Recently I have been going through files that describe the work of Alice M. Jordan (1870-1960) the pioneering children’s librarian in the Boston Public Library. Among Miss Jordan’s accomplishments were the following: establishing children’s services in the BPL, creating the New England Round Table of Children’s Librarians, an early and still active professional organization, mentoring Bertha Mahony Miller (1882-1969), who founded the Horn Book Magazine and teaching at Simmons College. Her contemporaries were two other pioneers Anne Carroll Moore (1871-1961) at the New York Public Library and Caroline Hewins (1846-1926) at the Hartford Public Library in Connecticut.
Over the past five years, Too Small to Fail, the early childhood initiative of the Clinton Foundation, has been leading a partnership with the LaundryCares Foundation to transform laundromats across the country into playful, literacy-rich environments for children and families.
Escape rooms: they’re all the rage. You know you want to host one. Go on, do it. It’s not that hard. It’s time consuming, but will be one of the most fun and rewarding things you do in your library career. Luckily, I work with amazingly creative and hard-working people, so that made it a breeze.
We’ve got an obsession. Tablets to check-out and take home. Touchscreens. Toys that imitate cellphones. Early literacy stations. App collection development. TV-streaming services that bite more out of our budgets every year. You want to teach kids coding? You need $350.00 for a Lego Mindstorm and an iPad to download a free app. If you can’t afford that, no problem. Just buy and maintain 14 laptops.
In 2009-2010, I oversaw a regularly well-attended sensory storytime program in Matthews, NC and since have trained many library staff on this specialized library service. One theme that repeats for those who have initiated the program: a well-attended program is hit or miss.
Being chair of The Odyssey Award 2020 has been an “ear-opening” experience! Who knew that there were so many ways to download a book and listen – I am currently using 5 different apps for listening to publisher submissions, a CD player, my iPad, computer and Android Phone.
Baby Storytime at the library starts again in a matter of weeks, so it’s a good time to regroup by reflecting on past programs and Supercharging future program plans with interactive books and activities that support early literacy skills.
In June, the ALSC Collection Management Discussion Group met for a lively discussion in a basement conference room at ALA Annual 2019. We discussed everything from evaluating dyslexia-friendly fonts to conducting diversity audits, but one topic captured a lot of conversation time: how collection development specialists communicate with front line library staff.