Monday, December 31, 2012

New Literacy Computers!

This year has been great for us at the Parma Public Library.  Senator Robach gave our library some money to purchase new items for the children's section.  I was able to order three literacy computers and install them this past week.  They've only been in the library for three days and the kids are constantly at them.  Here is a picture of what they looked like when we first set them up.

Next to come: two iPads!  We will be loading the iPads with tons of apps for children to use in the children's section of the library.

In addition to all this technology we got a puppet theater for the children's section as well as some awesome puppets.  new furniture will also be arriving any day now.  Once the section is complete I will be posting some pictures of our new and improved area.  It already looks a million times better.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Highlights of 2012

Here's a list of books that I thought were really great this year:

  • Rapture (final book in the Fallen Series) by Lauren Kate
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer Smith
  • Life Happens Next by Terry Trueman
  • The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
  • Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
  • In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
  • Skinny by Donna Cooner

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New YA Book Review

I just finished reading Skinny by Donna Cooner.  It was refreshing to read something different from all the dystopian and fantasy novels out there.  This story follows Ever who lost her mother to cancer and comforts herself with food.  Ever is in high school and weighs 302 pounds.  She is a very unhappy girl who has a voice in her head she calls Skinny who reminds her constantly that no one likes her and everyone is judging her based on her size.  Ever covers her pain with sarcasm and mean comments to fellow students.  She decides to have gastric bypass surgery to help her lose weight.  This book is about her weight loss journey and self discovery.  This is a great book that has believable characters and story that won't disappoint.  Skinny is a great read for all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Picture Book Winter Book List

·         There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
·         Is That You , Winter? By Stephen Gammell
·         Snow day! by Barbara Joosse
·         Snowmen All Year by Caralyn Buehner
·         Dream Snow by Eric Carle
·         The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
·         Tracks in the Snow by Wong Herbert Yee
·         It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! by Jack Prelutsky
·         Snow in the Woods- Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick
·         Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson
·         Snow Day for Mouse by Judy Cox
·         It’s Snowing! by Gail Gibbons
·         Snow Happy by Patricia Hubbell
·         Let It Snow by Maryanne Cocca-Leffler
·         Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds

Friday, November 30, 2012

Winter/Holiday books for Young Adults

After searching for what seemed like days I have found a nice selection of YA books that have either a winter or holiday theme for the season.  I've been working on a display in the Teen Lounge and found enough of these books in my collection to make it look alright.  :-)
Here's what I've come up with.

  • Icing on the Lake by Catherine Clark
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater 
  • Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn
  • The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
  • The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Trapped by Michael Northrop
  • Winter's End by Jean-Claude Mourlevat
  • Let it Snow by John Green
  • Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
  • Love on the Lifts by Rachel Hawthorne
  • Sun & Moon, Ice & Snow by Jessica Day George
  • As Simple As Snow by Gregory Galloway
  • Kissing Snowflakes by Abby Sher
  • Far From You by Lisa Schroeder
  • Secret Santa by Sabrina James
  • Winter's Kiss by Jennifer Echols
  • Winter Town by Stephen Emond
  • Snowed In by Rachel Hawthorne
  • Mistletoe: Four Holiday Stories by Hailey Abbott

Monday, November 26, 2012

Comic Book Club

After attending a Comics Conference this past spring I decided to start a Comic Book Club for elementary kids grades 2-6 (I may change the ages to just grades 4-6).  The purpose of this club is to introduce or explore more comic books geared toward elementary age children.  The club meets once a month, each month we explore a different aspect of creating a comic book.  I took the different elements and turned them into comprehensible ideas for the kids.  We look at different comic books in the library and spend some time working on creating our own comics.  I allow time each session for participants to share about comics they are reading or creating. So far there are a few attendees and my hope is that as word spreads that there is a new program at the library that more kids will participate.

Some of the books that I used to create my monthly activities are as followed:

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels by Scott McCloud
Lila & Ecco's Do-It-Yourself Comics Club by Willow Dawson

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Getting Teens Involved

Over the last few years my library has turned into the hangout for teens.  They love to hide away in the teen lounge or play chess  by the magazines.  The computers are always teaming with kids and teens after school. The issue I've run into this year is program attendance.  I've always polled the teens for the types of programs they want to attend at the library and plan based on that.  I've polled the teens this summer and they like the programs we have, but the do not come for the program.  They will be in the library, but don't want to participate in the programs.  Art Club and Teen Advisory Board are the only teen ones that are attended.  They do not even come for game day anymore.  I've considered changing the time of programming, or maybe I need to change the programs themselves.  The teens are aware of when programs are.  It's posted all over the library and internet.  It's obviously time for change and with the new year coming I plan to change the teen programming at the library so that it suits the teens better.
Time to get planning!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Whimsical Tree

I saw a picture the other day of a pretty whimsical tree with swirls and buttons.  I drew my own tree design and added some buttons and jewels.  I thought this would be fun for teens to do as the front of a holiday card or for kids to do as a picture during their holiday break.

Here is what my whimsical tree looks like:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Star Wars Snowflakes

This is just awesome!  I found this craft on Pinterest.  The link has patterns of snowflakes that you cut to make different Star Wars characters and ships.  Some patterns are easier than others.

I suggest using nail scissors and an exacto knife to cut all the small pieces out.  I would consider this for a teen program.  Right now I've just made a few myself and will hang them in the children's area among the other snowflakes.  It will be a fun surprise for all the Star War fans and they will have fun trying to spot the Death Star and Darth Vader.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gingerbread Contest!

This will be the third year of this contest at the library.  The first year I did this I had 24 houses submitted.  The last year there were a few less, but more groups involved and extremely detailed structures.  This is a super easy program, that the whole community can get involved in.  This year a local coffee shop is donating the prizes.  I give out prizes to every age category and the group category.  We have a big display window in the front of our library so I make a winter gingerbread village in there and number the houses so people can come in the library and vote.  People really get into this program and of course we put out a display of all our gingerbread constructing books!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Technology, Teens and the Library

This is completely based off of my experience in a small town library.  I've talked with the teens who come to the library and the teens who are on the Teen Advisory Board about technology and what they think the library should have.  I also asked them if they use any type of eReader for school or fun.  Turns out that only a few of them own eReaders or use their smart phones to read books.  A few have a tablet of some sort, but do not use it for reading.  They prefer coming to the library and borrowing books.  When asked what technology they would like to see in the library, they all agreed that there should be iPads for the teens to use.
I've been looking into how to use the iPads with the teens.  They mainly want the iPads just to sit down in the Teen Lounge and surf the Web or play games on them.  That is something that can easily be done, but what else could they be used for?  Gaming days at the library, use them to make eBooks, digital drawing contests, check books out right from the iPad???  There are many possibilities, it's just a matter of developing a library program that the teens will want to participate in.  I'm thinking about including library iPads in my monthly challenge games and see if I can get more teens to participate.  What are your thoughts on introducing more technology into the library and using it with teens or kids?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review! Book Review!

I've just finished reading In a Glass Grimmly by  Adam Gidwitz.  This is the sequel to  A Tale Dark and Grimm.  These are both great books geared toward fourth or fifth grade.  My favorite part about these two books is how the author interjects his voice throughout the stories.  Mostly to caution the readers.
These are the Grimm tales mashed together and still gruesome, but in a way that is not real scary.  Kids will enjoy these stories and maybe search the shelves for more Grimm tales.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Glitter, glitter everywhere: 3-D Stars

It looks like my desk was bombed by glitter faeries, but I had a lot of fun making this 3-D star.  I know the teens will enjoy them too next Art Club.  Of course, I got the idea for these from Pinterest.  Here is a link to how to make them.  3-D STARS 

The cool think about this is you can have teens or yourself save cereal boxes and cut your stars right out of that or any other cardboard you have on hand.  I save thin cardboard from packages all the time because they come in handy for projects like this.  These stars will sit nicely on a window sill or mantel. You can also add some ribbon when attaching the sides together and make a nice ornament.  The star I made is as about 4 inches tall.

It's a bit hard to tell through all the glitter in this picture but it is 3-D.  
Here is the picture from Pinterest: 


Thanksgiving: Books and Crafts

November is one of my favorite months of the year.  Mostly because my birthday is in November, but I also love fall crafts!  Here are a couple of my favorite fall crafts to do with teens and kids along with some great books.

Rectangular leaf wreath. This can be made using cereal boxes or any other scrap cardboard, fall colored leaves at any craft store, ribbon, a pumpkin cut out of foam using a die cut machine, and glitter.  I used a hot glue gun to attach the leaves and ribbon.  These make great presents and are fun to make.  The teens would do this craft in Art club or during a school break.

This cute little pumpkin is made out of foam and cute into a pumpkin shape using a die cut machine.  These are simple and fun to make.  Sometime I attach ribbon on the back and other times I use magnet strips.  I find that ribbon glued to the back of the foam works best.  Sometimes for a more cost effective craft I use orange card stock and magnet strips.  This way children can have a choice of crayons or markers.  Glitter is always fun to add to these little projects, but it definitely gets messy with several little ones around.  :-)

Fall Wreath:  This is made with a paper plate, fall leaves, and ribbon.  I cut the center out of a paper plate and punch small holes all around it-just big enough for the stem of the leaf to fit through.  I tape the stems down to the back of the wreath and use a glue stick to keep the leaves flat on the plate.  This one has a cute little squirrel and acorns on it, but it would look nice with a small turkey!

Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch 
    by Mary Peterson
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving 
    by Dav Pilkey
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie
    by Alison Jackson
Splat Says Thank You! 
    by Rob Scotton
Thanksgiving Rules 
    by Laurie Friedman
'Twas the Day AFTER Thanksgiving 
    by Mavis Smith
The Littlest Pilgrim 
    by Brandi Dougherty
Over the River and Through the Wood 
    by Lydia Maria Child
The Perfect Thanksgiving 
    by Eileen Spinelli

Friday, November 2, 2012

November's TAB Challenge

Parma's Teen Advisory Board liked my idea of monthly challenges for library teens to participate in for a chance to win a $5.00 gift certificate to out local coffee shop.  This month's challenge was taken from School Library Journal  Vol 35, No. 4.  It's called Photo Finish.  What I did was cut up a ton of random pictures from old magazines and put them in a box with instructions on the lid. Teens are told to take 3 pictures out of the box without looking.  They tape the pictures to a piece of paper and write a short 1-2 paragraph story using the pictures. TAB members will vote on a winning story at the beginning of Dec.  I can't wait to see what the teens come up with this month!

Friday, October 26, 2012

TAB Explosion!

I just have to share how awesome the teens are at the Parma Public Library!  The president of the Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is just amazing.  She is super outgoing and getting all of her friends involved this year.   Tab went from having only 4 members left at the beginning of the year to 10 members last month.  I was informed last week that there are 12 more teens interested in joining TAB!  I cannot believe how much this group has grown and how active they have become in the library and community.  I've left them in charge of planning the scavenger hunt for the next library lock-in and they  have come up with some great ideas.  I'm so impressed with these teens.  This group has been very vocal in what they think the library needs for teens and the rest of the patrons.  They are very eager to be involved in children's programming and are working on programs that they can fit into.  I can't wait til the next meeting with them!  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tile Coasters

This week the Teen Art Club made tiled coasters.  I cleaned out my parent's garage last month and found buckets full of old tiles that were never used.  I cleaned them up and brought them to the library along with a stash of my scrapbooking supplies.  The teens had lots of papers to choose from; washi tape, gems, and decals.  They went crazy with all that!  It was great to see their enthusiasm for this art project and their creativity.  Each teen had a unique style to their coasters.  Here's what they came up with.

This project cost me $0.00 because I had everything either at the library or at home.
To make these simply cut a 4"x4" piece of paper.
Mod Podge it to the tile.
Add any other items to coaster such as gems or decals.
Mod Podge over the entire piece and let dry.
Cut 4 small squares out of a sheet of cork and use Mod Podge to attach to the bottom of the tile.
Using a can of clear acrylic spray paint spray the tiles making sure the entire top surface is covered.
* Make sure you buy water resistant or water proof paint to seal the project and protect it from beverages.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall Book List for Kids

Here is a small book list of some of my favorite fall books to read to kids.

Fall Book List:

*      Fall, Leaves, Fall! by Zoe Hall
*      Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka
*      Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
*      Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
*      Apple Farmer Annie  by Monica Wellington
*      Splat Says Thank You!  By Rob Scotton
*      There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves!  by Lucille Colandro

Friday, October 19, 2012

Chalk Board Paint!

I decided to dabble in chalkboard paint.  So I had one of my oh so talented Pages paint on the side of one of the book shelves in the teen section.  This picture is just the first coat.  She is going to add some colored trim to the shape later.  I'm going to use the board for teen program announcements and fun quotes.  It already looks great with just one coat. I'm trying to think of where else I can use chalkboard paint in the library.  Hmmmm  :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Preparing for winter

I know it's only the beginning of October, but I've started planning my crafts for the winter sessions of evening storytime.  I came across a post on Pinterest of this nice picture of stained glass trees made from tissue paper.  I thought this would make an adorable project for storytime, so I came up with this:

I'll have the kids make one tree on half a sheet of light gray card stock.  The sky is made using blue liquid watercolor diluted with water.  Snowflakes were made with a standard hole punch.  I wanted to add a little something extra so I included a snowflake poem that I found with a Google search.  There's tons out there so pick which one you like best.  :-)
Paint top half of paper blue
Tree:  Make triangles in a word document.  Have kids glue (I used glue sticks) squares of tissue paper onto the triangle.  Make sure they over lap and go beyond the outline of the triangle.  Once that is completely covered cut out triangle.
Glue triangle to paper and use a piece of tissue paper for the trunk.
Glue white dots for snow all over the paper and tree.
Glue snow poem.
And now you have an adorable winter picture to put on the fridge or frame!

There are so many pictures books that can go along with this craft.  I will post a list later this month of winter storytime books that I like to use.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fun Activity for Teens

A few weeks ago my Teen Advisory Board (TAB) started their own Twitter account.  The current officers are all extremely tech savvy so I let them branch out a bit on their own with me checking in on them every now and then.  Right now they are using the Twitter account TABYou'reIt to give hints about the them for our next library lock-in that they are planning.

I was flipping through my October issue of VOYA and saw an article about short activities for teens written by Rebecca C. Moore.  One is called Story in a Tweet.  Basically a teen has to write a complete story using only the 140 characters allowed in a single tweet.  BRILLIANT!!!  I posed this challenge to the library teens and told them that the TAB group would vote for their favorite story and the winner will get a $5 gift certificate to our local coffee shop (that is oh so conveniently located across the street from the library).  I can't wait to see what stories they will come up with.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Banned Books Week

I'm getting ready for Banned Books Week (September 30-October 6) and I decided to make wanted posters of books that are banned, but are so popular that they are rarely in the library.  I was able to find a free wanted poster that I could download here and added the cover art to the poster.  I plan to laminate them and hang in the Teen Lounge next to my book display.  Throw in some flames and caution tape and here is what I came up with.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pumpkin game for preschoolers

I saw this on Pinterest (of course) and thought it would be a fun game to play in my evening stortyimes this fall.  The dice (snatched from the blocks in the kid's section of the library) has a pumpkin  on every side.  Each pumpkin has an eye or a nose, or a mouth.  Kids take turns rolling the dice and putting the face together on their pumpkin.  There are two pumpkins on the dice that are plain pumpkins.  If a child rolls the plain pumpkin they have to put one piece of their pumpkin face back.  The game continues on until someone has a pumpkin with two eyes, a nose, and mouth.  Pumpkins and face pieces were all made out of felt.  I used clipart to print out six pumpkins and added the facial feature on the individual pumpkins.  I cut the pieces and mod podged them to the wooden block.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another book review

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle.
I read this one in a day.  Miranda, a young actress whose parents are Shakespearean actors, struggles in her school play of The Taming of the Shrew.  The first performance of the play does not go well for her and before she can escape the school and go home to sulk fellow classmate and actor, Stephen whisks her away to sixteenth century England.  There she must rescue the young William Shakespeare and save history.   This book offers a great blend of fact and incite into the time period, romance, and mystery.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams

I recently read Waiting by carol Lynch Williams.  This is a great YA novel for teens.  It's a story filled with sorrow and grief as told by London a teenage girl who loses her brother Zach.  London tells her story in short bursts as events unfold.  Her small missionary family is broken by the loss of her brother.  London's mother refuses to talk to her after Zach's death and blames her for his death.  London struggles through dealing with the pain of loss and the blame that is placed on her all while adjusting to the new normal.  This is a great story that leaves the readers with hope for a new beginning for London.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Let the programs begin!

Ahhh, the start of another school year.  That means the start of school-year programming at the library.  Time management is key during these months.  I have 3 storytimes per week, 1 teen program, 1 family program per week and 2 home school programs per month.  My schedule tends to get pretty crazy, but I love staying busy.  Starting Monday I have my evening storytime for preschool-first grade.  I always do a craft activity during these storytimes.  Check back each Monday to see what crafts the kids will be making.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Corner Bookmarks

I just came across this on Pinterest and had to share.  These are the most adorable bookmarks I have ever seen.  I plan to make them with the teens during Art Club this month.  Here is a picture of what they look like.
This is from Tally's Treasures and there are a ton of other great ideas.  I will post the bookmarks that the teens create later this month!

Here is my first attempt at these adorable little monsters...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

I just finished reading Rapture by Lauren Kate.  This is the final book in the Fallen series.  I finished the book in a day, I just couldn't put it down.  This series follows a group of fallen angels who fight for love and save the world.  Great for teens who like books with supernatural themes.  The books provides harrowing  fight scenes and the love story that teen girls crave.  I suggest this series to teens who are looking for something different to read.

Rapture by Lauren Kate

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Clothespin Fish Craft

I'm an easily distracted person so Pinterest for me goes from a simple search for a cute storytime craft idea to spending a bit more time than necessary on the website and discovering a new drink that I want to try some weekend with the girls.  Although, an easy temptation to slack off, Pinterest is a great tool to use in library programming.  About half my summer reading programs were inspired by Pinterest posts and adapted for the library.  I'm real excited about a new craft I stumbled upon that I will be doing with some preschoolers when I visit there class later next month.  You can check out the Pinterest post here.
This is a picture of my adapted version that will be easy enough for preschool-age children to do.

What you need:

  • Fish cut out/cut in half (I drew my own and made copies)
  • Colorful paper
  • Bubbles (find a picture on the internet, use clipart, or draw your own!)
  • Wiggly eyes
  • Clothespin
  • Glue

Glue the bubbles to the back of the lower half of the fish.  Use a small amount of glue and attach the lower half the the fish to one half of the clothespin.  You need to be able to pinch open the clothespin.  Glue the top of the fish to the top half of the clothespin.  Add a wiggly eye, and you're done.  The kids will have lots of fun squeezing the fish open and seeing the bubbles in its mouth!  I let the preschoolers color their fish before we put the craft together.