Blogger Kirsten Caldwell

Fall Themed Storytimes

It is officially fall and that means fall themed storytimes! Whether you do an autumn theme, apples, pumpkins, or anything else fall, there are so many ideas to build a storytime from. This week is my first week back from maternity leave and I chose something that would be simple and also a fan favorite – fall. I am going to share some of my favorite places I found my ideas!

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

The Benefits of Community Partnerships

September is here, school bells are ringing, public youth services librarians are wrapping up their Summer Reading programs and the ambitious may have already begun brainstorming for next summer’s program. As you evaluate and plan for your programs, think about the benefits of involving community partners in reaching your goals. Summer Reading is not just a program, for my library it’s also our biggest public awareness campaign. One of the goals I had for our 2022 Summer Reading Program was to increase community partner involvement through a couple avenues, business sponsorships and outreach. For 2022,  local businesses sponsored the Summer Reading Program by donating prizes, off-site programming spaces, and food for various events. The reciprocal benefits of engaging with community partners are invaluable in library success. Our sponsors enable us to provide more engaging programming through funds and in-kind donations, and in return we provide them placements on our promotional…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

The Impact of Play During Library Programming

Aren’t articles that remind us why we choose to work in youth services rewarding?  While a simple search brings up a plethora of information on the impact of early childhood programs on educational attainment and quality of life, research that supports instructional approach and ties the approach to outcomes are compelling. In the past few years a handful of studies arose that questioned the veracity of research related to early educational impact, postulating that the benefits fade by third grade and public investment is a waste.  However, that’s not quite the whole picture.  It turns out the approach to teaching children in preschools, and other organizations that impact early development-such as libraries, is the deciding factor on whether a program is a good investment of time and resources. This new era of research looks at the differences in instructional approaches in preschools and compares play-based learning to a more traditional…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Family Hikes with the Simsbury Land Trust

This summer, the Simsbury Public Library, CT successfully facilitated a Family Hike in partnership with the Simsbury Land Trust. Here’s how we did it, and why we think you should consider planning a family hike too.   Health and wellness programs are always a good idea and outdoor programming has exploded in popularity since the pandemic. After 2+ years, we’ve fully mastered outdoor storytimes, outdoor music and movement, and outdoor art programs, but a hiking program was something relatively new to us. Simsbury, CT has an abundance of beautiful natural places, parks, and trails, but some are more visible and well-known than others. Enter the Simsbury Land Trust. We are fortunate that the Land Trust in our community is an active and thriving organization. Founded in 1976, the Simsbury Land Trust is a federally-recognized, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Governed by a volunteer board of trustees elected by the membership, the Simsbury…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

STEAM Programs for the Scientifically Uncertain

I love doing STEAM programs, but I have never been a science person. Don’t get me wrong – I like certain elements of science. But like anyone, I have my strengths and my weaknesses, and explaining elementary level physics or chemistry is definitely not a strength of mine. I’m also not a great instruction follower, and science experiments often have very specific instructions. Paper circuits? I have no idea why the battery only works one way despite having read an explanation approximately one thousand times. Growing crystals? I’m too impatient for that kind of work. Simple machines? To me, they are Deeply Complicated machines. There are many places online to find great STEAM projects planned by experts, but if you’d like some so-simple-they-cannot-go-wrong STEAM projects, I’m here for you.

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

EDI In Action: Intentionally Inclusive Book Selection

Selecting books for programs is an essential part of a librarian’s job, but how do we do it with inclusivity in mind?  We all have those books from our childhood that hold a special place in our hearts, but are those books we want to read in storytime? Should we put those titles on displays or booklists?  There are so many new books being published, it can be a bit overwhelming sifting through everything to find the good stuff rather than choosing our favorite go-to classics. When I think of selecting books for programs, I always think about Rudine Sims Bishop’s essay Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.  When a child reads a book about a person who looks or lives like them, they are reading a mirror–they are able to see themselves reflected in the book they are reading.  When a child reads about someone who looks or lives…

Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Introducing Dungeons and Dragons to School-Aged Children

“You wake up groggy for your turn at watch. The dream you had before you woke still plays within your mind. You can hear the rustling of leaves off to your left– it’s probably just a small animal hunting for food. Suddenly, the sounds of the forest around you go silent, unnaturally silent. You stand up to take a closer look when you hear it, the soft flapping of large wings getting closer and closer and closer. What do you do?” At this point, the player has to make a decision. They could ignore the sound of wings coming closer, they could wake up a friend and see if they hear the same thing, or they could even go investigate alone. (Or they could come up with some off the wall thing to do that completely surprises the Dungeon Master, you never know with kids.) The player makes their decision…