Amber Holley and Rebekah Mitchell of the Jacksonville Public Library shared their insights and experiences of preparing staff to implement intentional programming, to answer “why are we doing what we are doing?”
We made catapults during Heather Love Beverley and Heather Thompson’s presentation, 52 Weeks of STEM at Your Library, this morning. They shared their excitement, enthusiasm, encouragement, and ideas. Visit their webpage, STEMinlibraries.com, for ideas, materials, and links.
Setting is an integral part to story, and creating bookmaps can help readers visualize a story, whether informational or fictional. Bookmapping: Lit Trips and Beyond (2011 International Society for Technology in Education) by Terence W. Cavanaugh and Jerome Burg is divided into 12 chapters, defining the concept of bookmapping and how it can enhance classroom instruction including collaborative and multi-disciplinary learning, as well as using existing bookmaps and creating one’s own. While bookmaps can be low-tech, this book focuses on ways to incorporate technology such as Google Earth. By the way, Burg is the founder of Google Lit Trips. Bookmapping: Lit Trips and Beyond is geared toward classroom application although one could use the technology and activity in a public library setting. Have you used bookmapping? If so, how?
Whether you have a large school group or a small gathering, participatory stories are a great way to involve everyone in the storytelling experience. Tell Along Tales! Playing with Participation Stories by Dianne de Las Casas (Libraries Unlimited, 2011) offers helpful advice as well as 25 stories that lend themselves to audience participation. She shares how to tell a story and various types and techniques of audience participation. Audience management strategies such has “warms-ups,” “keep-ups,” and “settle-downs” are also discussed. This book is designed for public librarians, school media specialists, camp counselors, and anyone else who may want to add more audience participation to school-age storytime or storytelling sessions.
Amy E. Spaulding‘s The Art of Storytelling: Telling Truths through Telling Stories (Scarecrow Press, 2011) divides into four parts: Telling Truth, Telling Stories; How to Become a Storyteller; Why Bother Learning and Telling Stories?; and Farewell. Spaulding writes in a conversational tone in which I felt as though she was speaking directly to me as she encourages readers to tell stories, especially traditional stories. She emphasizes getting to know not only the stories but to understand the culture from which the story comes so that the story/culture is treated with respect. The book contains a Storiography, a bibliography of story collections and a webliography. At the end of each chapter, she includes exercises to help one on his/her journey to becoming a storyteller.
Everyone has a story to tell. And with chapters about setting goals and objectives, organizing meetings, teaching storytelling skills, coaching, and lots more, Raising Voices: Creating Youth Storytelling Groups and Troupes by Judy Sima and Kevin Cordi (Libraries Unlimited, 2003) is a helpful tool for librarians and educators to encourage young people to practice the art of storytelling. The authors include examples from their own experiences with children, grades four and up, along with activities to help children get acquainted, to teach children storytelling skills and to strengthen their storytelling skills. Sample permission forms and letters (such as a Request for Permission to Tell) are also provided. One of my favorite activities in the book is Bare Bone Fables (p. 103-106). Students develop a group telling based on the “skeletal outline” of a fable. The authors write, Emphasize that they are going to “tell” a group story. Discuss the difference…
While the examples in Fundamentals of Library Supervision by Joan Giesecke and Beth McNeil (American Library Association Editions, 2010, 2nd ed.) are in the academic realm, there is plenty of helpful information for all librarians who have or are interested in having a supervisory role. The authors address topics such as communication skills, the art of motivation, hiring/interviewing, managing performance, and managing meetings. They also discuss the differences among the different generations of employees. As the authors state in the book’s preface, “Management used to be simple. The manager or supervisor told employees what to do and employees did what they were told. That world does not exist today….Managers need to balance production goals with concern for people issues in a continually changing setting” (ix). If you are a supervisor or preparing to be a supervisor, what resources have been helpful to you?
Interested in trying your hand at book reviews? Kathleen T. Horning‘s From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books (Collins/HarperCollins, 2010, revised edition) is a good place to start. Horning shares and defines literary terminology along with many examples from children’s literature. She poses lots of questions for would-be reviewers to consider, helping the reader move from a personal response to a critical approach. Reviewers of children literature read, reread, take notes, check facts. As Horning asserts, “A good review will briefly describe the contents, scope, and style of a book; critically assess its quality; and suggest its potential audience” (p. 173) That’s a great deal to do within 100 to 400 words. Do you review children’s books? If so, what resources have helped you?