Blogger Kary Henry

Collaborating with Colleagues

The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, sometimes it takes collaborating with a colleague to create a library program! I love collaborating with my Youth Services colleagues, of course. However I also really appreciate collaborating with non-Youth Services colleagues to offer unique programming.

Adult Services Staff

I’ve collaborated on a few projects with one member of our Adult Services staff, and it’s always a joy! We work really well together, which makes things easier, but it’s his programs that are the true stars!

  • There are many cool, historical facts about our local train station! So many, in fact, that our Adult Services Coordinator created a program for adults about it. They met at the train station, and Dylan led a fascinating program. With some modifications, Dylan was able to use that program with my homeschool students. We gathered at the library, walked to the train station, and learned from Dylan. He had timed it so that a train would come through during the program, which all the kids loved of course!
  • Dylan created an amazing Public Art Tour in Deerfield, which gave me an opportunity to use that as a springboard for another homeschool program. We had originally planned to offer a similar, simpler public art tour for the homeschool students I serve. We would walk around our Village Hall and Public Library in the spring of 2020. Well, with the onset of COVID, we had to pivot. Instead I created a Prezi and emailed it to all of our families. The slides showed public art and information about the works here in Deerfield, in Chicago, and around the world. As you may recall, people were putting signs in their windows and creating sidewalk chalk at that time in history. I encouraged my students to create their own public art as a way to brighten the spirits of people in their neighborhoods. They sent me pictures or videos, which I then put together into a follow-up program and shared everyone’s “public art” creations.

MakerSpace Staff

Our library is fortunate enough to have a MakerSpace. Collaborating with my colleagues there allows me to hold youth programs using their cool equipment!

  • EL Family Night: For one of my annual EL Family Night programs, the MakerSpace staff hosted one of the stations. Families could design a tote bag, using infusible ink on sublimation paper. The MakerSpace staff then used the heat press to transfer the design onto a tote bag.
  • Homeschool programs: The MakerSpace staff has helped with a variety of homeschool programs, including making and sewing emoji pillows, custom tote bags like the ones we did for our EL Family Night, and a marble run. They’ve also helped me offer programs where the students did a drawing, which was then etched onto a coaster using the laser engraver.
  • Read It, Make It: this standalone program for Grades K-2 featured two picture books that were springboards for two projects. I first read Butterfly Child by Marc Majewski, which we then discussed. Each child created a custom t-shirt, using infusible ink on sublimation paper (yes, I love how easy and awesome these projects are, so I do it a lot!). We then read a second book, Clothesline Clues to the First Day of School by Kathryn Heling, and discussed what clothespins are. I was surprised at how many children knew about clothespins and their purpose! Each child then created a clothespin doll, using yarn for hair, markers for facial details, and tissue paper or felt for clothes.
t-shirt created by a child using infusible ink and sublimation paper
T-shirts created by Sofia, Quentin, and Bowen G. Photos courtesy of Nicole G., used with permission.
t-shirt made by a child using infusible ink and sublimation paper
t-shirt made by a child using infusible ink and sublimation paper

I look forward to reading in the comments about how you’ve collaborated with colleagues in other departments!

This ALSC blog post addresses the following Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.

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