Tag Archives: covid-19

Virtual Preschool Storytime: Week 1

My first go at virtual preschool storytime!

This was a particularly interesting experience for me because in the past I’ve only really filled in for this age range, and I’ve used most of my go-to content for toddlers the last few months. I’m not against reusing the same content for toddlers and preschoolers (as is age appropriate), but part of my stretch into preschool storytimes includes building our YouTube content for preschoolers, and I don’t want to just make duplicate videos for this age range.

I’m not quite as swamped with virtual programs at the moment, so I used last week to dig into the child development and blogs for this age range. It’s been fun! I have a nice pile of new (to me) content that I’m excited to try out over the next month.

As usual, there are more videos here than content that actually fit in a 30 minute storytime. I like to give myself options, and I make videos often 3-4 days before I go live. Plus, more content for YouTube is just another way for our patrons to access storytimes.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Preschool Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book: The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson

The Cow Loves Cookies: Wilson, Karma, Hall, Marcellus ...

Early Literacy Tip: Pick stuff you love. The kids can tell if you hate what you are reading. They can always tell.

Song: Drivin’ In My Car by Ralph’s World

Action Rhyme: Cool Cat

Retelling: Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd

Fingerplay: Wiggle Fingers

Magnet: Little Fox

Manipulative: Shakers

Closing Song: Elmo Slide by Sesame Street

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 4

My fourth (and final) virtual toddler storytime this week! Next week we are on to preschool!

I had quite a bit of fun with this age range. My baby storytimes tend to focus on the 12-24 month crowd because of their size and tendency to dominate the program, so this was just a small nudge up that allowed me to use slightly longer books and activities with more motions. I’m bouncing all over the place age-wise now that we are sticking with virtual programs for a bit, moving into semi-regular preschool storytimes and a return to baby storytime in June.

These virtual storytimes have been really helpful for my storytime repertoire–I came into libraries as the only youth librarian in a large department who wasn’t presenting a regular weekly storytime. I filled in and did outreach, but there is so much more to learn week-to-week. I was suddenly tossed into baby storytime knowing nothing other than that babies have large heads and don’t respond when asked a question, but I was able to get my footing with that age range and figure out a program structure that worked well for me and that the parents (and littles) enjoyed. Being able to dig into some of the older age ranges consistently is letting me explore and discover new (to me) content in a great way.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation: Crunch the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap

Song: Can You? by the Wiggles

Fingerplay: Here is the Beehive

Retelling: White Rabbit’s Color Book

Manipulative: Stuffed Animal Play

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Virtual School Age: Virtual and Augmented Reality

I’ve been part of my library’s virtual storytime team for the last few months (and into the summer). Last week, I had a chance to dive into school age programming again.

This was my second foray into a virtual Innovation Academy program. I received zero feedback from the first program or from this program, so I have essentially no idea what patrons thought of either event, or if they even opened the documents I sent. So it goes with virtual programming.

Read more about the how, why, and pros and cons for this particular program series in my last post on this topic: Virtual School Age: Coding.

Some details on how this series works:

  • Program materials are designed and curated for ages 6-11.
  • Attendees register via Evanced (our regular event registration software).
  • On the day of the event, the program presenter emails attendees a video introduction as well as a PDF with resources, content, and activities to do at home.

Content

The challenge with tech programs at home is coming up with tech ideas that only use technology the average family is likely to own–essentially, a computer and a smartphone. Coding was an easy choice, but so many of my regular in-library programs rely on physical technology (3D pens, 3D printer, Bloxels, various robots, etc.).

Augmented Reality just involves a smartphone–something that many people may already own (or at least those people who are signing up virtually for a virtual event).

I wanted to make this program a bit more focused with activities that build based on your knowledge and age–starting with defining the concept, moving on to exploring the concept, and finally creating something on your own.

This was a great plan until I spent way too many hours trying to find a tool that allows kids to create their own Augmented Reality apps or games. This feels like it should exist, and it does in a few forms, but most of those forms involve (1) apps that are outdated/don’t work with the newest Android/Apple updates, (2) software that costs money, or (3) apps that are in development by Princeton and will be SO COOL in three years.

To allow for that “create” portion of the program, I expanded the program topic to “Augmented and Virtual Reality.” While you can’t explore virtual reality without a headset, you can create some cool virtual reality tours with Google that can be made and shared without needing a headset. Is it as cool without a headset? No. Does it still get the point across? Yes.

Just like last time, I provided an instruction video for participants:

Participants can watch the video, or they can move straight to the packet, included below. It covers the concepts reviewed in the video, and also provides a written explanation of the resources and tutorial shown in the video.

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 3

My third virtual toddler storytime this week!

Some new materials for me in this storytime–this is my first time reading Spunky Little Monkey in a storytime. I also decided to use some of the materials that I didn’t have time for last week–they fit a bit better than some of the new rhymes I was planning to try this week.

Weird question for the wide world of virtual storytime presenters: if you have a team presenting virtual storytimes, do you coordinate with them? Choose the same intro/closing songs? Talk about what you each have planned for a particular week?

For example, one of my coworkers did the scarf activity I was planning to do with toddlers this week–adapted for babies–at Baby Storytime last week. Generally, at in-person storytimes, I don’t know about or care about this kind of overlap, as we mostly have different audiences for each storytime. However, these virtual storytimes feel different. Yes, I’m preparing an activity for toddlers–and that activity can really work for babies and preschoolers too–but a decent portion of our audience is the same at every storytime. Is it weird to do the same larger activity–not talking about opening/closing songs and more intentional week-to-week repetition–at two storytimes in the same week when the audience is the same? Am I overthinking this? (Answer: yes.)

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Settle Down Rhyme: This is Big

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation: Spunky Little Monkey by Bill Martin Jr.

Song: Walk and You Walk and You Walk and You Stop by Rainbow Songs

Action Rhyme: Bubble Bubble Pop

Flannel: Five Little Penguins

Action Rhyme: The Elevator Song

Manipulative: Shaker Time!

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Extra, Extra:

No video for this, but I was planning to read Snip-Snap Pop-Up Fun, but I cut it due to time.

Summer Reading Promo

Like so many libraries, we are re-examining our Summer Reading Program through a virtual lens. At the end of 2019, we moved our reading program from software designed and managed in-house to the ReadSquared platform, kicking off using that service with our first Winter Reading Program in December. Personally, I can’t say I love ReadSquared, but it gets the job done.

We don’t have answers to many of the questions that I see being asked in Facebook Groups every day–how are you distributing prizes? Will any part of the program be available in person? What about people without Internet?

My library doesn’t have all of those answers, and I surely don’t, but I did get tasked with making a video to replace our annual school assemblies. A few years ago, we were able to start visiting 15+ elementary schools in our service area during May for assembly-style presentations where we got kids excited about summer reading. In Ohio, the kids didn’t go back to school after mid-March, so those assemblies obviously were not going to happen. However, we did want to send the schools something to supplement those visits.

Enter the summer reading video.

This took me a few full days worth of work to make, with the bulk of the work taking about 8 hours (filming, editing, screaming at my computer, etc.). Finished product is below:

…and the how-I-did-it follows.

Preparation

General Idea

I knew I wanted to create a video that mimicked the general style of YouTubers–short quick cuts, lots of humor. That seemed like a safe, approachable direction that should appeal to elementary students, and it also meant that I wouldn’t have to (1) memorize really long chunks of text or (2) read from a script (a pet peeve of mine–it is always obvious you are reading, and it always pulls me out of whatever I am watching).

During my storytime videos I just talk freely, but I wanted to make sure I got my words exactly right in this video because so much of our program is up in the air, and people remember what we say. I don’t want to talk about how the kids get to choose their own prize books (a normal staple of our program) when that may not happen this year. We just don’t know.

I was a bit lost for direction on this until a coworker sent me a lovely video made by a school librarian advertising their book fair. I think her humor and silly motions gave me a much better idea of what I was aiming for (and an answer to the dreaded “how do I start?”).

Storyboarding

Storyboard Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Back in the days when I made videos more frequently, I got into the habit of storyboarding. I knew I was going to need some sort of direction for this video, as I was planning for a lot of short clips/scenes to keep the video moving.

I didn’t draw out a full storyboard, but I did write out a simple word document breaking the film into clips including my general ideas for props, background, and more:

Some of this changed before the final run through–I couldn’t find free green screen software quickly, so I dropped the space bit. The Spongebob rainbow imagination hands didn’t translate when filming either. However, this gave me a place to start.

PPT Text

I transferred big chunks of text to PPT slides, broken into the small bits that were going to take place in one cut. I was going to use this as a script behind the camera to read from, though, as mentioned before, I hate reading from a script, so I ended up just using this to help practice before saying whatever came out of my mouth on film.

Props & Supplies

Mostly, I didn’t need too many props…except for the bits where I attempt to be funny near the beginning middle. (Yes, that is supposed to be a tiger king joke. No, I don’t think it hits home.)

I worked with what I have on hand. For example, the book fair video started with that school librarian playing a trumpet and using a toy megaphone. I have neither. I made a paper megaphone and leaned into the awkward by writing MEGAPHONE on the side.

After the experience I had filming this, I would suggest less props. I think I started to lose my mind when I started swapping out all of the props on the storage unit behind me for each of the “funny” bits (tiger king, Harry Potter, Frozen). This took much more time than it was worth (maybe 10 seconds of camera time for 20-30 minutes of setup and destroying my house).

Filming

Background

I don’t really have a house that is setup for filming anything. The easiest room for me to film in is a spare bedroom, which was essentially a storage space before this. To avoid the mugshot effect (filming against a bare wall), I hiked upstairs the best piece of furniture I could stage–a 3×3 cube unit (that had once been holding craft supplies…that are now all over my house). For storytimes, keeping this unit on the floor works well–it isn’t very tall, but I was trying to focus on the rhymes and my stuffed bear “baby.”

For this video, I wanted my background to be more engaging. So, suddenly, the cube unit is precariously on top of a trunk, and I am rearranging the items on the unit to appeal a bit more to the 6-11 year old crowd instead of the 2-3 year old audience I normally have.

I also had to figure out placement. For storytimes, I am typically a bit further away from the camera–for baby storytime, I want my lap to be in the shot to show when I am touching my baby’s feet or bouncing; for toddler storytime I need to have enough space around me to hold up a flannel board or book. None of that mattered here–it was all about me being engaging, and, following the pattern of YouTubers everywhere, that meant making myself more of a central part of the frame. Figuring out how to position myself with roughly my shoulders and head filling the frame with a background that was engaging but not overpowering took more time than I would like to admit.

Equipment

The particular equipment I use included:

For my particular device, I think the audio in the smartphone is sufficient (no need for an external mike). I have a few issues with lighting on particularly gloomy days, but 90% of the time, natural lighting is the best option when filming. Just make sure your window isn’t directly behind you.

Being on Camera

I read about the struggles of being on camera for many librarians, and, unfortunately for any readers out there, I don’t have too much to add to that conversation. I think I’m actually a little more comfortable in front of the camera at this point than I often am in front of patrons.

My tips for getting comfortable:

  • Don’t watch yourself while filming. If you tend to overthink everything you do, turn your phone around and film with that much higher-quality camera on the back of your device. I started doing this for live storytimes because, on an Android device, you can’t flip a livestream so that the words in a book are facing the right way for the audience on your front-facing camera. And it is freeing. I stare at that little circle on my phone and release any tension–I can’t see comments, I can’t see my weird hand gestures, I can’t see anything–and it is all out of my control now. Embrace the chaos. It let me stop overthinking every motion.
  • Picture that one storytime kid. You know the one. The one that comes to all of your storytimes, and hopefully appears at some virtual ones too. I know that Miss Julia is always watching–and she is who I am presenting too. If no one else comes, I know Julia had a blast–and that is all I need.
  • Get silly. I am always, always, so self-aware in storytimes. I can move past some of it, especially with a bigger crowd, but when I have just a few adults and kids staring at me, it makes me very aware of my every motion and every time a story, song, or joke doesn’t connect. I am always looking for reactions–and here, I have to give that up because there are no reactions (at least that I can see while presenting). It is just me. So, mentally, I tell myself that every single thing hit home. There is nothing to tell me otherwise–so gosh darn it I am going to believe that the viewers LOVED every second of it. This lets me get sillier than usual. There isn’t a mom in the corner silently judging me (more likely spacing out completely out of exhaustion, but our brains tell us we are the center of the universe so…). It is just me dancing like no one is watching.

Editing

Oh, editing.

Your success and frustration with editing is largely going to depend on your computer. Do you have a high-powered computer? Preferably a Mac? The fastest, best internet humanly possible? You should be set.

Oh, you are like the rest of us mortals, and you don’t have all those things?

Join the club.

I have a decent-ish (Windows) computer now, but it was still a struggle at many points in the editing process. I don’t suggest you buy a new computer for this, so use what you have.

I used OpenShot video editior. This is free software that gets the job done. It is not very intuitive–not nearly as intuitive as, say, iMovie (available for free on a Mac)–but it has the bells and whistles if you know where to find them. I had to do a lot of Google searches to figure out how to do most tasks, but there are many really accessible tutorials out there. Just be ready for the time commitment and learning curve, especially the first time you use it.

Music

I didn’t worry too much about music being copyrighted, except for whether YouTube would demonetize a video vs. block it entirely. Most popular songs lead to demonetization, which as a public library not making any ad revenue anyway, this really isn’t a big deal. (Some songs do lead to a Youtube video being blocked in most countries, which is depressing after all of the effort you put in to make it.)

I was able to download both songs I used for free from Freegal using my library card. I also regularly pull Royalty Free Music from bensound.com for introductions and such.

So many of us are filming our own videos now…what are you doing? What questions do you have? Virtual programming isn’t going anywhere anytime soon–how are you making it work for you?

Virtual Toddler Storytime: Week 2

My second virtual toddler storytime this week (and my first in my new set for the month of May!).

I’m mixing up my routine a little bit with this age range, including adding some new types of materials. I think attention-span-wise I am pushing preschool with some of this material, but from what I can tell in the Facebook Live comments, most of our audience is preschool age, so I think that’s okay. Next week leans more toddler.

I’m also working on getting to that 30 minute mark–I have a clock now that I can see while presenting, which really helps. I’ve also figured out my setup so that I can see myself–I can’t read comments, but I can tell if I disappear off screen, which is a little more likely since I am mixing up my activities.

For sake of time, I dropped the intro bits from my videos…it saves me a few minutes a video, and I’m looking for ways to make this take less time, since our audience does seem to watch them. I did realize that now I don’t introduce myself, so I’ll adjust for that next week.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Toddler Storytime Intro Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation: There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

Song: Hot Potato by the Wiggles

Action Rhyme: Roll Roll Sugar Babies

Book Retelling: Bark George

Action Rhyme: Bananas Unite

Flannel: Little Mouse

Closing Song: The Popcorn Song by Laura Doherty

Extra, Extra:

Virtual Baby Shark Storytime!

This has been a crazy past week of storytimes, but I kicked off May family storytime Saturdays with Baby Shark Storytime!

I ran this program in person back in January to a whopping 185 people! While that was just a few months ago, it feels closer to three years, and it was also something easy enough for me to replicate virtually that has a strong following.

We had a 30 minute storytime followed by about 10 minutes of Baby Shark bubbles and dancing. Videos of most content can be found below–as usual, there are a few more videos than I actually had time for during the storytime.

I also made a PDF for families filled with Baby Shark activities to do at home. See and download below:

We had about 63 live viewers, with 100 one-minute views by the end of the live recording. Not a bad turnout for one of our slowest virtual storytime days of the week.

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Introduction Song

We sung and danced along to Shake Your Sillies Out. I can’t upload a YouTube video of this one because of copyright.

Fingerplay

Apparently I never uploaded the video of the fingerplay we did to get ourselves settled for our first story.

We did Two Little Sharks:

Two little sharks in the deep blue sea,
One named Luna and one named Lee,
Swim away Luna, swim away Lee!
Come back Luna, come back Lee!

Continued with: Swimming on a wave…Dorothy and Dave

Book: Baby Shark

Baby Shark: Bajet, John John: 9781338556056: Amazon.com: Books

Song: The Goldfish Song by Laurie Berkner

Puppets: Slippery Fish

Magnet: 5 Sharks in the Bathtub

Book: Shark in the Park

Shark In The Park: Nick Sharratt: 9780857534781: Amazon.com: Books

Closing Song: Baby Shark

Extras

Virtual Baby Storytime: Week 6

Week 6 of virtual baby storytime! (And my last baby set for a while as a I pass the baby baton off to my coworker Sarah and her actual baby.)

There is some more repetition here from previous weeks than usual, which isn’t too surprising for me. I generally have a set of my best storytime material (developmentally appropriate, early literacy connections, parent and child response, I enjoy) that I tend to rotate through over about 4-6 weeks. I sprinkle in new material regularly too, but the repetition is good for everyone.

I’m getting ready to shift to Toddlers on Monday, which is a bit of an adjustment for me, though not quite as much as I expected. A lot of activities that I’ve stopped using in Baby Storytime because they involved too many full body motions (jumping, spinning) work great for toddlers. I’m also breaking out of my box a little bit because, while I’m keeping a sense of routine like I do with babies, I’m not trying to also bring the comfort and familiarity of the routine of our regular in-library programs. I don’t regularly present toddler storytimes (and neither did my coworker doing virtual toddler storytimes before me)–so I get to make up my own rules.

But for now…one more week of babies!

Background: While my library is closed during the COVID pandemic, we are hosting five virtual storytimes a week, livestreamed through our Facebook page. While those livestreams are deleted soon after they are complete, we are also making YouTube clips of select elements of our storytimes that our patrons can view anytime they would like–and that I can share with all of you!

Find additional content at the links below:

Baby Storytime Introduction Song & Rhyme

Early Literacy Tip & Book Recommendation

We talked about reading this week, including little one’s impatience and lack of attention span being completely okay.

No tip and book video again because the book I used is unfortunately not available as an ebook through our library.

The Baby Goes Beep: O'Connell, Rebecca, Wilson-Max, Ken ...

I do share this list of tagged ebooks recommended for ages 0-24 months at each program.

Action & Body Rhymes

Songs

Movement & Bounce Rhymes

Puppet Time

Manipulative Time – Scarves

Closing Song

DIY Play – Spider Web Baskets

Virtual Book Talks

Reader’s Advisory is a major part of any youth librarian’s job–you need to be familiar with popular titles as well as be ready for those more obscure reader’s advisory questions (“I want books about REAL unicorns. None of that pink glittery nonsense. The REAL ones that eat people.”).

In the library, we provide this service regularly through all kinds of resources–in-person reader’s advisory, displays, booklists, librarian-curated posters and bookmarks of recommended titles and popular genres, and more. My library also sends us into classrooms to talk directly to kids about some great books they might be interested in.

I read a lot. I also love booktalking in classrooms. But I am now working from home, schools in Ohio are not going back this year, and, honestly, I don’t really expect public librarians (or anyone really) to be allowed into classrooms next fall.

So how do we keep reaching those kids? The same ways we have been doing everything lately…virtually.

Video Book Talks

Someday, when we are in a better routine and know what to expect out of life again, I would love to make video book talks. At the moment, I am just getting my feet under me with weekly virtual storytimes and starting monthly virtual school-age programs, and with the constant uncertainty of when and how we will reopen, I don’t want to start something like this at the moment.

Feel free to watch this, uh, interesting creation circa 2017 (that has over 700 views?!?!?!).

I think there are ways to make virtual video book talks much more engaging than the above video, even after eliminating the obvious issues like what-color-is-that-wall and better sound (And, um, pronouncing the title and main character’s name correctly. I’m sorry Hena Khan.).

Some of my dream video book talks include a lot more engaging cuts, edits, and images to be more visually exciting, but I think I may have to settle for a notch under that if I am able to start filming these in the next few months, just due to the time required to make those edits. I’m storyboarding our summer reading video at the moment, and while I think it is going to be pretty awesome, I also recognize the time involved.

Audio Book Talks

One of my coworkers started making audio-only book talks uploaded to SoundCloud, which is a new format for me. I really miss the visual element of video, but I will be the first to admit that it is much easier to read a script into a microphone than babble into a camera and worry about lighting and camera placement and my hands endlessly moving.

I have not put in the time on these that my coworker has (listen to Lisa’s great work here), but some of my files are linked below.

For any of you with an ear for audiobooks–I know some of you are reading this blog–please ignore my mouth sounds. And breathing. And spit. And dry mouth. And p-pops. I’ve been trying to edit all of that out, but it is exhausting, and there is only so much time in the work day. I can’t spend three hours or more editing a three-minute audio file, as much as ALL I HEAR is spit when these play.

Note: I watched a webinar yesterday on disability access and virtual programming. One of the key points they mentioned was making audio files accessible with a script to read for folks who are deaf. I hadn’t considered that before but am planning to edit descriptions for the files below and include text for future audio book talks.

2nd-3rd Grade:

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol by Andres Miedoso

Mia Mayhem by Kara West

Zoey & Sassafras by Asia Citro

3rd-4th Grade:

Poop Detectives by Ginger Wadsworth (non-fiction)

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano

4th-5th Grade:

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Do you have plans for new ways to look at reader’s advisory in a world where we may not be encouraging patrons to hang out in our building and may not be going into new locations for in-person outreach?

Stay-at-Home Professional Development

UPDATED RESOURCES

As many of us will be telecommuting for a few weeks longer than initially anticipated, I updated some of the links below and added a few more suggested resources.

Please share other great resources in the comments!

In the next few weeks, I imagine many of us will be either working at our libraries without patrons or working at home because of the coronavirus. While we all have plenty of tasks to keep us busy, this may be an advantageous time to complete online professional development work. There are many great resources out there–some costly, but many free.

I’ve completed a few of the below programs, and others are on my to-do list. Send me additional recommendations in the comments below, and I will happily add them to the list. I’m currently only listing programs that may be especially of interest to youth or teen services librarians.

Free, Available Anytime

Courses

Grant Writing and Crowdfunding for Public Libraries: Learn how to read a grant application and successfully apply for a grant. Particularly useful for large grants $50,000+. Optional $50 cost to earn a verified certificate.
Also consider the entire Public Library Management certificate.
Time to Complete: 12+ hours

Librarians Guide to Homelessness: Created by Ryan Dowd, learn best practices for library staff on how to understand and better serve the homeless population. Includes tips on how to deal with and de-escalate common situations and issues and make staff feel empowered and safe. May only be available to Ohio librarians.

Mel’s Desk Professional Storytime Development: Not quite an official course like many of these other offerings, but may be the most useful in practical day-to-day storytime improvement. Practice storytime flow, create your own storytime mission statement, and make and evaluate your storytime top 40 list.

Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth: In-depth diversity training specifically designed for youth librarians in public and school library settings. Broken down into three sections covering foundational knowledge, transforming your practice, and continuing the journey.
Time to Complete: 30+ hours (not including activity and program planning and execution)

Raising the Bar Early Literacy Training: Access early literacy storytime training by the New York Public Library including a plethora of valuable resources for early ages.
Time to Complete: 10+ hours

Serving Library Users on the Autism Spectrum: Project PALS: Learn how to better serve your patrons on the autism spectrum.
Time to Complete: 4+ hours

Sesame Strong: Access bundles of resources focusing on family engagement, particularly focusing on hosting mini-programs with parents or caregivers.
Time to Complete: 3+ hours

Supercharged Storytime: Discover ways to improve your storytimes with intentionality, interactivity, and assessment.
Time to Complete: 10+ hours

Supporting Caregiving Families: Learn about serving families of military personnel and veterans in particular with helpful vocabulary, digital resources, and hands-on activities.
Time to Complete: 3+ hours

Trauma Basics for Youth Workers: Learn the basics for practicing and implementing trauma-informed care in youth settings including what trauma is, how it impacts the brain, and how to foster interpersonal safety. Two-hour course is free with options for lengthier in-depth training at a cost (8-hours or 30-hours).
Time to Complete: 2 hours

Webinars

Advancing Racial Equality in Your Library: This webinar, presented by the Race Forward Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), presents an overview of concepts and approaches libraries are using to reduce racial barriers in their work.

Conflict as Opportunity: Library Restorative Practices for Youth: Pima County (AZ) Public Library (PCPL) has radically shifted its approach toward interacting with youth in violation of the library’s Customer Code of Conduct. Using restorative justice practices, PCPL created a justice board with community partners to facilitate more mindful approaches to incidents involving youth, focusing on creating opportunities for growth and engagement rather than barriers to library access.

Countdown to Coding: Computer Science for Preschoolers: Learn ways to incorporate coding concepts into storytimes and playtimes for 3-5 year olds.

Improving the Quality of Youth Programs: Through a series of trainings and assessment tools from the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, Houston (TX) Public Library made changes to create engaging programs where youth want to be instead of have to be.

Multicultural Picture Books: A Deeper Look at Your Collection: Learn about the Diverse Book Finder tool and how to use it to help develop your collection.

Thinking Sideways: Compuational Thinking and Early Literacy: This on-demand webinar explorers components of computational thinking, what it looks like in early childhood, and how library staff use developmentally appropriate activities to support whole-child development. Young children can become successful problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and lifelong learners at the library.

Using Your Library’s Virtual Presence to Reach Users with Disabilities: Is your library working towards improving online accessibility to customers with disabilities? Have you developed new programs and services that intentionally welcome individuals with disabilities, but are struggling to connect with your target audience? Developing inclusive library services will be more effective if your library connects with the disability community, and leveraging your organization’s virtual presence will help you do that.

Additional Webinar Resources:

Toolkits, Websites, & More

Championing Children’s Services Toolkit: Encompasses a variety of easy to use advocacy resources to empower librarians to engage their communities to build healthy successful futures for children.

Getting Started with Mindfulness: A Toolkit for Early Childhood Organizations: Learn about implementing mindfulness techniques into your daily work and organizational culture, try hands-on strategies for doing so, and learn more from organizations that have begun this journey.

Ideabook: Libraries for Families: Learn about ways to engage families and promote lifelong learning.

Learning Across Boundaries: How Librarians Are Bridging Children’s Interests: Contains insights into how libraries are helping families connect children’s learning across home, school, and local settings, and what it might take to make libraries even greater community connecters.

Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth: Learn about technology practices for ages 0-14 in public libraries.

Middle Grade Magic Virtual Conference: While the conference occurred on April 8, login to view excellent presentations from many diverse authors and information about upcoming children’s books.

National Research Agenda for Library Service to Children (Ages 0-14): Current research trends, areas of further exploration, and current needs in the field that might be addressed through research.

Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit: When public and school librarians and library workers engage in collaboration, community members reap the benefits. This toolkit includes context and suggestions for creating partnerships of all sizes.

Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit: Created to help librarians help families prepare children ages 0-8 for school.

Revisiting the Potential uses of Media in Children’s Education: Journalist Chris Berdik interviewed more than 20 experts from a range of fields, including developmental psychologists, educators, media historians, app developers, as well as education nonprofit leaders and funders, to understand some of the lessons that can be learned from the successes and failures of children’s educational media over the past 50 years. Together, they explore what we must do to make the most of new technologies and the changing role of families and teachers, and grapple with questions about media, learning, and educational equity.

Virtual Events

April 25-26: YALLSTAYATHOME: Features panels and speakers ranging from middle grade through young adult lit.

May 1-2: Everywhere Book Fest: A virtual gathering of kidlit authors, illustrators, and books that will bring the book festival experience to young readers everywhere.

May 27: SLJ Day of Dialogue: Learn from authors, librarians, and educators from around the globe in this first-time-virtual event.


Cost, Available Anytime

ALSC Archived Webinars: If you are an ALSC member, these one-hour educational sessions are free. If not, each webinar costs $25 to access. Many topics available from advocacy and storytime to STEAM, child care,diversity, early literacy, and more. Some webinars available to everyone for free.

Critical Competencies for Infant-Toddler Educators™ Online Course (Zero to Three): Observe, understand, and reflect on critical interactions with infants and toddlers that support and nurture their social-emotional, cognitive, and language and literacy development and learning.
Time to Complete: 13 hours
Cost: $375
Also available as separate micro-courses:
Social-Emotional Development – 6 hr, $150
Cognitive Development – 4 hr, $100
Language and Literacy Development – 3 hr, $75

Spanish for Libraries from the iSchool @ UW-Madison: Learn vocabulary, pronunciation, common phrases, and other skills as you progress through the course by watching videos, listening to recordings, and reading relevant literature. Available March 27.
Cost: $100

Cost, Scheduled

Advancing Family Engagement in Public Libraries: A PLA Professional Development Series: Learn about family engagement and update and refine your programming and spaces to encourage this practice.
Time to Complete: 8 months
Cost: $550
Next Session: March session full; Fall 2020

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca: Learn how to successfully deliver the various elements of bilingual storytimes, either on their own or with a bilingual community partner. Participants will discover new books, rhymes, songs, plans and resources that they can immediately put to use in their bilingual storytime programs.
Time to Complete: 4 weeks
Cost: $175
Next Session: Begins May 4

Computational Thinking: Introduction to Computational Thinking for Every Educator: With support from Google, learn about computational thinking and computational thinking integrated activities that you can take back to your school or library.
Time to Complete: 15-30 hours
Cost: Free
Next Session: Summer 2020

Cultural Competence for Librarians: For the library profession, which has historically struggled with developing a workforce that is reflective of the communities being served, these changing times will require cultural competence, defined by the Association of College and Research libraries as “a congruent set of behaviors, attitudes, and policies that enable a person or group to work effectively in cross-cultural situations” (ACRL, 2012). While cultural competence has become a part of some library and information science programs, for librarians currently working in the field, cultural competence may be an enigma. This course will introduce librarians to the concept of cultural competence in the library and information science profession.
Time to Complete: 4 weeks
Cost: $175
Next Session: Begins May 4

Foundations of Early Literacy: Both using and expanding on the early literacy information in the Every Child Ready to Read® initiative, you will become familiar with the early literacy skills and practices. Building on this knowledge, we will explore ways to apply them to your work, including ways to make library environments supportive of staff sharing early literacy information and activities with parents and caregivers.
Time to Complete: 4 weeks
Cost: $175
Next Session: Begins May 4

Library Resources and Services for Patrons on the Autism Spectrum: This course will provide librarians with a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder, effective means of communicating individuals with ASD, strategies for designing inviting and accessible library environments and programming, and suggestions for building relationships with community partners to better serve the needs of patrons with ASD.
Time to Complete: 4 weeks
Cost: $175
Next Session: Begins May 4

Practical Library Services for Grade School Kids (Kindergarten through Second Grade): R. Lynn Baker will provide information and hands-on practice to help library staff create intentional, literacy-based programs for children in kindergarten through second grade. You’ll gain practical knowledge and skills and an understanding of how to put them to work.
Cost: $175
Next Session: Begins April 27