Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading Crunch Time Décor!

Summer Reading Crunch Time! By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what your SRP program for 2023 looks like. You’ve got your performers lined up, got your giveaway items and prizes. However, let’s say you are like me and are biting off that proverbial chew of decorating the children’s section. I am in the lucky position of having two whole small branch libraries that I get to help decorate for summer reading; that was sarcasm. That aside, it occurred to me to write a bit about the creative process. My painting students are frequently treated to it, so I thought of you, the audience at home. It’s Always a Process and Frequently Involves Cardboard This process gives a few options and rely on just a few factors. Here’s a flowchart for you to guide you! If you dawdle and or procrastinate, here is what your creative process…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Highly Recommended: Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong

I don’t need to tell you that it is a challenge to match a child with a book they will love on their reading “level”. I don’t need to tell you about the numerous conversations that I’ve had with adult caregivers reassuring them that their child can check out books above or below their reading “level”. Or that they can check out graphic novels or comic books or magazines and still get practice with reading. This practice is frustrating for librarian, child, and caregiver.   On the recommendation of an educator, my team recently listened to the Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong podcast by APM Reports. I was shocked to learn that the reading programs that have been just a nuisance to me, are actually harming children.   Essentially, a 60-year-old unscientific theory on how children learn to read has been turned into a multi-million dollar industry and it…

Blogger Tess Prendergast

Child development knowledge: What do we know?

We know that children’s librarians develop and deliver services that encourage and support children’s overall development. How do we learn how to do this well? New research about child development knowledge in our field I just read an article called “Child development knowledge among new children’s librarians in US public libraries” that was published in the Journal of Education for Library and Information Science written by Jennifer Rice Sullivan. Sullivan reports on a survey of 61 children’s librarians with MLIS degrees completed within the past five years. Participants responded to a series of questions about perceived knowledge across these six domains of child development: Language Cognition Gross motor Fine motor Emotional Social Most respondents reported having moderate to high levels of knowledge about these domains. Next, Sullivan asked more specific questions about participants’ knowledge of these topics. Behavior management Early literacy skills Object permanence Attachment Separation anxiety Self-regulation Executive functions…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Rock Your Next Interview!

Getting an interview for a position you are interested in is super exciting, but also can be pretty scary because many times you only have one chance to make a great impression. After 8 years of hiring for youth services positions at all levels, here are some of my tips for rocking your job interview. Be prepared to share your experience and successes. This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by the amount of candidates I’ve interviewed that struggled with effectively sharing their qualifications. Before the interview, review your resume and think about how your previous experience has prepared you to succeed at this position. What are the highlights you want to be sure you share? Are there any programs, partnerships, or initiatives you helped to develop, implement, or improve? If there are any specific qualifications or skills that this position calls for, like understanding childhood development,…

Administrative and Management Skills

Staying Out of Trouble

Whenever I look at something going bad, I ask:  Are there systems in place?  Are they up to date?  Are they implemented?  It all leads up to making decisions on high consequence, low probability events, or what many call high risk – low frequency. Think of your library.  Each library consists of a distinct set of offices, branches, departments, or at a minimum, colleagues each with set of things for which they are responsible.  Let’s just call them the things we do; each of us.  Your job is complex.  There may be hundreds or thousands of things you do that need to happen correctly so that your library, office, branch, or department can function; consistently delivering upon its mission.  Those things all have one singular goal; doing it right. In youth work, if you are going to recommend titles, you do it right.  If you are presenting a story time,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Virtual Summer Reading 2021

cartoon image of child with vr goggles on on a solar system background

Summer Reading Virtual Once More So, for most of us, summer reading 2021 will be virtual once more. For some, it meant outsourcing virtual programming, with others flipping coins to see who’d go in front of the green screen. But overall, this is the future of public library programming. Need some help? Read on, fellow green screeners! Best Practices Understand that best practices are still being established, and represents an evolving skillset.  We are understanding the platforms and their capabilities as we go along.  When it comes to producing content, though, many standard best practices for streaming and broadcast apply.  TWITCH  DISCORD  Appears to be a combo of equipment and broadcast practices broadly applicable to streaming in general: Streamer and moderator best practices Consistency with schedule Marketing and promo Equipment and software  It’s a communication tool, not a vault Organization is key Library specific recommendation is to connect with local servers to promote programs Don’t @everyone Keep posting,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Things on Sticks – Shadow Puppets You Can Do!

children performing shadow puppet show

No Excuses Honestly, there are no excuses for not being able to make a shadow puppet show. I’m not talking using your fingers to make that barking dog or your hands to make a butterfly. Shadow puppets are almost as easy to make, economical, easy to store, and frankly an art form in themselves. And thanks to the magic of internet and photocopiers, ANYONE can make these. Let’s dive in! What is a shadow puppet? A shadow puppet is any character, prop or background, made of almost any 2-D material that casts a shadow on another flat surface/curtain. It is a silhouette of a character, or object that helps you tell a story. Shadow puppets can be opaque, translucent, transparent, and include color. Any open areas “holes” or negative space as we say in the art world, allow light through. These areas can have color added with colored tissue paper,…