Blogger Jonathan Dolce

STEM Teaching Begins with Preschoolers!

toddler interacting with science exhibit in Belgharia

STEM Teaching and Learning Begins with Preschoolers! So, I was explaining STEM to my dad, a retired physicist.  He’s skeptical by nature as any good scientist should be.  When I got to the part about teaching it to preschoolers, well, let’s just say I was bombarded by particles. But hear me out – it really DOES start with preschoolers!  And I can prove it! Penny Bauder, environmental scientist, teacher and mom of two, points out that “It is never too early to start STEM education, and an ideal way to teach STEM is to go out into nature!” Boston Children’s Museum, too, points out that children have a natural curiosity.  STEM is a great way to help 3-5 year-olds to focus and refine their naturally inquisitive behaviors. Linking it up to Summer Reading 2019! Even a pre-schooler can be a NASA citizen scientist!  Download and install the GLOBE Observer app…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Literacy Outreach with Local Head Start Centers

Early literacy workshops in our libraries are a great way to inform parents about the five early literacy practices and how to use them with children as they become ready readers, but what do we do about families with young children who do not typically come to the library?  How can we reach them? We go to where they are!

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, Oh My!: Making Social Media Work for You

We often think of using social media as a means to share book recommendations and details about upcoming programs/events. These are such natural extensions of library services, so if your system is using social media (hopefully they are), you’re probably already generating this type of content. But what do you do when your feed starts to feel like the same-old posts on repeat? And what less conventional uses of these tools could your library possibly benefit from?

Blogger Alexa Newman

Community Helper Storytime Series

Celebrating National Library Week 2019   This year’s National Library Week theme was Libraries = Strong Communities. As part of our celebrations my library hosted a week of Community Helper Storytimes. My coworker and I planned the five day event. We invited mystery guests to visit the library and read to the children each day of the week, Monday to Friday. Each day featured a different community helper. Our visitors were really varied from traveling animal ambassadors from the local petting zoo (and their zookeeper), a police officer, a dental hygienist, to firefighters and a ballerina. We contacted and scheduled them approximately two months in advance. Since we requested that they each read a book to the children, we pulled a selection of appropriate titles for them to choose between, and had those ready for their review two weeks before the storytime.   The traveling animal ambassadors program was structured…

Collaboration

Leaving Libraryland

Public Libraries are central to community development, especially when talking about building early literacy skills in children ages birth to five and empowering parents and caregivers to be their child’s first teacher – both inside and outside of our libraries. Of course, I do not need to convince the ALSC community of this – this is one of ALSC’s major tenets. With early childhood literacy being my passion and expertise, public libraries are a magical place to be. However, after over five years of working in youth services for public libraries, I left Libraryland in the fall of 2018 to join Too Small to Fail (TSTF), the national early brain and language development initiative of the Clinton Foundation. TSTF loves libraries, but it was not an easy decision to leave the comforting, picture book filled walls of the library community to see if the rest of the country knows that public libraries are irreplaceable when it comes to building…

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,…