Blogger Amanda Roberson

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Can you make a happy face? How about a sad face or a scary face? Kids at the Lexington Park Library are making faces when they visit the library, all thanks to our new activity! The Circulation desk is a place where I noticed some problems with children. Children would throw temper tantrums; run out into the lobby and even try to climb the desk all while the parents were distracted with the process of checking out. I added “Mirror Mirror” to give children an interactive experience at the Circulation desk. For this activity I put three peel and stick mirrors (safe, sticker mirrors that are removable and easy to clean) on the front of the desk each with an emotion and an example of a face next to it. The object is that the children will mimic what they see and make a face for that emotion in the…

Blogger Renee Grassi, Child Advocacy, Library Design and Accessibility, Programming Ideas, Special Needs Awareness

Social Stories: Supporting Children with Special Needs

There are many of us in youth services that cannot afford the time, the staff, or the funds to create new programs specifically for children with special needs.  At the same time, we want to be able to welcome the growing number of children with disabilities to our libraries.  The reality is that visiting a new place for the first time can be stressful for children with developmental disorders, and this anxiety may be enough to keep those children and their families at home.  What can libraries do, then, to support those with special needs who are walking through our doors for the very first time? While I was planning my first special needs storytime, someone shared with me a link to the Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected website.  This online resource promotes “best practices and universal service for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families helping staff to improve their ability to provide excellent, inclusive, universal…

Blogger Susan Baier, Early Literacy, Outreach

High Need, High Impact: Outreach to Teen Parents and their Children

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Looking for ways that your library can serve teen parents and their children? At Santa Clara City Library, we can say that our family literacy librarian wrote the book on it – literally. Our own Ellin Klor, along with Sarah Lapin from the San Mateo (CA) County Library, co-authored Serving Teen Parents: From Literacy to Life Skills (ISBN 1598846930.) Ellin and Sarah wrote the book based on their extensive experience in partnering with community agencies to deliver quality programs to this high-need population. I recently interviewed Ellin and Sarah about their new book, and asked them to share advice for librarians interested in outreach to this underserved audience. What can readers expect to learn from your book? Ellin: We decided to approach our book from the concept that teen parents are operating in two very different arenas – as teenagers who are working through the maturation process, and as parents who have to be…

Early Literacy, Guest Blogger

Floor-etry

Watching grown-ups and little ones interacting with words is a sight to see. Honestly, it’s incredibly beneficial for the child and an uplifting phenomenon for people in our profession — so, yes, why not words on the floor? Wait?! Back up. Let me tell you about our Floor-etry. First, floor-etry is a poem on the floor. That’s it. It’s simple and vastly influential in the process of creating an early literacy environment.  We here at the Allen County Public Library  got the idea from Saroj Ghoting’s website for early literacy. In a presentation put together by Dana Bjerke, Joanna Redman and  Kelly Wussow from the Hennepin County Library, you can flip through different slides and see inspiring ideas that make words accessible to even the littlest of patrons. We thought, “We can do that!” And we did! We wrote a poem that is actually just a string of similes so…

Awards & Scholarships

Apply for the Bechtel Fellowship

One of the 2011 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship recipients, Victoria Penny from the First Regional Library in Hernando, Miss., talks about her experiences at the Baldwin Library at the University of Florida: I truly feel that the Bechtel Fellowship experience changed my outlook in a number of ways. I have an increased awareness of the value of special collections, whether to a department, a university, or a discipline as a whole. Through personal interaction I have gained a much greater appreciation for those who collect, maintain, and nurture these collections. Having the chance to focus on a specific topic for a month was invigorating. I obtained more insight into research in the field. I have an even stronger desire to study how the historical and cultural milieux impact children’s literature, and vice versa. I am more interested than ever in ecocritical approaches to children’s literature. I want to stay current…

Professional Development, Webinars

Upcoming ALSC Webinars – Fall 2011

ALSC online courses start today, so if you haven’t gotten signed up, maybe you should consider one of the more flexible and convenient ALSC webinars. ALSC webinars are one- to two-hour sessions focusing on important topics in children’s literature and librarianship. Take an hour over your lunch break or sometime at home to participate. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Webinars can help: Learn about new developments in children’s literature Cultivate new skills Add new ideas to your programming Gain insight into the history of children’s librarianship Present new findings about the way children learn to read Offer tips on encouraging parents to become more active in the learning process October and November are great months for ALSC webinars. Can’t spare any time this fall? ALSC has many more upcoming webinars coming up in the winter. Sign up for webinars at http://www.ala.org/alsced. October Newbery and Caldecott…

Blogger Mary R. Voors, Children's Literature (all forms)

September is World Alzheimer’s Month

September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an apt time to help raise awareness about this disease. The statistics are devastating — in the United States, for example, 5.4 million individuals in this country live with Alzheimer’s disease. So what does this have to do with our work as children’s librarians? How many preschool/school-age grandchildren, children, friends & neighbors do you think these 5.4 million people have? How many parents, teachers, and caregivers are struggling with how to open a discussion about this topic with their kids? Many of these adults will reach out to librarians in an effort to find materials which they can use in this manner. There are an increasing number of books which could be useful for grownups to share with their kids; here are a few of them. Striped Shirts and Flowered Pants by Barbara Schnurbush is suitably subtitled “A Story About Alzheimer’s Disease for Young Children.”…

Guest Blogger, Programming Ideas

Providing a Great KIDS’ EXPERIENCE at the Library

Over four years ago, one of our local entertainers approached me about the idea of gathering local performers and instructors for a day-long event for kids. I loved the idea, but his enthusiasm was more than my brain could take in. We brainstormed for many weeks and discussed everything from funding to layout, from publicity to instructors and most importantly what we wanted families to get out of the program and how that related to the library. Our final goal was to provide kids the opportunity to learn more about a variety of subjects, a brief introduction that would lead them to materials within the library collection. In August 2008 we hosted our first “The Kids’ Experience” and it was amazing! Families from all over our regional area attended and the kids had a blast. We offered classes in magic, storytelling, origami, string stories, balloon tying, face painting, watercolors, caricature…