Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Books from Birth!

  Wouldn’t you love for your young child to receive a free book in the mail once a month! Prince George’s County, MD, a diverse suburb of Washington, DC, has approximately 60,000 children under the age of five. The Prince George’s County Memorial Library System, (PGCMLS) is dedicated to ensuring that each of these children enters kindergarten ready to read. County Executive, Rushern L. Baker III selected PGCMLS to sponsor the  Ready 2 Read Books from Birth Program to improve our county’s educational outcomes. Mr. Baker, with full support from the County Council, increased the Library budget to make Books from Birth possible. We are excited and honored to offer a program in conjunction with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. It is designed to encourage literacy and kindergarten readiness by getting books into the hands of every young child in the county.  By simply registering their young child on our website,…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Process-based Activities for Preschoolers

As we youth services library staff know, libraries are not quiet, sedate places any more. We sing, we play games, we have dance parties, and make messes. And we also know that what we do when we sing, dance, and play is directly tied in to developing early literacy skills. When we sing, we break words down into syllables and learn about the rhythm and shape of words. When we play, we learn by using expressive language and cooperating with others. Every Child Ready to Read has pointed to the research behind these practices, and we see them every day in our libraries. So when we encourage playing and creating in our library spaces, what does that mean? When we have art or craft activities, how do we best encourage creative expression and exploration? I must admit that sometimes, after it seems that a child has read every book in…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Take the ALSC Early Childhood Programs & Services Survey!

ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee invites you to take a three minute survey to help us target our next project. Our mission is to identify and disseminate information on effective and innovative programs for young children (birth to 5).  We work to develop training workshops on early childhood programs and services, to update and develop ALSC resources with early literacy information, and to initiate activities and projects that are helpful to those individuals who work with young children. Past projects include: Babies Need Words Every Day Toolkit, Book lists for babies, and a 4 Part Webinar Series. What should we do next? We want to hear from you to ensure our next project is timely, impactful, and helpful to you! The results of the survey will be used to direct and define the committee’s next project. The survey submission deadline is Friday, October 13th. Complete the survey.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Swag For Kids

My department has been stepping up our outreach efforts in a big way. We’ve been at street festivals, back to school events, church fairs, community toy drives, and more. Being noticed when sandwiched between the fire department and the dentist with a tooth fairy and a prize wheel can be hard. Our library system provides branded swag to help draw visitors to our tables or tents, but for the youngest visitors, all we really had was a hodgepodge of leftover stickers from past summer reading programs. Recently, we had the chance to explore purchasing items specifically aimed at helping promote our programs and services for young children and their families. Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

Early Literacy

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queens at the Library? Yes! Drag Queens at the library reading picture books? Definitely YES!! Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was created in San Francisco, CA by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions.  It has since expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and a multitude of other cities. Libraries all over the country are embracing this program with open arms! DQSH is a delightful celebration of diversity and gender fluidity. It gives children and their families and caregivers positive role models who break gender stereotypes, and encourage children to be exactly who they want to be. Check out below to see what three librarians think about bringing the program to their libraries, and to see a few photos!   From the New York Public Library, Early Literacy Coordinator, Eva Shapiro, says “Drag Queen Story Hour is a wonderful addition to the New York Public Library’s early literacy programming. This…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Best Practices for Cleaning Play and Learn Spaces

Providing warm and inviting play spaces in our libraries is an important factor in promoting family engagement.  Families and caregivers like to see a beautiful and safe area where they can play and interact with their children and other customers.  Keeping this area clean and neat is important to its appeal.  How can we do this, with everything else we have to do?   It is important to make sure that everyone working in your library has a stake in keeping this area in prime shape.  Librarians, circulation staff, building and groundskeepers, pages, and volunteers can all ensure that area is neat throughout the day. If you have a play-and-learn space with age appropriate toys for young children and literature for caregivers in your branch, make its maintenance a simple part of your staff’s daily routine.  Upkeep of this area should be a part of the schedule the same as…

Early Literacy

Upcoming Early Childhood Program and Services Webinars!

This month, the Early Childhood Program and Services Committee started its four-part webinar series. They are all free! The first webinar titled “Ages and Stages in Early Literacy Programming,” covered best practices in early literacy programming at different developmental stages for children ages birth to five years old. If you missed it, not to worry, you can access an archived version of it here! All archived webinars are free for ALSC members, and $25 for non-members.