Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Literacy and Senior Citizen: An Excellent Pairing!

It was the second Wednesday of the month at 11:00 AM, which meant it was time to visit with the senior citizens at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Family Support Center for the Eating Together Program in Baltimore, Maryland. The Eating Together program is a place where seniors gather to share a meal, exercise, socialize, and on this particular day, listen to me talk about the importance of early literacy for children between the ages of birth and 5 years. While this may seem like an unlikely group for such a message, senior citizens are a great group with whom to share your early literacy outreach messages. In the audience at the Family Support Center, several of the attendees are former educators and all of them are proud parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. They are after school tutors, Sunday School teachers, and community leaders. In essence, they are people who are…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Tips for Talking to Littles in the Library

We all know how important it is to engage young children in lots of conversation and talk, but sometimes it is difficult in practice. Sometimes adults don’t know how to start a conversation with a young child or how to talk to a child before they are able to talk back. If kids could tell us how they wanted adults to talk to them, they may come up with some tips like these: For Pre-Talkers Me first! I may be teeny tiny, but when you speak to me right away, you are showing me that conversation is for me too. Look! When I show you that I am really interested in something, talk to me about it. I am more receptive to language at those moments. I’m talking too! Even if I haven’t learned to say any words yet, I am talking with you when I move my body, smile…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Storytime Books That Will Make Grownups Laugh

Storytime is an integral part of being a children’s librarian. One of the biggest frustrations I’ve come across is keeping the grownups engaged. From ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) Cookies and Conversation, one way to engage parents is by reading books with jokes that adults will also find funny.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Go Big With Art!

It’s no secret that doing process-based art activities with young children has many benefits bedsides just being really, really fun. It not only helps them develop fine motor skills by holding the different art supplies, but because we are moving around and being active, it helps with those gross motor skills too. We’re often using our entire bodies to create and because many of the activities are collaborative (either between the adult and child or between the entire group of children) we’re also building those ever-important social skills. When we go big with art, we’re combining being active with creativity into one hands-on experience!

ALA Annual 2019

Cookies and Conversation: Early Childhood Programming

On Sunday, June 23 at ALA Annual, ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) hosted a Cookies and Conversation chat in the Networking Uncommons. The goal of this chat was to hear from children’s librarians across the country about what support they would like from ECPS in order to help ECPS plan their next project. We highlight a handful below, but check out the ALSC Connect page for the full set of topics covered.


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…