Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Brain Exhausted? Streaming Media to the Rescue!

While I am not having quite as much difficulty concentrating as I did early on in the pandemic, delving deep into research articles has not gotten any easier. As part of my work on the Early and Family Literacy Committee, I have Google Scholar alerts for articles on the topics “early literacy” and “family literacy”. I receive a digest semi-weekly and skim through looking for articles relevant to our charge.

A couple of times, I’ve been pleased to note an article from Children & Libraries on the roster (including one from our very own committee!). Other days I am thwarted by an article such as “Literacy and History of Early Israel”, which likely will not impact our day to day work as children’s librarians (darn you, keyword searches!). Occasionally I am frustrated by my lack of easy access to articles that appear relevant as 1) I’m not motivated enough to pursue interlibrary loan and 2) we’re not currently ILL’ing materials anyway. Worst of all, sometimes the only obstacle is my own brain, with my eyes skimming over the same paragraph filled with academic jargon ad nauseum.

Fortunately, just as streaming services and podcasts were there to pick up the slack in my personal entertainment, early childhood education podcasts and videos are coming through for me now professionally. Not surprisingly, much of the recent research focus has been pandemic related, as all of us wonder what the long-term effects will be on our youngest community members. 

For those of you with similarly exhausted brains, I offer the following short (and hopefully non-intimidating) list:

Mitigating Pandemic Fallout on Developing Brains (part of the Community Voices series) – I am fortunate enough to live within three miles of both the Institute for Learning and Brain Science (I-LABS) at the University of Washington and Hilltop Educator Institute, which offers a discussion series for early childhood educators and has now branched out into other virtual offerings in response to the pandemic. I found this interview with Amelia Bachleda, Outreach and Education Specialist from ILABS to be both inspiring and a good reminder of the resilience of young children. 

The Brain Architects – A podcast from the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child. So far, I’ve listened to the first two episodes and was reminded again that: 

  1. learning is “all about relationships” 
  2. taking care of adults allows them to take care of children’s needs  (“there is no child health without caregiver health”)
  3. children (really, humans) build resilience with play
  4. in addition to some of the standard self-care recommendations, music and dancing (key elements of storytime) can lead to stress reduction 

Finally (because we all need a break from thinking about COVID and its’ impacts) No Small Matter, available on DVD and Kanopy, as well as other streaming options – I was both inspired and saddened by this documentary on the importance of high quality, early-education

What have I missed? Have you come across any intriguing audio or video resources on early childhood development?

Today’s blog post was written by Kristin Piepho, Library Manager at the Mountlake Terrace Library (Sno-Isle Libraries), on behalf of the ALSC Early and Family Literacy Committee.

This blog relates to ALSC Core Competencies of I. Commitment to Client Group and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development

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