Four Rio Arriba (New Mexico) Independent Libraries have been participating in the STEM to Read Program for the last three years. STEM to Read is preliteracy pilot program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as modeling skills that will help caregivers continue STEM and preliteracy education at home. The program was created by Explora! Museum and funded through a grant from the New Mexico Library Foundation and United Way of Northern New Mexico. The grant funding has run out, but three of the four libraries that participated in the pilot program are going to continue offering STEM activities.
Posts Tagged ‘children’s programming’
Even when school is out for the summer, some school libraries in Baltimore are open for business, providing books, activities, and meals to hundreds of Baltimore City students.
Newsflash! If you are a children’s librarian, then you are a performer. As such, there are things you can do to make your “performances” really special. This post will focus on the most universal of library performances: storytime.
If you have ever planned a program for kids or teens, then you have probably had at least one program that was a total bust. You spent weeks flipping through magazines, scouring the Internet looking for ideas, collaborating with colleagues, Pinning, planning, prepping, and organizing what you think is a fabulous program idea, only to have a couple of kids (or even no kids) show up. There are plenty of reasons for low program attendance, but many librarians immediately blame themselves when a program is not successful. If I only spent more time on it! Had it on a different day! Had snacks! Used more glitter! Often the reaction is to ramp things up even more, hoping that if you worker harder, the next program will bring in the patrons. But what if the opposite were true? What if you could do less and still have a successful program? Amy Koester, the “Show Me Librarian” and Youth & Family Program Coordinator at the Skokie (IL) Public Library, explains how that just might be possible with something she calls “unprogramming.”
The good news: New York City libraries are facing an unprecedented demand for storytime. The bad news? How to manage the numbers.
Like many public libraries, Brookfield (IL)Public Library had a problem with unsupervised kids hanging out at the library after school. The children gathered in the cozy youth area and due to space constraints, seemingly overtook the library. Their youthful exuberance was considered by some to be loud and disruptive. In response, Executive Director, Kimberly Coughran […]
More children from low-income families in the Cincinnati area will be getting books for their own personal libraries, thanks to some philanthropic groups. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has partnered with Reach Out and Read to help deliver a free book each month to children from birth to age five. The philanthropic groups have created a venture fund called Every Child Capital, which has goals to ensure more donated money goes towards programs that are working. This program has committed to giving nearly $1 million with the hopes that it is successful, in which case the Cincinnati Public School system will take over the program.
Books can open doorways to discovery. PerfectPiggies! (2010) by Sandra Boynton, for example, delights babies and toddlers with quirky fun and
upbeat illustrations—and helps grown-ups interact with children. “Isn’t that pig silly? What do you think will happen next?” Adults learn to relax and enjoy the “conversation”—”bah doo bah doink.” Parents can invite story connections to personal life. “A piggy needs kindness. Wasn’t Grandma kind to bring us flowers yesterday?” A well-chosen book and a suggested home activity help parents create a heart-to-heart intimacy with their child. Library play-and-learn centers magnetically draw children into the kind of play that engages and inspires them. Grown-ups and children—by talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing—can enter into this world of discovery.
We are fascinated with the geek culture, especially when fans bring their favorite characters to life from literature. We all promote literacy and already had formed a bond through social media. When we found out two years ago that the 2015 theme for Summer Reading would be “Heroes,” it hit us that a comic convention or Con would be the ideal way to culminate the program. Some of us had been to Cons and were already familiar with how they worked, but they were more adult-oriented. We wanted to offer a safe place to our library patrons in real space for their passion and interests, and what place better represents a safe haven to our community than our library
The maker movement brings together handicrafts and technology in one exciting phenomenon. Whether you like crafts or circuits, or a combination of the two, there’s something for you. Libraries across the world, are offering specialized maker programs to encourage interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, as well as the more artistic areas of making. Some libraries are also offering programs tailored to specific patron groups, like maker programs for girls. An example of this is the Make-HER program at Sunnyvale (CA) Public Library.
Robots have arrived at the library. The newest staff member at Longmont Public Library in Colorado is a robot prototype named Bibli. It can tell a story, answer patron’s questions, and show patrons where materials are located within a limited amount of space. Bibli was built for this library to engage with library patrons–especially those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)—and explore partnering with industry.
Public libraries are starting to play a larger role as a referrer of community health and social services. Many larger public library systems (such as Washington, D.C. and San Francisco) are adding social workers to their employee roster. In a recent TechSoup for Libraries and WebJunction co-hosted webinar, we examined social service referral programs from three libraries of varying sizes. And at ALA 2015, WebJunction showcased its Health Happens in Libraries program along with five library participants at a poster session.
But for libraries that don’t have the budget or staffing to develop a robust social services or meal program, a tool like Range is an easy (and free!) way to get started. One librarian I spoke with said that she posted a flier about Range on her library’s community bulletin board. She said that although they don’t get a lot of questions about social services, there is a high poverty rate in her community. She thought that posting Range’s information could help a family in need if they were too afraid to ask.
For a while we have heard a great deal about STEM. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This focus has understandably trickled down to the public library. While I support and see the value in the STEM disciplines, I must point out that a stem without flowers is pretty bleak. It is only through diverse and well-rounded education that true advancement can be made. Aesthetic and creative disciplines are as valuable as science and math. A liberal arts education still has value. It concerns me that as a culture we seem to be abandoning humanities and arts for science and technology, rather than trying to maintain a healthy balance.
Special Access Browsing is an after-hours program designed for kids on the Autism spectrum and their families. Our library opens up its Children and Teen Services Department when the library is normally closed just for this patron population. We also try to offer a craft or program at the same time. Our Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community has responded well to these events.
The Fayetteville Free Library’s week-long Geek Girl Camp gives elementary-age girls the opportunity to learn and play in various STEAM fields all in one location – the library!