Sunday, October 30, 2011

Holiday Library Programs

How do you feel about holiday programs in a public library setting?

I think most of us can agree that one has to examine the needs and wants of the community that the public library serves.

I'm not against the occasional, holiday program, so long as it is advertised and you still work to meet the needs of the patrons who are not your majority or consistent audience.

For example ...

I was talking with a fellow children's librarian who is new to the Mahoning County library system, but who is a former preschool teacher with many years of experience. I asked her to plan for and present a toddler and a preschool program on November 23.

(Why we planned a program the day before Thanksgiving, I'll never know ...)

Not only did we advertise a program on November 23, we didn't advertise it as a Thanksgiving program. Because of the advertising issue, I suggested to my colleague that she steer away from books and activities that mention Thanksgiving. I am aware of at least one little boy and his family who don't celebrate national holidays, and I'd hate for him to come to a program, only to feel left out.

How do you approach holiday programming in your communities?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birds of a Feather (November Passive Program)

For November, we're having a passive craft program all month long for kids of all ages. It's advertised as our Creation Station: Make-It and Take-It Craft Program: BIRDS OF A FEATHER Choose a turkey, eagle, cardinal, or mallard pattern to decorate with feathers ... and more!

In addition to the advertising through our Public Relations Department, here is the sign that we'll put on the craft tables:

Here is where I got the pictures from:

Here are links to the templates that I enlarged on the copier:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby Programs for Lapsitters (Talk) and Walkers (Sing)

This is the first time I've used Microsoft Publisher for my baby program handouts. I did not include our standard opening, middle, and closing song. Since I know I'll be doing the baby programs this week and for the next two weeks, too, I'm planning some additional overlap.

Next week we'll do "I'm a Little Teapot" without the book. Also, the cloth pieces I'll use for "Mary Had a Little Lamb" this week have reflective moon/star/planet stickers; I'll use the sticker side of them for a "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" prop next week. The kids will get to play with them two weeks in a row. (Like other libraries, we do a 15-20 minute program followed by a half hour of free play (parent socialization!) for all.)

I've also planned ahead to have the "Walkers" try to bring a stuffed animal with them next week so we can do "Tiptoe Teddy Bear" or other such music and movement songs. Of course, I'll have extras on hand for those who need to borrow one.

Also, LOVE this new album of lullabies; it even has a male singing some! It's pricey and hard to get via Amazon, but individual songs are available to download from iTunes:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Activity Sheets for Shapes Library Program

Here are some of the activity sheets I made this morning and offered after the "Triangles, Circles, and Squares" program for preschoolers. They used glue sticks to trace the shape, and then stuck on pre-cut yarn.

"Circus of Shapes: Find the Rectangle"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shapes Program for Preschoolers

I'm back to using Microsoft Publisher for the (trying to keep it to one-page)handout.  I like having the early literacy tips separated on the side.  I'm also in the mindset of having a PLAY extension activity versus a "craft" at the end of storytime.  I'm also giving a play tip for home; I'll even give them a piece of string to take and use.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

We Are All In a Story

This is my first blog post from my new computer!  Yes, it was time to make the leap from my 2003 desktop ... I'm still in the (learning) process of moving things from the old to the new ... Did you know a CAT5 crossover cord is the cheapest cord to transfer information from computer to laptop?  At least that's what I've heard.  We'll see what happens when the item comes.

After trying to create a home sharing network and failing (my old computer needed to have Windows 7 which I was not willing to install), I hope this cord will expedite the process.

I debated about just uploading all my pictures to Shutterflly.  However, Shutterfly doesn't give you the option to download pictures saved on the site back to your computer.

So many technology options ...

At any rate, I wanted to share this quote with you.  It's my own when I was four years old.  Thanks to mom for writing it down so long ago!

"Everybody is growing up.  We are all in a story; Is it a real story?"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Apps for Library Programs

I see I had 94 hits on this blog today!  I'm assuming most of these people saw my article on music, movement, and early literacy in Children and Libraries ... My hope is that others find this blog to be a useful resource for library programming.  I appreciate any comments or questions as the site evolves!

Yes, I have been a bit quiet on this blog the last month or so ... involved in learning and special projects ... but after much research, I've FINALLY upgraded my personal technology to an iPhone and Toshiba Satellite laptop.  (I'll wait for the Flash issue on the iPad to be resolved and for the Droids to have better/ more apps.  I'm more comfortable with a keyboard for typing, and so far, I prefer storing on a harddrive vs. wireless "in the cloud" network attached storage... though I will be willing to upgrade again when technology is more refined and becomes cheaper.)  This is definately increasing my personal education and social connection, but it will also affect my professional aspirations, such as audio/video recording storytelling and library programming.

Here are some apps that I've been playing with that have great potential for use in library programs:

   Star Walk $2.99
      From the website:  "Star Walk ... allows users to easily locate and identify 20,000+ objects in the night sky. The 360-degree, touch control star map displays constellations, stars, planets, satellites, and galaxies currently overhead from anywhere on Earth." 
       My thoughts: I hope to use this during a family evening program as a supplement to stories and songs.  It would have been a perfect fit into my Starlight at Night program:

   LeafSnap  FREE
      From the website: "Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves."        
      My thoughts: The game mode covers tree leaves, tree flowers, and nuts.  My four year old nephew and I knew nothing about tree flowers and still had fun matching a name with a photograph.  A science-based option to add to a family gaming program.

I'm not sure yet how I could share these apps in the library, but I'm thinking there must be some kind of cord I could connect from my iPhone to an LCD projector ... or if I can access those apps through my iTunes account on my laptop and project through the LCD.  I'll keep you posted!

Oh ... and did you know that Amazon is offering a Kindle app?
This allows you to purchase Kindle formated ebooks on a non-Kindle device (PC, iPhone, etc.) or borrow Kindle formated books from a participating library.  The process is a bit tricky in that you have to download the Kindle book through Amazon (account required) and transfer to mobile devices through the Whispersync (wireless "in the cloud" technology -- yikes!) or USB.  Kind of freaky that the computer knew I had an iPhone and downloaded the book directly into the Kindle app ...

Check out these blogs about apps: