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.
Have you ever taken a personality test? The Enneagram, or Myers-Briggs or even what house you would be in if you were a wizard? I take them all, and every single time, I am embarrassed by my category. I’m a Seven, an ENFP, a Hufflepuff for heaven’s sake. I avoid pain pathologically. If it hurts, I’ll feel it, but only for a minute. Then I have play some music or read something beautiful or pet my dogs or do something that restores my hopeful stance.
Like many area libraries, the Deerfield Public Library has offered an annual Preschool and Early Childhood Fair. For three years, the Fair brought together early childhood professionals, so that our patrons could easily gather information and make informed choices for their families. The best thing to come out of those Fairs, however, wasn’t for our patrons, but connections for the early childhood professionals themselves.
One of the key tenets of Early Literacy is play. Play is an integral part in a child’s development. Play allows children to use their creativity to decipher the world around them and build critical thinking and problem solving skills. As librarians and educators, we use play in various programs to engage children in learning and reading. Play is how kids learn! But research tells us that it isn’t just physical play that is important to learning. Play also includes digital play, creative play, and playing with language through music and movement. Digital play has become just as important as physical play. Kids retrieve information from the internet as well as from books. This is true now more than ever before. In Research in Brief: Digital Play in Early Childhood Education: Supporting Children’s Relational Information Literacy research conducted by Theobald et. al. observed how digital play helped foster children’s…
Have you been discovering and listening to kids podcasts more and more this past year? If so, you are not alone! Kids podcasts experienced record-level listening in 2020 and librarians across the country are helping families discover this content. So, if you love listening to kids podcasts, we invite you to come to the table to discuss all aspects of this rising form and its impact on media mentorship and services to children. Kidcasts in 2020: A Milestone Year Kidcasts, also known as podcasts for kids, have grown to where 1 in 4 kids, ages 6 to 17 now listen to podcasts (Ipsos) and weekly Kids & Family podcast listening increased by 24% in 2020 (Podtrac). As podcast listenership rises, librarians have taken note of content that’s available, especially what is free and accessible. For example, ALSC’s Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media 2020 Committee selected Imagine Neighborhood, a podcast…
Have you committed to a reading challenge in 2021? There are all kinds of reading challenges on the web, challenging you to step outside your reading comfort zone and check off certain reading tasks throughout the year. I think it can be a really beneficial for librarians because I think we’re able to provide better service to our patrons if we challenge ourselves to read widely. I wasn’t going to commit to one this year, but then I saw that the American Indian Library Association is presenting their first ever Read Native reading challenge and I knew that was the one for me!
If you’re reading the ALSC blog, you know that ALSC is an organization that supports professional development of all kinds- this lovely blog, of course, but also an Institute, publications, webinars, conference sessions, and more. Part of the “more” is something you may not have looked at lately: Professional Tools for Librarians Serving Youth. The toolkit is a selection of resources, some of the items are created by ALSC and its members, some by outside organizations. In addition to sharing formal information, there are also several ALSC blog roundups to be found within, allowing readers to find posts related by topic.
In a few weeks, the newest Mars rover, Perseverance, will touch down on the Red Planet, more than 200 days after it launched. Perseverance’s job is to look for signs of ancient life and collect samples for possible return to Earth. With a pretty high WOW factor, and lots of available resources, Perseverance and Mars lend themselves to great programming.