I’m not sure if we can universally agree on this, but one of the best feelings for a librarian (if not THE best feeling) is finding that perfect book for someone. As a school librarian, I’m always chasing this feeling for my students…but I’m also chasing it for the classroom teachers in my school. A teacher will ask me, “Hey Laura, I’m teaching a unit on neighborhoods – do you have any books you’d recommend for me to share with my class?” Or they’ll ask if I can share the books myself during Library class to support the work they’re doing throughout the day. It never fails to make my heart race excitedly when I know I’ve found the best title to suit a lesson.
November is National Family Literacy Month. As librarians, we know the benefits of reading together as a family. We know that it assists in language development, enhances comprehension, and fosters the joy of reading. But, literacy is so much more! According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
The School-Age Programs and Services Committee proudly presents our upcoming webinar series intended to give you information and creative methods to support the early readers in your lives!
Since March, we’ve all had to find new ways to reach our patrons. From Stay-at-Home Storytimes to virtual live animal programs, we’ve tried many different ideas for engaging our patrons at the Simsbury Public Library, CT. Our live Zoom programs continue to be popular, but we know that kids and families miss the hands-on learning they’d enjoy at an in-person library program. While we can’t completely replicate that experience right now, we can create craft and activity kits that allow families to take a piece of library programming home with them. This summer, we offered “Take & Makes” every Friday and “Bag of Tricks” on select Wednesdays. We made 50 units of each activity, and families could pick them up anytime during our curbside service hours. It was so fun to watch kids jump out of the car and run to pick up a kit. This strategy proved so popular…
During the COVID-19 pandemic, while families and kids remain at home, libraries around the country have turned to virtual programming to help keep kids engaged and entertained, and keep skills sharp, especially over the summer. At The New York Public Library, our virtual Summer Reading programs for children include parent/child book discussions, author visits, cultural programs, virtual summer camp, and an online reading log and activities.
If you are like me, you are in the midst of Summer Reading planning and execution. You may also be working on plans for curbside service or well into the process of performing curbside for your patrons. Maybe your library is open to the public or will be in the near future. Or, maybe you are still working from home. No matter where you are in this stage of COVID-19, we all have a little something in common: we all have questions and feel some sense of uncertainty. What’s the next step? How do I serve my community in the midst of all these changes? What happens when virtual programming just isn’t working or kids and tweens just aren’t able to access your programs? How in the world do I put together a Summer Reading Program when I can’t have programs in the building or do outreach? What do I…
As I write this, it has been almost two and a half months since my library closed its doors due to the pandemic. My job now, like so many of you reading this, is nothing like it once was. I had been a children’s librarian in a public library, assisting parents and children alike in the library on a daily basis; now I am a virtual services children’s librarian, and all my interactions with patrons are virtual, filtered through social media and camera lenses. I used to thrive on making personal connections with each patron who visited the library, and now I subsist on Facebook comments and video views.
The School-Age Programs and Services Committee recently met online to discuss our next steps during these wild, unprecedented times. If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly has become so in recent weeks: so much of the work we do as librarians relies on face-to-face interactions. How do we provide programs and services to young people when we’re prohibited from doing so in person? Additionally, when so many young people are spending several hours a day attending school online, how do we reach out in a way that isn’t requiring additional online media saturation?