I added a full moon and some bats! That’s all!
Whenever someone says, “I need help with a display…”, Mr. Anthony is the first to jump in! I love creating big high visibility displays. I especially love it when they are interactive displays! To help celebrate the fall, and the fall time holidays, I created a simple interactive display… it’s a pumpkin patch!!! The idea is very simple. Children… and adults… and staff come up to the children’s reference desk and ask us for a pumpkin to color and add to our pumpkin patch. No strings attached, just pure coloring fun.
To make the display, I made a very big green background, added some dark green vines, and added some fall leaves across the bottom and top to make the display pop! This display will run through the rest of October and throughout November. I will post updates as more and more pumpkins get added to our patch! Check out some of the previous interactive displays that I created for our children’s library:
Our library boasts an innovative Makerspace that has been designed to meet the needs of local makers and creators of many different backgrounds. Within our Makerspace, we house many tech goodies including our very own 3D printer! We offer programming based around using the 3D printer and the related software. I went by the Makerspace recently and the 3D printer had just finished printing some awesome skull pen holders. In the spirit of Halloween, these skull pen holders will be given to the different reference and circulation desks in the library. Super spooky and super cool!
Most days, I absolutely love working in the children’s library. Other days, I love it even more! Today was one of those days. One of the programs that I do at the library is our Stories for Babies program. It is one of the highlights of my week. I get to sing and play with teeny tiny littles! Cuteness overload! Here is what we typically do:
- Reading/cognitive tip for parents and babies
- 2 or three pop-up or picture books… usually pop-up books!
- 3 or 4 songs: Happy and you know it, open shut them, 5 little ducks, etc…
- Bubble time! Babies love bubbles
- Shaker time! We play shakers, maracas, and jingly bells to different songs
- Lots of dancing!
Today, my baby daughter, Ellie, came to the program. Needless to say, I was beaming the whole time. It made my already awesome program even more special for me. What a treat! She even stayed after to take a couple of pictures with dad! Look at that proud papa!
To get into the Halloween spirit, and prepare for our Halloween Fun Day, I created a scarecrow that sits behind our reference desk in the children’s library. He’s extra fancy with his snazzy orange tie and is already ready for the party sporting his best party hat! I added some grass for depth and lights to make it extra spooky! I will post more pictures as our Halloween Fun Day approaches! Spookiness!!
As part of our continued partnership with our local public school system, DCPS, we do our best to make it out to the schools for different events throughout the school year. During this time of the year, we are mainly heading out to each school’s open house event. These events typically feature different organizations from the local community coming out and setting up tables to provide the school staff, students, and parents with information about their organization. This was from my first open house of this school year! I was lucky enough to be placed as the very first table meaning that I was able to see everyone that came out to the event! For my tabling outreaches, I like to bring multiple flyers detailing the different programs and services that we offer at the library. Additionally, I bring a lot of goodies to give out to the kids, including: Free books, magic color-changing pencils, stickers, and bookmarks. For this particularly open house, I gave out over 60 books, 100 pencils, and countless stickers & bookmarks! Being able to reach 150-200 individuals at these events makes them very valuable marketing opportunities for our library and helps to strengthen our partnership with DCPS and strengthens our bond with the local community!
Great news! I now have a blog post featured on the ALSC Blog. Check it out here:
The post is titled, “Including the Shy Ones: Passive Programming & Interactive Displays” and talks about the benefits of including some sort of passive program or interactive display in your library to better engage shy patrons that avoid formal programming. Thank you for reading and sharing!
In case you didn’t know, September is national Library Card Sign-Up Month! As such, I like to create a display at the beginning of the month to promote the library card sign-up push. This year, I created a simple display right next to our children’s reference desk. The display features a poster with Snoopy as his ultra-cool persona, Joe Cool. Surrounding the poster are real library cards. I even attached a pad of library card applications to the wall by the display so that patrons wouldn’t have to look far for one. The display is finished off with a giant library card cut out and some information on how to obtain a library card. We use the giant library card to capture wonderful photos of children getting their first library card! Now you have to ask yourself, “Is my library card active and up to date?”… well, is it?!?!
At the end of our summer programming, we like to throw a party for all of the kids that came out and participated in all of our wonderful summer awesomeness! With this year’s theme being “Build a better World” and our department’s focus on collaborative art, we decided to make the summer closing party second as an art exhibition to showcase the collaborative art created by the kids over the summer. Each artist that showed up got to wear a laminated badge indicating that they are one of the summer artists that created the work in the exhibit. To go along with the art exhibit, we set up multiple stations for the visitors to experience and have fun with. We had two texture tables, magnetic blocks, matching games, puzzles, hopscotch, beanbag tic-tac-toe, and more. There were snacks and music to make the event special. Even our 30 foot alligator couch was in the festive spirit with a decorative party hat! We had over 80 visitors during our hour long party. I love these events because they allow us to interact with our patrons and thank them for all of their support and for coming out to our programs! Check out some of these collaborative art exhibits! Too cool!
I wanted to give a quick update about some awesome recent developments! I was recently approached to be a part of two wonderful committees for two different subgroups of the American Library Association (ALA). One of the appointments is Chair of the committee! They are:
I was asked to sit as the Chair of the PLA Continuing Education Advisory Group. This is a one year appointment with a following year as just a member of the committee. The purpose of this committee is to advise the PLA on the identification, development and evaluation of relevant, cost-effective, and emerging face-to-face and online continuing education products and services. I took over Chair duties at the conclusion of the 2017 ALA Annual Conference.
I was also asked by the president of the ALSC to sit as a member on the ALSC School-Age Program and Service Committee. This is a two year appointment. The purpose of this committee is to identify and disseminate information on effective, cooperative or innovative programming for school age children to libraries, schools, and community agencies serving youth. To develop training workshops on school age programs and services and present them at conferences, institutes and for other institutions serving youth. To cooperate appropriate with other ALSC committees and other associations working with the school age child to initiate activates and projects.
I am very excited about both appointments and look forward to all of the wonderful work that we will do together. I will occasionally post updates of relevant committee happenings as they come up.