Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Making Connections with Virtual Services

This season for many of us looks a little different professionally than we might have imagined. As some libraries softly launch more in-person interactions, others may be in a constant state of preparation only to discover that making plans is extremely challenging in this current state. Many institutions have determined that moving forward there will always be space for virtual offerings in their service models. While we all have some sense of wishing to unplug, I am trying to reflect on how technology has allowed us to connect in unique ways over the past year and a half. I’m also looking to the future to see how virtual offerings might not necessarily be the end to purposeful experiences for the communities we serve.  

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Inspiring Young Writers at the Library

I love to put on creative writing programs at the library. Kids are natural storytellers, but as they grow up and move through the school system, many of them come to believe that writing is all about having correct spelling and grammar. But a library program can focus on the fun side of writing, throw away the so-called “rules” of writing, and help young writers bring back their creative spark. Read on for three examples of creative writing games you can play at your library.

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Spending a Virtual Summer Traveling the World

For the second summer in a row, understandably, we have not offered our yearly summer camps.  While they can be a lot of work, I missed the camaraderie that occurs when I work with the same kids over many days in a row.  So, this year, I planned a weekly virtual program based on geography.  The nine-week program, meeting an hour each Monday, used the first nine books in the Flat Stanley Worldwide Adventures early chapter series as a starting point to talk about travel.  As a child who grew up obsessed with maps, I have long lamented geography not having its due in American schools and the lack of geopolitical knowledge amongst Americans in a global world. 

Blogger Managing Children's Services Committee

Statewide Virtual Performer Showcase: Lessons Learned

When school is dismissed for the summer, and excitement around library Summer Reading Programs (SRP) begin, library traffic increases dramatically. Here in Kansas that means staff at approximately 323 public libraries have been planning a schedule for months. This schedule includes challenges for a reading program, educational or entertaining performers, and crafts or hands-on activities. This winter, two regional youth consultants designed and offered a virtual showcase of performers to help meet social distancing guidelines and other changing needs librarians face, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The showcase is now available via the state’s regional library system webpage. This showcase helps staff make informed decisions when scheduling performers. The showcase used an existing Statewide Performer’s Directory to contact performers and gauge interest. Then, youth consultants divided the performers expressing interest into categories and scheduled recording dates and times. Reception from the performers was overwhelmingly positive. Consultants recorded ten minute segments using…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Virtual Summer Reading Promotion – Take 2!

We’ve learned a lot in the last year about being flexible and working remotely. As we gear up for the second round of virtual visits, we reached out to Children’s Librarians at the King County Library System to hear what they’re planning. Thanks to Jenn Carter (JC), Sharon Chastain (SC), Jennifer Duffy (JD), and Mie-Mie Wu (MW) for sharing their experiences and ideas. What’s one of your favorite in-school visit memories?

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

Virtual Summer Reading 2021

cartoon image of child with vr goggles on on a solar system background

Summer Reading Virtual Once More So, for most of us, summer reading 2021 will be virtual once more. For some, it meant outsourcing virtual programming, with others flipping coins to see who’d go in front of the green screen. But overall, this is the future of public library programming. Need some help? Read on, fellow green screeners! Best Practices Understand that best practices are still being established, and represents an evolving skillset.  We are understanding the platforms and their capabilities as we go along.  When it comes to producing content, though, many standard best practices for streaming and broadcast apply.  TWITCH  DISCORD  Appears to be a combo of equipment and broadcast practices broadly applicable to streaming in general: Streamer and moderator best practices Consistency with schedule Marketing and promo Equipment and software  It’s a communication tool, not a vault Organization is key Library specific recommendation is to connect with local servers to promote programs Don’t @everyone Keep posting,…

Uncategorized

Trust in the Time of COVID

I’m lucky. In the midst of a pandemic, when almost all of the local schools are remote, and with all of the programs that I run for my urban public library system online, I have developed extra-strong partnerships with classroom teachers and school librarians. Some ask me to recommend resources for students. Some invite me to visit classes over Zoom. All eagerly share information about my numerous Zoom book clubs, maker programs, and author visits. As a children’s librarian in a public library, I have always worked closely with my school-based counterparts. But now that everything has moved online, I find my school-based colleagues’ seal of approval more crucial than ever.  Think about it: in the old days, families would wander into the library off the street. They would meet the librarians, see the environment, judge for themselves that the library was a safe space. They would pop in and…