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Children's Services Fundamentals
An Infopeople Online Learning Course (LSSC approved)
Course Instructor: Penny Peck
Does your work in the library include service to children and their families? Do you want to do a better job in providing homework assistance, readers’ advisory, tours of your library, or family programs?
Expert children’s librarian and author Penny Peck will help you to acquire the knowledge and skills to be more comfortable and confident about providing fundamental children’s services. As a result of the course you will be able to:
- Conduct a reference interview to match grade-appropriate resources with a child’s information need
- Determine children’s reading interests, including those of reluctant readers, and find books to meet those interests
- Plan entertaining programs that attract families to the library
- Promote books and reading through programs and library tours
Whether you are new or not-so-new to children’s services, you’ll come away with resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied immediately in your library.
Course Description: During the course, you will have weekly readings, do practical assignments, and participate in discussions to share ideas and experiences. In Weeks 3 and 4, we will schedule two optional online meetings. These meetings are a great way to connect, ask questions, and explore the course material in a friendly, informal environment. Those who cannot participate in person will be able to listen to the archived recording of the meetings.
Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:
- Week 1: Your Community and Its Children
- The philosophy and values of library service to children
- Overview of child development by age group
- Legal issues affecting children in the library
- Internet safety for children
- Media mentorship as a role for the library
- Partnerships with community groups and schools
- Week 2: Reference and Homework Help
- Reference service to school-age children
- Reference interview questions and techniques
- Parents and teachers as customers
- Library instruction
- Homework help, including resources related to the Common Core
- Online resources for reference and homework help
- Week 3: Readers Advisory for Children
- Books for young children and beginning readers
- Recreational reading by grade level, and by genre
- Multiculturalism and diversity in children's books
- Readers’ advisory interview questions and techniques
- Finding read-alikes and books for reluctant readers
- Dealing with censorship and challenges to materials
- Online resources to assist with readers’ advisory
- Week 4 : Children’s Programming, Class Visits, and Library Tours
- Overview of children’s programming
- Entertainment, do-it-yourself, Makerspace, and multicultural programs
- Conducting tours of the library
- Online resources for programs and tours
Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of 10 course hours. Each week’s module contains readings, discussions, and assignment options. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week’s work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Any library staff members who provide services to children, especially new children’s librarians or other library staff who are relatively new to serving children. This course is particularly valuable for support staff whose work includes children’s services responsibilities.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at: infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.