I’m always excited to see new research that can guide library staff in how to design summer reading programs. Bell et al. (2019) have published a study that reinforces what library workers know; getting books into kids’ hands is important! Read on for a summary of this welcome addition to research establishing the impact of book giveaways.
We continue to gain evidence that summer book giveaways support kids’ reading abilities.
In this study, kids in the books-only condition picked 12 books of their choice and gained reading fluency over a summer.
These promising results should be followed up with studies using random assignment and a control condition and that explicitly consider race and racism.
Research in practice: libraries should prioritize getting books into the hands of kids at the start of the summer to support reading fluency.
Board books are typically too small for storytime in person. But, online – where you can hold them close to the camera and give your arms the gift of a nice, lightweight book to hold – they’re a great option. Below, I recommend six books, WorldCat and publisher read-aloud policy links included.
Outdoors, play, and friendship. This #OwnVoices title celebrates making friends across languages and the joy of play, music, and dance. Rather than featuring all text in English and Spanish, Bernier-Grand has each group of kids express similar thoughts in their own language, offering extra richness for dual language speakers. (I reviewed a digital ARC for this title.)
Updated 5/6/20 to include additional info about YouTube and playlist link.
As of writing I’ve been working from home for four weeks! There’s been a lot of discussion among library staff about how to effectively produce children’s storytime content for the web. Since I provide storytime content in Spanish, I’ve pulled together resources that allow that to be done more effectively.
Finding Spanish stories and songs without copyright concerns
While the American Library Association is supportive of fair use claims in this moment, many libraries, and their cities/lawyers/risk departments, are going to err on the side of caution. Greta Bergquist, Youth Services Consultant for the State Library of Oregon, encourages libraries to record rhymes and other content that you can leave up for the long term. Consider the following:
Record a public domain rhyme
Mamalisa.com endeavors to only accept songs outside copyright and has a page worth of Spanish content
Invent your own rhyme
Create a draw and tell story in Spanish
Share a storytime craft or activity that ties in with a book
As I confessed in my author blurb on the Oregon Library Association Children’s Services Division blog, I wrote four term papers on summer reading programs (SRP). During that time I amassed a hoard of research papers on summer reading! My dream is to help produce more, since 95% of public libraries offer summer reading, but there’s only been one true experimental study to my knowledge.
Here are the pieces I’ve found most useful in my literature reviews and papers on participation in, and the effectiveness of, summer reading programs.
Summer Reading 2019 is almost over, and before it ends, I want to share my favorite program of the summer: Paper Star Decor. The program drew a lively mix of 31 kids, young teens, and their family members.
Last winter I saw a video of how to make paper stars out of paper bags. I knew the craft could anchor a summer program, especially since we had the luck of celebrating “A Universe of Stories” for summer reading 2019. It fit right in with our space theme.
I offered three crafts to keep the program interesting for the whole family. Giant paper bag stars were the statement craft. I also included origami stars, which are much quicker, and precut stars for younger kids to decorate.
A version of this article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Voice of Youth Advocates.
I stumbled across a wax-sealed letter while cleaning up my childhood bedroom. It was addressed “To: Adult LindsayFrom: 9 year old Lindsay.”
I had no idea what it contained, but I had just graduated with aMaster’sdegree and moved back to Oregon to start my first librarian job, so I figured I was adult enough to open it. Inside I had written to myself,“I at this age am hoping to do something with a library when I grow up. But you of course know if I have done so because you are a grownup me…”
I’ve hosted bilingual Spanish storytimes for toddlers and preschoolers since 2017. To help out my fellow storytime presenters, I put together a list of all the stories that have worked best for me: Favorite Spanish Picture Books and Stories.
I’ve learned most of what I know about collection development from hands on observation of selectors at work.
From those observations, I’ve learned collection development styles can vary a lot. As one data-driven selector told me, “Some people have a gut. I don’t.” Fortunately, circulation data and spreadsheets have allowed me to roughly approximate a gut.
Not every book I choose for storytime is a winner. Sometimes they’re too long. Sometimes they don’t have enough excitement. My storytime crew tends to be little – ones and twos – so toddler friendly picks are a must. (I save my favorite preschool titles for outreach!) Every book that meets the bar for repeating gets marked with a ‘y’ in my handy dandy Spanish storytime planning spreadsheet.
Two recent ganadores just happen to make the perfect “lizard” storytime! I’ll run with a theme when I can, but it’s more important to me that the books are great choices. (Jbrary has a great post on how to develop storytime flow over storytime themes. )