Mini-Master’s of Library Science

Colorful Mini-Master's of Library Science at the Gretna Public Library for children who want to learn more about their library.Many months ago I was chatting with the wonderful Miss Meg from Miss Meg’s Storytime. If you don’t know her blog, then please stop reading and follow the above link. These words will wait for you over here, and you’ll be in for real storytime awesomeness treats over on her blog.

Okay, so Meg and I were chatting on Facebook where I was bemoaning the discovery of a sign that one of my team members had made. I give that teammate HUGE kudos for taking the initiative in trying to fix a perceived problem. However, the sign sent out an unwelcoming vibe – and it featured this symbol:

And when I spoke with that team member – she totally got it and we took down the sign.

But here’s the issue that led to that sign’s creation:
kids wandering back behind our circulation desk.

I’m actually incredibly grateful that the sign had been made and posted because it was the jolt that I needed to really think about this situation. I mean, what was the problem with kids being behind the desk with us? Yes, rules are important, but why wouldn’t we foster kids’ curiosity and ownership of their library?

So, that’s what Meg and I chatted about – and what happened as a result was nothing short of magic. Together we came up with the Mini-Master’s in Library Science!

We were incredibly excited about the thought of this and how it could be used. I mean, what if we welcomed kids behind the desk and share with them the joy that we have with our jobs? Both kids and parents would learn more about librarianship and the importance of education within it. But most important, both the children and the librarians would be making incredibly special memories. Squeeeee!!!

Meg ran with it right away and created her certificate. A storytime fan of hers had asked if she could have her 9th birthday party at the library with Meg (I mean, how awesome is that in and of itself?!). Well, Meg presented the attendees with certificates and frames to put them in! The local newspaper covered it:

Newspaper coverage of the first mini-master's of library science. Miss Meg bestowed these certificates during a birthday party at the library after the attendees took a tour and learned about library science.
^^^SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!^^^

I hope that Meg will write about the experience on her blog sometime, because there were some very special moments during that event. Like, at least one got me ultra misty eyed. I’ll be sure to add a link here if and when she does.

For me, it took me months and months to finally get ours going, but going we got it! I asked our library page put take the template that Meg shared with me (and she’d share with you, too, if you ask her) and adjust it for your library.  And guess what?! I’ll share our template with you, too!

Gretna Public Library in Nebraska's Mini-Master's of Library Science degree that children can be awarded after a library tour and recommending a book to one of the librarians.
It’s a Microsoft Publisher file – so you’ll need to reach out and email me at hafuboti@gmail.com and I’ll send that file to you. If you don’t have Publisher, then still ask! I can take the certificate and try to convert it to whatever program that you have.

The debut of our Mini-Master’s program happened just a few weeks ago:
C.J., on the far left, had told me a week before that he wanted to be a librarian when he grew up. ::melts:: So I asked his dad if I could take his boys on a library tour the following week. It happened and it was just as amazing as I’d hoped. I looked forward to it all week, and those boys just ate up all the “behind the scenes” stuff. And after they presented me with books that they’d recommend (a Frankenstein board book and a Thomas book), I presented them with their degrees!

Rebecca McCorkindale shares the special moment of C.J. and Mitchell being the first to earn their Mini-Master's of Library Science. A.k.a. BABY LIBRARIANS!!! Such an awesome library memory for everyone in

I shared the above photo that their dad took for me on our library’s Facebook page (after getting the dad’s permission) and it was an enormous hit!
::intones a la Oprah:: ADVOCACYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

Even better? One of the local papers was there covering another story (our therapy dog storytime) and took some shots and published it the following week:

The Gretna Breeze's photos of the Mini-Master's experience at our library.
And now the boys have permission to come around the desk and check out their own books as long as we’re not too busy. They took advantage of that the other day – and though it was a wee bit chaotic (getting the younger brother Mitchell to take turns is a lesson in and of itself), I could tell that it meant the world to C.J. He would practically burst with pride whenever he perfectly scanned a bar code on the first try.

I hope that you take a look at possibly incorporating a Mini-Master’s degree into your library’s programming. It’s a joyous experience for everyone involved. And I even asked a girl yesterday if she’d like to have a special library tour on her next visit (we were closing in a few minutes and couldn’t fit one in at the time) – and the glowing grin she had while nodding? Pure. Magic.

I can hardly wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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