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Lamppost

Going Rogue 

Explo­ration is real­ly the Essence of the Human Spir­it.” —Frank Bor­man ’Tis the sea­son for fall themes such as pump­kins, leaves, and turkeys.  As I was plan­ning pro­grams for Octo­ber and Novem­ber, I decid­ed it was time to go rogue and think of new themes. I start­ed search­ing terms such as “fun­ny fall cel­e­bra­tions” and “unusu­al hol­i­days.” From

Dogman© Unleashed 

Encour­age kids to be cre­ative with­out wor­ry­ing about being per­fect. —Dav Pilkey  At the start of the fall pro­gram sea­son, I asked our youngest patrons what pro­grams they would like the library to offer. I heard a child yell out, “DOGMAN”! I smiled and I told him that was a great idea. Dog­man© is a graph­ic nov­el series writ­ten and illus­trat­ed by

Summer Reading Kick-off 

For the past four years, my library has pro­vid­ed our com­mu­ni­ty with a sum­mer read­ing car­ni­val to kick­start our sum­mer read­ing pro­gram. For the first two years, we had a few bounce hous­es and cot­ton can­dy and 400 patrons attend­ed. To plan our past car­ni­val, I brain­stormed ideas on how to con­tin­ue by pro­vid­ing a car­ni­val with more than

Outdoor Science Lab for Kids

Fresh Air: Taking Storytime Outdoors 

We could nev­er have loved the earth so well if we had no child­hood in it.” —George Eliot  In the state of Iowa, where I live, the change from win­ter to spring is like an on and off switch. Yet, at the end of anoth­er vor­tex, Spring has final­ly come to Iowa. Spring is a per­fect time

Joining Forces 

Cre­at­ing a Library Exchange Net­work Last year, I had the dis­tinct hon­or to attend a pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment oppor­tu­ni­ty at MIT (Mass­a­chu­setts Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy). As part of the train­ing, we were giv­en a chance to see some of the projects stu­dents and pro­fes­sors are work­ing on in fields such as edu­ca­tion, fash­ion, and health­care. I was sur­prised to learn from

If You Give a Dog a Donut

Paws and Read 

Cel­e­brat­ing Our Fur­ry Friends with a Pet Read­ing Pro­gram “Ani­mals are such agree­able friends — they ask no ques­tions, they pass no crit­i­cisms.” —George Elliott In Octo­ber 2011, I was in a state of tran­si­tion. I had just returned from intern­ing at the Library of Con­gress to a full-time job as head of a children’s depart­ment. I was excit­ed about this new adven­ture but,

sock puppet

Puppet Mania 

Using Pup­pets to Enhance the Sto­ry­time Expe­ri­ence “Any­one who does any­thing to help a child in his life is a hero to me. ” ― Fred Rogers I recent­ly watched Won’t You Be My Neigh­bor, the new doc­u­men­tary on the life and career of Fred Rogers … Mis­ter Rogers. At the con­clu­sion of the doc­u­men­tary, I reflect­ed on how he

Winter Extravaganza 

The first snow­fall is like being trans­port­ed inside a snow globe. The land­scape trans­forms with a fresh sprin­kle of snow on every­thing from the trees to hous­es. “Crunch, crunch” can be heard from the boots of fam­i­lies mak­ing their way out­side to expe­ri­ence the first snow of the sea­son. Snow is an expe­ri­ence where fam­i­lies can engage

Runaway Pumpkin

Gobble up a Good Time 

It is amaz­ing how quick­ly depart­ment stores move all of the Hal­loween items out and bring out Christ­mas lights, wrap­ping paper, reli­gious items, dif­fer­ent sized San­ta Claus­es and orna­ments. Oh, and who can for­get about the start of Christ­mas music at the begin­ning of Novem­ber? I love Christ­mas, but for the longest time, I’ve been confused

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