Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Library Lab STEM Program at Brooklyn Public Library

Slime is having a moment at Brooklyn Public Library!  It’s one of six new experiments we are offering through 2019 Library Lab STEM programming for children ages 6-12. All Library Lab experiments are designed to give children the opportunity to have fun with STEM topics. I was inspired to develop three of the new units by Calling All Minds: How to Think Like an Inventor, by Temple Grandin which will be available in paperback from Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, in April 2019.  In the Levers and Pulleys unit, children can explore the mechanics of force by making a small model of a wishing well and a jumping jack puppet that has moving limbs. In the Bird Kite experiment, kids can learn about the forces of lift and drag in the exploration of flight.  And in the Optical Illusions unit, we explore how color, light and…

Call to Action

Involvement Challenge

Are you looking to get more involved at your library? Consider these options. Do you have a staff intranet? Ask if it would be OK to contribute content. We recently started using Jostle, and the Manager overseeing its content asked for a few more reporters. My boss asked me if I was interested, and I looked at it as a great way to be creative in a couple different ways. The first idea I am flushing out is a series titled: Meet the Management Team. We have a group of 15 Managers who meet bi-weekly at a Management Team meeting, so I started with our Executive Director, and our Deputy Director. My thought behind it was to ask them for interesting facts about themselves that staff may not know about them, but may help us to understand how their management style has become what it is. For example, my manager…

Administrative and Management Skills

Keeping ALSC Committees Strong

You Can Do It! Rosie the Riveter poster

As one of the Priority Group Consultants (PGC) for ALSC committees, I often focus on how we can keep our ALSC committees strong, fresh, and moving forward.  That’s the essential job of each of ALSC’s seven PGCs.  We work closely with committee chairs/co-chairs (between 3-20 ALSC committees/task forces each) to support, advise, help navigate, problem solve, keep abreast of their ongoing work and keep lines of communication open between them and ALSC leadership. Whew.


Hockey and Children’s Literature

After the holiday decorations come down, winter can seem a bit drab. One way to beat the winter doldrums is to celebrate the fun aspects of cold weather. Since ice hockey is perhaps the most exciting team sport of the season, we have a great collection of hockey books for kids which we showcase every midwinter. To explore the connections between reading and hockey, I asked some of our most popular hockey book authors, “What makes hockey such a great subject for children’s books?” Maureen Ulrich, author of Face Off, Breakaway, and Power Play: My inspiration for Power Plays, Face Off, and Breakaway came primarily from the girls I saw on the ice — their passion, skill, grittiness, and humour. Books about hockey are important because what goes on inside rinks and dressing rooms is a great metaphor for life. Hockey (any sport really) has so many life lessons for…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Building STEM Connections with Lego Club: A New Outlook on an Old Program

Lego Clubs have been a staple of library programming for the past decade, as it’s nearly guaranteed to attract a crowd.  And STEM has been proven to enrich children’s lives with its focus on hands on problem solving and critical thinking.  So it’s only natural for the two to come together, as engineering is already the main focus of Lego Club.  Only now it can be elevated to a whole new level, as STEM-powered Lego Club combines the mass appeal of an already popular program with analytical and scientific processes that can develop and inspire young minds. For the past few years, I’ve run my Lego Club like an engineering laboratory.  Each time we meet we don’t build around a theme, but rather around a challenge.  Can you build a pipeline out of Legos that can actually hold and direct water?  Can you think in new directions and build on…