What I’m Reading and Watching: Winter 2022

Look at me, keeping up with my once-a-month blog post goal! My goal is to stay active on here, even if it’s a short, check-in style piece. I try to write posts I would want to read as a children’s librarian, and one thing I always want to know is what other people are reading and watching related to the field. I like to have my ideas challenged and expanded; it forces me to grow professionally. So here’s a quick round-up of things I’ll be diving into over the next month.


The Missing Middle: Reimagining a Future for Tweens, Teens, and Public Media
Centered on media engagement, this 2021 report from the Joan Ganz Cooney report shares key findings from interviews with kids ages 10 – 14 “about how they spend their time, what they find interesting, how they find new shows, apps, or videos, what issues are important to them, as well as what misconceptions adults have about youth.” I already read this one and there are many takeaways for libraries in here.

Intellectual Freedom Programming Kit
Did you know ALSC has a ton of free toolkits to support youth services? I didn’t have time to give this the full read it deserves when it came out last year so I’m tackling it now. The toolkit includes, “practical, easy-to-implement tips for incorporating intellectual freedom and Information literacy into library cornerstone programs and services. Sample programs include storytimes, book clubs, outreach, and STEAM activities.”

Diversifying Our Storytime Book Selections
My former colleague Tess Prendergast wrote a blog post pointing to recent research on “how much a group of storytime facilitators’ book selections reflected human diversity.” My first task is to read the research article and my second task is to look into the Early Childhood Anti-Bias Education Booklists she links to. Maybe an upcoming blog post with my top picks for storytime?

Let’s Talk About Race in Storytimes
A huge congratulations to Jessica Anne Bratt on the publication of this book! ALA sent me a copy and I read it cover to cover in an hour. It’s accessible for all staff and would make a great group brainstorming session. Grab a copy for your professional development collection.


Reading Picture Books with Kids through a Race Conscious Lens Webinar
I signed up for this webinar from CLEL last fall and couldn’t attend and STILL haven’t watched the recording. It talks “about how using the Whole Book Approach can support kids’ critical engagement with picture book representations of race through art and text.” And I love the Whole Book Approach!

Strategies for Reading Aloud to Preschool Children
Early Childhood Investigations is offering this webinar by Susan Neuman of ECRR fame. The focus on informational text caught my attention as that is something I want to use more of in programming for all ages. Free to register!

Accessible Youth Programming
The Iowa State Library shared a whole bunch of one-hour webinars from their Pop YS Live event. I am particularly excited to watch this one for “examples of accessible youth programming, including story time and story trails.”

What’s on your youth services to-read and to-watch list? Do any of these strike your fancy? I’d love to know in the comments!

9 thoughts on “What I’m Reading and Watching: Winter 2022

  1. Glad to see you back, even if it’s only once a month!

    Some thought-provoking material here. I’ve been curious about making storytimes more accessible, so I hope I’ll have a chance to watch the webinar.

    1. Thanks, Emily! I really hope I can keep my writing goal going this year. If you watch the webinar I’d love to hear your thoughts, either here in the comments or via email.

  2. Thanks for keeping up. Your YouTube videos in particular are always shared amongst children’s librarians when someone new joins the ranks. They are a priceless resource.

    1. Thank you, Mary! It’s great to hear people still watch the videos even though we haven’t uploaded in ages. Seems like blogging is all I have time for these days 🙂

  3. Oooh, thank you for putting The Missing Middle on my radar! I am working much more with tweens in my new job at my old library and I can’t wait to dive into this. I’m also excited to explore Jessica Anne Bratt’s new book (although I don’t do storytimes anymore). Thank you for sharing these great resources to help us learn and grow in our practice!

    1. Sad to hear you don’t do storytimes anymore! But your school-age programs are also amazing, so your community wins either way 🙂

  4. I miss blogs! Instagram and Twitter just burned me out, I find myself gravitating more towards blogs, and I’m glad you’ll be keeping this one going, at a pace that works for you.

  5. Do you have a list of favorite Christmas books? Just starting a storytime for a daycare with 2-5 yo. Thank you for this list.

    1. Hi Jennifer, I don’t have an official list of Christmas storytime books, but I recommend the following: Jingle Jingle by Nicola Smee, How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas, Counting Christmas by Karen Katz, Christmastime by Alison Jay, and The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jane Cabrera. I think there’s also a Pete the Cat Saves Christmas book that could work for preschoolers. I also recommend checking other blogs for Christmas storytime ideas like Storytime Katie: https://storytimekatie.com/2011/12/19/christmas/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.