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…

Administrative and Management Skills

ALSC Asks:

Many management and leadership decisions with patrons are judgement calls based on ones understanding of their library policy. We have a scenario for you to consider: A solo parent comes into the children’s area of the library with a teenager, a toddler, and an infant to enjoy a Summer Reading Puppet show. Upon arrival the teenager immediately leaves their family in the children’s area to hang out with  friends in the teen area. Once the puppet show begins the toddler starts screaming, laughing, and trying to climb on stage to touch the puppets. The parent, with their hands full holding the infant, apologizes for the interruption and pulls the toddler off the stage. The toddler continues to scream, laugh and point at the stage while the performance resumes. After 15 minutes the puppeteer asks the parent to quiet the toddler, because they are disrupting the show. The parent explains the toddler…

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 Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2019 – Preparing Launch!

Summer Reading 2019 No, it really is NEVER too early to be thinking about summer reading 2019!  If you have the means, hire your performers super early.  If it’s you, some volunteers and a great deal of cardboard, then this is the beginning of a great series of blogposts just for you! Summer reading 2019 is largely about outer space.  Already ideas have been bouncing off the satellites.  Here’s some to get your engines started! STARNet! STARNet was introduced to me at ALA when it hit Orlando.  Since that time, I have never been let down in terms of all they have to offer, and the support they can give. Already STARNet has a whole portion of their site dedicated to – say it with me! – summer reading 2019!  They’re calling it “A Universe of Stories”.  And just to get your pulse running, they have a handy countdown clock…

Blogger Katie Salo

Egg Shakers in Storytime

A child is sitting on the grass, holding a blue bin. Inside the blue is a red egg shaker covered in paint, rolling around the sheet of paper at the bottom.

Today’s installment of storytime props are egg shakers in storytime. (Previous post: Scarves in Storytime.) Before we dive in, let’s cover some of the basics: How do you pass egg shakers out?: Um, as un-chaotically as I can. I have a basket at the front of the room and ask the children to come up and take an egg. It takes a bit of time to pass them out, but it works at my library. I’ve heard of librarian having caregivers take an egg as they come in and hide it until it’s egg shaker time. I’ve also heard of librarians who have prop baskets throughout the room.   How do you put egg shakers away, keep them clean, and store them?: I ask everyone to clean up together. Sometimes, I call out, “If you have a red shaker, come put it away” or “If you are two years old,…

Blogger Katie Salo

Scarves in Storytime

If you don’t use scarves in storytime, I’m going to (hopefully) change your mind with this blog post. But first! Read Abby Johnson’s 2016 ALSC blog post Scarves in Storytime to get a scarves primer down. Welcome back! (You did go read Abby’s post, right?) Abby did an amazing job covering the basics of using scarves in storytime, answering questions like: “How do you hand scarves out?”, “What do you do with them?”, and “How do you put scarves?”. But what about questions regarding Using Scarves in Storytime 201? How do you keep scarves clean? A time-honored, important question to ask. After every storytime, our scarves are washed in a washing machine. Here at the library, our washing machine is a top-loader, so I do use a delicates bag to protect the delicate fabric of our scarves. After a wash, they’re line-dried on a clothesrack. If your library doesn’t have…