Friday, April 13, 2018

Mini Masters of Library Science

We had so much fun at this week's Mini Masters of Library Science program! I can't take all of the credit- I got a lot of my ideas from Tales for the Tiny (including the file for the fabulous diplomas), Hafuboti, and Miss Meg's Storytime. I borrowed ideas from each one, added a few elements, and tweeked until I thought it would work for our patrons.


And it did! I set up six stations (pictures below) and each kid got a booklet to stamp at each station. After they collected all six stamps they could collect their diplomas! We had about 20 kids (PreK-4th grade) stay for 30-60 minutes depending on attention span and everybody finished. It was a little hectic (especially at our circulation station) so I could not have done it without three fabulous teen volunteers. I chose to hold the program during National Library week, but it could really be done any time of year. I think everybody had a lot of fun and left with a little more knowledge of the library and what the librarians do every day. Here's how it was set up:

"Locating Items" was our scavenger hunt station. Kids could choose from green level (easy), yellow level (medium), or hard level (red) and find items throughout the children's section. Some easy items were things like a picture book or a block from the play room, but harder items were things like a new chapter book or a non fiction poetry book. This was a fan favorite, for sure!


Programming was a lot of fun. Kids could sing a song, play a little mouse game, or read a story to their grown-ups or friends.


Readers advisory had different levels of challenge, like the scavenger hunt. Easy questions were things like "Do you have any books about dogs?" or "I'd like a book with trains" and harder questions were things like "I want a scary chapter book" or "Do you have any books by the same author as Elephant & Piggie?"


Sorting also had three levels- easy meant sorting early readers by the color of their spine stickers, medium meant putting picture books in alphabetical order, and hard meant organizing by Dewey number.


The recommend a book station was also popular- kids could write or draw about their favorite books and their recommendations are currently displayed on one of our bookshelf end caps.


I didn't manage to get a snapshot of the circulation station because it looked like a tornado hit it almost instantly. Easy challengers simply checked in books (which I had checked out on our department's library card), medium challengers' items had a few holds placed on them, and hard challengers' items may have had several things wrong- holds, missing DVDs, etc. This is the only station which required constant librarian supervision (and at one point, a second librarian & computer).


Our diploma station (featuring fancy certificate paper from who knows when, whose partial pack actually inspired this whole program)


Our teen volunteers participating in story time!


Over all, this program went really well and I think it would be fun to do again for the families who couldn't make it this time. If anybody at all would like the files I made for the stations, diplomas, or stamp books, please just leave a comment. I would love to pass them along!

What I Read This Week 4/13/2018

I've been making an effort to catch most new picture books (and some early to middle grade graphic novels) as they come out, so I thought I would revive What I Read This Week as a weekly roundup of what new things I've read recently. Here's this week:


Hannah Harrison has written my #1 favorite picture book (Extraordinary Jane) and every single one of her books has the most amazing level of detail. Friends Stick Together includes touches like a kangaroo teacher who keeps school supplies in her pocket and a penguin who brings a juice box labeled "salt water" for lunch. These details only add to a sweet story about two new friends learning to appreciate each other.


Another sweet friendship story, this time a graphic novel about two sloths with two very different ideas about adventure. Although the two sloths meet other new friends along their journeys, they remain BSFF (Best Sloth Friends Forever).


Sometimes if you give new things a chance, they might end up finding they're not so strange after all. Perfect for animal fans, silly story fans, and anyone who appreciates simple but perfect illustrations.


I thought this was a really good follow up to the original. The illustrations are still very sweet and I appreciated the variety of women profiled, both professionally (scientists, artists, etc.) and personally (different countries of origin, ages, physical abilities, and more).


This one is not actually new (2015) but I just discovered the sequel to William and the Missing Masterpiece, which is another one of my favorites (and usually a big hit at preschool storytime). The humor will probably go over younger storytimers' heads, but my 4 and 5 year olds liked looking through the detailed illustrations to find clues along with William.




Thursday, April 5, 2018

February and March Storytimes- My Experiment with No Themes

I haven't posted in a while, but I thought the return to storytime after our library's spring break was a good time to re-start. I absolutely love storytimes (they're one of my favorite parts of my job) but doing 5-7 a week for a 17 week session sometimes feels like a lot. I found myself only ok with a lot of my themes and finding songs that my very young 2 year old group would like felt like such a chore. Plus, my preschool group right now is preferring longer books and activities over most songs, so it was tough catering to that group and staying on theme. Instead, I've been playing around with the idea of not doing themes at all.

I don't know if no themes would work for everybody. I know I have at least one coworker who really finds her inspiration in themes and enjoys the detective work that comes from finding that one book about mustaches that really does work for two year olds. I felt, however, that families were leaving my storytimes a little unsatisfied and I could find a way to make them have a little more fun.

An post on Jbrary's website (which you can find here) came at the perfect time for me. If you haven't read it yet (and you should), it's all about the flow from activity to activity in storytime, rather than focusing on a theme. This has been working fantastically for me and even though I do have a few themes in my pocket to round out my spring, I feel so much more confident just throwing away my theme if it isn't working for me.

After all of that, we have had a lot of fun in February and March! Here are some books (some older, some newer) that my groups especially enjoyed, along with which group read them:

(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Twos, but I suspect my older kids would love it, too)


(Twos)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Twos)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Twos)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Twos)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Twos)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(Big Kids, Threes, mixed-age preschool outreach)


(Twos)


(Big Kids- 4 & up)


(3s, Big Kids, mixed-age preschool outreach)


(Twos)


(Big Kids, but I plan to test it out on my twos group as well)


What do you think about no-theme storytimes? Have they worked for you? Leave a comment and share!

Big Kids Storytime: Winter Bears

Big Kids Storytime: Winter Bears It's finally cold enough for wintery storytimes here! Here's what we were up to this week: ...