I live and work in a train community and often use trains as an analogy when I talk about storytime. Like a train, storytime offers an audience a chance to hop on board to experience a new world with characters. The characters of a story can help us understand some of the experiences the children listening to the story might be going through.… more
I am excited to start year two of Bookology! I contemplated doing themes around COVID-19 and then I thought why not write about the importance of being a purple person? Some of you might be asking yourself the following questions: Does this relate to science? Do you become purple by eating eggplants or beets? Do you paint yourself purple?… more
In early fall of 2019, I completed a grant application through our local early childhood board. I proposed a new early literacy program called Little Engines. Each month, we will have an early childhood professional provide a storytime program with activities. These include literacy, nutrition, childcare, school readiness, music/recreation, creativity/arts, and STEAM. The library provides families a tote bag that includes various activities and a book to enjoy at home together.… more
Although COVID-19 has been difficult, libraries continue their core mission to provide access to resources and services by improving and increasing their digital services. Storytime is a key service the public library provides to support early literacy, family engagement, and helping children find the joy of reading. Face-to-face interaction helps to improve the connection with families — however, librarians have had to transition storytime programming to a virtual platform.… more
“Investing in early childhood nutrition is a surefire strategy. The returns are incredibly high.”
I am the head of children’s services at Ericson Public Library in Boone, Iowa. According to Iowa Department of Education, Boone has 1,901 students and 877 of those students are in a free or reduced lunch program (Kids Count, 2017).… more
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
I went into the weekend prepared to take it easy from a long and busy week. I quickly shifted my focus to the horror happening in Australia. I was watching a video that showed a small fraction of the animals and humans faced with this disaster.… more
The New Year is upon on us and libraries are busy with holiday programs celebrating all things winter, providing make-and-take programs that inspire creativity, and having a warm place to read.
Wordless picture books are great for many reasons. They emphasize the importance of art, build on important literacy skills, help children become storytellers, and they are a reliable source for imagination.
“Exploration is really the Essence of the Human Spirit.”
’Tis the season for fall themes such as pumpkins, leaves, and turkeys. As I was planning programs for October and November, I decided it was time to go rogue and think of new themes. I started searching terms such as “funny fall celebrations” and “unusual holidays.”… more
For the past four years, my library has provided our community with a summer reading carnival to kickstart our summer reading program. For the first two years, we had a few bounce houses and cotton candy and 400 patrons attended. To plan our past carnival, I brainstormed ideas on how to continue by providing a carnival with more than bounces houses and cotton candy.… more
“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it.” —George Eliot
In the state of Iowa, where I live, the change from winter to spring is like an on and off switch. Yet, at the end of another vortex, Spring has finally come to Iowa. Spring is a perfect time to schedule your storytime programs outdoors.… more
Creating a Library Exchange Network
Last year, I had the distinct honor to attend a professional development opportunity at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). As part of the training, we were given a chance to see some of the projects students and professors are working on in fields such as education, fashion, and healthcare. I was surprised to learn from Dr.… more
Celebrating Our Furry Friends with a Pet Reading Program“Animals are such agreeable friends — they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.”
In October 2011, I was in a state of transition. I had just returned from interning at the Library of Congress to a full-time job as head of a children’s department.… more
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