September is Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is right around the corner, and NCLS wants to make sure everyone knows it’s Library Card Sign-Up Month! We’ve produced a radio PSA that will air throughout the month, and we’re sending a press release to local media outlets.

Your library can help by promoting Library Card Sign-Up Month on your social media platforms (ALA has a great toolkit) and by making sure your community is aware of everything your library has to offer.

For more information and to access the toolkit, visit the ALA website:

Youth Services Roundup


Thanks to everyone who’s filled out their final evaluation for summer reading. If you haven’t, no worries, you’ve still got two weeks until the September 3 deadline. Just a reminder, please use your NCLS delivery codes when identifying your library – sometimes one library’s internal abbreviations are the same as another’s. (PPL, DFL, and OPL are just a few.) If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.


Did you use READsquared for your summer reading program this year? Learn how to close out the summer programs and load new themes for fall and winter. (Did you know you can use READsquared all year long? You can!) This session is being offered by the NYS Library, with no registration required. Visit NCLS Events for dates and times.


From Teen Librarian Toolbox: “We are so excited to be back at this year after having to cancel due to the pandemic in 2020… This year, we’ll have an expanded and fun agility course, customizable bandanas you can decorate for your dog, and a yogurt bar with dog-safe toppings. Additionally, there are a series of contests for dogs and their humans, like peanut butter licking competitions, costume contests, and trick contests.”


From Jbrary: “Podcasts have exploded in popularity and despite my listening challenges I have found them to be a great source of education and inspiration. This post features my top picks for anyone serving children in public libraries. Because there are a gazillion book and library themed podcasts I kept a pretty strict focus for this list…”

RA for your Wednesday*

First things first! There’s still time to sign up for Friday’s class – Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them. Ideal for anyone who buys for a library collection, does readers advisory, or both! See you there!

Moving right along to news that requires only slightly fewer exclamation marks – NPR has released the results of this year’s summer reader poll! If you’re looking to get up to speed on recent sci-fi and fantasy, this list of 50 titles (or series) from the last ten years is an outstanding place to start. (It would also make a great display. Just saying.)

We’ve got September picks from Library Reads and Indie Next, and Library Journal has released their Fall Preview.

Looking further down the road, October is Reading Group Month! If you have an existing book club at your library, or are looking to start one, check out our Book Club page on the Collection Development guide for information on book club in a bag, discussion questions, and more.

If you’re not already directing patrons to the Libby app for library e-books, this is the perfect time to start. OverDrive has announced that they’re phasing out the old school OverDrive app and will be removing it from app stores in February 2022. Fortunately, that’s more than enough time to spread the word to your e-book readers. (And speaking of spreading the word, you know that OverDrive has social media marketing content you can use, right?)

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve just started the sixth Ruth Galloway book (this is officially my summer of Elly Griffiths), in my earbuds is The Icepick Surgeon by Sam Kean, and I can’t get enough of PBS Eons on YouTube. Who knew I was so interested in prehistoric sharks? (Answer: Anyone who knew me in the fifth grade.) Happy reading/listening/viewing!

*Eventually, I’ll get back to doing these on Fridays. Probably.

Youth Services Roundup


The date has been set for the Summer Reading Debrief, and it’s…two dates! The votes were split so evenly, and I didn’t want to miss anyone, so we’ll have it twice. Join us on either September 10 at 11am or September 16 at 9am for a discussion about what worked for your summer reading program, what didn’t, and what will help for next year.


From Teen Services Underground: “…why do take home kits have to involve crafts? The point is creating a program a patron can take home and do on their own, but crafts are only a part of what programming librarians do. That’s what inspired my series ‘Prompted’. This involved three sheets a month, a creative exercise, a list of writing prompts, and a list of art prompts.”


The latest ALSC booklists focus on graphic novels, but you can find more of their (printable!) reading suggestions to share with your patrons here. Check it out!


This throwback Jbrary post talks about the benefits of using puppets in storytime and provides tips on how to do it well. Oh, you don’t have any puppets at your library? No worries – NCLS has got you covered.

Small Space Makeover!

I had the opportunity – at long last! – to pop down to the Mannsville Free Library and check out their recent renovation. (How recent? Ask me again when I regain my sense of time having a meaning.)

There was so much to love, from the new floors and seating area to the brightened walls and artwork, but I want to focus on how the new shelving units allow for maximum face-outs while making the most of the small space.

Exhibit A: Picture books are the arguably the most visually interesting titles in our collections. These shelving units. complete with fancy pull-out drawer, let picture books shine and are ideal for their target audience to browse.

Library picture books displayed face out in a shelving unit with a pull-out drawer.

Exhibit B: In a small space, it’s not always easy to highlight parts of the general collection – there just isn’t enough separate shelving. Unless you have double-sided, moveable shelving for the purpose! My holistic RA heart took particular joy in seeing DVD adaptations included with these print classics.

Exhibit C: Endcaps, galore! Not only a great place to highlight titles from your collection, but also periodicals and publications from library partners. This one graces the side of a shelving unit dedicated to local interest.

A great visit to a library making the most of their space. Thanks to Jean for giving me a tour!

Youth Services Roundup


Doing summer reading during a pandemic and a renovation helped one librarian learn more about the collection, re-evaluate shelving and displays, and highlight books that fly under the radar. Check it out!


From Storytime Katie: “Because we’re outside, I am only using books, songs, and rhymes this summer. No flannelboards, puppets, or props since a) they aren’t big enough to see with the distance; b) they’re easily blown away (no, seriously, I had a whole flannelboard on an easel that fell at an outreach storytime years ago); and c) it’s a lot to manage…”


Penguin Random House has extended their Open License to December 30. (Hat tip to Youth Services Shout-Out for the heads up!) You can keep tabs on all the publishers guidelines at the Children’s Book Council.


From Jbrary: “We’ve all been there. You’re doing a storytime based on a theme and you’re drawing a blank on books. Depending on how long you’ve been in your role as a storytime presenter this problem can cause all levels of anxiety. Today I’m sharing my top five strategies for finding a storytime book based on a theme in hopes of empowering others in their search skills…”

RA for your Monday

First things first – the new book club in a bag titles are now available! You can print out this handy flyer of new titles for yer corkboard and find the complete list of all book club titles here.

How much do I love doing library visits again? (Answer: So much.) Had a delightful visit to Pulaski recently, where I encountered this display:

I love this for two reasons – one, it’s clever, but more importantly, it’s a great way to feature the all-important, but often unsung, backlist. New books might get more fanfare (totally guilty of this myself), but the backlist is the backbone of your collection. Show it some love!

Moving right along to our regularly scheduled programming, we’ve got August picks from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Time, and Entertainment Weekly. For all you genre fans, we’ve got sci-fi and fantasy from Gizmodo, and crime reads from CrimeReads, and romance from SBTB and PopSugar.

In other romance news, NYPL has a post of What To Read If You Already Breezed Through All of Virgin River’s Season 3 and Bustle has 15 Books Like Bridgerton, For Those Who Can’t Get Enough Regency Romance.

The latest Booklist is putting a spotlight on book discussions and graphic novels, and the RA for All blog is putting a spotlight on Booklist’s spotlights:

“Please don’t forget that EVERY issue of Booklist has at least 1 “spotlight” and they repeat annually. This means each issue is an EXCELLENT and updated resource for the format, age level, of genres being featured. Every spotlight is never more than 12 months out of date!”

In awards news, the Booker Prize longlist has been announced.

Finally, #MondayReads: The indoor seating is back at my beloved Starbucks, home of the iced chai, and so I’m back to getting out of the house early enough to sit and read my book before work. Today it’s A Room Full of Bones, by Elly Griffiths. (A prize from the aforementioned backlist.) Happy reading!

Library Planning 102

Over 25 library directors and trustees attended the Library Planning 102 session that was presented by Paulette Roes on Tuesday July 27th. Participants learned techniques, tools, and resources for evaluating library services, staff, and board members.

For those who could not attend, the recording is available HERE. Handouts from the class are available HERE.

Youth Services Roundup


From the ALSC blog: “More of our patrons are getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and our library systems are slowly easing back to normal operating hours and codes of conduct. Children’s librarians are still walking a tightrope of safely providing services while dealing with the reality that our charges (children ages 0-12 years old) are not able to get vaccinated yet. Outdoor programming is great for families that can make it work for their schedules and register far enough in advance to avoid being put on a waitlist. However most of my families do not fit into that category…”


From Jbrary: “Hmmm, I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to do something different than read the book? Wait, I pondered, doesn’t this book have an easy-to-remember plot and odd-shaped characters who would be theoretically easy to replicate? Hmmm, I ruminated, wouldn’t it be possible to make this book into a puppet show??!!”


From Youth Services Shout-Out: “While there is not generally a huge amount of computer/technology manuals in the children’s non-fiction, it doesn’t hurt to go over what to keep and what to throw on the discard pile. With the rapid changes in technology and the constantly updating information about applications and programs, we need to stay on top of this section and make sure our books are current…”


From Adventures in Storytime: “This book is great for keeping the younger or more wiggly kids engaged because it is short and sweet, has simple bold illustrations with bright colors, and is very interactive…”

RA for your Friday

So much news today! I’m very excited to release the flyer for our latest additions to the Book Club in a Bag program – coming to a canvas bag near you on August 1.

This is also the perfect time to introduce our brand new Collection Development and RA toolkit, which, in addition to serving as the new home of the Book Club in a Bag program, includes web resources to help you keep tabs on upcoming titles.

Speaking of which, I’m also pleased to announce an encore presentation of my Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them class on Friday, August 20 at 11am. Sign up today!

Moving right along to fun, mid-month stuffs, we’ve got August picks from IndieNext and LibraryReads.

June may be over, but audiobooks are forever! AudioFile is here with the latest Earphones Awards and Vogue has 7 Great Audiobooks for Long Drives.

Looking for a display idea? Why not some readalikes for Beach Read? When we bought ebooks on Tuesday, there were eight holds on our one expired copy (don’t worry, I bought it again, #zombies), and as of today, 4 out of 7 of the print copies in our system are checked out. Let’s make sure patrons looking for this book don’t leave empty-handed!

Finally, #FridayReads: I’ve just finished The Crossing Places, by Elly Griffiths, and have grabbed up the second Ruth Galloway book like a proper series reader. In my earbuds is The Wolf and The Woodsman, and on my Netflix is season 3 of Virgin River. It’s fair to say I am all about the stories right now. Happy reading/listening/viewing!