Blogger Amy Steinbauer

The show must go on? Emergency Program Plans.

Emergency Plans? Stack of books, two black music notes, two multi colored puppets

Before the pandemic, my system would require every information person to be trained in story time, including managers. The reasoning was that in an emergency, anyone could cover the program, and we wouldn’t have to cancel. We also have Emergency Story Time kits at every branch with books reserved for programming, so they don’t circulate; CDs of classic kids songs, song cards, and miscellaneous items like puppets or scarves. Our big emergency story time kit is in a big container with a lid and usually located in the back of the workroom. A few years ago, we updated them to include a laminated list of tips, tricks, songs that everyone knows, etc. Another ALSC blogger, Angela Reynolds covered this topic in 2011. In this new phase of pandemic, and working from the perspective of a manager, I no longer see the absolute necessity in emergency program coverings. Most libraries seems…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Media Mentorship 

To use technology or not to use technology? I feel it is no longer a matter of “not” to use. The pandemic has shown us that technology is a part of everyone’s daily life, and we need to be there for our young patrons and their caregivers to guide them, just as we do when helping patrons find the right information and books. As with any media, we are here for our patrons to advise, program, and curate.   “student_ipad_school – 038” by flickingerbrad is licensed under CC BY 2.0.  Training takeaways Recently, I attended a virtual training session on Media Mentorship where youth librarians from Maryland and Indiana learned about the use of digital media and our roles as digital media mentors. Prior to the training, attendees read A Guide to Media Mentorship by Lisa Guernsey of New America. During the morning session, presenters examined the basics of media mentorship—old…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Simple Ways to Be More Inclusive of Autistic Families

Making your programs more inclusive of autistic families (and families with other sensory needs or disabilities) doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. There are small, simple changes that you can make in an hour or less today that will help autistic families feel welcome and supported at your library programs (not just storytime). Here are four ways to get started.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Why Do Kids Love Thrillers?

Thrillers have been surging again in YA literature for the last few years. The popularity of thrillers ebbs and flows in YA (raise your hand if you devoured I Know What You Did Last Summer in the 90’s like I did), but Kate McManus’ One of Us Is Lying brought this genre to the top again in a big way, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Thrillers are also a perennial favorite among the middle grade crowd. What’s the appeal behind this genre, and what can we offer young thrill-seekers?

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Family Hikes with the Simsbury Land Trust

This summer, the Simsbury Public Library, CT successfully facilitated a Family Hike in partnership with the Simsbury Land Trust. Here’s how we did it, and why we think you should consider planning a family hike too.   Health and wellness programs are always a good idea and outdoor programming has exploded in popularity since the pandemic. After 2+ years, we’ve fully mastered outdoor storytimes, outdoor music and movement, and outdoor art programs, but a hiking program was something relatively new to us. Simsbury, CT has an abundance of beautiful natural places, parks, and trails, but some are more visible and well-known than others. Enter the Simsbury Land Trust. We are fortunate that the Land Trust in our community is an active and thriving organization. Founded in 1976, the Simsbury Land Trust is a federally-recognized, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Governed by a volunteer board of trustees elected by the membership, the Simsbury…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Introducing Dungeons and Dragons to School-Aged Children

“You wake up groggy for your turn at watch. The dream you had before you woke still plays within your mind. You can hear the rustling of leaves off to your left– it’s probably just a small animal hunting for food. Suddenly, the sounds of the forest around you go silent, unnaturally silent. You stand up to take a closer look when you hear it, the soft flapping of large wings getting closer and closer and closer. What do you do?” At this point, the player has to make a decision. They could ignore the sound of wings coming closer, they could wake up a friend and see if they hear the same thing, or they could even go investigate alone. (Or they could come up with some off the wall thing to do that completely surprises the Dungeon Master, you never know with kids.) The player makes their decision…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Program in a Post: Dot Art

With this post and around $20-$50, you can take a super simple art activity to any outreach location.   Supplies:  Dot markers/bingo daubers  Stencils (optional)  Markers (optional)  Paper  Set up: Similar to Art Links, Squart, Art on the Spot, and Cotton Swab Pointillism, this is a perfect outreach activity. Throw your supplies into a small tote and off you go. Find a table somewhere (park, school, etc.), set out your supplies, and make a few samples. We love to take this one out on the ArtCart with a tray for the stencils & markers.   Program prep: Just gather your supplies. Go and make some dots! 

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

New Americans Toolkit: Intentional Programming

Kids playing with play dough on the floor

The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee have created a vibrant, dynamic toolkit for working with new Americans. We have released this toolkit in three parts, Professional and Community Resources, Recommended Read-alouds, and this final installment focused on Intentional Programming.  The focus of this toolkit is on serving children and their caregivers who are new to America. There are approximately 44 million people living in America who were born in different countries. People identifying as new Americans may fall into many categories, some of which may be: refugee, asylum seekers, migrants, or immigrants. As our understanding of different needs increases, libraries are recognizing an important role in supporting new American communities. These supports may include specialized resources, adapted programming, and community partnerships to support children and their caregivers.  Toolkit Preview What you will find in this new release: Materials for the Children’s Room including posters and toys…