Guest Blogger

Family Fun at the library!

A childhood dream of mine was to be in the library after everyone left and being surrounded by all of the books! To be at the library after hours seemed like such a wonderful adventure. Well at my library, several children received that opportunity when our library partnered with a local elementary school for an afterhours Family Fun Night. I am very fortunate that my library system, Worthington Libraries does value the partnerships we have with our school district. On a Friday evening in March, after we had closed our doors, the library came alive for 150 students, their parents and friends. At my library, Worthington Libraries, fun is one of our core values and we strive on planning everything we do to meet our mission statement, Worthington Libraries connect people to a world of ideas and each other.  This Family Fun Night allowed students, parents and teachers a real…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Libraries Rock: Between Summer READing ‘n’ Hard Places

Summer READing is upon us! So, you’ve got everything lined up for summer.  Performers – check!  Special storytimes – check!  Crafts – check!  Libraries rock! But what about the unexpected?  It’s all happened to us – a performer cancels at the last minute, or a crucial staff member calls in sick.  Will you be ready? Here’s some quick and easy hands-on activities that can be turned into full-blown, hour long programs!  All on the turn of a dime and just as affordable!  Rock – I mean – read on! Libraries Rock – Literally! Zen or Sharpie Stones What could be easier?  Take some rocks, get some Sharpies and create simply patterns all over them! These can be as simple or as complex as you want: Mini Rock Garden Easy mode: Get a shoe box lid, add some sand and rocks and create patterns with a plastic fork. Source: Pinterest Tip: Put…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

The Iridescence of Words and Pictures: Using Picture Books to Create Artist Workshops in Your Library

One of the greatest aspects of being a children’s librarian is having the opportunity to use a host of mediums to inspire and connect children to a wide array of literature. The profession lends itself easily to the use of books, music, movement, and performance, but it is also lends itself to the rich exploration of art and images. One of my primary goals as a librarian is to ignite a child’s imagination, and thereby motivate them to creatively explore both their outer and inner worlds. Personally, I’ve found one of the most satisfying ways to encourage young children to flex their creative muscle, is to inspire them through the work of famous artists, in what I like to call – The Artist Workshop. My rule of thumb for creating programs is to always let a great book be the starting point for my planning. The Artist Workshop is no…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Sights and sounds of Día

Bubbles, books, music, live creatures, families and so many smiles…these are the sights and sounds of Día de los niños, Día de los libros in San Francisco.  This is my last post as PAC Chair and I am dedicating it to Día, one of my favorite events inspired by the partnership of ALSC and REFORMA.   As a longstanding Día leader, San Francisco Public Library plays an essential role.  Maricela Leon-Barrera, SFPL’s Early Learning Coordinator, works all year planning, preparing, promoting and wrangling resources to connect children with books and delights.  On the heels of the 19th celebration, Maricela shares her insights.     Q:  What does Día mean to San Francisco families? Día is a unique celebration and an opportunity for families to enjoy time together and connect with other families in a safe and welcoming outdoor space. It’s truly a literacy themed street party for the entire family!…

Guest Blogger

Harry Potter Party

Pin the ScarHarry Potter

This summer marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. printing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and what better day to celebrate this anniversary than on July 31, Harry’s birthday! These past few summers, my library has celebrated Harry Potter by throwing a special event complete with wands, scarves, and other fun activities. Every year we look at ways to improve our party, and this year is no exception. With limited space and staff, here is a run down of our last year’s celebration.

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

After-Hours Library Programs for Busy Families

My library is situated in an extremely commercial area of Manhattan. This means our children’s department sees mostly nannies who scour the city for ways to keep young charges entertained. When we do see parents, it’s often as a stop on their way home to select reading material for the week – without their children. So, about a year into working for NYPL, I decided to try an after-hours library program for families – to get to know these parents and grandparents we rarely, if ever, see. Thus, the Great Family Camp-In was born.

Programming Ideas

Summer Programming for School Agers : No Sweat!

Like many of you out there in Library Land, I am in a flurry and scurry mode to get my summer reading programming finalized.  By this, I’m referring to supplemental programming, outside of our Summer Reading Program. One of the many challenges faced by Youth Services librarians is getting the programming for all age groups balanced equitably. Inevitably there are always requests from patrons for more! During Summer Reading (which runs from June 1 to July 31) my library offers a wide variety of school age programming, with at least one program every week day. I think the key to having successful summer programming for school age children is balance.  Make sure that the majority of your programs will appeal to a large percentage of you patron base. Book some great, energetic performers.  Find a way to bring the school-age children in to the library and more importantly keep them…