Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month Year-Round

Integrating Hispanic Heritage I’d been conducting storytime and other children’s programming for 18 years.  I felt like a veteran, or some kind of master.  In just one hour, my wife Marianne – who was born and raised in Puerto Rico – made me feel like I was only just beginning. For years I would start with a theme, pick out the books, make the puppet shows. And yet, how often did I reach for my Hispanic picture books?  Twice a year?  El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day, commonly known as Día) and Hispanic Heritage Month?  My wife showed me how to take a picture book or a story and build a theme from it – to reverse the storytime building process, and thereby integrate diverse materials into storytime – Every. Single Week. Hispanic/Latino Contributions So, I made a video.  It was all about the contributions…

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Storytimes matter. How to tell the story.

As Children’s Librarians we almost all plan and facilitate a storytime. We work hard to engage our audience, model early learning practices for caregivers, and embed early literacy tips. Sometimes we do this multiple times a week. It’s a lot of work and it matters. In my short time with the Advocacy and Legislation Committee, I’ve thought a lot about how internal and external advocacy can help promote the work we do in our storytimes. Luckily, the University of Washington’s Information School has a tool for us! The Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully (VIEWS2) project provides free training and advocacy tools that will help us improve the quality of our storytimes and promote their value – both inside and outside our organizations.   Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully The Information School initiated the VIEWS2 research project to ask if research could confirm the early…

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Girl Empowerment Month Websites

This week the world celebrated the International Day of the Girl and it also happens to be Girl Empowerment Month in my city. As a result I was on the hunt for online communities where girls can connect and learn about women making a difference. I’m planning a female skateboarding event at my library and was encouraged to see websites like She Plays We Win that featured girl athletes sharing their stories. While there are a large amount of organizations and websites that support and empower young women in various disciplines like STEAM education, I chose to highlight three that I felt were engaging and entertaining. New Moon Girls Many libraries carry the publication New Moon Girls alongside other magazines like Muse and Girls’ Life. New Moon Girl Media sought to provide a safe online community minus the advertisements for its readers. Although the membership comes with a paid print…

Blogger Alexa Newman

A Super! Library Card, or, A Nerd Finds Bliss with a Piece of Plastic

September was Library Card Sign-Up Month, and my library promoted it, as did many of yours, I’m sure. ALA offered several promotional aids, downloads, and materials for Library Card Sign-Up Month. This year’s honorary chairs were the Teen Titans. Cool, huh?! Some libraries partner with local businesses to offer discounts when you present your library card. The Crystal Lake Public Library in Crystal Lake, IL (my home library) is one such library. Businesses they have partnered with include both national and locally owned shops and restaurants including Wendy’s, Chili’s, Dairy Queen, and Jersey Mikes. My library offered small gifts for both patrons signing up for new cards and for people who just showed their cards to desk staff. We also offered a limited edition Teen Titans library card. What was extra cool, in my humble and nerdy opinion, was that patrons (and staff) could exchange their current card for the…