Programming Ideas

Virtual and Augmented Reality! An #alsc20 Highlight by Eileen Drummond

Institute Graphic Plain

Virtual Reality, augmented reality – what is the difference?  How can a non- video game playing librarian like myself, incorporate this technology into a library program?  My own inclination is to shy away from technology that I don’t understand because I worry how I can help young people utilize that technology.  The 2020 Institute session “Virtual and Augmented Reality: Designing Immersive Learning Youth Programs” led by Zachary Stier introduces librarians to the idea of using virtual and augmented reality to educate and enhance the learning experiences of young people.  Augmented Reality is what the game Pokemon Go is.  It is interacting with digital elements using a smart device.  Virtual Reality is being immersed in an entirely new world.  I initially wondered  how can video games could be educational because the video games that my sons play, Fortnite and Star Wars Battlefront, do not seem to have much learning potential.  To…

Awards & Scholarships

Apply Now for Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant

It may seem like summer reading just ended, but many of us are already planning what our programs will look like for next year. As you envision Summer Reading 2021, would an extra $3,000 help your program to be more innovative? ALSC and the Programs and Services Recognition Committee are now accepting online applications for the ALSC/Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Grant. This $3,000 grant is designed to encourage reading programs for children in public libraries, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. Due to COVID-19, the committee will consider proposals for virtual programming, as well as in-person programs which can take into account public health and safety measures Each application will be judged on the following: The plan and outline submitted for a theme-based summer reading program in a public library Program ideas that are open to all children (birth – 14 years) The committee encourages innovative proposals involving…

Guest Blogger

Dinovember… In the Before-Times or During a Pandemic

November is Dinovember and dinosaurs have invaded the children’s department! Inspired by Refe and Susan Tuma’s What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night and librarians everywhere, Dinovember is a special month where dinosaurs come out to play. In 2019, our children’s department staff helped me celebrate our first Dinovember with programming, displays, and crafts. 

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020

Two Weeks In! We’re two weeks in to Hispanic Heritage Month 2020. I’m sure you’ve had some amazing successes – but please do not give up!  This is no time to kick back and plan for Halloween! I want you to consider – strongly – reading resources that focus on Hispanic-American art as well as the art of graphic novels.  Graphic novels set themselves up years ago – decades at this point – as not just a form of storytelling, but an artful way to bring imagery to life.  This month, why not celebrate the contributions of superior graphic novel artists from the Hispanic-American culture?  Or the most prolific Hispanic-American illustrators? Where is a non-Latinx to begin? So, where is a non-Latinx to begin? Consider your award winners first, such as… The Américas Award “The Américas Award encourages and commends authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality and classroom-ready children’s and…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Take-Home Programs for Children

Since March, we’ve all had to find new ways to reach our patrons. From Stay-at-Home Storytimes to virtual live animal programs, we’ve tried many different ideas for engaging our patrons at the Simsbury Public Library, CT. Our live Zoom programs continue to be popular, but we know that kids and families miss the hands-on learning they’d enjoy at an in-person library program. While we can’t completely replicate that experience right now, we can create craft and activity kits that allow families to take a piece of library programming home with them. This summer, we offered “Take & Makes” every Friday and “Bag of Tricks” on select Wednesdays. We made 50 units of each activity, and families could pick them up anytime during our curbside service hours. It was so fun to watch kids jump out of the car and run to pick up a kit. This strategy proved so popular…

Blogger Heather Acerro

Summer Playlist: At Home Edition

In 2017, Rochester Public Library (MN) launched the Summer Playlist program to replace our traditional Summer Reading Program (SRP). You can read all about that process here. Summer Playlist is an all-ages reading and adventure program that is inclusive of all abilities and interests. When we started our SRP overhaul, we intended that the program would remain relatively unchanged for at least five years. For 2018 & 2019, we ended up making several large changes that were much-needed simplifications and improvements. In early 2020, we finally had the most absolutely perfect Summer Playlist program yet; everything was ready to go, our reward bags were ordered, our log was ready for the printer, and it was going to be the BEST! And you know how this story ends. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people…