¡Es divertido hablar dos idiomas!

A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Outreach Class Updated for the Trump Era

Libraries often strive to be apolitical, in order to allow everyone to feel welcome. However, in 2018 and beyond, it is impossible to discuss the real challenges libraries face in reaching and serving Latino and Spanish-speaking communities without acknowledging politics. The rhetoric used to describe immigrants in general, and Latinos in specific (both citizens and immigrants) during the 2016 election campaign, and the policies enacted by the Trump administration, have real-world consequences that increase the challenges of providing quality library service to these communities. Strategy and relationships are more important than ever.

Building Relationships, Building Bridges has been updated to reflect these realities. Drawing from current research and front-lines, this workshop works to develop best practices for respectful and responsive outreach. Emphasis is particularly placed on serving first-generation, primarily Spanish-speaking, Latino immigrants and their families.

This workshop is being next offered online through Library Juice Academy in February. For more information and registration details, please visit the LJA workshop page.

How has your outreach to Latinos and Spanish-speakers changed in the last year? What information needs are most pressing for the communities you are serving?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Once Upon a Cuento review from SLJ!

Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish, co-authored by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and me, just received a STARRED review from School Library Journal yesterday! Such an honor. It am thrilled to know that this book is achieving its intended purpose: making the case for the need for bilingual (and Spanish-language) programming for young children, guiding library staff step-by-step through the process of outreach to Latinx families, and increasing exposure among anyone who works with young children to the vibrant world of Latinx children's literature. Does your library have a copy yet?

Once upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish by Jamie Campbell Naidoo & Katie Scherrer | SLJ Review

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redstarNAIDOO, Jamie Campbell & Katie Scherrer. Once upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish. 136p. further reading. index. ALA Editions. May 2016. pap. $48. ISBN 9780838914113.
profreading-naido-onceuponacuentoThis thorough introduction not only gives guidance on how to organize and conduct a bilingual storytime but also details how to do effective outreach to Latinx communities. The book is half manual and half ready-to-use bilingual programs for toddlers, preschoolers, and mixed-age and family groups. The thematic, language-rich plans include songs, finger plays, and extension activities and revolve around titles written by Spanish and Latin American authors and representative of Latino cultures. The how-to section on outreach is chock-full of practical advice on programming and book and app selections. The authors feature real-life examples of librarians visiting community organizations and meeting trusted members of Latinx communities in order to communicate the library’s mission. The authors emphasize the importance of “[embedding] the library as a valued and trusted community service.” Included are literacy maxims in both languages and myths surrounding second language learning. Practical information on how to find and select a bilingual partner and how librarians who are not bilingual can run such programs give this text a greater readership. Much of the advice can be applied to any language group, and an extensive resource list is included. VERDICTEssential for both public and school librarians who serve the many diverse ELL populations living in the United States.–Sara Lissa Paulson, City-As-School High School, New York City
This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2016 issue.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Book Review and Last Professional Development Opportunity of 2016!

Hi all! As you may or may not know, I recently co-authored a book (along with Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo) published earlier this year by ALA Editions on bilingual storytime programming, titled Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish. I'd love to share with you a recent review of the book, written by Martín Blasco and published by Webjunction. You can find the whole review here - www.webjunction.org/news/webjunction/book-review-once-upon-a-cuento.html.

What I most appreciate about this review is that it is written from the point of view of a bilingual storytime "skeptic." Martín is the founder of Reforma Oregon, and an ardent supporter of monolingual Spanish storytime, due to its benefits for immersing families in early literacy practices in the language they know best. He was concerned that our book would claim that bilingual storytime is "better" than monolingual Spanish storytime. He was so pleasantly surprised to find out that this is not our objective at all! In fact, we highlight a librarian who presents Spanish storytime in her library and bilingual storytime at her local school, because that is what is needed by her local community. And that, really, is our point.

This resource is not about dogma or pitting those who present bilingual storytime and monolingual storytime against one another. It is about knowing your community, being involved with local Latino community organizations and partner agencies in meaningful ways, setting up a storytime that works best for your community given the resources you have available, possessing a depth of knowledge of high-quality Latino children's literature, and making purposeful use of the digital resources that are available for Latino and Spanish-speaking families. Yes, we love bilingual storytime! And we hope that you love it too! We also know that different communities are going to make different choices about what style of storytime works best for them, and we make plenty of space for that. But in this day and age, there is no excuse for any library not making the effort to serve the Latino and Spanish-speaking members of their community. There is no excuse for not being aware of the high-quality Latino children's literature that is available and making use of it in your programs and including it in your collections. There is just no excuse. So wherever your library is in its journey toward inclusion of Latino and Spanish-speaking families, it is our hope that this resource can help you keep moving a little more forward.

Finally, I'd like to share that the LAST CHANCE of 2016 to learn about bilingual storytime and outreach to Latino families with me begins October 3. I am currently expecting my first child, and plan to take some time off early next year. At this stage, I'm not sure when I will be travelling for in-person training and setting up online training sessions again, but I would venture to guess that it will be late spring of 2017 at the earliest. So if you are interested in exploring these topics with me, let's do it next month!

The great news is that this upcoming class is the best bang for your buck of all of the online classes that I teach. The Library of Virginia is offering "Bilingual Storytime and Latino Outreach" from October 3 - November 11. This six-week, asynchronous, online class uses Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish, along with recorded presentations, videos, additional readings, and online conversations to go in-depth in exploring outreach to Latino communities and bilingual storytime development. You can learn more about the class and register here - www.eventbrite.com/e/library-outreach-and-bilingual-storytime-tickets-26122450954. Let me share some key points about why this class is such a great deal:

  • The cost is only $30 for Virginia library staff and only $50 for library staff in other states!
  • Your registration fee includes a copy of Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish. The book normally sells for $48, so this is like buying the book and getting the course for free!
  • There are three phone conference opportunities throughout the class, which provide you the chance to talk with me and your cohorts about bilingual storytime, outreach, and related topics in real time. 
  • The course covers BOTH outreach and bilingual storytime. Typically I teach these topics separately, so this is like getting two classes (plus the book!) for the price of one!
Even if you've taken a class with me in the past, I hope you'll consider joining me for this last session of 2016. This specific class is my favorite to teach, as we really get to dig into these topics and get to know one another over the course of our time together. As always, be in touch if you have questions. I hope to interact with lots of you soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Once Upon a Cuento Giveaway!

Yes, the time has finally arrived. Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytimes in English and Spanish (co-authored by Jamie Campbell Naidoo and myself) is available for purchase in the ALA Store! I have to say, I am so proud of how this manual turned out. It is a complete guide for library staff on how to develop and implement a bilingual storytime program. Chapters focus on making the case for the need for bilingual storytime programs, conducting outreach to Latino communities, strategies for presenting bilingual storytime when you do not speak Spanish yourself, various formats and styles of presenting bilingual storytime, and using digital media in bilingual storytime settings. This is followed by 18 ready-to-use bilingual storytime plans and an extensive resource section that guides readers to useful books, music and online sources. If you are interested in bilingual storytime, this manual will help you find your way!

It should be noted that this manual can be used by librarians offering monolingual storytimes as well. If you are interested in Spanish-only storytime, the outreach guide, program plans, and resources will help you find your audience and design your programs. If you are interested in English-only storytimes, you will learn about excellent Latino authors and illustrators you can include in your programs, and what options are available to you to help make your programs more inclusive of Latino and Spanish-speaking families. There is truly something for everyone.

In celebration of its publication, I am giving away one copy of this title. Next month (August), I will be offering my final session of 2016 of "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" through Library Juice Academy. This is a four-week, asynchronous online class in which participants will learn the details of and find helpful resources for planning and presenting bilingual storytime programs. Everyone who participates in this session of the workshop will be entered into a drawing for a free copy of Once Upon a Cuento. Find more information about the workshop and full registration details here - http://libraryjuiceacademy.com/033-storytime-biblioteca.php. If you've been thinking about taking this workshop but have not yet had the chance, now is the time to join us! I hope to see many of you in the group next month!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Great Resources!

Recently I discovered two wonderful resources that I have to share with you all - stORytime and "Beyond Bilingual Storytime and ESL," a presentation from this year's recent PLA conference.

StORytime is "a new early learning initiative created with the help of communities across Oregon with an investment from the state legislature. The initiative brings together parents, educators, Early Learning Hubs, Regional Achievement Collaboratives, libraries, local businesses, and culturally specific community partners to build awareness and shared responsibility for ensuring our youngest Oregonians are on track to read by third grade." I love this resource because it is all about empowering families AND...they have lots of great resources available in Spanish! Materials in Spanish include suggested early literacy activities for families, printable handouts and more. Great job Oregon!

"Beyond Bilingual Storytime and ESL"
A colleague who attended PLA in Denver shared the information from this session with me, and it is fantastic. It's all about outreach, and the presentation and outreach planning guide available on the session page clarify some extremely valuable points about outreach to Latino communities. For example, there isn't one "Latino" community! They also point out why traditional models of program development don't really work for underserved communities and propose a different, community-focused strategy. It's great work, and I highly recommend you check it out. Way to go Adriana (Ady) Huertas, Zoe Jarocki, and Simone Groene-Nieto.

What great resources have you come across lately that help you in service to Latino and Spanish-speaking children and families? Share them with us here!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Professional Development Opportunities and GIVEAWAY!

Hi all! First, I want to apologize that this blog has in many ways become a channel for self-promotion. I realize that I am doing a less than stellar job at keeping it up-to-date with fresh bilingual storytime programming content. The simple fact is that there are only so many hours in the day, and (like everyone else) I do the best that I can to keep up! I am very fortunate that a number of new opportunities have found their way into my life, and currently, this blog is much further down on the priority list than some of my other responsibilities. But, it's still one of the best tools that I have to let you know when I am offering training and other professional development opportunities, so that's what I am often sharing. I do feel bad that I'm not giving you more...so that has inspired a giveaway! Read on to the bottom of the post for more information.

There are lots of professional development opportunities happening with me this spring. On March 7, my four-week workshop "Building Relationships, Building Bridges: Library Outreach and Marketing to Latino and Spanish-Speaking Families" starts through Library Juice Academy. It is very common that libraries struggle to connect with Latinos and Spanish-speakers, particularly first-generation immigrant communities. This workshop helps participants explore potential barriers to access and how to overcome them. We focus on outreach, identifying and working with community partners, and marketing/advertising. I strongly recommend this course for anyone who is considering launching a bilingual storytime program, especially if you are hoping this storytime will help attract new library users from the Latino community. It's also useful for library staff in adult services, outreach, administration or any library department looking for strategies to improve relationships among the Latino and Spanish-speaking community.

I also have two ongoing workshops on bilingual storytime that I offer through Northern Kentucky University. One is a workshop for library staff who are themselves bilingual, the other is a workshop for library staff who are not bilingual. Each explores the fundamentals of bilingual storytime programming, but they are presented differently, as the ways in which bilingual/nonbilingual staff will go about designing and implementing bilingual storytime are different. These workshops are entirely self-paced, and the new session starts on March 6 (though participants can join anytime from now through April).

Finally, I co-authored a book! What an experience! I poured my whole heart into this work, and I'm truly proud of the outcome. Once Upon a Cuento: Bilingual Storytime in English and Spanish, co-authored by myself and Dr. Jamie Campbell Naidoo, will be available from ALA in May. Check out the beautiful cover illustration from illustrator John Parra!

So friends, you can see, I may not be as active here these days, but there is a lot going on. Did you know that I'm also a yoga teacher, specializing in teaching yoga to kids? And guess what? I'm writing a book about that too! The tentatively titled Stories and Stretches: Enhancing Storytime with Yoga and Creative Movement is going to be published by ALA sometime in late 2017. It will be a guide for librarians and staff who offer storytimes on how to incorporate yoga and other kinds of creative movement into their programs. I'm so excited to be working on it! If this sounds of interest to you, you can check out some of my ideas for sharing yoga with young children on my other blog at www.katiescherreryoga.com.

Now, on to the giveaway! This year, illustrator Rafael López won the Pura Belpré award for illustration for his work in Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle. In celebration, I have two of his past books to giveaway to two lucky blog readers - My Name is Celia / Me llamo Celia by Monica Brown and Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post by March 6, 2016. You can tell me a topic you'd like to have more professional development on, share something that's been useful if you've participated in one of my workshops in the past, share what you think of Drum Dream Girl or other books illustrated by Rafael López, or simply say you'd like to be entered in the drawing. On March 7, 2016, I will randomly select two winners from those who posted and announce them in the comments. Be sure to watch for this, as I will need you contact me with your shipping address if you win (please do not share your shipping address in the comments - watch your privacy, people!). Spread the word...I'd love to see lots of names in the drawing! In the meantime, check out this great reaction video from Rafael learning he won the 2016 Pura Belpré award for illustration! And thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca - February Class

My goodness, 2016 has arrived with a bang! There are so many exciting things happening already. The Pura Belpré award turns 20, I'm serving my second term on the Pura Belpré award committee, my bilingual storytime manual (co-authored with Jamie Campbell Naidoo) comes out from ALA Editions in May, and I'm working on a second title for 2017! More information about all of these things will be coming soon, I promise, but for now, I just want to quickly let you know that I'm teaching a new session of "Bilingual Storytime at Your Biblioteca" through Library Juice Academy in February.

I love teaching this class! It never fails that the group is dedicated, passionate and loves to share. I am always inspired by the ideas that come forward and heartened at the way children's librarians and other library staff involved with children's services are truly committed to serving ALL members of their diverse communities. If you are thinking about adding or updating a bilingual program in advance of your DIA celebration or summer reading program, now is a great time to learn some new techniques and find some new materials to share with your community. Though I stress here on the blog and in the workshop that you must be able to communicate with ease in both languages if you want to offer a bilingual storytime on your own, this class is not limited to those who speak Spanish. Options are included for all language skill levels, such as working in tandem with bilingual partners and/or being intentional about using materials that positively include Latino cultures in your English storytime programs. I hope you will consider joining us!

For more information and to register, please visit Library Juice Academy. You can also contact me if you have any specific questions. ¡Hasta luego!