Institute 2014

Talking STEAM Programming with Amy Koester — ALSC Institute Programs

PrintThe upcoming ALSC Institute in Oakland, CA, on September 18-20, 2014, provides an abundance of outstanding programs to attend, from exploring innovative ways for youth services librarians to engage with community to the latest in early literacy research and best practices.

Among the many programs offered will be Amy Koester’s STEAM Power Your Library program. She gave us a few minutes of her time to talk about what Institute attendees can look forward to.

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I am a public library children’s librarian at a mid-size branch of the St. Charles (Mo.) City-County Library District. My job allows me to share books and ideas with children, promote a love of stories and literacy in my community, and collaborate with outstanding colleagues every day. I share program ideas and other library thoughts online as the Show Me Librarian, and I contribute to a few online library communities, including the ALSC Blog, Storytime Underground, and Little eLit.

Tell us about your program in just 6 words.

Explore ideas that spark an interest!

Experimenting with shadows.
Experimenting with shadows. Photo courtesy of Amy Koester.

What’s one thing you feel people should know about your program?

The impetus behind my program is to use a sometimes-overlooked portion of the library collection–nonfiction–to engage more kids in the exploration of ideas and development of their own interests. STEAM content areas are hugely important and highly interesting to kids, and libraries are well-equipped to support children as they explore these areas.

What’s one thing someone who attends your program will be able to take back to their libraries and use right away?

My hope is that anyone who attends my program will return to their library with at least one idea for a STEAM program or service they can put into immediate action. Whether it’s a whole new program or a small activity or a book display, attendees will be able to apply STEAM in their libraries.

Investigating rocks.
Investigating rocks. Photo courtesy of Amy Koester.

Looking at the list of other programs on the lineup, which one are you most looking forward to attending?

I’m very much looking forward to the Science of Poetry program at the Institute. I have had many informal conversations with school-age kids at my library who are fascinated by the way the world works and who connect with poetry, and I am hoping to learn some ways to make those connections for groups of children in a program setting.

If you could be any kid’s lit character, who would you be and why?

I would be Claudia Kincaid from E.L. Konigsburg’s From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. She’s clever and curious, two qualities I admire, and despite her many stubborn ideas and actions, she truly cares about her family.

Ted McCoy, ALSC Institute Task Force Member and Children’s Librarian at Springfield (MA) City Library

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