Blogger Alexa Newman

Art Programs in the Library: Traditional and High Tech

Arts programs in our schools are perennially  on the chopping block. Too many school districts in the US have had to eliminate or reduce art education.  Some of the cuts are budget related, others are tied to curriculum standards. In a recently published paper, The Brown Center Chalkboard concluded that  “… that a substantial increase in arts educational experiences has remarkable impacts on students’ academic, social, and emotional outcomes.” My library has picked up the arts mantle and offers a broad range of art programs for people of all ages.  We offer a variety of programming including in house programming, self directed art in the makerspace, and outsider instruction.   In House Crafts    The Youth Services Department offers drop in preschool crafts every few weeks where families can bring their preschoolers to make a variety of crafts at their own pace.  We also host recurring programs including school age…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

The Art of the Con – plan, host, conduct and maintain!

star wars cosplayer

The Art of the Con The Art of the con or convention is a fine art, but thankfully for you fearless reader, we have on hand Elise VanCise, creator and coordinator of the Annual Astor Library Geek Fest, now in its fourth year!  Elise is the young adult coordinator for the Astor County Library in sunny Astor, Florida. First Things First! J – For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on what it takes to plan, host, conduct and maintain a successful con.  But first, what exactly is a Geek Fest and why would a library want to have one? VanCise – Geek Fest is the name we gave to our mini-comic con or convention.  It’s a one-day con where we have cosplay, anything you geek is basically our theme – superheroes, science fiction, horror – anything you want!  This year we have exhibitors that do everything…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Stomp Rockets: STEAM Done Cheap

I have recently learned the joys of stomp rockets, these super simple launching devices can lead to tons of scientific exploration and can be made for less than $2! So far this summer we have used these for a day long rocket launching program and a demonstration at a county run summer camp. The kids have been totally captivated. So our plan is to make a couple to drop off at the summer camp locations so the kids can experiment in their free time. This lead me to wonder where else would it be possible to have these cheap tools available for bored and curious kids? Since these have relatively low power they can be launched inside as long as the space has high ceilings so recreation centers, after school programs (cafeterias and gyms) and the like would be a perfect fit. Materials for Launcher: 2 pieces of 1/2 inch…

Blogger Kaitlin Frick

Think Outside, Inside, and All Around the Box!

This Wednesday (June 19th) is International Box Day, when people all over the world will be celebrating the cardboard box! Okay, so maybe not. But boxes are truly a fantastic invention. First conceived in 1817, cardboard boxes have been making moving easier for over 200 years. But for librarians, boxes are more than just packaging; they’re an incredibly versatile craft material. So if you need some inspiration for celebrating International Box Day at your library this year, look no farther! I’ve compiled some of my favorite programming ideas for a range of ages as well as storytime selections below.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

STEM Teaching Begins with Preschoolers!

toddler interacting with science exhibit in Belgharia

STEM Teaching and Learning Begins with Preschoolers! So, I was explaining STEM to my dad, a retired physicist.  He’s skeptical by nature as any good scientist should be.  When I got to the part about teaching it to preschoolers, well, let’s just say I was bombarded by particles. But hear me out – it really DOES start with preschoolers!  And I can prove it! Penny Bauder, environmental scientist, teacher and mom of two, points out that “It is never too early to start STEM education, and an ideal way to teach STEM is to go out into nature!” Boston Children’s Museum, too, points out that children have a natural curiosity.  STEM is a great way to help 3-5 year-olds to focus and refine their naturally inquisitive behaviors. Linking it up to Summer Reading 2019! Even a pre-schooler can be a NASA citizen scientist!  Download and install the GLOBE Observer app…