Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Summer Learning with your National Parks

We all love our national parks, right? But we may not always think about the U.S. National Park Service as a library partner given the indoor/outdoor aspect of libraries/parks. That was the case for San Francisco Public Library until an intern — who also was working for the Golden Gate National Parks — tipped us off about the National Park Service Centennial. Just goes to show that you never the source of your next inspiration! We’re now half-way through Summer Stride, San Francisco Public Library’s summer learning program, and we’re thrilled about the opportunities that this new partnership has lent to San Francisco families of children of all ages.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Knitting Club for Tweens – a step-by-step how-to guide

Hand knitting has been around for arguably thousands of years, though in modern times its popularity has waxed and waned.  Waldorf schools around the world have long recognized that teaching young children handicrafts helps develop their fine motor and analytical skills. The great thing is, libraries can promote knitting, too! Currently, knitting is very popular and many libraries have started their own knitting circles. Here are several reasons to start a knitting circle for tweens at your library and a step-by-step list on how to get started: relaxation: knitting promotes a relaxing feeling similar to the effects of mediation; it hones general literacy skills, math literacy, and other academic skills; the whole process helps build self esteem, something that is extremely important for everyone but especially tweens; it’s fun way to spend time with friends; it may even help teach people to learn to code. Step 1 Start a knitting club for adults. My adult knitting group meets…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Passive Programs for School Age Kids

Passive programs are a great way to engage kids, whether they’re hanging out after school, coming in on a school-free day, or are just looking for something to do! They often require minimal effort to prepare and get off the ground, but are then good for hours of fun and engagement. If you’re looking to add school age passive programs to your library’s offerings, want to freshen things up, or just try something new, take a look at some of these great options! Make copies of a book cover, laminate, cut into puzzle pieces, and set them out (above)! Put “postcards” out on a table and encourage kids to write a postcard to their favorite author or book character, like in The Show Me Librarian’s blog post. Bonus fun if you can find a place to display them in the library! Take a look at this collection of passive program ideas from Jbrary….

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Taking Advantage of National Resources – The Smithsonian

As children’s librarians we give a lot of attention to reading and various literacy skills, and on many occasions we use fun activities to explore a variety of subjects with children. Through this blog and upcoming ones from me, I want to introduce and/or remind about us about the national based resources that can provide information and program ideas. Although I am spoiled with a wealth of program resources by working in Washington, DC at DC Public Library (DCPL), my colleagues and I should not be the only librarians taking advantage of these opportunities. The Smithsonian site is overloaded with program resources from most of its 19 museums and galleries. Unfortunately this site doesn’t have a consistent method for accessing them. But by clicking on “educators”, “Kids” and/or “student” pages you should be able to find activities to checkout. Below are a few examples of the ideas and resources available…

ALA Midwinter 2016

Youth Media Awards Tween Round-Up

With all the whooping and screaming and unbridled enthusiasm during the Youth Media Awards announcements, the hundreds of librarians in the room at ALA Midwinter might have been mistaken for a group of shrieking tweens.  But no!  Few if any actual tweens graced the room that morning and none of the awards target that slippery upper elementary, middle school-ish group in particular.  Good news for tween readers and the librarians and teachers who serve them: Many of the wonderful titles celebrated earlier this month suit tweens perfectly. Immediately after the announcements, members of the School Age Programs and Service Committee met to go over all the newly-minted winners and honorees, identifying titles for independent reading and/or classroom use.  If you work with tweens, these books might just be the next great reads for your kids.  These include novels, pictures books, comics, and audiobooks, both fiction and nonfiction.  Because some were…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Fall programming for kindergarteners to tweens!

Building a Mystery (not the Sarah McLachlan song) Have you ever attended one of those murder mystery programs for adults? Now you can make one for your tweens and teens at the library. To run a good murder mystery program at your library you need to put your creative librarian hat on and let your imagination run wild. It is easy to spend money on a pre made mystery kit, but if you have the time, make your own. Create the mystery setting in your library, have a librarian go missing and set the crime scene. Caution tape and a duct tape outline of the body make for great props. Perhaps the librarian was found under a crack in the floor, or downstairs under a stack of books. Make sure evidence is planted and there is an estimate time of death. Identify what staff member will be the victim and…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Summer Reading > Numbers

Summer is over. But before I get out my cute new booties and pumpkin flavored everything, it’s time to reflect on what an awesome summer it was in the library. The easiest way to evaluate the success of an initiative is through numbers and stats and pie charts, etc. While these are effective (and necessary) it’s not always the best way to boost staff morale or provide inspiration. Our last Quarterly Youth Services Meeting was focused on the end of Summer Reading  and the beginning of back to school. I was supposed to share Summer Reading results but, honesty, the last thing I wanted to do was rattle off numbers to everyone. So I did something… very serious. Throughout the entire summer, staff had been sending in amazing pictures of displays and programs that really only the people in my office were seeing. I wanted to share them with everyone as…