Thursday, June 29, 2017

Library on the Go: Back at summer school

SUCCESS!! I started at summer school around 11am and this time I brought along my aide (and her follower, a 4th grader). We unloaded and set up. It was cooler and I got a slow but steady trickle of people. Shortly after 12, we picked up the tables and walked them down to the cafeteria (much to the bewilderment of some of the school staff, but they mostly all know me so it didn't matter) and I FOUND THE KIDS. Well over a hundred of them are taking advantage of lunch and, since if you stay for lunch you can't use the buses, most of them were not in a big hurry to leave. We were swamped!

I checked out 48 books, signed up 29 kids for summer reading, and around 50 kids stopped by to talk, take a craft (I tore through the magnet kits, color-me keychains, and Finding Dory bags my colleague had donated) and look at the books.

I registered kids who visit the library to check out movies and games but have never participated in summer reading because their parents don't speak English and the language barrier is too great. I signed up kids who attend our rural elementary school and I only see them briefly as part of a class perhaps once a year. I signed up kids who have never visited the library at all. I told them over and over that everything was FREE!

In a follow-up of success, one of the children I signed up and their caregiver, who I had explained the program too, both came to the library for the first time to return their LotG books and the child got their first library card and checked out library books!

The ipad is still giving me grief - I'm going to use a laptop next time.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We Explore Favorite Artist Julie Paschkis

Best swirly art in the style of Julie Paschkis!
  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Julie Paschkis and her art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 20
Art Project Part 1: Paper quilts (10-10:15)
I had two samples - shapes drawn with pencil, which you could then cut your pieces to fit, and a more collage-style quilt.

Supplies
  • Handmade paper
  • Recycled cardstock
  • Pencils, scissors, glue
Storytime/Snacktime: 10:15-10:40
I call people to storytime with the Storytime Song, then had the parents pass out the snack. We started with Mooshka because we had been making quilts, then Where is Catkin? and finished with P. Zonka. For P. Zonka, I had made copies of Paschkis' art process from Seven Impossible Things' interview and we talked about how she sketched out the chickens, tested the colors, and then put all the pictures and words together.

Books
  • Mooshka: A Quilt Story
  • Where is Catkin?
  • P. Zonka Lays an Egg
Snacks
cookies, napkins

Art Project Part 2: Painting (10:40-11)
I had pencils if they wanted to sketch first, but my crowd was mostly younger and just enjoyed painting.

Supplies
  • Pencils
  • Washable paint in no-spill cups
  • 9x12 paper
  • Paintbrushes, aprons, and lots and lots of wipes
Evaluation

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Library on the Go: Week 2, low income housing complex

This was a total failure. I tried, I really, really did try, prior to getting this started to get in touch with the Housing Authority. I left phone messages, dropped off materials, but I never really got any response. Then I found out last week that the complex I chose, which has a lot of library patrons in it and a high percentage of kids with blocked cards, was potentially being rezoned, or whatever you'd call it, so it's no longer low income. In the end, I decided just to cross my fingers and go for it. The worst that could happen is either nobody showed up or they told me to leave.

Well, nobody showed up. I unpacked everything, and sat, alone. I saw one elderly lady with a walker meander across the parking lot and a moving van. It was basically dead. Either there were no kids there, they couldn't see me, or something. I decided I needed to make some changes, fast. I drove around town a little, looking at where kids had congregated (no, that was not at all creepy! uh, maybe...) and talked to our parent educator who is closely tied in with social services and the school district. I decided to expand my summer school outreach to both the lobby AND the free lunch (new this year) in the cafeteria through July. In August I will hopefully be able to set up in the park by the pool (this may or may not work out). Next year I might try a camp spot outside of town that a teacher recommended.

Mad Scientists Club: Geology

  • Program Goals
    • Practice following instructions/directions
    • Practice the scientific method/inquiry
    • Attendance: 35
Experiment: Smashing rocks
We had safety glasses, hammers, and a selection of rocks. We smashed them. It was endlessly fascinating and the kids lined up for their turn over and over again.

Project: Making fossils
Jess collected a wide variety of things for the kids to use - the most popular were shells and some rubber snakes.
  • Supplies
    • air-dry clay (purchased on Amazon)
    • misc. things to make shapes with
    • popsicle sticks
    • foil
Project: Sand strata
I had a bunch of pictures of geological strata in rocks and sand formations and a couple kids got into it, but mostly they were more interested in making art with the sand. Which was fine.
  • Supplies
    • colored sand (purchased from Discount School Supply)
    • construction paper
    • glue
    • funnels, spoons, and trays for excess sand
    • pictures of geological formations
Evaluation

Friday, June 16, 2017

Maker Workshop: Sewing

Program Goals
  • Teach kids new skills
  • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
Supplies
  • Needles, needle threaders, pins
  • Multiple pairs of sewing scissors
  • Embroidery thread, buttons, beads
  • Stuffing, tracing paper, pencils
  • Felt
Resources and Display Titles (by Jane Bull)
  • Crafty Creatures
  • Stitch by Stitch
  • Get Set, Sew
  • Make it
  • Made by Me
  • Crafty Dolls
  • Let's Sew
Promo:
We will be sewing a crafty creature and learning some basic sewing skills along the way. Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. There is no age restriction, but you must have the following skills to attend:

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.
Introduction
  • On the chalkboard
    • Tools NOT toys - lecture about needle safety (all needles must be accounted for etc.)
    • Choose a project; what skills do you need? what materials do you need?
    • plan + pin THEN cut + sew
    • Mistakes are OK
    • Sewing is all about patience, planning, and focus
Evaluation

Four year old kindergarten field trip: Pete the Cat

Tour of the children's area
  • Take kids the long way into and out of the library so it's not a "full" tour but they can see things to pique their interest and bring them back. Can also put pennies in the wishing well afterwards if time allows
Activities
  • Groovy buttons
    • Die-cut circles with holes punched
    • Ribbon
    • Markers
    • Kids decorate their buttons and string them
  • Art book covers
    • Pre-printed book covers "Pete the Cat and His ____ by ____
    • Markers
  • Create art books
    • Construction paper
    • Watercolor pencils
    • Water cups and brushes
    • Stapler
    • Kids draw pictures and brush over them with water, then we staple all the pictures together to make books (use their Pete the Cat art book covers)
Storytime
    • Pete the Cat: I love my white Shoes
    • Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons
    • Pete the Cat rocking in my school shoes
    • Pete the Cat and his magic sunglasses
    • Pete the Cat and the cool cat boogie

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Library on the Go: First visit

OMG HOT.

Ok, now that's out of the way. My first trip was more or less a success, but I definitely hit a few snags. I had advertised myself as being there from 10:30 to 11:30. I arrived around 10 and it was pretty dead until past 11, when parents started wandering in to pick up kids. Then there was a wild rush of kids running out to meet parents and get on the bus. I distributed tops, but most kids didn't have time to color them. About 25 kids and parents stopped by the tables to talk to me, some of them new people, some regular library patrons. I checked out 37 books and signed up about 10 kids for summer reading.

Things to change next time:

  • OMG HOT. Bring a water bottle
  • The ipad hates me. The app for using google sheets doesn't work well and you have to double-tap in each, separate cell. This is difficult when kids are hanging all over my very light, folding tables and sometimes it takes multiple tries. I need a better system.
  • Start later. There's no point in sitting there sweating for an hour.

Field Trip: Explore Elkhorn

  • Program Goals 
    • Introduce kids to the library, from the past to the present 
Tour
  • Start upstairs, in the oldest part of the library.
    • Mary Bray - first librarian
    • Library is over 100 years old
    • Look at the ceiling of the genealogy room
    • Stop by the cabinet of old books and talk about how the things the library has changes (used to just have old books, now we have computers, toys, etc.)
  • Look at the first addition (upstairs)
    • Find the spots where the outer wall become the inner wall (bricks on ramp) and look at the inner windows
    • Look at the microfilm machine
  • Visit basement (optional)
    • Used to be children’s area
    • Floods (this is very exciting)
    • Go out steps through garden
  • Visit the newest part of the building
    • Talk about how the children’s area has changed over the years
    • Talk about the different kinds of materials we have now
    • Visit tech services and talk about how the library catalogs and processes materials.
Past, Present, and Future library books
  • 9x18 sheets of construction paper folded in half
  • On the front “The Library Today”, inside “The Library Tomorrow”, on the back “The Library Yesterday”
  • Kids write or draw about what they’ve seen and imagine for the library

If there’s still time, or while some kids finish their project, explore the children’s area and play.

Messy Art Club: Puppetry

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage creativity and problem-solving
    • Allow children to experience different art products and styles
    • Develop fine motor abilities
    • Attendance: 35
Project: Felt puppets
  • Purchased kits from Discount School Supply
Project: Sock puppets
  • Recycled and purchased socks
General puppet supplies
  • styrofoam plates, dixie cups, small paper plates
  • paper tubes, popsicle sticks (different sizes)
  • googly eyes, buttons
  • stickers, sparkles
  • rods (purchased from craft store and walmart)
  • yarn, felt
  • handmade paper (donated)
  • permanent markers, fabric markers, regular markers
General Tools
  • Scissors, staplers
  • Hot glue, glue dots, white glue (cardboard for hot glue)
  • Duct tape, packing tape, regular tape

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We Explore Favorite Artist Eric Carle


  • Program Goals:
    • Introduce Eric Carle and his art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills (ripping, painting)
    • 20 children and adults in attendance
Art Project Part 1: Painting (10-10:15)
As the kids come in, they get aprons and start painting. I remind everyone to write their names at their spots, not to paint too thickly and pass out paper towels to blot the paintings. I just used a couple colors. Then we blotted them with paper towels and left them to dry. This takes about 15 minutes. I start gathering the kids to the rug for storytime after 15 minutes, but latecomers continue painting.
 
Supplies
  • Paint (red, blue, green) 
  • 8x11 white construction paper 
  • paint brushes, paper towels, aprons 
Storytime/Snacktime (10:15-10:40)
I start with the Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet and book. After this interactive story, I ask the adults to hand out the snack and we read more Eric Carle books. Depending on the audience, I talk about animal sounds, counting, coloring techniques, imagination, texture, etc.

Books
  • Very Hungry Caterpillar (puppet program) 
  • The Very Busy Spider 
  • 1, 2, 3 To the zoo 
  • The artist who painted a blue horse 
  • Hello Red Fox (school age)
Supplies
  • teddy grahams or animal crackers
  • sliced apples
  • Dixie cups and napkins 
Art Project Part 2: Collage (10:40-11)
Everyone went back to their paintings and cut them up, then glued them onto the paper to make collages. More paper towels may be needed for things that are not quite dry.

Supplies
  • 8x12 white construction paper 
  • Scissors, Glue 
  • paper towels 
Display: Eric Carle books

Evaluation

Friday, June 9, 2017

Maker Workshop: Clay

  • Program Goals
    • Teach kids new skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
Supplies
  • Sculpey multipacks (5 - had quite a bit left over)
  • paring knives, needles, toothpicks, rolling pins, mini cookie cutters
  • foil, paper plates
  • optional - earrings and other jewelry findings
Resources and Display Titles
Promo:
Kids will have the opportunity to create a variety of clay projects and learn some simple sculpting skills along the way. Kids will be taking their creations home to bake. Registration is required and space is limited, so if you are unable to attend please let the library know. There is no age restriction, but you must have the following skills to attend:

Required skills:
  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Can safely use sharp implements with minimal supervision (paring knife)
Introduction
  • I reminded everyone of the "tools not toys" rule.
  • I told them to plan ahead, demonstrated a couple techniques (mixing the clay) and then circulated and answered questions.
Evaluation

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2nd Grade Community Walk


  • Program Goals: 
    • Introduce kids to the library and its role in the community
    • Introduce kids and teachers to the different functions of library staff
    • Give kids and teachers a sense of community ownership of the library
    • Promote school/library cooperation
10-15 Minute Tour
  • Start upstairs at the director’s office
    • The director is the principal of the library. She helps everyone do their jobs, makes sure the library runs smoothly and represents the library to the community.
  • Adult services
    • Mr. Chad and his helpers do all the things for grown-ups that we do for kids - fun programs, new books, helps with computers and visits people who can’t come to the library.
  • Downstairs - Information desk
    • A place for grown-ups to ask questions. Kids can ask questions here too, if there is no one at the children’s desk!
  • Circulation
    • This is where the materials circulate. Circulation staff help keep track of who checks out what, remind you to return your books, put the books away, and answer questions about checking out books, fines, etc.
  • Children’s desk
    • This is where kids can ask questions! If you need help finding something, want a recommendation for a good book, need help with your homework, or want to find out what’s going on for kids in the library. Only Ms. Jennifer and Ms. Jess work here, so if there isn’t someone at the children’s desk you can go ask up front.
  • Technical services
    • Ms. Lindsay is in charge of putting all the information about the books into the computer, so we can find them in the catalog.
    • Ms. Lisa puts the covers on the books and fixes the broken books.
    • MAGIC TAPE
    • Discussion of where new materials (and the money for them) comes from
  • Back to circulation - go through the work room to Storyroom
10-15 Minute Craft and Storytime
  • Storytime
  • Decorate people who are important in the community. Kids leave people to be put up on the wall. Try to discourage ninjas. There are no ninjas in Elkhorn and if there were they would not be an important part of the community.
  • Books
    • The Fox in the library by Pauli (change the sentence about only checking out 10 books)
    • The Book that eats people by Perry
    • Backup books - Chester trilogy by Watt and Cats by Schwarz (in professional collection)
  • Supplies
    • die cut gingerbread people (large)
    • markers

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Library on the Go: The Plan

I've been thinking about how I reach kids over the summer. Do my school visits really make a difference? Would those kids come to the library anyways? How do I reach all the kids whose families don't normally visit the library, who have blocked library cards, who are worried about getting fines or paying for lost materials? Our town proper doesn't have a transportation barrier - you can walk across town in about 30 minutes - but we have outlying townships where kids have no way of getting into town.

So, my solution is to start my own bookmobile/summer outreach. I'm calling it Library on the Go. I got funding from a Dollar General summer reading grant and purchased a large amount of books. I will be visiting one of our low-income housing complexes and summer school (which is at the middle school) alternately over the summer. Kids will have the opportunity to sign up for summer reading (to participate they will still need to visit the library itself) and also to enjoy storytime and crafts.

I chose books that were all under $3.50 and paperbacks. I picked a lot of National Geographic easy readers, Scholastic Branches, I Can Read, and popular series like Ballpark Mysteries, Puppy Place, and I Survived. For this inaugural launch, I picked only easy readers and beginning chapters and only books I already had in the library. I also did not choose any tv tie-ins this time around. Our cataloger put in brief records and barcoded each book. My associate made a logo. Those are the only processing the books received. We put them in our professional collection so other patrons can't place holds on them.

For circulation, I will be scanning the barcodes into a spreadsheet. Each kid can have 2 LotG books. If they return them the next time I come, or drop them off at the library, they can have 1-2 more books. If they don't return them, there are no overdue fines and whatever is still "checked out" at the end of the summer I will write off. I also hope to lend these books to classrooms during the school year. I'm loading all the books into dishpans from Walmart which will be easy to transport and using an ipad and portable scanner.

Storytime Books
  • Princess in black by Shannon Hale
  • Bad Kitty gets a bath by Nick Bruel
  • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
  • Not quite narwhal by Jessica Sima
  • I don't want to be a frog by Dev Petty
  • Lucy & Company by Marianne Dubuc
Craft Projects
  • Tongue depressor bracelets (saved from a previous program)
  • Nature balls (fill xmas ornaments with natural items)
  • Suncatchers (purchased)
  • Sun shadow art (purchased)
  • Stuffed key chain ornaments (purchased)
  • Paint shapes/biocolor (purchased)
  • Wooden tops (purchased)
Additional supplies
  • stickers, colored tape
  • paint, permanent markers