Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Outreach: Lakeland School

Prep: Before the class arrives, block the emergency exit in the storyroom (just put some chairs in front of it so it's still accessible, but we don't lose any kids). Wait at the door to welcome students in from the bus.

Tour: A short tour of the lower level, paying particular attention to the circulation area (older classes may observe while we check out a book on the school's institutional card), looking at all the things in Technical Services, and ending up in the Storyroom. Tours depend very much on the make up of the class. Be aware of kids who will run away and keep things very short and simple.

Storytime: Simple books with interactive elements. Don't go too fast - give the kids time to respond - but stay upbeat and energetic. Don't try to get every kid participating; make sure they can all see what's happening and then let the teachers monitor their level of participation. Be prepared for meltdowns or kids losing interest - teachers and aides will handle this, just keep going!
  • Go away big green monster by Ed Emberley (puppet available)
  • What will fat cat sit on? by Jan Thomas
  • The wide-mouthed frog by Keith Faulkner (pop-up)
  • Press here by Herve Tullet
Craft: Not all the kids will be into crafts, but you can have something available. Best choice is a simple die-cut (gingerbread man, bat, owl, or fish are our large ones), markers and crayons. Have the white tables ready to pull out and set up - remember these kids are taller than our toddlers and/or in wheelchairs to pull up to the table.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We Explore Resource List: Fall/Harvest

While I run the We Explore Art series my colleagues run We Explore Outdoors/Fall/Preschool Adventures. I'm collecting here the resources I put together for them for the fall programs

Reading list bookmarks
Flannelboards and manipulatives
Rhymes, Songs, and Movement
  • Woolly bear caterpillars
    • brown pompoms, clothespins or popsicle sticks, glue
  • Squirrel ears
    • Strips of brown paper, brown triangles, stapler
    • Staple triangles to strips, then staple strips together to make a crown
  • Flying geese
    • die cut birds, popsicles, tape or ribbon
    • You can either tape the "geese" directly to the stick to make a puppet or attach them to a ribbon and tie the ribbons to the stick, then run to make them "fly"
  • Leaf colors
    • die cut white leaves, paint or drawing materials
Vocabulary and Concepts
    • Migration
    • Hibernation
    • Fall & Autumn
    • Seasons
    • Colors (red, orange, brown, yellow, green)
Books for babies and toddlers (*nonfiction, B-boardbook)
  • *Crayola Fall Colors
  • *Every Autumn comes the bear by Jim Arnosky
  • *Racoons and ripe corn by Jim Arnosky
  • B-Walk and see, 123 by Rosalind Beardshaw
  • *Rainy, Sunny, Blowy, Snowy by Jane Brocket
  • *From apple trees to cider please by Chernesky
  • Pick a circle, gather squares by Chernesky
  • Nuts to you by Lois Ehlert
  • Leaf man by Lois Ehlert
  • Kitten's autumn by Eugenie Fernandes
  • *Animals in fall by Martha Rustad
  • Full of fall by April Pulley Sayre
  • Honey by David Ezra Stein
  • B-Babies in the forest by Ginger Swift
  • B-Stormy night by Salina Yoon
  • *Watching the seasons: Fall (Bullfrog Books)
  • *What happens in fall? (Bullfrog Books)
Books for preschool (*nonfiction)
  • Time for cranberries by Detlefsen
  • In the garden, who's been here? by Lindsay George
  • *Awesome autumn by Bruce Goldstone
  • Tap the magic tree by Christie Matheson
  • *How do you know it's fall? by Ruth Owen
  • Goodbye summer hello autumn by Kenard Pak
  • *Secret life of the woolly bear caterpillar by Laurence Pringle
  • *See what we eat by Scot Ritchie
  • *Hello autumn by Shelley Rotner
  • *Fall leaves: Colorful and crunchy by Martha Rustad
  • *Colors of fall by Laura Purdie Salas
  • *Eat like a bear by April Pulley Sayre
  • *Pick, pull, snap: where once a flower bloomed by Lola Schaefer
  • Tractor Mac: Harvest time by Billy Steers
  • *Winter's coming by Jan Thornhill
  • Miss Maple's Seeds by Eliza Wheeler

Friday, October 19, 2018

Maker Workshop: Sewing Machines

  • Program Goals
    • Teach kids new skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
    • Attendance: 10
Sewing Machines
  • 3 Elna sewing machines (purchased by the consortium)
  • Donated machines: 2 Brothers and a Dressmaker
  • Borrowed: 1 Janome
  • Some people bring their own machines
On Sewing Machines: The Elna machines are very basic - but unfortunately, their treadle feet are super sensitive. Even I have trouble getting them to go slowly and it's really hard for kids to regulate them. They're also difficult to thread - there's an automatic needle threader but it's not intuitive (we eventually gave up even trying to use this). The thread tends to get tangled and break a lot. We did better once we'd put in better thread, but they're still not ideal machines.

I had a Singer donated but it was too dirty and jammed - I gave it to a patron to try to fix. The two brothers are ok machines, albeit with a tendency to unthread themselves. The Janome (and the staff member who came with it) have worked the best. S is a quilter and has been an invaluable colleague, helping to thread machines, give advice, and troubleshoot the constantly glitching machines. The donated Dressmaker is an old-style metal machine. It works beautifully, but the kids are a little scared of it.

  • fabric (variety of quilting cottons and flannel from Jo-Ann)
  • needles, thread, seam-ripper, scissors (purchased a bunch of Fiskars big and little ones and wrote FABRIC ONLY on them), bobbins (brought extra from home), pins
  • Stuffing, elastic, and other notions
  • Tracing paper, rulers, pencils
  • Volunteers helped make more copies of the patterns from Sewing School, which I also include in my sewing kits.
Resources and Display Titles
  • Sewing practice paper sheets can be found in multiple places, but I like the ones at Family Consumer Sciences
  • Books
    • Sewing School (multiple titles)
    • Books by Jane Bull
    • Sew Creative by Jennifer Colin
    • Kid's guide to sewing by Sophie Kerr
    • Super simple sewing for kids by Curto
    • Creative kids complete photo guide to sewing by Bergeron
Kids, teens and adults are invited to join us for a maker workshop with sewing machines. You can register for one session or all three. Please be aware that the library has a limited number of sewing machines. If you are bringing your own machine, please note it in your registration.
Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn basic sewing machine skills as well as choosing and completing a simple project.
  • Threading a machine
  • Controlling the treadle (foot control)
  • Sewing a straight line and curves
Required skills
  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Can safely use sewing implements with minimal supervision (needles and sharp scissors)
  • Ability to thread a needle (needle threaders will be provided) and knot the end.
  • Ability to safely use a sewing machine with limited supervision
  • Have sufficient motor control to use a foot pedal
  • The first time I offered this was in the fall of 2017. I had kids sign up for the first session, which signed them up for all three. My second three sessions, in April of 2018, I opened to adults and had people sign up for individual sessions. Most people came at least twice, with only a few at the last session.
  • Having at least one volunteer is a MUST. A member of the circulation staff volunteered the first time and I made sure she got paid for work time the second time.
  • Misc.
    • Moved the program to the larger community room, with heavy-duty tables. We were cramped in the Storyroom and my tables are flimsy. Plus there isn't enough space to lay out materials. I had to share the room with a teen program, but it was still an improvement.
    • How many people you can handle really depends. If it's all kids with absolutely no experience, 2 facilitators per 5 kids is about all you can do. If you have adults who are better at waiting and trying things on their own, or kids with some experience, you can go up to 10.
    • Some kids are reluctant to practice stitching or learn how to operate the machines. I don't push, but I will gently remind them that this is an important part of sewing also.

Free Lego Build

After many, many years of running Lego Building Club, I moved away from that in favor of open Lego days. The reasons were many - we got new carpeting in our community room, so I tried to shift as many programs back to the Storyroom as possible. It was taking a lot of staff time to haul all the Legos across the library and supervise and attendance was dropping as people got involved in other activities. I had initially moved Lego Building Club to the Community room years ago for space issues and now we could move it back!

The Storyroom has three entrances/exits. You access it from the play area, so moms with younger kids can hang out there while the older kids build. There's an emergency exit tucked in a back corner that leads outside. Finally, the door you see in the photos above leads into my office/staff workroom.

I or my aide sets Legos up on Thursday evening, after whatever other program we have is finished. We put out three big white tables, all the lego bins, and an easel with a sign-in sheet. Friday morning, staff who open prop the door open. That's it. On Saturday or Monday, whichever somebody next works, the Legos are picked up and the sign-ins tallied. I pop in and out throughout the day and occasionally snap some pictures or chat with families. Since we've started doing this, we've averaged about 20-30 people throughout the day and for where we are right now it's working out really well.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Book Explosion: Histories and Mysteries with American Girl

  • Program Goals
    • Meet the needs of kids transitioning out of Rock 'n' Read
    • Encourage both voracious and struggling readers
    • Attendance: 5 (grades 5 and up)
Theme: Histories and Mysteries with American Girl

  • Finger knitting/braiding - yarn
  • Rainbow loom - maker kit
  • Mystery cards
Books (American Girl)
  • Like sisters: Emma moves in
  • A girl named... Misty
  • Samantha mystery: Clue in the castle tower
  • Marie-Grace mystery: Hidden gold
  • Kit mystery: Menace at Mammoth cave
  • Nanea mystery: Legend of the shark goddess
  • Rebecca mystery: showstopper
  • Luciana; Luciana braving the deep; Luciana out of this world by Erin Teagan
  • According to Aggie (graphic novel)
Books (Historical Fiction set in the USA)
  • Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Lucky broken girl by Ruth Behar (1960s)
  • True confessions of Charlotte Doyle (early 1800s) (YA)
  • Chasing secrets by Choldenko (1900 San Francisco)
  • Mighty Miss Malone by Curtis (Great Depression)
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper (1930s South)
  • Salt by Helen Frost (American Revolution) (novel in verse)
  • Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale (Civil War) (graphic novel)
  • Detective's assistant by Kate Hannigan (Chicago, 1850s)
  • Full of beans by Jennifer Holm (Great Depression)
  • Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (1900)
  • Hattie big sky by Kirby Larson (pioneer) (YA)
  • Compass south by Hope Larson (1860s) (graphic novel)
  • Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (Civil Rights)
  • Betty before X by Shabazz (Civil Rights)
  • Witch of blackbird pond by Elizabeth Speare (Colonial times/Salem witch trials)
  • Moon over Manifest by Vanderpool (WWII)
  • My year in the middle by Lila Quintero Weaver (Civil Rights, 1970s)
  • Countdown by Deborah Wiles (Cold War)
  • One crazy summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Civil Rights/Black Panthers)
Books (Mysteries)
  • Leaving by Altebrando (YA)
  • Red Blazer girls by Michael Beil
  • Strike three, you're dead by Josh Berk
  • Book scavenger by Jennifer Bertman
  • Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (YA)
  • Peculiar incident on shady street by Currie (supernatural)
  • London Eye mystery by Siobhan Dowd
  • Into the lion's den by Linda Fairstein
  • Under the egg by Laura Fitzgerald
  • Absolutely, truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Zap by Martha Freeman
  • Spy school by Stuart Gibbs
  • Van Gogh deception by Deron Hicks
  • Wig in the window by Kittscher
  • Case of the vanishing golden frogs by Markle (nonfiction)
  • Kiki Strike inside the shadow city by Kirsten Miller
  • Spirit hunters by Ellen Oh (very creepy)
  • Framed! by James Ponti
  • Enchantment lake by Margi Preus (YA)
  • Woof by Spencer Quinn
  • Westing game by Ellen Raskin
  • Impossible clue by Sarah Rubin
  • York: Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby (YA)
  • Murder is bad manners by Robin Stevens
  • Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Three times lucky by Sheila Turnage
  • Emperor's riddle by Kat Zhang
Books (Real Girls)
  • Path to the stars by Acevedo (biography, Latina)
  • Battle of Darcy Lane by Tara Altebrando
  • Pashmina by Chanani (graphic novel) (Indian)
  • Secret of danger point by Kim Dwinell (graphic novel)
  • Little leaders: Bold women in black history by Vashti Harrison (biography, African-American)
  • Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins
  • Sunny side up by Jennifer Holm (graphic novel)
  • Little white duck by Na Liu (graphic novel)