Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Librarians visiting WIC Centers

Here at the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), librarians from our nineteen branches make monthly visits to the county’s seven Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Centers. The goal is to let the families know about all the services and programs the library has to offer.  In addition, BCPL placed Early Literacy Centers in each location which contain library books and educational toys. During the visit, librarians read to children, modeling literacy behaviors and talk to families about the benefits of reading to children, the families are also able take a free book home to keep. The Early Literacy Centers are child friendly, with colorful rugs, child-sized tables and chairs, library books, as well as educational toys promoting Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play.  Which organization(s) do you partner with to make this program possible? Has this program led to any new partnerships? Our Youth Family Engagement (YFE) Department partnered with our local…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Día! El día de los niños – El día de los libros – Children’s Book Day

selection of books celebrating diversity

Día! is upon us! So, you’re reading this and thinking OMG, this is not so LOL when Día! is upon us!  Don’t panic!  There’s still time left to make this a meaningful Día!   Sure, you may have somehow missed out on REFORMA’s March 31st deadline for applying for its Día! grants, but with a little planning, and some great resources, you can do this! Do YOU Día? But, I hear you say, Jonathan, I’m not Hispanic and I don’t speak Spanish above the “hola me llamo [insert name]” level.  Let’s review what Día is all about! El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of ALL linguistic and cultural backgrounds.  Thus, you see that it’s not just about Spanish speakers.  Indeed, I…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

All Are Welcome Here: Celebrating Global Diversity and Getting Involved with ALSC

All are welcome here! I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase before. We seem to be using it more and more in an attempt to indicate that our library spaces are inclusive. Some recent children’s books proclaim “all are welcome here,” and feature a mosaic of diverse children and families. There is a song that goes one step further stating, “all are welcome here, as we are.” Lofty goals for any children’s librarian; but do we put those words into action in our services and programs? Do we REALLY mean that everyone is welcome as they are? Do we embrace one type of diversity in the library but overtly (or covertly) shun other types of diversity by using the excuse that X type of diversity cannot be understood by children or Y type of diversity is only in the name of being politically correct? In addition to thinking about welcoming all…

Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Welcome to CAL Rewind!

CAL Rewind, ALSC's Children & Libraries

CAL Rewind is a new, semi-regular blog post dedicated to sharing past articles from Children and Libraries: The Journal of ALSC (CAL). Articles presented in each Rewind are accessible to all online and chosen around a theme or article type. CAL content is diverse, from academic pieces and interviews, to columns written by ALSC committees and reports from Bechtel Award winners about their experience at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature. CAL Rewind will showcase the journal’s range of content, revisiting past stories that present valuable research, enlightening conversations with children’s book creators, innovative programming ideas, and more. And, speaking of programming ideas! The articles below, picked for our inaugural CAL Rewind, provide the ins and outs of some truly engaging programs and activities that nurture creativity and curiosity in young people. Innovative Library Programs Theater Camp Exit Stage Left: Bringing out the Bard at Library Drama Camp by…

Blogger Katie Salo

Stretchy Band in Storytime

A blue patterned drawstring bag with a large multi-color fabric band -- "stretchy band" -- on a wooden desk.

Today’s installment of storytime props is the stretchy band in storytime. (Previous posts: Instruments in Storytime, Parachute in Storytime, Scarves in Storytime, and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) I’d like to introduce you to my newest music and movement prop: the stretchy band! What *is* a stretchy band? The easiest comparison is a really big hair scrunchie. It’s a fabric band with tubing on the inside that works like a rubber band. It’s a great tool for music and movement classes, as well as a sensory storytime. How do you take the stretchy band out? I have the kiddos and caregivers sit or stand in a circle and I pass out parts of the stretchy band from the center. This also works well for collecting the band. The great thing about the stretchy band is that it’s easier to clean up than a parachute. Comfortably, about thirty toddler/preschool children can use…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Process Art

You don’t have to be artistic or crafty to do art programs at your branch! As a kid, I hated (really hated) art class, easily frustrated when my creations didn’t live up to my standards. Early in my library career, I started doing art programs simply because the kids loved the programs and caregivers expected them. Doing specific types of programs because your patrons enjoy them is a totally valid motivation. Like nearly everything in life, I’ve gotten more confident with practice and experience. But I’ve grown to truly love art programming – and it’s not because I’ve become a more skilled artist or gone through a creative growth spurt.   The key shift for me has been embracing process art rather than crafts.       Crafts are product-oriented, with detailed step-by-step instructions. There might be some variation, but the end results look very similar. Process art emphasizes the…