Welcome to this latest attempt to connect librarians from west-central Wisconsin with each other! Please send in content (booklists, ideas, photos, etc.), and comment on posts so we can help each other. If you were using feedmyinbox to get new posts sent to you before, you'll need to switch to another service (blogtrottr works like feedmyinbox, googlereader is a good blog-reader to try).

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Friday, December 16, 2016


The final big trend to discuss from the SLP workshop responses to making the Summer Library Program easier:  Simplification.

Several people talked about looking at programs and simplifying them.  Many talked about looking at record-keeping and simplifying it.  Eliminating or reducing prizes definitely figured into the equation for quite a few folks.

Now, I'm someone who tends to complicate things.  It is a lesson I have had to keep re-learning, that I don't have to do EVERYTHING with every, single project.  Planning, prioritizing, and then focusing my attention does not come naturally to me.  I want to do everything, because I can see how everything is related and everything is important.  But when my efforts are spread so thin, they end up being a little random.

So anyway, maybe we could step back and really think about how to simplify programs and reduce prep time (Do you really need to individually decorate the cookies so they match the theme? If a craft project requires many individual parts to be prepared ahead of time, maybe it is time to think about a different craft project?).  We already talked about simplifying record-keeping.  Prizes kind of fit in with that--if you want to continue to give out prizes, how can you simplify them?  Can they occupy less of your budget?  Or can you spend the money on books, which are more expensive, but only give one or two out during the summer?  Think about the role prizes play in your program, and think about ways you can maximize their effectiveness if you want to keep using them.

Good luck!  And remember, even though it is ALL cool and important, you can pace yourself!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Opportunity to Share Information!

We need to spread the word that the earliest weeks matter!
Many thanks to Saroj Ghoting, Early Literacy Consultant (and popular workshop presenter) for pointing out the interesting results of a Zero to Three parent survey.  Major points are summarized here, and the full report is here.

The information reported here shows that there is definitely a need for us to share information with parents and caregivers about critical development periods for infants and toddlers!  Below, I'm basically quoting a post Saroj made on an ALSC listserv:

The time of most rapid brain development occurs during the first 3 years. While 63% of parents identified this correctly, more than 34% said that the time of most rapid brain growth is 3 to 5 years, a significant underestimation of the importance of the earliest years.  Parents overall consistently underestimate just how early children can be affected by some critical experiences:

  • When asked at what age the quality of a parent’s care has a long-term impact on a child’s development, 50% of parents said this begins at 6 months or older, 57% of parents say it begins at 3 months or older.  It starts at birth.
  • When asked to identify the age at which children can begin to feel sad or fearful, 42% of parents say one year or older, and 59% of parents believe it begins at 6 months or older. In fact, this happens as early as 3-5 months. 
  • Nearly half of parents think that reading to children starts to benefit long-term language development about a year and a half later than it actually does: 45% say the benefits start at 2 years or older. In reality, benefits begin at about 6 months.
  • 34% of parents believe that talking to children starts to benefit their language skills at a year old or later, and 63% of parents say the benefits of talking begin at 3 months or older.   In fact, it begins at birth.