Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

A COVID Programming Reflection

In my career, I have worn many hats and have been in my current position as an outreach librarian for the last nine years.  My job, which had consisted of being in outreach locations, connecting with children at school sites and daycares, participating in community events, and hosting library events to bring the public into the library, changed abruptly in March 2020 to being restricted to my library and in-person programming ceasing. Nothing could have prepared me for the changes and challenges that I and the field of librarianship would face during the COVID pandemic. A new approach, an outside-the-box approach, was needed to fulfill the needs of our patrons and their children. 

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

So Much Early Lit Research, So Little Time

Writing a grant to fund a playspace at your library? Want to share research-based early tips with parents? Making a presentation to your library board about the importance of early literacy programs? The Early and Family Literacy Committee will soon be releasing a Toolkit to help you! Inside you’ll find oodles of studies (full text if available) that justify the vital work you do every day! But first, we need your help with a few key questions… 

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

What Does It Mean To Foster Early Writing?

A library colleague and mother of a preschooler, recently remarked that she feels confident about how to promote her son’s early literacy development through talking, singing, reading, and playing. Despite being familiar with ECRR2, however, she is unsure exactly how to nurture emergent writing. If my colleague, who is embedded in the public library world, is unsure about what it looks like to support early writing, she is likely not alone. Are we doing all we can to effectively convey and model what it means to foster early writing and why it’s so important?


Early and Family Literacy Research Findings

The charge of the Early and Family Literacy committee is to collect current research in early and family Literacy and disseminate it to our peers. During my research gathering and collecting I came across these studies of note: In Joint Book Reading, Library Visits and Letter Teaching in Families: Relations to Parent Education and Children’s Reading Behavior by Maximilian Prost and Et Al. This study looked into the family literacy activities in preschoolers  and how that correlates to the amount of independent reading a child does and their reading  comprehension.The findings of the study supported that literacy activities at home, library visits, library programs and book giveaway programs have proven to be beneficial to early reading skills of children as early as preschool age. In Effectiveness of Parent Coaching on The Literacy Skills of Hong Kong Chinese Children with and without Dyslexia  by Yijun and Et Al. This research looks into the…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Play and Literacy Programming for Preschoolers

Turning Research into Practice – Connecting Play and Literacy There’s plenty of information available about the importance of play in child development. Unfortunately, the perception persists for a caregiver to see a child stacking a pile of blocks and say, “oh, they’re just playing”. Librarians have an important role in bridging the research/practice gap with programs which empower parents to recognize and engage with their children during these important learning moments connecting play and literacy.

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Play With Babies in Library Spaces

Play is quite possibly my favorite of the five Early Literacy Practices. Not only because it has the boundless freedom to surprise and delight, but also because it naturally incorporates the other 4 practices – talk, sing, read, and write. When you play, especially with a playmate, talk is a natural part of the fun. If you’re anything like me, you also often make up songs about what you’re doing. Playing games such as I spy or tic-tac-toe incorporate reading and writing. There is just so much possibility with play, and I find that endlessly exciting.

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Fostering the Growth of Executive Functioning Skills in Children

The term executive functioning refers to an important set of skills that allow people to successfully navigate life. These skills include the ability to plan, self-evaluate, self-control, retain information, manage time, and organize thoughts and information. According to a useful infographic published by Harvard, these abilities are not innate to anyone, but may be learned by nearly everyone. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old tend to develop these skills rather rapidly, and this development is significantly bolstered by early childhood education and care (ECEC).  An exploratory report was published in May of this year, examining the effect of ECEC on children’s executive functioning skills at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to these important skills, the study also examined the effect of this care on language, and the difference socioeconomic status may make on the development of vocabulary and executive functioning. The study looked…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Access to Early & Family Literature Research – an Equity Issue?

At our last Early and Family Literacy Committee (EFL) meeting, we started our meeting off looking over our charge: *stay on top of current research in the field of early and family literacy, and share it with the library community  *develop trainings for library staff about core early literacy skills and practices  *collaborate and advise ALSC committees and workgroups on early literacy issues and projects We discussed progress on our first-ever webinar (still in the planning phases – more to come 😊) and talked about new sources to follow (I’d just listened to an episode of the podcast Best of Both Worlds that featured Dr. Lakeisha Johnson at the Florida Center for Reading Research, who focuses on language and literacy development in underserved populations – I’ll definitely be tracking her work!).