Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Play With Babies in Library Spaces

Play is quite possibly my favorite of the five Early Literacy Practices. Not only because it has the boundless freedom to surprise and delight, but also because it naturally incorporates the other 4 practices – talk, sing, read, and write. When you play, especially with a playmate, talk is a natural part of the fun. If you’re anything like me, you also often make up songs about what you’re doing. Playing games such as I spy or tic-tac-toe incorporate reading and writing. There is just so much possibility with play, and I find that endlessly exciting.

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Bringing Back Play

This past month, my library system has allowed certain toys (plastic, easily washed) to come back on the floor and to be used in programming, with daily (or more) cleaning. Parents and children alike are delighted, and library staff rejoiced that our baby playtimes can return.  Several branches are designated Family Place Libraries, and we had been holding socially distanced “play” programs that aimed to give parents tools to guide their children in play, but which were certainly not as robust and developmentally appropriate as a full playtime.

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Our Kids Learning from Play

 One of the key tenets of Early Literacy is play. Play is an integral part in a child’s development. Play allows children to use their creativity to decipher  the world around them and build critical thinking and problem solving skills.  As librarians and educators, we use play in various programs to engage children in learning and reading. Play is how kids learn! But research tells us that it isn’t just physical play that is important to learning. Play also includes digital play, creative play, and playing with language through music and movement.   Digital play has become just as important as physical play. Kids retrieve information from the internet  as well as from books. This is true now more than ever before. In Research in Brief: Digital Play in Early Childhood Education: Supporting Children’s Relational Information Literacy research conducted by Theobald et. al. observed how digital play helped foster children’s…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Play Areas in Libraries

Indoor Playground? Early Learning Area? Playland? Seventh Circle of the Underworld?     Play areas for the youngest library patrons are most common in public libraries, although some school libraries have them as well. They range from the simple: an area rug with a train table or puppet theater and some puzzles; to the elaborate:  dedicated themed spaces, with corporate sponsors, that are changed out on a quarterly basis. With our recently completed remodel and expansion my library created a new, dedicated, larger space for creative play. It has quickly become one of the most popular spots in the library. There are busy times where we have upwards of 40 people (children and caregivers) in the space at once. Mornings are usually the most hectic. It can be quite lively at times. (Okay, maybe raucous is a more accurate descriptor.) Located in the youth services department, it offers an engaging,…

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…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Playtime!

‘Tis the season that many of our young patrons open gifts…including lots of toys. So, when brainstorming for a topic, the importance of “play” seemed appropriate. I have always loved PLAY. One of my earliest memories is walking around the corner Christmas morning when I was three years old and seeing the 1980s version of the Barbie Dream House. I played with that for 9 years. My dolls had three generations of storylines that I played and edited (in the hopes of reaching perfection) time and time again. To this day, my best friend claims that I am the one having the most fun when I play with her kids. However, my interactions with caregivers and children at the library show that love of play is certainly not universal.  For example, I had a long conversation with a child care provider who lamented that when she brings her charges to a…

ALA Annual 2016

Preparing for the 2016 ALSC President’s Program

Environments are imbued with ideals and beliefs about the core values of their institutions.  As public libraries move to a more patron-centered approach, library settings become less formal and more available for collaborative and creative practices.  This year, ALSC President Andrew Medlar will share his vision for active and child-centered learning spaces throughout American Libraries at his Charlemae Rollins President’s Program:  Libraries: The Space to Be.  Chicago Public Library is the home of Charlemae Rollins, and here at CPL, we see it as our role to enliven the spaces in our children’s rooms in order to encourage and promote what Fred Rogers called “the work of childhood” play-based learning. By creating meaningful and child-friendly spaces, we serve children and their families more deeply.  It is our goal to create active learning spaces that are a meaningful educator for our children and our communities.  Our libraries are considered pioneers in incorporating…