Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

An Abundance of Questions and Uncertainty

If you are like me, you are in the midst of Summer Reading planning and execution. You may also be working on plans for curbside service or well into the process of performing curbside for your patrons. Maybe your library is open to the public or will be in the near future. Or, maybe you are still working from home. No matter where you are in this stage of COVID-19, we all have a little something in common: we all have questions and feel some sense of uncertainty. What’s the next step? How do I serve my community in the midst of all these changes? What happens when virtual programming just isn’t working or kids and tweens just aren’t able to access your programs? How in the world do I put together a Summer Reading Program when I can’t have programs in the building or do outreach? What do I…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Is it Enough?

As I write this, it has been almost two and a half months since my library closed its doors due to the pandemic. My job now, like so many of you reading this, is nothing like it once was. I had been a children’s librarian in a public library, assisting parents and children alike in the library on a daily basis; now I am a virtual services children’s librarian, and all my interactions with patrons are virtual, filtered through social media and camera lenses. I used to thrive on making personal connections with each patron who visited the library, and now I subsist on Facebook comments and video views. 

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

New Adventures with Virtual Programs for Children

The School-Age Programs and Services Committee recently met online to discuss our next steps during these wild, unprecedented times. If it wasn’t clear before, it certainly has become so in recent weeks: so much of the work we do as librarians relies on face-to-face interactions. How do we provide programs and services to young people when we’re prohibited from doing so in person? Additionally, when so many young people are spending several hours a day attending school online, how do we reach out in a way that isn’t requiring additional online media saturation?

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.