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  • 7 p.m. Saturday September 29, 2012
    Adopting Focusing Practices with Children in Public Libraries
    with Joanna Kerr

    London, OntarioJoanna Kerr


    Joanna Kerr has been a Focusing advocate and activist since she was introduced to the practice in 2008. She has participated in two Focusing Institute Summer Schools as well as having achieved Focusing training to Level III, and having completed Lucy Bowers’ Focusing with Children workshop.

    Joanna started a Focusing community in Ottawa (Canada) in 2009 to build a space for Focusing practice and support. She also brought Focusing to her work (and play) with children in a rural community library and school in Tanzania, East Africa where she volunteered for four months in 2010.

    Joanna is currently completing her Master of Library and Information Science degree at the University of Western Ontario where she is conducting research on the feasibility of adopting Focusing practices with children in public libraries.

    Focusing in Libraries

    The role of children's librarians is to connect children with the information they seek and to support a child's independence in their own seeking. What does this relationship need? A safe place for sharing: one of openness, patience, and lots of listening and noticing. Through conversations about the meaningful books in a child's life to storytelling programs that connect outside stories with inside stories, libraries present many opportunities to introduce Focusing. 

    In this session, we'll talk about how children's books, literacy activities, and storytelling can work with Focusing, drawing largely on how Focusing has been used in schools, and on my graduate research proposing the introduction of Focusing to public libraries.

    What you'll get from this session: examples of literacy-based activities that can engage children in a Focusing way, a reading list of children's literature and suggested exercises to complement a Focusing approach, and a look into libraries as a partner in community Focusing.

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