Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Stuffed Animal Sleepovers at the Library

One of my favorite annual programs at the library is our Stuffed Animal Sleepover. This special storytime gives kids a chance to play the role of caregiver as they lead their stuffed animal friends through an evening storytime. Then they tuck their friends into bed and leave their stuffed animals to spend the night at the library.


What Is “Family Literacy” Anyway?

As the newly formed Early and Family Literacy Committee met online this fall, our conversation led us to a realization that we may not all share the same definition of Family Literacy.  We began collecting definitions of family literacy and how it connects to early literacy. The U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (  includes this about family literacy: The essence of family literacy is that parents are supported as the first teachers of their children. Programs work with individuals as well as with the family unit. While family literacy programs provide developmental experiences for young children, their parents are offered instruction in parenting skills and parental support to change patterns of family interaction. Some programs build the literacy skills of parents and extend learning opportunities to include pre-employment and employment skills. Instructional approaches are modified appropriately to respond to the variety of cultures within…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Hosting Your Own Mock Youth Media Award

This is the time of year when speculation on which books might take the win for our Youth Media Awards begins.  My first encounter with a mock anything took place my first December working as a children’s librarian when my library system hosted a mock Caldecott and Newbery during a day long training for all youth services staff.  Ever since then I have been hooked. I love hearing other people’s opinions on the books we look over using the lens of the different awards’ criteria. 

Administrative and Management Skills

Meet Your ALSC Board: Maggie Jacobs

In this regular feature, we profile ALSC Board members. We hope to offer information about the people who work to guide the organization so that you can feel more comfortable in reaching out to them with your concerns, questions, or comments. To continue this series, we invite you to meet 2019-22 ALSC Board Member, Maggie Jacobs. I am a somewhat maverick member of the ALSC board in that I am not a librarian. I am a lawyer who had a career awakening in my 30s about my true vocation as an educator. And more specifically, an awakening to a deep sense of disillusionment and anger about the educational inequities in our country that belie the Horatio Alger story of yore that anyone who is hard working can climb their way up to the top. The idea of this country as an individualistic meritocracy is simply not true in today’s world…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Providing Mirrors, Windows, and Doors through Read-Ins

One of the main tenets of my teaching and my work with children, college students, teachers, and even parents is the importance to make children’s books about underrepresented groups as visible as possible. As someone who does not work at a library, I must do this through the courses I teach and through activities that involve the community. One such way is by hosting “Read-Ins.” So, what is a Read-In?

Blogger Alexa Newman

Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids

I am passionate about yoga, so much so that I went to a yoga school and obtained my certification through Yoga Alliance. Combine that with my love of youth programming, and I had to develop programs for our library.  I teach classes for all ages, from adults (with students over 80!) to preschoolers. My youth programs focus on fun, fitness, and mindfulness.     Yoga has seen a steady increase in interest over the past several years. Yoga for kids is also on the rise. I’ve been conducting yoga storytimes, kids yoga, and tween yoga classes for the past 18 months. They are all popular with our young patrons, with yoga storytime being the most sought after program.   There has been a heightened focus on mindfulness and meditation in the media and with the general public. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness with children can increase concentration and reduce stress…