Betsy 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.”
Speaking Engagements Include the Following:
Libraries & Library Conferences
- American Library Association (ALA), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
- 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
- International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), 2001
- Internet Librarian Conference, 2014
- Public Library Association (PLA), 2006, 2012
- Texas Library Association (TLA), 2004, 2013
- Indiana Library Association Preconference, IN, 2000
- 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
- New England Library Association Annual Conference, 2016
Early Childhood Conferences
- Beginning with Books Early Literacy Conference, 2006
- Correctional Education Association (CEA) International Conference and Training Symposium, 2004
- Early Learning with Families Conference (ELF), 2007
- National Association for Family Child Care Providers (NAFCCP), 2009
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference, 2009, 2013
- National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), 2007
- National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development (a branch of NAEYC), 2005
- Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS), MD, 2008
- Baltimore Infants and Toddlers Interagency Coordinating Council Early Intervention Conference, MD, 2003
- The BOLD Coalition, MA, 2009
- Caring Connections: Nurturing Positive Pathways for Children, Families & Communities, MD, 2003
- Early Intervention and Early Childhood Conference (Maryland State Department of Education), MD, 2001
- Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN), Parent Involvement Seminar, MD, 2008
- Maryland State Childcare Association Annual Conference (MSCCA), MD, 2015
- Read Aloud Delaware, DE, 2016
- Early Childhood Conference, Region One Education Service Center, TX, 2016
- Michigan Rural Libraries Annual Conference, MI, 2014
- 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
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. Early Literacy Programming en Español: Mother Goose on the Loose programs for bilingual learners.New York: Neal-Schuman, 2010.
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.
Moynihan, Nora, and Betsy Diamant-Cohen. “The Power of Talking” Washington 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.
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.