Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Sharing the Love of Reading: Why Do We Want Our Children to Love Reading?

As a teacher-librarian, the question I am asked most often is “how can I get my child to read?” I have become an expert at teaching others using all the data and research responses used to promote literacy, and I’ve thought a lot about offering advice when I hear that a child still hates reading. I lived through this question for many years.  When my daughter was born. I was committed to raising her with all the knowledge and best practices I had been taught.  And it worked. We read daily, she had an extensive vocabulary and entered school ready to read. She learned quickly and progressed in school the way she should. Then at the beginning of second grade, she rebelled. She hated to read. I went back to the research, trying everything and anything I could to bring back her love of reading. Nothing worked and it carried…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Keep It Fresh: Rejuvenating an Old Program

When I became a Teen Librarian at the Farmington Community Library in 2018, I inherited our long-running annual Battle of the Books program, affectionately known as “Battle.” For the past thirty years, middle schoolers in my community have teamed up with their friends to study six books and compete against other teams to answer questions about the books. The teams go all out, wearing elaborate costumes to the culminating trivia event, which is so well-attended that the room is deafening after each correct answer is stated. Why does this old-school program continue to be so successful? The prizes? Teams that win first-, second-, and third-place receive $25, $15, and $10 Barnes and Noble gift cards, respectively. Though, when you consider that we host a number of programs with gift card prizes, and most of those programs require less extensive preparation than Battle, it seems doubtful that prizes alone are an incentive….

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

LEGO Robotics Leagues: Your Answer to STEM Programs with Coding and Teamwork

Are you looking for a program idea that merges STEM with teamwork, coding and LEGO?  Why not try setting up a LEGO Robotics League? In its third year at Brooklyn Public library, The Brooklyn Robotics League was offered in 32 branches in 2019 and participates in the NYC FIRST LEGO league program for grades 4-8. The overall goal is to teach youth how to be confident problem-solving members of their community through FIRST LEGO’s core values of gracious professionalism and cooperation.  This is achieved in a process that includes exploring new skills, using creativity to solve problems, applying what was learned, respecting others, embracing differences, teamwork and celebration of the project.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

When a Program Fails

Reflection is an important piece of programming.  All programs, whether a massive hit or somewhat less so, can hold opportunities to learn. If any library worker tries to tell you that they’ve had a 100% success rate with their programs, they are either delusional or lying. No one pulls off perfect programs every time! Sometimes, programs don’t go as planned because of… 

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Have You Noticed the Tweens?

When I first began as the Children’s and Teen Librarian at a small, rural library in Tennessee, I felt a bit overwhelmed. It wasn’t planning storytimes and programs for the littles that felt dauting. What felt like the most challenging area for me was planning programs for a group of kids that were not quite children anymore but not teenagers yet, either.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

5 Reasons Why We Created Our Own Summer Reading Theme at Simsbury (CT) Public Library

Now that Summer Reading 2019 has ended and we’re fully launched into the Back-to-School season, libraries are actively planning for Summer Reading 2020.  While it’s popular to adopt the theme selected by the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), many libraries have decided to forge their own paths in customizing their own Summer Reading Programs.

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Process Art

You don’t have to be artistic or crafty to do art programs at your branch! As a kid, I hated (really hated) art class, easily frustrated when my creations didn’t live up to my standards. Early in my library career, I started doing art programs simply because the kids loved the programs and caregivers expected them. Doing specific types of programs because your patrons enjoy them is a totally valid motivation. Like nearly everything in life, I’ve gotten more confident with practice and experience. But I’ve grown to truly love art programming – and it’s not because I’ve become a more skilled artist or gone through a creative growth spurt.   The key shift for me has been embracing process art rather than crafts.       Crafts are product-oriented, with detailed step-by-step instructions. There might be some variation, but the end results look very similar. Process art emphasizes the…