Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

New Adventures with Virtual Programs for Children

The School-Age Programs and Services Committee recently met online to discuss our next steps during these wild, unprecedented times. If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly has become so in recent weeks: so much of the work we do as librarians relies on face-to-face interactions. How do we provide programs and services to young people when we’re prohibited from doing so in person? Additionally, when so many young people are spending several hours a day attending school online, how do we reach out in a way that isn’t requiring additional online media saturation?

Further complicating these questions, administration, librarians, and educators are all over the place on the learning curve. While some of us have already been able to post virtual storytimes and check out e-books to our readers, others of us are still trying to rescue our laptops from closed offices and are madly binge-watching Instagram tutorials, figuring out how to post live videos. We’re all on a journey that requires patience and perseverance.

Spoiler alert: I don’t have all the answers and neither does the committee to which I am lucky to belong. What we do have, though, is a sense of teamwork, compassion, and creativity. To that end, we thought this blog post would be an opportunity to share some of the resources we’ve accumulated around the web, including programs that we’ve participated in directly or ones that we’ve discovered through our network of librarian friends and colleagues.

Here are a few programming resources that may help guide you through these challenging times:

Somewhat unrelated to programming for young people…yet still relevant to those of us working from our homes, the New York Times has an article about remaking your work space while posting videos and hosting meetings from your home. We may be wearing sweatpants on the bottom, but the article gives solid ideas about making sure everything else is professional, streamlined, and useful to you. Even if we don’t feel completely together, at least our space can look that way!

Feel free to share in the comments any programs that have been working for you during pandemic closures (virtually or otherwise)!

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competency: III. Programming Skills.

Laura Lutz is the incoming librarian at Corlears School (September 2020), an NYC independent school serving children ages 2-10 years old. In her 20-year career, she has worked in both public libraries and independent schools, as well as in the publishing industry. She has served on several ALSC and YALSA committees, including the 2017 Newbery Committee.

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