Category Archives: Diversity

2-Part Webinar: Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library


Serving Deaf Patrons in the Library
A two-part online workshop, each session lasting 90 minutes, on Thursdays, September 17 and 24, 2020 , 2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Library services are for everyone, and that includes the deaf community. In this workshop, Kathy MacMillan, librarian and certified American Sign Language interpreter, guides you in making your library a more welcoming place for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing. You will gain an understanding of Deaf culture, learn library-related signs, and become prepared to confidently work with interpreters for your programs.

$75 per person; discounts available for groups and American Library Association Members.

Register now.

50% off storytime resource books from ALA Editions!

ALA Editions has lots of great storytime resources on sale at 50% off, including 2 of our titles:

Multicultural Storytime Magic coverMulticultural Storytime Magic by Kathy MacMillan and Christine Kirker (ALA Editions)

Regular price: $48 – Now on sale for $24!

Weave diversity into any and every storytime, no matter what the topic! Arranged thematically around dozens of popular storytime themes, this resource book presents original and traditional resources from all over the world that will enrich storytimes for ages 2 through 5. Includes download links for flannelboard and stick puppet patterns and illustrations of American Sign Language signs. Buy now.


A Box Full of Tales by Kathy MacMillan (ALA Editions)

Regular price: $52 – Now on sale for $26!

Children’s programming made easy. Really easy. What librarian doesn’t dream of offering more and better children’s programs with less effort? Story boxes offer a simple method for capturing ideas, talent, creativity, and resources available in your library. This handy resources also includes detailed plans for fifty great story boxes including suggested books, fingerplays, songs, props, crafts, and sign language activities. Buy now.


Browse the entire sale here! Sale ends August 15, 2020.

Learn from Home with the Explorers Series!

If you’re looking for structured extension activities to do with your children while you are all home together, Christine Kirker’s Explorer series will provide you with some fresh ideas!

25 Projects for Art Explorers 

Designed for kids aged 5 – 10 with projects that can be adapted to the age of the child.  The projects:

-introduce children to a variety of art techniques, from gouache and watercolor to collage and papermaking, using a curated selection of quality picture books;

-provide detailed directions for guiding children to experiment with these techniques to create their own projects; and

-include materials lists adaptable for any budget, capsule biographies of the picture books’ illustrators, programming tips, and links to additional resources.

25 Projects for Global Explorers

Designed for kids aged 5-10, and flexible enough to use in either storytimes or classroom settings, the projects here:

-use representative picture books as tools for learning about different places and people;

-take kids’ imaginations on journeys to a variety of U.S. landmarks, such as Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and Lei Day Festival in Hawaii;

-introduce more than a dozen fascinating places, traditions, and cultures from across the world, including the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, the Day of the Dead in Mexico, the Ziggurat of Ancient Mesopotamia in Iraq, and the San People, formerly known as the Bushmen of South Africa; and

-include hands-on activities for teaching children what makes each topic special, materials lists, programming tips, and additional resources.

Purchase now.

Coming May 2020: 25 Projects for Eco Explorers 

Though the daily news is filled with reports of climate change, severe weather, environmental distress, and endangered species, children’s librarians and educators might be uncertain how to incorporate these topics into their current curriculum. This handy resource offers an ideal solution, presenting more than two dozen ready-to-use projects on environmental topics that can be integrated into K-5 educational lesson plans and library programming for children aged 4-10. Starting with a representative picture book as a foundation, children are guided through each topic using a hands-on project that reinforces learning. Whether they’re in the classroom or library, kids will feel excited and engaged as they explore such topics as

-honeybees, loggerhead turtles, mountain gorillas, polar bears, and other animals;

-environments like coral reefs, estuaries, and the Galápagos Islands;

-wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes;

-composting, gardens, seeds, and the farm to table movement; and

-garbage, recycling, renewable energy, water conservation, and Earth Day.

Preorder now.

About the Author

Christine Kirker is a Library Associate with the Carroll County Public Library (MD). She is the author of 25 Projects for Art Explorers and 25 Projects for Global Explorers and the coauthor (with Kathy MacMillan) of five books in the Storytime Magic storytime resource series, all from ALA Editions.  Since joining the library staff in 2005, Christine has developed and presented many programs for children of all ages. In addition, she has applied for and received many grants benefitting the library including a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, wherein Christine worked with the community to create a native garden at the library and offered many educational outreach programs. Previously, Christine spent ten years employed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) as a Research Analyst for the Office of Institutional Research.

Celebrating Earth Day in Storytime

earth-clip-art-earth_clip_art_24300Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970, in San Francisco, California. Since then, over one hundred countries have joined together for this annual environmental event.  This Earth Day, help the little ones in your life appreciate nature and learn about protecting the environment with this roundup of our favorite Earth day resources from Storytime Stuff and beyond!

Here at

Bringing Nature Inside for Storytime – bring the best of the outdoors to your classroom or storytime room!

Nature Around the World Storytime – bring a multicultural touch to your Earth Day celebration!

Springtime Fun Storytime – celebrate the sounds, smells, and sights of spring!

Around the Web:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Day for Kids Website – lots of storytime suggestions and printable resources.

Preschool Earth Day Storytime from Library Village – rhymes, songs, book suggestions, and a supercool recycling craft that easy to make.

Reading for the Earth: Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup – a comprehensive roundup of lesson plans, books suggestions, activities, video links and more at the Lee & Low Books blog.


Creating a Diverse Book Collection

From Lee & Low Books’ blog, The Open Book:

“It’s not easy to create an inclusive book collection. Whether you’re a librarian creating a collection for an entire community, a teacher creating a collection for your classroom, or a parent creating a collection for your children, choosing books that reflect the diversity of human experience can be a challenging job.

That’s because creating a diverse book collection is about more than just making sure X, Y, and Z are represented. It’s not a matter of ticking off check boxes or making sure quotas are filled. For those committed to doing it right, building a diverse book collection requires contemplation, research, and awareness. But the rewards are great: a truly diverse collection of books can turn children into lifelong readers and promote empathy, understanding, and self-confidence.”

Check out the rest of this great post for actionable steps to creating real diversity in your collection: Checklist: 8 Steps to Creating a Diverse Book Collection.