Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing & Playing with Technology

“We all have only one life to live on earth. And through television, we have the choice of encouraging others to demean this life or to cherish it in creative, imaginative ways.”                                                                                                   Fred Rogers When Mr. Rogers looked at the new medium of television in the 1950s, he saw nothing of value for children. But instead of writing it off, he saw the potential of the new medium to reach children and crafted an entirely new approach and way of using television. That is the model that I look to in using technology with children. Do you approach new media with fear or look for the potential, for “creative, imaginative ways” that enrich life? Many librarians are familiar with and emphasize the five practices of ECRR2 (Every Child Ready to Read 2) in library programs. Can we highlight these practices with intentional use of…

Singing in the Bathroom!

Of course we are all rock stars in our own bathrooms, but what about at the Library! I can’t think of a better place to encourage customers to sing than in the bathroom!  Just simply post the words to songs and nursery rhymes with a few eye catching photos on the back of stall doors, next to Changing Stations, on the bathroom mirrors and next to the sink. We use a hand washing song in the Children’s room bathroom to encourage children to wash their hands well and get them to sing! We also have Nursery Rhymes by all the changing stations to encourage parents to sing with their babies while in the bathroom. What songs can you think of to put in your libraries bathrooms?

Should Libraries be Quiet?

For years, debates have raged over the appropriate volume levels in libraries. Should they maintain a serene quiet, with librarians ready to shush any loud disruptions? Perhaps there could be designated quiet zones for those seeking focused study, while allowing for a slightly livelier atmosphere in areas designated for children. The time of librarians expecting hushed whispers from children as they browse the stacks seems to have passed.

Rocking the How-To Stage at #PLA2024

By my final day at this year’s Public Library Association conference, I had somehow not made it over to the how-to stage, so I was grateful when I checked in for its closing session, called “How to infuse musical magic into your storytime: learn an easy ukulele song.” I’m a children’s librarian who offers storytimes but I’ve never really felt comfortable with an instrument, let alone playing one in front of my storytime families.  This is where the format of the how-to stage is genius.  Imagine a tiny TED talk: a few rows of chairs and some informal standing tables surround a small stage.  The presenter only has 20 minutes to introduce a topic and send their audience home with practical skills we can immediately apply.  The idea that I could get through all my musical jitters and learn an instrument in two-thirds of my typical lunch break?  Sign me…

2024 Notable Children’s Recordings list

The Notable Children’s Recordings list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways. Here is the complete list of the Notable Children’s Recordings for 2024. The Notable Children’s Recordings list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways. Here is the complete list of the Notable Children’s Recordings for 2024.

Every Child Ready to Read and the Science of Reading

The “Science of Reading,” a phonics based approach to teaching reading based on cognitive science has become the latest buzzword in literacy instruction. The “Science of Reading” refers to over 50 years of interdisciplinary research supporting what works best in reading instruction. It’s most helpful in assessing how children learn to read and write, why some have difficulty, and how to intervene. The theories, studies, and frameworks within the SOR can provide a basis for reading instruction, but it is not a curriculum or a reading program. As the name suggests, it is science and it will evolve as research unfolds.

Baby Storytime Songs

Baby storytime is my FAVORITE! Baby storytime songs have been on my mind lately because storytimes just started up again for the season. Generally, I stick to a few favorite songs because repetition is so important for the littles. Repetition also helps the adults learn the songs and they are more likely to join in if they know the songs well. Occasionally, I add a new song if there is a fun theme for the week. Songs can create a structure in storytime which helps them know what to expect. Having a starting song or two and a few songs in between books is a great place to start. Singing is also one of the five early literacy practices! It helps slow down language and often has different notes for each syllable. I think songs are just as important as books in storytime, especially for babies and toddlers.