Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen


GrandOldDuke1Betsy Diamant-Cohen, creator of Mother Goose on the Loose, holds a BA from Brandeis University, an MLS from Rutgers University, and a DCD (Doctorate of Communications Design) from the University of Baltimore.

In the early 1980s, she ran programs at different public libraries in New Jersey for parents with infants and toddlers.

In 1986, she moved to Israel, and began working part-time at a library for children’s picture book illustration at the Israel Museum’s Ruth Young Wing in Jerusalem. She also ran book-based programs for young children and parents at “Ann’s House”, an early childhood programming center for English-speakers in Jerusalem.

In the late 1980s, Betsy took her son to a series of “Your Baby Needs Music” classes run by Barbara Cass-Beggs. At the end of the 10 sessions, Betsy studied with Barbara and become a certified instructor for “Your Baby Needs Music,” using the Listen, Like, Learn method. During the following year, she taught music classes for parents and infants in addition to working part-time at a local nursery school for English speakers.

Eventually, due to Barbara’s influence, Betsy restructured her already popular library programs to create Mother Goose on the Loose. In 1998, Betsy brought Mother Goose on the Loose to the Enoch Pratt Free Libraries and Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. In 2002, the second annual Godfrey Award for Excellence in Public Library Services for Families and Children was presented to the Enoch Pratt Free Library in recognition of the  “Mother Goose on the Loose program as a strong contributor to a comprehensive set of library goals relating to children’s services.”

In 2004, Betsy was selected by Library Journal as a “re-inventor” and chosen as one of the “Movers and Shakers: people who are shaping the future of libraries” largely due to the success of Mother Goose on the Loose. Based on that, Neal Shuman publishing company invited her to write a book on Mother Goose on the Loose. Betsy has been giving training workshops around the country ever since. She was profiled in the University of Baltimore alumni magazine as a “Librarian on the Loose.” In 2013,  she was the recipient of ASCLA’s  Leadership and Professional Achievement Award, which stated that Mother Goose on the Loose “has revolutionized the way story times are presented to young children at libraries across the country and has empowered librarians to work confidently with this young population of readers.” In 2018, she was the recipient of the Vattemare Award for Creativity in Libraries.

In 2022, Betsy was the recipient of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Distinguished Service Award. This prestigious award honors an individual who has made significant contributions to library service to children and to ALSC.

During the COVID outbreak, Betsy encouraged librarians to present MGOL sessions online. Although some libraries have removed the links to their “at home” programs, a number of them can still be viewed. Once librarians were allowed to return although their library buildings were still closed to the public, the virtual sessions from home became virtual sessions from the library. Since all in-person workshops were cancelled, Betsy began offering  webinars.


In addition, Betsy has developed:

  • MGOL Goslings, a program for parents of NICU babies, developed in conjunction with Dr. Brenda Hussey-Gardner and Port Discovery Children’s Museum
  • MGOL Hatchlings, a program for pregnant parents and for parents with newborns in partnership with the Maryland State Library
  • An Early Literacy Toolkit and trainings for Ready to Read Michigan (with contributions by Cathy Lancaster)
  • 1,000 early literacy tips for Rosswell Public Library’s School Readiness Website (New Mexico)
  • An Early Literacy Kit for home health visitors for Baltimore’s Family Literacy Coalition (B’more for Healthy Babies: B’more Together)
  • An online course, “Using Library Programs to Build Executive Function Skills” with Niche Academy.
  • An adapted Early Literacy Toolkit and trainings for Ready to Read New Hampshire

Speaking Engagements Include the Following:

Libraries & Library Conferences

  • American Library Association (ALA), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022
  • Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), 2009, 2010, 2014
  • Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Leadership Institute, 2000, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014
  • Celebrating Cuentos: National Latino Children’s Literature Conference, 2010
  • Conference on Inclusion and Diversity in Library and Information Science, 2016
  • Indiana Library Association Preconference, IN, 2000
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 2001
  • Internet Librarian Conference, 2014
  • Public Library Association (PLA), 2006, 2012
  • Maryland Association of School Librarians/Maryland Library Association, (MASL/MLA). Statewide Conference, MD, 2008
  • Maryland Library Association Annual Conference, MD, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014
  • Maryland Library Association “Kids are Customers, Too” Conference, MD, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009
  • Maryland Library Association Children’s Services Division (CSD) Western Maryland Conference, MD, 2003, 2010
  • Michigan Rural Libraries Conference 2014, 2018
  • New England Library Association Annual Conference, 2009, 2016
  • New Mexico Library Association Preconference, 2018
  • New York library Association, 2011
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2018, 2016,  2015, 2014,
  • Public Library Association (PLA) 2012,  2018, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
  • Texas Library Association (TLA), 2004, 2013
  • Virginia State library STEM Conference, 2017

Early Childhood Conferences & Early Literacy Meetings

  • Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS), MD, 2008
  • Baltimore Infants and Toddlers Interagency Coordinating Council Early Intervention Conference, MD, 2003
  • Beginning with Books Early Literacy Conference, 2006
  • The BOLD Coalition, MA, 2009
  • Caring Connections: Nurturing Positive Pathways for Children, Families & Communities, MD, 2003
  • Correctional Education Association (CEA) International Conference and Training Symposium, 2004
  • Early Childhood Education Summit, PA, 2017
  • Early Intervention and Early Childhood Conference (Maryland State Department of Education), MD, 2001
  • Early Learning with Families Conference (ELF), 2007
  • Internet Librarian Conference, 2013
  • Jewish Early Childhood Association, 2000
  • Literature and Hawaii’s Children, 2016
  • Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN), Parent Involvement Seminar, MD, 2008
  • Maryland Family Engagement Coalition, MD 2019
  • Maryland State Childcare Association Annual Conference (MSCCA), MD, 2015
  • Maryland State Early Childhood Engagement Council (ECAC), MD, 2022
  • National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCCP), 2009
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019
  • National At-Risk Education Network (NAREN) 2018
  • National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), 2007
  • National Head Start Association Parent and Family Engagement Conference (NHSA) 2021
  • National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development (a branch of NAEYC), 2005
  • Pennsylvania Early Childhood Education Summit, 2017
  • Project Act Early Childhood Conference, 2016
  • Read Aloud Delaware, DE, 2016

Keynote Presentations

  • The Loleta Fryan Small and Rural Libraries Conference, Traverse City, MI, 2018.
  • Early Childhood Conference, Region One Education Service Center, TX, 2016
  • Michigan Rural Libraries Annual Conference, MI, 2014, 2018
  • Beginning with Books, PA, 2006

Museum Conferences and Other Groups

  • American Association of Museums (AAM), 2001
  • Association of Youth Museums (AYM) with the Institute for Civil Society, 2001
  • Hands on, Europe! Annual Conference: Playing to Learn? The Educational Role of Children’s Museums, 2001
  • The International Museum Theatre Alliance (IMTAL), 2003
  • Maryland Educational Media Organization (MEMO), MD, 2006
  • Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) Annual Conference, DE, 2000, 2005
  • National At-Risk Network Conference (NAREN), 2018

Poster Sessions

  • Shanty, L., Dowling, R., Sonnenschein, S., Hussey-Gardner, B., & Diamant-Cohen, B. (2018). Promoting Early Language Development and Parent Engagement in the NICU. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Washington, DC. 
  • Diamant-Cohen, B., Sonnenschein, S., Dowling, R., Shanty, L., Rosswog, S., Henschel, B. & Hussey-Gardner, B. (2017.). Early Literacy Programming for Families and Babies in the NICU. National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Atlanta, GA.
  • Hussey-Gardner, B., Sonnenschein, S., Diamant-Cohen, B., Dowling, R., Shanty, L. (2017) Goslings: An Early Language & Literacy Program for Families with Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Chicago, IL.
  • Diamant-Cohen, B. (2010). Children’s Services and Public Libraries: Case Studies of Collaborative Partnerships. Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE).
  • Diamant-Cohen, B. (2004). Fairy Tale Festivals at Your Library: Best Practices. Maryland Library Association (MLA), Ocean City, MD.
  • Diamant-Cohen, B., Sherman, D. Sandler, C. (2001) Hand in Hand: Collaborative Projects between Public Libraries and Museums. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Boston, MA.
  • Diamant-Cohen, B., Sherman, D. (2001) Three Examples of Museum/Public Library Collaboration. Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums Conference (MAAM), Wilmington, DE.

Publications:MGOL: Here, There, and Everywhere cover


Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. Mother Goose on the Loose, Updated! New York: ALA Editions, 2019.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. Mother Goose on the Loose: Here, There, and Everywhere. New York: ALA Editions, 2019.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Melanie A. Hetrick. Transforming Preschool Storytime: A Modern Vision and Year of Programs. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2013.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. Crash Course in Library Services to Preschool Children. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2010

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, ed. Children’s Services: Partnerships for success. Chicago: ALA Editions. 2010

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. Early Literacy Programming en Español: Mother Goose on the Loose programs for bilingual learners. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2010.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Saroj Ghoting. The Early Literacy Kit: A handbook and tip cards. Chicago, ALA Editions, 2009.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, and Selma Levi. Booktalking Bonanza: Ten ready-to-use multimedia sessions for the busy librarian. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2008.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. Mother Goose on the Loose: A handbook and CD-Rom kit with scripts, rhymes, songs, flannel-board patterns, and activities for promoting early childhood development. New York: Neal-Schuman, 2006.


Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, Susan Sonnenschein, Rebecca Dowling, Lisa Shanty, Patricia Hoge, Barb Henschel, & Brenda Hussey-Gardner. Make Way for Goslings: The Importance of Collaboration. Children’s VOICE. 2020, 29(2); 24-27.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. “Reimagining Infant and Toddler Preliteracy Programs: Mother Goose on the Loose.” Young Children 75:3 (2020).

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, Susan Sonnenschein, Dawn Sacks, Summer Rosswog, and Brenda Hussey-Gardner. “Mother Goose in the NICU: Support for the Neediest Infants and Their Families.” Children and Libraries 16:1 (2018): 3-7.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Nora Thompson. “Raising a Barn: Creating an Agricultural Exhibit in an Urban Children’s Museum.” The Agricultural Education Magazine 89:5 (2017): 23-24.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. “Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play Together.” Parents & Practitioner’s News. August 2016.

Moynihan, Nora, and Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “The Power of TalkingWashington Family Magazine May 2014.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, Tess Prendergast, and Christy Estrovitz.  “Repeat After Me: How Repetition and Multimodal Representations of Stories Support Early Literacy Development.  Children and Libraries, Summer 2013.

Moynihan, Nora, and Betsy Diamant-Cohen. It’s All Fun and Games in Tiny’s Diner Preschool Programming in Unusual Exhibit Spaces.” Journal of Museum Education, Fall 2012.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, Tess Prendergast, Christy Estrovitz, Carrie Banks, and Kim Van Der Veen. “We Play Here: Bringing the Power of Play into Children’s Libraries.” Children and Libraries 10:1 (2012): 3-9, 52, ©2012 American Library Association.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Anne Caldéron. “A Warm Home at the Library: Baltimore’s Outreach to Spanish-speaking Families.” American Libraries 40:12 (2009): 41-43.

Moynihan, Nora, and Betsy Diamant-Cohen. Impacting Communities Through Museum Partnerships.Hand to Hand: Association of Children’s Museums Summer (2009): 15-16.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Cherie Stellacio. Do a Duet: Partnering with Music Schools. Public Libraries 47:6 (2008): 11-14.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Maureen Farley. “What Do You Do Dear, What Do You Say Dear?” Children and Libraries 5:3 (2007): 47-48.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Dorothy Valakos. “Promoting Visual Literacy Through Mother Goose on the Loose.” Public Libraries 46:2 (2007): 47-54.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. “First Day of Class: The Public Library’s Role in “School Readiness.” Children and Libraries 5:1 (2007): 44-52.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, Ellen Riordan, and Regina Wade. “Make Way for Dendrites: Applying Recent Findings in Brain Research to Children’s Programs in the Public
Library.” Children and Libraries 2:1 (2004): 12-20.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. “Mother Goose on the Loose: Applying Brain Research to Early Childhood Programs in the Public Library.” Public Libraries 43:1 (2004): 41-45.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, and Dina Sherman. “Hand in Hand: Museums and Libraries Working Together.Public Libraries 42:2 (2003): 102-105.

Selected Children and Libraries Columns:

Yazdian, Lisa M. Sensale & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “Research Roundup: Paley’s Practice: Storytelling, Story Acting, and Early Learning.” 19:1 (2021), 29-31.

Romero L, Ward J, Baumgartner K, Edwards C, Faris C, Guerrier-Pierre R, Phepho K, Stuart E, West S, & Diamant-Cohen, B. “Sharing the ALSC Early and Family Literacy Committee’s Research and Links.” 18:4 (2020), 33-35.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, and Katie Scherrer. “Research Roundup: Brain and Body Working Together.” 18:1 (2020), 38.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. “Child Development Conference Has a Lot to Say.” 17:4 (2019), 38-40.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy, and Katie Scherrer. “The Power of a Mindful Moment.” 17:3 (2019), 39-40.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy and Katie Scherrer. “Resources on Play.” 17:2 (2019), 38 – 29.

Prendergast, Tess, Annette Y. Goldsmith & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “Reaching Out to Parents” 17:1 (2019), 38-39.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Annette Y. Goldsmith. “Learning About Library Research.” 16:3 (2018), 37-38.

Prendergast, Tess,  Annette Y. Goldsmith & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “Advocating for Children’s Rights.” 16:2 (2018), 37-38.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Annette Y. Goldsmith. “Brain Research: Who, What, When, Where, Why?” 15:4 (2017), 38-39.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Annette Y. Goldsmith.  “The Column Explained… Plus Conference Roundup, Part 2!” 15:3 (2017), 39-40.

Zippert, Erica L., Betsy Diamant-Cohen & Annette Y. Goldsmith. “Math Counts Too! Promoting Family Engagement in Math Activities at Home.”15:2 (2017), 38-40.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Annette Y. Goldsmith. “Diversity through International Youth Literature.” 14:4 (2016), 38-40.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Annette Y. Goldsmith. “The Evolution of Preschool Storytime Research.” 14:3 (2016), 37-39.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy & Annette Y. Goldsmith. “Digital Media and Young Children.” 14:2 (2016), 38-39.

Prendergast, Tess & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “An Introduction to Open Source Journals.” 13:3 (2015), 38-39.

Prendergast, Tess & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “Conferences to Expand Your Horizons.”  13:2 (2015), 38-39.

Prendergast, Tess & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “Crunching Numbers: Make Your Case Using Statistics.” 13:1 (2015),  36-37.

Prendergast, Tess & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “Children and Childhood: Key Web Resources for Children’s Librarians.” 12: 3 (2014),  37-38.

Prendergast, Tess & Betsy Diamant-Cohen. ” Music in Childhood: Clickable Links for Children’s Library Practitioners.” 12:2 (2014), 38-39.

Selected Blogposts

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. ALSC Blog. “National Library Legislative Day Matters!” Febrary 22, 2016.

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. ALSC Blog. “Changing Table Initiative come to Fruition.” June 22, 2015. http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2015/06/changing-table-initiative-come-to-fruition/

Diamant-Cohen, Betsy. “Consider Librarianship: A Career Program.” ALSC Matters! Bright Ideas . 10:2,June (2012).

For a complete resume, click here