Blogger Ariel Barreras

ESL at Home: English Language Learner Family Literacy Kits

Like many communities across the country, my library’s community has a growing immigrant population, particularly families with young children. Immigrating to a new country comes with many challenges and libraries can be of service to this population through programming and collection development. To help this population, I have recently added ELL (English Language Learner) Family Literacy Kits to our children’s collection through the help of generous grant funding. This is a completely new program at my library and we are excited to see where it takes us! In this post, I will tell you about what is included in each kit and how this can serve immigrant families.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Celebrating Diwali with a STEAM Activity: Fostering Cultural Competency in Libraries

A photograph of the diya card fully decorated and with the LED lit.

As librarians, we strive to create inclusive spaces that celebrate diversity and promote cultural understanding. Diwali, also known as Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world. Typically lasting for five days, it is observed by Hindu, Sikh, Jain, and some Buddhist communities. Diwali is a time of joy, gratitude, and hope for millions of people. Embracing this multicultural event enhances our understanding of different traditions and creates a welcoming environment for families that celebrate Diwali. A fun and easy Diwali STEAM activity that you can do at your library is to create a paper circuit diya card. A diya is an oil lamp that is lit during the holiday to symbolize the triumph of good and light over evil and darkness.

Guest Blogger

From Frustrated to Delighted: Analog and STEM programming

old fashioned postcards scattered across the image. A postcard of the Empire State Building and a postcard of the Statue of Liberty are included. Used for STEM programming.

In 2015, I was working as a Children’s Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania). I had to produce and present a summer reading program with iPads for school age kids. This was part of a pilot program that summer to introduce children, especially inner city children, to iPads as a way to decrease the digital divide. STEM programming on an iPad? I had no idea what to do. I didn’t even own a smart phone!

Blogger Ariel Barreras

Early Literacy Program Ideas for Your Library!

Storytime is an essential part of children’s librarianship; it is the first time children are in a more “formal” environment to learn and develop school-readiness skills, and parents and caregivers learn more about early literacy skills. While we try to touch upon the five early literacy practices in our storytimes, there are other engaging early literacy programs that hit these skills! In this post, I will highlight some early literacy program ideas that you can create for your library. Playdough Playtime Who doesn’t love playdough? With this program, your patrons will be able to cover all five early literacy practices! The key to this program is having the right playdough mats for the children to work with. I have been conducting this program for over a year now and it continues to grow because it is fun and educational. Some playmats that I have provided include the alphabet, numbers, nursery…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Summer’s Over… Now What?!?:  Tips for Planning for a Year of Library Programming

As a school librarian member of ALSC, I have a programming hiatus thanks to our summer break.  I enjoy the break and time off to refresh and renew.  As the new school year approaches, though, I am beginning to look ahead to programming for this year.  This will be my sixth year in the library but only my second year as a full-time school librarian, and I know that thinking about a year of programming can be daunting.  So, for this ALSC SAPS blog, I thought I’d offer a few tips for my fellow librarians who are similarly in the planning stages for a year of programming! My first tip is for those of my fellow librarians who are also relatively new to this profession:  Remember that you don’t have to do it all all at once!   When I began work as a librarian, I had So. Many. Ideas! …