This report from the Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association is a call-to-action about the importance of engaging families in libraries. Head to this page to download your free copy of the report: Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement Check out more resources here: Public Library Association – Family Engagement M. Elena […]
Featuring examples from the field, this report from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is a great resource for libraries looking for inspiration for their child and family programs. Holmes, Paula. Curiosity Creates: Innovative Library Programming for Children. Association for Library Service to Children, 2016.
Written in collaboration between the Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association, this report shares some innovative ideas for family programs in libraries, and hopes to inspires libraries to create experiences for families that are meaningful. Head to this page to sign up for your free copy of the report: Ideabook Download
These reports from the Harvard Family Research Project focus on the importance of out-of-school learning that can take place at libraries and museums. The authors explore how families and community organizations can work together to support children. Read the reports here: Lopez, M. Elena, and Margaret Caspe. Family Engagement in Anywhere, Anytime Learning. Harvard Family Research […]
A project of the BUILD Initiative and IMLS, this toolkit provides museum, library and early childhood specialists with strategies, tools and resources for collaborating to engage children and families. Learn more about the project here. Killins Stewart, Sherri, Deborah Stahl, and Judy Reidt-Parker. BUILDing Supportive Communities with Libraries, Museums, and Early Childhood Systems: A Toolkit for Collaborative […]
The Strong provides a resource for scholars looking for definitions of play through the Museum’s Elements of Play chart. “Play is difficult to define because it is complex. Many scholars find that describing play is easier than defining it. To help advance discourse around a definition of play, research undertaken at The Strong suggests that six […]
The Minnesota Children’s Museum’s focus, like many children’s museums, is all about play. However, the Museum provides a unique approach to play in museums through their PlayLENS. This framework guides adults in supporting their child’s play with a clear call to action. The Museum’s Successful People Play movement seeks to show that successful adults know […]
Developed by the Nova Scotia Interpretive Working Group as an “introduction, a personal development tool, a training tool, a resource, or a point of inspiration” for the 28 Nova Scotia Museum sites, the toolbox is a comprehensive resource with many applications for program design and facilitation. Copyright Nova Scotia Museum. Sections include: Activities are Object-Based “Good Questions” […]
In this presentation from a seminar sponsored by ARKEN Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), Professor of Free-Choice Learning (Oregon State Univ.) and museum researcher John H. Falk discusses how identifying the motivations and identities of museum visitors can inform practice. This video includes the following topics: Indicators of learning Learning over time & memory (3:05-6:30) […]
In her Museum 2.0 blog, Nina Simon asks, “How do we find the RIGHT questions for visitor participation?” She discusses what are the “right” and “wrong” questions to ask, how to develop the “right” questions, and offers three concrete examples from various institutions. The discussion in the comments section is quite useful as well. Read […]
The “Impress with a Quill Pen” program was always popular with families, but facilitators at the USS Constitution Museum thought it had potential for more variety, deeper content, and greater intergenerational participation. With simple changes like relocating the program, introducing new elements, and adjusting the setup, they were able to design a better intergenerational family experience.
This article explains the concept of “intent participation,” learning through observation and listening followed by active participation. The authors contrast this with “assembly-line instruction” in which experts simply transmit information, which is the normal practice in many US schools and still in some museum and library programs. The concept has implications for program design and facilitation as it encourages practitioners […]
Harvard Professor Howard Gardner argues that there are five points from which learners can enter into a topic: The Aesthetic, Narrative, Logical/Quantitative, Foundational, and Experiential. Using this theory can help program and exhibit designers offer visitors a variety of ways to access our content and activities. This concept comes directly from his work on Multiple Intelligences […]
This practical guide outlines various ways professionals can develop their programs, exhibits, and general museum atmosphere to best engage the public. Using examples mostly from the UK and Canada, Graham Black offers a synthesis of best practices and research to date, as well as case studies and infographics to illustrate his points.
This Incluseum blog post by exhibit designer Margaret Middleton discusses how to ensure your museum is inclusive, especially in it language and vocabulary, of the diverse 21st-century family. Includes a useful chart of Family-Inclusive Language.
The videos and resources on this page of the Brain Building in Progress website discuss how to engage 3 to 5-year-old children in meaningful conversation by building in opportunities to talk, modeling conversation, and using complex language and vocabulary. Includes a Facilitator’s Guide.
Invisible pedagogies, according to author Andrea de Pascual, “is a concept that already existed before the collective, exploring education beyond the boundaries of the curriculum and considering pedagogical elements that hadn’t been addressed in the learning-teaching experience until now. Invisible pedagogies is the reflection upon the non-explicit micro-discourses that all-together form the macro-discourse that is […]
Reach Advisors shares the results of a visitor survey at 13 outdoor history museums about how visitors to historic sites feel about “authenticity.” Is it just a buzz word? Do visitors have a sense of what is or isn’t authentic? What does that word mean to them?
This report, published by the Denver Art Museum, details the Museum’s process of creating new experiences for children and their caregivers by increasing the Museum’s relevance and providing opportunities for family participation.
Members of the USS Constitution Museum’s Engage Families Project recount the program design, prototyping, and evaluation process that’s uncovering the conditions necessary for family programs that engage both children and adults in museums and libraries. Find out what worked, what didn’t, and what to consider when designing and/or facilitating your own programs.