrates imagination and absolutely encourages drawing… Earlier in the day, I had prepped paper with rectangles glued onto them. Each student chose the color they wanted. These were waiting for my students in our art area, along with markers…”


From DLD: The recent webinar on the Performers and Programs database has now been posted. You can find the video and the slides here.

Youth Services Roundup


Just a reminder, the next YS meetup(s) will take place on Wednesday, November 10. Sign up for the morning or afternoon session today!


Registration is now open for the first ever CSLP Summer Programming Symposium on December 2! All library staff that are interested in summer programming should consider attending this free, online event that will cover programming ideas, outreach/partnerships, and promotion/marketing. You can find more information, including the day’s schedule, on the CSLP website.


From Teen Services Underground: “I don’t have a huge YA section, but I have kept books that haven’t gone out because I loved them 20 years ago, or maybe because they fit a themed display (that obviously wasn’t very popular.) But by not weeding our collections, even if we technically have room for everything, we are doing the collection a disservice. Here are a few tips I have learned over the years that have helped me…”


From Adventures in Storytime: “The whole snake thing has been a running joke for a couple of months now, and it was a theme I had not done before, so I figured why not, plus I found a couple of cute songs/rhymes to go with it…”

Youth Services Roundup


There’s still time to vote for the date of the next YS meetup – pick your best November dates here before tomorrow (10/8) at 3pm!


Did you know there is a statewide resource provided by the New York State Library that lists over 400 different performers and presenters who offer over 1,700 in-person and virtual programs for library and school settings? Join the NYS Library for a free webinar on Friday, October 22 at 11am to learn all about the Performers and Programs database and how it can assist you in planning your Summer Reading and other activities for the coming year!


From Red Tricycle: “Celebrate the season of pumpkin spice, snuggly sweaters and golden leaves by making a cornucopia of fun fall crafts with your kids. We’ve rounded up a huge list of autumn-appropriate arts and crafts that’ll keep you going all season long…”


From Teen Services Underground: “Coming up with new ideas or remembering hits from the past can be challenging. Instead of doing a deep-dive into one display idea with this post, I thought I’d share my personal list with you instead. Some of these ideas are basic concepts you’ve probably done, but I hope there are also displays on this list that are new to you.”

Youth Services Roundup


Registration is now open for the first ever CSLP Summer Programming Symposium on December 2! All library staff that are interested in summer programming should consider attending this free, online event that will cover programming ideas, outreach/partnerships, and promotion/marketing. You can find more information, including the day’s schedule, on the CSLP website.


From the ALSC blog: “We are still in a strange “not quite where we used to be, but not mid-pandemic either” place, so I thought it would be a good time to reflect on activities that we embraced during the pandemic to see whether they are worth keeping. What changes did we make that the public really embraced? What did we love as a staff? What is everyone just OVER?”


From No Time for Flash Cards: “Are you as excited about Halloween as I am? My daughter has been decorating our house slowly since the first day of school in August! I am thrilled to be back in the PreK classroom to see my 4 and 5-year-olds get excited, which lets me use their excitement for motivation to learn. Here are a bunch of PreK Halloween crafts and activities I will be trying to fit into my October lesson plans this year!”


Teen Librarian Toolbox has 39 upcoming books for all ages. Check it out!

Youth Services Roundup


DLD will be providing one free CSLP summer reading poster to each NYS library next year, but we’ll all be getting the same design. Youth Services consultants have been asked to cast a vote representing what their their systems would prefer, so please let me know by next Wednesday (9/29) what you guys would like to see as The One Poster. Vote here!


Every Child a Reader is currently accepting proposal submissions from schools interested in hosting an event with Jason Reynolds, the 7th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature! Get more details here, and then call your favorite school librarian to plan a truly awesome potential joint program. Deadline for submissions is December 1.


From the ALSC blog: “Whether outdoor or virtual, any songs or rhymes that involve breathing or stretching encourage kids to slow down and be present. A new one I started using at my outdoor storytime is “A Big Sea Star.” I found this on Jbrary (credits listed in the YouTube notes). The movements have kids stretching out their arms and legs to make the sea star, soothing themselves by rubbing their arms as a little cuddle clam, and taking a deep breath in and blowing it out to make the puffer fish…”


Booklist has some good webinars coming up that focus on children’s literature, including middle grade trends and a winter book preview. Check it out!

Youth Services Roundup


The latest bundle from Talking is Teaching is all about fall! Check out posters, parent tip sheets, social media content, and more in this shared folder.


From the ALSC blog: “Reaching traditionally marginalized or underserved communities is overwhelming. We don’t want to make this work look easy; it truly isn’t. However, we believe library staff at all levels can do this work with the right tools and support. This year, we’re bridging the gap between tangible resources and getting started. Today, we’ll focus on researching your community…”


Just a quick reminder that you can still sign up for a summer reading debrief – they’ll be held on Friday, September 10 and Thursday, September 16. We’ll talk about what worked, what didn’t, and what will help for next year. (And if you haven’t yet filled out your summer reading report, please take a minute to do so now.)


Barnes & Noble takes a look at the most anticipated children’s and YA book releases of September. Check it out!