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The Lamppost

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Hand in Hand

I live and work in a train com­mu­ni­ty and often use trains as an anal­o­gy when I talk about sto­ry­time. Like a train, sto­ry­time offers an audi­ence a chance to hop on board to expe­ri­ence a new world with char­ac­ters. The char­ac­ters of a sto­ry can help us under­stand some of the expe­ri­ences the chil­dren lis­ten­ing to the sto­ry might be going through.… more

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Becoming a Purple Person

I am excit­ed to start year two of Bookol­o­gy! I con­tem­plat­ed doing themes around COVID-19 and then I thought why not write about the impor­tance of being a pur­ple per­son? Some of you might be ask­ing your­self the fol­low­ing ques­tions: Does this relate to sci­ence? Do you become pur­ple by eat­ing egg­plants or beets? Do you paint your­self pur­ple?… more

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Little Engines:
A Simple but Impactful Early Literacy Initiative

In ear­ly fall of 2019, I com­plet­ed a grant appli­ca­tion through our local ear­ly child­hood board. I pro­posed a new ear­ly lit­er­a­cy pro­gram called Lit­tle Engines. Each month, we will have an ear­ly child­hood pro­fes­sion­al pro­vide a sto­ry­time pro­gram with activ­i­ties. These include lit­er­a­cy, nutri­tion, child­care, school readi­ness, music/recreation, creativity/arts, and STEAM. The library pro­vides fam­i­lies a tote bag that includes var­i­ous activ­i­ties and a book to enjoy at home togeth­er.… more

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Lights, Camera, Action:
Launching Virtual Storytime

Although COVID-19 has been dif­fi­cult, libraries con­tin­ue their core mis­sion to pro­vide access to resources and ser­vices by improv­ing and increas­ing their dig­i­tal ser­vices. Sto­ry­time is a key ser­vice the pub­lic library pro­vides to sup­port ear­ly lit­er­a­cy, fam­i­ly engage­ment, and help­ing chil­dren find the joy of read­ing. Face-to-face inter­ac­tion helps to improve the con­nec­tion with fam­i­lies — how­ev­er, librar­i­ans have had to tran­si­tion sto­ry­time pro­gram­ming to a vir­tu­al plat­form.… more

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Creating Collage

As we move into the spring sea­son, the les­son of hope from The Very Hun­gry Cater­pil­lar,a book that employs paper col­lage for its illus­tra­tions, inspired these activ­i­ties.

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What’s in the Basket?

Invest­ing in ear­ly child­hood nutri­tion is a sure­fire strat­e­gy. The returns are incred­i­bly high.” —Anne Mulc­ahy I am the head of children’s ser­vices at Eric­son Pub­lic Library in Boone, Iowa. Accord­ing to Iowa Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion, Boone has 1,901 stu­dents and 877 of those stu­dents are in a free or reduced lunch pro­gram (Kids Count, 2017).… more

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Library EMT

The best way to find your­self is to lose your­self in the ser­vice of oth­ers.” —Mahat­ma Gand­hi I went into the week­end pre­pared to take it easy from a long and busy week. I quick­ly shift­ed my focus to the hor­ror hap­pen­ing in Aus­tralia. I was watch­ing a video that showed a small frac­tion of the ani­mals and humans faced with this dis­as­ter.… more

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On Your Mark, Get Set … You!

The New Year is upon on us and libraries are busy with hol­i­day pro­grams cel­e­brat­ing all things win­ter, pro­vid­ing make-and-take pro­grams that inspire cre­ativ­i­ty, and hav­ing a warm place to read.

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Snapshot: Wordless Books

Word­less pic­ture books are great for many rea­sons. They empha­size the impor­tance of art, build on impor­tant lit­er­a­cy skills, help chil­dren become sto­ry­tellers, and they are a reli­able source for imag­i­na­tion.

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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.”… more

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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 Dav Pilkey that tells the sto­ry of George and Harold’s new­ly cre­at­ed hero of jus­tice.… more

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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 bounces hous­es and cot­ton can­dy.… more

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 to sched­ule your sto­ry­time pro­grams out­doors.… more

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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 Dr.… more

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.… more