The below blog post was written by Hunter, a Make Do Share Intern at our Manchester location, and includes his reflections and experiences as an intern. Make Do Share internships are supported by a grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services and provide teens and young adults (ages 16-25) with the opportunity to gain real world job experience while developing 21st century skills. They also help to make the Library's youth STEM programs more awesome!
Sherman Alexie is one of my favorite authors--one of those authors you associate with a pivotal time in your life. My first introduction to him was many years ago when I was living far away from the Pacific Northwest and feeling completely lost. A dear friend wrote me a letter and included a photocopy of a story she had just read in The New Yorker. The story was called "Indian Country" and it was the best thing I had read in a long time.
Summer Learning has begun and all of the Youth Services Librarians at Kitsap Regional Library have been visiting schools and getting kids and teens excited about reading and learning! There are definite incentives for reading at the library. If you read ten hours, you get a free book of your choice and a ticket to the Kitsap County Fair. If you read 100 hours, you get to pick one of our limited edition 100 hour reader t-shirts and you get your picture on our Facebook page.
We have become so consumed by our digital devices that police now patrol for distracted drivers. Sometimes I think it would be great if there were patrols monitoring for distracted parenting and I, just as much as anyone else, would definitely get a ticket. Distracted parenting is pervasive and I am writing about this from the perspective as both a librarian and a parent. As a librarian, I notice parents consistently on their phones during storytime or when they are with their children looking for books.
One of my passions as a youth services librarian is promoting early literacy skills (the skills a child needs in order to read successfully) at my storytimes. The main reason we promote these skills is to help get children ready for kindergarten and support their parents in this endeavor. However, literacy is not the only skill a child needs in order to find success in the kindergarten classroom.
The current climate in which we live has felt stressful and overwhelming to many people including myself. I recently spent time talking to a friend about this and decided to cut back on my news media intake for a week. My goal was to clear my head, reduce stress and create balance.
Winter Solstice is December 21st and Wednesday will be the shortest day of the year with the least amount of light. In honor of the solstice, I am hoping to slow down and let myself start reflecting on the last year through writing, nature and limited access to the Internet. This has been a rough year for many of us (me included) because of what is happening in the United States and abroad. As I attempt to be mindful of the changing season, I hope to start thinking about what I can give back to my community, friends and family.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated their guidelines regarding screen time for youth of all ages. The old guidelines were more succinct and there were two basic premises: screen time for children two and under was not recommended and for children two and over, no more than two hours a day.
In this day in age, there are lots of “talks” we need to have with our children. So many in fact, I often get overwhelmed (as a parent) and paralysis sets in. But one talk that has been tried and true for some time is the sex talk. Looking back at my childhood and adolescence, the sex talk happened once around puberty and that was it. Our parents took a deep breath and had at it, usually a boy with his father and a girl with her mother. I think both kids and parents wanted it to end as fast as possible, never to be mentioned again.
Act. This is the word that has echoed in my mind all summer. In June, I was attending a vigil to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and this word was repeated throughout one of the speeches by a local activist. She emphasized that it is not enough to simply attend a vigil or feel badly about what is happening. Instead, one must act and find the thing that is most important to her or him. I have associated the devastating event in Florida as the beginning of what has been a summer of tragic events both globally and locally.