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.

Early Literacy

Interview with Girl Scout Ashley Soliwoda

As a member of ALSC’S Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee, I have had the opportunity to connect with Ashley Soliwoda, a Girl Scout who is currently working on her Gold Award project. I am so impressed with the wonderful work Ashley is doing in her community and hope you will enjoy reading about her in the interview below. 


Promote learning with a Yoga Storytime

At the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) we offer a yoga storytime, every other week, for toddlers and preschoolers as a way to promote playful, active learning and healthy lifestyles. For libraries following the “Ready, Set, Read” summer reading theme, this program is a perfect addition to your summer lineup, and it’s easier to plan than you might think.