Passive Programming Builds Community

Winter and spring breaks are coming up, which means our libraries might be more crowded than usual! This is a great time to engage library users, but can also be a bit stressful when trying to manage many age groups simultaneously. Your regularly scheduled toddler storytime now might include older siblings attending, and your children’s section might be filled much earlier than usual. So, how do you balance all of your patrons’ needs simultaneously? Passive programming! But, passive programming is so much more than a tool to help you multitask; it helps build community.

Virtual TBR: Books to Look for in 2020

The Youth Media Awards may have only been announced two days ago – and what incredible choices those committees made – but I’m already looking forward to tracking down the next best books of the year. With that in mind, I spent pretty much my entire time at Midwinter touring the Exhibit hall, chatting up vendors, and asking for book recommendations. Here are just ten of the titles for kids currently on my TBR pile:

What I learned from my #alaleftbehind adventure #alamw20

Live blogging from a conference when you’re not actually there is not as crazy as it seems- thanks to the Internet of course! Again and again I wonder how “they” ever did it anything my BFF the internet! Here are five fun things I’ve learned while NOT attending a conference: Graphic Novels are taking over the world. The fact that a graphic novel won the Odyssey (Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka) and the Newbery (Jerry Craft’s New Kid) and a Printz Honor (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Meby Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell)is so unprecedentedly awesome. Hopefully this can show to all the teachers, educators, students (myself) out there that graphic novels are REAL literature with so, so many benefits! It is important to think critically. Yes, my favorite song of all-time is EVERYTHING IS AWESOME but I need to remember it might not always be awesome! #critlib is the latest…

#alamw20 – where to go from here?

This was my second ALA Midwinter, and the first one I’ve been to since 2017. I didn’t get to the YMAs this year, but am THRILLED that the Newbery went to Jerry Craft’s graphic novel, New Kid. (Thanks to everyone posting the YMAs as they were announced, too – I was refreshing my Twitter and Instagram feeds like a woman possessed this morning!) It was exciting to be back at Midwinter. There’s an energy at this show you just can’t describe, you need to feel. I got to spend some time with my ALSC mentee, Samantha; even though we didn’t get a chance to write that joint blog post at MW, maybe there’s another one in the making soon! I got to attend my first committee meeting; got to see publisher and librarian folks I normally only get to chat with online; and brought home SO MANY BOOKS. Seriously, SO…

A Book is a Bridge

Recognizing that prison populations include parents, libraries have expanded their partnerships beyond services such as book delivery and discussion groups. New York Public Library and The Free Library of Philadelphia, for example, offer spaces with children’s books and toys for live video visitation. Hennepin County Library and Seattle Public Library have programs called Read to Me that include recording incarcerated parents reading.   Over a decade ago at Multnomah County Library (MCL) in Portland, OR, staff members from adult and youth outreach presented three-part classes that included recording and sharing DVDs of inmates reading aloud that could be given to their families. It was well received but lacked consistent attendance, was logistically difficult, and subsequently ended. Conversations continued about the need for early literacy education for incarcerated parents (including those expecting), grandparents, aunts, uncles–anyone who may be a primary caregiver of children 0-5 years when released. Library outreach staff considered…

Incorporating Intellectual Freedom into Programming: Storytime

The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee continues a series of blog posts on incorporating intellectual freedom and information literacy into cornerstone, everyday library programs. These techniques enrich the work you already do as a librarian without disrupting your programming routine. For this post, we’ll focus on tips for including intellectual freedom concepts into storytimes for children ages 3 – 5.