Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Connecting Families to Resources

Libraries are no longer just hallowed halls of books and learning. They have adapted throughout time, always meeting the needs of the patrons and the greater community.  First, computers, then internet access.  Nowadays, it’s common practice for libraries to offer services such as homework help and career services, food programming with local food banks, and even resource closets with household supplies.  They partner with government agencies, local housing networks, and more. 

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

FamilySpace at the Library

Several years ago, before the COVID-19 outbreak, Invest in Children, a community wide public/private partnership administered by the Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood, and the United Way of Greater Cleveland came to the two largest library systems in Northeast Ohio (Cleveland Public Library (CPL) and Cuyahoga County Public Library (CCPL)—the largest suburban system for which I work) with an idea.  Although delayed thanks to the pandemic, the first FamilySpace location opened in September 2022 at CCPL’s Garfield Heights Branch, and three other locations (two in each system total) followed.  The response has been positive, to say the least.

Blogger Tess Prendergast

COVID Babies in the Library

In a Disability Scoop article about so-called “COVID-babies”, author Adam Clark explores various ways that the pandemic has affected children’s development. Clark begins with a vignette about a two-year old named Charlie who is in speech therapy to help him learn to speak more than one-word utterances. Nancy Polow, one of the speech-pathologists interviewed in the article, is quoted as saying “I have never seen such an influx of infants and toddlers unable to communicate. We call these children COVID babies.” The good news is that lots of the kids like Charlie who are now turning up at speech therapy centers quickly make strides. After reading this, I found some emerging evidence that being gestated during the early part of the pandemic is associated with some developmental lags. Babies born to two groups of mothers (those who were and those who were not infected with COVID during their pregnancies) were…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Serving Expectant Parents & Families with Newborns From Where We Are Today

It is important that expectant parents and those with newborns know they are welcome at the library, even as pandemic precautions persist. Luckily, there is someone there to help them – YOU! Acknowledging them with a simple “hello” can be a high point of their day, especially if they are feeling overwhelmed. A sympathetic “some days are like that!” may lower the pressure when they are dealing with a fussy child. Life in the library is beginning to look more familiar as things begin to “open up more.”.  There are still precautions to take to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy until this pandemic is over. Keeping this is mind may have an impact on your library’s ability to do in-person programming and outreach for families with infants since they are at a higher risk. Programs may be offered as a series, once a month or quarterly. Keep your…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

English Learners Family Storytime

What do you do when your evening storytime is not drawing the crowd it used to? It might be time to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming and reevaluate. That’s exactly what we did at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library, and the outcome is our new English Learners Family Storytime! Our regular Tuesday evening storytime was a sight to behold, with great picture books, fun songs, and colorful flannel board stories and rhymes. However, attendance was dropping. We knew we wanted to reverse that trend, but how? From the start, we recognized that families are busy with other after-dinner activities. We also recognized that our library serves a diverse community with multi-generational families who speak English as a 2nd or 3rd language. Occasionally, these children and caregivers struggled to communicate their needs with us at the service desk, and we knew this was an audience we wanted to cultivate and better…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Gingerbread House Fun

I’m tired.  Actually, my feet are killing me.  But it was worth it. Last night (as of this writing), my library hosted 70 people in a holiday Gingerbread House decorating program.  Obviously, our customers were excited. A word of digression before I explain how we put on this fun—a concern about diversity. Our branch is in a very diverse area and, although the program had worked in the past, I was concerned.  While we avoided religious symbols, Frosty, Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the secular Christmas gang were represented in the candy used for decoration.  We did have blue and white frosting available if anyone wanted to make a Hanukkah-themed house.  Several members of our new-immigrant Southern Indian community did come and participate.  I would think hard about your community, as there are ways to do a fun “house” program that could be inclusive. We did a Halloween haunted…

ALA Annual 2018

Libraries Support Immigrant Families: News from #alaac18

On June 19, a “Resolution on Cessation of Family Separations for Refugees Arriving at the United States Borders” was shared on the REFORMA listserv with a call to “distribute far and wide to your divisions, round table, and other library boards” and to “get endorsements for the resolution.” The ALSC Board then reviewed and discussed the resolution on ALA Connect in the days leading up to the ALA Annual Conference. The resolution was entered into the consent agenda for ALSC Board I at ALA Annual, which took place today, Saturday, June 23. At that meeting, the ALSC Board endorsed the resolution, which has been amended and renamed “Resolution to Reunite Detained Migrant Children with their Parents.” The resolution is currently planned to go before Council, sponsored by the Committee on Library Advocacy, on Tuesday at ALA Annual in New Orleans. Because this is an evolving news item, the specifics of…