Guest Blogger

Challenges and Successes of a New ALSC Chair

I am the former chair for School-Age Programs and Service Committee (SAPS). As a first time chair, this past year was one of learning. I share my reflections on this new experience for those who are new ALSC committee chairs — I hope that my gleanings are helpful to you! When Nina Lindsay asked me to take this job on, I admit that I was trepidatious. How would I lead a national group of librarians who I (largely) never met and lead them? How would they trust me and follow my leadership? I lead committees within my home system of San Francisco Public Library, but these consist of people that I have been working with for years, that I see at least on a monthly basis, and who inhabit a common work culture. SAPS consisted of public and school librarians serving school-age to middle school-age students from the West, South,…

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

Let’s Talk About Diversity… with Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Those of you familiar with my ALSC posts will recognize a definite trend, but in case you’re late to the party or somehow stumbled here by mistake and have decided to stick around awhile, I’ll catch you up: I’m passionate about diversity, equity, and inclusivity – especially when it comes to children’s literature. So once a month, an author/illustrator who shares that passion stops by my library to booktalk diverse reads they love. This year, I’ve posted lists from Melissa Iwai and Isabel Roxas, and I’ve heard from a lot of you who are interested in seeing more.

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…

Blogger Kathia Ibacache

Playtime in the Preschool Years

Playtime in the preschool years is paramount for children’s motor, social, and emotional development. Then why has it become second place to academic learning of basic kindergarten curriculum? Playtime Is playtime devalued in the U.S.? As a children’s librarian you might have come across a well-intended caregiver who was looking for a book to teach a preschooler to read. Valeri Strauss, an education writer for the Washington Post, refers to a report, which states that learning to read in the preschool years or even in Kindergarten shows no indication of school readiness and success for the future. On the contrary, there is extensive research asserting that playtime in the preschool years is of utmost importance for the development of a well-rounded child. A child might know the ABC’s, numbers, colors, and nonetheless fall apart completely when faced with a disappointment because that child has not developed preschool age emotional intelligence that…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children in Crisis: Literacy brings Hope

Supporting Detained Children It’s little wonder that on ALSC’s listserv that the topic of supporting children caught up in a web of immigration policy came up.  Frankly, it’s in the youth services librarian’s DNA.  We do all we can every day for every child who walks through our library’s doors.  And for those we encounter in our outreach efforts, we do that much more.  It is not an unreasonable leap that librarians nationwide would want to get library materials and services to detained children. Why Literacy Behind Bars is so Important Before we delve into efforts by REFORMA and other non-profits and NGOs, the question that you need to be ready for is simply “why?” If children are being detained, whatever the circumstance, literacy is integral – key – to their chances for success. Here’s your top-5 why’s and ALL of these are about kids right here: 2/3 of students…

ALA Annual 2018

Fun After Hours! #alaac18

While the sessions, exhibit hall, and committee meetings are invaluable to my experience of ALA Annual… there is a lot to be said for after-hours events and networking moments that happen spur of the moment just by looking up from your phone and connecting to someone for a few moments. Taking a conference bus, talking to people online, or saying hello to the table next to you at Starbucks can be a way to connect to another librarian! It is one of the most underrated and yet amazing experiences that can come from Annual! Lots of librarians seize on this by planning late-night dinners and social events– and one that had been popping up my twitter over the years was Drunk Story Time! To me that combined lots of things that I love– drinking, story time, and connecting to other librarians! And yet– it was so intimidating! @MelissaZD (twitter) or Mel’s…