Showing posts from June, 2014

the night sky

Tonight we'll be having a program at Sticks College's Observatory. The Professor in charge does this program for free and the families loved it last year! He talks a little about the night sky and what we can expect to see, then opens the Observatory roof, and lets folks take turn looking through his telescope. Last year we had over 40 people show up, pretty amazing since the program begins at 9:30p.m.! I'll be laying on the grass, looking skyward and thinking summer thoughts tonight. :) A Summer Night Out on the lawn I lie in bed,
Vega conspicuous overhead
In the windless nights of June,
As congregated leaves complete
Their day’s activity; my feet
Point to the rising moon. Lucky, this point in time and space
Is chosen as my working-place,
Where the sexy airs of summer,
The bathing hours and the bare arms,
The leisured drives through a land of farms
Are good to a newcomer. Equal with colleagues in a ring
I sit on each calm evening
Enchanted as the flowers
The opening light draws out of h…

bed in summer

Another whirlwind weekend behind me; summer Reading and working lots of extra hours to cover 3 weeks of other folks' vacations has worn me down. My vacation to Germany can't get here soon enough! It is sad that I get super pumped about going home and getting into pjs and bed to do some reading before I crash?

"Bed in Summer"
In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer, quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.
I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people's feet Still going past me in the street.
And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day? --Robert Louis Stevenson

my busiest day since moving to Sticks!

For the first time since I moved here I am having a day full of activities all in or around Sticks!
WorkSoftball game (my team is the worst!)BBQ at Prairie Dawn's sisters'Booze & Shenanigans Book Group with the ex patriot crowd (what I loving call my friends in Sticks, most these folks work for Sticks College, and like me find themselves the liberal-minded minority in a very conservative Midwest farm town!) YAY for fun days!

And can we talk about how excited I am for my Adult Book Group this Tuesday? We're discussing The Fault in Our Stars, John Green!!! More on that later...

easy passive programs 101

When Prairie Dawn and I were beefing up the Summer Reading calendar back in March, we tried to add some "passive programs," which would be a fun way for families to connect.  Something simple: Sidewalk Chalk @ your Library We provide the chalk and sunny day, you provide the artistry. Here are some pictures of a few things that appeared a few weeks back:

cutest mad scientist EVER

Long week and I'm beat.
Getting ready to head out to my softball game with Chicago Boy, but wanted to share: this week we had teams come up with mad scientist outfits using these items:
garbage bags
pipe cleaners
and other bits and bobs

The teams had 25 minutes to work together to decorate their model and then walk the catwalk; this program definitely worked better with the teens, but the K-5th graders were stinking cute. One little brother (age 3.5 yrs) comes to everything (we let him stay because he behaves), and volunteered to be the model when none of the other kids would do it...oh sweet baby Jesus, he was ADORABLE. Just had to share this little mad scientists outfit!

breezing into the weekend

Today is a relatively easy day. I started doing something called "Playdate," about 3 months after I started and it's one of the programs our families with younger kids request that we keep. No problem! It's easy and requires little from us and gets a consistent set of folks attending!

We gear our Playdates to the 18mos. - 5 year old crowd, though all ages attend; put out age appropriate toys and puzzles atone station, a simple art project or coloring sheets at another station, and Playdough and cookie cutters/other Playdough tools at another station.
We set up, but don't supervise.
Parents chat and get to know one another while their wee beasties play.
Everybody wins.

Then this afternoon we have Junkbox Creations, where Prairie Dawn puts out bits and bobs, leftover art projects and things to create with. Kids can make whatever they want.

ChicagoBoy is coming to Sticks tonight, going to my game tomorrow, then we're both headed to Michigan for time…

cool programs galore!

This week might be one of my favorites this Summer Reading because we have so many fun entertainers/speakers happening.
Turtle Lady: whom I already blogged about Our local County Coroner (who also happens to be my doctor) spoke about the Forensic Science clues that dead bodies leave us. INFORMATIVE and FASCINATING. Low turnout, but those who came really enjoyed it.History of Sticks Co. Cemeteries: a program given by our local county genealogical society (I hit them up for this talk when I donated our old microfilm machine to them in the winter)Financial Literacy: InvestingStar Lab: Imagination Station, Toledo, OH is bringing down a portable planetarium. COOLEST THING! We did this at my library when I was a young grasshopper librarian and I loved it!  Not only do Prairie Dawn and I love it because these programs give us a break from presenting, but it's also great that aside from Turtle Lady and the Star Lab, the other programs were FREE to the Library! These folks donated their t…

turtles and more

Earlier this week we were joined by Turtle Lady (Nancy Lockard), who came to us from the Columbus, OH area, and who brought along a slew of animals: toads, a snake (I casually moved to the back of room for this portion of the program), dragons, and turtles galore!

Turtle Lady chatted a little bit about the animals, then let the kids walk around the tables and touch them when she was finished. The kids loved the show, especially when those wiley and ENORMOUS toads kept jumping out of their tanks to try and get out!

We received lots of thank-yous and "this was great!" from the parents, the kids were animatedly talking when they left,  and we had 87 people show up, so a good program for sure!

We would definitely have Turtle Lady back, and would definitely recommend her. Because we're about an hour and a half from Columbus she cost us $250 for an hour long show, but that included gas, so if you're closer to Columbus--check her out!


Remember my goal that we have 500 people sign-up for Summer Reading '14?
Last year we had 419 people at the end of the 6 weeks; this year, 3 weeks into Summer Reading and we have...drum roll, please...431 people signed up!! Can we get the rest to meet our goal of 500?!

The breakdown:
Birth-Age 5 (Non-Kindergarten): 56Kindergarten - 5th grade: 1456th grade - 12th grade: 73Adults: 157  I am still so impressed with our adults enthusiasm for the program. Go Sticks Grown-ups! You make this Librarian's heart SWELL!

caterpillar success!

We expected maybe 40 people for our The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Eric Carle) Birthday Party on Friday here at Sticks Library--71 people showed up.
We are hoping to expand the Library one day, and when people ask me why I use instances like that--the meeting room is maybe designed for 40 people, so folks were overflowed into the Kids Dept. area.

We had a great time. Prairie Dawn was kind enough to let me read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to the kiddos, as it's my favorite kids book, and then we let the kids make Hungry Caterpillar hats, decorate butterflies, color the foods that the Caterpillar eats, and we also had a station set up for kids to get their hands painted and printed on a huge "card," which I will be mailing to Mr. Eric Carle himself, via the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

the white house, ya'll

From the American Library Association:

"American Library Association supports makerspace in libraries"

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/12/2014
Contact: Mary Ghikas Senior Associate Executive Director American Library Association 312-280-2518 CHICAGO — Libraries of all types (academic, public, school, and special) are increasingly transforming their library spaces, resources and programming to offer makerspaces that provide opportunities for library patrons to engage with others in hands-on learning and creation.
Reflecting this rising interest in the making movement, the White House plans to host its first Maker Faire on June 18. In addition to the Makers who will be at the White House, June 18 will be a nationwide Day of Making, when communities across America share and celebrate their involvement in this movement.
The American Library Association would like to show library support for making in our communities. You and your institution may already be …

trouble when you walked in...

Guess who is the newest member to be inducted into the super cool READ poster club. Totting her signature red lipstick and a copy of Lois Lowry's Newbery Award winner, The Giver (the movie, due out in August, features Swift).

Not gonna lie, I fantasize that one day I will be on this poster too.

Damn it, I love her songs...even though I don't want to. 

celebrating our dear, very hungry friend

Thank God for Wednesdays which are movie days during Summer Reading--the day when Prairie Dawn and I can breathe and take a break. We break it down so that there's a family friendly movie in the morning (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 this week) and teens friendly movie in the afternoon (City of Bones).

Thursday was a lot of fun: Sensory Science for the 18mos-4years old crowd. Prairie Dawn read a book about Sinking & Floating, then each child was given a plastic bucket filled with water and a variety of objects, grown-ups asked the children if the item would sink or float (hypothesis!) and then watched as said item did it's thing. The kiddos loved it! Prairie Dawn also showed the kids a simple experiment with raisins (they sink), and Sprite (makes raisins float), talking about why that happened. Science made simple! Families had a blast. Good feed back.

Family Games and a speaker on Bigfoot in Ohio Thursday afternoon and night respectively--both things drew respectab…

art and STEM in the library

Mondays are art days during Summer Reading:

Make n' Takes for the K-5th grade crowd, Teen Art for the 6th-12th grade crowd. This week found the younger crowd making robots out of recyclable household items, tin foil, and bling objects: stickers, pipe cleaners, fuzzy balls, etc. Such a simple idea, but the kids (and parents!) had a blast and were really proud of what they put together. WIN!

The teens learned a little bit about binary codes, then made binary code necklaces, which they really enjoyed and showed off to me later. WIN again!

Tuesdays are STEM (Science Tech Engineering Math) days at the Library; Prairie Dawn and I were super pumped for this past Tuesday's morning because we'd farmed out the morning K-5th grade program, bringing in a group called Snapology, who say of themselves, "We provide a fun environment for children to learn math, science, technology, engineering and literacy concepts using Lego® bricks and other similar building tools." The pro…

summer reading goals

Last year we had 419 people sign up for Summer Reading (Birth-Adults).
My goal for this is 500 people.
Halfway into week 2 and we have *drum roll, please* 399 people signed up!!
We're almost at last year's numbers, and we can DEFINITELY make 500!

yoga break

So much to say about Summer Reading, but until there's more time, I wanted to at least share this video--great for anyone who has an office job and sits too much. I broke my tailbone in 2006 and have only recently begun doing elementary level yoga, but have really notice the benefits and pain relief.

So, try it out, you might be pleasantly surprised! Thanks Cleveland Clinic--you do Ohio proud!

these days remind me of why I became a librarian

Day #2 of Summer Reading and I am so thankful that I get to sleep in and close the Library tomorrow.

Today looked like this: STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Tuesday, K-5th grades: *Working in teams of 5-6, the kids had 10 minutes to build structures with 50 toothpicks and 100 mini marshmallows that would withstand an earthquake; earthquake simulated by placing structures in an aluminum foil pan full of jello and me shaking the bejeezus out of them. I was surprised how creatively the kids built the structures; we talked about what strengthens structures and what kind of buildings would handle the shock an earthquake better than others. Lots of laughter and lots of fun! Vision Screenings STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) Tuesday, 6th-12th grades: *Tweens/teens made compost bottles--creating the beginnings of a compost pile in 2 liter pop bottles; discussed composting process. Family Storytime: Theme was growth/plants; books: Compost Stew Mary McKenna Siddals, The Tiny Seed,…

my inner warrior

I love Mindy Kaling. I love The Mindy Project. And I love her Harvard speech.
Today as we begin our 2nd day of Summer Reading '14 and I'm feeling a little tired I'm tapping into my inner warrior...

great costumes on the cheap for Ohio libraries

Ohio Libraries, looking for fun costume rentals for your parties? These guys have tons of great book based costumes and we only have to pay for shipping as a public library. We've already booked Elephant & Piggie for a party in August. WOO HOO.

Guess who gets to be whom?

the pursuit of everything

Can we just talk about how awesome Maira Kalman's books are?! And her illustrations--which the New York Times referred to as "Matisse-like." HIGH PRAISE INDEED! Just look at her illustrations in Michael Pollan's Food Rules: An Eaters Manual!

I was super excited when I saw her newest: Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything because I love love loved her book, especially Looking at Lincoln, and also because I am FASCINATED by Thomas Jefferson. I. Was. Not. Disappointed!

Kalman is able to introduce her young readers to her subjects with interesting and insightful information, that she cleverly presents (I love her occasional tongue in cheek comments). And aside from her fun and super duper colorful illustrations, I like that Kalman doesn't gloss over the uncomfortable history (she mentions Sally Hemmings!). I also love that she has a simple and fun way of presenting the text! But don't believe me, just check the book out already!