generic speaker image
Betsy Diamant-Cohen - Mother Goose on the Loose. Baltimore, MD, US

Betsy Diamant-Cohen Betsy Diamant-Cohen

Mother Goose on the Loose


Early Literacy Training and Children's Programming Expert



Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication Betsy Diamant-Cohen Publication



loading image loading image




Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen is the creator of the nationally recognized Mother Goose on the Loose® program. Regularly traveling throughout the country, Dr. Diamant-Cohen offers comprehensive interactive workshops to librarians and early childhood educators on best practices for developing school-readiness-skills in children from birth to age three with a parent or caregiver.

A prolific writer, Dr. Diamant-Cohen has written several books and her articles have been published in a variety of professional journals. She has taught classes and guest lectured at colleges and universities both in the US and abroad. Due to her charismatic and engaging teaching style, her knowledge of the material, and her ability to explain research in easily understandable terms, workshop attendees often write on their evaluations, "This was the best workshop I ever attended."

In the early 1980s, Dr. Diamant-Cohen ran programs at public libraries in New Jersey. In 1986, she moved to Israel, and worked at the Israel Museum’s Ruth Young Wing in Jerusalem in a library for at an early childhood programming center for English-speakers in Jerusalem, and presented English language storytimes for JELLY (Jerusalem English Language Libraries for Youth).

During this time, Dr. Diamant-Cohen studied with Barbara Cass-Beggs and become a certified instructor for “Your Baby Needs Music,” using the Listen, Like, Learn approach. She taught music classes for parents and infants and worked part-time at a preschool for English speakers. Eventually, she restructured her already popular library programs to incorporate the "Listen, Like, Learn" approach and developed the Mother Goose on the Loose early literacy program.

In 1998, Dr. Diamant-Cohen brought Mother Goose on the Loose to the Enoch Pratt Free Library 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.” She has been giving training workshops around the country ever since. She was recently profiled in the University of Baltimore alumni magazine as a “Librarian on the Loose.”

Industry Expertise (6)


Museums and Institutions

Professional Training and Coaching



Writing and Editing

Areas of Expertise (10)

Public Libraries

Early Literacy

Childrens' Programming


Teaching Music to Children

Emergent Literacy



Children's Museums

Preschool Storytime

Accomplishments (9)

Mover and Shaker (professional)


Identified as a "Mover and Shaker" by Library Journal. Approximately 50 people throughout the United States are chosen each year for this honor.

Best Feature Article (professional)


The article "Mother Goose on the Loose: Applying Brain Research to Early Childhood Programs" was selected as the best feature article in Public Libraries Magazine

All-Star Librarians (professional)


Named "All-Star Librarian" by the Baltimore Sun

Godfrey Award Receiptient (professional)


Accepted the second annual Godfrey Award for Excellence in Public Library Programming for Children and Their Families on behalf of the Enoch Pratt Free Library for their Mother Goose on the Loose programs.

Librarian on the Loose (professional)


Betsy was profiled in the University of Baltimore alumni magazine as a “Librarian on the Loose.”

Executive Director, Mother Goose on the Loose, LLC (professional)

Provide training and support for childrens’ librarians and daycare providers throughout the United States, at conferences and library systems; Wrote, recorded, and published training materials including a manual, programming packet, and CDs to support MGOL presenters; Developed Spanish and Hebrew language early literacy programs based on MGOL.

Lecturer for the State Library Regional Consortium (professional)


Designed and presented a series of topical workshops for libraries throughout Maryland from 2001-2008 on the following topics: • Emergent Literacy • Library Programming & System-wide Programming • Partnerships Between Public Libraries and Non-profit Organizations • Providing Good Customer Service • Book Talking • Writing for Professional Journals • Using Non-Fiction Books in Preschool Storytime • Storytelling • Making Picture Books Come Alive for Preschoolers

Recipient of the 2013 ASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award (professional)


Dr. Diamant-Cohen was recognized by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies as a prolific author, inspiring mentor and presenter, knowledgeable consultant and teacher and creator and developer of the Mother Goose on the Loose (MGOL) program. This program 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.

Receipient of the 2018 Vattemare Award for Creativity in Libraries (professional)


The Vattemare Award recognizes contributions in the LIS field that are marked by originality, creative energy, and novel combinations of ideas. Dr. Diamant-Cohen was selected as the winner of the 2018 Vattermare Award for Creativity in Libraries in recognition of the success and growth of Mother Goose on the Loose as it reaches families from all walks of life.

Education (5)

Brandeis University: B.A., Sociology 1980

Graduated Magna Cum Laude with High Honors in Sociology

Rutgers University: M.L.S., Library and Information Science 1983

University of Baltimore: Doctorate of Communications Design, Communication Design 2006

MotherRead/FatherRead® : Certified Instructor, Using picture books with adults 2005

The Listen, Like, Learn Association: Your Baby Needs Music®, Teaching Music to Babies and Toddler 1989

Graduated with Distinction, certified by Barbara Cass-Beggs

Affiliations (7)

  • Mother Goose on the Loose, LLC
  • Port Discovery Children's Museum
  • American Library Association
  • Association of American Museums
  • Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
  • Association for Library Service to Children (ASLC)
  • Public Library Association (PLA)

Testimonials (4)

Maureen Ambrosino, Library Director at Westborough Public Library, MA | Training Workshops

“I have had the pleasure of hiring Betsy to present workshops on Mother Goose on the Loose and Playing Around with Books for librarians in Massachusetts. The Mother Goose on the Loose workshop was a session for librarians from across the state, and was filled to capacity. For many of the attendees, it was their first introduction to this amazing program. Many left that day inspired to write grants to implement the project in their libraries. It was one of our first statewide events for youth librarians, and got rave reviews from the participants. We hired Betsy again later to present Playing Around With Books, a new approach to using books in storytimes. This session was intended for a smaller group, and the hands-on, interactive content an

Kent Gerber, Digital Library Manager at Bethel University | Enoch Pratt Free Library

“Betsy's creative energy is infectious and inspiring and her research-based insight into early childhood learning resulted in a program that is both fun and enriching for children and their caregivers. She taught me Mother Goose on the Loose and I have seen children grow and flourish before my eyes after regular attendance to the program. Caregivers also learn valuable tips through intentional hints that are introduced quickly and subtly to avoid any appearance of preaching and to keep things fun. Betsy and her program is a valuable resource for early childhood learning and I miss working with her everyday.”

Michelle Farley, Children's Services Consultant at Indiana State LIbrary | Mother Goose on the Loose training workshops throughout the Indiana in 2009

“Betsy is an incredible resource for those wishing to learn more about early literacy and childhood development. Her Mother Goose on the Loose workshops were unbelievably creative and packed with information useful to anyone working with small children. Betsy's enthusiasm is completely contagious.”

Gerri Baum, Director, Social Media and Internet Marketing at Media 924 | Mother Goose Training Workshop in Newark, NJ, 2009

“Betsy Diamant-Cohen is a skilled and exceptional educator. She has created a remarkably intuitive and unique nationally recognized early childhood program that introduces and reinforces learning and reading-readiness skills in children ages birth to three-years-old. Her articulate formulaic method of instruction inspires and encourages participants and partners, who attend her workshops, to address an under-served population by embracing and implementing the Mother Goose on the Loose program in their own library, children’s museum, community- or daycare-center. Betsy’s passion for what has become her life’s work manifests itself through her dynamic and creative presentation that brings Mother Goose on the Loose alive for infants, parents,

Event Appearances (32)

Serving English Language Learners: Outreach, Programming, and Best Practices for Preschoolers and Their Families

Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) Conference   Salt Lake City, UT


Beyond Macaroni Necklaces

American Library Association (ALA) Conference   Chicago, IL


Mother Goose on the Loose

Early Learning with Families Conference (ELF)  Sacramento, CA


Early Literacy Programming (Keynote Speaker)

Beginning with Books Early Literacy Conference  Pittsburgh, PA


Mother Goose on the Loose Goes to Prison

Correctional Education Association (CEA) International Conference and Training Symposium  Baltimore, MD


Emergent Literacy: A Valuable Beginning

Texas Library Association  San Antonio, TX


Libraries and Museums: Cooperative Programming for Children

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Annual Conference  Boston, MA


Branches to Bridges

The International Museum Theatre Alliance (IMTAL) Annual Conference  Richmond, VA


Building a New Kind of Community: The Enoch Pratt Free Library and Port Discovery

Hands on, Europe! Annual Conference: Playing to Learn? The Educational Role of Children's Museums  London, England


A Place for Literacy

Association of Youth Museums (AYM) Annual Conference  St Louis, MO


• Transforming Visions of Youth for LIS Education in the 21st Century

Association of Library and Information Science Educators (ALISE) Conference   Denver, CO


Programming for English Language Learners

American Library Association (ALA) Conference   Anaheim, CA


Booktalking Pizzazz

American Library Association (ALA) Conference   Orlando, LF


Consider the Public Libary

National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)  Chicago, IL


Brain Research: Programming for ALL Types of Learners

American Library Association (ALA) Conference   New Orleans, LA


Mother Goose on the Loose: Implementing Brain Research into a Thirty-Minute Program for Children from Birth to Age Two

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC): 14th National Institute for Early Childhood Professional Development  Miami Beach, FL


There's Strength in Numbers: Partnering for a Better Community

American Association Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting  St. Louis, MO


Museum/Public Library Partnerships: A Winning Combination for Children and Families

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Up the Leadership Ladder Conference  Baltimore, MD


Non-Fiction Relationships: Museum and Library Collaborations (Poster Presenter)

Association of Youth Museums (AYM) in collaboration with the Institute for Civil Society, Annual Conference  Baltimore, MD


Playing Around With Books

Association of Independent Maryland Schools (AIMS).   Baltimore, MD


Buena Casa, Buena Brasa – A Warm Home At the Library

Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN), Parent Involvement Seminar  Baltimore, MD


Bienvenidos A Su Biblioteca - Welcome to Your Library

Maryland Library Association Annual Conference  Ocean City, MD


Contingency Planning for Difficult Situations

Maryland Library Association "Kids are Customers, Too" Conference  Ocean City, MD


Getting Steamed Up About the Blue Crab Award

Maryland Educational Media Organization (MEMO).   Hunt Valley, MD


Mother Goose on the Loose: Connecting Words and Pictures in Museums and Libraries

Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) Annual Conference  Baltimore, MD


Public Libraries Promote Brain Development

Caring Connections Nurturing Positive Pathways for Children, Families & Communities Statewide Conference  Lithicum Heights, MD


Community Programs for 0-3 and Beyond

Baltimore Infants and Toddlers Interagency Coordinating Council Early Intervention Conference  Baltimore, MD


Enhancing Early Literacy Through Public Library Services – and it’s FREE

Early Intervention and Early Childhood Conference (Maryland State Department of Education)  Baltimore, MD


Mother Goose on the Loose Training Workshop

Indiana Library Association preconference  Indianapolis, IN


Rethinking Preschool Storytime

American Library Association Annual Conference  Anaheim, CA


Children’s Services in an Urban Public Library

Guest lecturer, The College of Information Studies, University of Maryland  College Park, MD


Programming for Very Young Children in the Public Library

Guest lecturer, Talpiot Teachers Seminary,   Tel Aviv, Israel


Sample Talks (2)

Transforming Preschool Storytime

Since children learn best through repetition, a variety of stimuli activates different senses, and there are many ways to present a book, how about choosing one book to repeat in storytimes for six consecutive weeks, but presenting it differently each time? After hearing theories that support this practice and experiencing an example of this type of book repetition, participate in a hands-onsession that will increase your programming repertoire.

Using the Mother Goose on the Loose Method to Enhance Early Literacy Storytimes

Mother Goose on the Loose (MGOL) uses a simple formula and structure which results in an early literacy program that is easy to plan and present; strengthens connections between parents and their children; builds community; allows presenters to be facilitators rather than performers; educates adults about child development and best practices for literacy; builds and strengthens children’s school readiness skills and creates warm relationships between library visitors and their librarians.



  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader
  • Host/MC
  • Author Appearance
  • Corporate Training


1000 to 3000 *Will consider certain engagements for no fee

Partnerships (1)

Mother Goose on the Loose Goslings

Dr. Brenda Hussey Gardner University of Maryland Medical Center, Port Discovery Children's Museum, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

This is an early literacy program for parents with babies hospitalized in NICUs. It uses songs, rhymes, and developmental tips to support parental bonding. MGOL Goslings also prepares parents with skills for interpreting their baby’s signals and interacting appropriately with their medically fragile babies while fostering their early language and literacy skills.

view more