Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Summer Reading 2015 Edition

I'll be updating this post with decorations and displays.

After much research, discussion, argument, gathering of statistics, etc. I finally have our new summer reading program ready. I wanted something that got rid of all the plastic crap, that didn't take up so much time administering, and that made it impossible for anyone to fall into the "library police" trap or having a ton of rules for kids and parents to follow. I also wanted to get away from counting reading (books or time) while still encouraging kids to read daily. The staff primarily wanted some kind of regular small prizes so they didn't get yelled at by parents. This is what we ended up with. Will it work? Only time will tell...

One of the major changes was that people can sign up starting after Memorial Day. Summer reading doesn't specifically start until June 6, but all the people coming in after my school visits will be able to get calendars. We're also going back to registration, for all ages, which will be done by staff on a simple online spreadsheet via Google Drive.

Rubber Ducky Readers
  • Ages 0-3
  • June log (receive a bath squirt when they turn it in in July)
  • July log (receive a board book when they turn it in in August)
  • Adapted from Marge Loch-Wouters' Rubber Ducky Club
  • Funded by Kohls cares for kids and United Way in 2013/2014
  • I would like to make some changes in this program - primarily I'd like to get rid of my very wordy logs and just use the handy early literacy calendars provided by WLA. However, I printed a LOT of logs while I had the $$ so we will be doing this for a few more years. I didn't have to purchase any additional prizes this year as I still had squirts and books left over.
Every Hero Has a Story
  • Ages 3-12
  • Receive a prize when they sign up
    • Prizes donated by a local artist - primarily buttons with popular characters, animals, and also necklaces, bookmarks, etc. She and her staff made over 1,000 items for us!
  • Summer reading calendar
    • They cross off each day they read - no rules on how long or what they read
    • Every five days crossed off they get a sticker (they can add it to the superhero hideout in the children's area, but we're not pushing it)
    • They bring their calendar back in August for a packet of passes (6+) and a free book (as long as they have at least one day crossed off, they get the prize)
    • Every week they visit the library they get a coupon for a treat (so far I have pizza and I'm waiting on ice cream. if we run out there will be tootsie rolls or something)
  • Adapted from a gazillion sources, including suggestions from our adult services librarian who did something similar when she worked in children's services at another library.
Teen Summer Reading Club
  • 6th grade and up
  • Put their checkout receipts or drawing slip into a box. Every week I will draw names to win small prizes, all under $5.
    • Prizes right now include candy, fine forgiveness coupons, small gift cards, and books I've saved.
  • Adapted from a discussion on Facebook - I think Teen Librarians, although I don't remember who the original program came from. They had much bigger prizes, but pointed out that we could just do things that fit our budget...

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Messy Art Club: Suncatchers

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 35
  • Evaluation
    • 4-23-15
      • Attendance: 28
      • Feedback/Connections: A patron stopped in and took information to give to her new tenants, who have children and want to meet people before school starts next year. A grandmother brought her grandkids and took information to give their mom to bring them back later.
      • Notes: This is a pretty easy program and works well at this time of year when attendance sometimes drops a bit.
    • 4-25-13: Sometimes I think glumly about the vast amount of paper we use. This is a very papery program that recycles! So it's good! Lots of new people, several old friends I hadn't seen in a while and a total around...50? 60? who knows?
Project: Suncatchers

How it works: Kids cut or rip tissue paper and then tape it across the cut-outs, kind of like iris folding only much simpler. Lots of them like to hang their creations around their necks like necklaces afterwards. I only use markers in the community room b/c they're easier to clean off the tables than crayons.

  • Paper cut-outs (recycling! I save all the paper cut outs from die cutting to use for this but I also cut some from my stash of shirt cardboard. The kids get the die cut shapes to keep as a bonus or we use them later.)
  • Tissue paper
  • Yarn
  • Markers
  • Tape, hole punchers, scissors

April Outreach: Rain Showers

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage library visits
    • Build relationships with students and teachers
    • Teach kids about weather
  • Bringing the rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema
  • The Big Storm by Nancy Tafuri
  • Mushroom in the rain by Mirra Ginsburg
  • When rain falls by Melissa Stewart
  • Boom! Boom! Boom! by Jamie Swenson
  • Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld
  • Waiting out the storm by Joann Macken
Early Literacy Skills/Vocabulary/Concepts: Repetition, animal habits in rain, counting

  • I took mini flyers for the final spring program, Dance into Summer.
  • I took elephant bookmarks and told the kids they had good elephant ears for listening (even if they hadn't listened...positive reinforcement!)
  • 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten folders for the three year old class at TLC
Remote Collections
  • 4 baskets, approximately 100 items, plus requests
  • Weather, rain, spring, chicks and eggs, and oceans
  • Requests - zoos, insects

Monday, April 20, 2015

Chick Central

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce kids to the life cycle of a chicken
    • Bring in non-library users
    • Partner with schools and community
  • Evaluation
    • April 2015
      • I bought a new incubator, after last year's disaster.
This program doesn't have a way to count attendance, but it does bring us a lot of great publicity. Generally, I provide the incubator, my school partners provide the eggs, and local people from the community provide expert assistance and the materials for caring for the chicks for a week or two after they hatch.

We first did this in 2012, I believe. We didn't get the eggs from a good source and the few that hatched were...deformed. The borrowed incubators also did not work well (the duck eggs didn't hatch at all). In 2013 we bought our own incubator, but didn't find out until too late that the thermometer was unreliable. 2014 was going to be The Year and things were going well...until we accidentally flipped the incubator and Tragedy Ensued. This year I have a new incubator and we have high hopes!
These are from the first hatching

School partner, Pattie Woods

Community partner, Virgil Wuttke (the eggspert)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Under the Sea

Every year we have a huge party in April. It's a collaboration with my colleague from the school district's Parent Connections organization (who does most of my baby and toddler storytime) and the three four year old kindergartens in the area. This year we did an Under the Sea theme. I told my associate to decorate the library over spring break and we'd leave everything up for the month. 
Jellyfish on the ceiling, created by Jess

Under the sea decor by Jess

The desk under the sea!

Close up of a rainbow fish (not THE rainbow fish, b/c ugh)

Just crabbing around

More seaweed

Fish floating through seaweed at the windows

facepaint and tattoo stations ready

Flippers leading to...

this! I wanted to use our old magazine shelf and
asked Jess to come up with something that would
promote beginning chapter books.

Getting ready

craft tables

The giant cardboard creations were done by one of our
circulation clerks, with help from her family. The mermaid
was a HUGE hit.

Their jellyfish also got a lot of love and awe.

Thank you board for our donors, created by Pattie

kinetic sand

Treasure box

cornmeal "sand"

Pattie made a board of all the things there are to do

Treasure box open

"sand" and shells to look at

Shells to dig for and keep as prizes

Diver from the sheriff's department

digging for shells

Investigating the treasure box

Petsmart table with live betta fish

The fish game - kids made a "fishing pole" at the craft tables,
fished for a flannel sea creature, then decorated it at the craft tables

some kind of sea creature from a local bank

one of our 4K teachers face paints

another 4K teacher (and library board member)

a line for the tattoo and face painting tables

decorating the catch from the fishing pool
playing with kinetic sand

lunch - starfish-shaped chicken nuggets, grapes, bananas, and goldfish crackers

a break for some quiet reading

the treasure box was VERY popular, even if they didn't get to keep the treasures