Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Addressing Covid-19 Worries in the Back-to-School Season

I wrote this in quarantine. My toddler had a close contact exposure to Covid-19 in her daycare class and we kept the whole family home out of an abundance of caution. (Everyone is healthy.) It’s a situation many of our patrons and staff may face now that kids have returned to school or pre-school. The Delta variant put a different spin on the usual back-to-school and fall programming, with many libraries still only allowing outdoor or virtual programming. How can we support our patrons during this fraught back-to-school season? First, remember to take care of yourselves. Burnout, compassion fatigue, Covid fatigue—whatever you call it, it’s real. Try to take some time for yourself whether it’s a staycation, regular exercise, or enjoying a hobby. Next, understand the behaviors associated with stress and worry in your patrons. If folks share with you, validate their feelings. Fellow Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Early Childhood Program Plans for Fall 2021

Last week, I posted a link on ALA Connect to a very informal Google Forms survey to collect some data on plans for early childhood programming for this coming fall, and also shared it with heads of children’s departments here in Suffolk County, NY. So far 40 people have filled out the survey! Thank you all so much for providing this data, an overview of which I’ll be sharing in this post.   Concerns about what conditions we’ll be facing this coming fall are on everyone’s minds as we plan programs and services for the remainder of 2021. As of the time of this post, children under 12 are still not eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This, combined with concerns about the continuing spread of the Delta variant, has many library staff thinking about how to offer safe and engaging programs for our youngest patrons and families as we move…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Consider Stillness as a Librarian

When you are a super passionate, energetic, big idea thinker, and dreamer, you can be a complete asset to your place of employment. You dream big and come up with exciting services, beloved programs, and best of all- you have the zest to see them through! However, you can also be a scary nuisance to your institution and given advice like “your passion is unsustainable” or “work would be easier for you if you just came in, worked your hours, and left” because sometimes people who want to do more are scary… it means change!

Blogger Chelsey Roos

How Do You Choose Your Next Project?

How do you decide what programs and projects to bring to your library each year? For the last five years, I’ve had a lot of projects I’ve wanted to do “someday.” A tiny sampling from my giant list includes: A librarian get-together for all the area school library staff once a semester A toddler process art class Creative writing classes for elementary and middle schoolers A book club for our 1-3 graders A storytelling festival A monthly parenting seminar featuring local experts and resources A back-to-school night for area teachers to visit the library and pick up free books to build up their classroom libraries So, so much more Big Dreams, Little Programming Space All of these projects have remained dreams instead of realities, because no matter how hard I try, I can’t do everything (can you relate?). I work for a public, county library, at a busy branch where…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Zoom Storytime Catastrophes and Other Online Disasters

An incomplete list of things that have gone wrong in my Zoom storytimes: My internet went out I played a song too loudly on the ukulele, which led to Zoom automatically turning down my volume, which led to no one being able to hear me when I began to read the next book I completely forgot the chords to a song I have known for at least five years (see also: things that have gone wrong in my in-person storytimes) A child burst into tears over being muted after interrupting too many times A child drew all over the screen share when annotations were accidentally turned on A caregiver accidentally took over the screen-share (luckily only displaying emails and spreadsheets), while I went into a panic over getting control back We belatedly discovered our new event registration software allowed patrons to register for Zoom events with only a phone number,…

Blogger AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

The Ups and Downs of Transformation

I have always had the tendency to apply idioms and proverbial phrasing to the “bumps in the road” encountered while human-ing (I also make verbs out of lots of things).  It is one of the ways I’m able to persist in difficult times and have had to rely heavily on this during a year where words like “challenging,” “chaotic,” and “concerning” are all surface level descriptors of 2020, a truly transformative year.  Yes, I mean transformative.

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

How Would Beloved Children’s Characters Survive the Pandemic?

Picture Book Characters

Allow me some brevity to the seriousness of the current climate. If you can step out of the moment for some light-hearted fun, join me in guessing how beloved children’s picture book characters would be surviving the pandemic and 2020. Below are my guesses of the fates for 10 beloved picture book characters. Corduroy: From Corduroy: I think of all the characters, this bear is gonna be a-ok! He is used to spending his time alone, wandering around with little purpose, and looking for something that is outside and unattainable. I think we can all relate to those feelings. Peter: From The Snowy Day: Peter has become all about those daily walks! He is walking around his neighborhood, local parks, and getting those 20,000 steps in. He has developed some serious local guides and is maybe Mr. Neighborhood by now. Caterpillar: From The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Sorry, friend. But this…

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Trust in the Time of COVID

I’m lucky. In the midst of a pandemic, when almost all of the local schools are remote, and with all of the programs that I run for my urban public library system online, I have developed extra-strong partnerships with classroom teachers and school librarians. Some ask me to recommend resources for students. Some invite me to visit classes over Zoom. All eagerly share information about my numerous Zoom book clubs, maker programs, and author visits. As a children’s librarian in a public library, I have always worked closely with my school-based counterparts. But now that everything has moved online, I find my school-based colleagues’ seal of approval more crucial than ever.  Think about it: in the old days, families would wander into the library off the street. They would meet the librarians, see the environment, judge for themselves that the library was a safe space. They would pop in and…