Blogger Gretchen Schulz

Reaching Tweens During COVID-19 At Your Public Library

Image of a bread pan with a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread in it.

When my public library first asked me to pitch ideas for online programming from home, I felt frozen. I literally did not even have different colored construction paper or Crayola markers in my apartment to make my own flannel stories. I felt like the worst children’s librarian on the planet. (We also do not have color ink for our printer–so that was out of the question, too.) Awesomely, my boss came to the rescue and helped us get some supplies delivered to our homes. Once I had a tripod for my iPhone, I felt much more prepared and was able to let my creativity kick in.

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

Winter Tree Art: A Tween & Teen Collaboration

Picture of Schaumburg Library in Illinois, with blue skies and tulips.

Tweens and Teens at the Library At my library, we have recently been having the discussion of how to help bridge the gap when a child graduates from the Children’s Department and enters life as a teen in the library. We have a fairly stead and regular crowd of tweens in the Children’s Department, but they do not always continue to use the library once they become a teen. As the Tween Librarian, my main programming focus is 9-12 year olds. My Teen Librarian colleagues create programs for ages 12-19. A few months ago, my colleague had the idea of partnering with the Teen Department to have programs for tweens in their programming room. It was a great idea, and one we were able to execute this week!

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

Designing a Programming Space

Picture of colorful gears of all sizes

Ever been tasked with designing a programming space? When I accepted my current position as Tween Librarian in September of 2017, I was given such a task. My boss gave me the job to head a committee and launch a STEAM space for kids. She wanted to re-purpose one of the four Storytime rooms we had. Where do you begin when designing such a space? I had no idea. Luckily, I happened to get an e-mail from Library Journal advertising their Maker Workshop online course. My boss let me sign up for it, and it was able to lead me in the right direction. The most helpful piece of advice the course offered, is one I could have easily overlooked. Instead, I took it to heart. They said to make a Mission Statement. I will never forget the positive and creative vibes that flowed in the room as we (the…

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

The Quality of Being Thankful

A card and pen with Thank You written in purple, with flowers and a gift box with ribbon,.

The Quality of Being Thankful   It’s the week of Thanksgiving as I sit here to write my blog post. I am thinking of the million and one things I have to do before and on Thursday as the hostess of the yearly holiday for my family. I am busy, but I am grateful. My library’s Marketing Director shared with staff on our intranet, an article titled In Praise of Gratitude, published by Harvard Health Publishing (2019). It discusses beneficial research done on gratitude from a psychological stand point. It also lists ways people can cultivate gratitude in an effort to get outside themselves. From the article, I particularly enjoyed this sentiment: “With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger…

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

Book Recommendations: September 11 Remembrance

Good Morning, Today marks 18 years since the terrorist attacks against our United States on September 11, 2001. In observation of this, I have compiled a list of book recommendations for those interested in educating their young children of this historical day, and for grade schooler and middle schoolers interested in learning about or commemorating this day.