Self-Care and Career Development

The term self-care is thrown around a lot, but nailing down what it means can be complicated. In my mind there’s personal self-care and professional self-care. They both help recharge your battery, but for me personal self-care is something like taking a much-needed nap, visiting friends, or just making time for a hobby. Professional self-care, on the other hand, makes me think of professional development or training. These are the types of things that give me the tools to be more successful in my career, which build my confidence in handling tough situations, and help me find happiness and satisfaction in my work.

On Tuesday, February 20th at 10:00 am CALL will be hosting a webinar called, Career Development in Libraries: Supercharging Your Library Career, presented by Sonia Alcántara-Antoine, PLA President. This is a wonderful professional self-care opportunity. Sonia will be speaking about how to actively develop your career and position yourself for success and growth. She will also talk about finding mentors and how to network.

So if you’ve been feeling stuck in your career, curious about moving into other positions within the library, or looking for a way to connect with others in the field be sure to register for this webinar. Come ready to learn from Sonia, an incredible library leader, and join what’s sure to be a lively and fun discussion.

See you there!


TeachingBooks for California Public Library Staff

A guest post by Robyn McCreight, California State Library

TeachingBooks for Libraries is a collection of digital resources created and curated for the purpose of engaging children and teens with the books they are reading. Your access is directed by the California State Library’s COMPASS program and provided with ongoing state education funds, so there’s no expected end date for the program and local library access to TeachingBooks for Libraries.

The following 30-minute webinars will be held live online for registered participants. All registrants will receive a recording to watch at their convenience. Please contact Deborah Salyer,, for more information. Please contact if you need assistance with registration.

2024 Webinar Series

January | Prepare for Summer Reading with TeachingBooks

Find new inspiration and discover how your state-funded access to TeachingBooks resources can be easily integrated into your summer reading program. Locate lists of themed summer reading titles, whether you’re using CSLP or iRead. Designing your own program? Use TeachingBooks to create unique lists and discover how to find, share, and incorporate Meet-the-Author recordings, book trailers, and activity kits to enrich the summer reading experience.

Funding provided by the State of California for education at the direction of the California State Library.

When: January 18, 2024, at 2:00 PM Pacific
Audience: Public Library Staff
View Recording in CALL Academy

February | TeachingBooks 101 – Search, Save, and Share

Engage your readers, create lists for your programming, and promote literacy with your children and teens, parents, and community with resources from TeachingBooks. From titles you always use in your book clubs and programming to hot-off-the-press releases, there’s always something new at TeachingBooks, your state-funded library of digital literacy resources. 

Funding provided by the State of California for education at the direction of the California State Library.

  • When: February 14, 2024, at 11:00 AM Pacific
  • Audience: Public Library Staff
  • View Recording in CALL Academy

March | Enrich Your Programming with Resources that Engage your Children and Teens 

TeachingBooks resources can help make program planning quick and easy with materials to support storytimes, book clubs, and more. Explore the wide array of book guides, activity kits, and digital resources that will empower readers both at the library and at home. Find new program inspiration and incorporate ready-to-use materials into existing programs for children and teens.

Funding provided by the State of California for education at the direction of the California State Library.

  • When: March 28, 2024, at 2:00 PM Pacific
  • Audience: Public Library Staff
  • Registration Link

April | Big Impact, Small Changes: Analyzing Featured Titles with TeachingBooks

Gain insight into the titles you choose for displays, programming, and even collection development. Join the TeachingBooks Team to learn how the Collection Analysis Toolkit can assist when examining your children’s and young adult titles for genre, recency, and cultural classifications. Reflect together on your book promotion goals and the next steps to reach them. This session will show you the overview of the Collection Analysis Toolkit at TeachingBooks—far beyond reading levels and publication dates.

Funding provided by the State of California for education at the direction of the California State Library.

  • When: April 17, 2024, at 11:00 AM Pacific
  • Audience: Public Library Staff
  • Registration Link 

May | Support Your Community with TeachingBooks Resources

Outreach to your community has never been easier with TeachingBooks tools for engagement. Discover how to share booklists and create printables for engaging children and teens with your books on display, on book mobiles, and in your programming. Looking for ways to support your public and home schoolers? This session is also for you! 

Funding provided by the State of California for education at the direction of the California State Library.

  • When: May 16, 2024, at 2:00 PM Pacific
  • Audience: Public Library Staff
  • Registration Link

Understanding Co-Design and Community Partnerships

Public libraries ideally work collaboratively to meet local needs and aspirations. Working WITH communities, instead of simply FOR them, can transform libraries and the communities they serve. That’s why the California State Library’s LSTA plan calls for co-design and community engagement. Whether or not you’re thinking of applying for a 2024-2025 LSTA grant, we highly encourage you to investigate what’s on CALL that will support your efforts. All trainings are available to California library workers free of charge through California Libraries Learn.

Connectors, Partners and Community Support: Preparing for LSTA Funding, a new one-hour CALL exclusive webinar on Thursday, February 8, at 10 a.m., will help you understand more about this community work. Instructor Cathay Reta will provide: 1) guidance to identify CALL courses to help you develop community connectors and partners, 2) direct instruction on addressing these connections for your grant proposal, and 3) a little inspiration on why it matters. CALL Academy offers a wealth of recorded information, including the courses The Partnership Project and Community-Centered Libraries, both of which provide great supporting materials along with recordings.

Interested in learning more about expanding your connections and developing co-design practices? Attend a webinar on Building Authentic Relationships with Underserved Communities, on Tuesday, January 30, at 11 a.m. A follow-up webinar from the same team, Co-Creating Library Services for Transformative Impact, takes place on Tuesday, February 27, at noon.

There’s more on co-design available now and starting soon. Get a jumpstart with this view-anytime CALL Academy recordings on Exploring Co-Design and Co-Design in Action from the Library Collective, which will also present a second live discussion on Exploring Co-Design just for California libraries on February 15 at 10 a.m. Library Journal offers a three-session course on How to Collaborate with Your Community to Co-Design Programs and Services, starting February 21.

Plus, don’t forget about the great webinars offered in January and February to help you put together a winning grant proposal. Check out the CALL blog post Getting Ready for Grant Season to learn more! If you’re interested in learning about data about your community, you might be interested in webinars and PolicyMap training from the Community-Centered Libraries series.


Seguimos Creando Enlaces Conference Takes a Break in 2024

Creando Logo

The Seguimos Creando Enlaces (Continuing to Create Connections) conference committee is taking 2024 off as a planning year. Creando, for short, is a free, binational conference, sponsored by CALL, that fosters community connections and cultural diversity in public, academic, and special libraries, bringing together libraries from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border to share best practices and build more inclusive library spaces.

Creando will continue to create connections in 2024, as we offer virtual learning events in partnership with CALL.

Here are the Creando winter/spring learning events, and stay tuned for more enriching virtual programming to support library staff in serving Spanish-speaking communities throughout 2024!

A Model for Spanish Language Services – January 24, 2024

La Hora Virtual: How to Develop a Virtual Program to Promote Spanish Resources – February 7, 2024 (With our own Ana Villalpando from the Creando committee!)

Circulation Desk Spanish – March 20, 2024

Basic Spanish for Library Staff March 26 – April 22, 2024 (Limited seats available for this CALL-exclusive, high-demand course.)

Also, you can view these on-demand recordings of trainings focused on providing to services to Spanish speakers, on CALL Academy, after creating a free account:

Ideating Programming for Spanish Speakers

¡Canta Conmigo! : Ten New Songs for Bilingual Storytime

Bilingual Storytimes – The Basics

Do you have an idea? The Planning Committee is seeking to host ongoing virtual presentations that demonstrate how public, academic, and special libraries advocate for intellectual freedom and equitable programming and access. We are especially interested in highlighting innovative projects that include communities of color, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQIA+, Spanish speakers/ESL resources, digital equity or binational collaborations.

Format Examples:

  • Individual Presentation
  • Panel Presentation:
    Group of two-three library or community leaders answer questions from a moderator and share best practices related to the conference theme. Panelists will identify a moderator for their presentation.
  • Library & Community Partner Presentation:
    Group of two-three presenters share examples of projects co-created with library partners.

Submit a proposal

Flashback to 2023:

Our 11th Annual conference was back in person with 167 attendees at the San Diego Central Library on Friday, May 12th, 2023.  The conference theme was “Open Minds, Open Doors – Mentes y Puertas Abiertas”, and opened with a keynote presentation from beloved children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales, as well as featuring 2Spirit storyteller Juan Reynoso and numerous engaging Workshop sessions. Due to technical difficulties with Yuyi Morales’ virtual keynote presentation, “Tres Bibliotecas”, she graciously re-recorded it for us. Please watch below.


Unlocking Grant Success: California Rural and Small Libraries Webinar Series

A guest post by Stephanie Gerding

I’m thrilled to invite you to a unique opportunity. In this curated set of webinars, I’m excited to share my insights into library grant work aimed at empowering and guiding California’s rural and small libraries towards grant success. As a dedicated library grant writer, educator, and author, I’ve had the privilege of wearing multiple hats in the grant world – as an applicant, a funder, a project manager, an evaluator, and a consultant. I’ve even had the honor of reviewing grants for nonprofits and LSTA grants for state libraries.

Join Our Webinar Series for Grant Success

These webinars are designed to simplify the grant process and equip you with the tools and confidence needed for successful library grant funding. Grants offer more than just financial support; they foster valuable partnerships, address community needs, and garner increased community support.

Webinar Descriptions:

  1. Empowering Rural and Small Libraries: 10 Tips for Successful Library Grants
    Wednesday, January 10 | 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | 30-minute webinar
    Applying for grants doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Join me in this engaging session offering valuable insights and practical strategies for success in grant work. Let’s demystify the grant process and inspire you to approach grant work with enthusiasm and confidence.
  2. Rural and Small Library Grant Planning and Design
    Thursday, January 18 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | One-hour webinar
    Gain an understanding of crucial factors in library grant work and be ready to initiate successful proposals. I’ll introduce you to the Winning Grants Planning Tool, a useful worksheet to aid you in designing a grant project and identifying necessary elements for a compelling proposal.
  3. Creating the Winning LSTA Grant Proposal for Rural and Small Libraries
    Thursday, February 1 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | 90-minute webinar
    Discover what LSTA grant reviewers are looking for and gain the skills to bring clarity and professionalism to your grant proposals. This session includes a Q & A segment and a CA LSTA Grant Worksheet, invaluable for successful applications. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact, learn, and elevate your grant writing expertise.

I find grant work really exciting and interesting and I can’t wait to share my enthusiasm and knowledge with you. I hope you will join us in this webinar series.

See you online!


Getting Ready for Grant Season: Help Your Library Support Community Aspirations

The California State Library has recently announced that five funding opportunities will open in early January, with applications due no later than March 6. These grant programs, all funded by federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, include general Community Impact Grants as well as specific opportunities for Play for All (families and young children), Sustainable California Libraries (climate- and sustainability-focused, community-driven programming), Teens Succeed (focused on internships), and eBooks for All (building diverse and inclusive digital collections).

How can your library and staff better prepare for these opportunities? There are two important pieces: community engagement and grant proposal development. You’ll also want to register for the State Library’s information session at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2024.

First off, grant writing expert Stephanie Gerding will usher in the new year with five (count’ em!) California-exclusive sessions designed to help you start on the right foot.

Register now for one or both of two workshops on LSTA grant basics.

For rural and small libraries, or those brand new to grant writing, we are offering a three-part series with a brief recorded introduction to get you started: 

All of the grant proposals will also ask for a level of community engagement and co-design work with partners and community members. We highly encourage you to attend a webinar on Building Authentic Relationships with Underserved Communities, on Tuesday, January 30, at 11 a.m. Interested in learning more about co-design? Get a jumpstart with this view-anytime CALL Academy recording from the Library Collective or attend a three-session course from Library Journal starting February 21.


Being Grateful for Mentors



In November, many of us take a moment (or hopefully more) to think about what we are grateful for. Over the course of my library career, I have had many individuals who took the time to share their wisdom, expertise, and advice with me, and I am grateful for them. Some of those people were the first to encourage me to explore my love of learning and professional development by giving me the chance to travel across Illinois delivering training to library staff. Thirty years later, it is still my passion, and I still have mentors who encourage me.

Although we don’t always recognize or name it, most of us have had many mentors throughout our life. Being a mentor (or a mentee) comes naturally for some people, but being intentional about it is often the challenge.

On Tuesday, November 28 at noon California library staff have the opportunity to hear from Christine Kreger on the Foundations of Mentoring. If you have ever struggled with the logistics of a mentoring relationship (consistency, communication, goal setting, etc.) you will benefit from the practical and specific concepts in this presentation. You will leave knowing more about how to move forward with an intentional mentoring relationship, and how both the mentee and mentor can benefit. All participants will get a Foundations of Mentoring Workbook as part of their attendance.

So, in November when you are giving thanks for many things, don’t forget those who have officially or unofficially been a mentor for you. They didn’t have to do it, but they did, and you have benefited.

Christine Kreger is the Professional Development Consultant for the Colorado State Library and has been involved in leadership training and mentoring for over ten years, including acting as co-chair of the Colorado Association of Libraries Mentorship Interest Group.


Culturally Relevant Evaluation Cohort

Calling all library workers! Are you someone who:

  • Creates, implements, and/or evaluates your library’s public programming?
  • Works in outreach and/or community engagement?

This winter and spring, you have the opportunity to participate in a learning cohort of your peers from across the state. At no cost to you, you will learn how to engage members of your community in the creation and evaluation of your library’s programs and services. The Culturally Relevant Evaluation cohort will be led by Dr. Andrea Girón Mathern, the founder of Centrality Research.

By participating, you will:

  • gain knowledge and tools to conduct participatory evaluation – a process that engages community members in the design and evaluation of programs and services
  • develop skills in both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods that center the community
  • expand your awareness of approaches that are culturally responsive and relevant when gathering feedback from community members
  • connect with public library workers around the state engaged in similar work

To be considered for the cohort, please submit an application by Friday, December 1, 2023. To learn more about this opportunity and to apply, please visit the Culturally Relevant Evaluation webpage.

Community-Centered Libraries: Harnessing the Power of Data to Equitably Serve Your Community is brought to you by the California State Library and Pacific Library Partnership. Please contact Linda Hofschire (, the Community-Centered Libraries Project Manager, if you have any questions about the Community-Centered Libraries training opportunities.


WebJunction’s Supercharged Storytimes

Are you one of the more than 1,200 learners who’ve completed the Supercharged Storytimes course or are you brand new to it? This course includes more than 30 videos on topics like phonological awareness, vocabulary, involving parents and caregivers in storytimes, and building equitable relationships. It has been updated and improved to include downloadable video transcripts, as well as a separate index of all downloadable resources and handouts. You will need to create a free account to access this self-paced course, which can be started and stopped at any time, and should take approximately 10 hours total to complete.

You can also explore this new resource, Inclusive Collections for Supercharged Storytimes, to inform your efforts to curate diverse, inclusive collections for your storytime programs and help ensure that the children who participate experience a sense of belonging and can broaden their worldviews.

Supercharged Storytimes was developed with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and OCLC.

Presented by: Saroj Ghoting, Early Literacy Instructor; Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager; CiKeithia Pugh, Early Learning Program Manager at The Seattle Public Library; and Emily Plagman, Project Manager at Project Outcome, PLA.


Catalyst Cohort Participants 2023

The California State Library and California Library Association are pleased to announce the first cohort of participants in the Catalyst leadership development program. Catalyst is a cohort-based program under the banner of California Libraries Learn (CALL) designed to equip and support California library workers with development opportunities that allow them to lead from anywhere. To ensure a comprehensive and fair selection process, a team of 12 library workers evaluated over 100 applications in a blind review during the initial round. Their aim was to identify a robust cohort that encompasses individuals with diverse perspectives, strengths, and unique lived experiences, all of which contribute to the enriching work carried out in libraries.

Following a thorough evaluation, the final group of 25 individuals was chosen from the pool of top-scoring candidates. Consideration was given to fostering diversity in terms of library types and representation across various regions of California.

The Catalyst cohort participants for this year are:

Name: Joe Ayala
Library: Sonoma County Library

Joe is a literacy associate at the Sonoma County Library system and enjoys reading, walking, sewing, and spending time with his cats. 

Name: Cloud Bell
Library: San Mateo County Libraries

Cloud is currently a Community Program Specialist with San Mateo County Libraries where she enjoys providing systemwide innovative programs and fostering strong community connections. She loves hiking and the outdoors and playing competitive Netball. 

Name: Ruby Buentello
Library: Yolo County Library

Ruby works for Yolo County Library as an Outreach & Programming Librarian. She is a dedicated individual who prioritizes making impactful services available to her community. 

Name: Eric Castro
Library: Carpinteria Community Library

Eric Castro, an immigrant to the US, is an outreach librarian at the Carpinteria Community Library with over 25 years of experience working in different types of libraries with an emphasis on public libraries.

Name: Kyla Carroll
Library: Sacramento Public Library

Kyla has been with Sacramento Public library for about five years, transitioning through the phases of the pandemic in several different branches and is currently extensively involved in DEIAB work through a leadership position on the Equity committee, with a focus on facilitating conversations and tangible changes to volunteer processes. Through Catalyst, she hopes to learn critical skills for tough conversations and how to promote more effective communication to unite front-facing staff with library administration, bringing understanding and inclusion to all levels.

Name: Rosa Cesaretti
Library: Pasadena Public Library

Rosa Cesaretti, who was born in Mexico City, has been a librarian in Pasadena for 10 years, developing equity-based programs that enrich the diverse community. Ms. Cesaretti believes that public libraries are an essential resource where minds are encouraged to grow free of judgment or restraint.

Name: Danielle Davis
Library: Grossmont College Library

Danielle Davis has worked for over five years as a technician within a Marine Corps library system and now works as the lead technical services technician at the Grossmont College Library in southern California. She is very passionate about advocating for the needs of overlooked populations and believes libraries are perfectly situated to take the pulse of local communities while prioritizing DEIA, social justice, and a culture of care.

Name: Gabriella Dixon
Library: Santa Maria Public Library

Gabriella Dixon is a Teen Librarian at the Santa Maria Public Library; she is passionate about creating and fostering long-lasting connections with youth and their families through library services. Gabriella holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from San Jose State University, is a recent MLIS graduate from Valdosta State University, and has her childhood library card framed at her desk.

Name: Glenda Gamboa
Library: Los Angeles County Library

Glenda Gamboa has been with LA County Library since 2012. Currently the supervising Adult Services Librarian at West Hollywood Library, she has a track record of implementing programs that promote inclusion and diversity, most notably launching their Drag Story Hour as part of her previous position as the Children’s Services Librarian.

Name: Elizabeth (Liz) Garcia
Library: San Mateo County Libraries

Liz currently works as an Adult Services and Makerspace Librarian for the San Mateo County Libraries where she focuses on creating and supporting services that expand access to information to all. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and all things pop culture.

Name: Dorothy Gruett
Library: San Luis Obispo County

Dorothy Gruett is the Senior Library Associate and staff manager for the downtown branch of County of SLO Public Libraries and the Committee Head for the Library Green Team. She has a passion for bringing sustainability to libraries, loves to hike the beautiful beach and mountain areas of the Central Coast and has a super cute and feisty terrier that she spoils rotten.

Name: Yvette Herrera
Library: Madera County Library

Yvette Herrera Children’s Librarian at the Madera County Library, she is very passionate about working with the children and the community.

Name: Rene Hohls
Library: Fort Bragg Unified School – Districtwide

Name: Erik Jones
Library: Santa Ana Public Library

Erik is a Bookmobile Librarian at the Santa Ana Public Library. Erik is passionate about giving back to his community and to the institutions that helped him get to this stage of his career

Name: Kari Leos
Library: Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, Troke Branch Library

Kari is a Librarian Trainee at Troke Branch Library, part of Stockton-San Joaquin County Public LIbrary system and is halfway through getting her Master’s in Library Science. 

Name: Isariya Locke
Library: Fresno County Library

Isariya Locke is a Children’s Librarian originally from Bangkok, Thailand. She earned her Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University. Isariya is deeply passionate about creating inclusive programs that reflect the diversity of her community.

Name: Heidi Mark
Library: Los Angeles Public Library, Sylmar Branch

After working in a school library for more than a decade Heidi is now an adult librarian at the Sylmar branch of the Los Angeles public library. 

Name: Andriana Martin
Library: Lodi Public Library

Andriana has been working at a Public Library for roughly 2 years now. In her free time she enjoys reading, gaming, and traveling around the world.

Name: Jovanah Martinez-Hoboo
Library: Cutten Elementary School Library 

Jovanah has been the District Library Technician for a small school district in Humboldt County for the last 10 years. In her spare time Jovanah is a Dj, producer of all-ages shows, and slam performance poet.

Name: Terezita Overduin
Library: Chaffey College Library

Terezita Overduin is a Reference Librarian at Chaffey College and works to provide student-centered services, programs, and instruction. She has a passion for UX and library design, and her work will be published in the forthcoming publication “Building Our Own: Critiques, Narratives, and Practices by Community College Library Workers of Color.”

Name: Lauren Patterson
Library: Riverside County Law Library

Lauren Patterson is the Administrative Officer for the Riverside County Law Library. She earned her B.A. in political science from UCLA and J.D. from USC. 

Name: Christy Ricky Meister
Library: San Diego Public Library, Ocean Beach Branch

Christy Rickey Meister is the manager of the Ocean Beach Branch Library, part of the San Diego Public Library system. She is committed to connecting her community to needed services, information, and enrichment in a warm, welcoming, and safe environment. 

Name: Elsie Rivas
Library: San Diego Public Library

Elsie is a self-professed Jill of many trades mostly delving into creative ventures such as sewing or crafting. A spooky loving gal with infinite curiosity and endless optimism, a lover of romance novels, Pedro Pascal, Star Wars and her family.

Name: Alicia Rodriguez
Library: Los Angeles Public Library

Alicia Rodriguez is a bilingual outreach librarian and she loves sharing information about FREE library services with EVERYONE especially the Spanish speaking communities. She loves horror films and she has a sewing program called It’s Sew Cool! 

Name: Valerie Tohom
Library: Los Angeles Public Library

Valerie is a San Jose State University graduate student earning her Masters in Library and Information Science and a Messenger Clerk with the Los Angeles Public Library.