Book Selection: Early Childhood

  • We Are All Musicians at #alsc22
    by Robin Gibson on October 1, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    The last education sessions just ended and what a way to wrap things up! Staff Sergeant Philip Espe’s “Wake Up Your Musicianship for More Inclusive Storytimes” was energizing and joyous. Philip had us all on our feet and singing in 3 languages (English, French, and Spanish). He noted that we can model positive musical practice for our community and that the opportunity to make music together is precious. He emphasized that every voice is beautiful (work against that negative American Idol effect) and music is better when it comes from a live person. Philip referenced the APALA rubric for evaluating AAPI literature (that I blogged about yesterday) and encouraged us to evaluate music in the same way that we evaluate literature. He shared criteria: melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics and text. And he noted that cultural responsiveness is foundational: music is an expression of culture, and your communities deserve to hear... The post We Are All Musicians at #alsc22 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Collaborate and Listen: Adam Gidwitz and Hena Khan
    by Anne Price on October 1, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    Another early morning for ALSC Institute 2022. Adam Gidwitz and Hena Khan opened the day talking about their collaboration in authoring the latest installment of the Unicorn Rescue Society with healthy doses of humor and humility. The Secret of the Himalayas is the sixth installment of the Unicorn Rescue Society series started by Gidwitz and the fourth featuring a co-author. The third book of the series, Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot, was Gidwitz’s first author collaboration with Joseph Bruchac. During this first collaboration, Gidwitz wanted to include information about the Residential Schools of 19th and 20th century and sent his thoughts to Bruchac. To which Bruchac responded with his cultural knowledge for edits and accuracy. Gidwitz mentioned that in the collaborative process he prizes authenticity over accuracy. Yes, he wants the information presented to be factual, but also a reader from that culture should read the work and feel at home.... The post Collaborate and Listen: Adam Gidwitz and Hena Khan appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Outside the Box Thinking for Out of School Learning #alsc22
    by Jessica Smith on October 1, 2022 at 7:13 pm

    Liz McChesney and Sue Abrahamson began their session on Learning Beyond: The Urgency of Summer and the ALSC Toolkit for Summer and OST Programming with an out-of-box ice breaker. They had us open our phones and share a picture with someone we didn’t know. I shared this photo of my loveable and frustrating beagle, Dan. I know he looks hungry. He always looks hungry even as he’s chowing down YOUR food. Although my dog had nothing to do with the presentation, the unique conversation starter did. Liz McChesney and Sue Abrahamson challenged the participants in the room to reframe our thinking about Summer Reading programs and instead focus on programming for Out of School Time programming. If the schools your library serves are like mine, school testing data continue to exhibit the devastating impact of COVID-19 on learning outcomes, especially for children in marginalized populations. While there are no fast... The post Outside the Box Thinking for Out of School Learning #alsc22 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Play at #ALSC2022: Let Children Lead!
    by Eleanor Richardson on October 1, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Play is the work of children. What kind of work do we want the children we serve to do? What kind of play opportunities do we want to create? These big ideas were definitely in the air yesterday at #ALSC2022. Many of my fellow bloggers have covered the fabulous presentation by Madison Public Library’s Holly Storck-Post and Carissa Christner on true play and their library’s PlayLab. ( Look here and here for those posts.) We learned about the ways that both intentional design and intentionally stepping back can impact the type of play that kids do. It reinforced so many ideas about creative thinking and problem solving that are recurring themes in childhood development and library service to children.  Later that night, I traveled with other lucky #ALSC2022 attendees to Kansas City’s upcoming “explor-a-storium”, the Rabbit hOle. I truly did not know what to expect as our bus sailed over... The post Play at #ALSC2022: Let Children Lead! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Reflecting on the Pandemic Reminds Us of What Matters Most #alsc22
    by Eleanor Richardson on October 1, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    What did your library do during during COVID-19 lockdowns? How did your services shift as infection rates, building closures, mask mandates, and patron safety shifted? And most importantly, what effect did this have on your staff and the children you serve?  With the help of Samantha Eichelberger and Rosana M. Santana from Schaumburg Township District Library (IL) and Sarah Koncos, Glenside Public Library (IL), we gathered to consider these questions and more at “Pivot! Adapting Programming for School-Aged Children in a Changing World”. After hearing about how these libraries tackled the many challenges of the early pandemic with their school-age services, much of this program was devoted to small-group discussions of our own libraries’ responses. Now, I have to make a confession – I didn’t work in libraries until the summer of 2021. I didn’t experience the abrupt and unexpectedly long building closures, nor did I contribute to any of... The post Reflecting on the Pandemic Reminds Us of What Matters Most #alsc22 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Radical Thoughts
    by Robin Gibson on October 1, 2022 at 10:30 am

    Dr. Nicole A. Cooke, Augusta Baker Chair at the University of South Carolina, opened today’s events at #alsc22 with a powerful message, “Let this Radicalize You: Lighting up Our LIS future.” She challenged us to look inside our libraries — do our actions match our words? Does our library staff represent the community we serve? Our house must be in order if we are seeking to change our community. By letting this radicalize you, Cooke seeks to energize us, rather than lead to despair. Being radical means taking action. She challenged us to pick one thing to work on. Just one. And if we all do one thing, it adds to the collective. Yes, it requires ongoing work and maintenance. No, the work is never completely done. She shared definitions of Radical Hospitality, Radical Honesty, Radical Love, Radical Candor, and Radical Empathy. Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial... The post Radical Thoughts appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Rethinking Play
    by Robin Gibson on October 1, 2022 at 2:41 am

    “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers What an amazing session this afternoon at #alsc22 on “True Play” presented by Carissa Christner and Holly Storck-Post from Madison Public Library. They led us on a play exploration to begin with: can you recall a favorite memory of play from your childhood? Stop and think for a moment. Did adults tell you how to play? True Play is deep and uninterrupted engagement in the activity of one’s own choice. Sounds simple doesn’t it?? And indeed, simplicity is a key factor. They reviewed the history of play at their library, from play literacy (themed type activities), playful activities in storytime (though still adult designed), and talked about the importance of play. Did you know that for young children movement... The post Rethinking Play appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • True Play at Libraries #alsc22
    by Jessica Smith on October 1, 2022 at 12:00 am

    Presenters Carissa Christner, Madison Public Library, and Holly Storck-Post from Madison Public Library led a discussion about true play to a packed room this afternoon. Carissa Christner defined true play as deep and uninterrupted engagement in the activity of one’s own choice. The presenters then led the audience through a presentation of how they implemented true play spaces at their branches and the opportunities and challenges that cropped up during the development and implementation phases. The main takeaways from this session: Perform a play audit Reimagine play spaces to encourage unstructured play Create an atmosphere that prompts more yeses from parents and fewer nos Permission for parents and caregivers to let kids play unprompted A place of joy, not perfection I had not expected an education program to have such a deep impact on my thinking so immediately. After the session, I went back to my room to write down... The post True Play at Libraries #alsc22 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • You Can Take the Librarian Out of the Library…
    by Jessica Fredrickson on September 30, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    Or can you? An hour after landing in Kansas City for #ALSC22, I was already on my way to the Central branch of the Kansas City Public Library system. I loved it so much that I came back the next day to watch storytime and catch up on work email before the opening session!  I thought the parking garage was the library at first… oops! FYI, the library is located further down the street in a historic bank building. First stop: Central Youth Services on the second floor! Central Youth Services Room Entrance: Giant book pages with quotes from famous children’s books surround the colorful staircase.  When you reach the top of the stairs, sign the guest book and grab some library swag. Many thanks to the Youth Services team for the warm welcome! Welcome Table: A sign welcomes ALSC attendees. Tabletop goodies include bookmarks made from recycled board books; vinyl... The post You Can Take the Librarian Out of the Library… appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • Mindful Movement: Yoga Programs for Youth #alsc22
    by Anne Price on September 30, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    The first full day of ALSC Institute is underway, and I started my morning off with yoga! Leigh Ramey, Youth Services Consultant for the South Carolina State Library presented a wonderfully interactive session on Yoga Programs for Youth. Participants were invited to try yoga poses, games and mindfulness practices, all adaptable to differing skill levels from preschoolers and caregivers up to tween and teens. We started off with a sun salutation to the song “Dance for the Sun” by Kira Willey, followed by some cat and cow poses complete with meows and moos.  Ramey spoke about ways to adapt and explain poses to children, and had us try out different poses and movement-based games that required the group to work together to achieve different goals using balls, parachutes, scarves and other props that many libraries already have and use in their programming.  Ramey also had the group repeat a mantra... The post Mindful Movement: Yoga Programs for Youth #alsc22 appeared first on ALSC Blog.

  • The Right To Read: It took a lawsuit against California
    by Reading Rockets on September 30, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    An 11-year-old boy writing a fifth-grade book report on “The Cat in the Hat,” a book meant for kindergartners. A second-grade girl stuck at a preschool reading level. Students who break down in tears when asked to read aloud in class. While some might blame teachers or schools for such woeful reading skills, the attorneys who represented these children in the groundbreaking 2017 lawsuit known as the Ella T. case blamed the state of California.

  • How to Build Better Small-Group Reading Instruction
    by Reading Rockets on September 29, 2022 at 4:41 pm

    Reading teachers have started the school year already in a crunch, with students’ reading skills at a 20-year low. As educators look for ways to help students gain ground academically, research suggests refining traditional classroom reading groups could help. Special education professor Matthew Burns talked about how to improve the effectiveness of small-group instruction.

  • American Family Policy Is Holding Schools Back
    by Reading Rockets on September 29, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    A child’s ability to succeed in the classroom is powerfully influenced by their home environment. Giving parents the support they need could be key to fixing American education. Over the past two decades, government officials have made various attempts to improve the state of American education—ramping up standardized testing, expanding charter schools, and urging states to adopt uniform benchmarks for student achievement—to little avail. But less attention has been given to another profound influence on our educational system: our nation’s family policy.

  • Tulsa study offers more evidence of pre-K’s benefits into adulthood
    by Reading Rockets on September 29, 2022 at 4:37 pm

    Many people might think the main benefit of a high-quality preschool program is the academic boost it gives young children when they enter elementary school. But the strongest positive effects may show up years, and even decades, later and have little to do with test scores and grades. Researchers at Georgetown University have been studying the impact of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s program for two decades.

  • San Diego artist illustrates new children's book by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu
    by Reading Rockets on September 29, 2022 at 4:36 pm

    Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama are arguably two of the most significant spiritual leaders of the last century. Both leaders have faced enormous strife — whether in apartheid in South Africa or in the Tibetan Uprising or the aftermath — and through it all, both have tirelessly worked towards peace.