Intellectual Freedom

Banned Books Week 2021

As August quickly fades into September, students are heading back to the classroom, the weather begins to change, and the anticipation of pumpkin spice is in the air. For the library universe, it is also the perfect time to begin planning for Banned Books Week, scheduled to take place from September 26th through October 2nd this year. If you’ve worked in libraries for any length of time, chances are you’ve had a title challenged for something in its content that someone felt was inappropriate. Children’s literature is especially vulnerable, as parents question books that use “vulgar” language, contain sexual references, or dare to challenge the status quo of society.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Inspiring Young Writers at the Library

I love to put on creative writing programs at the library. Kids are natural storytellers, but as they grow up and move through the school system, many of them come to believe that writing is all about having correct spelling and grammar. But a library program can focus on the fun side of writing, throw away the so-called “rules” of writing, and help young writers bring back their creative spark. Read on for three examples of creative writing games you can play at your library.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You STILL Can’t Beat Free

You STILL Can’t Beat FREE We live in an age of what economists call “perfect information“. This of course does not mean that the information we get is perfect, Instead, it means no hidden information. Perfect information more precisely means we all have access to instant information, understand its use as well as its plusses and minuses. But we also experience information overload, which is where we come in. And I’m here to help make your lives a wee bit easier, by finding all the free stuff! Ideas, downloads, and a touch of fun. I hope you enjoy and utilize these resources. And of course, I hope you enjoy all the fun stuff, too! Programming Ideas You Can Do! I will come over to your library if you say you can’t do any number of these…well…if you cover my expenses! ; )) When I was an Art major, we were…

ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Virtual Playtime with GameRT at #alamw21

GameRT presented examples for virtual gaming, as well as resources and tips for introducing them to patrons. Our presenters were Dan Major of Orion Township Public Library (adult services), Erica Ruscio of Ventress Memorial Library (teen services), Rebecca Strang of Naperville Public Library (children’s services), and Jeff Pinsker of AMIGO Games (CEO).

Guest Blogger

Afternoon Amazingness at #ALSC20

Thanks to living in Virtual Conference Land, we got to kick off the afternoon with a refreshing lunch on the porch with cohort Pongo (pictured below). I got to listen to publishers give us the deets on some amazing upcoming #DiverseReads; so many fab books- my ordering list is ever-growing. Then, I spent some time learning about immersive learning through virtual reality and augmented reality programs for children! Zach Stier (who has worked in libraries for ages!) explained how the learning experiences work, and demonstrated different devices to use- including info how to get stuff on a tight budget… because, REALITY reality. He has great ideas about programming, and also talked about how to tie those experiences back to non-tech activities and to books! And one fun plus to these programs- kids can often end up being the “teachers” for each other in the tasks. Next: what in the world…

Guest Blogger

Virtual #ALSC20 – too many great things

I have to say, I am SO glad that all of the sessions are being recorded for us! It’s been hard to choose what to see, and I am thrilled I can go back later and catch the ones I missed while I was in a different session. This is a huge plus of attending a virtual conference! I picked up some amazing Global Citizens programming ideas from Hallie Jackson from Fairfax County Public library; I can’t wait until we have patrons back in the library, because I want to jump into those new ideas asap. The We Are Water Protectors general session gave some fabulously interesting background stories of the book about the peaceful stand of current Indigenous-led protests. I thought it was interesting, too, to learn that the book was originally conceived as a YA novel; author Carole Lindstrom realized that young people “get it,” and need to…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Winter Preschool STEAM

Back in October, I wrote about the aptly named Fall Fun Preschool STEAM program, the first of its kind I had offered.  I had been inspired by a colleague’s presentation, which you can read more about in the link. In February, our department held a Winter Preschool STEAM program that was also tons of fun, and I wanted to share. About 30 people (kids and caregivers) attended.  We started by creating a sensory snowman…aka a snow globe.  Voss water bottles were PERFECT for the snowman, and the lid resembled a hat.  Strips of blue flannel for a scarf really made him pop.  I’ve made snow globes before with glycerin and they never really worked.  Using clear glue, as suggested in the link, was a great upgrade…and added to the science as we discussed how the glitter was suspended by the glue. Next, we made a “melted” snowman…basically, it was white…

Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Passive Programming Builds Community

Winter and spring breaks are coming up, which means our libraries might be more crowded than usual! This is a great time to engage library users, but can also be a bit stressful when trying to manage many age groups simultaneously. Your regularly scheduled toddler storytime now might include older siblings attending, and your children’s section might be filled much earlier than usual. So, how do you balance all of your patrons’ needs simultaneously? Passive programming! But, passive programming is so much more than a tool to help you multitask; it helps build community.