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Supporting Child Care Providers and Maximizing Maker Efforts

Thursday, January 9, 2020

I had the opportunity to participate in an advisory capacity on two separate projects supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2019. Both projects have recently published the results, and I feel the content is high-quality and valuable. Regardless of the size of your library or scope of service, I hope you will consider these tools. 

TToddler reading bookhe Growing Providers Tool Kit includes lots of ideas and program models for how libraries can support child care. It also includes a Child Care Provider Resource Guide. 

Reaching young children and their families where they are means connecting child care providers. By 2021, there will be an estimated 856,238 U.S. child care operators, but there are still many areas of the country with child care deserts. Supporting child care providers is one of the key ways libraries can support children, families, communities, and small businesses. This tool kit is part of Brooklyn Public Library's Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Growing Providers initiative and includes resources and descriptions of model programs from two model BPL programs: Growing Providers and Nanny & Me.

Lego buildingOpportunities and Vignettes for Library Makerspaces

This white paper was informed by the participants of the National Forum on Research and Assessment in Library Makerspaces, held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on August 6–7, 2019, generously supported by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and co-led by Maker Ed and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The forum brought together 47 individuals, each of whom are leading efforts in and/or informing maker-centered learning, from various areas of library practice and research, including informal and formal educational institutions adjacent to the field. The paper is organized around four main themes: Defining Making and Libraries; Shared Considerations; Demonstrating Value and Making the Case; Recommendations for the Future. 

Concerning the focus on equity in Wisconsin, take a look at Consideration #1: Access and Equity in regard to who we serve (or not) and how.

Written By:
Tessa Michaelson Schmidt
Public Library Development

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