Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Celebrating WOYC

It is almost time for NAEYC’s annual Week of the Young Child! Week of the Young Child (WOYC) is an annual, week-long celebration of children birth to 8, their families and the professionals who serve them. NAEYC wants to highlight how important early experiences are and honor all the adults who work to provide them. NAEYC designates themes for each day, but any celebration of early childhood is appropriate. Lots of early childhood care facilities and organizations celebrate WOYC in some way, and libraries can get involved too. If you are wanting to celebrate WOYC at your library, here are some things to think about. Programs or Events Probably too late for most libraries to add any programming for next month, but go ahead and get it on your radar for next year’s programs. It can be as simple as incorporating the themes into storytime or offering a special play…

Early Literacy

BIG Play = BIG Fun!

A firefighter, a chef, a magician, and two elephants are creating an elaborate, imaginary world in the dress-up tent. Engineers are building cardboard forts and testing the strength of their structures. An acrobat is crawling and peeking through a small tunnel. Three printmakers are working on a collaborative piece of rubber stamp art. And a pair of tiny zoo keepers are inspecting, touching, squeezing, (and maybe even chewing on) a variety of soft, stuffed animals. Where are all these little ones doing all these things all in one place? They are at their library’s Big Play Date, and they are loving it! Inspired by Brooklyn Public Library’s innovative idea, libraries all over the country are hosting Big Play Dates and growing community, providing big fun, supporting parental learning, and strengthening the brains of our youngest patrons in the process. Here at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), we host what we…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Bubbles and Limo Wagons: It’s Baby Prom!

In libraries there seems to be a variety of programming options for toddlers and preschoolers. But the babies seem to mostly get left behind at storytime. I decided to make an effort to offer more types of programs for that age group and after stumbling across The Buckeye Librarian’s post about her baby prom program, I knew I had to try it! I partnered up with a co-worker and we decided to incorporate it into our regular baby storytime rotation on a weekday morning at 10:30 a.m. We marketed the program for babies and toddlers from birth to age 3, but were pretty flexible if older kids wanted to come too. Everyone was encouraged to dress up, but it absolutely wasn’t mandatory in order to attend. We had several activities to keep the babies nice and busy: Dance Floor This took up half of our programming room and was one…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Talking About Self-Care in LIS

We all know the analogy…we’ve got to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting others. But how often do we actually do that? Or even talk about it within our profession? “Self-care” has become one of those ubiquitous catch-all terms used so often it becomes nearly meaningless. It’s worth noting that its roots as a term are actually quite revolutionary, shaped by the experiences of professionals in the medical field and women of color fighting for civil rights.* Self-care is not frivolous. It’s not only for the privileged few. It’s what allows those who serve the public daily, absorbing the trauma present in our communities, fighting for equitable access for the most marginalized, and navigating and dismantling hierarchical power structures, to maintain the passion, creativity, and strategic thinking necessary to serve the kids and families that drew them to this work in the first place. And yes, for many…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Childhood Expertise Beyond Libraryland: Upcoming Webinars!

Starting next month, the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee will be hosting a series of free webinars presented by experts outside of the library world. The webinar topics were selected based on your feedback from our survey last fall.   The first is “Early Childhood Expertise Beyond Libraryland: Spaces & Behavior Management” on Thursday, December 6th at 3:00 p.m. EST. Education Consultant, Tommaso Lana will talk about sensory experiences, behavior management and programming environment set up; about ways to improve your room setups to create a more welcoming, engaging, and inclusive environment; and how to relate to either one over-excited or upset child or a room full of them — without completely interrupting your regularly scheduled programming. Click here to register! On Tuesday, February 26th at 1:00 p.m. EST, Dr. Michelle H. Martin will provide attendees with strategies for using children’s literature to engage readers of all ages with questions of…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Children’s Librarians are Experts at Always Improving our Storytimes (Baby Storytime to be exact)

When I started as a children’s librarian, I didn’t know much about doing storytime, and I knew even less about working with babies. I haven’t been around a lot of babies in my life, so the idea of baby storytime, for children ages birth to 24 months, was one of my nightmares. Fortunately–for my professional development, but unfortunately for my nerves–I had a boss who encouraged me to do baby storytime. Throughout the entire process of planning and executing storytime, I was nervous; thoughts of failure and self-doubt were always running through my mind. The babies seemed unimpressed with the songs and rhymes and it felt like I wasn’t helping them learn anything.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee


An example of partnership as a librarian does storytime outreach

At Simsbury Public Library, CT we’re good at collaboration. We have an excellent record of building strong partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, schools, and other town departments. In fact, one of our strategic plan goals revolves around outreach, engaging the community beyond the library’s walls and increasing our number of off site library programs. We already have regularly scheduled outreach visits to daycares, pre-schools and schools in our area, and were looking for a new way to engage our youngest patrons, out in the community. StoryTown is a fall series of storytimes around Simsbury, CT designed to do just that.  It is an ideal way for patrons to meet us in different locations around town and learn a little more about our community in the process. Each of the six StoryTown programs will take place at a different location including: Peachwave (a local business, and sponsor of our Summer…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Making the Most of the Resource Fair

Libraries have been working hard to provide the best services to young children and families. We offer amazing early literacy based storytimes and programming. We have fantastic board and picture book collections. Maybe we offer play spaces or even circulate toys. Some of us are providing special programming for caregivers and training for early childhood providers. We’re getting out and partnering with schools and organizations. Now, how do we let our communities know about all of these amazing services? One excellent opportunity is the community resource fair. Resource fairs can take many forms. They may be for families or educators, might be all non-profits or include vendors from businesses, they may focus on specific age groups, they can be information based or as part of a larger recreational program. Whatever the format, a resource fair is an opportunity to showcase the services your library offers families. If you are new…