Blogger Jonathan Dolce

New Year’s Resolution: Inspo 2021

black and white line drawing of a human head in profile with bright idea icon in center

Inspo for 2021 So, we get another shot. The celestial odometer ticks one more trip around the sun. And here goes: some inspo for you to make your 2021 sunny and bright, youth services style! Hygge for Children and Families 30 Phrases That Will Change a Kid’s Day (for the Better) 100+ Indoor Activities to Do with the Kids Re-Arrange! Re-arranging your room is one of the best ways to blow out the cobwebs, literally and metaphorically. Wanna let your fingers do the heavy lifting? Try this free children’s room designer! Create a floor plan with a bird’s-eye view 1. Choose an example from our gallery or create a new design 2. Start with your room’s shape and dimensions, add doors, windows & other features. 3. Browse our furniture and click or drag the icons into your plan. 4. Arrange the pieces to create your perfect set-up You can choose just…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Not Another “Best of” Post

large orange block letters spelling not another

This Is Not Another “Best of” [input year] Post I promise you this is not another Best of [input year] post. In fact, if I were to rename it, it’d be The Most Exciting Stuff in the Youth Services World, like, right now; right now. I like pointing these things out so much I create a biweekly Youth Services newsletter for my colleagues. [mysteriously] Who knows, maybe I’ll unleash it upon the internet in 2021? [strokes goat goatee] It’s loaded with all things frabjous, from live webinars with authors whose work we drool upon to easy crafts, programming ideas, news – [foreign accent] your interest is piqued, no? Oh! And this stuff is all totes free! Sans fees! Gratis! Famous Authors Live! This subheading should read “Not Another Webinar” Probably the most important webinars For the Parents and Caregivers we serve This is not a section about stuff to do…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You Still Can’t Beat Free!

word "free" written in white on a green field. The words free has a red $0 price tag attached

You Can’t Beat Free I can’t remember the first time I said “you can’t beat free” as a librarian — I think it was 2003. 17 years later, it’s still true. And public librarians – gosh – we can squeeze a nickle sideways, am I right? Well, if you’re done squeezing blood from a nickle, try FREE on for size! The Secret of My Success The secret of my success has been my ability to not just grant write, brainstorm and work with some amazing teams. More often than not, it’s my ability to locate free stuff. Lots of times, the free stuff snowballs into something mega, or just plain comes in handy. Many of my colleagues wonder how I’ve done it. It’s not that I fall backwards into free things for libraries. Oh contraire. Sorry, it’s a lot of work. Step One? “Oh, good!”, I hear you say. It’s…

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: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1Kj-T3420E&w=560&h=315] Mini Rock Garden Easy mode: Get a shoe box lid, add some sand and rocks and create patterns with a plastic fork. Source: Pinterest…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Knitting Club for Tweens – a step-by-step how-to guide

Hand knitting has been around for arguably thousands of years, though in modern times its popularity has waxed and waned.  Waldorf schools around the world have long recognized that teaching young children handicrafts helps develop their fine motor and analytical skills. The great thing is, libraries can promote knitting, too! Currently, knitting is very popular and many libraries have started their own knitting circles. Here are several reasons to start a knitting circle for tweens at your library and a step-by-step list on how to get started: relaxation: knitting promotes a relaxing feeling similar to the effects of mediation; it hones general literacy skills, math literacy, and other academic skills; the whole process helps build self esteem, something that is extremely important for everyone but especially tweens; it’s fun way to spend time with friends; it may even help teach people to learn to code. Step 1 Start a knitting club for adults. My adult knitting group meets…

Guest Blogger

Craft Tips for Programs

Over the years of doing crafts with all ages, I’ve learned a thing or two. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your storytimes, after school programs, and outreach programs. The Essentials: School supplies (scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, markers, crayons) preferably in separate containers so you can control what is being used. Craft sticks (in regular and jumbo size). These are great for making stick puppets. Watercolor paints, paintbrushes, and reusable cups for water. 4 oz. glue containers and glue pump. I like to fill the glue containers just a little bit. There is little waste in case of an overzealous child, or a spill. Lunch bags (to make puppets or to prep materials) and spoons (for mixing materials). Paint palettes and cotton swabs for tempera paints. You won’t waste paint this way, and it’s really easy to clean up! I also use cotton balls to paint with…