We are excited to finally share our column in YAACING Fall 2014! YAACING is published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association and if you’d like to catch up on our past columns you can find them here:
While this represents only a snapshot of the amazing work being done by Youth Services professionals, we hope you stumble across new ideas and connect to new blogs. Here we go!
Awesome People Doing Awesome Things
Our Storytimer of the Season comes from slightly farther afield than the Pacific Northwest but we’d do just about anything for Abby Johnson because she does just about everything for our profession. Her recent post on the ALSC blog is a prime example of the everyday advocacy and awesomeness she is about. But she doesn’t stop there and neither should you, read up on her storytime ideas, her adventures in reading wildly and just everything else under the library sun at her blog Abby the Librarian.
Continuing on, we’ll start with awesome people making awesome things! Check out Mrs Todd’s newest storytime pals Lowly Worm and Huckle Cat both made from Richard Scarry patterns from the 1970’s. Her blog A Librarian Less Ordinary has (among so many other things) awesome craft ideas like Monster Bags! Another blog with wickedly fun crafts, especially for the school age crowd is Pop Goes the Page like these spooky shadow play puppets. And speaking of puppets Miss Mary Liberry recently posted a rallying cry for puppets as an early literacy tool including some really simple ideas for those of us less craftily inclined.
There are some new and very exciting things happening in the online world like our two new favourite blogs erinisinire by librarian Erin Davison and Hands On As We Grow by non-librarian Jamie Reimer. When it comes to quick catch-ups Beth Saxton has started to write weekly round ups on Noted, With Thanks that are perfect for staying current and Storytime Katie writes seasonal In Case You Missed It posts which are broken down into neat categories. The folks at Storytime Underground continue to rock and roll with the launch of Storytime University where you can enroll and start earning badges for professional development. And finally we love Flannel Friday and sharks in equal parts so when they held a special Shark Week themed round up and Anne used Scratch to create a video for Shark Week we could not have been more thrilled!
When it comes to advocacy we’ve got some heavy hitters in our Personal Learning Network. To start off with, Angie in response to the violence in Ferguson harnessed the power of twitter and in particular the hashtag #KidLit4Justice to curate a wishlist of books for the Ferguson Municipal Public Library District which was purchased within a day. Check out her post, the booklists and the amazing conversation taking place. This summer a very poignant conversation also took place at Storytime Underground about what it means to be an anti-racist library professional and is well worth a read. Finally, our pal Ingrid The Magpie Librarian put together a survey to gather and document violations of the ALA Code of Conduct at ALA Conferences and events. Read about her findings here.
Switching gears to space and collections we’ve came across some cool updates and new takes on reorganizing picture books. From the Short Stacks reflects on her picture book reorganization project one year later and Mel the Modest Wizard points to all those who have gone before and shares her insights on picture book reorganization categories. For those who remember reading about Lisa’s amazing early literacy kits, she has written an update featuring three new kits! Finally a couple thoughts on collections and reader’s advisory come to us from Amy Koester. Claudia over at Never Shushed put together an awesome list of Maker Books and if you’re making booklists of your own Katie Fitzgerald at Storytime Secrets shares 10 Tips for Evaluating Picture Books.
We like to spend a little time on the people who are busy researching and reflecting on this glorious profession of ours and this season is no different. We love Mel’s Research Link on Wordless Books and want to thank Marge and Lisa for their work on a school age programming survey and sharing their results. On the reflection side Meg from Notes from a Future Youth Librarian wrote a lovely piece on the importance of feedback, Brytani The Neighborhood Librarian shares things she’s learned about supervising and Katie Fitzgerald at Storytime Secrets is back with reflections on library service to teachers, which will be important for us to focus on as we support teachers returning to school.
Last but definitely not least, we come to displays and the awesome people who created them! In no particular order we love this interactive Mother’s Day display by Mrs. Todd, Abby shows off staff reading in this cool display, and Cari Young put together some display ideas for shaking off the winter blues. Colored Construction Paper Scissors and Glue was dying for a good mystery and created an eye catching display, while Kim at Destination Storytime put together these cool Fizz Boom Read stack end displays for SRP 2014. Laughter and Literacy puts it all on display for teens and children, and Jane (and Piper of course) sharked their library. Rebecca combines writing station and display with her Post Office in the Library and finally Lisa takes a similar approach and combines display and play in her felt board table. And just because, we’ll leave you with something completely different – Mollie and Leah at Sunflower Storytime make some solid points about why you should take down your bulletin boards and offer 10 alternatives.
Let’s begin with some programs for our youngest library members. Miss Michelle @ MPL shared 7 weeks of her Baby and Me: Messy Sensory Play program which emphasizes the early literacy skill play. Anne at So Tomorrow gave us Parachute Play Round Two which is a must read for using parachutes with toddlers. On From the Library Of… you can find great ideas for Toddler Sensory Bins based on the five senses. Angie at Fat Girl Reading broke down how she runs her Music and Movement program, including her favourite recorded songs for dancing and singing along. Then the GreenBeanTeenQueen followed up with her Bibliobop dance party. Two people shared ways to encourage oral storytelling: Storytiming wrote about her Little Authors program using story dictation and Rebecca at Sturdy for Common Things turned an overhead projector into a “great literary exercise.” Even more creative play ideas can be found on Library Village which featured something from our childhood dreams: an Imagination Station about veterinarians! If you want to incorporate more STEM programs for preschoolers, try Abby the Librarian’s preschool lab programs or this math and yoga program by With Kiddos at the Library.
On the Storytime front, there is sheer amazingness. Kendra at Read Sing Play wowed the world by adding play to baby storytime with baby art in a bag and sensory hoops and mustaches for babies. Storytime Secrets wrote a series of posts perfect for new baby storytimers including her favourite books, bounces, puppets, and action songs and rhymes. We aggregated everyone’s baby storytime knowledge into our Baby Storytime Beginner’s Guide. If you want to try using a new prop, Libraryland explains the intricacies of the giant dance scrunchie, while Storytime Katie shows you how versatile a finger puppet glove can be. If you want to try a new location, read about how Dana took storytime to the mall.
Many of you found creative ways to add science and technology to your storytimes. Check out this Space Storytime by You Can Do This At Your Library for space bingo and a moon rock hunt. Scroll through Jen in the Library’s eStorytime about the farm and read about Storytime Hooligans’ trial and error with making slime at storytime. Claudia at Never Shushed included three water stations for her family storytime about H2O. Lastly, Literary Commentary began a STEAM storytime starting with Color Science, then Bubble Science.
Storytimers are also getting ready for the fall. Falling Flannelboards shared a collection of resources for an apple storytime, while Notes from the Story Room taught us how to do this autumn leaf cut and tell story. And we love this tree hopping activity The Wielded Pen included in a Squirrels Storytime. Need a new storytime song? Try The Neighborhood Librarian’s original composition about a walrus doing laundry. Or check out Miss Mary Liberry’s video of El Pollo for a super cool Spanish rhyme. Want more Spanish storytime resources? Check out this Spanish/English storytime by The BibliOBrien Blogs. Some of our favourite general storytimes from the past few months include this dentist storytime by Literary Hoots, this yoga storytime by Stories with Miss Jenna, and this soccer storytime by The Show Me Librarian. If you’re feeling adventurous, try holding Worm Races at Storytime like Angela from Valley Storytime. Lastly, we squealed with delight at this sloth felt story by heytherelibrary.
School age programming went through the roof this summer! Two key reflective pieces are Lovin’ the Library’s patron survey on school age programming and Abby’s roundup of libraries going prizeless (plus check out all the STEAM packets her library sent home instead of prizes). Even more STEAM ideas came from Miss Meg’s Storytime who shared her Maker Mornings on coding and engineering for kids. A similar program came from Claudia at Never Shushed who wrote about her Maker Mondays. Miss Kelly at the Library also had a whole series of STEAM summer programs, such as Candy Science. Add some crafts into the mix with these science creations from The Lion is a Bookworm: hovercrafts and binary code bracelets, or check out Libraryland’s paper roller coasters. If you’ve got numbers on the brain, then Bryce Don’t Play wrote up her PJ Puzzles evening program.
We all know that food is a big draw to programs, and programs with edibles were well received. Though the food in the Secret Pizza Party Getting Giggles created isn’t real, the kids loved it all the same. From the Short Stacks asked her homeschool kids to create a food based on one of their favourite books. There was candy galore in Library Makers’ edible Mars Rover, while Lisa at Thrive After Three focused on the way things smell in her Smell-a-Rama Bingo. Drawing even more on the yuck factor were these three versions of Grossology: Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime, Storytime All-Stars, and Sunflower Storytime.
Two people tried out Minecraft this summer. Falling Flannelboards took the kids to the lab for Minecraft Madness, while LibrErin focused on Minecraft in Real Life. Two other people, Never Shushed and Storytime Steph, held stuffed animal sleepovers and wrote about what they would do differently in the future. Want to try something really inventive? Hold a story mob like Thrive After Three and Valley Storytime. The last pair of programs we found was all about LEGOS. Claudia wrote a detailed guide to LEGO week on Little eLit, and From the Liberry Of wrote about how she revamped her Lego Club.
Book-based and pop culture programs still abound too. On Cultivate Wonder, kids were challenged to build variations of the The Three Little Pigs. TweenStop celebrated one of the most beloved comic characters at their Garfield Fans Unite program, while GreenBeanTeenQueen pulled off a Batman Day at the Library in three days! Intentional Storytime shared the structure of the Boys and Books parent-son book club using The 13-Story Treehouse and The Dunderheads. Lindsey rounded up all the Book Character Party ideas on the web, while Angie at Fat Girl, Reading and Storytime Steph went undercover with their Spy Night @ Your Library and Junior Detectives programs, respectively.
Don’t have time to hold a formal program? There’s lots of passive program ideas to share. Thrive After Three created three scavenger hunts: Frozen, Rick Riordan, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Z Before Y also shared a summer scavenger hunt that asks kids to look inside and outside the library for 10 items. We love how Bryce incorporated Adventure Time characters into her tween scavenger hunt. Hushlander knocked it out of the park with a series of passive programs such as a post-it note art gallery, origami, and collaborative color wheel. And what better way to promote the library than Miss Kelly at the Library’s Library Card Sign Up Month guessing game. Now that you’re programs are covered and fall is here, we’d highly recommend reading Abby the Librarian’s post about getting into schools for booktalks.
Moving on to teens! Colored Construction Paper Scissors and Glue let her teen advisory board go all out in this Ultimate Food Fight. More formal events include the Steampunk Party for Teens thrown by the Fairy Twins Book Time, and the Cosplay prom held by GreenBeanTeenQueen. Have a group that meets on the regular? Try one of these easy to throw together programs such as Teen Nail Art by Literary Commentary or Celestial Lamps and Glow-in-the-Dark T-Shirts by The Loudmouth Librarian. Young Adult Activities kept things fun and fresh this summer with a Water Wars program and Post-It Note Art Show. What is Bridget Reading? brought a board game to life in Life Size Sorry. Teen Librarian Toolbox shared how her teens played with Bristlebots. If you want to throw a party, try this Doctor Who Day by The Loudmouth Librarian or this Hunger Games Trilogy Party by What is Bridget Reading? Mark your calendars for next year’s National Teen Library Lock-In because it can be a great way to get new teens into the library. Something we should be thinking about every day is how libraries are meeting the needs of teens with autism. Lastly, Ingrid at The Magpie Librarian stunned us with her ever thoughtful YA display on self care for teens.
Thank you so much to everyone for blogging about these wonderful programs! Have you seen something on the internet that knocked your socks off? Give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.