Thrive After Three

Engaging programs to keep kids coming back to the library

Setting Goals for Your Children’s Department

Goals Each year when it comes time to sit down and think about my goals, I freeze up! I don’t know why. I never have trouble coming up with new and improved ways to do my duties. It’s just the imminent deadline that seems to choke me up. Knowing this, I’ve decided to keep a folder with a list of ideas throughout the year. This way, at deadline time I have a menu of choices to discuss with my director!

Here are some ideas:

The Early Years For those of you new to the field, start out slow! You’ll be facing difficult challenges each day. You shouldn’t have the added stress of completing additional goals on top of learning the job. Try some of these out:

  • Learn and assist the planning and implementing of storytime (you can even be specific with an age group)
  • Learn and assist the planning and implementing of after school programs (again, choose an age group to focus on)
  • Learn and perform all tasks of the children’s librarian position
  • Learn how to tell a flannel board story
  • Learn how to develop a storytime curriculum
  • Learn the state preschool curriculum, school age curriculum, Common Core, and STEM/STEAM
  • Learn the school schedule
  • Learn what times are most busy for future preparation of programs
  • Learn how to order, process, catalog materials
  • Learn how to run reports
  • Develop a playlist for storytimes
  • Survive your first summer reading program

The Intermediate Years OK, now you have the basics under your belt. You can focus on targeting some key programs or collections in your library:

  • Strengthen and expand the summer reading program (you can add an age-specific program)
  • Implement an outreach program (whether it’s preschool storytime outreach monthly, or a book exchange with middle school students)
  • Strengthen the way we publicize and talk about storytimes (Do your parents know the value of storytimes? Do you include the state preschool curriculum? Do you use ECRR?)
  • Strengthen the way we publicize and talk about school age programs (Do your parents know about how important reading aloud is? Books in the home? Do you include STEM/STEAM? Core?)
  • Incorporate crafts into your outreach programs
  • Plan and execute lending materials to schools
  • Develop passive programs for children who visit the library when you’re out of the office
  • Develop a monthly schedule of displays to increase circulation (you can even focus on a specific collection: non-fiction, beginning readers, picture books, storytime books, etc.)
  • Plan funding for a diecut machine to assist with craft preparation
  • Create school age programming on half-days, vacation days, and professional development days
  • Create a partnership with someone from the school (or parks and rec, or museum, etc.)

The Seasoned Years You can plan and execute storytime and school age programs in your sleep. Here are some ideas to spruce up your children’s department:

  • Develop the flannel board collection for storytimes and outreach
  • Update the Unattended Children’s Policy
  • Plan and seek funding for programs
  • Train staff
  • Evaluate programs and modify based on the conclusions
  • Design new library cards
  • Move the collection to increase circulation/ease for patrons
  • Weed the collection
  • Develop fundraising
  • Plan and execute literacy bags
  • Seek funding for furniture to update your children’s room
  • Seek funding to recover classics in the collection that need a facelift
  • Collaborate with schools to setup a bus stop for programs

Professional Goals

  • Publish an article sharing your expertise
  • Be a guest blogger for Thrive Thursday or Flannel Friday
  • Start a blog
  • Write a proposal for your state library conference
  • Write a proposal for a webinar
  • Make a coffee date with a library colleague you admire
  • Post a comment on a blog from an idea you’ve used
  • Write a letter to the editor of School Library Journal or Horn Book
  • Join a Facebook Group
  • Join a conversation on Twitter

What are your favorite goals?

3 comments on “Setting Goals for Your Children’s Department

  1. Pingback: CLA 2014: Year Round Collaboration | Thrive After Three

  2. Pingback: 4/30 Webinar | Thrive After Three

  3. Pingback: Get After-Schooled | Thrive After Three

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