Summer Programming Closing Party

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!

ALA Committee Appointments!

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:

pla 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.

alscI 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.

Summer Information Display

To kick off our summer programming, I created a simple display to house our flyers and programming materials. I used our groovy display building blocks to create the base. I added different sized posters that note our summer theme “Build a Better World”. The display is topped with a custom cardboard cutout stand-up and is finished off with an array of events calendars and flyers showcasing our different summer programs and special events! Yay summer!

Summer Reading Tracker! (Interactive Display)

Each summer during our summer programming, we encourage everyone (yes, adults too!) to keep reading and to keep track of the books that they read. We offer both an online and paper way to track the books that are read over the summer. Once a certain amount of books are read, the children came come in to get prizes and a free book.

Throughout our library system, the Main library and all of the branches were tasked with creating a unique tracker to help keep track of the books that were read by their own respective patrons. I took up the challenge to create the reading tracker for the Children’s Library at our Main Library. Since our summer theme was “Build a Better World”, I decided to create a skyscraper as our reading tracker. I created a ten foot outline of a skyscraper, outfitted with groovy windows, antennas on the roof, and birds and clouds to give it some atmosphere. The idea is that as students come in to claim their prizes for reading, they can put their name and how many books that they have read onto a pre-cut “brick” to add to our skyscraper. As the summer moves along, we should see this outline fill up with plenty of bricks! Happy summer reading, everyone!

Last DCPS Visit of the School Year!

I had the honor of being the tour guide and presenter for our final DCPS school visit of the year. As we continue to strengthen the relationship between the Jacksonville Public Library and DCPS, these class field trips are an excellent way to connect with school age children and demonstrate what we have to offer at the library. Here are the happy fourth graders with their noses buried in their awesome new books!

Flower Garden – Interactive Display (Passive Programming)

I’m very excited about the new interactive display that I created for the Main children’s department! To celebrate the spring, I wanted to create our very own growing flower garden. The display itself features a gang of happy little flowers in rainbow flower pots. Behind them are giant growing vines that are waiting for some colorful flowers to grow!

The display is a simple scavenger hunt similar to the Pokémon Scavenger Hunt, Display (Passive Program) that I previously made. The children are tasked with finding the seven missing flowers that are hiding throughout the children’s library. Each flower has a word on it that correlates with each letter in the word “Flowers” (Fun, Love, Outdoors, Wish, Enjoy, Sun). The children will have to go around and find the flowers and write down the words that they find. This part of the passive program helps children with letter recognition, word recognition, and basic writing. Once the children find all seven flowers/words, they can color their very own flower to add to the garden. The children will also be able to cut out their flowers which is an important manual precursor to early literacy skills.

I am a huge advocate for interactive displays and passive programming within a children’s library. They allow for a consistent source of fun and learning, and often get tied to library materials which is a win/win for everyone!

Puppet Show Theater

In the children’s department at our Main branch, we have many little stations where children can play, explore, socialize, and learn! One of my favorites is the mini puppet show theater. We have a collection of puppets that children can ask us for and put on their very own puppet show. Each animal puppet has the corresponding letter printed on it to help develop phonemic awareness and other early literacy skills! The children have the opportunity to play, pretend, and to collaboratively create an impromptu show. Check out the awesome show that was put on by these 4 awesomely talented young puppeteers!

Jax Book Fest 2017

Wow! Wow! Wow! I’m trying not to geek out too much. We are just wrapping up the first ever Jax Book Fest. The event brought in over 150 authors and over 3,600 guests! The event took place throughout the entire library, but I only was able to snap photos from the festivities that took place in our wonderful children’s department. The highlight of the event were presentations by three of my favorite children’s authors/illustrators: Karen Beaumont, David Catrow, and Ethan Long… yes, you are reading that correctly, they were ALL here! If you don’t know those names, look up their books and you will be like, “…oh wow! They did all of these books?!?!?! This one is my favorite!!!”

Each of the three held separate presentations where they discussed everything from their inspirations, writing/drawing techniques, and answered all sorts of questions. They each stayed around after their presentations to sign autographs and chat with their loving fans. Additionally, the Jacksonville Zoo came out and brought a few wild friends for us to learn about including: a tortoise, an alligator, and an armadillo! We even had an awesome face-painting clown to add to the awesomeness.



Pictures from DCPS Art Reception

Great success! This was once again a wonderful event and a highlight of the Spring for me! The Duval County Public School art reception brought in over 70 students, artists, parents, and teachers. To make this event special, we set up in the middle of the library, set out some fancy refreshments, and topped it off with some tunes by Chopin.

It is wonderful to see the local community come together to support young budding artists. Some of these works were created by artists in kindergarten!!! Please check out the pictures and take note of the young artists posing with their works. I love living the #LibraryLife!