Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Balancing Low Staff and High Program Needs

Ever since I transitioned from children’s librarian to a branch manager– I have been way more obsessed with the staffing needs that is required to run a children’s department, well. Depending on your branch, location, system, or building– children’s departments probably average anywhere from 3-15 programs a week. And while it might look to some managers or admin or even patrons, that those programs just appear magically– I know all the hard work that it takes to prepare, craft, present, and manage those programs– and all the staff needed to make those dreams possible.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Children, Pornography and Suicide

red octagon with hand raised palm up in stop gesture

Children, Pornography and Suicide I know that Children, Pornography and Suicide are terms you never want to hear in tandem.  As tough as it is, it is a reality.  Most of us work with children who are at-risk.  And as Chris Crutcher once said, “When you work with at-risk children, you are going to lose some.  I don’t like that answer”. The CDC reported in 2019 that: “the number of young people dying of suicide jumped…56% between 2007 and 2017“ That’s people aged 10-24 years of age, well within our realm of service. While we don’t want to think of any child as being capable of “looking up porn”, the reality is, it is ubiquitous.  We know how to lock our doors from strangers, and how to train children to recognize a multitude of dangers.  We understand that substance abuse claims over 70,000 children every year in the U.S.  But think…

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

Winter Tree Art: A Tween & Teen Collaboration

Picture of Schaumburg Library in Illinois, with blue skies and tulips.

Tweens and Teens at the Library At my library, we have recently been having the discussion of how to help bridge the gap when a child graduates from the Children’s Department and enters life as a teen in the library. We have a fairly stead and regular crowd of tweens in the Children’s Department, but they do not always continue to use the library once they become a teen. As the Tween Librarian, my main programming focus is 9-12 year olds. My Teen Librarian colleagues create programs for ages 12-19. A few months ago, my colleague had the idea of partnering with the Teen Department to have programs for tweens in their programming room. It was a great idea, and one we were able to execute this week!

Blogger Pamela Groseclose

12 Books Tweens Can Read After Dog Man

Last month, I highlighted twelve books readers who enjoyed Raina Telgemeier should read. This author is outrageously liked, but another equally popular series I can’t seem to keep on my shelf is the Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey. Readers who like Dog Man are typically just starting in chapter books or are reluctant readers. They generally enjoy books that are fast-paced, funny, and have some illustrations. Usually, they have already read Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Big Nate, and it is often difficult to find other books these young patrons will enjoy. If you are running out of suggestions, this post is for you! 

Blogger Alexa Newman

Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids

I am passionate about yoga, so much so that I went to a yoga school and obtained my certification through Yoga Alliance. Combine that with my love of youth programming, and I had to develop programs for our library.  I teach classes for all ages, from adults (with students over 80!) to preschoolers. My youth programs focus on fun, fitness, and mindfulness.     Yoga has seen a steady increase in interest over the past several years. Yoga for kids is also on the rise. I’ve been conducting yoga storytimes, kids yoga, and tween yoga classes for the past 18 months. They are all popular with our young patrons, with yoga storytime being the most sought after program.   There has been a heightened focus on mindfulness and meditation in the media and with the general public. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness with children can increase concentration and reduce stress…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Have You Noticed the Tweens?

When I first began as the Children’s and Teen Librarian at a small, rural library in Tennessee, I felt a bit overwhelmed. It wasn’t planning storytimes and programs for the littles that felt dauting. What felt like the most challenging area for me was planning programs for a group of kids that were not quite children anymore but not teenagers yet, either.

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…