It’s been quite a while since I last wrote about something other than book recommendations – most of my time is spent with books these days, so in many ways that’s become my default. But this month I’m proud to present a program series planned and implemented by the incredible Youth Services team at Darien Library, one that I hope will resonate with some of you and find a home in your libraries as well. The program series is called Little Library Boxes, and to provide information about it – from conception to implementation – I’ve interviewed the brains behind the operation herself, Children’s Program Coordinator Samantha Cardone.
February is Black History Month, and while I as a white woman can’t begin to understand the Black experience, I can do my part to educate myself and my young patrons – and to actively work toward an anti-racist future. To that end, here are 10 picture book titles I’ll be highlighting and recommending this February ( as well as the rest of the year):
I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. But as we head into the new year, one thing I can safely say is that 2020 has given us some excellent new children’s books. Perusing lists share by various review sources, I’ve been blown away by the variety I’ve seen. While some titles appear in many lists, others make surprise appearances – and yet, I agree with almost every selection.
Recently at my library, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from teachers and parents who are looking for titles to share with their young charges as they struggle to adjust to remote learning and deal with the disappointment of not seeing loved ones over the holiday season. And even as the person who should be most prepared for this question at my branch, I’ve struggled to find just-right recommendations that will help children cope with the continued changes COVID is throwing into their paths.
Pumpkins on stoops? Leaves littering the sidewalks? Candy and costumes sitting front-and-center in all your favorite shops? These signs can only add up to one thing: It’s October, the best month of the entire year in this humble librarian’s opinion!
September is Hispanic Heritage Month, and while I would never claim to be an expert on Hispanic Heritage, I do know a thing or two about books. So here are some of my top recommendations to share with your patrons this month – and all year long.
How has your library been handling programming in the time of COVID? At Darien, most of what we do – from storytimes to vendor programming – has gone virtual. But as the months wear on, we’ve come to realize that patrons (much like their hard-working librarians) are pretty burnt out on technology. So last month when we reopened to the public, the Youth Services Team rolled out a few fresh ideas for engaging with our community.
When was the last time you took a good, honest look at the classic titles on your library’s shelves? Now more than ever, we need to be considering not only the harm some of our childhood favorites do to children of color – particularly Black children – but also the messages they send to white children.