Early Literacy

Stork Storytime Helps Libraries Help Families Deliver Literacy

Pregnant woman reading to her "bump"

When I was a new mom, I struggled to start and maintain a daily reading routine after bringing our first child home. I knew it was important to do, but adjusting to this new little person — and all the changes that came with him — made a daily routine more hope than reality. After I began my career in library land, I saw firsthand how critical developing a love of reading and becoming proficient in it was to a child’s future success, not only in school, but in life.

Blogger Katie Salo

Scarves in Storytime

If you don’t use scarves in storytime, I’m going to (hopefully) change your mind with this blog post. But first! Read Abby Johnson’s 2016 ALSC blog post Scarves in Storytime to get a scarves primer down. Welcome back! (You did go read Abby’s post, right?) Abby did an amazing job covering the basics of using scarves in storytime, answering questions like: “How do you hand scarves out?”, “What do you do with them?”, and “How do you put scarves?”. But what about questions regarding Using Scarves in Storytime 201? How do you keep scarves clean? A time-honored, important question to ask. After every storytime, our scarves are washed in a washing machine. Here at the library, our washing machine is a top-loader, so I do use a delicates bag to protect the delicate fabric of our scarves. After a wash, they’re line-dried on a clothesrack. If your library doesn’t have…

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

Sensory Storytime: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Program

Have you been considering offering sensory storytimes at your library or doing outreach to a school serving children with developmental delays? Maybe the reason you’ve hesitated is because you feel unprepared. I get it: Sensory storytime can seem intimidating, with its own particular structure and style. But this is an incredibly important area of service for any library to undertake, reaching children who often otherwise feel unwelcome in a storytime space.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Serving Children in Crisis

Proactive Response In a recent NPR article, Vicky Smith of Kirkus Reviews pointed out that in the face of the global immigrant and refugee crisis, “It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful.”  In reality, the aim of youth services librarians is precisely the same. Our occupation combats and seeks to ameliorate illiteracy, and act as a social equalizer.  What is more, we seek to provide a proactive response to social issues in the only way we know how. If you find yourself confronted with the question of “why”, here’s your response, put best by Flying Eye Books (of Nobrow Press): “In the wake of the cruelties happening to immigrant children all over the globe, but most recently in the US with children coming across the Mexican border, many of us are shocked. The…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Storytime Summit Fun

Storytimes are perhaps the most beloved component of library services to families with young children. As a result, finding fun and effective ways to support the librarians who provide these engaging services is crucial. These beliefs provided the foundation for our development of Salt Lake County Library Systems’ full day training called the Storytime Summit, held in August of 2017. 

Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

Homemade Interactive Play Stations to Invite Imaginary Play

I recently attended a training given by two of my amazing co-workers about their fantastic homemade interaction play stations. Once I saw what Emily and Kelly had created, I was inspired to try it out at my branch and I knew I had to share their creativity with others! Emily & Kelly: We noticed in our interactions with children in both our storytimes and outreach visits that when we asked an open-ended question that required them to use their imaginations children would either not answer or respond with “I don’t know.” So we started looking for ways to introduce pretend play to spark their imaginations. We also wanted to demonstrate to parents the importance of pretend play and the ability to provide the same types of learning opportunities at home without having to invest in expensive toys.

Blogger Nicole Martin

Little Yogis @ Your Library

Yoga Story Time programs are a really great way to incorporate movement and mindfulness into your classic early literacy story time offerings. I was inspired to start offering Yoga Story Time programming after reading a post right here on the ALSC blog! As a regularly practicing yogi myself, this seemed like the perfect way to combine my love for yoga and reading into something really special I could offer at my library. Typically I structure a Yoga Story Time around two short yoga focused picture books (fiction and nonfiction titles), with pictures of poses so kids can easily replicate the pose as they wish from the book. I also demonstrate many of the poses myself. Incorporating animal sounds is a must! Below are some of my favorite recently published yoga titles perfect for little yogis and ideal for usage in planning and leading a Yoga Story Time program . Yoga…

Blogger Renee Grassi

Visual Schedules: Making Programs Accessible for All

I’ve been using visual schedules in my Sensory Storytime programming for years. It’s a tip I gathered by observing teachers working with special education students in their classrooms.  During my classroom observation, I listened as the teacher directed the students through each activity on the large group schedule, using “First… Then…” language.  Each student had their own individual group schedule, which replicated the large group schedule on the board.  As the group completed each activity, the teacher would return to the large group schedule at the front of the room, remove the visual pertaining to the completed activity, and then direct the students to the next activity.  Each student then replicated this on their own individual schedule. Working with those special education teachers, who mentored me in my very first Sensory Storytime, I learned how to create visuals and adapt my technique incorporating this practice into my storytime. I quickly…