As Family Engagement Specialist for my library system, I spend a lot of time considering how best to keep families notified of upcoming events.
Every time September rolls around, I remember one of my most successful programs—a celebration of International Dot Day, held annually on September 15(ish).
Shhhh…. Summer’s more than halfway over. I never really like to say that out loud!
Libraries are no longer just hallowed halls of books and learning. They have adapted throughout time, always meeting the needs of the patrons and the greater community. First, computers, then internet access. Nowadays, it’s common practice for libraries to offer services such as homework help and career services, food programming with local food banks, and even resource closets with household supplies. They partner with government agencies, local housing networks, and more.
Several years ago, before the COVID-19 outbreak, Invest in Children, a community wide public/private partnership administered by the Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood, and the United Way of Greater Cleveland came to the two largest library systems in Northeast Ohio (Cleveland Public Library (CPL) and Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL)—the largest suburban system for which I work) with an idea. Although delayed thanks to the pandemic, the first FamilySpace location opened in September 2022 at CCPL’s Garfield Heights Branch, and three other locations (two in each system total) followed. The response has been positive, to say the least.
Thanks to Every Child Ready to Read 2nd edition, children’s librarians have explicit permission to promote play as an integral part of early literacy and developmental skills for young children. Isn’t it just the best job ever? I have ALWAYS been a huge fan of toys, since, er, birth. And getting to pass that joy to a new generation—and encourage their parents and caregivers to rediscover their own inner children—is a delight!
Back in February 2020, the board of the Virginia Hamilton Conference (of which I am a member) was eagerly planning the 35th anniversary of the longest-running event in the United States to focus exclusively on multicultural literature for children and young adults. We were especially excited that our keynote speaker, illustrator Floyd Cooper, was planning on visiting area schools in conjunction with the Conference. And then…2020.
Valentine’s Day is coming up fast, and in my experience, my display of holiday books won’t last until February 14th. And honestly, for the little ones, love and friendship are just-as-good Valentine’s themes. Today I’m going to share some of my recent favorites on those topics—and please! Share some of yours as well in the comments below.