Last month, I attended my first in-person professional development in two years when I presented at and attended the Ohio Library Council’s Convention and Expo in Columbus, Ohio. While there, I saw amazing speakers like Jason Reynolds and Saeed Jones and attend other sessions focusing on youth services. To me, the most impactful session was entitled “Rich, Robust and Expressive: Vocabulary Building in Storytime; Storytimes for School Readiness and Community Needs.” Presented by Dr. Maria Cahill, Associate Professor in the School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information at the University of Kentucky and Janet Ingraham-Dwyer, Library Consultant—Youth Services for the State Library of Ohio (and truly the MVP for youth librarians in my state), the session focused on Direct Vocabulary Instruction (DVI).
This past month, I fortunately attended a training on Reimagining School Readiness that focused on Growth Mindset. The Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) and Center for Childhood Creativity developed a position paper after performing a comprehensive review of current psychology literature. The purpose? To draw out how research can be used by educators and families to give children the skills and the learning experiences that matter most for later success in school and in life.
It’s that time of year. Kids are back in school and will soon be coming into the library for homework and research, not just for pleasure reading. I admit…I have always enjoyed helping children find the answers they need to a homework question. I find it strangely satisfying. And this year, as the pandemic continues, students are going to need our support more than ever. How can we help?
Have you ever moved your library? If you are like me, you get very excited to work in a new, fresh space with state-of-the-art technology and a pristine collection. But, you know, you have to MOVE.
For the second summer in a row, understandably, we have not offered our yearly summer camps. While they can be a lot of work, I missed the camaraderie that occurs when I work with the same kids over many days in a row. So, this year, I planned a weekly virtual program based on geography. The nine-week program, meeting an hour each Monday, used the first nine books in the Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventures early chapter series as a starting point to talk about travel. As a child who grew up obsessed with maps, I have long lamented geography not having its due in American schools and the lack of geopolitical knowledge amongst Americans in a global world.
My library branch has been flooded with caregivers eager for the children in their charge to avoid the summer slide. Not all the children, however, are as excited about this endeavor. How can we help? Sometimes all it takes is the right book…but getting there can be easier said than done. Some tips that might work…
The virtual storytimes I have been holding for toddlers and preschoolers have been more successful than I had hoped…or feared. Children have been much more engaged and responsive via Zoom than I believed they would. They dance along to the songs. They join in on fingerplays. And they have a lot to say at the end of storytime when we say “hello” to each participant. However, the question remained…what to do with babies? I’ve been experimenting and would like to share some thoughts.
Prince Harry has written the foreword to Hospital on the Hill, an upcoming book by author Chris Connaughton. The book reportedly tells the story of a young person whose parent worked—and died—on the frontlines of a hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. The royal’s introduction discusses the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, when he was 12 years old.