Executive Function

On November 5th, several of my coworkers and I met at an Indian restaurant to eat some food and discuss the two journal articles that were assigned for the very first Library Services for Children Journal Club! While I could probably write a whole essay on our discussion, I’d much rather share via bullet points.

  • We were all very appreciative of this club, because all of us find it difficult to fit this type of professional development into our already hectic schedules. Because the readings are selected for us, and since this is a club with a some what flexible due date (but a due date nonetheless), we were all able to read (at least some) of the articles. (I admit I didn’t finish the Harvard one.)
  • It’s easy to think about executive function for small children, but we all were a little shocked about the fact that reading these articles made us worried about our own executive function. We currently live in a time of constant stimulation and immediate gratification — how is this affecting us? And if this is affecting adults, how is it affecting the next generation?
  • It’s also easy to think of ways to develop executive function skills in storytime, but what about the kids who aren’t going to storytime? What about the older kids who spend a lot of time on Roblox? How can we help them?
  • There was talk about the need to get out into the community more and to form partnerships with various other organizations in the community to ensure that we are reaching those who need help the most. We cannot rely that everyone in the community will come into the library, and even if they do, we cannot expect them to all participate in activities that will benefit this type of learning.
  • One colleague shared another article that lists activities that can enhance executive function skills. The great thing about this article is that it shares the activities based on age, and it does go on up to teens! The trick is incorporating some of these activities into our services and being very intentional about it. For example, video games can be used to promote executive function for older kids, but not every video game does a good job of this.

Overall, it was a really great discussion, and we are definitely looking forward to the next one!

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