Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Childhood Resource: The State of Babies Yearbook

Earlier this month, Zero to Three debuted the State of Babies Yearbook 2020. The Yearbook is a huge collection of data about children 0-3 that has been compiled and organized to allow users to see national trends and trends by state. Data from the Census Bureau and the National Survey of Children’s Health, among others, are used to show profiles of specific indicators that are critical to the healthy development of the very young. Compilations like this one can be extremely valuable to librarians. We can use it to advocate for programs and services, develop initiatives, write grants and obtain other funding and simply be aware of some of the factors that have a big impact on our youngest patrons and their families. It is also an important reminder about how important things like the Census are to gather data – without them, we don’t have a clear picture. Check…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Supporting At Home Storytimes

One of my favorite ways to present storytime for preschoolers is to use a theme. Sometimes I will incorporate more than one theme into a storytime to cover more ground. For example, I’ve paired counting and animals, and letters and colors. This gives the storytime some structure, and it also helps me to build strong and easy transitions from one song, story, finger play, or action rhyme to the next. While most of the country is still under stay at home orders, we can share this kind of information with parents and caregivers during virtual storytimes or virtual early literacy lessons with those who are running out of ideas for achieving adequate learning time and some entertainment at home.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

The Dreaded Storytime Audition

You’ve made it!  You actually survived the application process and phone interview. Now you have that opportunity to shine in front of a real audience of some library staff.  Perhaps the library has assembled some families with young children.  This final interview for the children’s library job you want includes a storytime audition. Having been on the giving and receiving ends of these mini-events, begs the question; what makes a good story time?  Hiring managers want to know, and so do hands-on administrators who want to the best possible staff.  Being the former, and faced with the requirement to prepare the later for what they will observe, I needed a way to make sense of it all.  I needed something to validate my emotional reaction that said, “This is the person we should hire!” None of what follows is particularly original on my part, but rather an amalgam of stuff learned the hard way over…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Honoring Infancy: Upcoming Webinars!

In April and May, the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee will be hosting a series of free webinars on the topic of working with infants in the library. Here’s what’s coming: The first is Honoring Infancy: Growing the Garden – Nurturing a Play and Early Learning Space on Tuesday, April 14th at 3:00 PM Eastern. “Let’s Do It” you proclaim. As a youth professional you have established the importance of play. But how do you get there and create a space supported by the library and your community? Join Mike Rogalla and Tori Ogawa from ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs & Services committee as we explore library play and learning spaces for the youngest of patrons. Whether you’re working with a small budget or looking to redesign your space you can create a play and learning space. Register here. Next, we will offer Honoring Infancy: Libraries Welcoming Babies on Thursday,…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Passive Programming Builds Community

Winter and spring breaks are coming up, which means our libraries might be more crowded than usual! This is a great time to engage library users, but can also be a bit stressful when trying to manage many age groups simultaneously. Your regularly scheduled toddler storytime now might include older siblings attending, and your children’s section might be filled much earlier than usual. So, how do you balance all of your patrons’ needs simultaneously? Passive programming! But, passive programming is so much more than a tool to help you multitask; it helps build community.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Playgroups at the Library: Explore the Power of Play and Connect with Your Community

Several years ago as a response to the community’s request and as part of Wilsonville Public Library ‘s strategic plan to “Advance the Library as a community focal point and resource hub,”  the library’s youth services team developed a weekly playgroup.    This program has proven to be a well-attended and a valuable resource in the community for parents and caregivers of young children to connect and for children to explore the power of play. How Playgroup works at Wilsonville Public Library— Each Monday morning, library staff set up the library’s largest meeting room with a variety of toys.  These items for Playgroup are purchased from our library’s program supplies budget.  The following items were selected to promote growth and learning in several different areas– Imaginative Play Including Play Kitchen, Puppet Theater, Dolls Sensory Stimulation Includes Foam Blocks and Sensory Toys Gross Motor Skills and Eye-Hand Coordination Includes Ball Games and…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Literacy and Senior Citizen: An Excellent Pairing!

It was the second Wednesday of the month at 11:00 AM, which meant it was time to visit with the senior citizens at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Family Support Center for the Eating Together Program in Baltimore, Maryland. The Eating Together program is a place where seniors gather to share a meal, exercise, socialize, and on this particular day, listen to me talk about the importance of early literacy for children between the ages of birth and 5 years. While this may seem like an unlikely group for such a message, senior citizens are a great group with whom to share your early literacy outreach messages. In the audience at the Family Support Center, several of the attendees are former educators and all of them are proud parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. They are after school tutors, Sunday School teachers, and community leaders. In essence, they are people who are…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Tips for Talking to Littles in the Library

We all know how important it is to engage young children in lots of conversation and talk, but sometimes it is difficult in practice. Sometimes adults don’t know how to start a conversation with a young child or how to talk to a child before they are able to talk back. If kids could tell us how they wanted adults to talk to them, they may come up with some tips like these: For Pre-Talkers Me first! I may be teeny tiny, but when you speak to me right away, you are showing me that conversation is for me too. Look! When I show you that I am really interested in something, talk to me about it. I am more receptive to language at those moments. I’m talking too! Even if I haven’t learned to say any words yet, I am talking with you when I move my body, smile…