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 Jonathan Dolce

Things on Sticks – Shadow Puppets You Can Do!

children performing shadow puppet show

No Excuses Honestly, there are no excuses for not being able to make a shadow puppet show. I’m not talking using your fingers to make that barking dog or your hands to make a butterfly. Shadow puppets are almost as easy to make, economical, easy to store, and frankly an art form in themselves. And thanks to the magic of internet and photocopiers, ANYONE can make these. Let’s dive in! What is a shadow puppet? A shadow puppet is any character, prop or background, made of almost any 2-D material that casts a shadow on another flat surface/curtain. It is a silhouette of a character, or object that helps you tell a story. Shadow puppets can be opaque, translucent, transparent, and include color. Any open areas “holes” or negative space as we say in the art world, allow light through. These areas can have color added with colored tissue paper,…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Pivot, and Pivot Again: How Do We Best Serve Patrons in the Constantly Changing Pandemic Landscape?

Preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year has been one of the most, shall we say, unusual experiences for libraries in generations. Would schools be opening in person or e-learning or a hybrid version? Would families have options? Would there be an uptick in homeschooling? Many, if not all of us, have had to grapple with this situation. My library serves four school districts as well as several parochial and private schools. We spent much of the late spring and summer trying to plan for each contingency, since there were so many unknowns. As late as the end of July, all of our districts were planning to offer families a choice between attending school in person or e-learning. The parochial schools had already decided to hold school in person. When Covid-19 positivity rates started to climb, one by one, our districts decided to move exclusively to e-learning. With…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Is it Enough?

As I write this, it has been almost two and a half months since my library closed its doors due to the pandemic. My job now, like so many of you reading this, is nothing like it once was. I had been a children’s librarian in a public library, assisting parents and children alike in the library on a daily basis; now I am a virtual services children’s librarian, and all my interactions with patrons are virtual, filtered through social media and camera lenses. I used to thrive on making personal connections with each patron who visited the library, and now I subsist on Facebook comments and video views. 

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Sharing the Love of Reading: Why Do We Want Our Children to Love Reading?

As a teacher-librarian, the question I am asked most often is “how can I get my child to read?” I have become an expert at teaching others using all the data and research responses used to promote literacy, and I’ve thought a lot about offering advice when I hear that a child still hates reading. I lived through this question for many years.  When my daughter was born. I was committed to raising her with all the knowledge and best practices I had been taught.  And it worked. We read daily, she had an extensive vocabulary and entered school ready to read. She learned quickly and progressed in school the way she should. Then at the beginning of second grade, she rebelled. She hated to read. I went back to the research, trying everything and anything I could to bring back her love of reading. Nothing worked and it carried…

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…

Administrative and Management Skills

Planning Your Year

It is almost time for a new calendar, which is one of my favorite times of the year! I am a big planner and I love taking time to reflect and think about where I want to be at this time next year. Several years ago I started a practice of using worksheets created by Ink & Volt (they are free!) to prepare for the new year. They start with a reflection on the past year, thinking about what went well, what could have gone better, and the lessons learned. The second step is reflecting on relationships and the third is setting a yearly theme. Setting a theme is the most difficult and yet most rewarding part of this process. The theme should be short and should speak to all areas of your life. My 2019 theme was “nurture” and I used it to guide my goals, which is the…