My new career track has dropped me smack dab in the middle of the world of youth services. This has been one of the most interesting and surprising turns in my career. I have been doing a lot of thinking about early literacy and was terrified of not "doing it right". Although we seem to have the early literacy ideas going in library service I wonder if we are communicating this effectively to the parents. I thought about this as I was talking to one of the mothers of my storytime kids about how we repeat the same songs and activities from week to week. What I noticed was I needed a quick couple of comments on how these activities specifically promote literacy without sounding like a research paper or a snotty, know-it-all librarian. I urge everyone in library service to review some of the material on early literacy and come up with a quick explanation or talking points in your own words. The ALA site has a quick couple of info tidbits that you can use as a jumping off point. Most storytime activities do these activities regularly. Now we just need to educate our parents and public about why these are important skills.
As I am re-reading this I am struck how both issues are really about communicating our professional responsibilities. Again and again, I notice that many issues and problems in library service come down to our inability to communicate to our patrons what the job entails regardless if it is weeding and providing current materials or showing parents the bigger picture of a simple storytime.