Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Planning for SRP 2023 STEMming Summer Slide

Summer slide. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is still a thing. Ideally, addressing summer slide should be a part of your annual goals or tasks, much like summer reading or Banned Books Week. Even more ideal, if there is such a thing, is partnering with schools and other local agencies. First, though, as my old college professor used to say, we can’t discuss a topic without defining it first. So, here we go. What is summer slide and why should I care? Summer slide, and I think Colorado Dept of Education puts it best is: (T)he tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of theachievement gains they made during the previous school year. Why you should care Summer slide can affect almost any child. However, the children it impacts the most are the most socioeconomically disadvantaged. Here’s a thousand words…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Fostering the Growth of Executive Functioning Skills in Children

The term executive functioning refers to an important set of skills that allow people to successfully navigate life. These skills include the ability to plan, self-evaluate, self-control, retain information, manage time, and organize thoughts and information. According to a useful infographic published by Harvard, these abilities are not innate to anyone, but may be learned by nearly everyone. Children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old tend to develop these skills rather rapidly, and this development is significantly bolstered by early childhood education and care (ECEC).  An exploratory report was published in May of this year, examining the effect of ECEC on children’s executive functioning skills at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to these important skills, the study also examined the effect of this care on language, and the difference socioeconomic status may make on the development of vocabulary and executive functioning. The study looked…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

A Case for Ending Library Late Fees

Recently New York Public Libraries made national news when it announced that it would be ending late fees in their continued efforts to promote equality. Dayton Metro Library in Ohio, where I work, ended fines for overdue items on January 1, 2018. Within 6 months our system noted that while our revenue from fees and fines were lower as expected, the overall loss was worth it in light of improved patron interactions and increased access to materials for young patrons.

Blogger Liza Purdy

Do What You Do Best: Advice from a Child Welfare Expert

I’ve spent the last few months trying to educate myself on Childhood Trauma, ACES, and how to become a trauma informed library. The task is daunting! The learning curve is steep, the information is abundant and there are so many children in need of care. I was beginning to despair. Then an old friend of mine from high school (shout out to the Shaler Area Titans!), Dr. Lisa Schelbe posted her new book, The Handbook on Child Welfare Practice, on Facebook. Dr. Schelbe is an associate professor in the College of Social Work at Florida State University. Her areas of expertise are child welfare and child maltreatment prevention, among others. I knew I had a resource that could help me focus; she literally wrote the book on the subject! I reached out to Dr. Schelbe, and we had an amazing conversation about what practical steps we can take as children’s…

Blogger Liza Purdy

Trauma and Resilience in the Library

The last time I blogged here at ALSC, I started what I hope will become a series on Childhood Trauma, abuse, neglect, ACES. It is hard stuff to hear. Since writing that first blog post, I’ve taken part in training for mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect in the state of California, which further deepened my commitment to doing whatever I can to raise awareness in libraries of this painful and pervasive issue. I have read two good articles in the past month on Childhood Trauma: A Child Trends article on implementing trauma-informed care to  build resilience, and a Harvard University Center on the Developing Child article also on resilience. The Child Trends article defines resilience as “positive child outcomes despite exposure to trauma, prevention of trauma recurrence despite high risk for further exposure, or avoidance of traumatic experiences altogether in the face of significant risk.” (Bartlett, 2019). In…

Blogger Liza Purdy

The Trauma Informed Library

A month or so ago, I watched a terrific documentary on Amazon Prime called Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, based on a book by the same name written by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn. The movie depicts the precarious state of Kristoff’s hometown, Yamhill, OR. The town has been devastated by economic hardships, the opioid crisis, and poor life expectancy in the past few decades. Kristoff checks in with some of his classmates who have faired far worse than he in the intervening years. I was fascinated by the documentary. I was particularly riveted by a segment regarding Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs. I had never heard of ACEs, but I believe that they are incredibly relevant to the role of the Children’s Librarian. Kristoff interviewed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General, and founder of the Center for Youth Wellness, which is a “national leader in the effort to…