Library services for very young children could perhaps be the most important a library can offer. Programs and services can have a substantial impact on the future of children who participate or are served.
Library programs should be designed and implemented for children based upon developmental needs and interests. For effective service to take place, librarians should be familiar with behavior characteristics of very young children, developmental levels, and theories of early learning, and work to tie them all together in an offering.
Programs should be created with the overall goals of the library in mind and generally implemented within existing resources. Lapsits, music and movement, art, toddler storytime, preschool storytime, family storytime, other activities and special programs are among the many possible offerings. While there are many program possibilities to implement and many needs to serve, quality and effectiveness should be considered above quantity.
Programs and services should be offered with children in mind at all times, but not necessarily directed at children at all times. Libraries should include programming and services specifically for parents. It is commonly said: whenever you affect a parent, you affect the life of a child.
Program planning and implementation skills develop over time. The basic concepts can be presented in a course such as this, but ultimately each person develops his or her own methods and techniques, which are honed over time. Individual personality and interests blend with these basic tenants to produce unique and effective presentations.
Promotion and evaluation are important elements to successful programming. Keeping careful statistics and records ensures both ongoing funding and library and community recognition of the value of early childhood programming and services.
In this course you will learn:
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