Three Principles for Intentional Movement in Storytime

The word “intentionality” has taken on greater meaning within the world of library service to the very young in recent years, following the publication of Project VIEWS2 and Supercharged Storytimes: An Early Literacy Planning and Assessment Guide.[1] Storytime presenters are thinking more about how they want to support early literacy development through their programming in the materials they select and-more crucially—the way that they use those materials and engage with children and families throughout the storytime experience. Another critical domain of school readiness, however, remains less well understood: physical development. Most storytimes in 2019 incorporate movement to some degree. However, that movement is typically used for the purpose of “getting the wiggles out” so that children are having fun and can become settled for the next reading or rhyming portion of the program. When we understand a few basic principles of physical development, we can begin to apply the same…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Literacy Outreach with Local Head Start Centers

Early literacy workshops in our libraries are a great way to inform parents about the five early literacy practices and how to use them with children as they become ready readers, but what do we do about families with young children who do not typically come to the library?  How can we reach them? We go to where they are!


Leaving Libraryland

Public Libraries are central to community development, especially when talking about building early literacy skills in children ages birth to five and empowering parents and caregivers to be their child’s first teacher – both inside and outside of our libraries. Of course, I do not need to convince the ALSC community of this – this is one of ALSC’s major tenets. With early childhood literacy being my passion and expertise, public libraries are a magical place to be. However, after over five years of working in youth services for public libraries, I left Libraryland in the fall of 2018 to join Too Small to Fail (TSTF), the national early brain and language development initiative of the Clinton Foundation. TSTF loves libraries, but it was not an easy decision to leave the comforting, picture book filled walls of the library community to see if the rest of the country knows that public libraries are irreplaceable when it comes to building…

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…