Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Earth Day STEM Day!

Earth Day is April 22nd this year. However, I want to point out that April is also National Humor Month. I am making a large sacrifice here to bring you a post about introducing your youngest library patrons to citizen science instead of something rib tickling, side splitting or otherwise thigh slap worthy. So, here we go. No funny stuff. And just as an aside, please slap only your own thighs as to do otherwise is considered harassment and is actually frowned upon in many workplaces. A Trilogy of Cunning Plans For your consideration, three cunning plans to expose yourself and small children to STEM this Earth Day: Citizen Science, STARnet’s STEAM initiative, SciStarter, and Seed Libraries. For those of you counting along at home, that makes four (4), making this a poorly named overview of what’s to come. Actually, I think there’s five…oh, well. Citizen Science So, what exactly…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

March Activities, News, STEM and More!

words hello march in cursive surrounded by a circle of colorful flowers and foliage

March Activities, News, STEM and More means tons of ideas for March programming and crafting. Plus, enjoy a plethora of bookish news. For STEM/STEAM programming, we have you covered and of course, it’s all the FREE resources you have come to love and count on. Read on, enjoy and let us know what works for you and what crashed and burned! It’s all good! But first: And secondly, I’ve made the editorial decision to pull the Just for YA! portion of this newsletter. If you still want to receive it, just send me an email at, or comment below. Thanks! Let’s Celebrate! The first annual Black Children’s Book Week will take place this year, February 27- March 5 Celebrate Black Children’s Book Week February 27th – March 5th! 24 Black Heroes Our Kids Should Know By Name March is… Plan your event with resources on Our Planet: Earth Celebrate National Library Week April 3…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Diversity in STEM & Social Studies Titles

Over the last few years, the Youth Services team at Rochester Public Library (MN) has been asked to help diversify school curriculum support materials, including social studies and STEM. These projects are a lot of fun and begin with the creation of a spreadsheet to document our finds, audit the materials for diversity & inclusion, identify subject matter, and review and track other factors instructors would like us to consider. For example, we are currently working with the kindergarten curriculum subject “Our Country, It’s a Great Place” which covers understanding what it means to be an American Citizen, identifying symbols of the USA, immigration, and identifying leaders of today. A few of our recommendations are: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes V is for Voting by Kate Farrell We are a Garden: How diversity took root in America by Lisa Westberg Peters & Victoria…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Winterizing Your Library Programming

Color photo of a little free library covered in snow

Summer READing prep you say? So, preppers are prepping like crazy for summer reading. But, let’s face it: it’s still winter! Spring ain’t gonna spring anytime soon and the groundhog’s only just thinking about making some French press. While you’re doing your headless chicken routine hiring and lining up summertime performers, have a gander here for some great ideas for sort of now-ish! Don’t let the icy conditions slip you up! Okay, no more puns…for now! ; )) Feb Planning! 1 Students learn about George Washington Carver with this reading passage. [READ MORE] 2 This art-based idea focuses on the work of Langston Hughes, a well-known African American author who wrote poetry and plays. [READ MORE] 3 With adventurous characters, exciting plots, and three to five chapters per book, Leaves Chapter Books check all the boxes to engage beginning readers. [LEARN MORE] 4 Want more activities for Black History Month? [READ MORE] 8 Fun Facts about…


Notable Children’s Books – January 2022 Discussion List

Each year the ALSC Notable Children’s Books Committee identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways. Attend the open 2022 Notable Children’s Books meetings to watch the discussions and learn about the Notable evaluation process. This winter the 2022 Notable Children’s Books Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, January 19 at 12:00 PM CST, Thursday, January 20 at 12:00 PM CST, and Friday, January 21 at 12:00 PM CST. Register to attend one or more of the upcoming meetings here. 2022 NCB Winter Discussion List (75 Titles Total) Last updated January 12,…


Picture Books from Canada: Part 1

What can I tell you? I am a proud Canadian! I also love picture books and try to keep up with all the great books published every year here at home as well as in the USA and beyond. In this series, I am sharing some of my favourite picture books from Canada. These books all have either a Canadian author, illustrator, or both. They also all have universally appealing themes, settings, and characters. Some are informative, some are compelling, and some are just pure fun. My selections include Indigenous authors and illustrators, and my aim is to introduce you to some fabulous, too-good-to-be-missed picture books for everyone, with love from North of the border.