Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading Wind Down – time to amp it up!

Inaction is not an option! 2017 Summer Reading might be winding down, but it’s time to amp it up for next year!  Next year’s theme is ‘Libraries Rock!’.  STEM and STEAM programming have tons of crossover applications to music. Here’s a few ideas to get you stoked for next year! Ukulele Got ukes?  How about a ukulele club?  Learning to play a few chords on ukulele is super easy – anyone can learn.  Nail C-F-G chords and you’d be floored how many songs you can play with ease.  We’ve been teaching all summer long and the kids are lovin’ it.  Next summer would be a great opportunity for you to start up your own club.  We searched around and found starter kits, complete with ukulele, bag, picks, tuner and extra strings for only $34 on sale on Amazon.                 Teens! Teens will truly…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Build a Better World – Sustainability STEM programming!

sustainability

STEM and STEAM this summer! Summer reading is a great time to market ourselves, but it’s even better for starting new programs.  Get kids hooked on STEM and STEAM programming!  Focusing on “Build a Better World”, try these three “hot” topics that all touch on Sustainability: Global warming Princeton University created a game and teaching guide that children from fifth grade up can enjoy and learn with – The Wedges Game! This is a “team-based exercise that teaches players about greenhouse gases, plus technologies that reduce carbon emissions” (Wedges Game) Try out this resource for even more ideas!  STEM Learning Take these programs a step further! Have kids debate the issues Have kids draw up policies and recommendations to present to local councils Nothing increases a child’s understanding of topics better than a little research, a bit of debating and then presenting to others.  And what better way to build a better world than…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Top Takeaways from 2017 FLA Conference

2017 FLA Conference

Two words – water. slide. Ok, technically not one of the takeaways, but WOW!  what a site for a conference!           The FLA Conference will be held at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida for two more years.  That’s two more chances to enjoy an amazing facility in the tinsel-coated heart of Orlando.  You have to be a guest to sashay down the slippery path of watery fun, but it is so worth it! Turns out, I’m the only one who said this was a top-five takeaway.  Let’s explore what everyone else had to say. Here’s Your Top 10 Takeaways! Networking!  This was the #1 of the takeaways by FLA conference attendees in an informal, unscientific poll.  Networking is a chance to catch up with colleagues, make new ones and hear about the latest from around the Sunshine State. Pre-Conference Rocked! – “We received very practical, helpful information that could be utilized immediately.” Performers Showcase…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Yoga, Tai Chi Research Shows Public Librarians Already Know

Jonathan Dolce demonstrates

Yoga: the numbers are in According to a recent ALA-YaTsALL (Yoga and Tai Chi Sessions for America’s Limber Librarians) survey, 21% of librarians are now offering public yoga and tai chi sessions.  Statistically, this marks the highest level of public library interest in fitness in recorded history.  “It only made sense, really” says lead researcher Ben Denstretch. “We have already been doing yoga and tai chi all these years. We simply had to put names with the repetitive poses we perform during our daily work.  Hatha, ashtanga, even bikram when the a/c goes out – we’ve done it all!”   As a result, the increased popularity of yoga and tai chi in libraries has decreased membership in gyms.  Sadly, local chambers of commerce have noted this shift: “Many former instructors are struggling, and switching industries”.  One instructor says, “It’s good that I double majored.  I still have massage therapy to fall back…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Engage Teen Tween Inclusion – Inspiring Día Celebrations

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) – is just around the corner. Dig Deeper This year include teens and tweens.  Educate them about the humanitarian crisis that continues on the U.S.-Mexico border. According to  No More Deaths / No Más Muertes, an Arizona-based advocacy group, “no one has any information on the role of public libraries and the digital search for missing migrants”.  Similarly the Colibri Center for Human Rights reports that they do not “make any targeted use of public libraries for…casework or outreach. However, many families learn about us and contact us via Facebook or our website…some of these families use public libraries as a resource to get on the internet.” Introduce teens and tweens to Duncan Tonatiuh‘s work through Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, his art, his blog and videos of interviews with this exceptional artist, activist and author. The most famous Hispanic-Americans You’ve Never Heard Of There…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2017: On Beyond Lego!

Let’s get ready to build stuff! The 2017 Summer Reading theme is “Build a Better World” and I wanted to touch on two key options: Building sets Recycle, reuse and re-purpose Building Sets: looking beyond the ordinary Giant Crystal Connectors by Constructa Retro! 4″ interlocking discs with eight slots Translucent, and brightly-colored   Cardboard construction tools – Makedo!       playful cardboard construction 30 reusable parts build creations from junk! You supply the stuff – cardboard, foam, whatever – and Makedo makes it possible to construct anything you can dream up.  Re-usable and SAFE! From the trenches: Denver Public Library loads up their programming room with recyclables for attendees to build stuff.  Imagine combining that with Makedo kits! SmartMax by SmartMax Explore magnetism! Strong, large pieces Safe for kids as young as one High-quality, sonically-welded bars Learn about magnetic attraction and repulsion while constructing towers, bridges and other creations. The magnets are…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Build a Better World through Inclusion and Diversity

Why inclusion? We can do better in terms of inclusion.  We must do better.  As youth services librarians we do not simply purchase and organize books.  Nor do we mindlessly offer programming.  We think about what we are doing.  We fill needs in our community, the people we represent and the people who rely on us.  Inclusion will fill this need and much more. The struggle with diversity: As of February 2015, we are still behind in diverse children’s literature:     Isn’t quality children’s literature enough?   Quality children’s literature builds strength in readers. Getting children to pick up a book and read it speaks to how well the book reflects their lives.  Creating a collection and designing programming that are diverse welcomes patrons from a range of cultural backgrounds.  Above all, our efforts will encourage empathy by helping kids better understand their similarities and differences.   The world we live in is only increasing…