The Digital Family: Winter Technology Series

Connect with your family!
Connect with your family!

Monday, January 14-Thursday, March 14

"What's a tweet?"  "Who is Etsy?" 

The Children's Library's Digital Family technology series will introduce the basics of applications and websites like Twitter, a site where users can share their thoughts with the world in 140 characters or less, and Etsy, a beautifully-curated online marketplace for handmade and vintage items.  The series will also explore the role of emerging technology as it relates to parents and children.  Join us for hands-on classes, stimulating discussion, and thought-provoking documentary film screenings. 

View programs for parents

 

Children's Library Holiday Gift Ideas

Check out the Children's Library's gift-giving list for book and more for kids ages 0 to 12.

 

 

Book Club Kits in the Children's Library

Children reading on the playground, 1910. Photo via NYPL's archive.
Children reading on the playground, 1910. Photo via NYPL's archive.

Parents - thinking about starting a book club for your kids? 

Kids- looking for suggestions for your next book club meeting?

The children's library can help you choose books, offer discussion starters, and even provide a meeting space for your group! Choose a title from our list, check out mulitple copies of the book, and receive a discussion guide including a summary, discussion questions, and further activites for your club's use!

For more information, contact a children's librarian or check out the lists below!

First - Third Grade Books

Fourth - Sixth Grade Books

Every Child Ready to Read: A Workshop for Parents

Read together to develop reading skills.
Read together to develop reading skills.

The next Every Child Ready to Read Workshop will be held on Tuesday, December 11 at 10 a.m.

Register Online

The children's librarians will be hosting a special parent workshop, Every Child Ready to Read!

Parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are invited to learn about:

- early literacy development

- the fundamentals of learning to read

- tips, advice, and practical takeaways on how parents and caregivers can support early literacy skill-building

Developed by the American Library Association and the Public Library Association, the Every Child Ready to Read workshops have been developed after years of research on early brain development and the correlation between early experiences and future academic success. 

 

Tips to Help Encourage a Brand New Reader

The magic moment: when the squiggles on the page become letters, words, stories!
The magic moment: when the squiggles on the page become letters, words, stories!

Is your child just starting to read? Children at this stage are known as "emerging readers" and every child emerges at a different pace. Here are a few tips to help you encourage your child and keep them motivated as they transition from pre-readers to independent readers:

- Be patient. Learning to read successfully is comprised of two major skills working together: decoding and comprehension. Simply put, these skills are the ability to recognize familiar words (and sound out unfamiliar ones) and the knowledge of what those words mean. It's a process.   

- Read together often. Read to your child and let your child read to you.

- Talk about what you read. Talk about new words. Explain unfamilar vocabulary and phrases.

- Make your house a print-rich environment. Have books all over- the kitchen, the bedroom, even the bathroom (well, perhaps not library books!)  You can also listen to audio books while driving around town.

- Read books that your child enjoys- even if they are gross, silly, or not to your preference. The best way to help a new reader become a lifelong reader is by taping into their interests. Don't worry, they hopefully won't find bodily functions this hilarious forever....

 

 

The Librarians Are Talking About...Splendors and Glooms

Dancing puppets!
Dancing puppets!

Whenever a former Newberry-winning author releases a new book, librarians sit up and take notice. When that Newberry winner is the author of A Drowned Maiden's Hair (a book both Miss Kiera and Miss Elisabeth love!) we have to talk about it. Laura Amy Schilitz, author of the Newberry-winning Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! has come out with a new book, and librarians around the country are buzzing - Splendors and Glooms is a dark, creepy, fantastical thriller.

Gaspare Grisini is the best puppeteer London has ever seen. With the help of his overworked, underfed orphan assistants, Lizzie and Parsefell, he puts on a daily puppet show in Hyde Park. A rich child named Clara Wintermute begs her father to let the puppeteer perform at her 12th birthday party. Gaspare Grisini leaves with his orphans after the party - and Clara disappears.

As her frantic parents try to locate their missing daughter,  Lizzie and Parsefell discover a horrifying secret. Grisini is a wizard, an evil one, and there's a new puppet in his theater that will send Lizzie and Parsefell out of London and into a trap set by Grisini's oldest rival, a witch bent on terrifying revenge.

The Librarians are Talking About...Three Times Lucky

Message in a bottle!
Message in a bottle!

Librarians like to talk about good books. In fact, its one of our favorite ways to pass the time! Right now, the Children's Librarians are talking about a great new work of fiction for our 4-6th graders. If you like mysteries and independent kids, then the we have a new book for you -Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage.

Three Times Lucky comes with a lot of Newberry buzz and starred reviews. It's a book about luck and a book about mysteries - three mysteries, in fact. The main character, Moses "Mo" LeBeau washed up on shore as a tiny baby during the last major hurricane to hit the town of Tupelo, North Carolina. No one knows who she is or where she came from. That's the first mystery. Mo is adopted by a mysterious man who also came to Tupelo Landing the night of the hurricane. Known as The Colonel, he opens up the only cafe in town with Miss Lana. No one knows who The Colonel is or where he came from either. That's the second mystery.

But the third mystery is the biggest mystery of all. Someone seems to be killing the customers at The Colonel's cafe. With the help of her best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, can Mo find out the connection between herself, The Colonel, and the murders before the next big hurricane comes to Tupelo Landing?

Children's Library School Visits

Darien Library works with local educators to support the school curriculum by providing print and online materials for homework help and to continue to foster a love of reading in children.  The Children's Librarians are always happy to visit classes or to host visitors and can tailor the stories and activities to fit different topics.

Elementary and Middle Schools

Each year, the Children's Librarians visit Darien school libraries and classrooms where we share exciting new books for the summer and Summer Reading Club information with the students and teachers.  Every May and June, we visit all of Darien's elementary schools, plus Middlesex Middle School and Pear Tree Point School. 

Nursery and Preschools

We love our nursery and preschools, too!  The Librarians are available to visit preschool and nursery classes throughout the year.  Students are treated to a fun session of reading aloud, rhymes, and more.  Librarians read books of their choice or choose titles based on a theme requested by teachers.  A typical visit is tailored to the students' age level and are approximately 30 minutes long.  If you prefer to come to Darien Library, visiting the public library is a great way to supplement your curriculum and expose your students to all the services available in public libraries.

 
Please contact the Children's Room for further information or to schedule your next visit to Darien Library.
(203) 669-5235 or at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org.
 

 

Building Independent Readers Booklist

Photo courtesy of Flickr user  sean dreilinger
Photo courtesy of Flickr user sean dreilinger

On Tuesday, May 15 the Library and Darien Public Schools presented a program entitled, "Reading Well and Reading That Matters: What Teachers Are Doing At School And What Parents Can Do At Home To Engage and Energize All Young Readers."

Education consultant, Ginny Lockwood, guided parents on how to make reading a shared, enjoyable, and lifelong experience. Ms. Lockwood provided parents with information on how to select books and how to practice dialogic reading. 

This is a booklist of titles presented at the event, as well as other "short stories with illustrations," in the Library's collection. 

Dealing with Bullies Booklist

photo courtesy of Flickr user Eddie~S

From pushes on the playground to mean instant messaging, bullying is an issue that almost all children face at some time or another.  With a recent surge in media attention and a new focus on cyber-bullying, parents may wonder where and how to find the best information and ways of talking to their own kids about bullies. 

What if my child is the victim of bullying?

A recent article in Parenting magazine offered the following 3 Step process for parents:

Step One: Find out what's going on.  Get the facts and reassure your child that you will both work together on a solution.

Step Two: Help your child figure out how to respond.  Some responses include:

  •  Stand tall and act brave
  •  Ignore the bully
  •  Stick with friends
  •  Tell an Adult

Step Three:  Take action yourself.  Set up a meeting with the teacher, parent, or caregiver. 

What if my child's friend is the bully?

One of the hardest things for a child to learn is how to stand up for what's right, even in the face of possible scrutiny or embarassment. 

The US Department of Health and Human Services has a kid-friendly website called Stop Bullying Now that features info, games, quizzes, and webisodes all designed to address the issues of bullying , offer meaningful discussion starters, and help promote positive ways of combatting this childhood problem.  Check out this video featuring the character Melanie and her struggle with a friend who is a known bully.

What if my child is the bully?

It can sometimes be hard to tell if childhood squabbles are simply "kids being kids" or if there is a more serious problem.  

Stop Bullying Now offers the following advice to parents:

  • Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously and that you will not tolerate this behavior.
  • Develop clear and consistent rules within your family for your children's behavior. Praise and reinforce your children for following rules and use non-physical, non hostile consequences for rule violations.
  • Spend more time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Find out who your child's friends are and how and where they spend free time.
  • Build on your child's talents by encouraging him or her to get involved in prosocial activities (such as clubs, music lessons, nonviolent sports).
  • Share your concerns with your child's teacher, counselor, or principal. Work together to send clear messages to your child that his or her bullying must stop.
  • If you or your child needs additional help, talk with a school counselor or mental health professional.

The Children's Library also offers some great books for both children and parents on the subject of bullying.  These are a few of our favorites: 

 

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