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Friday, December 19, 2014

Fred Rogers Wisdom

As I've been delving into the early childhood world more and more in the past year, I have heard innumerable references to Fred Rogers.  I grew up in the early years of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, and have fond memories of watching his show as a preschooler (except the puppets, ugh, I hated that whiny cat) .  His calm demeanor and friendly nature made me feel like I had a real rapport with him.

The Fred Rogers Company has a Professional Development Newsletter that touches on some important things to remember about the needs of young children.  It includes quotes and video clips from Fred Rogers, along with astute observations and reminders by the newsletter creator, Hedda Sharapan.  You can sign up to have it delivered to your mailbox, or you can also search the archives by topic for subjects you are interested in.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Absentee Readers' Advisory in Fall Creek

Thanks to Jenna Gilles-Turner for the guest post!

Boys reading
I have been trying to help youth even when I am not in the library. I have come up with various ways to help kids find books on our shelves and with reader's advisory. I've come up with some "If You Liked XYZ, Now Try ABC" bookmarks - I have Judy Moody, Geronimo Stilton, Star Wars, and Magic Tree House because these are our most popular series. I stick one or two in the books on the shelves and also have them available on my desk.

I am also working on reader's advisory paint stick labels. They will be stuck near popular series and authors and include 3-6 other series or authors they might enjoy. Not all are found in our library so if somebody has not made use of the MORE catalog, they might be encouraged to do so. I also have bookmarks with adult and child-friendly reader's advisory websites that people can use when we are closed. They have been flying off our circulation desk. They are nothing fancy, but folks seem to appreciate them.  If you'd like to see them, you can contact me at jgilles @ fallcreekpubliclibrary.org.

Down the road, I will do something similar with the juvenile non-fiction section, too. Our everybody non-fiction and young adult non-fiction sections are too small for this.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Storytime Resources on IFLS Blog

Superhero storytime at LEPMPL
We've been doing some sprucing up of services to preschoolers in our system during the past year or so, and as part of that I have added some useful resources to the IFLS website about storytime.  Look there for suggestions of storytime templates, blogs, resources, kits to borrow, and more!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Make some maker supplies!

Thanks to Jill Patchin at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire for this information/blog post:
Strawbees in action (from Strawbee's kickstarter page)

We recently purchased a new die for our machine to make Strawbees, which will allow us to create the stuff in this video . As you can see, it is really cool and could be used with all ages including adults. We could host “maker” programs, or teachers or parents could collect their own plastic and straws, die cut them, and make their own stuff. This is the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) movement and so exciting!

The #2 and #4 lids seem to work the best so far. You can save up your lids before your next trip to Eau Claire!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dinosaur Game

Dino Tongue by Joe Utsler, flickr, Creative Commons 
Who isn't interested in dinosaurs??

I came across this amazing live-action game designed FOR KIDS at a LIBRARY and it is way too cool not to share.  Scott Nicholson, a professor in the ISchool at the University of New York-Syracuse, designed it.  I found out about it when doing some research on meaningful gamification.  More on that topic next week!

This seems like a game that would fit really well into a program that is loosely based on super-heroes, since kids need to travel back in time to help a mother dinosaur in distress. Check it out!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Responsive Programming for Homeschoolers

Team-building with homeschoolers

Thanks to Kathy Larson from Bloomer for supplying this guest post:

Fall Creek and several other libraries in library land have been offering programs for Homeschool students and it inspired me to think about creating my own. In the spring of 2013, I approached one of Bloomer’s homeschooling moms about starting a program and asked her if she could talk to her co-op about what type of program would be beneficial to their kids and to think about what types of activities I could offer that would enhance their at home curricula. She came back to me several months later with a consensus that the parents wanted their children to have practice working in groups and also speaking to groups of people, both skills that they will need after school when they join the workforce.

It was with those two goals in mind that I started working on activities and programs that would enhance those two goals.  I researched teaching public speaking, and have had some experience with team building activities in some of the educational classes I have taken, and things have been going pretty well.
Readers' Theater

The 2013-2014 school year, was the first year that I ran the program. We met monthly from September through April. A lot of the moms chose to stay and “help” or supervise their children. We worked on presenting ideas to the group, working in teams, and playing a lot of energizers and teamwork games that can be found with an online search. The kids did a reader’s theater, and created their own book we displayed in the library. Kids gave All About Me presentations, book presentations, and a team Would You Rather project that was presented to the large group.
Team structure-building

I am offering this program for the second year and attendance is still in the 20’s each month. I continue to work on teambuilding and public speaking with the kids. I think part of what makes this program work is that I am constantly talking to the parents about what they feel their children need to get out of the program, and tailoring activities to a wide age range (5-11).  This year, the parents don’t come into the program room at all, they tend to gather and talk about parenting and schooling topics in the children’s area while younger siblings have the chance to interact with other kiddos. There is much to be said about building relationships with your patrons.

Talking and listening (and laughing)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Bunches in Ellsworth

Thanks to Julie Belz from Ellsworth for this guest post!

After reading about a library in Colby, Wisconsin creating book bunches on the Growing WI Readers blog, we decided that it would be worth a try here in Ellsworth.
Book bunches display

They are flying off the shelf!  We started with 8 bunches and now we have 25!  We have also made some for juvenile fiction and even a few for the adults.  We pick about 5 fiction and 1 or 2 non-fiction books for each bunch. For the juvenile and adult - there are 2 fiction and 1 or 2 non-fiction books per bunch. People like them a lot because they are themed and saves them time from having to search for books in their interest area.