For those of you following my work (well, I can certainly dream I have devoted followers), you may recognize this technology-related post as a continuation of my STEAM on a Shoestring series, all about bringing new life to your old STEAM routine. If you haven’t read the previous two, you can find great Science and Engineering ideas from some of my personal library role models by following the links provided. If you have already read those previous posts, however, you might notice something a little different this time: While previous posts have highlighted the work of numerous library professionals, this one will include lots of ideas from one librarian. Alessandra Affinito is a Senior Children’s Librarian with New York Public Library, and when I think tech programming for kids, I think of her.
Did you know February 26th is National Tell a Fairy Tale Day? Don’t be embarrassed if you didn’t; fairy tales are my favorite, and even I wasn’t aware until very recently. In fact, my love of fairy tales dates back to long before I became a librarian. It turns out such love isn’t uncommon among children; a recent Brightly article includes quite a bit of anecdotal evidence attesting to children’s passion for magic, escapism, even the “twisted and bizarre,” while this ALSC post from 2015 highlights the universality of these stories.
The ALSC Public Awareness Committee is seeking art submissions from members and non-members alike to support the Championing Children’s Services Toolkit. This advocacy toolkit will go live just in time for ALA Annual and will be a resource for children’s librarians, youth staff, and library advocates like board of trustees and friends of the library groups. The goal of the toolkit is to help communicate to elected officials and other library stakeholders about the crucial work being done in library children’s departments that supports kids and family success.
Vision Thing Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and netbooks have all revolutionized the world for every age group. For tweens and teens, the effects of hours of utilizing these devices has made a real impact on their vision. The impact on literacy levels has also been noted. Dr. Ralph Chu remarks on one condition called dry eye disease (DED), saying that, “you see (DED) commonly in people who are in their 50’s & 60’s, but now with children who are using their smartphones a lot, we’re seeing this more and more.”So, let’s read up on how large print can make all the difference in this vision thing! Large Print and Learning Believe it or not, larger print has some wonderful advantages, not just for staving off myopia. Struggling readers can benefit significantly from larger print materials. Tween and teen reluctant readers may want to read, but may be finding it difficult. For tween/teen…
Attending professional conferences is a great way to network and learn. But not everyone can get time away from commitments at work and home, and not everyone can afford the cost of travel, hotels, and fees. ALSC knows this, and has created a number of supplemental ways that members can continue to learn and grow as library professionals. Librarians are experts at professional development, after all!
Several of my friends who work office jobs in downtown Chicago tell me, “Picture books! Puppets! Songs! Awww, that’s so cute. What a fun job!”
As public librarians, we deal with unexpected hazards on the regular. In my experience, children’s librarians are the experts in our buildings at staying calm and remaining flexible, no matter the situation. We deal with minor disruptions in programs and Storytimes every day, enabling and training us from early in our careers to be expertly flexible humans. Could you imagine rigidly stopping Storytime and demanding that a crying child and their caregiver leave so you could continue reading your book in peace? What is peace? We are skilled at dealing with children here, and so we switch gears. We say, “The End” three pages early (even if it hurts us, because the book will seriously change their lives), and start passing out shaker eggs or scarves and put on a song. I may be lucky, but usually the crying dissipates. Even if it does not, our Storytime crowd is not…
At Columbus Metropolitan Library we made an intentional change in the way we present our Ready for Kindergarten Storytimes.