Blogger Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers

Housing Community Outreach

My library is currently serving 16 Child Care Centers on a bimonthly basis and are hoping to start reaching our children and their families in a new way. We are working on a program where we provide storytimes, early literacy workshops and play programs at a housing community in our service area. We would ideally  provide a small collection of gift and donation books that can be used by the community I reached out to a fellow librarian who has done some community based outreach to ask a few questions. Me: Describe your program including population served and services provided. Cammy: STAR (Summertime Access to Reading) was created by School Board Chairwoman, Carrie Coyner. Little Free Libraries (LFL) were planted all over the county and filled with books to insure that children within neighborhoods have constant access to books. Each LFL also had community events through the summer. My library…

Blogger Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers

The ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant is now open!

For many public libraries, grants are a vital revenue stream. And when funding is limited, grants become highly competitive. Every library and even every grant writer has their own strategy. I encourage everyone to try their hand at grant writing, even if you’ve never written one before. As the facilitator of your program, you are best equipped to tell that program’s story, and convey your library’s need.

Blogger Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers

Did Anyone Get Burnt This Summer?

As librarians, this is always our busy season. Camps are winding down, families are back from vacations, children are getting restless and bored, parents are getting stressed out, and back to school is on the horizon. These pressures can really take a toll. While we are busy working with children during our work day, imagine those who have the job of caregiver both day and night. All staff can face the summer burnout, and as a manager I try to keep an eye out for stressed out staff, but I also look for signs in parents and caregivers as well. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison found that mothers of children with autism had significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to mothers of children without disabilities. Such hormone levels have been associated with chronic health problems and can affect glucose regulation, immune functioning, and mental…

Blogger Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers

Serving Children with Disabilities in Libraries: A Beginner’s Guide

Where should I begin? This can sometimes be the most challenging part about developing library services to children with disabilities.  In fact, the most common question I receive is about where to start.  While there isn’t a one-stop-shop when it comes to expanding your knowledge in this area, I’m pleased to say that there is a plethora of resources out there that can help you on your journey to becoming an advocate for children with disabilities.  Basically, what that means is that the first step is to learn.  And you’re in luck–here are some of my favorite resources to help you do just that!

Blogger Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers

A Special Needs Summer?

Families that include those with special needs can sometimes struggle with finding inclusive programming. Librarians often feel pressure to provide programming exclusively for special populations. But that’s not necessarily the case. Just having an open and welcoming atmosphere can be all that it takes to make your current programs accessible for everyone.  Are you doing what you can to offer programs for all children? Don’t know where to start? As a programmer, ask yourself the following questions: The location of the program- Are the rooms bright and cheerful without being overwhelming with too many sights and sounds? A calm environment is important for children with sensory issues. Is light distributed evenly? This is important for children with low vision. Is the room accessible and clutter free, with clear pathways? Most mobility equipment requires a four to five foot turning radius. Are there a variety of seating options? Large bolsters and…

Blogger Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers

Sensory Storytime Progression

In early 2012 I decided I wanted to create a Sensory Storytime at my branch. After watching a few webinars, making contact with the Autism Society of Central Virginia, and talking with local teachers I began to design my program. I decided it would run in three week sessions on Saturdays and that I would offer it quarterly. It was designed for children on the spectrum ages of 3-6 years. I checked out our copy of The Out-Of-Sync Child Has Fun by Kranowitz and selected a variety of activities that I thought would work. Our Friends bought us awesome play items including no spill toddler bubbles. Our first Sensory Storytime was in October 2012. I was blown away by the response! The most phenomenal part for me was watching parents talk with each other while their children played after storytime. They were all dealing with similar struggles and it was…