Blogger Jonathan Dolce

19 Positive Summer Reading Activities During COVID

chalk board with words what's your story

Adapt If COVID has taught me anything, it is to keep in mind the one-word slogan of Navy SEALS: Adapt. We are public librarians. We adapt. We adapted during the digital age to maintain our relevance. COVID is not going to stop us. Irrespective of where you are right now, summer reading has boiled down to three options: passive, curbside or virtual. We remain in the unique position of being able to touch the lives and hearts of our community. We have a responsibility to remain positive, and to disseminate hope. Read on to see how 19 positive summer reading activities during COVID can make the difference. 1 – Radio I’ll never forget growing up the impact just one radio station had on my hometown. The station was 45 minutes away by car, but everyone in my school knew it; always had it on. You couldn’t see the DJs, but…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story!

Darth Vader reading on a playground slide

Imagine Your COVID Summer Slide Story? Summer slide in the age of COVID.  I don’t think anyone can really imagine what this summer will look like in terms of a summer reading program for any age group.  The show must go on, though – so let’s imagine your story together! Scheduling Scheduling a time for your summer reading program is essential.  Pick you set of dates, beginning and ending, as well as your “big” program days.  You’ve had some practice with online programming by now.  Now, just do it bigger! Space Familiarity is critical for your audience.  It gives a sense of anticipation, a recognizable (or branding) setting, and a reassuring repetition.  If the space you’ve been using for online programming isn’t as polished as you’d like it, time to refine!  Sound problems?  Get them ironed out!  This is crunch time! Supplies Your list of supplies this summer is going…

Blogger Pamela Groseclose

Books for Tweens During Uncertain Times

More than ever, librarians are offering dynamic programming from their homes. Cooking, craft programs, and book talks are filling up Youtube! All of these things as needed, but do not forget to include book lists to your lineup. I know this might seem self-explanatory, but in a rush for programming, it is hard to stop and remember how much books offer us and tweens!  Books help kids to explore issues, develop empathy, and reduce stress.  Next Steps  As summer approaches, we are all scrambling to find new ways to offer programming. One thing my library has found success doing is setting out a take-home craft kit that we set outside. These craft kits go very quickly! Consider offering a take-home craft that tweens can take home & provide paper booklists that tweens can grab and go in case they do not have internet access, or perhaps they need a break…

Blogger Gretchen Schulz

Reaching Tweens During COVID-19 At Your Public Library

Image of a bread pan with a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread in it.

When my public library first asked me to pitch ideas for online programming from home, I felt frozen. I literally did not even have different colored construction paper or Crayola markers in my apartment to make my own flannel stories. I felt like the worst children’s librarian on the planet. (We also do not have color ink for our printer–so that was out of the question, too.) Awesomely, my boss came to the rescue and helped us get some supplies delivered to our homes. Once I had a tripod for my iPhone, I felt much more prepared and was able to let my creativity kick in.

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!