Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Building STEM Connections with Lego Club: A New Outlook on an Old Program

Lego Clubs have been a staple of library programming for the past decade, as it’s nearly guaranteed to attract a crowd.  And STEM has been proven to enrich children’s lives with its focus on hands on problem solving and critical thinking.  So it’s only natural for the two to come together, as engineering is already the main focus of Lego Club.  Only now it can be elevated to a whole new level, as STEM-powered Lego Club combines the mass appeal of an already popular program with analytical and scientific processes that can develop and inspire young minds. For the past few years, I’ve run my Lego Club like an engineering laboratory.  Each time we meet we don’t build around a theme, but rather around a challenge.  Can you build a pipeline out of Legos that can actually hold and direct water?  Can you think in new directions and build on…

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

STEAM on a Shoestring: Science

Last month, I posted ideas for engineering programs on a budget. I hope you had a chance to try out the programs – please email me if you did! – and found a great new activity for your young patrons. I had so much fun putting together that post, I decided to turn it into a mini-series. So this month, I’ve asked librarian friends to share ideas for science programs they (and their patrons) love:

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

STEAM on a Shoestring: Engineering

Looking for some ideas to inject a little life into your STEAM programming? Don’t have a lot of money to throw around? You may not know, but librarians are kind of a great resource for that. When I’m feeling run down and completely out of ideas, I like to check in with some of my favorite librarians – because chances are, at least one of them has an idea I’ve never used before, and probably never would have thought up without their input. So if you’re feeling a little lost, check out these engineering-focused suggestions from some of the greatest librarians I know: Kristin McWilliams, Youth Manager with Houston Public Library (TX) “In my After School Zone, we did a zip-line challenge the kids were really into. I told them they needed to make something that could hold plastic dinosaurs and attach to the line to carry them safely down….

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2019 – Preparing Launch!

Summer Reading 2019 No, it really is NEVER too early to be thinking about summer reading 2019!  If you have the means, hire your performers super early.  If it’s you, some volunteers and a great deal of cardboard, then this is the beginning of a great series of blogposts just for you! Summer reading 2019 is largely about outer space.  Already ideas have been bouncing off the satellites.  Here’s some to get your engines started! STARNet! STARNet was introduced to me at ALA when it hit Orlando.  Since that time, I have never been let down in terms of all they have to offer, and the support they can give. Already STARNet has a whole portion of their site dedicated to – say it with me! – summer reading 2019!  They’re calling it “A Universe of Stories”.  And just to get your pulse running, they have a handy countdown clock…