Books

RWD: Book Groups with a Twist

I love movies. Since I was a kid I was fascinated with the silver screen. I loved the actors, the glamour, the costumes but more importantly I loved the story. I would watch science fiction, action, Merchant Ivory films anything with a great story. I also loved reading great stories in different genres as well. While in my capacity as a programming librarian I was always trying to figure out how to engage kids with book groups. Then it dawned on me one day: Why not try to combine my favorite things, movies and reading? That is when RWD was created. I got the idea from looking at my old VHS player’s controls. RWD in the case of the book group stands for Read. Watch. Discuss. I choose a different book based on the season, new movies that are coming out and old favorites. For example this time of year…

Displays

Including the Shy Ones: Passive Programming & Interactive Displays

One of the biggest challenges that youth library staff faces is providing programming that reaches the widest array of children possible. We cast huge programming nets in hopes of filling our programs with happy smiling faces that are raring and ready for some fun… but what about the shy kids? What about the children that aren’t super excited about being “trapped” in a room with thirty other kids? How can we engage these children without forcing them into our programs? The answer lies in passive programming. This generally underutilized programming option can be the bridge that connects your more shy patrons with library resources and materials. The trick is to portray the passive program as something else entirely, such as a game or fun activity. From my experience, the best method is to create a program that requires no staff supervision, can be completed with very little instructions, and most…

STEM/STEAM

Cheap and Easy STEM Programs

It’s no secret that I love doing STEM programs. They’re educational, a bit chaotic, and fun. If you fear facilitating STEM programs, consider this: remember when science was awesome? Before it got all difficult and filled with math that still gives you (read: me) panic attacks? When you’re a kid, everything is new and super cool because you’re learning how the world works. Frankly, sometimes science seems like magic–only better because it’s real. So, you can take that natural curiosity of theirs and use it to explore science alongside them. You don’t need to be an expert; just admit you don’t know something and learn with them as you go. Ahem. Pardon my science-y soap boxing. This month, I’m sharing my Top 5 Inexpensive STEM Programs: Catapults. In my program, 4th-6th graders learned a bit about physics, watched educational videos about how medieval “siege engines” worked, and built two types…

Partnerships

Summer at the Movies with the Library

Summer blockbusters, popcorn, and a reprieve from the hot weather. All things that conjure up pleasant memories of summer at the movies for many, I’m sure. What about adding library programming and awesome librarian superstars to the movie-going experience? This summer San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) has teamed up with a local movie theater, the Alamo Drafthouse at the New Mission, to partner on their Kids Camp. Kids Camp runs from May to August at the theater and is a way for kids and their families to affordably see films together with low ticket prices at just $1 – $5, with all proceeds going to local non-profits. On Wednesdays the films are free so SFPL staff has been facilitating pre-show crafts weekly in the lobby. Library staff also get to introduce the film and talk up Summer Stride and get some time in the spotlight! Did I mentioned that the…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

School Age Summer Program Inspos!

The School Age Programs and Services Committee is chock-full of School Age program geniuses. Want some inspiration for next summer? Read on! Denver Public Library – Amy Seto-Forrester We’re super excited about our weekly Factologists program. We’re focusing on a different nonfiction theme based around a book each week with different stations for kids to drop in and do. For instance, this Wednesday the theme is Super Sniffers, based around the book of the same name by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Stations will include scent identification (smelling mystery scents in cover dixie cups, things like vanilla, garlic, banana, lavender, etc.), a scent scavenger hunt (kids will be given a scent to track and a clue to follow. At each location they’ll find two clues attached to two scents. They must determine follow their tracking scent to complete the scavenger hunt or they’ll end up at a dead end), scat identification, and…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking STEAM Programs On The Road

Early this year, I learned that my library was one of the lucky recipients of an ALSC & Dollar General Literacy Foundation “Strengthening Communities Through Libraries” grant. We used the funds to create STEAM programming kits to be used alone or in different combinations for outreach programs. Our vision was to take these kits into after-school care sites serving disadvantaged populations and deliver the same type of STEAM programs we would at the library. We put out feelers to multiple sites, asking if we could come once per month to deliver a program. We thought that we would be lucky to get our foot in the door at a couple of places. In reality, we got ten enthusiastic “yes, please come” replies within days. And that’s how we ended up doing fifty extra STEAM programs that reached hundreds of kids in just five months. Every month, we developed a basic…

Outreach

Scholar Card: The Key to Academic Success!

It’s been an incredible week at San Francisco Public Library since the launch of the Scholar Card. What’s the Scholar Card, you might ask? This is an exclusive SFPL library card for all San Francisco Unified School District students in PreK – High School. With over 57,000 SFUSD students and 130 public schools in San Francisco, our goal is for every SFUSD student to activate their Scholar Card. Ambitious? We think not. What’s made this week so incredible is the positive response from SFUSD administrators, teachers, teacher librarians, parents, caregivers, and our own youth-serving librarians. With a streamlined library application process (read: no paper application and no parent/guardian signature required), we are hopeful that this will the key for students to access the myriad of resources that help them achieve academic success. With Scholar Cards, for free, students can:        Access Library research databases        Access language learning tools        Receive…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Think Spring? Think Books!

March…how did that happen?!?  2017 seems to be passing with ever more speed.  With much of the country enjoying warm temperatures recently, we can all hope that spring comes quickly. When winter finally leaves, my thoughts turn to BookExpo 2017, which will be held in New York City at the Javits Center, from Wednesday, May 31 – Friday, June 2. If you are not familiar with BookExpo, it bills itself as the #1 book and author event in the United States.  Many ALA members attend the event in addition to ALA Annual, as the authors in attendance and books promoted at each are not the same…especially the authors! If you do go to BookExpo 2017, here are a few thoughts and tips based on my experiences that I hope you will find helpful: I encounter a lot people who work outside the library world at BookExpo, including non-profit workers, educators and…