Blogger Jonathan Dolce

You STILL Can’t Beat Free

You STILL Can’t Beat FREE We live in an age of what economists call “perfect information“. This of course does not mean that the information we get is perfect, Instead, it means no hidden information. Perfect information more precisely means we all have access to instant information, understand its use as well as its plusses and minuses. But we also experience information overload, which is where we come in. And I’m here to help make your lives a wee bit easier, by finding all the free stuff! Ideas, downloads, and a touch of fun. I hope you enjoy and utilize these resources. And of course, I hope you enjoy all the fun stuff, too! Programming Ideas You Can Do! I will come over to your library if you say you can’t do any number of these…well…if you cover my expenses! ; )) When I was an Art major, we were…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Zooming into STEAM Programming

I love book clubs. I personally belong to four (three of which focus on children’s and teen titles).  I run one for tweens at my library.  The adjustment of doing this all online was very simple. I love storytimes.  After figuring out how best to frame staff on the Zoom screen and getting storytime permissions, storytimes adjusted virtually very easily. I love STEAM programs. …….. Seriously, though, I was wondering HOW exactly STEAM programs were going to translate to a live virtual program.  I had done, and seen, some pre-taped crafts and such, but I’ve been just itching to actually connect and interact with kids.  I know many, many of my colleagues have been offering deeply impactful STEAM programs online, but last week was my first. I don’t really get nervous programming anymore.  I was nervous for this. I chose a program on Air and Wind that I was supposed…

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Not Another “Best of” Post

large orange block letters spelling not another

This Is Not Another “Best of” [input year] Post I promise you this is not another Best of [input year] post. In fact, if I were to rename it, it’d be The Most Exciting Stuff in the Youth Services World, like, right now; right now. I like pointing these things out so much I create a biweekly Youth Services newsletter for my colleagues. [mysteriously] Who knows, maybe I’ll unleash it upon the internet in 2021? [strokes goat goatee] It’s loaded with all things frabjous, from live webinars with authors whose work we drool upon to easy crafts, programming ideas, news – [foreign accent] your interest is piqued, no? Oh! And this stuff is all totes free! Sans fees! Gratis! Famous Authors Live! This subheading should read “Not Another Webinar” Probably the most important webinars For the Parents and Caregivers we serve This is not a section about stuff to do…

Blogger Early & Family Literacy committee

Summer’s Changing and It Should

For years, public libraries have been offering some form of Summer Reading Program for the youth in their communities. There is an abundance of evidence on the benefits of Summer Reading Programs in reducing the effects of summer slide and reducing the achievement gaps that can exist between students from low and middle income families. (For more resources look at http://www.summermatters.net/summer-learning-loss-increases-the-achievement-gap-diagram/ and https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/summerslide). In the last ten years, many public libraries and youth librarians have been asking the questions “Is a Summer Reading program enough?” and “How can we help reduce our students’ losses in mathematics and other subject areas?”  The evolving solution to those questions is the transformation from Summer Reading Programs to Summer Learning Programs.

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…

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 Maria Trivisonno

Fall Fun Preschool STEAM

The past sixth months, I’ve been finding my programming “legs” at a new branch.  With my team’s help, we had some wildly successful summer school age programs, but, with school now back in session, I wanted to offer some additional programming for our younger friends. A colleague of mine from Cuyahoga County Public Library’s Fairview Park Branch, Jennifer Haag, had presented on Preschool STEAM at an Ohio Library Council Chapter Conference a few years ago.  It was a wonderful presentation, offering a full year of monthly program plans.  So, to dip my toes in the water, I chose ONE of her programs—October—to try this year. Quite simply—it was a lot of fun. The families and staff performed all the science experiments together, and then participants had the opportunity to spend time at Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math stations throughout the room.   Which liquids will dissolve candy corn and peeps—water,…

Blogger Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Stomp Rockets: STEAM Done Cheap

I have recently learned the joys of stomp rockets, these super simple launching devices can lead to tons of scientific exploration and can be made for less than $2! So far this summer we have used these for a day long rocket launching program and a demonstration at a county run summer camp. The kids have been totally captivated. So our plan is to make a couple to drop off at the summer camp locations so the kids can experiment in their free time. This lead me to wonder where else would it be possible to have these cheap tools available for bored and curious kids? Since these have relatively low power they can be launched inside as long as the space has high ceilings so recreation centers, after school programs (cafeterias and gyms) and the like would be a perfect fit. Materials for Launcher: 2 pieces of 1/2 inch…