Blogger Renee Grassi

Rethinking Summer Library Programs….in November

Summer 2017 may be over, but Summer 2018 planning has only just begun…we know it to be true!  Our Summer Library Programs may be just 10 weeks out of the year, but program planning is perennial.  We design our summer library programs to be engaging and impactful, and we care deeply that the kids in our communities have a positive experience.  But let’s face it–it takes time to do that effectively. So, earlier this month, 60 passionate Youth Librarians in Wisconsin got a jump-start on rethinking their summer library programs.  And it was at their annual YS workshop where I had the pleasure of facilitating a lively discussion about accessibility and inclusion for youth with disabilities in summer library programs. Before redesigning your library’s summer program, it’s important to consider the big picture at the very beginning of planning.  What is your overall goal in providing this summer library program…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

2018 And Life to Go: Resolutions Anyone?!

Not Another New Year’s Resolution Article I promise.  No eye candy.  No videos strung by html with care.  But it is Elf themed, which you need to watch if you haven’t already. You’ve got just six weeks and four days before the new year makes you keep writing 2017 for a few weeks.  Resolution lists anyone?  Please tell me you aren’t recycling last years, or even lamely “upcycling” them, just to sound trendy or get your friends off your back.  Let’s get real, and let’s apply it to our professional world.  Here we go… Mentoring For the love of candy canes, you have a story to tell, and believe it or not, you could totally help out an up and coming mentee.  No, really.  And it’s easy to get matched. For example, Florida Library Association has a mentoring program every year, that officially only runs one year at a time,…

Books

The Nonconformist Book Club

Are you running a successful book club at the library or your local school? If your book club lacks a spark, what model do you follow? Perhaps it is time to think outside the box and change your modus operandi. I have run numerous book clubs for youth including a book club for differently abled teens. They have all been unique even though they have one common denominator, reading a book.  The distinction relates to the age group of the book club members, their personal features, or the goals of the program. Here you have three models that seek to connect and respond to the needs of our clients. Book Club for Differently Abled Teens: In this book club I worked with teens and their teachers once a month. Reading a book posed a challenge for some of the members, so we used early chapter audiobooks instead. Then, the teachers…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

¡Día De Los Muertos! ¡Celebramos!

¡Día De Los Muertos! Hoy celebramos Día De Los Muertos. Día De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead is not just on November 1st.  It is a three-day festival – October 31 – November 2 – that is celebrated throughout Latin America.  Here in the U.S., places that have large Latino populations, such as Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix, Arizona celebrate with incredible picturesque decorations like papel picado (estampo), costumbres, dulces y mucho mas. Día De Los Muertos is a huge fiesta – a national holiday – national, as in no school today, chicos! Remember, though, Día De Los Muertos is not Halloween.  Even though trick-or-treating has become more common on Día De Los Muertos, Halloween  is a Northern European tradition.  Instead, Day of the Dead is a blend of Aztec and Catholic beliefs. And yet, even ancient Egyptians once believed that “the spirits of the dead returned every autumn to…

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…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month Year-Round

Integrating Hispanic Heritage I’d been conducting storytime and other children’s programming for 18 years.  I felt like a veteran, or some kind of master.  In just one hour, my wife Marianne – who was born and raised in Puerto Rico – made me feel like I was only just beginning. For years I would start with a theme, pick out the books, make the puppet shows. And yet, how often did I reach for my Hispanic picture books?  Twice a year?  El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day, commonly known as Día) and Hispanic Heritage Month?  My wife showed me how to take a picture book or a story and build a theme from it – to reverse the storytime building process, and thereby integrate diverse materials into storytime – Every. Single Week. Hispanic/Latino Contributions So, I made a video.  It was all about the contributions…

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