Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Spring Ahead with Outreach Opportunities

Spring is Here! Prior to the start of Summer Reading Club, Spring is typically filled with planning for the busy summer months. However, this season also allows us time to evaluate existing library partnerships and motivation to create new meaningful connections in the community. When it comes to Youth Services Outreach, the possibilities are endless. There are so many passionate librarians that are thinking outside of the box and finding ways to reach all residents. There are inspiring stories of librarians offering storytime in laundromats or creating floating book collections in barbershops. There are even partnerships between libraries and grocery stores and foodbanks. It’s an exciting time to work in Outreach Services, as we can see the positive impact these efforts make in our communities. One of the most important pieces of Outreach, is establishing relationships. Visiting different daycares and classrooms throughout the year is wonderful, and a service that…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Story time and… (Improv Your Story Time)

A few years ago, I presented at ALA Annual about how story time could be improved with improv techniques. To me, improv and story time naturally go hand in hand. They both rely on flexibility, spontaneity, and giving and receiving. While I haven’t been practicing improv as much anymore, I have really hit a sweet spot in my story times, and I think it is the improv coming out. For months, I had been feeling the blahs… and now. Everything has clicked into place. So what has suddenly changed? Me!

Blogger Alexa Newman

Play Areas in Libraries

Indoor Playground? Early Learning Area? Playland? Seventh Circle of the Underworld?     Play areas for the youngest library patrons are most common in public libraries, although some school libraries have them as well. They range from the simple: an area rug with a train table or puppet theater and some puzzles; to the elaborate:  dedicated themed spaces, with corporate sponsors, that are changed out on a quarterly basis. With our recently completed remodel and expansion my library created a new, dedicated, larger space for creative play. It has quickly become one of the most popular spots in the library. There are busy times where we have upwards of 40 people (children and caregivers) in the space at once. Mornings are usually the most hectic. It can be quite lively at times. (Okay, maybe raucous is a more accurate descriptor.) Located in the youth services department, it offers an engaging,…

Early Literacy

BIG Play = BIG Fun!

A firefighter, a chef, a magician, and two elephants are creating an elaborate, imaginary world in the dress-up tent. Engineers are building cardboard forts and testing the strength of their structures. An acrobat is crawling and peeking through a small tunnel. Three printmakers are working on a collaborative piece of rubber stamp art. And a pair of tiny zoo keepers are inspecting, touching, squeezing, (and maybe even chewing on) a variety of soft, stuffed animals. Where are all these little ones doing all these things all in one place? They are at their library’s Big Play Date, and they are loving it! Inspired by Brooklyn Public Library’s innovative idea, libraries all over the country are hosting Big Play Dates and growing community, providing big fun, supporting parental learning, and strengthening the brains of our youngest patrons in the process. Here at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), we host what we…

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

Celebrate Tell a Fairy Tale Day in Style

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.

ALA Midwinter 2019

Story Time Deep Dive at #alamw19

I have been lucky to connect with the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk) at past conferences, and she has been gracious to host some story time deep dives, at the Networking Uncommons, where attendees can come and chat about story time and youth services and brainstorm answers! If you are unfamiliar with Networking Uncommons it is a free space like a makeshift empty meeting room with tables and chairs to have informal meetups or just hang and chat. There are some art supplies and button makers if you feel the need to do some crafting! See my awesome coloring page from the Office of Intellectual Freedom that I started during this meetup! This year, the spot is super hard to find– across the street from the convention center and away from all the action of midwinter. But, we were joined by one other children’s librarian, and for 2 hours we…