As 2021 draws to a close, it seems like just the right time to share a little bit about what the Early Childhood Programs and Services committee has been up to, and what our future plans are!
This year has been a tricky one to navigate as a committee, as it surely has been for many readers. It took us some time to get settled as a group, and understand what is possible and useful as conditions changed for libraries. Our original project was to create an online education opportunity on the topic of trauma-informed services as they relate to early childhood and family services. For many reasons, this project was shelved for the time being, though we hope to return to it in the coming months. While a change of plans can be frustrating and feel like a defeat, our committee was fortunately able to focus on an important fact: not only is it OK to shelve a project or change plans, it can be a beneficial move in the long run.
Our new project will still center on the topic of trauma-informed services relating to young children and families. But instead of addressing it through a one-time event, we are beginning the process of creating a toolkit on the topic. As we investigated speakers and ideas for a webinar, it became increasingly clear that this is an expansive topic that covers many aspects of librarianship, community outreach, and so much more. It would be difficult to have all the aspects we found most important addressed meaningfully in one or two webinars.
Now that we are planning for a toolkit, we will be able to create a resource that is detailed and dynamic, one that we hope to continue updating even after its release. That will allow us to add relevant resources as more are created and discovered in this growing field. Our current plan is to work in Google suite, but of course remain open to other possibilities.
We are still in the earliest stages of planning — building out an outline of what we think our toolkit will look like, choosing the best topic headings, and beginning to build a list of resources to include. We are particularly interested in hearing from libraries that have incorporated a trauma-informed approach to their early childhood services. If your library has done this, let us know in the comments! We would also love to hear about any not-to-be-missed resources you have encountered.
The Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee looks forward to bringing this project to fruition in the coming months!
This post relates to ALSC Core Competencies of I. Commitment to Client Group; VI. Administrative and Management Skills; and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development
Darla Salva Cruz is a co-chair of the Early Childhood Program and Services Committee and Youth Services Consultant for the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in Bellport, New York.