Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

It’s Just Stories, Isn’t It?

At some point working in a children’s library setting, this may happen to you. Whether it’s the library board, the city council, an administrator, or even one of your customers, they will observe a story time program, be suitably impressed by your event, and ask quite innocently about what exactly you are doing. To the uninitiated, what happens in the room is fun and entertaining. A great place to be in and of itself, but we all know there is lot more to it. Admittedly, in one way or another, these questioners are the ones who pay for what we do, so this provides a great opportunity to inform and enlighten. It’s time to break out your best elevator speech that lends method to the madness. Here at the library, during our infant, toddler, and preschool programming we build a foundation so when young children are taught to read, they…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Because Libraries Are Constantly Evolving: How to Get Stakeholders Involved in Virtual Programming

For Public Library Youth Services staff, summer programming is often the busiest time of the year when we are most visible to our communities. As libraries around the country work to transition to new virtual summer reading and learning programs, we can still reach out to our stakeholders, show them the importance and benefit of the work we are doing, and involve them in our virtual programming. Here are some tips to make the most of programming with your stakeholders during this time: Find out what your library’s procedures are for reaching out to stakeholders first and get the support of your manager. Learn about your stakeholders’ interests before reaching out to them. For instance, if you are contacting members of your City Council or Library Board, try to find out what issues they are already passionate about, such as equity, sustainability, or education, and brainstorm ways you can tie…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Does Drama Camp Translate to Virtual Format?

O, Social distancing, how thou art a thorn in my side!   For the past seven years, I’ve been running a two week drama camp as one of the many activities my library offers during our summer reading program.  It is, typically, my biggest and most involved program each year.  I’m used to parents and campers rushing into the library to sign up for camp on the first day registration opens.  It is usually filled with a full wait list in just a matter of a day or two. Campers are rising 3rd-8th graders; counselors are high school and college students.  We do Shakespeare in Elizabethan English.  The campers put on a full (albeit abridged) production on the last day of camp.  The camp has steadily grown over the years. The past two years we have been on a real stage, with theater lighting, sound, and av effects.  We’ve done…

Blogger Public Awareness Committee

Zoom Tips for Libraries

If you had asked me in January what new skill I was looking forward to mastering I would not have answered Zoom! But fast forward a few months and the King County Library System’s last open day due to COVID-19 was March 13. After evaluating our options, we created a 10 person Zoom team to produce central programming. Almost 8 weeks later, here are the best practices we’ve adopted. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate Shifting your programming online is an iterative process! We have one-stop where staff can find everything they need to know. Live Programming: Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Facebook Live, Conference Calls Recorded Programming: YouTube and our website Best Practices Shared Central Calendar With 50 branches used to only looking at their calendar, we needed to pivot to a more central approach. We want to offer story times, but we don’t want to have similar programs competing against one another. When…

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Incorporating Intellectual Freedom into Outreach

Incorporating intellectual freedom into outreach in a fun and engaging manner is an essential component of bringing our core values into the community, and bringing the library beyond its physical borders. Some of the tips listed below can be applied broadly to all types of outreach and communication/collaboration with outside agencies and organizations.

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…