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…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children, Pornography and Suicide

red octagon with hand raised palm up in stop gesture

Children, Pornography and Suicide I know that Children, Pornography and Suicide are terms you never want to hear in tandem.  As tough as it is, it is a reality.  Most of us work with children who are at-risk.  And as Chris Crutcher once said, “When you work with at-risk children, you are going to lose some.  I don’t like that answer”. The CDC reported in 2019 that: “the number of young people dying of suicide jumped…56% between 2007 and 2017“ That’s people aged 10-24 years of age, well within our realm of service. While we don’t want to think of any child as being capable of “looking up porn”, the reality is, it is ubiquitous.  We know how to lock our doors from strangers, and how to train children to recognize a multitude of dangers.  We understand that substance abuse claims over 70,000 children every year in the U.S.  But think…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

The Art of the Con – plan, host, conduct and maintain!

star wars cosplayer

The Art of the Con The Art of the con or convention is a fine art, but thankfully for you fearless reader, we have on hand Elise VanCise, creator and coordinator of the Annual Astor Library Geek Fest, now in its fourth year!  Elise is the young adult coordinator for the Astor County Library in sunny Astor, Florida. First Things First! J – For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on what it takes to plan, host, conduct and maintain a successful con.  But first, what exactly is a Geek Fest and why would a library want to have one? VanCise – Geek Fest is the name we gave to our mini-comic con or convention.  It’s a one-day con where we have cosplay, anything you geek is basically our theme – superheroes, science fiction, horror – anything you want!  This year we have exhibitors that do everything…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Risking Everything: explaining migration and internment

Risking Everything For freedom, a new life, or just a chance at life, people worldwide migrate.  Be it climate change, political strife, or economics, we live in an age of mass migration.  How we react to it as information professionals and caretakers of our community’s children is critical.  Daily, we are being tapped for explanations for these crises as well as internment.  This tugs at our heart strings, and reminds us of US’ origins and populations fleeing religious persecution in 17th century Europe. Or fleeing famine during the Irish Potato Famine. Internment Explaining internment to grade-schooled aged children can be difficult at best.  But one selection that can help illustrate the feelings behind this: The One and Only Ivan.  There’s even a movie of it, but here’s the book trailer:                                        …

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

STEM Teaching Begins with Preschoolers!

toddler interacting with science exhibit in Belgharia

STEM Teaching and Learning Begins with Preschoolers! So, I was explaining STEM to my dad, a retired physicist.  He’s skeptical by nature as any good scientist should be.  When I got to the part about teaching it to preschoolers, well, let’s just say I was bombarded by particles. But hear me out – it really DOES start with preschoolers!  And I can prove it! Penny Bauder, environmental scientist, teacher and mom of two, points out that “It is never too early to start STEM education, and an ideal way to teach STEM is to go out into nature!” Boston Children’s Museum, too, points out that children have a natural curiosity.  STEM is a great way to help 3-5 year-olds to focus and refine their naturally inquisitive behaviors. Linking it up to Summer Reading 2019! Even a pre-schooler can be a NASA citizen scientist!  Download and install the GLOBE Observer app…