The Ms. Yingling Effect

ms yingling3That’s what I’m calling what’s happening to my blog.  I’m a school librarian that hasn’t always really been blogging all about books or reading.  I’m going to change that.

Now I’m not really going to be like Ms. Yingling because she’s some kind of mutant reading machine.  She, and most kid’s book bloggers, seem to do nothing but read and blog about the books.  I just don’t do that.  I don’t really care about reviewing the newest shiniest books and I really don’t care much about the awards (though I couldn’t be happier about my man Dan winning one).

But there seem to be two kinds of school librarian bloggers.  The kind who read and blog about books and reading and their libraries along with other stuff and those who want to go on and on about “transliteracy” and “21st Century skills” and “makerspaces” and all that stuff.  I’m not ever going to be the second kind of blogger.

Now I am a school librarian that embraces technology and change.  I use a tablet to film and edit my morning broadcast and have presented on this more than once.  I help people choose appropriate tech and apps.  I just started using Instagram to promote my program.  I’m by no means a techphobe.  I even know how to add attachments to an email and help teachers figure that out as well!  Crazy, I know!

But my favorite thing is promoting a love of reading.  I love finding the perfect book for the perfect reader.  I love buying books I know will fly off the shelves.  Before I got to this library, there were very few comics (aka “graphic novels”), Captain Underpants, Goosebumps and more.  Now we have a full set of the Captain, Dork Diaries, Popularity Papers, Amulet, Lunch Lady, Babymouse, we’re working on Bone and many more.  I’m still buying high quality literature and non-fiction but I will get (almost) anything they ask for or I know they’ll eat up.  That’s the real “Ms. Yingling Effect.”  That’s why she does what she does and what all the other Kidlit bloggers do.  We help kids and parents and teachers find the right books for the right kid.

As for myself, I gravitate towards SF, fantasy, and comic books.  So yeah, I’m going to make a concerted effort to become more a part of the “kidlitosphere” and blog mostly about books and reading.  I’ll still post about my grown up reading I do, especially as concerns my face to face book club.  I’ll also try to keep up with what my elementary school teaching wife and my middle school daughter.  Plus, as you know, we still read aloud quite often.

I will also post about what I’m reading out loud to my students (mostly Kindergarten and 1st grade), the Georgia book and picture book award nominees and our county’s “Reader’s Rally” books.  Plus whatever catches my fancy.

Not only will I blog about this stuff, but I’ve updated my blogroll and feed reader and am getting back into following some of the great kid lit bloggers of our time.  Now to be completely honest, the fact that I don’t read hundreds of brand new kids books every other day is not the only thing that was holding me back from diving more into blogging about them.  When I read reviews on other blogs I’m often impressed but have little to say other than, “Sounds great.”  When someone writes about some issue they’re having at school or whatever, there’s plenty to comment on.  But book reviews?  You either agree or you don’t.  Not much to say about it.  But I get so few comments anymore that I’m not even worried about it!  Heh heh.

So if you’re still reading this, look forward to seeing more posts about books and reading along with the other brain droppings and let me know what you think when you can.  Thanks.

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3 thoughts on “The Ms. Yingling Effect

  1. Doug Johnson

    Jim, There is one golden rule for blogging – write about what interests and amuses YOU. I believe the primary audience for blogs is the blogger him/herself. I write about a bunch of different stuff – tech, libraries, travel, family, humor – and I get great joy from going back and re-reading my own thoughts. If others want to follow along, that’s OK too. Blogs are a great tool for both personal and professional reflection. Don’t worry about a theme. Doug

  2. Wise advice as always, Doug. I spent November trying to blog every day and I realized this IS what interests me. Reading, books, and what’s going on in my library. I’m sure I’ll keep adding things about my family and other interests but I think there’s probably a reason I’ve worked in 4 or 5 books stores, met my wife in one, was a manager of a children’s book department and am now an elementary school librarian. I love reading and I love passing it on. Not so much a theme as a refocusing I suppose. Thanks.

  3. Ahhhhh. Submitting this link as documentation of my professional influence for my state evaluation! Remember, I have a library with a very narrow focus (grades 6-8), and a staff more interested in having me get books to students than work with tech stuff. As Doug said, you have to blog what makes YOU tick!

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