Image created on Canva Please note that for historically marginalized communities, discussions about mistakes in the workplace may be emotionally challenging, especially if their identity is harmed in some way. I am of mixed race and I find these conversations can be especially rough when the mistakes that have been made are things that I have experienced from colleagues. Learning from others can be beneficial, but your mental well-being is more important. Don’t be afraid of opting out of these discussions to protect your peace. Intentionally inclusive programming has been on the forefront of my mind for the last few years, but even with intentionality, it’s easy to make mistakes. The thing about equity and inclusion is that the learning is ongoing. You have to commit to it for a lifetime. As library professionals, we have a responsibility to ensure what we do is in line with what we say—we…
Winter Storytime Crafts
Crafts are a fun way to end a storytime, kids love them, and they are so beneficial in improving the kids’ fine motor skills. They are also simple to tie to a winter book that can close out the story part of storytime. I am currently planning my winter storytime sessions and I thought I would share my favorite crafts I came across while scouring the internet.
The Art of Storytime Part 1: Singing
Singing is an essential element in storytime. How do you prepare?
Ukulele Storytime for Beginners from a Beginner
Have you ever wanted to play the ukulele in storytime, but felt like you couldn’t possibly be good enough? There are many fantastic librarians who are expert ukulele players, but I often find learning from great players intimidating. If you’re overwhelmed, I (definitely a beginner) can help. A few years ago, I decided I was going to start playing the ukulele in storytime, despite the fact that I did not know how to play the ukulele and am generally unmusical. It has always been a little baffling to me that I am paid to sing to children, given that I was once told by a choir teacher to “maybe just mouth the words at the performance.” Despite all these obstacles, I actually do play the ukulele at storytime, and no one has ever complained. Let me reassure you that if I can do it, anyone can do it. Here are some…
There are so many different ways to plan and structure your storytimes! I have been using a theme and picking books and songs based on that theme. While that works well, I know there are other ways to structure a storytime. I did some internet sleuthing to find ways that other librarians create their storytimes.
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.
COVID Babies in the Library
In a Disability Scoop article about so-called “COVID-babies”, author Adam Clark explores various ways that the pandemic has affected children’s development. Clark begins with a vignette about a two-year old named Charlie who is in speech therapy to help him learn to speak more than one-word utterances. Nancy Polow, one of the speech-pathologists interviewed in the article, is quoted as saying “I have never seen such an influx of infants and toddlers unable to communicate. We call these children COVID babies.” The good news is that lots of the kids like Charlie who are now turning up at speech therapy centers quickly make strides. After reading this, I found some emerging evidence that being gestated during the early part of the pandemic is associated with some developmental lags. Babies born to two groups of mothers (those who were and those who were not infected with COVID during their pregnancies) were…
Why Board Books?
Reading to babies is extremely important, and I have been told that many times and by many people. Doing a storytime for babies got me wondering why board books in particular were good for babies. Here are some of the reasons I found while scouring the internet: