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Wrangling Tears and Tantrums: How to Keep Families Coming Back to the Library

Tammie Benham


Maintaining a professional demeanor when faced with a crying child is difficult. However, with some knowledge of child development, a willingness to help, and a few strategies, library professionals can help soothe a distraught child and build relationships with caregivers.

The active, noisy atmosphere in most library children’s departments—pre-pandemic, of course!—is evidence that libraries understand and have embraced the importance of allowing children the latitude for play. Research tells us that play is the business of how children learn and what they speak about.

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