Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Process Art

You don’t have to be artistic or crafty to do art programs at your branch! As a kid, I hated (really hated) art class, easily frustrated when my creations didn’t live up to my standards. Early in my library career, I started doing art programs simply because the kids loved the programs and caregivers expected them. Doing specific types of programs because your patrons enjoy them is a totally valid motivation. Like nearly everything in life, I’ve gotten more confident with practice and experience. But I’ve grown to truly love art programming – and it’s not because I’ve become a more skilled artist or gone through a creative growth spurt.   The key shift for me has been embracing process art rather than crafts.       Crafts are product-oriented, with detailed step-by-step instructions. There might be some variation, but the end results look very similar. Process art emphasizes the…

Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Toddler Exploration: Art!

When I used to work in a independent library in California, we had crafts or art projects after all our story times… since moving, I have learned that that is not the norm in big city systems! I suppose, I could do them after story time, but we are usually tight on staff and there is a need to cover the desk. It also always depends on how you get funds for art activities. We have a big order we place every fall, but can face delays and or we can only buy from a regimented list. So, I have typically saved crafts and art projects for pop up programs or some once a month family story times. But– I think it is such a miss for our community! Art is not always explored at home because it can make a MESS and then it may only be available as…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Libraries Rock: Between Summer READing ‘n’ Hard Places

Summer READing is upon us! So, you’ve got everything lined up for summer.  Performers – check!  Special storytimes – check!  Crafts – check!  Libraries rock! But what about the unexpected?  It’s all happened to us – a performer cancels at the last minute, or a crucial staff member calls in sick.  Will you be ready? Here’s some quick and easy hands-on activities that can be turned into full-blown, hour long programs!  All on the turn of a dime and just as affordable!  Rock – I mean – read on! Libraries Rock – Literally! Zen or Sharpie Stones What could be easier?  Take some rocks, get some Sharpies and create simply patterns all over them! These can be as simple or as complex as you want: Mini Rock Garden Easy mode: Get a shoe box lid, add some sand and rocks and create patterns with a plastic fork. Source: Pinterest Tip: Put…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations

Before becoming a children’s librarian, I was an arts administrator at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. From these experiences, I learned about the power of the arts. Arts Education When you hear “arts education” you may think school, but you should also think library. Libraries are wonderful venues for promoting and exploring the arts. Libraries host live performances and offer arts experiences. Below are some resources to create programs and gain ideas for your own activities. As librarians, we believe everyone has a gift that should be encouraged and the arts promote creativity and celebrates differences. Art forms have structures, but the exploration does not have to be structured. The arts allows for a variety of entry points for everyone. For example, there are over 50 types of poems so plenty to explore but you can also use free form. VSAarts, an organization that…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Saturday Morning Art at the Library

Are you looking for a fun way to combine art and literacy into programming at your library? One great way is to start a recurring weekend art program! We came up with the name Saturday Morning Art- SMArt for short. Other cute names could be Little Artists or Art Explorers. Our program is geared towards patrons in kindergarten through second grade and is typically offered once a month, but you could easily adapt the program for tweens. Here at Rocky River I’m lucky enough to work with a former art teacher, Ms. Heather, who has amazing insight into teaching art concepts to elementary aged students. As a former painting major in college and art lover I was really excited to start a program that could mesh together her invaluable art education background and my librarian education! Together we crafted a program that combines our collective love of art and books. SMArt has been very popular at my library…