Singing and Laughing at Guerrilla Storytime

Today at #alaac15 I attend a rousing Guerrilla Storytime! No matter what I try to make it to at least one per conference. I always come away with new ideas, songs, and rhymes. I also feel energized by the positivity of so many wonderful children’s librarians! (If you want to know more about Guerrilla Storytime, check out StorytimeUnderground.org.) Here are a few tips I picked up today: Looking to model using vocabulary for caregivers? Try swapping out synonyms in familiar songs and rhymes. For instance, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” could also be sung with “sparkle”, “flicker”, or “shine.” To encourage talking is ask adults how to say a word in another language. This is especially great for caregivers who speak multiple languages. To incorporate writing try having a brainstorming session at the beginning of storytime. This is a clever way to introduce a new topic or theme, especially one that…

Spellcasting and Singing

#alsc14 Maxim of the Day: Sometimes you’ve gotta sing outside of the shower. Take it from Gay Ducey, a speaker on the “Using Volunteers to Expand the Walls/Books for Wider Horizons” panel. She warmed up Thursday’s #alsc14 audience by asking us to stand up and sing the storytime smash hit “To Stop the Train”–several times in a row. Singing not only works with kids, but is an effective tool when leading a storytime training for adult volunteers: people loosen up, get active, and have fun. After this clever icebreaker activity, their brains are primed to soak up the content rich presentation that follows. She also emphasizes to volunteers that their storytime presentations will make a lasting  impression on kids. “Storytimes are a kind of spell children need to have.” By creating this special timeless moment in a child’s life, a storytime volunteer is helping the child associate reading with fun…

Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing & Playing with Technology

“We all have only one life to live on earth. And through television, we have the choice of encouraging others to demean this life or to cherish it in creative, imaginative ways.”                                                                                                   Fred Rogers When Mr. Rogers looked at the new medium of television in the 1950s, he saw nothing of value for children. But instead of writing it off, he saw the potential of the new medium to reach children and crafted an entirely new approach and way of using television. That is the model that I look to in using technology with children. Do you approach new media with fear or look for the potential, for “creative, imaginative ways” that enrich life? Many librarians are familiar with and emphasize the five practices of ECRR2 (Every Child Ready to Read 2) in library programs. Can we highlight these practices with intentional use of…

Singing in the Bathroom!

Of course we are all rock stars in our own bathrooms, but what about at the Library! I can’t think of a better place to encourage customers to sing than in the bathroom!  Just simply post the words to songs and nursery rhymes with a few eye catching photos on the back of stall doors, next to Changing Stations, on the bathroom mirrors and next to the sink. We use a hand washing song in the Children’s room bathroom to encourage children to wash their hands well and get them to sing! We also have Nursery Rhymes by all the changing stations to encourage parents to sing with their babies while in the bathroom. What songs can you think of to put in your libraries bathrooms?

Seeing Yourself on YouTube and Other Horrors of the Pandemic

We are children’s librarians. We can step in front of a group of 200 elementary school children gathered in a multi-purpose room and act out Pizza Man without reservation. We lead hoards of preschoolers in A Tooty Ta Ta.  We don yoga clothes and bend our bodies for Stretchy Storytime. We might not be the best singers or crafters, but we happily conduct these programs for our beloved library patrons in house.

Digital Outreach and Family Literacy: Children’s Programming in the Time of COVID-19

Over the last five years, there has been an increased awareness of the importance of digital resources and accessibility. In 2015, the New York Public Library began loaning hotspots, and just this past December, Library Journal published an article about how to better promote digital resources because many patrons are unaware they exist. As many libraries across the country have shut their physical doors in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, these e-resources have become even more vital, as has the concept of family literacy. One of the main questions this raises is how can we best continue to serve children and families at this time?   In addition to promoting digital resources like e-books, a vast number of children’s librarians have begun doing virtual storytimes through their library’s social media accounts. In order to determine how effective these practices are, we can turn to O’Connor’s 2017 study Sociocultural Early Literacy Practices…

12 Books Tweens Can Read After Dog Man

Last month, I highlighted twelve books readers who enjoyed Raina Telgemeier should read. This author is outrageously liked, but another equally popular series I can’t seem to keep on my shelf is the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey. Readers who like Dog Man are typically just starting in chapter books or are reluctant readers. They generally enjoy books that are fast-paced, funny, and have some illustrations. Usually, they have already read Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Big Nate, and it is often difficult to find other books these young patrons will enjoy. If you are running out of suggestions, this post is for you!