in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Program Ideas, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 12 of 12
The concepts of creating school-age programs that take a reasonable amount of preparation time, are engaging and lead to literacy, and allow kids the freedom to explore within the program have been buzzing around in my conversations with colleagues and tweeps over the past few months. We all are exploring how, in a period of tight budgets and staff time, we can make the fun happen without killing ourselves. How can we "unprogram"
ourselves - and our programs?
Program preparation for school age programs is important but where is the line drawn when the time spent preparing is two, three, five, or even ten times more than the actual program length itself? Are we, as programmers, leading the charge in the program or empowering the kids in their exploration - are we guides or drill sargeants? Is there a way to organically link the books and materials that surround us every day into the programs and then back again to the collections so that kids understand the fundamental amazingness of the library and its resources?
These questions have led to many conversations and ideas. One of the people I have looked to during this conversation is Amy Koester over at the Show Me Librarian
. And now Amy and I would like you to join this conversation at ALA in a few weeks. We will be presenting a 45 minute "Conversation Starter"
on Monday July 1 at 1:30 pm at the Mc Cormick Center Rm S102D.
During this time we want to explore with you ideas on making programming more rich while keeping preparation in perspective. We'll also share resources that have helped us free ourselves and keep programming and preparation in perspective in our necks of the woods.
We think it's high time we start talking about this...how about you?
This week I'm joining the Start with a Book
blog tour organized by Amy over at Show Me Librarian.
It was an easy yes when Amy asked if I might be interested in participating. The Start with a Book
site is so rich I almost feel like a millionaire when I am using it. So.much.at.my.fingertips.
As busy librarians, we juggle so many balls in the air - desk work, programming, budgets, selection, displays, outreach, planning and more. So time is often precious no matter what size library we work at. With summer around the corner, the speed of the balls increases exponentially.
When I discovered this resource, a project of Reading Rockets
, my work got immeasurably easier. While the site supports parents and caregivers, it a treasure trove for librarians as well. I'd like to sprinkle some gold and jewels on one of my favorite parts of the website: the 24 Learning Summer Themes
.Once there we are greeted by lots of fresh-faced and diverse children ready to take us on incredibly rich adventures in math, science, social studies - all with strong literacy support.
Pick a theme, click, and scream with happiness! You find a list of excellent book titles for multiple ages that can be used as a selection tool to strengthen your collection or to pull for a display inhouse if you already own them at the library. You also discover a nifty downloadable pdf "Reading Adventure Pack" that supplies activities, questions and information on effectively using both fiction and non-fiction books for kids. These packs could easily be put together and made available to your families to check out.
Each theme also has a number of resources featuring more activities, videos, apps and exemplary websites for kids and families to browse to learn more information. One of the perks of this portion of the theme is it lays out rich content that can be easily used to build programs for kids at the library. Everything in the themes truly underscores literacy and adventure for kids.
It's almost a steal to have this kind of resource at our fingertips as librarians. If you haven't been here before, be sure to dig into this treasure chest of ideas not only for summer but also year round!
Read the rest of this post
Finding ideas is always a challenge. I love checking up on my blog roll of buddies; trolling through Pinterest; seeing what my peeps have to say on pubyac
; keeping half an eye on my twitter feed - all for that "Aha!" moment. The other day, Amy over at The Show Me Librarian
shared more great spots for ideas that I had never seen. Thank you Amy!
Any other tips for inspiration out there? What are we all missing?
I'm doing a webinar along with three of my favorite BFF-brarians on Wednesday March 6, sponsored by our state library agency. My part is on unprogramming - freeing yourself to play with content, literacy and kids as leaders in programs. What's about the rest? Read on:
Your youth services might be a well-oiled machine of systematic displays and story times, but how often do you look at WHY you do what you do? Sometimes you need to reinvent the wheel and break the mold. Hear from three youth services experts in the state on ways think of yourself as an educator (versus entertainer), literacy enthusiast (versus craft expert), and life changer (versus summer library soldier).
Mark your March calendar for:
3:00-4:00pm Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Hosts: Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, DPI Library Consultant; Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System Youth Services and Outreach Coordinator; Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library (Janesville) Head of Youth Services; Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library Head of Youth Services
No need to register—just click the link on the scheduled meeting day and time. Sign in with your first name or library/school name. Webinars will be recorded and archived for later viewing.
Here are some links referenced on the webinar to leave you an easy trail (I've scribbled links at webinars - all incorrectly so I want to give attendees a break):
Barbara Scott's Children's Programming
blog - not too active recently except for Lego programs, but go back and find detailed plans for book parties. She is the inspiration for the way our programs have become unprogrammed!
is the mother of all youth listservs. While stumpers can dominate, the programs shared are dynamite.teachingbooks.net
is rich with content focusing on youth book creators: trailers, author interviews, discussion questions and more.Bryce Don't Play
- yes, Sara works with me. Her blog is truly a trip into a young librarian's journey to awesome - from programs described to the ways of thinking why she does what she does. In this post she explains how to stay au courant with kids' passions and obsessions.Pinterest.
It's how I program now; I can say nothing more.
Hope you join us for an interactive good time!Image: 'Eggs-tra Special for You, Happy Easter!' http://www.flickr.com/photos/66606673@N00/450373034 Found on flickrcc.net
I love bloggers that sweetly share serious program how-to's on their blogs - from storytimes to school age successes. The best blogs also share tips on what to do differently and time-saving, staff-saving thoughts on future iterations of their programs.
Mollie Kay over at What Happens in Storytime...
helped me out by doing just that. She posts about her life-sized Candyland program with a wonderfully detailed post chock-full of helpful pictures. Although we tried this once, it wasn't quite what we'd hoped for. But after reading this post I am excited to go at it again using her tips and a great list of resources. Thanks Mollie!
I grew up in those rare and wonderful old days of percolating coffee pots. Mom would put the makings in that pot, turn up the heat and I would watch as the coffee slowly started popping up inside the little glass bubble on top. It would perc furiously away until the kitchen was filled with a rich coffee smell and the coffee was done.
I feel like that's how programs happen lots of times. Put the makings in the pot - some ideas seen on blogs, Pinterest or ones just rolling around in your mind; some great books that support the program; some ideas of story extension ideas - let that perc around your brain for a few hours, days or weeks and soon you have a tasty program brew ready to serve up to the kids before you know it.
My favorite brews are always made up of a mix of beans. For storytimes and preschool events, I look for posts and ideas from my many storytime/Flannel Friday colleagues - many of which can be found on this resource page from Mel's Desk
For school age fun I stop by the Show Me Librarian
, Future Librarian Superhero
, Bryce Don't Play
, ALSC blog
, Beyond the Book Storytimes
, so tomorrow
, Come into Delight
, Keeping Up with Kids
, Abby the Librarian
, GreenBeanTeenQueen, library makers
and, new to me, Fat Girl Reading
With such a rich mix of ideas, my program brew is always in tasty shape. What blogs or boards do you follow to find your inspirational programming brew?
These are little idea tidbits that have been successfully done at libraries of all sizes in the South Central Kansas Library System
. Perhaps some of these will spark ideas for you to develop new programs and initiatives.Follow a Veterinarian
- a local vet donates a half day for a lucky child to observe and shadow them as they work. It even includes letting the kids observe surgery if they'd like and help in the recovery room (lots of petting).Knitting Club
- parent wanted to start a club so they provided the instruction and materials and worked with kids - and adults - to help them learn. What started out as a six week program was so popular that it continued for a semester.Creative Bookmark Contest
- offered annually. Advertised at the schools. The winning designs are printed up as bookmarks and sent to the child's school as well as given out at the library.Read to Rover
- therapy dogs from the Kennel Club once a month. Kids are given punch cards. If they attend the program three times, they receive a book.Baby Bags
- a bag with early lit. info, a special baby library card registration (to help track who gets cards) and a book are given out to new parents. At one time t-shirts were included with a library barcode on the back and the phrase, "I'm a Reading Baby".Paper Chain
- as kids finish reading they can add a link for each hour read on one chain or a link for books read on another chain that are on opposite sides of the room. Every 25th link is black so it's easier to count the total (because of course kids always ask!)Read Your Way to Movies
- a book is paired with the DVD in a kit. When they are checked out, the patron can put their name in a drawing to win a movie night at a theater complete with popcorn.Pages Prowls
- the library cat, named "Pages", is featured on small handouts that ask for donations for a special cause (school supplies or food donations) and these little sheets are passed out at high schools. Kids pass them along as well and their is a huge response of adults and kids who don't usually use the library coming in to drop off donations and staying to check out materials.Laptop Prize
- a donor donated three laptops for SLP prizes - decided to make it a family prize and have everyone ready. For kids a chapter equals a book.Bed in the Library
- put a blow-up bed in front of storytime chair and make it up with covers and stuffed animals. Then read bedtime stories and invite kids to play parts from The Napping House
or Ten in the Bed
on the bed.Fancy Nancy Tea Party
- multi-generational participation. The Red Hat Society provides the tea sets and food; kids come dressed up; cheerleaders are on hand to paint fingernails, do hairstyles and make-up.Annual Tea Party Fundraiser
- each year a new theme and people bring their own decorations to decorate their table with that theme (say, Wizard of Oz). There is music and a suggested donation since this is used as a library fundraiser.Campout!
- with this year's theme, as a reward at back to school time, have a camp-out and campfire and stories.February = I Love to Read
- hold events all month long highlighting books, reading and loving the library.Origami World
- each staff member commits to learning one origami shape - Origami Yoda is a must -. Then kids go around from staffer to staffer and learn to make or
Continuing my swing through Kansas, I found myself in the lovely area of Great Bend. I was able to steal away before and after the workshop to immerse myself in two nearby natural areas: Cheyenne Bottoms and the Quivira Wildlife Refuge. The migrating birds were just starting through and, along with the warm welcome from my Central Kansas Library System
colleagues and host/consultant extraordinaire Marquita Boehnke and system staff, it made my workshop day special.Book Relays
- held before the library opens, the teams of kids are given lists of books and have to find them and then run back to the next person. A Scholastic Book Fair is also set up at the SLP Kick-off and volunteers make cookies.SLP Incentives
- a local (and generous) woodworker makes big cut-outs from the SLP theme. Each child gets one and decorates with stickers and can bring home at the end of the summer program.Outside Fun Outdoor Water Day
- held on the front lawn, kids do a sponge relay; a water balloon toss and popsicles are served. As people drive by they are attracted to all the excitement and it is great PR.
Fill big buckets with water and paint and let kids paint outside
Cook hotdogs for kids and let them do sidewalk chalk art.Popsicles in Gelatin
- Get an ice chest and fill with unflaveored gelatin. Stick popsicles inside before it gels. Kids have to reach through to get to their popsicles.4 H Ambassadors/Actor's Guild/Teen lifeguards
- they volunteer to come in to plan games for the library and run them as well. A great way to partner with volunteers to extend fun.Final Party
- was so popular it had to be split into two different days. Found Little Caesers to be generous donor - they not only provided inexpensive pizza but staffed and served it!SLP Sign-ups
- libraries use google docs for sign-up since the doc can be open in multiple locations. Others use gmail form to pop into google docs. Google also has the plus of analytics, plug-ins and easy web-linking to enhance tracking.Beat the Heat
- after programs are over, a movie is run and kids invited to bring pillows. Popcorn is provided. It's a great way for kids to stay cool.Read to a Dog
- a great program for readers. Book Parties
- fun focusing on popular book characters subjects like Captain Underpants or SuperHero Party. Lots of stations and kids enjoy.
Find more in the Idea Sparklers series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
0 Comments on Idea Sparklers #10 - Fun Notes from the Field as of 4/10/2012 12:19:00 PM
When I started my blog
almost five years ago, I wanted to talk specifically about children's services in libraries. However, I didn't just want to talk. I wanted to listen to others too. I thought about how the pubyac listserv
served that purpose wonderfully. Still, I wanted to read longer pieces so my blog search was on. It was a bit lonely there for awhile. I could find lots of book reviewing blogs but it was a struggle to find blogs that talked about my passion - how we do our children's public library work good.
As the year's have rolled on, I slowly built up more and more blogs on my RSS feed where lots of content addressed programs, planning, behaviors, thoughts and issues in youth public library services that I could learn from.
I want to list a few of my favorite local blogs about youth services here in case you don't know them and want to add them to your arsenal of great stops. They don't do much book reviewing but spend lots of space talking about issues in our youth library world. Here is where you can read about youth services - Wisconsin style!Heart of a Child
- I'll start with the newest first. Good friend and colleague (and writer, humorist, former children's librarian, storyteller, youth lit prof and raconteur) Rob Reid steps up and into blogging through the Children's Literature Network. He hopes to blog 3-4 times a month.Bryce Don't Play
- in the interest of full disclosure, Sara is one of my YS team members. Brand new to public children's librarianship (but not to kids - she has been a 2nd grade teacher and received a Masters in Reading as well as her MLIS), she brings a fresh and quirky eye to everything from delving into chapter books as a selector to the thought processes behind fun programs she has developed that are wild successes. No punches are pulled.Future Librarian Superhero
- a chance meeting at a conference brought me into contact with Anna K, a thoughtful, funny and hard working youth librarian/assistant director in a small community in Northern WI. Active in Flannel Friday and in the twitterverse, her blog is mostly quiet but when she has something to say, you want to be reading it.Come into Delight
- my dear friend and colleague, Georgia Jones works in a small library up nort' in WI. She is inventive, creative and shares her program ideas complete with pictures and tips. Many of my programs that have been born from and built on her creativity and that of her library co-worker, Cynthia.Jen the Youth Services Librarian
- again, in the interest of being honest, Jen is my protege in We Lead
, a great initiative sponsored by our WI Library Association. She is a year or two into her job in a small suburban library outside of Milwaukee and is rocking it out. Although the blog isn't uber active, each time she posts, there is something exciting being thought up, reported on or experienced. Always worth a visit.Keeping Up with Kids
- this blog is administered on the syste
I've just put up a post at the Wisconsin Library Association's YSS blog
with great links to Star Wars party ideas for the summer. Check it out!
I loved the recent post
at the Nerdy Book Club blog about taking advantage of the hype and publicity surrounding the publishing of a book to ramp up excitement in the library. I would also include the debut of a movie or DVD in this strategy to get kids interested in books and characters. And of course just linking in to popular series and trends that kids are interested in is golden too!
Over the years we have found that this is a great way to get kids excited AND to take advantage of material and activities provided by the publisher or movie studio to enhance the fun. And often, since the media is also participating in publicizing the book/movie, it creates a higher awareness among the kids and parents about the material and a ready-made audience for anything you do.
In past few years, there has been a bonanza of movies out based on children's and teen books. It's great fun to use the movie PR to link back to the book. Most recently, we (and many others in school and public libraries) had fun with the Hunger Games. Our teen librarian got some movie posters available at the theater that added fun and a look of authenticity to her party before the movie premiere. When we did Diary of a Wimpy Kid
(both movies and books) parties, we found Abrams to be extremely helpful with PR and activity kit material.
Book debuts are fertile ground for fun too. Many libraries participated in Rick Riordan's roll-out in May of his Serpent's Shadow
, last book in the Kane Chronicles series heavily hyped through social networking sites and by his publisher. My colleagues at Hedberg Library in Janesville just did a Zombie Prom
to coincide with Friday the 13th and the general interest in zombies. Libraries have focused fun teen parties on steampunk, Harry Potter, Twilight. Kids parties and workshops are also abundantly represented - Captain Underpants, Pete the Cat, Fancy Nancy, -Ology
(based on the Drake books), Mo Willems and more. Book trailers, which are becoming much more prevalent, add to the fun.
By keeping a weather eye on and hooking up to what is popular and trending with kids in the book and media world, we can create fun events for kids that celebrate books and bring in eager kids to our libraries.
Has it worked for you?
We held a Star Wars party last week that went swell. We used lots of ideas from here
, invited kids to come in costume (they did) and we were able, with the great good help of Abdo Publishing
, to have a real live storm trooper and Abdo Rep (who both traveled 6 hours round trip to be at our library) and a life-size Darth Vader cardboard stand-up.
I was away on vacation but my colleague posted this photo on our library Facebook page asking for captions. I listed a few of them. Let me just say, I love our patrons!
*Mr Vadar is busy, may I take a message?
*These aren't the books we're looking for...
*Hello? This is TK-421.
We look forward to Saturday October 6 for our Star Wars Read Day