ALA Annual 2019

Cookies and Conversation: Early Childhood Programming

On Sunday, June 23 at ALA Annual, ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) hosted a Cookies and Conversation chat in the Networking Uncommons. The goal of this chat was to hear from children’s librarians across the country about what support they would like from ECPS in order to help ECPS plan their next project. We highlight a handful below, but check out the ALSC Connect page for the full set of topics covered.

Blogger Alexa Newman

Community Helper Storytime Series

Celebrating National Library Week 2019   This year’s National Library Week theme was Libraries = Strong Communities. As part of our celebrations my library hosted a week of Community Helper Storytimes. My coworker and I planned the five day event. We invited mystery guests to visit the library and read to the children each day of the week, Monday to Friday. Each day featured a different community helper. Our visitors were really varied from traveling animal ambassadors from the local petting zoo (and their zookeeper), a police officer, a dental hygienist, to firefighters and a ballerina. We contacted and scheduled them approximately two months in advance. Since we requested that they each read a book to the children, we pulled a selection of appropriate titles for them to choose between, and had those ready for their review two weeks before the storytime.   The traveling animal ambassadors program was structured…

Blogger Katie Salo

Stretchy Band in Storytime

A blue patterned drawstring bag with a large multi-color fabric band -- "stretchy band" -- on a wooden desk.

Today’s installment of storytime props is the stretchy band in storytime. (Previous posts: Instruments in Storytime, Parachute in Storytime, Scarves in Storytime, and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) I’d like to introduce you to my newest music and movement prop: the stretchy band! What *is* a stretchy band? The easiest comparison is a really big hair scrunchie. It’s a fabric band with tubing on the inside that works like a rubber band. It’s a great tool for music and movement classes, as well as a sensory storytime. How do you take the stretchy band out? I have the kiddos and caregivers sit or stand in a circle and I pass out parts of the stretchy band from the center. This also works well for collecting the band. The great thing about the stretchy band is that it’s easier to clean up than a parachute. Comfortably, about thirty toddler/preschool children can use…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Story Time Deep Dive at #alamw19

I have been lucky to connect with the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk) at past conferences, and she has been gracious to host some story time deep dives, at the Networking Uncommons, where attendees can come and chat about story time and youth services and brainstorm answers! If you are unfamiliar with Networking Uncommons it is a free space like a makeshift empty meeting room with tables and chairs to have informal meetups or just hang and chat. There are some art supplies and button makers if you feel the need to do some crafting! See my awesome coloring page from the Office of Intellectual Freedom that I started during this meetup! This year, the spot is super hard to find– across the street from the convention center and away from all the action of midwinter. But, we were joined by one other children’s librarian, and for 2 hours we…

Blogger Katie Salo

Instruments in Storytime

Instruments are pictured on a purple rug. They include two small hand drums, rhythm sticks, hand bells, Boomwhackers, hand shakers, and a xylophone.

Today’s installment of storytime props is instruments in storytime. (Previous posts: Parachute in Storytime, Scarves in Storytime, and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) Instruments are such a fun topic, with a huge array of different kinds of instruments; I could spend all day writing about them. But let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start… (Kudos to anyone now singing “Do, Re, Mi” from The Sound of Music. What instruments do you have at the library? Mostly percussion instruments: gathering drums, sound drums, rhythm sticks, bells, Boomwhackers, hand shakers (including egg shakers and maracas), and some miscellaneous (xylophone, two sets of finger cymbals, sandpaper blocks, tambourines). How do you take instruments out? The same way that I do egg shakers; the instruments are always in a container and I pass them out one by one. How do you store the instruments?: In plastic bins or fabric bins,…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Enhancing the Mind-Body Connection in Your Storytime

Long stretches of sitting can leave grown-ups stiff and little ones antsy.  Since exercise is known to boost children’s cognitive performance as well as stimulate their brain growth (Dewar 2015), why not incorporate some gentle movement into your next story break?  Tai chi, yoga, and your own creative take on physical expression can build the mind-body connection, and successful partnerships between multi-hyphenate authors, elementary educators, a public library, and a local nonprofit offer a roadmap for recreating a movement-filled storytime in your own space. If this is your first time incorporating movement into your classroom or library read-aloud, try starting with a book that will offer you and the children some basic guidance.  When an opportunity arose to bring author Sylvia Liu to a classroom for a tai chi-based book presentation in the spring of 2017, children’s literacy nonprofit An Open Book Foundation (AOB), which brings authors, illustrators, and their…