This Book is My Jam: Trustology by Richard Fagerlin

Welcome to This Book is My Jam, a semi-regular feature in which I talk about a book I recently read and really loved. I read books written for kids, teens, and adults, so it could be aimed at any age group.

TrustologyThis is a surprise entry into “This Book is My Jam.” Because it’s a management book that I had to read for my CALLI program (management and self help books are usually anything but my jam–I read them for good information, but I don’t usually expect to be moved by them). Because the title is (sorry to the author) kind of silly. Because I just honestly didn’t expect to like it, and wasn’t excited about reading it. And then I read it, and really liked it!

The basic premise of Trustology: The Art and Science of Leading High-Trust Teams is that managers need to be better about trusting their team. According to Fagerlin, trusting your team leads to happier employees, more productivity, and more money for the business. Of course, in libraries we aren’t about profit, but who wouldn’t want more productivity and a happier work environment? The book is divided into 3 sections. Here’s a brief rundown of what those sections talk about:

Trustology 101: Trust’s Big Lie. This section talks about the fact that the way we think about trust isn’t correct. We think of it as something to be earned, not something to be given freely. The author says we need to think of trust as something that can only be given–and only you, individually, have the power of giving trust. If you want to have a high trust team, you have to choose to trust your people and keep making that choice day after day. Fagerlin talks about how often we don’t give people the benefit of the doubt or chance to tell their side of the story when breakdowns in communication happen. If we do that, he says, we hold people hostage to our own assumptions of their behavior. That means trust can’t happen.

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Mock Caldecott Program: Wrap Up

Now that we know the winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards, I wanted to talk about what worked and what didn’t for the Caldecott book club program we tried over the month of January at my library. You can read weekly wrap ups of the program here.

caldecott-medalHere’s how it worked: We had a book club every Thursday afternoon in January (4 total) where we read 4 different contenders. The attendees voted on their favorite books. Then we put the books out on display and allowed all library patrons to vote on their favorites for the week. Before the next book club, we counted the votes and picked the finalist for the week. The last week (in theory–more on that later), we put out the finalists from the last weeks of voting and our winner was selected from those. The winners were selected by having the most votes–we didn’t have patrons rank the books from 1-4 and give different points values based on those rankings. As I talked about here, our mock Caldecott winner was the winner of the actual Caldecott: The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat. That was super exciting and unexpected.

What worked:

  • The passive portion of the program. This was incredibly fun to watch. Patrons loved coming in and reading the books and voting on them. It wasn’t unusual to see families reading them together, talking about them, discussing their relative merits–so cool!
  • Reading the books in the book club with the kids. This was so eye-opening for me. Most of the books we chose are too long for regular storytime, so it was really fun to be able to read longer books with older kids. Seeing how they reacted to the books was fascinating–I learned that wordless books didn’t seem to grab them in the way that more traditional picture books did (of course, it was a really small group, so an obviously limited sample size). But just seeing what they loved and what they were less interested in changed my own personal opinion about a lot of these books.
  • Picking a good combination of books every week. We tried to have at least one wordless book, a nonfiction book, and a traditional picture book every week. The mix was nice and exposed our patrons to a lot of different books over the course of the program.

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Mock Caldecott Results! (In Which I am Surprised and Excited!)

I’m so excited to announce that my library’s Mock Caldecott results and the actual Caldecott results are the SAME BOOK! I honestly did not expect this, and am BEYOND THRILLED. I’m sorry but I can’t stop typing in ALL CAPS!

And the winner is (I’m assuming everyone who reads this blog knows this already but just in case)…

The Adventures of Beekle! An awesome choice for Caldecott.

The Adventures of Beekle! An awesome choice for Caldecott.

As I mentioned in my post about the first week of our Caldecott book club, The Adventures of Beekle had an amazing amount of kid appeal. The kids loved it, and every single person in the book club that day voted for it to win. I know our patrons will be thrilled that they picked the same book as the Caldecott committee!

Storytime Picks of the Month: January

In this monthly feature, I pick my favorite storytime reads of the month–one from my baby storytime, one from toddler storytime, and one from preschool storytime.

tuck-in-timeBaby Storytime Pick: Tuck-In-Time by Carole Gerber. Books like this are a great choice for baby storytime. There’s a lot of rhyming, and it allows for parent and baby participation. This book lists lots of different body parts on baby, so caregivers can identify the parts on baby as you read together. It also depicts the common scene of bedtime, which makes it identifiable to all the babies in storytime. The cadence makes it a great read aloud. I had never read this book before, and it will definitely go in my rotation for good books to use in baby storytime.

monkey see look at meToddler Storytime Pick: Monkey See, Look at Me! by Lorena Siminovich. This month, I made it a point to only use new books in my baby and toddler storytimes. It’s so important to keep it fresh and try new books. I’m so glad I tried this one! The bright illustrations and fun story made this a perfect story for toddlers. My toddlers are usually pretty quiet while I’m reading the books, even when I ask them questions while reading. But they LOVED responding to the question: “Is he a rabbit? Is he a lion?” I got a resounding “No!” and a lot of giggles every time. There’s also a lot of opportunity to have your kiddos do animal noises and participate as you read the story. This was just a really fun crowd pleaser.

snip snapPreschool Storytime Pick: Snip Snap!: What’s That? by Mara Bergman. This was another book I had never read in storytime before, and my kids LOVED it! It’s also a great book for many different themes, as my coworker who introduced it to me pointed out. It can work for a noisy storytime (the theme of the storytime I read this in this month), a reptile storytime, a scary storytime, and more. It’s just fabulous. You can ramp up the scary factor and the kids love it. While it is suspenseful, and my kids were on the edges of their seats throughout, it never crossed the line into too spooky. They all had big grins on their faces and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen. This was definitely a winner!