Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Embracing Diversity During Autism Acceptance Month

Happy Autism Acceptance Month! When you think of an autistic person*, who are you envisioning? Maybe Sheldon from Big Bang Theory? Or Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man? In popular culture, we tend to have a stereotype about who is autistic. That person is usually white, male, heterosexual, and cis-sexual, but in reality, the autistic community is incredibly diverse! Take the time this Autism Acceptance Month and update your recommended reading lists, your displays, and your storytime selections to reflect all kinds of autistic experiences.

Guest Blogger

Baby Time Boredom No More at #PLA2024

It seems like baby time boredom is sweeping the nation, if the turnout at my first presentation for the day, Baby Time Boredom: Building Culturally Responsive Programming for Ages 0-3, was any indication. Annamarie Carlson (Westerville Public Library, OH) and Sarah Simpson (a former librarian and current Family Engagement and Literacy Specialist at the A. Sophie Rogers School for Early Learning at The Ohio State University) presented to a full house of fellow children’s services librarians waiting eagerly for fresh ideas on this classic program. Using a culturally responsive model looks different at every library, and that’s exactly the point. By weaving your patrons identity into your programming, you make things personally relevant to a family’s experiences. Simpson talked about pulling inspiration from “funds of knowledge” – children’s accumulated experiences in their households with siblings, friends, communities, and caregivers. In addition, it’s important to think about your community expansively. How…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Art Appreciation at Storytime

During the weekly, all ages storytime I co-present on Fridays, we do art appreciation. This occurs after I finish reading the first book. At this time, everyone is instructed to “find your grown-up” and we pass out half sheets of paper that all have the same piece of art printed on them. While passing out the art, we instruct grown-ups to ask their child(ren) “What do you see?” If their children don’t talk yet, I encourage them to describe what they are seeing with as much detail as possible. Generally, this art relates to one of the two books we are reading that day. After about 20 seconds, Monet Manatee asks the entire group, “What do you see?” Children are encouraged to verbally share what they are seeing as I restate what they have shared for everyone to hear better. There are no hands being raised or protocols, just talking….

Blogger Kirsten Caldwell

Baby Storytime Songs

Baby storytime is my FAVORITE! Baby storytime songs have been on my mind lately because storytimes just started up again for the season. Generally, I stick to a few favorite songs because repetition is so important for the littles. Repetition also helps the adults learn the songs and they are more likely to join in if they know the songs well. Occasionally, I add a new song if there is a fun theme for the week. Songs can create a structure in storytime which helps them know what to expect. Having a starting song or two and a few songs in between books is a great place to start. Singing is also one of the five early literacy practices! It helps slow down language and often has different notes for each syllable. I think songs are just as important as books in storytime, especially for babies and toddlers.

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Focusing on Consent @ Storytime

Consent is a topic I’ve been more intentional of integrating into all the storytimes I plan. This is often done in small ways but every now and then, it’s the theme! To become even more intentional, I was excited when the opportunity presented itself to begin collaborating with a local health organization, Canvas Health, once a month at storytime. One of their Prevention and Education Specialists, Jasmine Lee, attends storytime. Then, I have them do their own introduction after we’ve sung our last song. They never read or lead a song so that our routine stays the same. Jasmine keeps their intro brief and brings a handout about a health topic of interest such as setting boundaries or consent that grown-ups are welcome to take afterward from a table. This partnership is essential for local families so they have a familiar face should a problem arise or they simply have…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Nontraditional Times for Traditional Programs

Libraries are a melting pot, a representation of a beautifully diverse society. As we progress further into the 21st Century, this fact, this statement, is becoming more and more understood. A focus, and a very important one, has been put on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in collections and spaces. However, do we take EDI components and take them into our library programs–namely the time and topic of our programs? What does this look like? Well, it means getting creative. It means thinking outside of the box. To be honest, I never really thought of programs outside of the 9 to 5 time frame until I became a working mom. I work until 6 PM most nights; it is impossible to take my daughter to what we view as a traditional storytime. I know I’m not just the only person this applies to. Many of your library patrons are in…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

The Art of Early Literacy Asides in Storytime

My library system pauses our storytimes during the month of December, so I always feel like this break is a perfect time to regroup and reevaluate storytime offerings.  This reevaluation can be on the branch level:  do you have the right number of storytimes for the right age group? Are they scheduled at times that work for your community? 

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Virtual Program – AB Kids

AB Kids is a virtual storytime series hosted each fall at the University of South Carolina. Dr. Nicole Cooke, the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair for the School of Information Science and the team from the South Carolina Center for Community Literacy work together to bring families and school age children, The Augusta Baker Storytelling Experience: Inclusion Programming for Children of All Ages (AB Kids). This series is part of the Augusta Baker Endowed Chair programming at the University of South Carolina. Named in honor of Augusta Braxton Baker, a beloved children’s librarian and storyteller who made South Carolina her home after a 37-year career at the New York Public Library. The first African American Coordinator of Children’s Services within the NY Public Library system, she worked tirelessly throughout her career to diversify the genre of children’s literature and to make books for children and young adults more reflective of the…