Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Get Ready for Kindergarten Field Trip: Lois Ehlert

Playing in the kitchen. I've started including some
open playtime for kindergarteners in my field trips.
  • Program goals
    • Introduce pre-kindergarteners to the library
    • Encourage kids to see the library as a fun place
  • Butterflies (Terri) (Community room)
    • Waiting for wings (extra story - Ten little caterpillars)
    • Emerging butterflies from Teaching with favorite Lois Ehlert books
    • Die-cut butterflies, markers, cut-down paper towel tubes, tape
    • Pompom caterpillars, glue dots (optional)
  • Rainbow (Pattie) (Children's Garden)
    • Planting a rainbow
    • Chalk (draw flowers on the sidewalk squares)
    • Additional activities
      • Water play
      • Bubbles
  • Matching magnets (Jennifer) (Storyroom)
    • Oodles of animals; Lots of spots (extra story - Color Zoo)
    • Magnets (each kid gets 2 each of circles, squares, and strips)
    • Shaped stickers
    • Kids match up the stickers and magnets (they have to check on the magnetic chalkboard to put their stickers on the right side!) then match and make different shapes/animals
  • Open playtime (teachers) (Play Area)
    • including Lois Ehlert magnet games on blackboard

Friday, June 14, 2019

We Explore Art: Eric Carle

  • Program Goals:
    • Introduce Eric Carle and his art
    • Encourage gross and fine motor skills (ripping, painting)
    • Attendance: 10
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 blot 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.
  • Paint (red, blue, green) 
  • 8x11 white construction paper 
  • paint brushes, paper towels, aprons 
Storytime (10:15-10:40)
I start with the Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet and book. After this interactive story, we read more Eric Carle books. Depending on the audience, I talk about animal sounds, counting, coloring techniques, imagination, texture, etc.

  • 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)
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.

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


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Library on the Go Summer 2019

You can read more about my previous Library on the Go ventures and the origins in the earlier Library on the Go posts. Prior to summer I was given $500 from the Friends of the Library and purchased additional/new easy readers, graphic beginning chapters, and for the first time Spanish! I also took Library on the Go to two first grade classes during school visits/field trips at the end of the year. I also updated the bookmark so that, instead of having a schedule on one side and separate Spanish and English bookmarks, it has Spanish on one side and English on the other - I decided the schedule didn't matter.

  • 6-12-19: The Learning Curve
    • I visited three year olds but just to read. In the four year old room I read That's not bunny, One day in the eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree, and Whoopsie, they decorated bookmarks (I forgot the stickers but remembered the stamper markers) and they each checked out one book. There were about 12 kids.
    • There were about 30 school-agers. I read them Whoopsie by Andrew Cangelose then left bookmarks and stampers with half of them in one room and went into the other room where I signed them up for summer reading and checked out 1-2 books for each kid.
    • I checked out a total of 65 books and signed up approximately 30 kids for summer reading. I don't care how much shelving there is, next time I'm bringing my aide, this was far too chaotic to do on my own. Luckily one of the teachers helped hand out book bags and bookmarks.

Summer Reading

Summer reader with their Lego
activity bag creation
  • Day after Memorial Day - online registration for kids only begins
  • 2nd Saturday in June (or the Saturday after school ends) - registration for all ages
  • Week of July 4th - no regular programs, closed for July 4th
  • Last week of July - regular programs/storytimes end.
  • 2nd Saturday in August - summer reading ends
Everyone receives a prize when they sign up - fantasy-themed bookmarks, buttons, etc. donated by a local artist (or extra buttons from other events)
Registration for all groups is kept on an online spreadsheet. I record Name, Age/Grade, and School. (Online registration is just a google form - it automatically takes you to the calendar when you fill it out).

During field trips I hand out summer promo bookmarks. They have an image or pattern on one side to color in and a reminder to sign up for summer reading and a "did you know" about the library on the back.

Kids program, age 0 to 5th grade

  • There is a June, July, and (partial) August calendar. I update the calendars with new activities every year. Kids can get stickers for days completed and each week they visit the library they get a different activity bag. The June calendar is returned for a selection of coupons provided by our consortium, the July calendar for a free book, and the August calendar for a "surprise" - either a free book or a special ticket to our local fair. We do not track minutes, pages, or anything really. I just hand out stickers and the activity bags are tied to library visits, not tracking reading.
  • Sample calendar
  • Activity bags (I don't use all of these every year - I update and change as needed)
Middle School
  • Middle schoolers put their receipt or fill out a card, into a box each week. We don't actually do anything with these, it just gives them a sense of fulfillment. Then they get to pick a colored marble. White (most plentiful) let's them choose from a variety of small items (crocheted bags, candy, misc. stuff I've collected), blue gives them a full-size candy bar, and red gives them a free book. They can pick one marble each week.
  • Do I KNOW that they are reading? No. But I figure if they're in the library checking stuff out, reading is likely to happen at some point. Do some kids get more than one prize a week? Probably. I'm too busy to care.
  • At some point we might reinstitute a drawing of some kind, but we usually have over 100 middle schoolers signed up and it's very difficult to run. I do rig the marbles a little near the end to make sure everyone gets at least one "good" prize.
High School
  • I just borrowed our adult summer reading program. They get a raffle ticket for each book they read, they can read up to about 30 books, and my associate solicits prizes. Usually small coupons from local businesses and books.
  • 2019
    • Legos as an activity bag were a huge hit this year. The middle schoolers would like something tangible to take, like a log, but since they just lose everything anyways I'm not eager to waste the paper.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

3rd grade field trip

This was a new field trip in 2018 and I chose an art theme.


  • The book of mistakes by Corinna Luyken (2019)
  • I can only draw worms by Will Mabbitt (2019)
Art Projects
  • Progressive drawing
    • Cover tables in white paper. All the kids get colored pencils.
    • They start a drawing, then every 30 seconds I ping a bell and they move on to the next drawing and continue it.
  • Fingerpaint (outside)
    • Giant fingerpaint shapes, fingerpaint paper
  • Wet chalk painting (outside)
    • Chalk, pool with water (also doubles to clean off in)
  • Outdoor activities
    • Bubbles, hula hoops, jump ropes


  • 2019
    • It's easiest to have all the outdoor activities available and then teachers can say if they're up for painting or not. One of my associates runs the outdoor portion and I think they draw hopscotch or other games or something. This year I added the option for checkout, if they had a library card. I need to do some work on how I handle class lists and kids checking out next year, but it went well for a first year. The main drawback of this program is that if the weather doesn't cooperate it does not translate at all well to being moved to the school and some schools require parent permission slips for the kids to check out. I'm thinking that next time, if I'm at the school, I will have at least 2 additional staff to handle check out and I will do continuous drawing by giving each kid a piece of paper and a colored pencil and then having them hand it to the kid on their right when the bell pings.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

4th grade field trip

2018 was the first year for a fourth grade field trip. In 2019, I added checking out books. The program is in two parts and I split the kids in two groups. Half of them get about 10 minutes of booktalking and 20 minutes to select and check out books. If they don't have a card, they can take book cards. I had bags with their names on file labels so they wouldn't lose their books.
The other half spend about 15 minutes playing life-size Pac-Man and 15 minutes playing giant Boggle. My associate created the Boggle and has some ideas for more life-size games in the future that we could add. It depends on the teachers and whether they're able to stay a little longer though.

Booktalking cards
Instructions for Pac-Man

I picked up ideas for Pac-Man from a variety of places, but mostly from Teen Services Underground


  • 2019
    • Minimum staff needed is 3 - me to run booktalking, 1 to run Boggle, and 1 to run Pac-man. Additional staff would make check-out easier. I have so far had the Community room available, but if not it could be moved to the lobby.

Kindergarten Field Trip: We are in a book!

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce kids to the library as a fun place
  • We are in a book by Mo Willems
    • Talk about all the books in the library and how Elephant and Piggie get read again each time they are checked out.
  • Other titles
    • We're in the wrong book by Richard Byrne
    • Misunderstood Shark; Friends don't eat friends by Ame Dyckman (2019)
    • The itchy book by Leuyen Pham (2019)
    • The panda problem by Deborah Underwood (2019)
    • I can only draw worms by Will Mabbitt (2019)
Art project

  • Obstacle course from Winter Wigglers
    • We have a simplified version for this field trip
  • Pennies for the wishing well
  • Playtime!

  • 2019
    • Staff cut out all the puppet pieces - next year if we have time it might be nice to pack them inside the paper bags
    • I also gave them their summer reading bookmarks to color and it would be nice to the legos in the storyroom and the main program in the community room.
    • Ideal staffing - me and one assistant in the community room for storytime and craft, 1-2 staff supervising play in the library.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

First Grade: Let's Read!

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce kids to the library
    • Give them something to take back home and interest parents in the library
    • Make the library a fun destination
Bingo Scavenger Hunt 15-20 minutes
  • Explain how the game works
    • Stay in the children's area
    • Try not to run and yell
    • Mark off the pictures on your bingo sheet with the crayon, then get a sticker and turn your crayon in for a penny for the wishing well
  • The bingo game is a bunch of pictures of things in the children's area, scrambled. We usually have to redo it each time b/c things change. You can see the original game boards here.
  • You can either have them find everything and get one sticker or actually mark off lines of pictures and get multiple stickers. Depends on how much time you have.
Storytime 10-15 minutes
  • If you time this right, the kids can draw on the back of their bingo sheets while they listen.
  • Selections
    • A library book for bear by Bonnie Baker
    • The Midnight library by Kazuno Kohara
  • The first is good for talking about finding out things you're interested in in the library; the second is a great explanation of how the library has many different things to do and places for different things.
  • Additional titles
    • The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood (2019)
    • I can only draw worms by Will Mabbitt (2019)
    • Misunderstood shark; Friends don't eat friends by Ame Dyckman
  • 2019
    • This can get very chaotic; it's key to know the teachers and whether they'll feel comfortable with this or not. Next time I'd put some barriers or at least a tape line down to keep the kids in the children's area and make it easier to prevent straying. I wanted to have playtime after stories, including Legos in the storyroom, so they didn't really keep their bingo sheets. I distributed summer reading bookmarks via the teachers. I need a loud whistle to get the kids' attention, my bell doesn't ping loudly enough.

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. Robinson 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. Terri work here, so if there isn’t someone at the children’s desk you can go ask up front.
  • Technical services
    • Ms. Barnes 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.
    • 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
    • The Not so quiet library by Zachariah Ohora
  • Supplies
    • die cut gingerbread people (large)
    • markers
  • 2019
    • This was originally meant to be part of the schools' community walks around town, but I ended up using it for summer field trips. That means that some of the kids, depending on the school, have already heard some of it. I adapt and shorten as needed, and if I have a very large group let half of them make die-cut puppets while I take half around and then switch. 40 is the absolute upper limit for this tour, since it's very talk-intensive.

Friday, May 24, 2019

4K Field Trip: Erasing Mistakes

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce four year olds to the library
    • Offer a fun, memorable storytime
    • Send home basic summer information
  • Eraser by Anna Kang
  • Perfect by Max Amato
  • Case of the missing chalk drawings by Richard Byrne
  • This is a whoopsie by Andrew Cangelose
Art project
  • Drawing with chalk on black paper

  • The kids also got to pick little erasers to keep at the end - we put them in a bag and had them pick blind. Next year I want to try to make sure I get ones that are not puzzle erasers that come apart!
  • Due to weather, I had to take this to the kids instead of them visiting the library. If they had visited, depending on time, we would have included open play, a messier/bigger art project, and pennies in the wishing well.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

5th grade field trip

After several years of having a performer come, in 2018 I went back to the original 5th grade field trip. I added checking out books in 2019.
I split the kids into two groups and they spend about 20 minutes listening to me tell them about their new responsibilities and privileges as middle schoolers (they count as teens in our library) and show them some books. They also spend about 20 minutes on a short tour, including visiting The Basement (there would be much protest if we skipped this, as at least half the kids now expect to visit it when they get to fifth grade). Then they have about 20 minutes to check out. It doesn't take them that much time to select books, especially since I've been booktalking them, but I usually have a lot of expired, lost, or messed up library cards to fix. The kids who are done hang out in our play area. You're never too old for trains and a play kitchen apparently!

I can handle this one on my own with two classes, but more than that and it needs two staff to split the group in half.

Booktalking cards (I update these every year - if you want the current file email me at jwharton(at)
Scavenger hunt


  • 2019
    • This needs a minimum of two people, one to run the tour and me for booktalking and lecturing. Additional staff are really only needed for checkout at the end. I did add a section explaining in loco parentis and contrasting the number of people in their school with the number of people served by the library to explain why I don't have time to work individually with them when they're misbehaving - I will just ask them to leave.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Rock 'n' Read: Let the show begin!

Magicalamity wings
  • Program Goals
    • Continue book clubs with kids who have aged out of Bookaneers or find the lower books too easy.
    • Encourage kids to build reading skills and enjoy reading!
    • Attendance: 5 kids (grades 3-5)
4:30-4:35: Introduction (New attendees and beginning of the year)
  • Introductions
  • How Rock 'n' Read works
    • At the first meeting, or when they attend for the first time, kids receive a binder with a variety of starter sheets. They can get more sheets as needed from me or at the next meeting. They do not have to fill in the sheets for each book, they're just for fun and to help them remember what they read. 
    • Books are due at the next meeting. They have a due date taped to the front of each book. Don't forget your library card!
    • It's ok if you don't feel like talking about your book or didn't finish.
    • We all read at different levels and speeds. This isn't a contest or a class; we're here to have fun reading together!
4:30 - 5:00: Discussion and craft
  • Make notebooks and bookmarks if it's the first meeting, discuss what books they like and why and what their favorite things are.
  • Otherwise, crafts and talking about our books! We talk about genres, what they think about the characters, expand on nonfiction, discuss how the books relate to their own lives, how and why they'd recommend them to friends, etc. Sometimes the crafts tie into the books, sometimes they're just what I came up with earlier that day.
  • Final meeting we decorate t-shirts
5:00-5:15: Booktalks and snack
  • I booktalk each book of the selections for the next meeting. I try to have the snacks be relatively healthy - usually a snack mix I make up myself with dried fruit, goldfish, chex, etc. (pre-mixed snack mix almost always have nuts which I want to avoid b/c of allergies). Sometimes apples.
  • If it's the last meeting of the school year, they each get a book to take home to keep from the prize cart.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Outreach Storytime: Frogs

  • Program Goals
    • Encourage library visits
    • Build relationships with students and teachers
Toddlers (*nonfiction)
  • The Wide-Mouthed Frog by Kevin Faulkner (pop-up) (J 2019)
Preschool and Kindergarten (*nonfiction)
  • *Red-Eyed Tree Frog by Joy Cowley
  • Frog and Fly by Jeff Mack
  • Big Frog can't fit in by Mo Willems (pop-up) (J 2019)
Long stories (*nonfiction)
  • Ribbit by Rodrigo Folgueira (J 2019)
  • *Frog Song by Brenda Guiberson
  • I don't want to be a frog by Dev Petty (J 2019)
Early Literacy Skills/Vocabulary/Concepts: Frog names (vocabulary), self-regulation, anticipating story endings.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Maker Workshop: Sewing Skirts

  • Program goals
    • Basic sewing techniques
    • Specific project - skirts
    • Build up interest in future workshops and one-on-one
Equipment and supplies
  • 9 sewing machines
    • 3 Elnas from the system
    • 3 Brothers (1 is clunky)
    • 3 older machines - Dressmaker, Sears Kenmore, Singer
  • Fabric and notions
  • Sewing tools
    • marking pencils
    • seam rippers
    • tape measures
    • pins
    • scissors
    • irons and ironing boards
  • Patterns
    • My adaption of Simplicity pattern 2609 copied on muslin
    • tracing paper pattern of "my very own skirt" from Sewing School 2


    • Skirt emporium by Madame Zsazsa
    • Sewing school 2 by Amie Plumley
    • Girl with a sewing machine by Jenniffer Taylor
    • Improv Sewing by Blum

    Thursday, April 11, 2019

    Library on the Go: Winter/Spring 2019

    Library on the Go is the outreach bookmobile I run from the back of my car. No, that's not shady at all... It consists of a varying number of paperback easy readers and beginning chapter books which kids are allowed to check out without requiring a library card. There are no due dates or fines. They can return the materials to any library and they will (eventually) make their way back to me. If they do not return them, I have given them a book and that's good too!

    The books are funded through a mix of grants, cataloged as professional on a serials record without titles or authors, and I circulate them by checking them out on an outreach card so we get circulation numbers but they're not tied to the kids checking them out. They are usually limited to 1 or 2. I've had as many as 8 bins but right now am at about 3-4.

    Depending on the venue, a Library on the Go visit may be me, a few boxes of books, and bookmarks. It may include a craft or project, a storytime or other giveaways. I currently visit two schools during the school year and a variety of venues in the summer.

    • 4-11-19 OPtions virtual charter school
      • About 20 kids
      • Lots of the little kids hurried over to check out books - I am REALLY low on easy readers. Big kids fooled around with drawing supplies and I invited all the kids to our upcoming Star Wars party, but there weren't many Star Wars fans. Not the right group for it I think. A couple of the teens were hoping for a program just for them, but I have a hard time getting teens in and so their programs usually end up being middle schoolers.
    • 4-3-19 Tibbets
      • 2 classes of 1st graders about 40 kids.
      • We read Interrupting chicken and the elephant of surprise and Chicken big and the kids were very excited to pick out books - still lots of requests for Bad Guys but I'm all out!
    • 4-2-19 Jackson Elementary School
      • Wrap-around after school care (13 kids)
      • Bigger group tonight. We painted pots and planted seeds to go with their gardening project, focusing on reading the backs of the seed packets. I checked out a couple books, some of the kids are more enthusiastic readers than others.
    • 3-7-19 OPtions virtual charter school
      • About 30 kids
      • There are a lot of new students and they were having recess indoors, so I got quite a few kids checking out books and a bunch made little felt/popsicle stick puppets.
    • 3-5-19 Jackson Elementary School
      • Wrap-around care (about 10 kids)
      • Small group. We did sand painting (large bins, paper, art sand, glue, popsicle sticks) and my associate came and helped. I should have had cardstock or cardboard for the paintings, but the kids got the idea quickly and I had a lot of sample pictures that tied in with the geography theme. About half the kids checked out books.
    • 3-5-19 OPtions virtual charter school
      • Visited by my associate. She said they were busy with some unexpected events so not many checked out books.
    • 2-20-19 Tibbets 1st Grade
      • Two first grade classes - about 40 kids total
      • I'm running low on books, so I said one each and we mostly stuck to that. They want more Bad Guys, nonfiction easy readers, and disaster/weather books. We read Misunderstood Shark and learned about how they can barf up their stomachs.
    • 2-5-19 Jackson Elementary School
      • After school/wrap-around (about 15 kids)
      • I brought cardboard boxes and hot glue to go with their building theme, as well as a basket of books for their center. Checked out about 10 books and helped paint a model of the Statue of Liberty!
    • 2-5-19 OPtions virtual charter school
      • Visited by my associate
    • 1-22-19 OPtions virtual charter school
      • About 30 kids total
      • Checked out about 20 books. This is the bigger group, but incipient winter storms meant a much smaller attendance than usual. We did have several kids use the ozobots and the main purpose, to introduce my new associate to the teachers, kids, and school so they can handle Tuesday visits in future, was fulfilled.
    • 1-17-19 OPtions virtual charter school
      • About 30 kids total
      • Checked out about 10 books. Brought the ozobots and the younger kids played with them a little, but they were going out for recess. Gave flyers to middle schoolers for Book Explosion (had 18 kids later that day as a result!)
    • 1-16-19 Tibbets Elementary School
      • One 1st grade class (2nd class was testing)
      • Read Bruchac's Rabbit's snow dance and checked out 2 books to each kid
    • 1-9-19 Jackson Elementary School
      • After school/wrap-around (about 15 kids)
      • Brought air-dry clay to go with their paleontology theme. I only checked out a couple books, but I also supply this group with a selection of library books each month so this is more of an outreach stop than a LOTG stop anyways.

    Saturday, April 6, 2019

    Mo Willems: Pig Party!

    Let's go for a drive!
    • Program Goals
      • Saturday program in spring
      • Celebrate Elephant and Piggie!
    • Craft: Elephant and Piggie Puppets
      • Create puppets with lunch bags and puppet pieces
      • Supplies
    • Craft: We are in a book
      • Create your own books
      • Supplies
        • Handmade paper, notebook paper
        • Scissors, staples
    • Craft: We are growing!
      • Create your own grass character puppets
      • Supplies
        • Green paper, markers, scissors, popsicle sticks, tape
    • Craft: The Cookie Fiasco
      • Create a cookie
      • Supplies
        • Cardboard circles (die cut)
        • Markers, decorations, glue
    • Craft: There is a bird on your head!
      • Decoupage an egg
        • Styrofoam eggs
        • Tissue paper
        • Glue
        • Paintbrushes
    • Craft: Today I will fly!
      • paper airplanes
    • Craft: Unlimited squirrels
      • old border papers, staples, scissors
      • Die cut brown leaves, brown felt
    • Game: Can I Play Too?
      • Mark off area
      • Game is to keep a balloon (ball) in the air without using your hands
      • Supplies
        • Balloons
        • Masking tape (to mark floor)
    • Game: Let's go for a drive/Don't let the pigeon drive the bus!
      • Masking tape road lines in lobby - have kids decorate cars and "drive" them in the lobby. Must take turns! At least one person to supervise!
      • Supplies
        • Cardboard boxes, stickers, markers
    • Food
      • I Really Like Slop!
        • cereal to mix and match
        • Supplies
          • Bowls, cups (for scooping), spoons
          • Breakfast cereal
      • Should I share my ice cream?
        • ice cream, bowls, spoons
        • server, napkins, trash can
      • Duckling gets a cookie?!
        • cookies from school, napkins
    • Decoration and Misc.

    Thursday, April 4, 2019

    Bookaneers: Setting sail on the sea of books

    making puppets for Mr. Ball
    Bookaneers is actually my private homage to China Mieville, but I am not going to tell the 1st graders that.
    • Program Goals
      • Meet patron request for more programs, specifically book clubs, for younger readers
      • Collaborate with school reading specialists to meet the needs of struggling readers
      • Encourage kids to build reading skills and enjoy reading!
      • Attendance: 5 kids (grades 1-3)
    4:30-4:35: Introduction (new attendees and beginning of the year)
    • Introductions
    • How Bookaneers works
      • At the first meeting, or when they attend for the first time, kids receive a binder with a variety of starter sheets. They can get more sheets as needed from me or at the next meeting. They do not have to fill in the sheets for each book, they're just for fun and to help them remember what they read. 
      • Books are due at the next meeting. They have a due date taped to the front of each book. Don't forget your library card!
      • It's ok if you don't feel like talking about your book or didn't finish.
      • It's ok to have a parent or friend help you read and/or write in your binder
      • We all read at different levels and speeds. This isn't a contest or a class; we're here to have fun reading together!
    4:30 - 5:00: Discussion and craft
    • Make/decorate notebooks and bookmarks if it's the first meeting, discuss what books they like and why and what their favorite things are. 
    • Otherwise, crafts and talking about our books! We talk about genres, what makes a book funny, scary, or sad, expand on nonfiction topics, learn new vocabulary (I'm still trying to get them to remember "anthropomorphic"), and discuss the art in the books. Sometimes the crafts tie into books, sometimes it's just whatever I came up with earlier that day.
    • Final meeting we decorate t-shirts and the kids get a free book
    5:00-5:15: Booktalks, snack
    • The kids get a snack (I try to make it something relatively healthy - dried fruit, pretzels, goldfish, apples, etc.) and I booktalk the selections for next time.
    • If it's the last meeting of the school year, they each get a book to keep from the prize cart.
    5:15-5:30: Choosing books and wrap-up
    • Kids pick their book(s) for next time, finish crafts, younger siblings come in and eat snacks, etc.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2019

    Outreach Storytime: Chickens

    • Program goals
      • Encourage library visits
      • Build relationships with students and teachers
      • Promote upcoming chick hatching
    Toddlers (*nonfiction)

    Preschool and kindergarten (*nonfiction)
    • I got a chicken for my birthday by Laura Gehl (J 2019)
    Long stories (*nonfiction)
    • Chicken Big by Keith Graves (J 2019)
    • Interrupting chicken and the elephant of surprise by Ezra Stein (J 2019)
    Movement and music
    Early literacy skills/Vocabulary/Concepts

    • Invitations to Bookaneers book club
    possible books
    three hens and peacock
    chicken lily
    snow hens
    fox and the hen
    chickens to the rescue
    hensel ninja chicks
    little red henry
    Fox and the Hen by Eric Battut
    flannelboard: Five little ducks
    Mr. Duck/Here's a little egg
    Duck to the rescue by John Himmelman

    Wednesday, March 20, 2019

    Outreach Storytime: Rain, Rain, don't go away!

    • Program Goals
      • Encourage library visits
      • Build relationships with students and teachers
      • Teach kids about weather
    Toddlers (*nonfiction)
    • The Big Storm by Nancy Tafuri (TJ 2019)
    Preschool and Kindergarten (*nonfiction)
    • Boom! Boom! Boom! by Jamie Swenson (TJ 2019)
    • Mushroom in the rain by Mirra Ginsburg (TJ 2019)
    • Blue on blue by White (J 2019)
    • Duck and Hippo in the rainstorm by London (TJ 2019)
    Long stories (*nonfiction)
    • *When rain falls by Melissa Stewart (TJ 2019)
    • Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld (TJ 2019)
    • When the rain comes by Alma Fullerton (J 2019)
    Movement and Music
    Early Literacy Skills/Vocabulary/Concepts: Repetition, animal habits in rain, counting

    • Elephant bookmarks (they have a cut-out ear). Tell the kids they had good elephant ears for listening (even if they hadn't listened...positive reinforcement!)

    Saturday, March 9, 2019

    Outreach: Elkhorn Mini Maker Faire

    The Elkhorn Mini Maker Faire started in 2018. It's the brainchild of a science/PLTW teacher and the high school librarian. Because our school district is awesome, they invite me to participate! I like to take a wide variety of hands-on materials showcasing our maker spaces, maker kits, and maker workshops. These are our projects and supplies

    Maker Projects and Supplies
    • 2 sewing machines
      • pre-cut fabric squares and trim for handles, thread, scissors
    • Button maker
      • includes 2 punches, old magazines and books, paper templates, gel pens
    • Looms
      • Melissa and Doug loom and round loom, yarn
    • Ozobots
      • Classroom set, markers, paper
    • Spirograph
      • paper, pens
    • DIY puppets
      • large popsicle sticks, felt, glue dots, scissors, permanent markers
    Technology, materials
    • Bloxels
    • 2 ipads (mini and other), scanner, hotspot
    • Books, circulating maker kits (bags for checkout)
    • extension cords
    • camera
    • water, snacks
    • Holder for flyers
    • Sign-up/interest sheet for maker workshops and ozobots
    • Newsletters
    • Flyers: Train tracks, Elephant and Piggie, Cupcake Wars, Bookaneers, Minecraft, Sewing workshops
    • I worked about 8-5, with a colleague there with his family giving me a break around noon. I had one staff member scheduled 8-2 and one of my teens scheduled 1-5. I also had a middle school volunteer 8-11 and my teen aide's mom took the tables back to the library in her van. I had to send my associate back for stuff I missed in the morning and she took a load with her when she left at 2; the rest we fit in my car.
    • Looms, bloxels, and DIY puppets weren't used. I might take the Osmo next time.
    • The school generously gave us a lot of space, so we had two tables for ozobots, two tables for checkout and button-making, a table for the spirograph, and a table for sewing. Some people didn't realize the sewing was our table because it was around the corner and next time I'd flip it so people aren't sitting with their back to the room; we would have had more people watching/participating if they could have seen better I think.

    Friday, March 1, 2019

    Zoey and Sassafras: Magic and Science

    green tulle cloak, sassafras fuzzy friend
    and blue unicorn slime

    • Program goals
      • Promote beginning chapters
      • School-age program with wide appeal


    • Unicorn slime
      • I got the idea from Better Homes and Gardens but I had them adapt it to use with liquid starch and borax. I'm not paying for that much contact lens solution or whatever and there's nothing wrong with borax if you don't eat it.
      • Recipes from previous slime programs
      • We added shaving cream and food coloring and played around with it.
    • Tutus
      • I had ribbon and fabric tape and a lot of tulle. I helped the kids pin their tulle choices to the ribbon and then zigzag stitched them on. We made both capes and tutus.
    • Caterflies/magical fluffy friends
      • Pompoms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, glue dots

    I also had our microscope out for the kids to use and several enjoyed looking at that.


    Thursday, February 21, 2019

    Book Explosion: Notebook Novels

    • Program Goals
      • Encourage literary fandoms
      • Encourage both voracious and struggling readers
      • Attendance: 5 (grades 5 and up)
    Theme: Notebook Novels

    • Make your own notebooks/draw your own comics
    • Stop motion animation with clay
    • Popsicle stick figures
    Notebook Novels and related titles for middle grade
    • Charlie Joe Jackson's guide to not reading by Tommy Greenwald
    • Diary of a wimpy kid by Jeff Kinney
    • Stick Cat: Two cats and a baby by Tom Watson
    • Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon
    • Hamster Princess by Ursula Vernon
    • Funny kid for president by Matt Stanton
    • Dear sister by Alison Mcghee
    • Terrible two by Jory John
    • Love, Penelope by Joanne Rocklin
    • Popularity papers by Amy Ignatow
    • Strange case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
    • Qwikpick papers: poop fountain by Tom Angleberger
    • Regarding the fountain by Kate Klise
    • Dear dumb diary: Let's pretend this never happened by Jim Benton
    • Frazzled by Booki Vivat
    • There's no base like home by Jessica Mendoza
    • Clueless McGee by Jeff Mack
    • Middle School: The worst years of my life by James Patterson
    • Jeremy Bender vs. the cupcake cadets by Eric Luper
    • Kate the great (except when she's not) by Suzy Becker
    • Stick dog crashes a party by Tom Watson
    • Justin Case: School, drool and other daily disasters by Rachel Vail
    • Ellie McDoodle: New kid in school by Ruth McNally Barshaw
    • Odd Squad: Bully Bait by Michael Fry
    • Milo sticky notes and brain freeze by Alan Silberberg
    • Big Nate in a class by himself by Lincoln Peirce
    • Stick dog by Tom Watson
    • Nerd camp by Elissa Weissman
    • Max Quigley technically not a bully by Roy
    • Misadventures of Max Crumbly, locker hero by Russell
    • Death by toilet paper by Donna Gephart
    • Zombie Chasers by Kloepfer
    • Babymouse: tales from the locker: lights camera middle school by Jennifer Holm
    • Timmy failure: mistakes were made by Stephen Pastis
    • Always abigail by Nancy Cavanaugh
    • Loser list by Kowitt
    • Gabby Garcia's ultimate playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer
    • Heartbreak messenger by Alexander Vance
    • Ben Franklin's in my bathroom by Candace Fleming
    • 14 fibs of Gregory K. by Greg Pincus
    • Dork diaries: Tales from a not-so-fabulous life by Russell
    • Tapper twins go to war by Geoff Rodkey
    • My life as a book by Janet Tashjian
    • Zits Chillax by Scott
    • Doodlebug by Karen Young
    • Adventures of Beanboy by Lisa Harkrader
    • Pickle by Kim Baker
    • Middle School is worse than meatloaf by Jennifer Holm
    • Amelia's notebook by Marissa Moss
    Graphic Novels and comic collections
    • Galactic Hot dogs: Cosmoe's Wiener Getaway by Max Braillier
    • Big Nate: Silent but deadly by Lincoln Peirce
    • Babymouse: Queen of the world by Jennifer Holm
    • Roller girl by Victoria Jamieson
    • Amelia Rules: When the past is a present by Jimmy Gownley
    • Amelia Rules: What makes you happy by Jimmy Gownley
    • Amelia Rules: The whole world's crazy by Jimmy Gownley
    • Sunny side by Jennifer Holm
    • Secret hero society: Study hall of justice by Derek Fridolfs
    • Invisible Emmie by Libenson
    • Big Nate goes bananas by Lincoln Peirce

    Monday, February 18, 2019


    Craft-o-rama is my drop-in program. I use it on Tuesdays in August, to replace our most popular storytime provider, and on no-school days. It takes about 20 minutes to set up and, depending on how many people came through, up to an hour or more to clean up. If possible, we'll clean and refill the sink at least once during the day. The posted times are generally 10-5 or 10-7, depending on when I can schedule someone to clean up. I usually open the room earlier, as soon as it's been set up.

    Easel with sign-in sheet. This is how I count attendees.

    Small door is locked and I set one white table against it. This has the base materials - boxes of scrap paper and magnet pieces.

    Craft-o-rama tubs. I dump leftover craft materials and donated pieces of kits etc. in here. Every now and then I'll dump most of it and start over.

    Art table. This is all stuff from the Storyroom closet to use. I vary this somewhat, these are the basics.

    Big scissors, tape, staplers, glue, markers, stickers, small scissors

    Paint cups and brushes

    Craft-o-rama tub. This one has some easter grass, ribbon, bits of holiday stuff, and who knows what

    Craft-o-rama tub. This one has some bits and pieces from books, left over puppets, glow in the dark spiders, and other stuff

    Craft-o-rama tub. More easter grass, leftover tissue scraps, bags of sequins

    Some sample creations: paper design

    Some sample creations: magnet

    Some sample creations: 3-D paper collage

    Some sample creations: Glitter flower and painted egg (apparently there was a pack of felt mice in there too)

    Some sample creations: Glitter flower

    Some sample creations: Glitter dresses

    People are generally pretty good about cleaning up after themselves, but if we've had a LOT of people and some unsupervised kids, it can get messy! We'll usually drop in a few times throughout the day to pick up finished projects and tidy things. Ultimately, it's not a large space to clean up though.
     - pack up and put away items from the closet (all labeled boxes, paint cups have tops that match a shape)
     - collect and put in the craft-o-rama tubs any leftover bits and pieces
     - wipe down tables
     - wipe down and clean sink
     - vacuum (usually need to clean the vacuum after this)


    Friday, February 8, 2019

    Owl Diaries: Warm Hearts Day

    Made all by herself (with a little help)

    • Program Goals
      • Celebrate a popular beginning chapter series
      • Sewing project for kids with alternatives
      • Fun!
    • Owl softies
      • Die cut felt pieces, hand-cut felt pieces, stuffing
      • Embroidery thread, needles, scissors
    • Owls
      • Die cut paper owls (wings, beak, eyes are separate)
      • paint, paper, glues sticks
    • Warm Hearts
      • Die cut hearts (used leftover marbled paper and handmade paper and gold sticker paper)
      • Paper and leftover cards and envelopes
      • Paint

    Thursday, February 7, 2019

    Raising a Reader

    Occasionally I present to adults about reading, literacy, etc. These are those occasions.

    2-7-19 MOPs (Canceled - will reschedule in the fall)
    I repeated a lot from my visit two years ago - I'm pretty much extempore with this kind of stuff. I also went over some new library services like being fine-free etc.

    1-19-17 MOPs
    I talked about 3 words to remember - RELAX, EXAMPLE, and INTERACT. I told moms to relax about their preschoolers not reading, to cut out some time for themselves so kids see them reading, and to focus on interaction in screen time.

    I used these books to demonstrate the five early literacy skills - Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play
    • Hoppity Frog by Emma Parish (board book)
    • Blocks by Irene Dickson
    • Sing by Joe Raposo
    • What animals really like by Fiona Robinson
    • Create with Maisy by Lucy Cousins
    • A squiggly story by Andrew Larson
    as well as toy bags from the library. I also had event calendars, 1,000 books before kindergarten folders, and handouts with resources.

    A Long Time Ago
    I was invited to a child development class at the high school to speak about library-as-a-career stuff, choosing books for children, and reading aloud. First time I've ever really been in a high school classroom. It went ok, I even got some kids to laugh at the right spots and some mildly interested questions. I'm putting down what I did because I might go back some time for the earlier child development class and I don't want to start from scratch...this is sort of roughly what I did, although it was a lot more hopping around and not as organized as it looks here.

    First, I gave a brief How-I-Became-A-Librarian speech. Next time, I should add in the practicums and experiential work I did, not just the schooling, partly because I think hands on is more useful than academics and partly because I had extra time at the end, so I can!

    Then, I started with the very early board books and gave examples of reading books with infants and young toddlers. The boardbooks I used were:
    • eyelikenature: Leaves
    • indestructibles: Flutter! Fly! by Karen Pixton
    • Baby Faces by Margaret Miller
    Then I talked about books with more narrative and text for older toddlers, as well as how different books work for different kids.
    • How do dinosaurs love their cats? by Jane Yolen
    • Can YOU make a scary face? by Jan Thomas
    I also showed books with a simple storyline and pictures that work well with both toddlers and preschoolers and talked about adapting stories to fit your group.
    • Digby Takes Charge by Caroline Church
    • Duck Soup by Jackie Urbanovic
    I talked about what makes a good easy reader, how easy readers are changing (from stuff like Dick and Jane to Toon Books and Mo Willems) and what makes a good beginning chapter book.
    • Pigs make me sneeze by Mo Willems (also used this to show how some easy readers work as read-alouds)
    • Benny and Penny by Geoffrey Hayes
    • Extreme Machines by Christopher Maynard (really, any DK nonfiction reader will work here)
    I talked about how important it is to keep reading aloud to kids after they've started reading on their own, how it increases vocabulary and improves comprehension and is just plain fun!
    • Book that eats people by John Perry
    • Chester by Melanie Watt
    • Billy Twitters and his blue whale problem by Mac Barnett
    I also did a presentation on using nonfiction as read-alouds and beginning readers and why it's important not to limit kids to fiction.
    • Down down down by Steve Jenkins (this is a great example of using nonfiction with text that's too dense for reading aloud to a pre-1st grade group. It makes a great interactive experience by having the kids guess the names and types of different animals and discussing their behavior)
    • Wolfsnail by Sarah Campbell (I would have taken my galley of Growing Patterns, but I lent it to somebody else...they were duly grossed out by the meat-eating snail and I used this as an example of a nonfiction easy reader that also works as a read-aloud)
    • Forest Explorer by Nic Bishop (I couldn't find Spiders or Frogs or Moths & Butterflies. This one doesn't really work as a read-aloud, but I wanted them to see an author that can be used much the same way I use Steve Jenkins but with photographs)
    Extra books I took but didn't use:
    • Busy Penguins by John Schindel (boardbook)
    • Birthday for cow by Jan Thomas (picturebook)
    • Race you to bed by Bob Shea (picturebook)
    • Night Lights by Susan Gal (picturebook)
    • Mitten by Jan Brett (picturebook)
    • Froggy eats out by Jonathan London (picturebook)
    • Dinosaur Hunt by David Catrow (easy reader)
    • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa (easy reader)
    • About Amphibians by Cathryn Sill (nonfiction picturebook)
    • Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald (picturebook)
    • Pigeon finds a hot dog by Mo Willems (picturebook)
    • Wild boars cook by Meg Rosoff (picturebook)
    • Guess Again by Mac Barnett (picturebook)

    Monday, February 4, 2019

    Outreach Storytime: Get up and move!

    • Program Goals 
      • Encourage library visits during the winter
      • Introduce some active books to teachers and students
      • Build relationships with students and teachers
    • Toddlers (*Nonfiction)
      • Don't push the button by Bill Cotter
      • Get out of my bath by Britta Teckentrup
    • Preschool & Kindergartener (*Nonfiction)
      • *Guess who, Haiku by Deanna Caswell
      • This book is magic by Ashley Evanson
      • It's a tiger by David LaRochelle
      • What's next door by Nicola O'Byrne
      • Mix it up by Herve Tullet (J 2019)
    • Long stories (*Nonfiction)
      • Firefighter duckies by Frank Dormer (J 2019)
      • *Move! by Steve Jenkins
      • Sea monkey and Bob by Aaron Reynolds (J 2019)
    • Movement and Music
    • Previously used titles
      • Chicken story time by Sandy Asher
      • Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox by Susan Blackaby
      • Jump by Scott Fischer
      • Read the book, lemmings by Ame Dyckman
      • I'm awake by Maxwell Eaton
      • Dog on a frog by Kes Gray
      • Can you move like an elephant? by Judy Hindley
      • *Who has these feet? by Laura Hulbert
      • Warning: Do not open this book! by Adam Lehrhaupt
      • Please, open this book! by Adam Lehrhaupt
      • Stripes the tiger by Jean Leroy
      • Open very carefully by Nicola O'Byrne
      • Use your imagination by Nicola O'Byrne
      • The bear who wasn't there by LeUyen Pham
      • *Do you know which ones will grow? by Susan Shea
      • Honk, Honk, hold tight by Jessica Souhami
      • Hop, Hop, Jump! by Lauren Thompson

    Tuesday, January 29, 2019

    Snow Fun (weather science)

    • Program Goals
      • Learn about weather science
      • Attendance: 25
    Project: Symmetrical Snowflakes
    • Black paper
    • White paper, white confetti stars
    • Cotton, Q-Tips
    • White paint/glitter
    • Scissors, glue sticks, paint brushes
    • From Buggy and Buddy
    Project: Snowflake painting/tape resist
    Project: Beaded snowflakes
    Experiment: Looking at snowflakes with a microscope

    Experiment: Fake Snow

    • Magic Puffing Snow
      • baking soda, baby shampoo, water, citric acid
      • large tubs, cleaning supplies, ziplock bags (to take some home)
      • From Fun at home with kids
    • Easy play snow
    • Other fake snow mixes
      • Shaving cream, baking soda
    More Weather Science ideas



    Wednesday, January 23, 2019

    Winter Wigglers: Block Party

    • Program Goals
      • Offer an active program during winter
      • Offer a program on Wednesday morning that will be open to toddlers and preschoolers
      • Encourage parents to play with their children
      • Attendance: 20
    • Blocks
      • Vinyl blocks from children's area
      • Wooden, cardboard, and rubberwood blocks from Discount School Supply
      • Duplos and duplo tables
    • Other play materials
      • Chalk for the chalkboard wall
    • I move all the tables to the back of the room and put on Elizabeth Mitchell or other calm music. There is an easel at the front of the room with a poster for the block party on it and a clipboard for people to sign in.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2019

    Art Workshop/STEM Challenge: Mini Cardboard City

     Program Goals
      • Drop-in program for all ages
      • Experiment with art techniques and supplies
      • Experiment with science concepts and materials
      • Build fine motor skills
      • Build STEM skills
      • Attendance: 20
    • Recyclables including a vast number of boxes
    • Scissors, regular and heavy-duty, xacto knives, hot glue
    • Masking and duct tape
    • Acrylic paint, ice cube trays, paint brushes
    I adapted this from Art Workshop for Children by Barbara Rucci

    How it works
    I showed kids (and their parents) pictures in the book of some sample mini cities. Then they came up with their own creations!


    Wednesday, January 16, 2019

    Outreach Storytime: Animals in the snow

    • Program Goals
      • Encourage library visits during the winter
      • Teach kids about animal behavior and other winter phenomena
      • Distribute handout to encourage kids to visit the library
    Toddlers (*Nonfiction)
    • *Who has this tail by Laura Hulbert (T 2019)
    • Bunny slopes by Claudia Rueda (TJ 2019)
    Preschool and Kindergarten (*Nonfiction)
    • *Winter dance by Marion Dane Bauer
    • Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear by Monica Carnesi
    • One very big bear by Alice Briere-Haquet (2018)
    • *Bear report by Thyra Heder
    • *Little fox in the snow by Jonathan London (J 2019)
    • *Over and under the snow by Kate Messner (2018)
    • Goodbye Autumn Hello Winter by Kenard Pak
    • *Best in snow by April Pulley Sayre (TJ 2019)
    • *Under the snow by Melissa Stewart (TJ 2019)
    Long Stories (*Nonfiction)
    • Rabbit's snow dance by Joseph Bruchac (TJ 2019)
    • Loud winter's nap by Katy Hudson
    • Mina's white canvas by Hyeon-Ju Lee (T 2019)
    Vocabulary: Hibernation, Migration, Snowflake, Weather