Early Childhood Literacy

Revolutionary Thinkers: Early Childhood Librarians

In the midst of summer, one might be playing catch at the park, catching some rays at the pool, or exploring the many wonders of the great outdoors. I’m sure that last night many people were walking around downtown, laughing, and eating ice cream. For my night, I was researching and writing about the many splendid benefits that privacy awards us. Quite an applicable topic as I barricaded myself in my room away from human contact, fingers zooming across my keyboard like I was trying to rack up frequent flyer miles. On several occasions, I have asked fellow graduate students how their weekends went, only to receive a quizzical look and an airy, disconnected question “What’s a weekend?”

But while another summer will come, graduate school can’t last forever (oh, sorry doctoral students) and I’d like to get as much benefit out of my classes as I can. The first summer session I completed Advanced Storytelling (if you’ll remember my Fabio personal narrative), Web Graphics, Seminar in Intellectual Freedom, and part of my internship. I am now taking Collection Development and Management, Information Policy: Privacy, my internship, and Early Childhood Literacy.

My class on Early Childhood Literacy is absolutely wonderful. This field of expertise is very exciting and cutting-edge for librarians. In 2001, Every Child Ready to Read (ECRR) was introduced in public libraries to train librarians on effective ways to engage infants and preschoolers in language and literacy before the children could read. Particular focus was on parent education, a great shift from a past, strict focus on addressing children during programs. Ten years later, they have introduced a second version that builds skill sets through five activities: talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing–all delightful activities!

By instructing or reinforcing these concepts with caregivers, librarians can reassure parents that all their activities at home make a difference, even if you can’t see an immediate result. Connecting with your child is crucial to intellectual and social development. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends zero screen time for kids 0-2 due to fear that ADD and ADHD may be connected to over-stimulus and an insufficient amount of time to allow brain connections to develop. However, I appreciate the disclaimer to this that my teacher has said. We should all be understanding of unique situations and an hour of TV instead of an hour of a parent ripping their hair out will result in better interactions after that hour is over.

It’s so exciting to think that I will be a part of this revolutionary movement towards effective, enriching, and engaging library programming for infants and preschoolers. The more I take these classes on children’s and young adult librarianship, the more I know that this career was where I am meant to be.



Reading: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Listening: Wilco — Being There
Watching: Star Trek with Captain Kirk

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