Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Planning for SRP 2023 STEMming Summer Slide

Summer slide. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but it is still a thing. Ideally, addressing summer slide should be a part of your annual goals or tasks, much like summer reading or Banned Books Week. Even more ideal, if there is such a thing, is partnering with schools and other local agencies. First, though, as my old college professor used to say, we can’t discuss a topic without defining it first. So, here we go. What is summer slide and why should I care? Summer slide, and I think Colorado Dept of Education puts it best is: (T)he tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of theachievement gains they made during the previous school year. Why you should care Summer slide can affect almost any child. However, the children it impacts the most are the most socioeconomically disadvantaged. Here’s a thousand words…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Enticing Summer Reading Alternative Programming For Kids Who “Hate” To Read

Summer is the busiest time of year for public youth services librarians across the country: we stack our calendars with programming and guest performers, bust out all the themed decorations, and break out our best book-themed t-shirts. All of this, of course, to the ultimate end of building in our young patrons a lifetime relationship with books.

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Celebrate Summer with Audiobooks

Ah, June. School is out. Summer Reading has begun. And many families are ready to travel. Since June is Audiobook Appreciation Month, what better way to celebrate both audiobooks and summer than with titles great for family sharing? Added bonus – depending on your library, it might count towards Summer Reading for everyone!  I’ve been hooked on audiobooks ever since a grad school assignment required me to listen to one. I had tried listening to books a few times, but just couldn’t get into the format. One book changed it all: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, narrated by Lynn Redgrave. I was drawn into the story in ways that I never imagined possible. It was pure magic. And it was a perfect way to pass the time over my weekly 6-7-hour (roundtrip) commute.  In this digital era, it seems that the library’s physical audiobooks collections are slowly becoming obsolete. Many households…

Guest Blogger

Including STEAM in Summer Library Programs

My library is using the iRead theme this year which is Read Beyond the Beaten Path. We want to include STEAM activities into our summer library program and decided to bring back something the library did before my time called “Creation Stations”. These are passive activities that can be done at each of our locations with a new activity every week. A few of the Creation Stations I have planned this year are yarn art, pipe cleaner constellations, straw rockets, build a tent, and leaf renderings. About half of the stations are science, math, and engineering based, and the other half are art based. I want to share one example of how I planned a creation station, how much prep went into it, and how we plan on executing it at our library.

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Turning a Picture Book Into a HUGE Program

So, we’re making waves this summer and indeed the possibilities are endless. I mentioned last week that I raised an old favorite from the depths. This week, I want to show you how to stretch out just one picture book into an epic summer reading program: Buccaneer Bunnies, to be precise! Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, by Carolyn Crimi tells the story of Henry, who is the “embarrassing” nerdy son of Blackear, the fiercest bunny to sail the seven seas. In a nutshell, Henry proves that books hold the answers to all manner of situations, outcomes and perils — all without being didactic! But how do you turn a quick read into a 60 minute program?! Well, me old sods, I’ll explain forthwith. It all starts with the book — no, really So, last week, I introduced you to Foghorn Follies, thus, we already have a puppet stage shaped like…

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Baby & Preschool Music Programs & You

With Summer just around the corner, I see solicitations for programming ideas and suggestions everywhere. Aleah Jurnecka, a colleague of mine at Kitsap Regional Library, has hit gold with two of her music programs aimed at babies and preschoolers. I wanted to share her success and best practices so you too can confidentially add a baby or preschool music program to your library offerings this summer. Inspiration Aleah first started her music programs when she worked as a librarian at Los Angeles County Public Library in southern California. She had a diverse audience at her storytimes and noticed that many caregivers didn’t truly participate along with their babies unless it involved music. She “saw the need to break down the language and cultural barriers inherent with baby storytime” she told me, and that music had a way to transcend these barriers in such a way where anyone could do it….

Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Sailing Into Summer READing 2022

Raising a Sunken Ship Years and years ago when I was a wee volunteer at a public library in Central Florida, I was lucky enough to be a part of a crew that put on a puppet show by the name of “Foghorn Follies“. They brought me on board as a hand in the show. Little did I know, but one day, when I raised anchor and sailed off to become a librarian, I’d once more sound the foghorn and gather unsuspecting audiences for the corniest puppet show this side of the St. John’s River. But first, Atlantis! Years ago, like, 40 of them, there was a Six Flags Great Adventure park in Florida called “Atlantis”. It was here that the Kiddie Kingdom featured a King’s Sandbox and where the Foghorn Follies show was moored. While the show only lasted two seasons, a librarian fell in love with the show,…

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Collaboration and Equity for Summer Programs: A Recap of a #PLA2022 Preconference

The PLA conference was over a month ago, but I’m still unpacking the preconference I attended. “Best Practices for Summer Learning Based on Racial Equity” was a half day workshop presented by Christy Estrovitz from the San Francisco Public Library, Sheryl Evans Davis from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Christi Farrah from the Massachusetts Library System, and Elizabeth McChesney from the National Summer Learning Association.  The workshop revolved around the 2021 “Everybody Reads” summer program sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library along with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Like everyone else, the Library had to think fast about how to offer a summer reading program during the pandemic. The program consisted of a kit that included a 38 page full color booklet that featured eleven books for a variety of ages. Each book is a positive portrayal of an underrepresented community. The booklet includes activities to go along…