In 2005 I became a children’s librarian, and within weeks of signing the offer letter, the library trained me in Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR). The training couldn’t have happened at a better time in my personal or professional life. The knowledge, skills, and tools I learned changed my career trajectory.
Librarians Foster a Love of Reading
I thought I learned everything I needed to know about fostering a love of reading during my MLIS program. The ECRR training taught me about neural pathways, brain elasticity, and more. I discovered finding fun and engaging books was only a part of the reading success formula. There was a lot more that went into learning to read.
A lot more.
Librarians Model Reading Readiness and Learning
Sixteen years after my ECRR training and now a children’s services team manager, I find myself at an exciting new learning crossroads. Yes, our checklist of pre-literacy skills matters, but school readiness is more than reading. As researchers disseminate studies surrounding childhood development and learning, libraries have had to pivot. Thanks to the efforts of the Bay Area Discovery Museum, the California State Library, and IMLS, state libraries across the country are training library professionals on how to marry storytimes and programming with the learning skills children need to ready themselves for school.
Librarians Build Lifelong Readers and Learners
Libraries build lifelong readers and lifelong learners. That is the core of who we are now and our professional origins. Although, it means something different now than it did in the 1900s, 1950s, and early 2000s
The Reimagining School Readiness initiative takes the checklist of pre-literacy skills libraries to excel and combines it with the essential learning practices of curiosity and exploration. I can’t wait to see how this training will enhance our storytimes and programming. Even more, I am glad to see librarians are ever ready to adapt, change and prepare themselves to support a new generation of learners.
Interested in learning more about Reimagining School Readiness? Visit the Bay Area Discovery Museums Library Toolkit.
Jessica Smith is a member of the Early Literacy Programs and Services Committee. She manages a team of children’s services professionals at Morley Library in Painesville, Ohio.
This post relates to the ALSC core competencies of I. Commitment to Client Group; III. Programming Skills; V. Outreach and Advocacy; VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.