Supporting The ABCs of Babysitting at the Fort Worth Public Library, behind the scenes support for frontward facing teen programming
I don’t talk a lot about my day job here on my very personal blog that is in no way affiliated with said day job, but they do a lot of amazing things and I wanted to share one with you today. The programming librarians at the Fort Worth Public Library (this does not include me) have put together an amazing program for teen patrons called The ABCs of Babysitting.
Behind the scenes, my boss, Kathryn King, and I have been putting together resources to help support the program. We have a wide variety of circulating kits, and we put together a babysitting one that includes books to read to the kids you babysit, babysitting guides, and things like finger puppets and storytelling dice. There are so many cool things that you can include, from laminated check off sheets to fingerplays and reading lists, there are no limits here.
We also circulate Baby Bags that include small toys and Indestructibles books. These books are some of my faves because they are easy to wash and claim to be virtually indestructible! You can see a complete list of the Baby Bags here: https://www.fortworthtexas.gov/departments/library/services/baby-bags
These are a great resource not just for parents, but caregivers and that includes our teens that have decided to babysit or are tasked with taking care of younger siblings.
I also put together a Reader’s Advisory tool to help those teens. It includes some nonfiction resources as well as a some suggestions for books to read to the kids you babysit while you are putting them to bed. It also includes a variety of fun MG and YA books that feature tweens and teens that babysit. And yes, it of course mentions the Babysitter’s Club, because it is awesome.
I love working at a library that is doing amazing things for teens, which is exactly what the Fort Worth Public Library does! As the program description notes, babysitting basics isn’t always about getting teens the help they need for babysitting, it can also be about helping teens learn basic skills for taking care of younger siblings. My girls have a 6 year age difference, and that was often hard to navigate. But I know a lot of teens with even wider age gaps and these skills can be valuable. Learning how to take care of younger kids is useful for so many reasons. Kudos to my coworkers, what a great program.
Filed under: Babysitting
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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