Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Trauma Toolkit

In January 2024 the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee published the Early Childhood Trauma Toolkit in order to support caregivers and library workers working with young children (ages 0-8) who have experienced trauma. The resources included are books and booklists, podcasts, videos, websites, and articles. Additionally, each of these sections provides materials for use by caregivers, families, and library workers. Our committee is grateful to the ALSC Quicklists Consulting Committee for compiling and annotating a list of picture books for caregivers to share with children. As mentioned in the toolkit’s introduction, trauma is vast and manifests in many forms. According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, “A growing body of research has established that young children may be affected by events that threaten their safety or the safety of their parents/caregivers, and their symptoms have been well documented. These traumas can be the result of intentional violence—such as child physical or sexual abuse, or domestic violence—or the result of natural disaster, accidents, or war. Young children also may experience traumatic stress in response to painful medical procedures or the sudden loss of a parent/caregiver.” 

Unfortunately, we can say with certainty that at some point in our careers all of us will serve children experiencing varying degrees of trauma. There are many resources in our toolkit that would be helpful to share with caregivers and can also be used to self-educate ourselves and our co-workers in the library about these issues. Here is a sampling  of what’s included in the toolkit: 

1-2-3 Care: A Trauma Sensitive Toolkit for Caregivers of Children from Spokane Regional Health District. Included information on the brain, emotions, behavior, and self-care.

Adverse Childhood Experiences & a trauma informed approach. A webinar on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a Trauma-Informed approach hosted by the Mesa Community College Library. The guest speaker was the project director of the Arizona ACEs Consortium, Angie Burleson. Aimed at library staff, the webinar defines ACEs, identifies community support efforts and instructs on how to apply a trauma-informed approach. 

Helping Kids Face Challenging Emotions. The episode from Reach Out and Read’s description states: “Parents love seeing their children experience feelings of joy, happiness, and success. Conversely, they often feel a desire to protect their children against feeling sadness, anxiety or a sense of loss. But is that best? And is it even possible? Newbery award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly and Behavioral Pediatrician Dr. Nerissa Bauer join us to discuss how to parent kids when they’re faced with challenging emotions.”

Trauma Informed Approach in Libraries. An hour-long webinar on how librarians and library workers can better understand how trauma impacts patrons and what they can do to serve everyone better. Tiffany Russell, a licensed clinical social worker, shares the trauma-informed approach and how it can “assist libraries in being proactive in creating safe spaces for everyone.”

Today’s blog post was written by Nomi Hague (she/her), a Youth Services Librarian at the Cranston Public Library in Cranston, Rhode Island. Nomi is a member of the ALSC Early Childhood Programs & Services Committee and can be reached at

One comment

  1. Tess P

    Wonderful work, thank you! This post and the entire toolkit will be added to my children’s library services courses and the next generation of librarians can benefit from your hard work.
    Well done!

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