The People Who Pushed Me (An Ode to my PLN)

So today I’m guest writing at S. Bryce Kozla’s blog, Bryce Don’t Play, about how her ideas for library adventures save my life when planning tours and field trip activities. And, just in case you missed it, she sort of sneakily called me out on how I don’t have her on my blog roll. Well, truth be told, I just haven’t figured out how to add blogs that aren’t hosted on WordPress because the theme I use makes that option incredibly hard to find. So the blogs you see on my blog roll are awesome, but I also have a secret set that I stash in my RSS news feed. (Yeah, I still have one of those.)

Also, I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now and I want to take a moment to high-five the handful of people who give me the confidence to do this, including Sara.

So let’s start with her, shall we?

Sara is frequently the first person to pat anyone else on the back. She is super positive and welcoming to even little people like me. When I first joined Twitter, trying to jump into a PLN with peers who are so much smarter than me, she was the first person to come around and support me. I love that she has a wealth of knowledge and she shares it freely, lifting up others as she goes. She’s a great leader and advocate for school-aged programming and I would use absolutely any of her ideas.

When I look at Sara and her comrade, Brooke, I can’t help but imagine that a big reason they flourish as much as they do is because of Marge Loch-Wouters, their boss. Marge is incredibly low profile and humble, but I see the fruits of her efforts in the accomplishments of her team and I think that speaks so well of her management style. I don’t know a whole lot about her career because I came to know her many, many years into it, but Marge is a leader among youth services managers for sure. She has been endlessly kind to me and she was one of the first people I found and talked to (wrote to?) in libraryland.

Lisa at Thrive After Three has taught me so much. She has wonderful ideas on how to partner with schools and offering school-aged programs that are easy for busy librarians/under-staffed libraries, and she shares videos of some of her storytime elements.When she kicked off Thrive Thursday, I didn’t even realize that I had material to contribute to a round-up until she pulled me in. She has a talent for seeing and lifting up other professionals, just like Marge and Sara.

Another of the first blogs I discovered was Mel’s Desk. Melissa Depper is such an early literacy giant, in my humble opinion. After going through a day-long ECRR2 training, I dug into her posts for a long time, soaking in all her helpful literacy tips. She was also recently kind enough to share her resources for some of this information. Isn’t she the best? She’s another person who has been really, really kind to me. You guys, she walked me through a work issue I was having during a very busy time for her. I’ve worked alongside people in person who didn’t have that kind of generosity.

Storytime Underground is where you can really get a sense of how new I am to this career field. I mean, there was this whole time that I shared how badly I sucked at managing kids in storytime. I was inspired by these ladies who are actively pushing us all to own our strengths and knowledge as experts. I’ve never felt like an expert, but they’ve managed to make everyone feel like we’re mighty and because of them I’ve been connected to new blogs and people. Oh! They also single-handedly convinced me to hop on Twitter so…you’re welcome, Twitter friends.

And of course, I’m eternally grateful to Lindsay and Dana at Jbrary. I learned all my favorites songs and rhymes from them and they offer so. much. goodness. On their blog, via Twitter, and in their huge collection of Pinterest boards, you can find pretty much anything you want. Their post on baby storytimes for beginners is something I’ve shared A LOT recently and answers so many questions. Plus they’re fun!

And a quick shout out to Miss Michelle and Ms. Kelly who both work in libraries sort of similar to mine and have been great resources for me.

I’ve come to think of all of these people as my extended-teammates and I won’t wax on forever, but BIG thank you’s to them all for never making me feel like the freshmen trying to hang out with seniors.

7 thoughts on “The People Who Pushed Me (An Ode to my PLN)

  1. Hey back at you. I learn a ton from you! Its great to share in your universal learning network (personal is too small!). You go!

  2. It’s probably horrible that I just read this, mostly because how dare you not be in a fake online war with me, but you’re the greatest and thanks so much for the kind words. I definitely remember when you told the Storytime Underground community that you were on Twitter and for some reason I made it my personal mission to get you involved there even though I didn’t know you:) But I’m glad I did, and that your blog is awesome, and and!!

    I love it that our Personal Learning Networks keep growing! There’s always room for more.

  3. I’m a few days behind…compiling the TT Roundup! =)
    So touched to be included, too! It’s so nice to have others around the country to turn to for help and ideas! Especially when we work solo.
    Thanks for the kind words!

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