Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Gingerbread House Fun

I’m tired.  Actually, my feet are killing me.  But it was worth it. Last night (as of this writing), my library hosted 70 people in a holiday Gingerbread House decorating program.  Obviously, our customers were excited. A word of digression before I explain how we put on this fun—a concern about diversity. Our branch is in a very diverse area and, although the program had worked in the past, I was concerned.  While we avoided religious symbols, Frosty, Rudolph, Santa, and the rest of the secular Christmas gang were represented in the candy used for decoration.  We did have blue and white frosting available if anyone wanted to make a Hanukkah-themed house.  Several members of our new-immigrant Southern Indian community did come and participate.  I would think hard about your community, as there are ways to do a fun “house” program that could be inclusive. We did a Halloween haunted…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids

I am passionate about yoga, so much so that I went to a yoga school and obtained my certification through Yoga Alliance. Combine that with my love of youth programming, and I had to develop programs for our library.  I teach classes for all ages, from adults (with students over 80!) to preschoolers. My youth programs focus on fun, fitness, and mindfulness.     Yoga has seen a steady increase in interest over the past several years. Yoga for kids is also on the rise. I’ve been conducting yoga storytimes, kids yoga, and tween yoga classes for the past 18 months. They are all popular with our young patrons, with yoga storytime being the most sought after program.   There has been a heightened focus on mindfulness and meditation in the media and with the general public. Studies have shown that practicing mindfulness with children can increase concentration and reduce stress…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Storytimes on the Fly

Picture this:  you’re getting settled in for your morning,  maybe getting a cup of coffee, checking emails, going through mail when the message comes in:  someone has called in and now you are going to have to fill in for storytime. With fifteen minutes notice.  And they haven’t gathered their materials together in one place. You’ll have to punt.   This has happened to many of us, mayhap even most of us at least one time in our career.  These moments can be stressful and overwhelming, especially for people who like to be prepared. How do you find a theme, pull books, flannels, music, all in a matter of minutes?   Here are a few tips that I have learned over the years that can help you prepare a storytime on the fly. Have office copies of your favorite picture books.  Have playlists of your best storytime action music. Keep…

Programming Ideas

Incorporating Intellectual Freedom into Programming: Storytime

The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee continues a series of blog posts on incorporating intellectual freedom and information literacy into cornerstone, everyday library programs. These techniques enrich the work you already do as a librarian without disrupting your programming routine. For this post, we’ll focus on tips for including intellectual freedom concepts into storytimes for children ages 3 – 5.

Blogger Alexa Newman

Art Programs in the Library: Traditional and High Tech

Arts programs in our schools are perennially  on the chopping block. Too many school districts in the US have had to eliminate or reduce art education.  Some of the cuts are budget related, others are tied to curriculum standards. In a recently published paper, The Brown Center Chalkboard concluded that  “… that a substantial increase in arts educational experiences has remarkable impacts on students’ academic, social, and emotional outcomes.” My library has picked up the arts mantle and offers a broad range of art programs for people of all ages.  We offer a variety of programming including in house programming, self directed art in the makerspace, and outsider instruction.   In House Crafts    The Youth Services Department offers drop in preschool crafts every few weeks where families can bring their preschoolers to make a variety of crafts at their own pace.  We also host recurring programs including school age…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

A Night at Hogwarts: an after hours event for children

In my library system, we are lucky to have had the ability to redo a number of our libraries. Sometimes these beautiful buildings make me really think about how children would experience them and see the magic beyond what we see. This thinking led me to dream of an impossible dream, host an after-hours event at the library for ages 6-12 to transform the library into Hogwarts, and have special programming for our Harry Potter enthusiasts. 

ALA Annual 2019

Cookies and Conversation: Early Childhood Programming

On Sunday, June 23 at ALA Annual, ALSC’s Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee (ECPS) hosted a Cookies and Conversation chat in the Networking Uncommons. The goal of this chat was to hear from children’s librarians across the country about what support they would like from ECPS in order to help ECPS plan their next project. We highlight a handful below, but check out the ALSC Connect page for the full set of topics covered.