Blogger Pamela Groseclose

Creating a Successful Tween Book Club

Book Clubs are always an excellent tween and even teen program, but it is often difficult to get one started. There can be many barriers to making it work. One of which is competing against school activities and precious time with family.  Tweens and teens are busier than ever, and libraries are having to go the extra mile to attract families to library programming. In the past, I have only been able to have success with book clubs through outreach. My former library was lucky enough to team up with the local school librarians to offer a book club over the lunch hour for students. Recently, I moved out of state to pursue another job. One of the things I missed most was doing a book club. Looking back, I realized it was my library’s version of a tween advisory board. I felt lost with it. I decided that I…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

But Don’t Forget the Homeschoolers

 “We would love to have a program specifically for homeschoolers. We need a place for our kids to interact with each other and with an adult that isn’t the parents.” This was the plea that my community’s homeschool moms posed to me at the beginning of this year. As I listened to the parents, I realized just how big the homeschooling population really was in my community. I also realized that these kids needed a program that was hands- on and engaging meaning I would have to plan some amazing programs to keep attendees interested. Talk about pressure. Since I knew there was definitely a need, I decided to take action. I began reaching out to everyone I could: librarians within Tennessee, the moms themselves, and co-workers. And as many children’s librarians do, I turned to Pinterest. As the wealth of information poured in, I began to get a bit…

Blogger Katie Salo

Parachute in Storytime

Several children stand underneath a giant parachute. Most of them are blurry from action. In the middle stands a librarian, holding up part of the parachute.

Today’s installment of storytime props is the parachute in storytime. (Previous post: Scarves in Storytime and Egg Shakers in Storytime.) Are you ready to go over the basics? What size parachute do you use?: I have three different parachutes at the library. Two fit in our smaller programming room (parachutes size 10 feet and size 12 feet). This works for classes of 20 kids or smaller. Our large parachute fits our large programming room (parachute size 24 feet). I’ve used this parachute in classes with 70 kids before. How do you take the parachute out and put the parachute away?: In our large music & movement program, I ask the kids to find their grown-ups and stay with them while I pass out the parachute. For classes when I’m the only grown-up in the room, I have the kids touch the wall until I finish setting up the parachute. This…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Partnerships with arts organizations to enhance programs

As mentioned in my February 2, 2018 ALSC post (Arts enhance experiences for under-served populations), the arts provide many entry points for youth participation. It encourages individuality, exploration and the process is as important as the outcome. This past year, my colleague Becca Tanen,  DC Public Library’s Children’s Librarian for the Center for Accessibility, wanted to explore theater based activities for program enhancement. So she decided to do a partnership with a theater company. After researching organizations with experience creating universally designed programs, she reached out to Imagination Stage (IStage) for the partnership with this endeavor. IStage is one of DC’s renowned regional youth theater organizations, Partnership Goals and Process The partnership goals were to learn new program ideas through theater and to offer a different type of activity for all children – meaning there are no barriers to participation. Below Becca describes her experience with this collaboration. “The workshops were…

Blogger Katie Salo

Kindergarten Bootcamp

It’s the mid-point of summer reading and school supplies have started popping up in stores around us. Know what it’s time for? Kindergarten Bootcamp! Kindergarten Bootcamp is a four-day program designed to give entering kindergarteners the opportunity to experience a classroom setting and practice being a student before starting school. We review kindergarten concepts (alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes) while practicing social-emotional skills like sharing, lining up, transitioning, and group work. Quick Details The class is capped at twenty-five kids. Three staff members participate: one primary teacher, one music teacher, and one art teacher. Class runs from 9:30-11:00 a.m. so we do work on an abbreviated schedule. Caregivers do not stay with their child past drop-off. Set-Up I use our large meeting room and have two different areas set up: one group area and one station area. On days when I schedule art or music, those are held in our…

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 Pamela Groseclose

Creating Relevant Programs with Tween Interests

On Tuesdays, I get to spend time with my regular teens.  As I walked over to the teen department, I  stumbled into an interesting discussion. In the midst of homework and computer games, my teens discussed the library. One mentioned that she started to come to the library regularly when she was a tween. She appreciated that the library had a variety of materials for her to checkout.  Another teen talked about how awesome the programming was and how much she appreciated the staff.   One of our newest teens surprised me the most. She just moved to my library from out of state and shared her own experience. After she agreed with the previous comments, she shared that her previous library only offered duct tape crafts, book discussions, and anime nights for teens.  She felt like the programs were okay, but the library wasn’t in tune with her and peer’s needs….

Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Growing a Partnership – Public Libraries and Public Transportation

Most successful partnerships don’t happen overnight. They can take time, sometimes even years, to develop. Partnerships that begin simply can grow into something wonderful when they are cultivated and given time to blossom. I’d like to share a success story from my library in Knoxville, TN. As two government agencies that serve many of the same community members, the Knox County Public Library (KCPL) and Knoxville Area Transit (KAT), have worked together casually for many years. The central library and many library branches are located along KAT bus and trolley routes. As a resource to our patrons, KCPL provides space for KAT to display brochures and maps of these routes, and public transportation makes it possible for many of our patrons to travel to the library. Source: Knoxville Area Transit A couple of years ago, the partnership between KCPL and KAT began to really grow into something special. When making…