Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse
Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.
Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, May 7, 2018 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)
Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)
Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.
After participating in this eCourse, you will:
- Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
- Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
- Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
- Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context
Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.
Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.
Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, March 26, 2018 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)
Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)
American Sign Language (ASL) is an invaluable skill for library professionals. A basic grasp of ASL enhances your ability to serve deaf library users and opens up a new world of possibilities for storytime programs. It’s also a marketable professional skill that can translate to public service jobs beyond the library world.
Ideal for those without previous experience, this eCourse taught by librarian and ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will use readings, multimedia resources, and online discussion boards to introduce basic ASL vocabulary and grammar appropriate for use in a library setting. MacMillan will place ASL within a linguistic and cultural context, aiding participants in improving library services.
Comments from previous students of this course:
“Thank you for teaching me much more than I expected. It’s been a wonderful experience that I will certainly share with everyone who will listen!”
“This course has been invaluable to me…I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the course and truly appreciate someone’s genius in offering it. The instructor was a gem in the way that she provided comprehensive answers to questions, feedback, tips and resources.”
“I absolutely loved the class and would HIGHLY recommend it to ANYONE — librarian or not!”
“This class was interesting, informative and entertaining. It opened my eyes to a variety of ideas and concepts that can only make me a better librarian as well as a better person. I thought things were well organized and presented in an ordered and logical fashion, each lesson building on the one before.”
If you’re looking to expand your organization’s training opportunities for early literacy topics, look no further than this fantastic handout compiled by Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, Sue McCleaf Nespeca, and Saroj Nadkarni Ghoting for a recent presentation at the American Library Association’s annual conference. Betsy, Sue, and Saroj have compiled information about their favorite early literacy trainer, and invite libraries, childcare centers, and schools to find out more about these incredible trainers!
The name says it all:
Project ENABLE is the result of an extraordinary partnership between the Center for Digital Literacy, the School of Information Studies (iSchool@Syracuse) and the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University. This project provides free online training modules designed for public, academic and school librarians to help them make their libraries truly inclusive for all users. Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, anyone interested in creating accessibility in libraries can access these trainings, and modules can also be customized for individual or group use.
Once you sign up for a free account, you’ll take an initial assessment and then have access to five self-paced training modules, focusing on disability awareness, disability law and policy, creating an accessible library, planning inclusive programs and instruction, and assistive technology in libraries. Each module features interactive learning activities and a brief self-assessment, for a total of ten hours of instruction. Additional resources on the site include a template and checklists for a library accessibility action plan, universal design, Americans with Disability Act compliance, and sample lesson plans for school librarians. A certificate of completion is available for those who complete the training.
With training and resources of this caliber available for free, no librarian has any excuse to plead ignorance about how to provide accessibility. Sign up for a free training account today at http://projectenable.syr.edu/
The Public Programs Office of the American Library Association has announced that it is preparing to re-launch its ProgrammingLibrarian.org website and is looking for bloggers!
Bloggers will be asked to write at least one post per month on a programming-related topic. You will write the article, upload it onto the site, preferably with a photo, and ALA will lightly edit it. Post length can vary but 300-500 words is a good estimate.
If you are interested in applying, please send the following to Andriana Bozovic (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Feb. 27:
- A brief description of your library experience and your interests
- A description of any prior writing experience
- A general theme for your blog (eg, I’m a public librarian blogging on children’s programming) and three sample blog topics/headlines that you might write about
- Attach an informal writing sample (eg, blog post, newsletter article, etc — something that shows your voice)
Seeking a variety of voices — public libraries, academic, school, special; people interested in community-building, tech programming, children’s program, older adult programming; etc. So think about what interests you.