Toolkit: New Americans – Read Alouds

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2021-2022 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  Each toolkit page will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families.  As dynamic documents, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn.

Funny Read Alouds for the Elementary School Crowd

I’ve been invited to a local elementary school’s Family Reading Night. I missed last year’s event due to scheduling conflicts, so I’m super excited that I’m able to participate. One of the activities in the Family Reading Night program is rotating throughout classrooms in which guest readers read a variety of picture books. The books I chose for this program have to meet certain criteria (my own criteria; the school allows you to choose your own material). If it’s a funny read aloud, it usually goes into my stack of books. I need to be able to read it several times in succession without getting bored with it. Although the audience in mind are elementary school students (and their families), I want them to entertain any younger or older siblings. Quite a tall order! Throughout my experiences with this program, I’ve kept a list of tried and true sure-fire, attention-grabbing…

Picture Book Read Alouds….Beyond Preschoolers

A local preschool teacher calls.  She/He would like to bring the class to the library for a visit. No problem! You gather your favorite titles from story time, decide on music and fingerplays to use between stories, and away you go. No big deal. It gets a little trickier when you have an elementary class visit or when you’re asked to be a guest reader for a school’s literacy night. Not to mention the times when a parent is looking for read alouds because she/he is scheduled to be a surprise guest reader at his/her child’s school. You can always decide to read a chapter from a terrific children’s novel, but why not use this time to highlight the great picture books available for older children? I’ll tell you a bit about my tried and trues, and you can tell us about your favorites in the comments section. I must…

Inclusive Read-alouds

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused libraries to find different options to connect with patrons through social distancing.  With many public libraries beginning to make ebooks available with unrestricted due dates, and with many publishing companies opening up content for users, parents can have access to several great titles to share with their children.    Public libraries across the country have also been using social media to connect with younger patrons. Many libraries adapted story time programs to digital story time on Facebook and Instagram Live to reach local patrons and national onlookers alike.     Librarians may also participate in read-alouds to the public as long as they adhere to the standards put forth by publishing companies. Here is a list of those standards from a School Library Journal article, dated March 18, 2020.     Here are ten of our favorite recent titles that highlight the experiences of children in marginalized…

Read Together, Aloud and Often

By Ann Crewdson   It’s hard to believe fall is here again and it’s the perfect time to pick up a book and read before the first winter frost! Patrons will start curling up with a book next to the library’s fake fireplace with their little ones by their side.  The library is always the place where there are plenty of great titles to choose from and our fondest wish is for our patrons to read together, aloud and often with their children.  And don’t forget to suggest that they point out words when they read, put on a play with puppets,  and sing the ABC.  Here are some tried and true companion books you can recommend without going wrong.     Books for Babies (birth to 12 months):   Begin Smart: What Does Baby Say? One of seven books in a series aimed at twelve to eighteen month old babies.  Baby eats cookies, drinks juice, pretends to bark, to…

Encouraging A Culture of Rereading in Your Library

It happened again this week: a caregiver told a young reader to put a book back. “You’ve already read that one,” they said. “Go put that back and find something new.” I’ve heard many well-meaning adults say this to a child in their charge, often once they’re standing at the self-check. And I understand what they’re thinking – they want their little reader to grow by reading something new. But research on reading tells us that rereading is actually great for developing readers. How can we create a rereading culture that subtly (and not-so-subtly) encourages grown-ups to take home that Dog Man for the fortieth time?