Library staff from across Queensland recently logged on to the Connecting with Collections First 5 Forever webinar. Presenters from different library services shared strategies they use for keeping current with what’s available in the book world for the 0-5s and their families.
With new books and stock exchanges always arriving on shelves, how do you know what to recommend, share or use in your early literacy programs? As we know, a role in libraries doesn’t mean we get endless time to read books — so how do we keep up to date with what’s available and what’s worth hunting down? Below are some of the tips shared in the webinar.
1. Use your local networks
No one can be across all of children’s publishing, so use your team mates, networks and community partners.
- Check in with colleagues about what they’ve seen, shelved or purchased for the collection. Don’t forget the recommended list of storybooks to share put together from suggestions by Queensland library staff.
- Kindergarten and Prep teachers are often more than willing to provide a quick list of their top ten children’s books or what they use for a particular unit of work. These can be checked against your catalogue and you can share your lists and kit components with them.
- Book stores are wonderful places to see what’s new and what’s still popular. If you don’t have a local store, or time to browse check on the online website versions and see what’s available.
2. Peruse award winners and shortlists
It’s Children’s Book Council Awards time of the year – but remember that books don’t need to win awards to be the right book at the right time for a child or family.
3. Attend a festival or follow one on social media
There are so many writers’ festivals now from Cairns to Brisbane, and Whitsundays to Winton. At festivals, you’ll find new and emerging authors to watch and learn more about established children’s writers. No budget for travel? Find out the hashtag and follow along with participants.
4. Follow dedicated blogs and websites
There’s so much content online that it can be hard not to lose yourself down digital rabbit holes. Here are just a few suggestions to add to what you are already using. Have another great site to share? Let the team at First 5 Forever know about it.
- Children’s Book Council Australia http://www.cbca.org.au Subscribe to their newsletter “Reading Time”
- Children’s Books Daily childrensbooksdaily.com Subscribe to the newsletter
- The Book Chook thebookchook.com
- Kids Book Review kids-bookreview.com
- Picture Book Book Club https://picturebookbc.wordpress.com/
- First 5 Forever book recommendations first5forever.org.au/category/book-recommendations
5. Get social
- @picturebookbc: First Thursday of the month is a book club discussion on picture books, often with guest authors and illustrators
- First 5 Forever (obviously!)
- Your Kid’s Next Read: online community Readers Advisory for children
- Better Reading Kids
- Kids Reading Guide Australia
- Specialist bookstores: eg. Where the wild things are; Riverbend Books,
- all Publishers; Literary organisations etc.
Let us know how you stay up to date and any strategies or links that you’d like to share with the network.
To hear the recording and access the resources from the Connecting with Collections First 5 Forever webinar, visit the First 5 Forever Dropbox. All past webinars on a range of topics are also available for you to share or re-visit.
The next webinar will be on The Power of Props on 6 September.