Blogger Tess Prendergast

COVID Babies in the Library

In a Disability Scoop article about so-called “COVID-babies”, author Adam Clark explores various ways that the pandemic has affected children’s development. Clark begins with a vignette about a two-year old named Charlie who is in speech therapy to help him learn to speak more than one-word utterances. Nancy Polow, one of the speech-pathologists interviewed in the article, is quoted as saying “I have never seen such an influx of infants and toddlers unable to communicate. We call these children COVID babies.” The good news is that lots of the kids like Charlie who are now turning up at speech therapy centers quickly make strides. After reading this, I found some emerging evidence that being gestated during the early part of the pandemic is associated with some developmental lags. Babies born to two groups of mothers (those who were and those who were not infected with COVID during their pregnancies) were…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

The Art of Being a Trash-y Library Person

When I was a children’s librarian, I really loved trash. It was a vibe. Despite working for one of the wealthiest areas of my city, there was no funding for my programming. I did it all on my own, and I had to be frugal. I had to look at all my trash and find new purpose for it all, so that I didn’t have to spend too much of my hard-earned money on supplies. If you were to ask me now about it, I would insist that this was the wrong move. I shouldn’t have been spending my own money on this, but I had a zest for this and you couldn’t have stopped me.

Blogger Tess Prendergast

To Virtual Storytime and Back Again: What Recent Research Can Tell Us

As children’s library workers, we have all tangled with questions and concerns about young children and digital media. What helps and supports child development? What distracts and detracts from their learning? What information do parents and caregivers find helpful as they make decisions? If you are asking these questions, that’s a great sign – you care about the kids and families in your communities! I recently found an open source article published in 2020 with a title that caught my eye. Preschoolers Benefit Equally From Video Chat, Pseudo-Contingent Video, and Live Book Reading: Implications for Storytime During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Beyond The study authors are:  Caroline Gaudreau, Yeminah A. King, Rebecca A. Dore, Hannah Puttre, Deborah Nichols, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek and Roberta Michnick Golinkoff. I encourage you to follow the hyperlinks and read more about these researchers’ important work in early childhood learning. In this article, they report on an…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Turning a Picture Book Into a HUGE Program

So, we’re making waves this summer and indeed the possibilities are endless. I mentioned last week that I raised an old favorite from the depths. This week, I want to show you how to stretch out just one picture book into an epic summer reading program: Buccaneer Bunnies, to be precise! Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, by Carolyn Crimi tells the story of Henry, who is the “embarrassing” nerdy son of Blackear, the fiercest bunny to sail the seven seas. In a nutshell, Henry proves that books hold the answers to all manner of situations, outcomes and perils — all without being didactic! But how do you turn a quick read into a 60 minute program?! Well, me old sods, I’ll explain forthwith. It all starts with the book — no, really So, last week, I introduced you to Foghorn Follies, thus, we already have a puppet stage shaped like…

Early Literacy

Early Literacy Resources for Children’s Librarians

As a new youth librarian fresh out of graduate school, I knew that I wanted to specialize myself in early literacy, improve my storytimes, and create budget-friendly passive programs in the children’s space at my library. I spent several hours scouring the internet trying to find the best free early literacy resources and I thought I would share a few of my favorites and why I like them. 

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Has COVID Changed How Kids Read?

Have you noticed a change in how the kids and families you serve are reading in the COVID era? Two years into the pandemic, we’ve had an intense educational disruption. Some kids were in remote learning for months. Others have been going back and forth between in-person and remote, or in-person and almost nothing. Some families have moved to homeschooling. Some kids have had parents and caregivers on hand to help them through the chaos. Others haven’t. Has all this added up to changes in what and how our kids are reading?