We’ll Link to That: Spring 2014

Well we promised not to tarry with the next instalment of the column we write for YAACING, which is published by the Young Adult and Children’s Services (YAACS) arm of the British Columbia Library Association and here we are delivering! If you’d like to catch up on our last two columns you can find them here:

Awesome People Doing Awesome Things

Our Storytimers of the Season come to us this time from just south of the border in Olympia, Washington. Sara and Emily are the Fairy Twins behind Fairy Twins Book Time, a blog we recently discovered. They’ve got it all: cool storytime ideas and outlines, displays and program ideas for older kids. After reading their origin story plus checking out their Hair Storytime we have no doubt that these two are pure magic.

We noticed a funny thing as we hunted and gathered links this time around, it seemed as if Readers’ Advisory and Technology Advisory were dominating the headlines. We went with it. First up Ingrid, who is known as The Magpie Librarian has written a great piece explaining the process of selection for the Rainbow List which is put together by the GLBT Roundtable of the ALA. Her piece is packed with RA tidbits, reflections on the importance of the Rainbow List and a call out to authors and publishers to keep repping the underrepresented. Angie Manfredi wrote a great post on the ALSC blog which is a nod to the big four Youth Media Awards and an enthusiastic pointing to three other kidlit awards which youth services librarians should pay attention to. Check out the American Indian Library Association’s American Indian Youth Literature Awards, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association’s Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature and the Amelia Bloomer List which is created by the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.

A couple other just plain awesome booklists include Abby the Librarian’s Fancy Nancy Books for Boys (or great books for kids who enjoy wordy reads!), Lisa Mulvenna’s post on 100 Books to Read Before Kindergarten, and Anne of the blog itsybitsymom put together a great Let’s Move booklist, especially helpful for babytime reads. And finally the CLEL Bell Awards 2014 which we blogged about were announced and provide some great ideas to keep celebrating reading, writing, singing, talking and playing!

Now for that technology advisory we mentioned above! Beth, of Beth Reads has written a fabulous post on how to promote databases and electronic resources to young patrons. Think speed dating, targeted marketing and contextual promotion: pure genius! With more and more libraries purchasing mobile technology Little eLit has published an incredibly helpful piece by Amanda Foulk on selecting apps for ipads to be used in your kids’ spaces.

We move onto ideas and resources for keeping you sharp and engaged, professionally that is. For some straight up inspiration this older article by The Teacher Tom came across our radar and is a thoughtful look at how we can help prepare our little storytimers for Kindergarten. For another bigger picture piece Katie Salo wrote about ways (and why it’s so important) to serve families beyond our traditional programs on the ALSC blog.

When it comes to thinking about your professional toolkit the fantastic Claudia Haines has written a reflective piece on her tools of the trade and encourages you to do the same. This connects to the resources Abby the Librarian shares with a new youth services employee at her library. Do you use any of these? What would you suggest to a new children’s librarian? Finally building up your Personal Learning Network is something which the folks at Storytime Underground feel strongly about. And thank goodness! Read up on their tips and tricks on connecting with other professionals and may your learning never stop.

Programming Resources

Let’s start with the early years! There are so many exciting things happening in storytimes this season. Cate at Storytiming created Infographic Story Stretchers that kids can take home to tell the story again.  We love how this handout supports narrative skills and memory skills.  Storytime Katie shared an ingenious way to help kids learn colors and how to take turns with her If You Have a… flannel board game. Kids get to interact with the flannel pieces and the librarian – a win-win! Love is in the air at Fun with Friends at Storytime who shared so many good rhymes and felt stories for Valentine’s Day.  If you’ve ever been scared to do a draw and tell story, fear not! Notes from the Story Room shows us how to tell this Valentine’s Day story step by step. Story Time Secrets has wowed us yet again with her adaptation of the classic Mother and Father and Uncle Jon lap bounce. In her version, suitable for preschoolers, the characters in the rhyme travel on all different sorts of vehicles which she notes strengthens their transportation vocabulary. Plus, turning it into a flannel story helps the kids make a connection between the words of the rhyme and the meaning behind them. Lastly, the wonderful mentors at Storytime Underground shared some amazing resources for creating a storytime for special needs children.

Lots of people have been writing about getting the wiggles out, including us! Miss Meg created animal dice for her movement storytime. Just roll the dice and hop, slither, and flutter like your favourite animal. Miss Mary Liberry shared a super cute take on the traditional spelling song, Bingo. Her version, B-U-N-N-Y, uses hopping instead of clapping to encourage kids to be up and active.  We also discovered this year-old post on the ALSC blog called Emergency Kit for the Wiggles! The list of recorded music is especially helpful, but we also love the idea of a Storytime Spray you can mist over the kids. If you want to incorporate more movement into your storytime, also check out our Pinterest board full of interactive storytime books.

We love how generous Youth Services Librarians are in sharing their storytime outlines. The next set of links feature storytimes you can print and implement! One of our favourites this season is this paint themed storytime from Anne’s Library Life. Not only did she include two adorable felt stories, at the end of her storytime she gave the kids actual paint brushes to use as they read I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont. So creative! Another favourite is this tiger themed storytime at Never Shushed. Claudia is so thorough in her explanations that it is clear she puts much thought and consideration into her choices. This storytime is just top rate! Kendra at Read Sing Play revamped her babytime and shared her new and improved storytime outline.  We nearly died when we saw this 70” pizza Miss Tara and Friends created in her pizza themed storytime. There were two pop culture inspired storytimes to note. Firstly, Funbrarian shared her Elvis storytime which introduced kids to the King. Secondly, L. Frank Baum’s birthday isn’t until May but that hasn’t stopped Sunflower Storytime from collecting ideas for a Wizard of Oz storytime. It honestly makes us wish we were kids again! Lastly, Hi, Miss Julie! shows you how to take your preschool programming beyond storytimes by taking a tip from preschool centers. Try adding a STEAM program, a writing center, a dramatic play unprogram, or a building centre. Storytimes are the norm, but it’s always nice to challenge ourselves to try something new!

Now on to school-age and teen programming!  We love this list of 10 Valentine’s Day Activities for Beginning Readers from Story Time Secrets.  You could make a program out of any of them, or use them as drop-in activities over the holiday. Katie was also featured on The Library Adventure with her list of 10 Passive Library Programs for Tweens. Anne at sotomorrow also shared a very successful tween program based on the popular TV show Minute to Win It. What a great way to show kids that the library is a place to have fun! Speaking of fun, Amy at The Show Me Librarian offered a Family Forts After Hours program that allowed parents and kids to make blanket forts and then snuggle up with a good book.  There’s always so many good ideas at her blog – don’t forget to check out her Guide to STEAM for Families with Young Children and her Guide to Unprogramming for School-Aged Children and Teens.

Other ideas for school aged programs include this Read Your Way to a Party program from Storytime ABCs. Sometimes kids need an extra boost to keep reading throughout the year, and this cookie party is a great incentive. Speaking of treats, LibrErin put on this amazing Life Size Candyland program and the pictures of her staff dressed up as the game characters are sweet! On the healthier side of things, Knowledge Matters planned this STEM Exploring Nutrition and the Body program perfect for teaching kids ages 3-10 about healthy choices. If you’ll be making any school visits soon, be sure to read Jen in the Library’s list of fables and stories with a lesson she’s shared on her visits to elementary schools.  Last on our list are three teen programs that blew us away. First is Literary Commentary’s Anime Con which featured candy sushi, anime pictionary, and a cosplay runway! Second up is the Mock Caldecott program by Valley Storytime – what a great way to get teens evaluating literature, even if they are picture books! And lastly, What is Bridget Reading? made us want to be teenagers again so we could attend her Harry Potter Yule Ball. Harry Potter jeopardy, the snacks, the decorations – takes us right back to Hogwarts. 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 jbrary@gmail.com.  Check out the full Spring 2014 YAACING for more awesome articles by the Children’s Library folk of BC!

6 thoughts on “We’ll Link to That: Spring 2014

  1. Thanks for all the connections, I love being able to pull up your blog and find some new and fresh idea for my programs.

  2. Thanks to both of you for the kind comments. We love connecting the dots between the amazing Children’s Library folks we’re surrounded by!

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