Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

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.

ALA Annual 2019

Cookies and Conversation: Early Childhood Programming

On Sunday, June 23 at ALA Annual, ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) hosted a Cookies and Conversation chat in the Networking Uncommons. The goal of this chat was to hear from children’s librarians across the country about what support they would like from ECPS in order to help ECPS plan their next project. We highlight a handful below, but check out the ALSC Connect page for the full set of topics covered.

Early Literacy

BIG Play = BIG Fun!

A firefighter, a chef, a magician, and two elephants are creating an elaborate, imaginary world in the dress-up tent. Engineers are building cardboard forts and testing the strength of their structures. An acrobat is crawling and peeking through a small tunnel. Three printmakers are working on a collaborative piece of rubber stamp art. And a pair of tiny zoo keepers are inspecting, touching, squeezing, (and maybe even chewing on) a variety of soft, stuffed animals. Where are all these little ones doing all these things all in one place? They are at their library’s Big Play Date, and they are loving it! Inspired by Brooklyn Public Library’s innovative idea, libraries all over the country are hosting Big Play Dates and growing community, providing big fun, supporting parental learning, and strengthening the brains of our youngest patrons in the process. Here at San Francisco Public Library (SFPL), we host what we…

ALA Annual 2018

STEM for Babies and Toddlers #ALAAC18

What is STEM… Some may think, STEM?!  for toddlers?!  for babies?!  Of course, we think of teaching and using STEM for kids in high school and even in first grade.  But, is it ever too early to start STEM?  I always knew STEM as “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math,” but two librarians from the Brooklyn Public Library, a librarian from the Everett Public Library, and Early Childhood Literacy Consultant and Expert Saroj Ghoting gave a more detailed definition.  The science portion is really a way of thinking, technology is a way of doing, engineering is a way of creating, and math is a way of measuring. Within this new context, it was easy to see that toddlers and babies naturally engage in STEM every day.  When they throw their full cereal bowl on the floor, they are practicing cause and effect and learning about gravity.  When playing with blocks, a…

Guest Blogger

Finding Time for Tummy Time

Photo of two babies

Visit our library on a Tummy Time evening and you’ll wonder if you are in a public library or if you wandered into a friendly, neighborhood playgroup. Strollers line the wall, diaper bags hang on coat hooks and moms and dads happily swap and share extra diapers, wipes and even backup onesies. Public libraries have been reinventing themselves for years, working hard to establish themselves as the “third place” between work and home. If community members had one additional place they could stop each day, would they pick their local library?

Blogger Eva Mitnick

Babies, books – the birth of a plan

We have a new City Librarian and, joy of joys, he cares deeply about school readiness and early literacy.  In fact, he stated in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday that he wants to offer a Books for Babies program here. Well, heck – you bet we can do that!  It’s a service offered by many libraries in all kinds of ways; a simple Google search brought up all kinds of nifty examples and models.  And it goes along perfectly with the Every Child Ready to Read 2 parent workshops and early literacy-rich storytimes we already provide. On to creating a plan.  Hmm, suddenly I’ve got dozens of questions.  Here are some of them: Do we use a ready-made kit or create our own?  Should there be just books and brochures – or should we add educational toys and other items as well? How do we get the books and whatnot…