Gratitude feels a little hard to come by this year. Maybe it’s just me. Normally at this time, I’d be prepping for programs to put on during Thanksgiving break. But programs around the holiday can be tricky. COVID restrictions might have changed how your library is able to program (it has for my system), and you might be short-staffed (from vacations, illness, or disaster service work). And that’s not even to mention the racism and colonialism involved in the holiday’s history. For these reasons, here are some programs (passive, with low staff involvement, and the ability to socially-distance) that you can do to celebrate thankfulness and gratitude.
In 2017, Rochester Public Library (MN) launched the Summer Playlist program to replace our traditional Summer Reading Program (SRP). You can read all about that process here. Summer Playlist is an all-ages reading and adventure program that is inclusive of all abilities and interests. When we started our SRP overhaul, we intended that the program would remain relatively unchanged for at least five years. For 2018 & 2019, we ended up making several large changes that were much-needed simplifications and improvements. In early 2020, we finally had the most absolutely perfect Summer Playlist program yet; everything was ready to go, our reward bags were ordered, our log was ready for the printer, and it was going to be the BEST! And you know how this story ends. Since mid-March, RPL staff have been heavily engaged in city-wide pandemic response work, including setting up and staffing a day center for people…
How do you sneak complicated and seemingly unrelated intellectual freedom concepts into your youth book clubs?
When I started rotating programs for Toddler Exploration, I knew I wanted to include sensory experiences. Sensory experiences/activities are important because of the importance of tactile experiences (especially because so many kids are getting lots of screen time- which is cool- but they need other experiences). Also, I’ve always believed that the library is a place for kids to get messy and explore!
You can’t be a children’s librarian today without being inundated with STEAM, STEM, STREAM requests from your admins, patrons, councilmembers, educators, and children themselves. It has been a buzzword for the last 10 years or so… but what does that actually mean at your library? I really liked this program because it talked about the theory and why of STEM and how we were already doing a lot of it and just additional framework for how we can think and talk about STEM as we develop programs and empower parents. As one presenter put it– we want parents to feel like they have achieved things and accomplished things! And then beyond the framework– there was a chance to interact and play with materials and PRACTICE discussing STEM questioning with ourselves and colleagues in the room. I mention that because as one of the presenters mentioned– this takes practice, there is no…
I have been itching to do an afternoon craft program at my new branch, which schedule wise, is not as easy as it sounds.
Are you ready? It’s time….to play….Name that Animal! (Game show voice)
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with choices when it comes to the ever changing world of technology, but part of the fun can be exploring the fun, new gadgets and toys that come out! By speaking with other youth services librarians, keeping in touch via social media, and sharing our work, I’ve discovered that the task of keeping up with the next big thing becomes a little easier.