Guest Blogger

From Frustrated to Delighted: Analog and STEM programming

old fashioned postcards scattered across the image. A postcard of the Empire State Building and a postcard of the Statue of Liberty are included. Used for STEM programming.

In 2015, I was working as a Children’s Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). I had to produce and present a summer reading program with iPads for school age kids. This was part of a pilot program that summer to introduce children, especially inner city children, to iPads as a way to decrease the digital divide. STEM programming on an iPad? I had no idea what to do. I didn’t even own a smart phone!

Blogger Kirsten Caldwell

Reading More Children’s Books

So many books, so little time! As a youth librarian doing tons of reader advisory, I want to read more of the books in our collection. Librarians know what is popular with kids, but avid readers have already read all of those. I want to be able to recommend books to everyone who comes in and I feel like I need to read more children’s books to successfully do that. I started this journey by reading some physical copies and listening to some audiobooks. Peeking through the new books and reading their summaries and their professional reviews is a great place to start. Reading a few chapters and diving into the stories we purchase for our patrons is even more helpful. I don’t do all of the ordering for our library system and don’t always know what books are coming in. If a child asks for a book about magic,…


Misnamed and Mispronounced: Picture Books

Along with a change of seasons, September also brings many other changes: a new school or new school year, new routines, new teachers, and new classmates, just to name a few.  Although often exciting and enjoyable, for some children the new school year can also be stressful and anxiety provoking if their names are challenging for their teachers and classmates to pronounce. Some questions that children in these situations might be grappling with are: Will my new teacher be able to say and spell my name? Will the other kids be able to remember my name? Can or should I change my name to make it easier for everyone else?  An article in the following NEA Today Newsletter, Why Pronouncing Students’ Names Correctly is So Important, discusses the emotional toll experienced by children when year after year they must contend with teachers and classmates who repeatedly misname them. For further…