A child’s brain begins developing in the
uterus and it will develop continually into adulthood. How can library programming support development? Developmentally Appropriate Programming (DAP) is designed to bolster children’s development and learning success.
All children are unique in their needs, abilities, and interests. When you take children’s developmental milestones into account when structuring your programs, you can create programs that support the well-being and development of children in the community. DAP provides a framework for combining youth services library staff members’ knowledge of the communities they serve with brain development research to provide the most supportive, successful library programs possible.
Want to learn more?
- Useful resources for learning about developmental milestones include the Bright Futures Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Milestone Moments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Want to learn more about developmentally appropriate library programming? The upcoming Infopeople course Developmentally Appropriate Programming for Youth will teach participants to use a rubric that includes the program spaces, formats, content, and staffing models that equip libraries to offer high-impact programs designed precisely for the developmental levels of their intended audiences. Registration for the course is open now.
Do you work in Library Youth Services? Infopeople has a number of upcoming training opportunities that may be of interest to you!
Age Range: Under 5 years old
Creating Baby Spaces in Public Libraries: Designing for Success
1-hour webinar on Jan 27 with presenter Bridget Alexander
1-hour webinar on Feb 11 with presenters Laura Baldassari-Hackstaff and Laura Olson
Age Range: 5 – 12 years old
Children’s Programming on a Budget
4-week course with instructor Penny Peck
Free or low-cost library programs are a natural and effective way to meet the needs of school-age children and their parents or caregivers in your community. Your library’s programming efforts could include multicultural events, do-it-yourself craft and game programs, book-related movies, Lego clubs, board and electronic gaming programs, book discussion groups, Makerspace programs, storytelling, puppet shows, and “dog buddy” reading programs. In this course, expert children’s librarian Penny Peck shares her practical experiences with determining, developing, and delivering programs that stimulate and engage children – all for a reasonable cost to your library.
Age Range: 12 – 18 years old
Adapting Informal Learning Practices for Teen Services: the labs @ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
1-hour webinar on Feb 24 with presenter Corey Wittig
STEM and STEAM Programming for Teens in Libraries
1-hour webinar on Jan 21 with presenter Karen Jensen
Jensen will discuss the basic concepts behind both STEM and STEAM programming. We’ll also discuss the benefits for both libraries and the teens they serve. We’ll also provide you with some basic program starting points for STEAM programs that involve art, music and/or books.
Teen Services Fundamentals
4-week course with instructor Sarah Flowers
You’ll come away from the course with an understanding of the developmental needs of teens in our diverse society and tools to identify and enhance the library’s role in meeting those needs. This course will enable you to advocate for teens and for library services geared specifically to them.
Library programming for children can entertain, educate and engage young people and their families in your community! There are various types of library programming for children. From jugglers and magicians to book groups and Makerspaces, many libraries embrace programming as a way to foster learning, reading, and creativity. When library resources are in short supply, however, it can take creative approaches to offer programming that does not require a lot of money or staff time. One type of programming that can be viable is passive programming.
Infopeople instructor Penny Peck describes passive programming in this way:
Passive programming is a term you sometimes hear used to refer to activities which do not require staff direction, such as a simple craft, coloring pages, games or puzzles left on a table in the children’s room. For practical purposes, this might be an activity to keep kids busy while their parents are on the computer or finding books. It can encourage positive activity after a child has finished his homework and is waiting to be picked up.It might also mean having something for a parent and child to do together at the library. Passive programming is very low cost, as it involves just a few games or toys and some simple craft supplies. On busy days, you could even assign a teen volunteer to monitor the passive program area – refilling craft supplies, assisting younger children with scissors, and cleaning up regularly to make sure game pieces don’t get lost.
There are plenty of simple things you can do as a passive program. Here are a few ideas from Penny:
- Contests: Have a contest related to a display. For example, if you are displaying photos of famous Hispanic-Americans for Cinco de Mayo, allow children to enter guesses as they try to identify the famous person for a prize. This could inspire them to do some research to identify the person in a photo!
- Character of the Week: Create a simple book display highlighting a favorite children’s book character. Make some arts and crafts (bookmarks, masks, paper bag puppets, mazes, etc.) related to that character available, too. You can often find activities on an author or publisher’s website. The books will circulate and children will enjoy the crafts.
- Origami: Display some of the popular Origami Yoda books by Tom Angleberger and include some related origami instructions and paper.
- Scavenger Hunt: Make handouts with scavenger hunt clues that focus on different areas of the library. For example, “Name a magazine from the children’s area,” or “Name the Dewey Decimal number for folktales.” Once a child has filled in all the answers, he or she can bring it to the librarian’s desk for a prize (like a bookmark or stickers). Plus, they have completed a self-directed library tour!
Interested in more great ideas for Children’s Programming on a Budget? Registration for a new course taught by Penny Peck is now open at: https://infopeople.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=446.