The Mother Goose on the Loose Blog

Alexandre Vattemare Award for Creativity in Libraries !!!


In May, I was informed that I had received a national award for creativity in libraries. It is still thrilling and I wanted to share the news on my blog.  Below is the official press release:

Thurs., May 10, 2018

Contact: Rory Litwin
Phone: 916-905-0291

Betsy Diamant-Cohen Awarded the Vattemare Award for Creativity in Libraries

SACRAMENTO – Betsy Diamant-Cohen has been selected as the winner of the 2018 Alexandre Vattermare Award for Creativity in Libraries, in recognition of her work as the creator and Executive Director of the early literacy program, Mother Goose on the Loose.

The award jury was impressed by the success and growth of Mother Goose on the Loose as Diamant-Cohen has expanded it to reach families from all walks of life. A member of the award jury said of the awardee’s nomination, “Storytime is no longer bound to the confines of the library. Diamant-Cohen has taken the traditional storytime to an elevated level by using technology to reach and connect with educators, caregivers, parents, professionals, and children beyond the walls of the library.”

Given annually by Library Juice Press, the Vattemare Award recognizes contributions in the LIS field that are marked by originality, creative energy, and novel combinations of ideas. The primary consideration in selecting the awardee is their creation of new possibilities for libraries and library workers.

The award consists of $1000 and a framed certificate.


Thank you, everyone. Hooray!!!!!

Here, There, and Everywhere


Mother Goose on the Loose has certainly been traveling here, there, and everywhere, and soon there will be a book (to be published by ALA Editions) describing the types of programs with information on how you can use MGOL as outreach to your local unserved populations.

This coming week, I will be presenting with  Anne Bakker from Early Head Start in Venango County, PA, at the Early Childhood Education Summit, about her use of MGOL during home visits and family time.

And, here is a cool blog post someone just sent me a link to, that describes another successful MGOL outreach program, entitled “Reading in Rehab.”

A Surprise Footnote Connection


Currently, at the request of ALA Editions, I am revising my Mother Goose on the Loose manual, originally published in 2006.

I wanted to add in information about connections with “the seven life essential skills every child needs” from Ellen Galinsky’s book, Mind in the Making. Ellen is the President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute (FWI)  so I went back to look at the Brain-Building Powerhouses report that was published by FWI, IMLS, and School Readiness Consulting in 2015.

The report describes each of the seven essential life skills and identifies current museum and library practices that help children build those skills. It was published just after I fell and had a concussion, so my husband read it aloud to me as I rested on the couch.  We were both taken by surprise when on page ten, he read out, “For preschoolers and their families, programs and resources are designed to build skills and knowledge children need to thrive and help them successfully transition to kindergarten. Nationally replicated research-based early literacy programs such as Every Child Ready to Read and Mother Goose on the Loose (MGOL) are designed specifically to provide parents and caregivers with knowledge and skills to support early language and literacy development for their children now and when they enter school. ”

This was followed by a box highlighting a successful brain-building practice, Mother Goose on the Loose!  That discovery generated great excitement and I have been very proud to have MGOL associated with Mind in the Making in such a public way.

Since I wanted to cite the Brain-Building Powerhouses report in my updated MGOL manual, I returned to the report and went to the last page to see if there was a preferred citation. Although there was not a recommended citation for the report, I began perusing through the footnotes. This resource intrigued me:

14 ACLA Youth Services Blog. (Accessed Online April 2015). Storytime Best Practices: Rethinking Themes in Preschool Storytimes. Best%20Practices

So, I clicked on the link and was in for another surprise! The link led to the Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) Youth Services wiki, and although there is no author cited, the post was written by me. It describes the theory behind Transforming Preschool Storytimea book I co-wrote with Melanie A. Hetrick.

I am a huge fan of Mind in the Making, and am now extra proud that the report of brain-building powerhouses refers not only to Mother Goose on the Loose for infants,  babies, and toddlers, but uses Transforming Preschool Storytime as a reference.

Reading the research and translating it into practical programs and activities to help children be the best they can be is my passion. I am grateful that my work has been recognized and is being used by librarians and other adult educators who work with children.  Thank you, everyone!

(For a wonderful NAEYC guide to accompany your reading of Mind in the Making, click here.)