Guest Blogger

Reflecting on the Pandemic Reminds Us of What Matters Most #alsc22

What did your library do during during COVID-19 lockdowns? How did your services shift as infection rates, building closures, mask mandates, and patron safety shifted? And most importantly, what effect did this have on your staff and the children you serve?  With the help of Samantha Eichelberger and Rosana M. Santana from Schaumburg Township District Library (IL) and Sarah Koncos, Glenside Public Library (IL), we gathered to consider these questions and more at “Pivot! Adapting Programming for School-Aged Children in a Changing World”. After hearing about how these libraries tackled the many challenges of the early pandemic with their school-age services, much of this program was devoted to small-group discussions of our own libraries’ responses. Now, I have to make a confession – I didn’t work in libraries until the summer of 2021. I didn’t experience the abrupt and unexpectedly long building closures, nor did I contribute to any of…

Guest Blogger

Rethinking Play

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers What an amazing session this afternoon at #alsc22 on “True Play” presented by Carissa Christner and Holly Storck-Post from Madison Public Library. They led us on a play exploration to begin with: can you recall a favorite memory of play from your childhood? Stop and think for a moment. Did adults tell you how to play? True Play is deep and uninterrupted engagement in the activity of one’s own choice. Sounds simple doesn’t it?? And indeed, simplicity is a key factor. They reviewed the history of play at their library, from play literacy (themed type activities), playful activities in storytime (though still adult designed), and talked about the importance of play. Did you know that for young children movement…

Guest Blogger

True Play at Libraries #alsc22

Presenters Carissa Christner, Madison Public Library, and Holly Storck-Post from Madison Public Library led a discussion about true play to a packed room this afternoon. Carissa Christner defined true play as deep and uninterrupted engagement in the activity of one’s own choice. The presenters then led the audience through a presentation of how they implemented true play spaces at their branches and the opportunities and challenges that cropped up during the development and implementation phases.

Guest Blogger

Mindful Movement: Yoga Programs for Youth #alsc22

The first full day of ALSC Institute is underway, and I started my morning off with yoga! Leigh Ramey, Youth Services Consultant for the South Carolina State Library presented a wonderfully interactive session on Yoga Programs for Youth. Participants were invited to try yoga poses, games and mindfulness practices, all adaptable to differing skill levels from preschoolers and caregivers up to tween and teens.

Guest Blogger

Evaluating AAPI Youth Literature at #alsc22

Did you know there’s a rubric for evaluating Asian American and Pacific Islander Youth Literature? At this morning’s “More than a Checkbox” at #alsc22, Amy Kyung-Eun Breslin, Sarah Park Dahlen, Kristen Kwisnek, and Becky Leathersich shared key elements from the rubric and then led us through applying the rubric to different books.They emphasized the critical importance of visibility, problems of the Model Minority stereotype, that context and nuance are essential to evaluation. Other key factors are power and agency of characters – who are the heroes? can they solve problems? Take a look at author/illustrator agency – are they a cultural insider? What research have they done? Is there a co-author who is an insider? And they encouraged us to think about what impact the book might have on an AAPI child listening to a non-AAPI person read it aloud.