Forming Partnerships for Library Advocacy

[Originally posted on mylibraryis.org/blog] I really just wanted to host the Skylab from the Peoria Riverfront Museum. That’s all. And how can you blame me? Have you seen it? It’s this giant inflatable dome and, once inside, it’s a planetarium. Anyway, it turns out, there’s a space requirement. And, at 25 by 25 feet, it’s not a small requirement for a rural library. Of course, I can’t meet that requirement, so I can’t host. And, somehow this comes up in conversation. “You know you can host events at the senior center, right?” This is, turns out, how the best partnerships are formed. After an initial meeting with the senior center and the preschool, the topic of intergenerational programming came up. The senior center was interested in reaching more people in the community and the preschool was interested in providing other opportunities for their children and families. They thought the library…


Storytime in the Pantry Garden

Once a month I visit our local food pantry, the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry,  to conduct storytime in the pantry’s amazing victory garden. The pantry is adjacent to a village park, and is a lovely outdoor setting for a children’s program.   I became aware of the garden in my role as a University of Illionis Master Gardener. Some of my colleagues were volunteering in the herb garden; another actually grew up on the property, it was her family’s farm. The park located next to the pantry grounds was the original site for my library’s annual storytelling festival. That was when I realized it would make a perfect setting for outdoor storytimes. The storytimes are fun: filled with songs, dancing, stories, and movement.  They are not revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, however the location is ripe for budding young volunteers. An unexpected, but wonderful, byproduct…

Blogger Emily Bayci

Library Cards Around the USA #librarylove

I love library cards. They may be one of my favorite aspects about libraries and that’s saying a lot. I appreciate the the fun designs, the smooth plastic-y feeling and everything that they represent: access, a right to read and a place to be. So, when I saw an idea rolling around Facebook about people collecting library cards for displays- I could not pass up the opportunity to start my own collection.


Three Principles for Intentional Movement in Storytime

The word “intentionality” has taken on greater meaning within the world of library service to the very young in recent years, following the publication of Project VIEWS2 and Supercharged Storytimes: An Early Literacy Planning and Assessment Guide.[1] Storytime presenters are thinking more about how they want to support early literacy development through their programming in the materials they select and-more crucially—the way that they use those materials and engage with children and families throughout the storytime experience. Another critical domain of school readiness, however, remains less well understood: physical development. Most storytimes in 2019 incorporate movement to some degree. However, that movement is typically used for the purpose of “getting the wiggles out” so that children are having fun and can become settled for the next reading or rhyming portion of the program. When we understand a few basic principles of physical development, we can begin to apply the same…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Getting the Picture: An Artistic Community Partnership

As a librarian who doesn’t work in a traditional library setting, I am always on the lookout for novel ways to bring books to unexpected places. Thanks to an all-hands-on-deck operation, we recently welcomed hundreds of children and families to connect with a children’s literacy-based art exhibition at a community hub that inspired many young readers to craft stories of their own. Here’s a look at who partnered in the effort, and some ideas about how you might seek these opportunities in your own community. First, it helps to have a sense of the place.  The Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) brings together more than a dozen non-profit partners that offer social and cultural programs to children and families living east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.  Within its three buildings — which sit on almost 17 acres that include a farm and playground — kids…

Blogger Alyson Feldman-Piltch

Reader’s Advisory Fun

  About a two months ago now, I left my job at the Boston Public Library and moved to Pennsylvania.  One of my favorite things to do while working at the BPL- and one of my favorite things about being a librarian, actually- was reader’s advisory.   When it comes to Reader’s Advisory (RA), I’m like a Dr. Seuss book.  I would do RA with a mouse, in a house, with a goat or on a boat.  I am grateful that it is one of those things that has always come naturally to me.  It’s also why I always loved purchasing books for my branches, because it allowed me to keep an eye out for books that could appeal to my most voracious, yet picky readers.