Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Singing Brings Connections

Before I was born, my mom was a kindergarten teacher. When I was young, I remember her waking me up most mornings by singing “Good morning to you… good morning to you. We’re all in our places with sunshiny faces. Good morning to you… good morning to you.”  When I started my career as a Children’s Librarian, I decided to begin each storytime with this same song. It gave me a sense of familiarity and comfort in those early days of nervous storytime presentations.  In the subsequent months I began to notice the audience swaying back and forth as I sang, and it was only then that I realized I swayed as I sang too. It was our shared ritual- the singing, the swaying, the pointing at our “sunshiny” cheeks. Something we all looked forward to each week. I remember parents telling me how their child would “play” storytime at…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2021 When COVID met Summer Slide

covid slide projections, reading decreases 32-37%

COVID Slide and Summer Slide Meet There are no definitives in this article. I’m sorry. Some split infinitives assuredly, though. So, 2020 and summer reading was new for us. Most of our library systems are going to continue circling the in-person programming wagons in 2021 in favor of going online. The system I work for, in fact, is purchasing online programming, which was actually pretty well received. But, as in the past, I wanna light a fire under you. You’ve already met summer slide. And we’re pretty sure there’s a COVID Slide. So, what happens when they start dating? What do their children look like? Wallflower No More I understand why you may have sidelined yourself last summer. It was chilly water. We stood back and watched, waited, hoped, and tried to remain optimistic. We waited largely to see what other systems would do. But we didn’t do much else….

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 Children and Technology Committee

Online Storytimes: Creation & Editing Tools

“Five little ducks went out one day…” There have been thousands of online storytimes produced in libraries across America since March of 2020. By now, you have most likely seen perky librarians singing Five Little Ducks more times than you can quack. When COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, librarians took storytime online. After our general election we find COVID-19 cases are still climbing; in consequence, storytime will continue to be presented virtually for some time.  Many excellent articles and blog posts can be found online that cover best practices for creating virtual storytime for caregivers and our littlest patrons. The ALSC Virtual Storytime Services Guide is an exhaustive resource on the topic which includes guidelines and links. More Than a Story: Engaging Young Learners Virtually (Children & Libraries, Fall 2020) gives librarians a concise instructional framework for planning virtual storytime. 5 Tips for Filming Virtual Storytime (ALSC Blog, June…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Libraries Make Communities More Resilient in Times of Adversity

In times of crisis, when budgets are tight, often public libraries are seen as expendable. While our advocates know the value of libraries, it can be hard to convey their importance as an essential service, especially to government officials who are not library users and only see libraries as repositories for things. However, libraries’ greatest strengths are in the connections we make with the people we serve. We are a critical part of the social infrastructure of our communities, and our role in this infrastructure helps our communities be more resilient through hardships and adversity. Social infrastructure is a term that refers to the spaces and organizations that support and grow social connections. These can be parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, schools, churches, daycares, and, of course, libraries – places where people can meet up with their friends and create new ones, learn, share ideas, and feel connected to their neighbors…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Online Storytimes: an interview about technology and connecting

From mid-March through July 2020, the Early Learning team of the Salt Lake County Library (18 branches)–Susan Spicer, EL Team Manager, and Tami Austin, EL Senior Librarian and certified Yoga instructor–lead a team of librarians that created 97 Facebook Live Storytimes, including 12 Bedtime Stories & Songs with special guests from museums and other community organizations and 18 Yoga Storytimes. They also offered weekly interactive virtual storytimes starting in June. I had the opportunity to interview these EL programming stars and ask them about the technology they used and how they faced the challenges of suddenly going online with their ages 0 to 5 programming. Interview start TB: So, what kind of equipment and recording devices have you been using and what seems to work the best? TA: Well, I cry a lot. Does that count? TB: Yes!

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

It’s Just Stories, Isn’t It?

At some point working in a children’s library setting, this may happen to you. Whether it’s the library board, the city council, an administrator, or even one of your customers, they will observe a story time program, be suitably impressed by your event, and ask quite innocently about what exactly you are doing. To the uninitiated, what happens in the room is fun and entertaining. A great place to be in and of itself, but we all know there is lot more to it. Admittedly, in one way or another, these questioners are the ones who pay for what we do, so this provides a great opportunity to inform and enlighten. It’s time to break out your best elevator speech that lends method to the madness. Here at the library, during our infant, toddler, and preschool programming we build a foundation so when young children are taught to read, they…