Who is Libraryvoice?

That would be me, Kiera Parrott. I am the Head of Children’s Services at Darien Library in Connecticut where I spend my days working with children of all ages- babies to tweens- their parents, caregivers, teachers, and assorted other grown-ups.

I love finding new and surprising ways for children to discover stories, read stories, draw stories, write stories, film stories, and create stories. Whether that happens on the printed page or in the digital realm depends on the type of story and the type of kid!

I believe in the power of play and the magic of imagination. I believe children are the future; treat them well and let them lead the way. Oh, wait, that’s a Whitney Houston song. But wouldn’t the world be better off with children at the helm?

Statement of Philosophy

Children are born with an innate and near-insatiable curiosity about the world around them; it is my job as an educator to cultivate and stimulate this natural affinity for knowledge. I believe the goals of education- in a classroom, within the walls of a library, or out in the reaches of the digital world- are to:

  • Help children grow into empathetic, culturally literate citizens.
  • Help children become critical thinkers, capable of evaluating various forms of information and media.
  • Give children the tools and skills with which to become content creators.
  • Inspire a desire and passion for lifelong learning that extends beyond the library, beyond the classroom, and weaves itself into the fabric of the essential self of each student.

I see my role as that of a partner: a collaborator and a guide working in tandem with each child as they navigate their own education. I strongly believe that the best learning happens when teachers teach students– not subjects. This extends from my belief that each child learns differently and has a preferred learning modality. By discovering each child’s learning style, figuring out their unique motivations, and offering a variety of ways to explore a given subject, learning becomes a collaborative process that empowers each child to take an active role in their education.

I believe the best environment to achieve these goals and nurture the necessary relationships between educator and child is through a culture that

  • emphasizes cooperative learning;
  • focuses on problem-solving and inquiry;
  • gives children the time, space, and support to explore reading, writing, speaking, and listening using a variety of tools and means;
  • values diversity, community-building, and social responsibility.

An understanding and philosophy of user-centered service has come to define my work as a public librarian. I view each child as a distinct user with unique tastes, learning styles, and research needs. The books, technology, and resources that would satisfy one child may not necessarily work for the next. It is with this deep respect for the whole child that I strive to create learning spaces full of discussion, exploration, creation, reflection, and a healthy dose of good humor!

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10 thoughts on “Who is Libraryvoice?

  1. You were such a cute little girl who explored everything! That’s why your a great adult who know’s exactly what a kid is looking for!!!:)

  2. I would love to correspond with you regarding your thoughts on Children’s Libraries and the future!

    About me: I am an anamoly – a grown man who wants to become a children’s librarian (hence the grad school address, I’m working on my MLIS).

    I grew up in a small Wisconsin (university) city, with 2 teachers as parents. Books were one of the greatest gifts we received. A trip to the big bookstore in Minneapolis/St. Paul was heaven!

    I once managed the Victoria Station at exit 6 on the Post Road in Darien!

    I believe the future of Children’s Libraries is not just technology, but human interaction, creativity and a safe, nurturing environment where kids can learn to truly love to read.

    I am writing a paper on the future of Children’s Libraries – and no, I am not just a part of the ivory tower without my feet in the real world, I am a bookseller, truck farmer and grad student. I am well aware of budget cuts and having to improvise. I also know that librarians and teachers spend more than anyone knows on “their kids”. I also spent a lot on my “Mr. Kent’s Storytime” kids!

    Anyone interested in contributing their thoughts on the future may write to me!

    Love your blog, sorry I got carried away!

  3. I am a Children’s Librarian and I have been interested in beginning a storytime for children with autism – actually, I have about six with varying levels on the autistic continuum and five children with other types of disabilities.

    I am hoping you might share some of your storytime outlines with me so I can get a general idea of what you do. I would be so appreciative. I am eager to offer some type of programming since we have a great response in our community and requests for programs where parents of children with special needs can come and feel comfortable.

    I would be grateful for any information or help you can offer.

    Thank you,
    Cara

  4. I enjoyed your update on the Horn Book Conference – and the description of your job, especially pointing to the bathroom and uniting kids with great books! We are lucky, aren’t we? Have a good school year…

  5. Hi,

    I’m writing to see if you might be interested in a review copy of THE WIKKELING by Steven Arntson.

    Imagine a world where libraries don’t exist; where computers and cameras monitor your every move; where students aren’t graded on history because it has a “noninstrumental positive impact,” meaning it’s good for you but doesn’t really matter; and where advertisements are activated by the simple act of honking your car horn. This spring, Running Press will publish Steven Arntson’s debut THE WIKKELING, a novel set in a satiric but realistic dystopia where books are practically obsolete, everything is ruled by technology, every person’s movements and actions are watched, and consumer culture has been taken to the extreme.

    James Dashner, New York Times bestselling author of The Maze Runner trilogy calls it “A truly original piece of work. Swinging from funny to creepy to intriguing, it kept me enthralled throughout. I loved it,” and Sylvia Branzei, author of the international bestselling Grossology series and author of the Ickstory series says “The Wikkeling is fresh and edgy. Even when I wasn’t reading the book, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It is a great story that makes the reader ponder, ‘What if?’ and, ‘Could our future look similar to the one in this book?’ The Wikkeling is a middle-grade novel with the maturity to appeal to adult science fiction readers as well. It is a good read.”

    Henrietta is the main character of this story and as the author points out from the start, the reader can be assured that “she will not become beautiful when someone gives her a new hairstyle” and “she will not find a miracle cure for her pimples when an angel sees she’s a good girl inside.” It’s not that kind of book by any means.

    THE WIKKELING is about a mystery a young girl like Henrietta was never supposed to know anything about, let alone solve. It’s about finding and caring for a wounded Wild House Cat in the attic above her bedroom, a discovery that sets off a chain of events and reveals secrets from the past that will awaken a mysterious and dangerous creature called the Wikkeling… But mostly it’s about questioning the world around you when it doesn’t make much sense.

    I would just need your street mailing address to send you an ARC.

    Best,

    Seta Zink

    THE WIKKELING by Steven Arntson
    Illustrated by Daniela J. Terrazzini
    Hardcover • $18.00 in US • Color Illustrations
    ISBN: 978-0-7624 -3903-4
    MAY 2011

  6. Let me introduce you to Leonardo’s Secret

    This is the first in a series of children’s books to follow the life of “Tuttle the Turtle”. A turtle who lived so long, he evolved into an independent thinking and speaking mastermind. Follow Tuttle as he influences many famous and sometimes infamous people throughout history.

    When young Leonardo da Vinci, a busboy, was asked to make turtle soup, one of the turtles begged for his life! It was Tuttle. Tuttle, tried to convince Leonardo that there is a big world out there, and he could show him all about it, if he would just take a chance.

    Through humor and chaos, Leonardo’s inventions come to life, only to find out that everyone one else sees them for something different in the end.

  7. Hi Kiera, I just discovered your blog and this post in spot on. Understanding the individuality of children, and nurturing this in a creative, constructive way, lays such a strong foundation for empowerment and future learning. Kudos to you for your approach. I started following your blog and I look forward to your thoughts. As an author of children’s books, with a focus on literacy, I’m always interested in hearing what librarians look for in books and how they help children digest them and become better readers and thinkers. This, along with the children’s and parents’ feedback helps me become a better author. We’re all in this together, after all.

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