Blogger Alyson Feldman-Piltch

Tales from a 6th grade Bookclub

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to obtain a through a private donor for a program with our local Catholic school- St. John’s. After meeting with the Head of School we decided to offer a bookclub to all Upper School students (6,7,8 graders) that would begin in January after winter vacation The club meets once a month on Fridays in the school after classes are done for the day.  Six students signed up and each month I lead them through a conversation and activity based on a book, that they get to keep thanks to the donor funds. My favorite activity was trying to draw portraits using our feet after reading Dusti Bowling’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Afterwards we looked at the works of different artists born without arms.  Other activities have included choreographing their own dance pieces and 90 second book summary videos. My favorite…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

We’ve Got the Power! – Bridging Last Summer with This Summer

The Children Of Fear Are Not Alone Last year’s summer reading theme was Build a Better World.  Its message must not be lost. I have been actively involved in Central Florida public libraries since 1993, and it had to have been one of the most rewarding themes – ever. Recent events are showing us that children are growing up in an increasingly frightening world.  And they must not bear this alone. Last summer, my co-workers and I took our show on the road with a message of hope, and I’d like to share how you can couple Libraries Rock with real social impact. Before that, though, let’s review a couple of things.   Power and Truth In 1927, Max Ehrmann wrote the poem Desiderata in which he wrote: “Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.” And, yet…

Blogger Pamela Groseclose

Tween Books that Touch on Anxiety

While working the reference desk one evening a mom approached me and asked for middle-grade books with characters who struggle with anxiety. She explained that her daughter has all of sudden has been exhibiting anxiety doing routine activities such as traveling in a car.The patron wanted a book with a character who was going through something similar. Before I even got a chance to begin my search,  two other parents standing nearby said, “I need that too!” In a world of uncertainty, sometimes we just need to know that we are not alone with our fears.  This is especially true for tweens who are already in a scary time of transition. Librarians can help by providing families with resources and books to encourage them to discuss the feeling of anxiety and how to deal with it. If needed, librarians can also provide resources to refer families to get additional help….

Blogger Pamela Groseclose

How Can Libraries Connect with Tweens?

How do you build connections with tweens that motivates them to come to programming? Recently, my library started a monthly tween program. Every month, we highlight a program that the tweens request.  We collaborate with them to offer programs like Percy Jackson book club, a Descendants sing along, and animal STEAM events. These programs are targeted and planned by their peers, but attendance is low.   This year, I have been on a mission to up attendance and help my library’s tweens transition into our teen programs and events. I’ve tried fliers, outreach, and word of mouth. These things did help, but the biggest thing I have found that helps the most is to build relationships with tweens through reference interviews. Reader’s advisory is key. Not everyone that comes into our branches knows about our programs, but they usually come to the library for books. As a librarian this is…

Blogger Pamela Groseclose

Creating Relevant Programs with Tween Interests

On Tuesdays, I get to spend time with my regular teens.  As I walked over to the teen department, I  stumbled into an interesting discussion. In the midst of homework and computer games, my teens discussed the library. One mentioned that she started to come to the library regularly when she was a tween. She appreciated that the library had a variety of materials for her to checkout.  Another teen talked about how awesome the programming was and how much she appreciated the staff.   One of our newest teens surprised me the most. She just moved to my library from out of state and shared her own experience. After she agreed with the previous comments, she shared that her previous library only offered duct tape crafts, book discussions, and anime nights for teens.  She felt like the programs were okay, but the library wasn’t in tune with her and peer’s needs….

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Teaching Children Banned Words

Enlightening & Teaching 2017 was a whirlwind year, with many, many unprecedented changes, challenges and fear.  To help our youngest patrons, it is critically important that we aid in their enlightenment, making them more socially aware, teaching them new concepts, and making them more culturally competent. For 2018, I encourage you to explore these terms through your youth programming.  This will aid not only the children, but their parents as well.  So, let’s go!  Following each term will be suggestions for aiding you deliver these important concepts: Diversity My wife – Marianne Dolce, a highly successful school media specialist  – 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. Read up on ALA’s “Importance of Diversity” Entitlement These quick “fables” help teach children all…

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,…