Children's Librarians are Experts

Children’s Librarians are Experts in … Collaboration

Do you remember when you were in school and your professor assigned the dreaded group project? You immediately thought of with whom you wanted to work and which students gave you concern. You feared you’d be stuck doing all of the work or were afraid you’d appear inadequate to your classmates. All of those feelings continue into the professional realm (especially the one about inadequacy), but luckily, I work at a library where we foster the culture of collaboration. Frequent alliances across departments and within the community help to assuage those fears of working with others and make us experts in collaboration. In August of this year, inspired by national events, our Children’s Services Department partnered with the Adult and Teen Services Departments to host a Families Together program. This program featured a Bilingual Spanish Storytime and a presentation on reliable news sources. While we did not have a huge…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Assistive Technologies: Equity And Inclusion For All

For years, those with disabilities have struggled to have access to information, resources, assignments, or materials due to accessibility or instructional problems. With improvements in technologies over the past ten years, however, the landscape is a hopeful one, and filled with opportunities for libraries to seize. Going forward we need to begin working on changing mindsets to make things even more accessible for the youth we serve. How can we harness these technologies as we work towards fulfilling our core competency of eliminating barriers?

Children's Librarians are Experts

Children’s Librarians are Experts at…Interactive Displays

Take a Photo, it will last longer: Connecting Photo Booths & Book Displays In the summer, our library team had created a small photo booth with some props related to the Summer Reading Theme: Libraries Rock! We had it semi-close to our display area that had a rotation of books related to the theme as well. The engagement with the props and book display were shockingly high! Kids loved playing on the air guitars and families asked library staff to take their picture. When summer was over, we packed it up, but still had families asking us when and what would be the next photo booth. Why Do Interactive Displays? Interactive displays that correlate with a book display can help all library users connect library materials with fun activities, or visually help them reflect on a topic. An interactive display, whether this is a photo booth or activity, can start conversations…

Children's Librarians are Experts

Librarians are Experts in Sensory Play

Nearly two years ago I wrote a guest post for ALSC entitled “Sensory Shenanigans! Starting a Sensory Play Time at Your Library.” I’ve planned and led many sensory play times since then, and have learned a few tricks to keep this program sustainable.  Needless to say I was a bit idealistic when I first started: I thought it would be entirely reasonable to lead such a program once a month, and maintain the one hour set up and one hour clean up.  I’m now going on three years of Sensory Play Time and many, many iterations of the program. Here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned: Messier isn’t always better Because I branded this program as “all of the messy stuff you see on Pinterest and don’t want to do at home,” I worked myself into a corner.  I felt like I needed to have the messiest and…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Toddler Explorations: Sensory!

When I started rotating programs for Toddler Exploration, I knew I wanted to include sensory experiences. Sensory experiences/activities are important because of the importance of tactile experiences (especially because so many kids are getting lots of screen time- which is cool- but they need other experiences). Also, I’ve always believed that the library is a place for kids to get messy and explore!

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Please, Choose Kind and Welcome the Stranger at Your Door

Hate, divisiveness, and despair have become the new normal for many in our world. When there are daily news stories of abuse and murder due to someone’s gender identity, religious beliefs, skin color or other form of diversity, it is easy to become numb or perpetually live in a state of fear and/or anger. Places of worship are no longer safe nor are homes, shopping centers, recreational centers, clubs, schools, or libraries. For those privileged to fit into the approved social norms or mainstream within a particular community, perhaps life is still raging on without too many hiccups. That is, life continues as long as no one out of the ordinary enters the picture to challenge the status quo. Perpetuating Hate & Unkindness in the Library I would wager to guess that every one of us has been in a situation when we encountered someone in the children’s department of…