Children's Librarians are Experts

Children’s Librarians are Experts of Play

Carissa Christner is a Youth Services Librarian at Madison Public Library in Madison, Wisconsin. For the past three years, Carissa has championed play as an important part of early childhood. This past summer, I had the pleasure of working at her Wild Rumpus program which is the result of an ongoing partnership between Madison Public Library, Madison Parks Division, and Anji Play, an internationally-recognized approach to early learning. Three days a week a trailer full of blocks, ladders, climbing cubes, and other carefully selected open-ended play materials were unloaded at one of the three selected city parks and the Wild Rumpus would begin. With the help of other Library staff, graduate students and volunteers, Youth Services Librarians would spend three hours engaging with caregivers around the value of True Play. Caregivers were given opportunities to learn about giving their children room to explore and take risks, and how to talk together…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

StoryTown

An example of partnership as a librarian does storytime outreach

At Simsbury Public Library, CT we’re good at collaboration. We have an excellent record of building strong partnerships with local businesses, community organizations, schools, and other town departments. In fact, one of our strategic plan goals revolves around outreach, engaging the community beyond the library’s walls and increasing our number of off site library programs. We already have regularly scheduled outreach visits to daycares, pre-schools and schools in our area, and were looking for a new way to engage our youngest patrons, out in the community. StoryTown is a fall series of storytimes around Simsbury, CT designed to do just that.  It is an ideal way for patrons to meet us in different locations around town and learn a little more about our community in the process. Each of the six StoryTown programs will take place at a different location including: Peachwave (a local business, and sponsor of our Summer…

Commitment to Client Group

Stork Storytime Helps Libraries Help Families Deliver Literacy

Pregnant woman reading to her "bump"

When I was a new mom, I struggled to start and maintain a daily reading routine after bringing our first child home. I knew it was important to do, but adjusting to this new little person — and all the changes that came with him — made a daily routine more hope than reality. After I began my career in library land, I saw firsthand how critical developing a love of reading and becoming proficient in it was to a child’s future success, not only in school, but in life.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Serving Children in Crisis

Proactive Response In a recent NPR article, Vicky Smith of Kirkus Reviews pointed out that in the face of the global immigrant and refugee crisis, “It is a real desire on the part of authors, illustrators and publishers to respond to the crisis in a way that is proactive and helpful.”  In reality, the aim of youth services librarians is precisely the same. Our occupation combats and seeks to ameliorate illiteracy, and act as a social equalizer.  What is more, we seek to provide a proactive response to social issues in the only way we know how. If you find yourself confronted with the question of “why”, here’s your response, put best by Flying Eye Books (of Nobrow Press): “In the wake of the cruelties happening to immigrant children all over the globe, but most recently in the US with children coming across the Mexican border, many of us are shocked. The…

Blogger Katie Salo

Kindergarten Bootcamp

It’s the mid-point of summer reading and school supplies have started popping up in stores around us. Know what it’s time for? Kindergarten Bootcamp! Kindergarten Bootcamp is a four-day program designed to give entering kindergarteners the opportunity to experience a classroom setting and practice being a student before starting school. We review kindergarten concepts (alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes) while practicing social-emotional skills like sharing, lining up, transitioning, and group work. Quick Details The class is capped at twenty-five kids. Three staff members participate: one primary teacher, one music teacher, and one art teacher. Class runs from 9:30-11:00 a.m. so we do work on an abbreviated schedule. Caregivers do not stay with their child past drop-off. Set-Up I use our large meeting room and have two different areas set up: one group area and one station area. On days when I schedule art or music, those are held in our…

Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

Homemade Interactive Play Stations to Invite Imaginary Play

I recently attended a training given by two of my amazing co-workers about their fantastic homemade interaction play stations. Once I saw what Emily and Kelly had created, I was inspired to try it out at my branch and I knew I had to share their creativity with others! Emily & Kelly: We noticed in our interactions with children in both our storytimes and outreach visits that when we asked an open-ended question that required them to use their imaginations children would either not answer or respond with “I don’t know.” So we started looking for ways to introduce pretend play to spark their imaginations. We also wanted to demonstrate to parents the importance of pretend play and the ability to provide the same types of learning opportunities at home without having to invest in expensive toys.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children in Crisis: Literacy brings Hope

Supporting Detained Children It’s little wonder that on ALSC’s listserv that the topic of supporting children caught up in a web of immigration policy came up.  Frankly, it’s in the youth services librarian’s DNA.  We do all we can every day for every child who walks through our library’s doors.  And for those we encounter in our outreach efforts, we do that much more.  It is not an unreasonable leap that librarians nationwide would want to get library materials and services to detained children. Why Literacy Behind Bars is so Important Before we delve into efforts by REFORMA and other non-profits and NGOs, the question that you need to be ready for is simply “why?” If children are being detained, whatever the circumstance, literacy is integral – key – to their chances for success. Here’s your top-5 why’s and ALL of these are about kids right here: 2/3 of students…