Early Literacy

Drag Queen Story Hour

Drag Queens at the Library? Yes! Drag Queens at the library reading picture books? Definitely YES!! Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was created in San Francisco, CA by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions.  It has since expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and a multitude of other cities. Libraries all over the country are embracing this program with open arms! DQSH is a delightful celebration of diversity and gender fluidity. It gives children and their families and caregivers positive role models who break gender stereotypes, and encourage children to be exactly who they want to be. Check out below to see what three librarians think about bringing the program to their libraries, and to see a few photos!   From the New York Public Library, Early Literacy Coordinator, Eva Shapiro, says “Drag Queen Story Hour is a wonderful addition to the New York Public Library’s early literacy programming. This…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Fingerprints and Forensics with First-graders

Did you know with a few simple, inexpensive materials and some creativity you can create your own forensics lab for early elementary kiddos? You can! I lead a STEAM focused program at my library for first, second and third graders entitled Imagination Lab. The idea is that for four weeks in the fall, and again in the winter, we meet up after school to explore a variety of concepts that fit under the broad umbrella of STEAM. We experiment, sometimes I demonstrate, and we always create something to take home. In the past few weeks we have explored the science behind sound, polymers, and color, but my favorite topic may just have been forensics! Inspired by the awesome Mad Scientists Club CSI program, I crafted my own 45-minute program for first through third grade patrons. I think this is a great program that can be easily modified for older children and held without breaking the…

Guest Blogger

Meet Art: Creative hands-on art programs.

At the Deschutes Public Library, we offered a four week art series called “Meet Art” with an introduction to a new artist each week.  Through picture books, poetry, slides, various objects, we create a hands-on activity similar to the artist work.  We danced like a Matisse painting, “splat” like Jackson Pollock, and turned into Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Paint, yarn, toothpaste, big colorful sheets of butcher paper, cardstock paper, scissors, pencils and lots and lots of books equaled a fun day! The library was transformed into an art gallery. Below are favorite books and a few sample ideas.  Matisse: cut out fun with Matisse by Nina Hollein (all of the Adventures in Art series are fun and great for library programs) The Art Book for Children text by Amanda Renshaw (Book One and Book Two) Express Yourself! Activities and Adventures in Expressionism by Joyce Raimondo (series) and check out her website!…

Blogger Meg Smith

It Takes a Team to Present Successful Children’s Programs

    Do you believe your children’s department is isolated from the rest of your system’s library team, or have you found the support you need from other departments and volunteers? Teamwork is as essential to the success of youth services as is a love of children. Partial cross-training remains critical to the survival of youth services at smaller branches and library systems. At our Hope Mills Branch Library, a community branch of the Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center in North Carolina, children’s staffers are supported by other departments. Our children’s staffers lead our programs, but employees in Circulation and Information Services play an instrumental role in serving our youngest library patrons. As space and staff are at a premium, all library employees at our Hope Mills Branch are directly involved with ensuring that children’s programs remain a success. Behind the Scenes Page staffers assist with the inventory of…