Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Using Yoga in Storytime

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. As libraries reopen, some have in-person storytimes, while other libraries are still exclusively online. Others have created a hybrid using both. No matter which way storytime is presented, we are all looking for fresh and inventive ways to help children learn and have a positive time during storytimes. One simple and fun way to welcome children back is to include yoga. Incorporating yoga in storytime is very easy to plan, given some simple dos and don’ts. Here are a few resources to help guide you.

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 Jonathan Dolce

Self-care Guide During COVID

Man wearing glasses and yellow shirt with hands in namaste pose

Self-care During Covid Self-care During COVID is critical. Through daily practice, you can help relax your body, increase mental focus and keep things in perspective. COVID and our efforts to keep safe can create stress and strain. Enjoy this handy guide, specifically designed for librarians for getting the most joy out of your every day. The Librarian’s Breath Who you are as a librarian is reflected by your breath. In addition to a refreshing breath mint, try the following three steps: Beginner’s Program Shelving picture books requires a complete lateral stretch.Note how the shelver forms a triangle. To the casual shelver, this pose may feel intense, but does become easier after above three carts of shelving. This posture gets its name from a common shelving situation. The shelver is diagonally aligned when a patron approaches. Beginners should use this opportunity to utilize a kick stool to support themselves as they…

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…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Little Yogis @ Your Library

Yoga Story Time programs are a really great way to incorporate movement and mindfulness into your classic early literacy story time offerings. I was inspired to start offering Yoga Story Time programming after reading a post right here on the ALSC blog! As a regularly practicing yogi myself, this seemed like the perfect way to combine my love for yoga and reading into something really special I could offer at my library. Typically I structure a Yoga Story Time around two short yoga focused picture books (fiction and nonfiction titles), with pictures of poses so kids can easily replicate the pose as they wish from the book. I also demonstrate many of the poses myself. Incorporating animal sounds is a must! Below are some of my favorite recently published yoga titles perfect for little yogis and ideal for usage in planning and leading a Yoga Story Time program . Yoga…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Yoga, Tai Chi Research Shows Public Librarians Already Know

Jonathan Dolce demonstrates

Yoga: the numbers are in According to a recent ALA-YaTsALL (Yoga and Tai Chi Sessions for America’s Limber Librarians) survey, 21% of librarians are now offering public yoga and tai chi sessions.  Statistically, this marks the highest level of public library interest in fitness in recorded history.  “It only made sense, really” says lead researcher Ben Denstretch. “We have already been doing yoga and tai chi all these years. We simply had to put names with the repetitive poses we perform during our daily work.  Hatha, ashtanga, even bikram when the a/c goes out – we’ve done it all!”   As a result, the increased popularity of yoga and tai chi in libraries has decreased membership in gyms.  Sadly, local chambers of commerce have noted this shift: “Many former instructors are struggling, and switching industries”.  One instructor says, “It’s good that I double majored.  I still have massage therapy to fall back…

Diversity

Yoga as a Bridge for Serving a Cross Section of Your Library Population

Serving a diverse community can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with diversity across the physical, mental, and emotional spectrum. Often the social aspect of the library can be off putting for children, and parents of children with developmental disabilities. For children on the Autism spectrum, the child’s inability to regulate behavior can be problematic in a highly structured setting (such as a library program). Children with physical disabilities may feel that they are limited in how they can participate in library programs. But often the simplest programs can be the most effective and by offering a new or unique opportunity the library becomes a safe place to engage in something outside their preconceived limitations. Do you have a pre-set program time for children with disabilities? Do you have a pre-set time for family programs? Consider a family program featuring beginner and child friendly yoga. No matter how you incorporate…