I am afraid to put up a Pride display. That feels unprofessional to admit, but it’s true. I live and work in a very liberal area, and yet I am still afraid. From book bans to anti-trans bills to storytime protests, it is a very scary time to be under the LGBTQIA umbrella, an umbrella that feels paper thin against the onslaughts of contemporary hatred. This June, let us shine a light on books of queer joy. That joy can be so hard to keep alight on our own.
Category: Blogger Chelsey Roos
Why We Need Sensory Storytimes
In my area, libraries are bringing back their pre-pandemic range of programs, but one program is mostly missing: sensory storytime. I live in a busy, urban area, and yet in my entire county, only one library system has a weekly sensory storytime. My family needs a disability-friendly storytime if we’re going to be able to attend. For Autism Acceptance Month, let’s talk about why these types of storytimes are so important, and why they can be so hard to get (or keep) in the line-up.
Poetry Programs for the Reluctant Poet
April is National Poetry Month! Many people find poetry intimidating. Between meter, rhyme scheme, teachers overly focused on anything written prior to 1900, and words like “troche” and “anaphora,” the language of poetry can seem complex. But it is not too late – or too hard – to unlock your inner poet. Consider adding one of the following poetry programs to your calendar. They all use common library or household supplies, take no special knowledge or skill to lead, and can be put together in an hour or less. Gather ye thine quills and parchment!
I Learned It on TikTok: Professional Development from an Unlikely Source
TikTok is my favorite resource for professional development. That might seem unlikely, if you associate the platform with teens dancing in silly ways to trending songs. But TikTok can be a fantastic resource for storytime songs, reading recommendations, and learning more about childhood development – provided you use it thoughtfully. Here are some of my favorite things I’ve learned from TikTok since I started curating an account around all things library.
Ukulele Storytime for Beginners from a Beginner
Have you ever wanted to play the ukulele in storytime, but felt like you couldn’t possibly be good enough? There are many fantastic librarians who are expert ukulele players, but I often find learning from great players intimidating. If you’re overwhelmed, I (definitely a beginner) can help. A few years ago, I decided I was going to start playing the ukulele in storytime, despite the fact that I did not know how to play the ukulele and am generally unmusical. It has always been a little baffling to me that I am paid to sing to children, given that I was once told by a choir teacher to “maybe just mouth the words at the performance.” Despite all these obstacles, I actually do play the ukulele at storytime, and no one has ever complained. Let me reassure you that if I can do it, anyone can do it. Here are some…
Simple Ways to Be More Inclusive of Autistic Families
Making your programs more inclusive of autistic families (and families with other sensory needs or disabilities) doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. There are small, simple changes that you can make in an hour or less today that will help autistic families feel welcome and supported at your library programs (not just storytime). Here are four ways to get started.
Supporting AAC-Users in the Library
October is AAC Awareness Month! AAC stands for “augmentative and alternative communication,” and it’s often used to refer to a tool that can help someone communicate without speech, like a picture board or a tablet with a communication application. It can be as simple as a white board, or as high tech as a computer that can detect the user’s eye movements and translate them to speech. Someone who is non-speaking, or has difficulty speaking, can use their AAC to communicate with others. Let’s learn a little bit about AAC devices and how you can support AAC-users in the library.
Why Do Kids Love Thrillers?
Thrillers have been surging again in YA literature for the last few years. The popularity of thrillers ebbs and flows in YA (raise your hand if you devoured I Know What You Did Last Summer in the 90’s like I did), but Kate McManus’ One of Us Is Lying brought this genre to the top again in a big way, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Thrillers are also a perennial favorite among the middle grade crowd. What’s the appeal behind this genre, and what can we offer young thrill-seekers?