Blogger Angela Reynolds, Collaboration, Early Literacy, Programming Ideas, Slice of Life

Painting with Primaries

Our local school is building a Natural Playground, and they are holding several fundraisers. I was recently asked to be part of a Really Good Idea for a fundraiser, which I think would make a fun library program! The idea, which was hatched and hosted by the owner of our local craft shop, was this: local artists would each lead a classroom in painting a large 2-foot square painting which would then be auctioned off. I was happy to find out that I was chosen to work with the Grade Primary class (here in Nova Scotia that translates to Kindergarten). I went with a big flower for them to paint. I had them in groups of 3 — the painting had seven areas to be painted, and I had each group work on a section. I might be biased, but I love our painting the most. I love the colours…

Awards & Scholarships, Blogger Angela Reynolds, Committees

Distinguished Service Award – Nominate!

Who inspires you? Have  you ever thought, “I want to be THAT librarian when I grow up”? Do you know an ALSC member who should be recognized for their work? If you can answer these questions, perhaps you should consider nominating someone for the ALSC Distinguished Service Award. The nominee should be an individual who has made significant contributions to, and an impact on, library services to children and to the Association for Library Service to Children. They must be a personal member of ALSC.  The nominee may be a practicing or retired librarian in a public or school library, a library or information science educator, a member of the library press, or an editor or other employee of a publishing house. Nominations are open until December 1, 2016, so you have some time to think about this. Who has won in the past? The award was established in 1991….

Blogger Angela Reynolds, Programming Ideas, Slice of Life

Family Fort Nights FTW

Kids are ridiculously excited about books. Families cram into your library. The level of excitement is high. You have everything ready to go, supplies gathered, and then you just sit back and orchestrate. Thanks to Jbrary, Amy, Laura, Marge, Jane, and Katie, the program is pre-planned. If you browse those links, you’ll find a list of supplies you need as well as exactly how to do this program. I’m talking about Family Fort Night folks, the best thing since lined paper. I’ve been around libraries for a while. I’ve done a lot of programs. This had to have been the easiest, most rewarding program I’ve done in ages. I’m not going to rehash how to do it– follow the links above and you’ll find out all you need to know. What I want to crow about is how easy it was, and how much fun it is. Librarians love to…

Blogger Angela Reynolds, Children's Literature (all forms), Collaboration, Evaluation of Media, Partnerships, Professional Development

Taking picture books to teachers

Over the past few months, I’ve been part of a Professional Development day for teachers throughout our local school board. They spend the day working on using picture books for reading and writing lessons, and then I come in for an hour and show them how to look at picture books as art objects. My experience on the Caldecott committee really comes in useful here– I have been sharing the books from our 2015 list, because I know those so well. I’ve been able to find something new in the books, to find a different way of looking at the books. That’s what surprises me most– to find a new way to look at picture books. I have spent so many years as a librarian looking at the art and storytime potential. Now I also look at the teaching potential.  For instance: I just learned about “thought tracking”. Basically, it…

Blogger Angela Reynolds, Books, Children's Literature (all forms), Displays

Silent books

Librarians usually call them “wordless books”;  recently I visited the Halifax Central Library to see the traveling IBBY exhibit of Silent Books. This is a collection of around 100 books, from all over the world, that anyone, no matter their native tongue, can read. In fact, that’s the whole idea of the exhibit—a collection of books accessible to newcomers – immigrants and refugees who arrive in a land where their native tongue is not the lingua franca. The collection was created, according to the IBBY website, in response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving in the Italian island, Lampedusa. The collection created the first library on the island to be used by local and immigrant children. Here in Nova Scotia, there are already Syrian refugee families arriving, even in our rural area, and we expect there to be more. What a wonderful idea that…

Blogger Angela Reynolds, Books, Children's Literature (all forms), Committees, Slice of Life

Picture books, the greatest gift

Last year I read over 500 picture books. I don’t think I’ve read quite that many this year, but I have kept up a steady pace. I certainly have changed the way I look at picture books. Spending a year on the Caldecott committee does that – I will never look at a picture book the same way again, and this is a good thing. For one, it has made it easier for me to share how to look at the art in these books. I have been working with our local school board to help teachers look more closely at picture books. I spent a week in early December with the Grade 1 teachers. I showed them what I saw in the books, and they shared what they saw. I was amazed that I was able to find something new in The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend. I…

Blogger Angela Reynolds, Outreach, Partnerships, Programming Ideas, Special Needs Awareness

Trying something new

A few months back I saw a photo from Hennepin County Library on Instagram. It showed how much fun they had at their Sensitive Family Time — a time for families living with autism to explore the library. As I was looking for a way to partner with our local Autism Centre, I jumped on this fantastic idea. After a few phone calls and emails, we had a date. We opened one of our branches for 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon, just for these families. The families had signed up in advance with the Autism Centre, so we knew who to expect. Staff from their centre attended, and welcomed the families. Our staff were on hand to show them around the library, read  stories, and get them signed up for library cards. We had some toys out (I had these already from storytime), and just let the kids roam…

Blogger Angela Reynolds, Collaboration, Outreach, Partnerships

Schoolwork

I recently had a meeting with the Elementary Literacy Consultant at our local school board. Our library region covers the same area as the school board, so that is convenient for us (unlike some large library systems that may have more than one school district). I requested a meeting for a couple of reasons– to listen, and to find out how we can get more teachers using our collections. School libraries have small budgets (and library staff in schools is slim). Students still need access to a wide variety of quality books, and we have them! So how do I get them into the classrooms? After my meeting, I had a few takeaways and some work to do. I am preparing an invitation to all teachers at all schools to get a library card. I am trying to make it easy– sending them a registration form and outlining the services…