Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You STILL Can’t Beat Free

You STILL Can’t Beat FREE We live in an age of what economists call “perfect information“. This of course does not mean that the information we get is perfect, Instead, it means no hidden information. Perfect information more precisely means we all have access to instant information, understand its use as well as its plusses and minuses. But we also experience information overload, which is where we come in. And I’m here to help make your lives a wee bit easier, by finding all the free stuff! Ideas, downloads, and a touch of fun. I hope you enjoy and utilize these resources. And of course, I hope you enjoy all the fun stuff, too! Programming Ideas You Can Do! I will come over to your library if you say you can’t do any number of these…well…if you cover my expenses! ; )) When I was an Art major, we were…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Zooming into STEAM Programming

I love book clubs. I personally belong to four (three of which focus on children’s and teen titles).  I run one for tweens at my library.  The adjustment of doing this all online was very simple. I love storytimes.  After figuring out how best to frame staff on the Zoom screen and getting storytime permissions, storytimes adjusted virtually very easily. I love STEAM programs. …….. Seriously, though, I was wondering HOW exactly STEAM programs were going to translate to a live virtual program.  I had done, and seen, some pre-taped crafts and such, but I’ve been just itching to actually connect and interact with kids.  I know many, many of my colleagues have been offering deeply impactful STEAM programs online, but last week was my first. I don’t really get nervous programming anymore.  I was nervous for this. I chose a program on Air and Wind that I was supposed…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Virtual Summer Reading 2021

cartoon image of child with vr goggles on on a solar system background

Summer Reading Virtual Once More So, for most of us, summer reading 2021 will be virtual once more. For some, it meant outsourcing virtual programming, with others flipping coins to see who’d go in front of the green screen. But overall, this is the future of public library programming. Need some help? Read on, fellow green screeners! Best Practices Understand that best practices are still being established, and represents an evolving skillset.  We are understanding the platforms and their capabilities as we go along.  When it comes to producing content, though, many standard best practices for streaming and broadcast apply.  TWITCH  DISCORD  Appears to be a combo of equipment and broadcast practices broadly applicable to streaming in general: Streamer and moderator best practices Consistency with schedule Marketing and promo Equipment and software  It’s a communication tool, not a vault Organization is key Library specific recommendation is to connect with local servers to promote programs Don’t @everyone Keep posting,…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

New Approaches to Virtual STEM Programs for Kids

When Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) closed to the public nearly a year ago, children’s librarians scrambled to adapt programming to the virtual world. Library Lab STEM programs began with a cooking demonstration showing the chemical reactions in Snickerdoodle cookies and expanded to a variety of science and coding experiments. 

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

New Year’s Resolution: Inspo 2021

black and white line drawing of a human head in profile with bright idea icon in center

Inspo for 2021 So, we get another shot. The celestial odometer ticks one more trip around the sun. And here goes: some inspo for you to make your 2021 sunny and bright, youth services style! Hygge for Children and Families 30 Phrases That Will Change a Kid’s Day (for the Better) 100+ Indoor Activities to Do with the Kids Re-Arrange! Re-arranging your room is one of the best ways to blow out the cobwebs, literally and metaphorically. Wanna let your fingers do the heavy lifting? Try this free children’s room designer! Create a floor plan with a bird’s-eye view 1. Choose an example from our gallery or create a new design 2. Start with your room’s shape and dimensions, add doors, windows & other features. 3. Browse our furniture and click or drag the icons into your plan. 4. Arrange the pieces to create your perfect set-up You can choose just…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Not Another “Best of” Post

large orange block letters spelling not another

This Is Not Another “Best of” [input year] Post I promise you this is not another Best of [input year] post. In fact, if I were to rename it, it’d be The Most Exciting Stuff in the Youth Services World, like, right now; right now. I like pointing these things out so much I create a biweekly Youth Services newsletter for my colleagues. [mysteriously] Who knows, maybe I’ll unleash it upon the internet in 2021? [strokes goat goatee] It’s loaded with all things frabjous, from live webinars with authors whose work we drool upon to easy crafts, programming ideas, news – [foreign accent] your interest is piqued, no? Oh! And this stuff is all totes free! Sans fees! Gratis! Famous Authors Live! This subheading should read “Not Another Webinar” Probably the most important webinars For the Parents and Caregivers we serve This is not a section about stuff to do…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You Still Can’t Beat Free!

word "free" written in white on a green field. The words free has a red $0 price tag attached

You Can’t Beat Free I can’t remember the first time I said “you can’t beat free” as a librarian — I think it was 2003. 17 years later, it’s still true. And public librarians – gosh – we can squeeze a nickle sideways, am I right? Well, if you’re done squeezing blood from a nickle, try FREE on for size! The Secret of My Success The secret of my success has been my ability to not just grant write, brainstorm and work with some amazing teams. More often than not, it’s my ability to locate free stuff. Lots of times, the free stuff snowballs into something mega, or just plain comes in handy. Many of my colleagues wonder how I’ve done it. It’s not that I fall backwards into free things for libraries. Oh contraire. Sorry, it’s a lot of work. Step One? “Oh, good!”, I hear you say. It’s…