Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Libraries Build Readers and Learners

In 2005 I became a children’s librarian, and within weeks of signing the offer letter, the library trained me in Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR). The training couldn’t have happened at a better time in my personal or professional life. The knowledge, skills, and tools I learned changed my career trajectory. Librarians Foster a Love of Reading I thought I learned everything I needed to know about fostering a love of reading during my MLIS program. The ECRR training taught me about neural pathways, brain elasticity, and more. I discovered finding fun and engaging books was only a part of the reading success formula. There was a lot more that went into learning to read. A lot more. Librarians Model Reading Readiness and Learning Sixteen years after my ECRR training and now a children’s services team manager, I find myself at an exciting new learning crossroads. Yes, our checklist…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Singing Brings Connections

Before I was born, my mom was a kindergarten teacher. When I was young, I remember her waking me up most mornings by singing “Good morning to you… good morning to you. We’re all in our places with sunshiny faces. Good morning to you… good morning to you.”  When I started my career as a Children’s Librarian, I decided to begin each storytime with this same song. It gave me a sense of familiarity and comfort in those early days of nervous storytime presentations.  In the subsequent months I began to notice the audience swaying back and forth as I sang, and it was only then that I realized I swayed as I sang too. It was our shared ritual- the singing, the swaying, the pointing at our “sunshiny” cheeks. Something we all looked forward to each week. I remember parents telling me how their child would “play” storytime at…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Concern for Screentime and Very Young Children in Regards to Virtual Programming

Virtual programming has been the norm for most of the past year for most if not all public libraries. Librarians have expressed concern about how this might impact very young children (toddlers and younger) and their families.  We know that the American Academy of Pediatrics historically discouraged media exposure for children under two but have since eased up with the increased use of Facetime, Zoom and other media communication methods. Asked about this, Sarah R. Lytle, Ph.D., Director of Outreach and Education at the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington replied: “As you know, the more interactive, the better for younger children. That can mean a caregiver interacting with children around the screen or the child interacting with another adult ‘through’ the screen (i.e., video chat). There is some new research that preschoolers comprehend stories read via video chat just as they do when…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Children Are Designed for Wonder

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they become a part of his soul.”  Dr. Maria Montessori from The Absorbent Mind, 1949  In Montessori methodology, books shared with young children center around family life, daily routines, or nature. Talking animals are discouraged.  Not because Montessori teachers hate imagination, but the teachers understand our youngest readers’ work focuses on the world they can touch, taste, see, hear, and feel. Abstract thought happens in adolescence or the second plane of development. In the first plane of development, teachers surround toddlers and preschoolers with books in an orderly and realistic world. As the youngsters progress through development, they grow into creative thinkers who turn the known world into an imaginative one.  As a parent and a trained librarian, I struggled with this when my oldest child began Montessori school. Isn’t any reading beneficial to the child? Does that mean I can’t read Guess How Much I Love You? As I watched my oldest child play, I saw them doing the work of…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Stories and Support: Serving Early Childhood Providers During COVID

Nearly every October our library is asked by our local Educare group to provide a book-focused training for early childhood care providers to go hand-in-hand with Jumpstart’s Read for the Record Day. As in years past, this week I pulled a large stack of new books that provide early literacy experiences and work well in a childcare environment. Unlike years past, I presented from my home to attendees in their homes, over Zoom. While we couldn’t pass the books around like we normally do, attendees commented on how important it was for them to get to see new titles, especially in this year of CARES Act applications, extra cleaning procedures and heightened uncertainty. 

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Bundle Up Books for Young Readers!

As we explore opportunities to serve our communities in this unprecedented time, a path my library has recently taken has been to create a quick access browsing collection.  At the Wilsonville Public Library, we opened the building at the end of June with limited services. We are lucky that the configuration of our newly redesigned library allows patron access to the central area of the library. Since we are unable to open the library stacks to the public for browsing, we added this “grab and go” collection on the display shelving that had in the past been used for new adult fiction and adult non-fiction. Library staff pull different catergories of library materials for different age groups and bundle 3-5 items together with stout rubber bands. We call this quick access collection Book Bundles To Go. Our visiting patrons constantly tell library staff that Book Bundles To Go is a…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

It’s Just Stories, Isn’t It?

At some point working in a children’s library setting, this may happen to you. Whether it’s the library board, the city council, an administrator, or even one of your customers, they will observe a story time program, be suitably impressed by your event, and ask quite innocently about what exactly you are doing. To the uninitiated, what happens in the room is fun and entertaining. A great place to be in and of itself, but we all know there is lot more to it. Admittedly, in one way or another, these questioners are the ones who pay for what we do, so this provides a great opportunity to inform and enlighten. It’s time to break out your best elevator speech that lends method to the madness. Here at the library, during our infant, toddler, and preschool programming we build a foundation so when young children are taught to read, they…

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.