Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries

Building STEM Connections with Lego Club: A New Outlook on an Old Program

Lego Clubs have been a staple of library programming for the past decade, as it’s nearly guaranteed to attract a crowd.  And STEM has been proven to enrich children’s lives with its focus on hands on problem solving and critical thinking.  So it’s only natural for the two to come together, as engineering is already the main focus of Lego Club.  Only now it can be elevated to a whole new level, as STEM-powered Lego Club combines the mass appeal of an already popular program with analytical and scientific processes that can develop and inspire young minds. For the past few years, I’ve run my Lego Club like an engineering laboratory.  Each time we meet we don’t build around a theme, but rather around a challenge.  Can you build a pipeline out of Legos that can actually hold and direct water?  Can you think in new directions and build on…

Blogger Sarah Bean Thompson

Block Party

I first learned about Block Parties at ALA Annual 2013. The idea was to have kids come the library for a block building party. I knew I had to try this at my library, so I started our Block Parties during this year’s Summer Reading Program. They have become a huge hit and I am continuing the program after we had such a great success. The Block Parties are easy to set up and run. The library has a large set of Legos already, but to add to the block collection, we purchased a set of wooden blocks and several sets of Duplos. I also have a large collection of styrofoam packing blocks from our computer packing (make friends with your IT staff!) that I use for block building. I also included other wooden blocks we had in our storyhour collection, shape sorters, foam blocks and any other block toys…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

DUPLO Storytime at the Library

I was very excited by the partnership between the Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC) and LEGO/DUPLO. My library purchased classroom sets of three of the Read, Build, Play book and block sets for use in storytimes and other programs. I planned a special storytime series to debut the new sets. The three sets we used were Grow, Caterpillar, Grow, Let’s Go Vroom, and Busy Farm. The librarian toolkit (available here: http://www.readbuildplay.com/Read-Build-Play_Librarian-Toolkit.pdf) was a great resource for storytime ideas for each book, and it also provided good information to share with parents/caregivers. Here is an outline of how we ended up using the Grow, Caterpillar, Grow book and block set in our special storytime offerings for two and three year olds. Butterflies and Caterpillars Books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek Grow, Caterpillar, Grow by LEGO/DUPLO Rhymes/Songs/Flannelboards: Five Little Caterpillars (from Storytime Magic)…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

LEGO Minecraft!

You don’t need a server to enjoy Minecraft programming at your library! I purchased Minecraft for the PC years ago and with its recent resurgence, I thought, what would make a better tween LEGO club theme than a video game where the focus is on creating a whole world with blocks? A few of my vintage video game LEGO themes have been a wee bit obscure for this generation, but most tweens today are familiar with Minecraft and thus the program was even more popular than I anticipated. Parents later stopped by to “thank” me for getting their children so interested in Minecraft. Our LEGO club is intended for ages 8 and up, but we always have some DUPLO blocks at the ready, just in case younger children wander into the room. Usually, I break out our basic blocks (arranged by color), assemble a few prototypes for inspiration, and let…

Blogger Angela Reynolds

The Great LEGO caper of 2013

March Break. Commonly known as Spring Break in the states. A mad rush of programs are planned. Our fiscal year ends on March 31, so we try to use any remaining programming money during March Break, and our branches do a great job of lining up programs.  Just click here if you are interested in seeing what a small rural Nova Scotia library system can manage to offer!  So, back to the LEGO.  Several of our branches offer regular LEGO programs. We have 3 boxes of “communal” LEGO that are, ostensibly, able to be used by any branch. In reality, they are used by the branches that hold a weekly program. During March Break, however, one branch that does not hold regular programs asked to use a box of LEGO for an all-day LEGO blow out. No problem, I said (cue foreshadowing).  This branch, let’s call it Branch B, wanted…