Blogger Heather Acerro

Program in a Post: Dot Art

With this post and around $20-$50, you can take a super simple art activity to any outreach location.   Supplies:  Dot markers/bingo daubers  Stencils (optional)  Markers (optional)  Paper  Set up: Similar to Art Links, Squart, Art on the Spot, and Cotton Swab Pointillism, this is a perfect outreach activity. Throw your supplies into a small tote and off you go. Find a table somewhere (park, school, etc.), set out your supplies, and make a few samples. We love to take this one out on the ArtCart with a tray for the stencils & markers.   Program prep: Just gather your supplies. Go and make some dots! 

Blogger Heather Acerro

Diversity in STEM & Social Studies Titles

Over the last few years, the Youth Services team at Rochester Public Library (MN) has been asked to help diversify school curriculum support materials, including social studies and STEM. These projects are a lot of fun and begin with the creation of a spreadsheet to document our finds, audit the materials for diversity & inclusion, identify subject matter, and review and track other factors instructors would like us to consider. For example, we are currently working with the kindergarten curriculum subject “Our Country, It’s a Great Place” which covers understanding what it means to be an American Citizen, identifying symbols of the USA, immigration, and identifying leaders of today. A few of our recommendations are: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes V is for Voting by Kate Farrell We are a Garden: How diversity took root in America by Lisa Westberg Peters & Victoria…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Keeping Connected with Custom Collections

At a time when Rochester Public Library (MN) has limited ability to provide direct services to children, teens, and families, our custom collection service has helped us stay connected. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people experiencing homelessness and running a COVID-19 call center. We also provide library services through our digital library, Curbside pickup, Bookmobile services, Deposit & Homebound services, phone reference, and Internet access by appointment. This work has required our library to collaborate as a large team, with staff from multiple divisions sharing ideas and responsibilities on the various projects. As a result, our Youth Services team hasn’t had many opportunities to work together. During this time, two YS programs have allowed us to provide direct service to our kids, teens, and families. In June, we launched our Pen Pal program which has been…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Summer Playlist: At Home Edition

In 2017, Rochester Public Library (MN) launched the Summer Playlist program to replace our traditional Summer Reading Program (SRP). You can read all about that process here. Summer Playlist is an all-ages reading and adventure program that is inclusive of all abilities and interests. When we started our SRP overhaul, we intended that the program would remain relatively unchanged for at least five years. For 2018 & 2019, we ended up making several large changes that were much-needed simplifications and improvements. In early 2020, we finally had the most absolutely perfect Summer Playlist program yet; everything was ready to go, our reward bags were ordered, our log was ready for the printer, and it was going to be the BEST! And you know how this story ends. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Program in a Post: Pen Pals

With this post, some simple office supplies, and a few stamps you can connect with kids at home! I don’t need to tell you that this pandemic season has been a challenge, at Rochester Public Library (MN) we had to stop all youth programming this spring during our state’s stay at home order. Realizing that we weren’t the only ones who were lonely and missing the library experience, we reached out through the library’s marketing channels to invite kids to write to us. Our Pen Pal program has been a simple joy. It is super fun to receive mail for the grown-ups at the library, so imagine how excited the kids are to get a letter! The program is quite simple to set up. We created a webpage inviting kids to write to us with simple instructions: Write a letter and address it to “Library Pen Pal” Include your return…