Saturday, August 25, 2018

Library on the Go, Summer 2018

How the program works: I have a grant-funded collection of paperback easy readers and beginning chapter books. I take them to classrooms during the school year and various outreach venues during the summer. Kids can "check out" 1-2 books without a library card, due dates, or fines.

The books are cataloged under professional and as serials. The general categories are graphic novels (Squish, Bad Guys, Dragonbreath, Lunch Lady), Scholastic Branches, I Can Read easy readers, National Geographic Easy Readers, and various other series. When I check them out, I use our portable scanner and mini ipad and check them out on an outreach card so we get circs. If they don't come back after about 6-8 months, I delete them. So far about 80% have returned.
Stops this summer
  • 6-13-18 Early Headstart playgroup in the park
    • I took my aide and forgot to take folding chair(s)
    • We checked out 35 books and the kids enthusiastically colored keychains and little wooden animal shapes (purchased from Discount School Supply)
    • Approximately 30 people were there and I had time to talk to the Headstart leaders about future collaborations we have planned.
  • 6-20-18 The Learning Curve
    • I took my aide. We visited the four year old class and two school-age classes. I signed all the kids up for summer reading, they each checked out two books, and then I gave them each an activity pack (exploding stick bomb) which they decorated with stickers and tape. I had originally booked this visit for an hour, but we ended up going about an hour and a half, which was fine. There were roughly 10 kids in each class and we checked out 53 books.
  • 6-28-18 Summer School: Get ready for kindergarten
    • Storytime with I spy/books with holes in them. Craft - folded paper with pre-cut holes (kids had their own drawing materials). 
    • Checked out one easy reader to each kid; they got a bag with a summer reading calendar and summer program calendar in it as well as LotG bookmark.
      • Game of finger worms by Herve Tullet
      • It's an orange aardvark by Michael Hall
      • Tree by Britta Teckentrup
      • Bunny slopes by Claudia Rueda
      • I spy in the sky by Edward Gibbs
      • Looking closely along the shore by Frank Serafini
  • 6-29-18 Summer School
    • Adventures in Reading, 10am, 11am
      • Booktalking cards, sign up for summer reading, some sample books to tweak reading interest. Library on the Go books. I read a couple books out loud as well. For some reason I thought the second group was older kids and hadn't brought enough book cards of younger books - the first kids took them all with much enthusiasm. It was really hot, like 85+.
    • My aide also set up in the lobby. She signed kids up for summer reading, checked out Library on the Go, and had foam magnet crafts available.
    • All together we checked out about 75 books and signed up approximately 25 kids for summer reading.
  • 7-6-18 The Learning Curve
    • Thankfully my other aide showed up b/c the one I intended to take was sick. I read Alan's big scary teeth and Fred Forgets by Jarvis to the young fours. I also took beading bags with extra pipe cleaners for little hands. One kid stuck them in his ears. Yeah. I accidentally left Alan behind, because a kid wanted to read it and I forgot to get it back - I'll pick it up next time. I brought a July calendar for them to copy, stickers for their July calendars, and handed out pizza hut coupons as prizes, which almost all the kids were thrilled by. I got back about 4 books and some of the young fours had a fight over who got bug books. Clearly, I need more bug books.
  • 7-11-18 The Learning Curve
    • I read We don't eat our classmates by Ryan T. Higgins, The magic word by Mac Barnett, and Timothy and the strong pajamas by Viviane Schwarz to the young fours and left magnet fishing crafts for them. They were very absorbed in their books and going out to swim soon. The older classes were mostly absorbed in building with Legos, but with the teachers' urging, they picked out books, made butterfly crafts, and I read The Magic Word to some of them. They thought it was funny.
  • 7-20-18 Summer School
    • Adventures in Reading, 10am and 11am
      • I read some books, handed out bookcards, checked out books, and talked a little about the library. It was still very, very hot. One kid who was adamant that he never read and didn't want to check out a book spent most of the class reading the I Survived book I forced him to borrow. Another kid didn't end up borrowing any books due to slime-related incidents.
    • My aide set up in the lobby, but we left soon after I finished as almost everyone was hurrying out to the buses and pick ups due to rain.
    • We checked out about 60 books, signed up about 10 new kids for summer reading, and chatted with several teachers and many families.
  • 7-25-18 The Learning Curve
    • I read This is a moose by Tom Lichtenheld and Shake the tree by Vignocchi to the young fours. Then my aide, their teacher, and I helped them put together a pre-packaged magnet craft. About... 10 kids? I think? School-agers got tops, as I promised at my last visit. Decorating them with permanent markers and spinning them occupied most of the time, had to convince them to take a break and get their books.
  • 8-1-18 The Learning Curve
    • It was a very busy day/week and I was a bit out of it. The school-age kids had come to the library the day before on a field trip and picked up their free books for summer reading. I brought enough for the young fours, but forgot to bring a story. So I had them tell The Squeaky Door with me. I gave out left over texture bags for them as well. The school-age kids got the butterfly craft we'd done at a Lois Ehlert program - paper tubes, die-cut butterflies, markers, pom poms, glue dots, popsicle sticks, clothespins. In retrospect, it wasn't easier but it was all I could think of at the time. My bag of die cut butterflies was actually mixed animals and the kids were thrilled to make spiders come out of tubes, fuzzy horses, etc.
    • Issues with one kid who finds a way to turn anything into a weapon, and also was bugging another little boy about wanting to make a unicorn. I told him that unicorns were originally made up because of narwhal horns and that men were actually the first to draw pictures of them. At least it made him stop talking. You never know what you're going to have to field on these trips!
  • 8-8-18 The Learning Curve
    • I remembered to bring books this time for the younger kids. We read Jessica Souhami's Foxy and There are cats in this book by Schwarz. I brought leftover marshmallow building activity bags from summer reading and once we got them over wanting to immediately eat them all, they got into building with them. Older kids I brought beads and suction cups (donated) with strings tied to them to make suncatchers. Some kids got really into it making patterns and didn't want me to leave with the beads.
  • 8-14-18 Public Health
    • Public Health holds immunization clinics twice a month regularly and I got permission to set up at one today, since there should be more people going back to school. Because they are so busy and there are so many things going on (the building I was visiting houses WIC and a number of other groups) I expected it to take some time for me to talk to the correct people and get set up, so I came about 30 minutes early. My teen aide and I were set up by about 3:30 - we were able to put our table in the hallway where families going in and out of the entrance to the exam rooms would pass us. I had brought suncatchers and permanent markers, but the kids were mostly too young and people were in a hurry. I think if we'd been in the waiting room the crafts would have gone over better, but they were kind of crowded out there. We stayed until 6pm and checked out approximately 15? books. I also distributed some of our new YS newsletters (they haven't been fully proofed yet, but good enough). There was a steady stream of people, but many of them had babies or teens which was outside our age-range. Some of the staff were interested in future collaborations, especially if we could expand to the 0-3 range. I also taught my aide to crochet, which I intend to be useful when we have the next class...
    • I wouldn't do this at every clinic, but I think it's worth it in August to get some info out to families in the area going back to school. One little girl was thrilled to hear we were having a Princess in Black party, two families were delighted to pick out books to read in the waiting room, and the excitement on children's faces as we explained they could borrow books for free (and the relief on caregivers when I told them they didn't have to worry about due dates) was a nice finish to the summer!
  • 8-15-18 The Learning Curve
    • Mostly all subs today, so I had to explain the program but the kids knew how it went! After last night's outreach I was discombobulated and ended up grabbing a couple books from home - The day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash by Steven Kellogg and my own childhood favorite, Fanny and May by Jon Buller. The kids thought it was funny! I took scratch art for the littles and suncatchers (which I'd been going to use yesterday) for the big kids with permanent markers. Got lots of books back.
  • 8-22-18 The Learning Curve
    • Last visit until I start my regular storytime visits in the fall. I had a sinus infection but still read There are no cats in this book, Splot by Gianna Marino, and That's Mine! Michel Van Zeveran. I brought big tongue depressors, permanent markers, stickers, and tape and for the big kids sparkles and googly eyes (and glue dots). They got really into it. One kid made a giraffe with tape and sticks, another a picture frame. And lots of stick puppets of course.
  • 8-25-18 Open Arms Free Clinic
    • I don't normally visit the free clinic, since it works primarily with adults. The food pantry next door is more my audience, but their open days don't coincide well with my schedule. However, I heard they were having an open health screening day for kids going back to school (this may seem late but most schools in my area start after Labor Day b/c of the county fair) so I decided to give it a shot. The food pantry people, who were handing out school supplies and food (someone donated boxes and boxes of cakes, huge bins of watermelons, and canteloupe, and other produce!) were super nice. They lent me a tent so I didn't have to sit outside in the sun! I've never had a tent before! I brought my last two boxes of books, all the crafts left over from LotG over the summer, and 30 fair tickets remaining from summer reading. There ended up being somewhere in the neighborhood of about 25 families. Since they could only handle 50 at the clinic and I heard that the last time they did this they had 0, this was a good number! I gave away all but one of the fair passes (with the help of a nurse I know who was checking people in and translated "free ticket to the fair for kids" b/c all I could get to was gratis para ninos and that didn't explain what it was I was giving their kids for free!) checked out about 5 books, chatted with the food pantry volunteers, and had one really sweet interaction with a little one who was going to 4K in the fall and had been pretty traumatized by their shot. Their caregiver was really happy that I could cheer them up with a suncatcher and some coloring! I don't know if my schedule will work to do this again, but I might try harder to get in on food pantry days, although they give out free books (not sure if that's a regular or just a school supply thing) so I might be superfluous. Anyways, nice people all around!
That concludes Library on the Go for summer 2018. I checked out approximately 600 books, which are slowly trickling back to me. Right now I only have two tubs of books left, about 50 total. The drawback with the county-wide health events is that I end up with a lot of kids outside of Elkhorn. Not that it's bad, just that I need to make sure the bulk of my time and effort is going towards my own patrons. Learning Curve, Head Start, and the summer school events were the most successful. If staffing allows, it makes a HUGE difference to have a second person along to help. Also, I need a new scanner, more books to restock, and I had to purchase a new folding dolly b/c mine broke. If I'm doing more public outreach (as opposed to schools) I'd like to have a tent of my own and a skirt for the table with the library name/logo, but that's unlikely to happen.

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