Blogger Tess Prendergast

Children’s Rights and Children’s Libraries

In her IFLA journal article, Marian Koren asks “How can the libraries’ potential respond to the child’s rights in the context of the information society?” (Koren, p.273). Later in the article, Koren says “It is important that professionals are involved in the understanding, interpretation and implementation of children’s rights in their services.” (Koren, p.278). I agree! As children’s library workers, how familiar are we with the idea of children’s rights? I am sure we all support and defend the kids we work with, but have we thought much about children actually having their own rights? In 1989, after decades of cooperation, and building on various global children’s rights documents, the United Nations adopted the framework called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (UNCRC) Because children have a right to know about the special rights that apply to them, a child-friendly version of the UNCRC is also…

Blogger Tess Prendergast

To Virtual Storytime and Back Again: What Recent Research Can Tell Us

As children’s library workers, we have all tangled with questions and concerns about young children and digital media. What helps and supports child development? What distracts and detracts from their learning? What information do parents and caregivers find helpful as they make decisions? If you are asking these questions, that’s a great sign – you care about the kids and families in your communities! I recently found an open source article published in 2020 with a title that caught my eye. Preschoolers Benefit Equally From Video Chat, Pseudo-Contingent Video, and Live Book Reading: Implications for Storytime During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond The study authors are:  Caroline Gaudreau, Yeminah A. King, Rebecca A. Dore, Hannah Puttre, Deborah Nichols, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff. I encourage you to follow the hyperlinks and read more about these researchers’ important work in early childhood learning. In this article, they report on an…

Blogger Tess Prendergast

Child development knowledge: What do we know?

We know that children’s librarians develop and deliver services that encourage and support children’s overall development. How do we learn how to do this well? New research about child development knowledge in our field I just read an article called “Child development knowledge among new children’s librarians in US public libraries” that was published in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science written by Jennifer Rice Sullivan. Sullivan reports on a survey of 61 children’s librarians with MLIS degrees completed within the past five years. Participants responded to a series of questions about perceived knowledge across these six domains of child development: Language Cognition Gross motor Fine motor Emotional Social Most respondents reported having moderate to high levels of knowledge about these domains. Next, Sullivan asked more specific questions about participants’ knowledge of these topics. Behavior management Early literacy skills Object permanence Attachment Separation anxiety Self-regulation Executive functions…

Blogger Tess Prendergast

Diversifying Our Storytime Book Selections

Do you have a shelf of go-to books for your storytimes? These books probably have big, bright illustrations, engaging text that invites participation, and are just a blast to read aloud. But are many of your storytime books about caterpillars, puppies, and trucks? If storytime is for all kids, should they also see kids like themselves in the books we share with them?

ALA Annual 2013

A wild ride through social issues found in past Caldecott books

A group of pre conference attendees engaged in a fruitful discussion about how examinations of Caldecott books are able to illuminate various aspects of the eras in which they were published and awarded. Led by Christine Jenkins (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne) the group examined books dating from 1938 to 1970. While not specifically looking for problems or areas that might be objectionable to contemporary readers, the participants frequently commented on their observations about stereotypical gender role portrayals in many of the winning titles from the 20th century. Together with my work partner Nancy, I examined the books from 1962. While we both like Marcia Brown’s winning title called Once a Mouse, we agreed that it may be vulnerable to challenges due to the magical/occult elements (a mouse is changed repeatedly into different animals). Fox went out on a chilly night…