Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Not Another “Best of” Post

large orange block letters spelling not another

This Is Not Another “Best of” [input year] Post I promise you this is not another Best of [input year] post. In fact, if I were to rename it, it’d be The Most Exciting Stuff in the Youth Services World, like, right now; right now. I like pointing these things out so much I create a biweekly Youth Services newsletter for my colleagues. [mysteriously] Who knows, maybe I’ll unleash it upon the internet in 2021? [strokes goat goatee] It’s loaded with all things frabjous, from live webinars with authors whose work we drool upon to easy crafts, programming ideas, news – [foreign accent] your interest is piqued, no? Oh! And this stuff is all totes free! Sans fees! Gratis! Famous Authors Live! This subheading should read “Not Another Webinar” Probably the most important webinars For the Parents and Caregivers we serve This is not a section about stuff to do…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Things on Sticks – Shadow Puppets You Can Do!

children performing shadow puppet show

No Excuses Honestly, there are no excuses for not being able to make a shadow puppet show. I’m not talking using your fingers to make that barking dog or your hands to make a butterfly. Shadow puppets are almost as easy to make, economical, easy to store, and frankly an art form in themselves. And thanks to the magic of internet and photocopiers, ANYONE can make these. Let’s dive in! What is a shadow puppet? A shadow puppet is any character, prop or background, made of almost any 2-D material that casts a shadow on another flat surface/curtain. It is a silhouette of a character, or object that helps you tell a story. Shadow puppets can be opaque, translucent, transparent, and include color. Any open areas “holes” or negative space as we say in the art world, allow light through. These areas can have color added with colored tissue paper,…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Two Weeks In! We’re two weeks in to Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. I’m sure you’ve had some amazing successes – but please do not give up!  This is no time to kick back and plan for Halloween! I want you to consider – strongly – reading resources that focus on Hispanic-American art as well as the art of graphic novels.  Graphic novels set themselves up years ago – decades at this point – as not just a form of storytelling, but an artful way to bring imagery to life.  This month, why not celebrate the contributions of superior graphic novel artists from the Hispanic-American culture?  Or the most prolific Hispanic-American illustrators? Where is a non-Latinx to begin? So, where is a non-Latinx to begin? Consider your award winners first, such as… The Américas Award “The Américas Award encourages and commends authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality and classroom-ready children’s and…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You Still Can’t Beat Free!

word "free" written in white on a green field. The words free has a red $0 price tag attached

You Can’t Beat Free I can’t remember the first time I said “you can’t beat free” as a librarian — I think it was 2003. 17 years later, it’s still true. And public librarians – gosh – we can squeeze a nickle sideways, am I right? Well, if you’re done squeezing blood from a nickle, try FREE on for size! The Secret of My Success The secret of my success has been my ability to not just grant write, brainstorm and work with some amazing teams. More often than not, it’s my ability to locate free stuff. Lots of times, the free stuff snowballs into something mega, or just plain comes in handy. Many of my colleagues wonder how I’ve done it. It’s not that I fall backwards into free things for libraries. Oh contraire. Sorry, it’s a lot of work. Step One? “Oh, good!”, I hear you say. It’s…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Self-care Guide During COVID

Man wearing glasses and yellow shirt with hands in namaste pose

Self-care During Covid Self-care During COVID is critical. Through daily practice, you can help relax your body, increase mental focus and keep things in perspective. COVID and our efforts to keep safe can create stress and strain. Enjoy this handy guide, specifically designed for librarians for getting the most joy out of your every day. The Librarian’s Breath Who you are as a librarian is reflected by your breath. In addition to a refreshing breath mint, try the following three steps: Beginner’s Program Shelving picture books requires a complete lateral stretch.Note how the shelver forms a triangle. To the casual shelver, this pose may feel intense, but does become easier after above three carts of shelving. This posture gets its name from a common shelving situation. The shelver is diagonally aligned when a patron approaches. Beginners should use this opportunity to utilize a kick stool to support themselves as they…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

19 Positive Summer Reading Activities During COVID

chalk board with words what's your story

Adapt If COVID has taught me anything, it is to keep in mind the one-word slogan of Navy SEALS: Adapt. We are public librarians. We adapt. We adapted during the digital age to maintain our relevance. COVID is not going to stop us. Irrespective of where you are right now, summer reading has boiled down to three options: passive, curbside or virtual. We remain in the unique position of being able to touch the lives and hearts of our community. We have a responsibility to remain positive, and to disseminate hope. Read on to see how 19 positive summer reading activities during COVID can make the difference. 1 – Radio I’ll never forget growing up the impact just one radio station had on my hometown. The station was 45 minutes away by car, but everyone in my school knew it; always had it on. You couldn’t see the DJs, but…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story!

Darth Vader reading on a playground slide

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story? Summer slide in the age of COVID.  I don’t think anyone can really imagine what this summer will look like in terms of a summer reading program for any age group.  The show must go on, though – so let’s imagine your story together! Scheduling Scheduling a time for your summer reading program is essential.  Pick you set of dates, beginning and ending, as well as your “big” program days.  You’ve had some practice with online programming by now.  Now, just do it bigger! Space Familiarity is critical for your audience.  It gives a sense of anticipation, a recognizable (or branding) setting, and a reassuring repetition.  If the space you’ve been using for online programming isn’t as polished as you’d like it, time to refine!  Sound problems?  Get them ironed out!  This is crunch time! Supplies Your list of supplies this summer is going…