The Handbook begins with a rationale for the importance of reading aloud to children, and cites statistics and case studies that show the benefits it offers to literacy, family togetherness, child development, and more. Then, Trelease walks the reader through some practical techniques as well as beginning reading suggestions for every age and interest.
Based on his experience as a father and grandfather, and his familiarity with many anecdotes from other parents, Trelease tells us (p. 4) that there are some major advantages derived from reading aloud to [your] child:
- Associating reading with pleasure in the child’s brain
- Establishing background knowledge (ie, what animals live on farms, what a bulldozer looks like, what a fiddle is).
- Building vocabulary (Children’s picture books are meant to be read to a child not by a child because their vocabulary and structure are too sophisticated.)
- Provide a positive reading role model (YOU!)
Although I’m only about halfway done reading The Handbook, I’ve skimmed the final sections that contain a plethora of reading recommendations of every sort. I highly recommend The Read-Aloud Handbook to parents, teachers, librarians, and any other professional that works with children.
Here’s a link to the author Jim Trelease’s home page that contains book lists, lecture downloads, and excerpts/major points from every chapter of his book.
Posted in Book Reviews, Children's Literature, Library Career
Tagged book review, Book Reviews, children's books, children's library, Children's literacy, children's recommended reading, Jim Trelease, Professional Literature, read aloud, read-aloud handbook, reading, reading aloud, Reading motivation
In honor of the recent publication of the third (and final) installment of the Knuffle Bunny series by Mo Willems, I decided to do a Knuffle-centric storytime for my October program at the library. The program was advertised for 4 to 7 year olds, but some toddler siblings tagged along with their moms.
Here’s a rundown of the activities:
- Knuffle Bunny – A Cautionary Tale – DVD narrated by the author & his daughter
- Teddy bear toss with music & dance (kids brought their teddies)
- Knuffle Bunny Too – A Tale of Mistaken Identity – read aloud
- A look at the map – where does Knuffle Bunny travel to?
- Knuffle Bunny Free – An Unexpected Diversion – read aloud
- Craft – Make a Mo Willems-style picture of your family
It was my first storytime at the library, and I was nervous. The storytime was a bit hectic, as the toddlers-in-tow made a lot of noise, but the moms kept tabs on them, luckily. The children enjoyed the stories, it seemed. The craft took about 5 minutes longer than I expected, and the glue was much more messy than it was when I made a sample craft (my glue stick skills are more fine-tuned I guess). Another children’s librarian stayed in the room to observe me, and she said that the program went well and that I did a good job, especially considering the whiny toddlers.
I had a good, but nervous time, and I hope the kids enjoyed themselves. After all, it’s all about the kids’ enjoyment and developing love of reading.
My next program will be an “Honor Our Veterans” storytime, followed by children creating thank-you cards for local hospitalized veterans. Wish me good luck!
Posted in Children's Literature, Library Career, Library Programming, Library Work
Tagged Children's librarianship, children's library, children's programs, crafts, Knuffle Bunny, Mo Willems, public libraries, South Huntington Public Library, storytime, teddy bear
Right now, our library seems to be in the very middle of a multi-week lull in the action in the Children’s Room. The Make a Splash summer reading club ended nearly two weeks ago, but there is still a week left before procrastination-happy parents come in for last-minute summer reading books requested by the schools.
I normally work only 1pm-5pm on Fridays, but I volunteered for extra hours (and extra $), so I worked until 9pm. From 5-9 I was on duty in the Young Adult/teen room. It was the slowest day I’ve experienced, and the lack of teens was probably compounded by the fact that the weather outside was lovely. During my four hours in the teen room, I probably helped only 5 teens and one elderly gentleman – much fewer than usual.
Luckily, I’d been given some projects to work on by my superiors and the other librarians. Tonight was perfect for doing computer-heavy, involved tasks. Here’s a sample of the few projects I’ve been doing:
1. Princess Book List. In the Children’s Room, we’ll often get parents of preschool girls asking for princess books. Inevitably, this happens while all of the librarians are busy with other patrons, so the princess patrons simply get referred to the Disney section. Well, my superiors (and I) agree that it would be ideal to encourage non-Disney books, and make them easily available for the little girls that like everything to be a combination of pink, purple, and sparkly. I finished the list today, and it should appear on the SHPL webpage next week.
2. Summer Book Weeding. This is my first assignment of this sort. For those of you who aren’t familiar with library lingo, “weeding” is the process of assessing the frequency of use of materials in order to give/throw away anything that doesn’t earn its place on the shelf. Today, I started the first round of weeding of the Summer Story books, just going through ones that have been on the front display shelf. So far, it seems that less than 1/5 of the books are going into the tentative “weed” pile.
3. Journal Hunting. One of the full-time librarians got handed down an assignment from the boss, and she handed it down to me. I started going through the School Library Journal, checking to make sure that our library has copies of all the most highly featured materials in the journal. So far, I’ve found that we already have all but a few of the books that appear in the featured lists (this one happened to be about picture books that reinforce mathematical concepts).
Although these three projects are business-as-usual for seasoned librarians, they are all new tasks for me. I’m excited to learn new procedures and develop familiarity with all aspects of the profession. Additionally, I may also soon begin re-cataloging all of the audio CD collection in the Children’s Room. We shall see….and don’t forget to enjoy the extra “quiet time” at the library in the August slow season.
Posted in Book Lists, Library Career, Library Work
Tagged Audio CD, booklist, career, Children's, Children's librarianship, children's library, collection, Disney, librarian, librarian skills, librarians, libraries, library career, library jobs, Make Waves, Make Waves at your library, non-Disney, ordering books, parents, pink, preschool, preschool girls, princess, professional skills, public library, purple, School Library Journal, Shpl, South Huntington Public Library, sparkles, Suffolk Library, Summer Reading, Summer Reading Program, Weeding, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Librarianship, Young Adult Library
As I discussed with one of my coworkers (one of the summer pages) during my break today, a career in libraries must really be the right path for me: for the last few months, my professional growth has progressed more smoothly than I could have ever hoped. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve recently been very blessed with two successive library jobs, along with acceptance to an MLS program. Thanks for letting me revel in the moment!
So, today was my first day working as a Librarian Trainee (“trainee” because I’m still working on my MLS degree.) I was nervous about not having many reference skills, but my fears were put to rest by my supportive coworkers. These lovely librarians guided me gently through my first day sitting at “the big desk.”
Here’s a sampling of all the interesting interactions I had with patrons today:
-registering kids for programs (ie, “baby boogie time,” such cute titles)
-signing kids up for computer stations
-finding Captain Underpants, Cam Jansen, and army-themed books on the shelves with kids
-helping parents schedule time to borrow museum passes (we have a very lucky library!)
I enjoyed the ebb and [very busy!] flow of my short shift. Even though some parts of the day were more busy than I could handle alone, I felt so satisfied helping so many people today – and I was lucky enough that most of the patrons were very friendly and patient with my emerging know-how. I’m really looking forward to my next shift on Friday, and to the next few months of learning on-the-job. Cheers to a great first day as a children’s Librarian Trainee!
Posted in Library Career, Library Work, Master's Degree - MLS
Tagged Cam Jansen, Captain Underpants, career, career ladder, children's books, Children's librarianship, children's library, children's literature, children's reference, computer stations, first job, graduate school, Librarian trainee, library, library career, library jobs, library school, literature, MLS, museum pass, part-time, public libraries, reference, South Huntington Public Library