Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Brain Exhausted? Streaming Media to the Rescue!

While I am not having quite as much difficulty concentrating as I did early on in the pandemic, delving deep into research articles has not gotten any easier. As part of my work on the Early and Family Literacy Committee, I have Google Scholar alerts for articles on the topics “early literacy” and “family literacy”. I receive a digest semi-weekly and skim through looking for articles relevant to our charge.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You STILL Can’t Beat Free

You STILL Can’t Beat FREE We live in an age of what economists call “perfect information“. This of course does not mean that the information we get is perfect, Instead, it means no hidden information. Perfect information more precisely means we all have access to instant information, understand its use as well as its plusses and minuses. But we also experience information overload, which is where we come in. And I’m here to help make your lives a wee bit easier, by finding all the free stuff! Ideas, downloads, and a touch of fun. I hope you enjoy and utilize these resources. And of course, I hope you enjoy all the fun stuff, too! Programming Ideas You Can Do! I will come over to your library if you say you can’t do any number of these…well…if you cover my expenses! ; )) When I was an Art major, we were…

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Children with Print Disabilities

Introduction The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee is devoting the 2020-2021 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  Each toolkit page will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families.  As dynamic documents, these pages will continue to grow and develop as we find new resources, share our experiences, and continue to learn.  Population This month, our focus is on serving children with print disabilities.  According to Maine – Accessible Educational Materials, “A student with a print disability is one who is unable to gain information from printed materials at an anticipated level for their grade, and needs alternative access or an accessible format (i.e., Braille, Large Print, Audio, Digital text) to gain information from and use those materials. Print disabilities commonly affect students with blindness, visual impairments,…

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Glimmers of Hope: Sidewalk Stories

Hope! I can feel it in the air! Spring is upon us, COVID numbers are down, vaccinations are rising, and we here in California are moving down the color tiers of restrictions. We moved from the unrelenting purple tier to red last week, and more and more places are opening their doors to the public for the first time in a year! We are gearing up for our own rapidly approaching re-opening date at my library. Our doors are still closed to the public at the time of this writing. We have, however, started to do some outdoor programs, most notably Sidewalk Stories! The name is the program’s descriptor. We plunk down hula hoops at socially distanced intervals, crank up the sound system, make a little barrier, and away we go! We’ve completed three weeks of stories so far. I’ve learned a few things that I wanted to share in…

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Pet Show & Tell!

I know I speak for many when I say that one pain point of the pandemic is missing interactions with kids. Prior to March, 2020, my Kids & Families core service team made monthly story time visits to preschools, Head Starts, and childcare classrooms. In previous summers, we brought our summer reading program to summer schools, school-aged enrichment programs, and camps. Needless to say, all of that was cancelled. Pivot was the operative word, as we moved to virtual story times, online book clubs, and virtual Crafternoons. From there, more creative ideas developed to engage with kids. Monthly virtual Pet Show & Tell launched during winter break, with staff-hosted 45-minute Zoom sessions: All About Dogs, Crazy for Cats, and Share Your Stuffies. Starting with a pet-themed story, kids then were invited to take turns sharing their pets, with guided questions such as:• What does your pet like to do?• What…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Where are you at now?

It’s been a year and change since the pandemic upended our lives and changed how we worked in our buildings, how we performed our story times, how we handled materials, and so much more. In a year, so much has changed and so much more remains unseen. I don’t know about your region, but with spring in the air and vaccine eligibility opening up, it seems like the whole world has reawakened from some drastically bad dream and is ready to begin again. In May of last year when my system started discussing reopening the buildings and resuming limited services at the branch, a few images started circling to facilitate staff talking about what their risks seemed to be, like this one: Most staff seemed to be in the lowest risk or moderate risk categories before we went back into the buildings. Once we resumed service in the branches, we…

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Getting it Right: the Importance of Names

In their recent book Your Name is a Song, author Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow and illustrator Luis Uribe tell the story of a young girl who is saddened by her teacher’s (and classmates’) inability to pronounce her name correctly. Eventually, the girl’s mother helps her to see the musicality in her and others’ names, empowering the girl to speak up and stand up for the beauty of her own name, but one does hope the teacher in the book will do things differently going forward to create a more inclusive classroom community. As adults working with children, we should not put the young people we work with in such uncomfortable situations. As a whole, the librarian and teacher professions are overwhelmingly white. And while we all agree that the children in our classrooms and programs deserve to be seen, heard and respected, we may spend more time worrying about curriculum, or finger…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Tips and Tricks for Those Dreaded Difficult Conversations

Being a manager can be rewarding in so many ways: you get the chance to set the tone of your department, greenlight exciting new programs and services, and hire and mentor wonderful staff. But, unfortunately, being a manager sometimes means having to initiate those conversations where you need to tell a staff member that there is a problem with their job performance. To help you make difficult conversations as painless and productive as possible, here are a few tips: Keep it private. Never discuss behavior or performance issues when others can overhear. Publicly criticizing or punishing a staff member is incredibly hurtful and embarrassing for them, and doing so can permanently damage your relationship with that individual, as well as with your entire team. Be prepared. These conversations are stressful for both parties and it can be easy to get sidetracked or overwhelmed. I’ve found it’s helpful to compile everything…