Thursday, December 5, 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
    • Reach beginning 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. I taped a letter to the parents inside each binder. 
    • 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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Maker Workshop: Candle making

  • Program goals
    • Become comfortable experimenting with candle-making
    • Test various methods of melting wax
    • Learn new skills
Supplies (in house)
  • glass jars (recycled from staff and patrons)
  • heat gun
  • pour pot (lent by me)
  • paring knives from clay kit
  • popsicle sticks
  • towels to use as pot holders
  • aprons
  • fan to speed up cooling process
  • microwave, ancient but workable
  • wax melting pot
Supplies (purchased)
  • I would still like some glass measuring cups for easier pouring, but otherwise I have all the supplies now - wax melting pot and heat gun.

Holiday Craft Extravaganza

  • Program Goals
    • Offer an inexpensive holiday program for families
    • Encourage creativity and using different art styles/materials
    • Help build gross and fine motor skills
Project: Felt softies
Sew and stuff shapes to make ornaments or just cute little presents.
  • Felt (die-cut gingerbread men, teddy bears, Christmas trees, stars)
  • Stuffing
  • Sewing materials
Project: Danish Christmas Hearts
These are woven heart baskets that can hold candy etc. It's tricky to weave them without ripping them if you use paper, and felt can get a bit twisted. This one needs more fine motor skills. Google "Danish Christmas hearts" for lots of instructions.
Project: Fuzzy tree friends
My associate made these cute felt candy cane mice - the kids really enjoyed it, but next time I'd probably cut a few more in advance. I think she got the pattern here.

  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Candy canes
  • Google eyes
  • Mouse pattern
  • Permanent markers
Project: Puzzle ornaments
Using up the puzzle pieces! You can paint these, but I'm not up for it by this time of the year usually. Again, I'd hot glue more ornaments in advance.

  • puzzle pieces
  • glue, glitter, glitter glue
  • hot glue gun (supervised)
Project: Ceramic ornaments
I got a deal on these, otherwise to get enough for potentially 50-60 people is too expensive. 

  • Ceramic ornaments (60?) (Discount School Supply)
  • Acrylic paint, brushes, aprons, paper plates, wax paper (to dry them on)
Project: Plastic ornaments
You need a lot of these and they are cheap plastic, so get extra! The big bubbles are the best, but people like the other shapes so I try to get some of them as well. Make sure you get the ones that pop open, otherwise kids will just fill them with sequins and nobody has that many sequins (except me b/c I have barrels in the basement)

  • Colorations Clear Ornaments (Discount School Supply)
  • Sequins, ribbon, glitter glue
  • glitter, containers to shake it in
  • glue, scissors, tablecloths
Project: Paper chains
If you don't have fancy paper, regular paper and markers works just fine.

  • Paper, markers, scissors, tape
Project: Glitter Pinecones
The important thing with this is to have enough big tubs to shake the glitter over and to remind people to tie their strings on FIRST.

  • Pinecones, yarn or ribbon
  • Glitter, glue, large plastic tubs

Project: 3-D paper ornaments
You fold the die cuts in half, glue the halves together. You do need symmetrical shapes. You need at least four, but you can add more and make it fancier. It works best if you glue the yarn or ribbon down the middle while/before you add shapes.

  • die cut shapes (Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men)
  • hole punches, markers, scissors

Friday, November 8, 2019

Library on the Go: Fall 2019

I have a smaller schedule of LOTG visits this fall, mostly just one elementary school and OPtions, our charter school. The first grade classes I am visiting are larger - about 60 students as opposed to 40 - and I almost immediately got low on easy readers, so I'll need to beg for some more funding there. For more information on Library on the Go, you can check out previous posts.


  • Two OPtions - first one about 10 books (beading and pipe cleaners), second about 15 books (same project but only one kid was into it as opposed to everybody the first time). Read some books from my eraser storytime.
  • Tibbets 1st grade classes, about 75 books.

  • Two OPtions - first one about 10 books (beading), second about 30 books (button maker) and I read I am a mouse and Dragons eat noodles on Tuesdays. Gave out all my slime and holiday Craft Extravaganza flyers.
  • Three 1st grade classes (60 books)
  • Three 1st grade classes (about 60 books)
  • Two OPtions visits (about 10 books)
  • EL night (about 10 Spanish books)

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Outreach Storytime: Erasing Mistakes

  • Program Goals
    • Build resilience and encourage kids to accept mistakes
    • Complement school curriculum on social-emotional skills
    • Distribute handout to encourage kids to visit the library
Toddlers (*nonfiction)
  • The case of the missing chalk drawings by Richard Byrne
  • Chalk by Bill Thomson
Preschool and Kindergarten (*nonfiction)
  • Perfect by Amato
  • This is a Whoopsie! by Andrew Cangelose
  • When pencil met eraser by Karen Kilpatrick
Long Stories (*nonfiction)
  • Eraser by Anna Kang
  • Linus the little yellow pencil by Scott Magoon
Learning points
  • Resilience, trying again
  • It's ok to make mistakes

Friday, October 25, 2019

Monstrous Mess: Slime Party

Aftermath of the morning session

  • Program Goals
    • Family event on no-school day
    • Neutral holiday program
    • Morning and afternoon sessions
    • Messy fun for everyone!
"Monstrous Mess" is the loose descriptor for the programs I have on our day off school at the end of October. Some years it coincides with our staff work day and we're closed, some years it doesn't land on a Friday. This year we were open, it landed on a Friday, and I had (I hoped) enough staff and materials.

  • White and clear glue. Not sure how much I started with - probably about 5 gallons of white and 5 gallons of clear. I know the kids like clear better, but I only had that b/c Discount School Supply had a sale. I had 1 1/2 gallons of clear left and about 5 small jugs of white.
  • 5 jugs of liquid starch (adult services librarian made a run to the store for more between sessions) and about 2 left over.
  • Shaving cream. Not sure how much I started with, maybe 5 cans? We picked up another 15 on the store run and had about 10 left.
  • Biocolor and tempera paint, including metallics and fluorescent.
  • Bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons.
  • Big popsicle stickers for stirrers
  • Borax - 1 1/2 boxes (a ton was left over, but I'd poured it out into a bin and I just dumped it. It's cheap)
  • Glitter - everything that was left in the basement, about 6 jars partially full.
  • Bag of pompoms
  • Sandwich bags to take slime home
  • Borrowed pitchers from the kitchen for hot water.
  • Big plastic bins for slop bowls
  • Plastic table coverings, aprons, towels, paper towels, portable sink with tarp under it.
I had recipes for three types of slime. "Classic Easy Goo" is the easiest to make and clean up. Stretchy slime is tricky, it takes patience to get the proportions of liquid starch and glue correct. Fluffy unicorn slime requires careful timing, getting the shaving cream added before the borax solidifies the glue. Instructions in publisher format here. (There's also a card of instructions for color-changing slime, but I rarely use that b/c the ingredients are expensive.)

I scheduled my three teen staff all day - one from 9-1, one from 10-5, and one from 12-6. Session one ran from 10 to almost noon (it was supposed to end at 11) and session two ran from 3:30-4:30 with a couple stragglers. Both took about an hour and a half to clean up. We cleaned the carpet after the final session and left most of the dishes to clean later. I will say this program is dependent on the attendees and the general behavior of our patrons - there were almost 0 drips or spills on the carpet in the morning session and only a few in the afternoon, resulting from some teens who are problematic but couldn't be watched closely in the rush and some families with a solo caregiver trying to watch wiggly little ones and help older kids simultaneously. I also had two teen volunteers helping in the afternoon and they stayed afterwards to help clean up.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Outreach Storytime: Folktales

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce kids to folktales
    • Complement school curriculum focusing on folktales
    • Distribute handout to encourage kids to visit the library
Toddlers (*nonfiction)
  • Gator, Gator, Gator by Daniel Bernstrom (2019)
Preschool and Kindergarten (*nonfiction)
  • Elephant's garden by Jane Ray (2019)
  • No dinner by Jessica Souhami
  • Foxy by Jessica Souhami (2019)
  • That's good, that's bad by Aliki
  • Goldilocks and the three dinosaurs by Mo Willems (2019)
Long Stories (*nonfiction)
  • How many donkeys by Margaret Read MacDonald (2019)
  • Party Croc! by Margaret Read MacDonald (2019)
  • The evil princess vs. the brave knight by Jennifer Holm (2019)
  • The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett
  • The great race by Nathan Scott
  • Footprints in the snow by Mei Matsuoka
Learning points
  • Folktales from difference cultures
  • Morals about kindness and helping others

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Outreach Storytime: Welcome to Storytime

  • Program Goals: 
    • Introduce ourselves to the children and teachers
    • Set expectations and a routine for outreach storytimes
    • Practice following directions
    • Show them that storytime will be fun!
    • Kids receive a Welcome back to school brochure (adapted from another library)
Toddlers (*Nonfiction)
  • One day in the eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree by Bernstrom (2019)
  • Don't push the button by Bill Cotter (2019)
  • Chicken in space by Adam Lehrhaupt (2018)
Preschool and Kindergarteners (*Nonfiction)
  • Count the monkeys by Mac Barnett (2018)
  • Open up, Please! & Shapes Reshape by Silvia Borando (2018)
  • Hangry by Drew Brockington (2019)
  • This is a taco by Andrew Cangelose (2018)
  • Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett (2019)
  • Undercover ostrich by Joe Kulka (2019)
  • Warning: Do not open this book and Please open this book by Adam Lehrhaupt (2018)
  • Operation photobomb by Tara Luebbe (2019)
Long Stories (*Nonfiction)
  • Rules of the house by Mac Barnett (2018)
  • Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton (2018)
  • We don't eat our classmates by Higgins (2018)
  • Be quiet! by Higgins (2019)
  • My crocodile does not bite by Joe Kulka (2018)
Movement and Music
Flannelboard and Activities
Vocabulary/Learning Objectives
  • Basics of storytime behavior
  • Social-emotional elements (transitions, calming down when upset, stopping and starting)
  • Contrasts (loud and quiet, kind behavior, mean behavior)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Let's go nuts!

Playing the acorn game (not sure what happened to his other
squirrel ear!)
  • Program Goals
    • Fun program to start off fall
    • Fall-themed but not too fall-themed
    • Squirrels!
  • Acorn scavenger hunt
    • Purchased fake acorns online at Amazon for about $13
    • Staff and big kids hid them in the children's area
    • Kids went on a scavenger hunt and collected them
  • Tree toss game
    • Staff built tree trunks out of cardboard with holes (used wooden supports from Pigeon cut-out to hold them up)
    • After kids had collected the acorns, they threw them through the holes. You could keep score if you wanted.
    • Bean bags also available for littler hands.
  • Climbing and balancing
    • Honeycomb play system
    • Tape lines on the floor
  • Matching game
  • Collecting bags
    • Sewing machine
    • Pre-cut bags and handles
  • Fall colors
    • Thin cardboard leaves (die-cut)
    • paint, paint brushes
  • Squirrel ears
    • Recycled bulletin board borders
    • Die cut brown ears (actually leaves)
    • Stapler, Stickers
  • Build a contraption
    • popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, wire
    • recyclables
    • hot glue, tape, duct tape, staplers
  • Activity pages
  • Other supplies
    • plastic table coverings
    • aprons
    • sink

Wednesday, July 24, 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.
  • 7-24-19: The Learning Curve
    • Read A couch for llama, I am a cat (none of the three year olds and only a few fours understand the concept of animal families) and Let's play. Took tops and wooden spinners to decorate. Checked out 35 books.
  • 7-18-19: Summer school
    • Last summer school visit. Checked out 23 books and took the button maker.
  • 7-17-19: The Learning Curve
    • I read The pigeon has to go to school, Claymates, and Hello, Hotdog to the three year olds and four year olds. None of them really "got" the new pigeon book and they're a bit young for Claymates. Did foam magnet kits with the fours. The school-agers got foam magnet kits and then we showed the ones who wanted to know how to make and use circular looms. A lot of kids are in summer school or gone - only 12 kids in the school-age room. Checked out 22 books.
  • 7-11-19: Summer School
    • Took my same volunteer (teenager) and we left the library at 11:30. I only brought about 24 tops and rubber duckies and they went fast. Checked out 18 books.
  • 7-3-19: The Learning Curve
    • I read Shark vs. Train, T. Rex Time Machine, Everyone Loves Bacon, and Old Hat. T. Rex Time Machine didn't really click with anyone, the three year olds LOVED Old Hat - they all wanted to climb on my lap afterwards and look at all the hats! and Shark vs. Train is an old favorite of everyone. The four year olds made magnet fishing kits that I brought from our summer activity kits and the school-age kids took turns listening to stories, getting a summer reading reminder, and checking out books and painting wooden animals I bought in kits from S&S Worldwide. I checked out a total of 50 books
  • 6-27-19: Summer School
    • I took a volunteer and started in the cafeteria about 11:30. We took the wooden beads. I only signed up 2 kids for summer reading; it's just too noisy. Checked out about 25 books and gave out lots of flyers for I Survived.
  • 6-26-19: The Learning Curve
    • I brought Dev Petty's frog books, my teen assistant, and wooden beads to decorate with permanent markers (extra beading bags for the four year olds). The kids were very absorbed by the project. Smaller group this week b/c some are at summer school. Checked out about 30 books
  • 6-20-19: Summer School
    • It's back at the middle school this year, which has been updated, especially the entrance. We originally set up in front of the office, meaning to move to the cafeteria in time for free lunch, but the bus lanes have changed. There really wasn't anyone there in the lobby. There were about 300 kids in for free lunch - I signed up about 16 for summer reading and checked out about 20 books. We had wooden beads to color and decorate. Next week I'll start later - try to get there about 11:45 - and just start in the cafeteria.
  • 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.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Maker Workshop: Miniatures

  • Program Goals
    • Teach kids new skills
    • Offer the opportunity for hands-on learning
    • Promote nonfiction
  • 3D dollhouse furniture from Amazon
    • I bought two sets of this and could have used more! I had volunteers pre-cut it, but I think if I did it again I'd let people break it out themselves, so they could match it up more easily.
  • wooden shapes from Amazon
    • small rectangles and various sized circles - would buy more next time
  • cardboard
    • boxes and precut
  • fairy garden and other miniatures from Amazon
  • craft wire (Twisteez) from Amazon (look for the right listing or it's really expensive)
  • popsicle sticks of various sizes
  • acrylic paint and supplies
  • permanent markers
  • misc./optional supplies
    • felt, yarn, fabric scraps
    • handmade paper scraps
    • pipe cleaners
    • sewing tools
    • misc. small recyclables
    • old board game pieces
    • corks (donated)
  • hot glue guns
  • xacto knife
  • kitchen shears
  • regular scissors
  • regular tape and duct tape
  • D.I.Y. Dollhouse, ISBN: 1616896078
    • This was the best resource. I also had other dollhouse books collected from the library
Kids of all ages and abilities are invited to register for a miniatures workshop. We’ll be using cardboard, recycled materials, wood, and other materials to create our own dollhouse furnishings.

Required skills
  • Ability to work independently and wait patiently for assistance when needed.
  • Ability to safely use hot glue gun, x-acto knife, and heavy-duty scissors OR to not touch them or work with them if you are unable to use them safely.


Saturday, June 29, 2019

I Survived program

  • Program goals
    • Encourage interests in science and history
    • Saturday program for school-age children
    • Attendance: 50
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916
  • Photo op - Cardboard cut-out of shark mouth, created by various staff
  • Craft - mini sharks
    • Die cut cardboard fish
    • Scissors, markers
  • Experiment - fake blood
    • corn syrup, corn starch, flour, red food coloring, water
    • bowls, sink, cleaning materials
    • paint brushes
  • Decorations
    • mini sharks with shark facts
  • Resources
I Survived Hurricane Katrina, 2005
I Survived the Children's Blizzard, 1888
  • Storm in a jar
    • paint, baby oil, glitter, alka seltzer
    • jars and/or clear water bottles
  • Resources
I Survived the San Francisco earthquake, 1906
I Survived the Nazi Invasion, 1944
I Survived the destruction of Pompeii, AD 79
  • Vinegar and baking soda volcanoes
    • vinegar, baking soda (we used about 6-8 jugs of vinegar and a very large bag of soda)
    • washable paint, balloons
    • milk jugs or soda bottles, swimming pools
I Survived the sinking of the Titanic, 1912
  • Boats
    • Popsicle sticks, duct tape, corks, styrofoam plates
    • Ice chunks
    • Swimming pools
General resources

Friday, June 28, 2019

We Explore Art: Tom Lichtenheld

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Tom Lichtenheld and his art
    • Experiment with artistic techniques
    • Offer a summer program for camps/daycares
    • Attendance: Varies
Art Project Part 1: Sketching
I encouraged the kids to sketch out their ideas with pencils and erasers. I had lots of pictures of Tom Lichtenheld's art processes from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast.

  • pencils, erasers
  • paper
Sing the Storytime Song to call people to the rug.

  • Sing by Joe Raposo
  • Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
  • Ten rules of the birthday wish by Beth Ferry
  • Exclamation point by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Art Project Part 2: Colored pencils
The kids color their drawings with colored pencils; there are also activity sheets.

  • colored pencils
  • activity sheets
  • paper

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Art workshop: Ink marbling

  • Program Goals
    • Drop-in program for all ages
    • Experiment with art techniques and supplies
    • Build fine motor skills
    • Attendance: 20

  • Colorations ultimate art paper
  • Cardstock
  • Construction paper
  • other scrap paper
  • Muslin scraps
  • Suminagashi marbling inks (purchased on Amazon)
  • tubs, water source (hose), ice cub trays, paintbrushes, aprons
  • paper scraps, pens, paper clips
How it works
  • Kids use the paintbrushes to tap, paint, drip, or splatter ink into the tubs, which are filled with about two inches of water. Then they drop the paper or muslin in, peel it out, and it transfers the design to the item. The paper scraps are to label the kids' art with their names
  • The main effort involved in this is my staff (I scheduled both teens) emptying and refilling the water tubs and labeling and moving the marbled art out to dry.

Friday, June 21, 2019

We Explore Art: Katherine Tillotson

  • Program Goals
    • Introduce Katherine Tillotson and her art
    • Experiment with artistic techniques
    • Attendance: 10
Art Project Part 1: Collage
Tillotson primarily uses watercolors, but she does include collage techniques especially in It's picture day today!
  • Supplies
    • Paper scrap tub
    • Buttons, sparkles, feathers
    • Paper
    • Scissors, glue sticks
Sing the Storytime Song to call people to the rug.
  • Books
    • It's picture day today by Megan McDonald
    • All the water in the world by George Ella Lyon
    • Shoe dog by Megan McDonald
    • All ears all eyes by Richard Jackson
Art Project Part 2: Liquid watercolors
The watercolors are poured into ice cube trays
  • Liquid watercolors
  • Aprons, sink, paper towels, tables covered
  • Paint brushes, ice cube trays


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

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.

    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!)