Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Sailing Into Summer READing 2022

Raising a Sunken Ship Years and years ago when I was a wee volunteer at a public library in Central Florida, I was lucky enough to be a part of a crew that put on a puppet show by the name of “Foghorn Follies“. They brought me on board as a hand in the show. Little did I know, but one day, when I raised anchor and sailed off to become a librarian, I’d once more sound the foghorn and gather unsuspecting audiences for the corniest puppet show this side of the St. John’s River. But first, Atlantis! Years ago, like, 40 of them, there was a Six Flags Great Adventure park in Florida called “Atlantis”. It was here that the Kiddie Kingdom featured a King’s Sandbox and where the Foghorn Follies show was moored. While the show only lasted two seasons, a librarian fell in love with the show,…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Encouraging Guilt-Free Screen Time

I’ve heard plenty of parents express guilt over letting their children watch videos or play games on their phones – “I know I shouldn’t, but it’s just so I can get the dishes done.” It doesn’t help that it seems like recommendations are changing constantly and parents don’t always know where to look for the most up-to-date information. The last two years have been even harder – video chats and schooling have moved online and our children are getting more screen time than ever.

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee


It doesn’t take a librarian to notice the surge in news stories about book challenges in public and school libraries, disputed materials vanishing from shelves and librarians getting fired. The stories are everywhere, but are you ready if this happens to you?  Let’s flip a popular catchphrase to show that “sometimes the best offense is a good defense.”

Blogger Kary Henry

Dig It! Homeschool & Archaeology

The ALSC blog has a category of posts labeled “Children’s Librarians Are Experts.” This label recognizes the many and diverse talents of children’s librarians. I employed a version of this when I asked my talented and awesome colleague, Cristina, to run archaeology programs for our homeschool students. The homeschool students absolutely loved getting to learn from a real archaeologist. Cristina loved leading a program about a passion of hers. And I loved not having to lead a program getting to watch a colleague shine!


Bringing back toys

During my 28-year career in public libraries, I have seen children’s spaces evolve from no toys whatsoever, to some puzzles and games, to a full array of materials that promote creative and interactive play. We all know that play is the work of childhood (thank you, Mr. Rogers!) and the numerous benefits of toy-based learning: cause and effect, problem solving, imagination, fine and gross motor skill development, and creativity. Vital social emotional skills – sharing, communication, compromising, and making new friends – are also cultivated. Just as story times and early literacy programming inspire a love of reading, toys inspire a love of learning. As our libraries gradually resume pre-pandemic services, it is a delight to see the return of toys in children’s spaces. Larger furnishings such as drawing/writing stations, kitchens, puppet theaters, dollhouses, train and LEGO tables are moving back in. Free play vehicles, blocks, multi-cultural dolls, and puzzles…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Collaboration and Equity for Summer Programs: A Recap of a #PLA2022 Preconference

The PLA conference was over a month ago, but I’m still unpacking the preconference I attended. “Best Practices for Summer Learning Based on Racial Equity” was a half day workshop presented by Christy Estrovitz from the San Francisco Public Library, Sheryl Evans Davis from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Christi Farrah from the Massachusetts Library System, and Elizabeth McChesney from the National Summer Learning Association.  The workshop revolved around the 2021 “Everybody Reads” summer program sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library along with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Like everyone else, the Library had to think fast about how to offer a summer reading program during the pandemic. The program consisted of a kit that included a 38 page full color booklet that featured eleven books for a variety of ages. Each book is a positive portrayal of an underrepresented community. The booklet includes activities to go along…

Administrative and Management Skills

Digital Media Resources updated for 2022

Hello Friends! We have some exciting news to share. The ALSC Digital Media Resources page has been updated. This list, created and updated annually by the ALSC Children and Technology Committee, curates current digital and tech articles, blog posts, and websites impacting the youth services field. This year we’ve added some new categories–media mentorship and podcast advisory–and updated recommendations on the familiar topics of children’s eBooks and apps, early learning, and research. Each section’s resources are selected with focused attention on the interactions of children and technology.