ALA Midwinter 2020

Exploring Our Five Senses at the Free Library of Philadelphia

Oh, the Things We Saw and Felt! On Friday, January 24th, the ALSC Special Collections and Bechtel Fellowship and a few special guests were treated to a behind-the-scenes type of tour of the recent “Our Five Senses Exhibit” at the Rare Book Department, Parkway Central Library, Free Library of Philadelphia.  We were amazed at the interactivity and book magic that was demonstrated in this popular exhibit.  It was co-curated by ALSC Member Christopher Brown, Special Collections Curator, Children’s Literature Research Collection and co-curator and our tour guide Karen Kirsheman, Librarian, Rare Book Department. Inspired by Aliki’s children’s picture book work and the original artwork from her 1962 book My Five Senses, a gift to the Children’s Literature Research Collection, this exhibition was such a hit with families early on that it was extended.  Original art was created by local children’s picture book and Geisel Award-winning author/illustrator Greg Pizzoli to help…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Grab Bag Bundles

We’ve had book bundles of picture books as a children’s book display and we’ve had blind date with a book as a teen book display. Now we’ve combined the two concepts into: Grab Bag Bundles. Grab Bag Bundles are made of 3-5 picture books or non-fiction books on a theme, wrapped in brown paper, and labeled with a mysterious theme. Themes we’ve used include: Are you all ready for this? (Spring books!) Why DID she cross the road? (chicken books) That’s CLASSIC! (folk and fairy tales) Boo! (monsters) Three (books with 3 in the title)     To make the display work we: Select 3-5 books on a theme Check them out on a staff-use card Wrap them in brown paper Paste on a label with the theme & the # of books written on it Add to the display Customers are asked to take the bundles to our Public…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Warm Up Rochester, Minnesota

Fact: Minnesota is cold in the winter (and the fall and the spring). Several years ago one of our Youth Services Librarians shared a story with us about a first grade class that had walked over from the nearby Title 1 elementary school. During the class visit, the librarian told the class a story that included props of a clothes line with several pairs of mittens pinned to it. While the rest of the class was browsing for books after the storytime, a child pulled her aside and asked quietly if he could take a pair of those prop mittens home to his sister because she didn’t have any. The librarian made sure that he left with mittens for his whole family. Inspired by this and similar stories from our community, we launched a program called Warm Up Rochester in November 2016. The program encourages the community to make or…

ALA Midwinter 2020

ALA Stop: Free exhibitions at the Free Library

I’m excited that ALA is in Philadelphia this year, because I promise you’ll be spoiled for choice at all of the activities that the City has to offer.  Museums and restaurants are the heart of Philadelphia, but for a truly unforgettable experience, I hope you’ll stop by the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Library and tour our Special Collection spaces.

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 Heather Acerro

Are Your Forms In Order?

I don’t know about you, but I love challenges to library materials. Challenges provide an opportunity for librarians to step back and evaluate not only the item that has been challenged, but also our philosophy, policies, and procedures. While book challenges don’t happen every day, they are certainly something that libraries are prepared to handle. All you need is a diverse collection, fully trained staff, and a solid selection and reconsideration policy in place and you are ready for anything. Last year, we observed that we were getting more challenges for displays and events than we were for library materials. With no official procedure in place for handling these challenges, we were inconsistent as the process really depended on who spoke with the customer. Since our staff put as much care into selecting displays, exhibits, and programs, we needed a way to approach these challenges with the same thoughtfulness that…

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Getting the Picture: An Artistic Community Partnership

As a librarian who doesn’t work in a traditional library setting, I am always on the lookout for novel ways to bring books to unexpected places. Thanks to an all-hands-on-deck operation, we recently welcomed hundreds of children and families to connect with a children’s literacy-based art exhibition at a community hub that inspired many young readers to craft stories of their own. Here’s a look at who partnered in the effort, and some ideas about how you might seek these opportunities in your own community. First, it helps to have a sense of the place.  The Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) brings together more than a dozen non-profit partners that offer social and cultural programs to children and families living east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC.  Within its three buildings — which sit on almost 17 acres that include a farm and playground — kids…