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.
There are so many unique roads to librarianship. I know children’s librarians who are former teachers…along with some who are former lawyers. One colleague did a stint as an archeologist. I, myself, was a television producer (long story!). And some librarians continue to do cool jobs while being a librarian. I’m friends with more than a few crafters extraordinaire, for example.
Ever since Every Child Ready to Read focused children’s librarianship on scientific research and empowered librarians to see themselves as experts who can speak to parents, our field has increasingly looked to brain development to support our practices and inform what we do. Early literacy, however, is not the only growth going on in the brains of our early childhood customers. Executive Functioning skills start to develop at around 7-8 months and peak between ages 3-5. Can librarians help with this development as well?
I want to be a foodie. I don’t claim to have a discerning palate, but I do really LOVE trying international cuisines. With all four grandparents being born in Italy, food is a centerpiece of my family culture, and I just LOVE trying the foods that bring families together around the world.
Tomorrow is September 1, and that launches the monthlong Library Card Sign-Up Celebration. It’s an opportunity to reach out to members of your community, especially the young people, to make sure they are officially library members!