Category Archives: Children’s Librarianship

Librarian as Early Literacy Coach

I recently presented at the British Columbia Library Conference about the work my library does to meet the needs of adults raising and caring for young children.

We are very proud of our work in this regard and I emphasized the role that librarians can and should play in their communities as early literacy experts and advocates.

You will find our conference handouts here.

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ASL English Bilingual Family Storytime Resources – click here!

This link will take you to another blog that is a compilation of resources that some colleagues and I put together to promote this great program model at a conference we presented at in May. Enjoy!We are all very proud of this collaborative program model!

The Full Little eLit Book is Here: Young Children, New Media, and Libraries

The Little-eLit book is here! I am so very proud to have been part of this great new resource for children’s library practitioners! Check it out for free at the little-elit blog,

Little eLit

Today is the day: the full Little eLit book is now available! If you’ve been reading the main chapters of the book as they’ve been released serially over the past 9 months, you’ll still want to check out the final product; the full book, linked here, includes appendices that add more context and expand on the chapters on evaluation and digital media in storytimes, among other things.

Click the image above to view the full pdf of the book. Click the image above to view the full pdf of the book.

We the co-authors of Young Children, New Media, and Libraries: A Guide for Incorporating New Media into Library Collections, Services, and Programs for Families and Children Ages 0-5 hope that this book will provide a solid foundation for your own forays into the topic of early literacy in the digital age, whether you’re just taking your first exploratory steps or looking to expand upon past practice.

And if you have any…

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The New “Volunteer-delivered” Storytime…not so much…

I recently came across this promotional piece from Upstart Demco about their Very Ready Reading Program. Here is a link to the piece entitled “The New Storytime: Putting Research Into Action”. The short piece goes on to tell us about how their product has helped a children’s librarian to train and prepare volunteers to do storytimes. You can read it here…I will wait…

I am so convinced of the importance of our professional role that I was dismayed to see this practice of having volunteers deliver storytime programs, however necessary it may seem to be in this community, lauded, in print as an example of “The New Storytime”. It isn’t. Volunteer work can in no way be reflective of the extraordinarily complex, nuanced, balanced and well-researched professional practices that are currently underway in the field of children’s librarianship. There are many examples of such professional work all over the internet. I am not acquainted with the librarian featured in the piece, nor any of her volunteers. I am sure they are all committed and wonderful people. That does not make it acceptable for volunteers to do what I consider to be a professional children’s librarian’s core activity, for, you know, money?

All levels of government need to adequately fund libraries so that overworked and short-staffed children’s services staff do not need to rely on volunteers, however well-meaning (or well-trained they are via this product) to plan and deliver early literacy programs. If a volunteer can do what I do (i.e. face to face early literacy work with young children and their families in a public library) as well as I do it, I would argue vociferously that he or she is being exploited, period. Also, the use of volunteers sends the message that actual paid children’s staff of all levels (librarians, library technicians and library assistants)are superfluous. Haven’t all children’s librarians heard “Oh, your job must be so much fun, just reading to kids all day!” or some such other nonsense. Yes, my job is fun, and do love it. It is however NOT so much fun defending the salary I work for in a job I qualified for by completing 6 years of full-time university. In doing this PhD, I am striving/hoping/aiming for a future job educating students in children’s librarianship where I want to share my enthusiasm and expertise for doing what I think of as one of the Western world’s most important jobs. I really don’t want the exemplary work of a long history of children’s librarianship to be relegated to future corps of volunteers who follow a script.

Early Literacy is NOT FREE!

Early Literacy is NOT FREE!

Inclusivity in Storytime Programs: Including Children with Disabilities

At the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, I had a the honour of leading a discussion about inclusion in storytime programs. Follow the link to read my notes. Following my presentation, we had a roundtable discussion on the importance of finding ways to encourage the participation of children with disabilities in library programs: sometimes that means creating specialized, separate programs and sometimes it means rethinking the way we deliver regular programs to maximize the participation of children who may otherwise not be able to participate to their potential. Many thanks to my hosts with the ALSC Preschool Discussion Group, Sue McLeaf Nespeca and Linda Ernst for inviting me to present on this topic! Also, many thanks to the the discussion group attendees who shared their perspectives and thoughts on this topic. We all agreed that children’s librarians play extremely important roles in ensuring that children with disabilities are provided with early literacy learning opportunities in their communities.

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Unite for Literacy shout-out!

Unite for Literacy shout-out!

Just a quick link to an online picture book resource – this book is a lovely example of “everyday diversity” and inclusion in books for children so I wanted to give it a shout out. Also, a great resource for families who want to read easy readers online with their kids as there are many titles to choose from, all free, no log-in needed.

I am working on a much bigger picture book project where I will be examining and analyzing a whole lot of picture books that purport to be about children with disabilities – I will be critiquing through an inclusion/diversity lens to see how well they stand up to stereotypes and other issues. Stay tuned…

This revised book is an essential resource for children’s librarians!


If you are at this blog, I take it you have an interest in inclusive early literacy. If you are also a children’s librarian serving children of all ages and care about providing the best services, programs and collections for all children, then please take the time to find, borrow or buy the revised edition of a book called Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A how to do it manual for librarians. 

Authors of the first edition: Sandra Feinberg, Barbara Jordan, Kathleen Deerr and Michelle Langa.

Revised by Carrie Scott Banks.

This book is an ESSENTIAL RESOURCE for all children’s librarians. The link to the ALA store is here. I bought mine from