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Showing posts from June, 2011

Summer Reading Roundup Week 3!

I can't believe our summer reading program is already half-way through (weeks 1 and 2)! We only do a short 6-week program and honestly that works wonderfully for us. We do usually get a few requests to lengthen it but we explain that our system is a massive undertaking and people have been very understanding.

It has been an interesting summer with the flooding last week. I am hoping it will not have too much of a effect on our signups and circulation, but so far they are a little behind what my goals were for this year. I am trying to remember that sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down, but as a competitive person, I always like to "beat" the year before.

We seemed to have turned a corner and are now having nice enough weather that our outside storytimes can actually be outdoors! We had a wonderful turnout for yesterday and a smaller one today, but both were well-recieved. Wednesday we had a minor incident where we had to remove a poor deceased bird minut…

#FlannelFriday Roundup for June 24, 2011

I'm thrilled to be hosting another Flannel Friday roundup. If you'd like to take a turn, check the schedule and see what dates are available, and then email me or send me a message on Twitter (I'm @sotomorrow). I recommend jumping in on Flannel Friday at least a few times before hosting one, so you are comfortable with blogging and Flannel Friday conventions (basic stuff like linking to other pages and leaving comments).

This was another great week for flannelboards. I have just been astounded by the creativity of my fellow youth librarians from across the country. I know for me, as the only children's librarian around these parts, it has been so wonderful to find you all and discuss storytelling and early literacy. Thank you all for being so willing to share your hard work so we can all learn and create together. And, of course, a big shout-out to Mel for the idea to do this in the first place.

On to why you really came here today, our roundup!

"1 Little, 2 Litt…

The Hair-Raising Adventures of Sara Susan

Today's #FlannelFriday is "The Hair-Raising Adventures of Sara Susan" from Glad Rags: Stories and Activities Featuring Clothes for Children by Jan Irving and Robin Currie (page 181). Irving and Currie books are worth checking out for lots of ideas, although specific picture books might be out of print. They have some great storytelling ideas and are worth a browse.

For this one, I can't remember if I just didn't like the artwork or there wasn't any given, but I decided to use Microsoft clip-art.

Meet Sara Susan, who never wanted to brush her hair:

Well, you can imagine her hair became even more of a mess after some animals decided that it would make quite a nice nest:
I printed out my clip-art and glued on some Velcro to the back to make it stick to my board. Then I hot-glued a bunch of yarn onto Sara Susan's head to make her hair. That was a lot of fun. If I had it all to do over again, I'd probably make Susan's head sized to fit an entire sheet…

Cricut and Libraries Part II: Electric Boogaloo

I wanted to share what I think are the must-haves for a public library wanting to use a Cricut in the youth department. Hopefully this will be helpful to some of you who already have one or those of you who might have one on your wish list.

1. A Cricut machine. For library use, you're definitely going to want to get the largest size they sell. Currently that is the Expression, which is capable of cutting items at up to 12" by 24". I have the original Expression but they recently released a 2nd version of the Expression. You will have to compare them yourselves as I haven't seen the new one anywhere, but it's something to keep in mind.

2. Cutting mats. All Cricut accessories and cartridges are extremely expensive so you are going to want to shop around for a good deal. The mats don't last particularly long either, although some users have had good luck "resticking" their mats with various techniques. You can Google around for some ideas and experime…

Summer Reading Roundup Week 2: One to Remember!

Oh boy, was this a memorable week for summer reading! Months ago we scheduled it to be the week where we record extra statistics for our state aid reports, which is always extra work, but little did we know what this week had in store for us.

Monday I was off at our other branch doing storytime and then came back here to finish my day. Tuesday we had our regular storytime at the library, and then I had a meeting in the afternoon. In between was our regularly scheduled elevator inspection, and this time our elevator was found to have 2 faults: one with the alarm and the other with the door. We recieved an estimate for the repairs and work is being scheduled.

But Wednesday. Oh Wednesday... Wednesday morning I walked in to water pouring in the staff entrance. There was water flooding the public restroom and the children's department, as well as the computer lab. We have had flooding problems before during periods of heavy rain (this spring was also quite bad), but never this bad as…

Public Libraries and Cricut Machines

While going through my email, I noticed on the PUBYAC list-serv a post asking about using a Cricut or similar machine in a library setting. I thought some others might be interested in what I had to say. Here is an edited version of what I responded with. Remember this is just my personal experience at home and work.

I have a Cricut Expression at home (bought it in September 2010). The first one I bought at our local big box store, and it was a lemon. But ProvoCraft's customer service was very good about getting this fixed for me after I sent in the machine to them. My replacement machine works very well and I have enjoyed using it.

There is now a newer version of the Expression (which I have not researched). After seeing some of the things mine can do, my director purchased an Expression for our library this spring. You can see some of my projects for yourself on my blog:

So far we mostly use the Cricut for bulletin boar…

Silly Sally

Around here, Silly Sally is a storytime classic. So it seems fitting to post it for today's #flannelfriday. I know that some of my #flannelfriday conspirators sing this book to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle" but I prefer to read it. This is an easy one to accidentally memorize as well. By which I mean, to have read it so many times you no longer need to see the words.

Here's Silly Sally and her whole gang of colorful characters:

But my personal favorite from this cast of characters is Neddy Buttercup, surely one of the most memorably-attired characters in children's literature. You know, this guy: 
Pattern source is Storytime Magic. You can download it here (pattern #340).

Be sure to check out Melissa's blog for our Flannel Friday round-up! Archives are here.

Summer Reading Manifesto

Someone posted on our state library list-servearlier this week about teens and summer reading:

Do any libraries have a special policy for allowing teens to use graphic novels as part of the summer reading program?  We have a prize for the most pages read & are concerned that the teens reading classic novels are being cheated by the ones reading graphics.  We thought about having a
word count instead of a page count...Any input would be greatly appreciated!

 Here is my (slightly-edited) response to the question's asker: 

Our teens are allowed to read whatever they want. I urge you not to think that graphic novels are "cheating". Some of them are "serious works of art" and some are serious fun. Should summer reading be a competition (what "cheating" implies) or should it be to encourage reading for fun?

When I was in high school, I liked reading all sorts of genres. I would have been mortified and/or very angry if a librarian told me what I wa…

Summer Reading Week 1 Roundup

Well, it has been an interesting first week of summer reading around here. My parapro and I have both been felled by the same cold. She had it worst last week and then I caught it over the weekend and missed the first half of the week. But I wanted to share our storytime plans for this week.

You may remember that I posted a crowd-sourced overview of the original plan, but with being sick, we had to revise. I really think that being flexible and prepared are the two keys to a really good storytime experience.

This week we were sharing stories about cars, trucks, and other things that go. The original plan was:
"Dinosaurs in Cars" Song
"My Dump Truck" felt board, (from Storytime Magic #397 here) (had to cut this as I ran out of time to make it!)
That's How by Christoph Niemann
I Stink by Kate McMullan (Thought it was too long for my poor voice--see below)
The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler (I wound up liking The Grumpy Dump Truck better)

Well, when I was …

Summer Reading Time

I see that Abby is collecting summer reading posts, so I thought I'd write up a quick explanation of how we do ours at my library. We actually kick-off on Monday, but we let people sign-up the week before so they're all set to go. I had my first SRP-stress nightmare last night so I know we are in the crunch zone.

Signup: Basically the kids/parents fill out an index card and get a log. I just use one from the CSLP manual (we count time spent reading). The kids also get a wallet. This year it has a copy of the guidelines, bookmark, and a free library dollar (more on that in a minute) as well as a certificate for a free kids' meal donated by a local restaurant. (We didn't solicit this, by the way, one of the owners walked in and asked if they could donate kids' meals. I said sure, thinking he'd give us 10. We got 200 and he gave me his home phone number in case we need more. Awesome.) We file the index cards alphabetically for when the kids come back with a comple…

"Five Little Trucks"

Today's #flannelfriday is related to my previous "Five Little Firetrucks" which I made from a thrift store sheet, remember? Well, here's a regular "Five Little Trucks" version:

Five Little Trucks
(Adapted by Anne Neidinger. Sing to the tune of "Five Little Ducks")

Five Little Trucks went out to play, (Hold up five fingers)
Into the mud pit far away. (Make circle in front of you like hole in the ground with both hands and move far away from body)
When a big HONK HONK (Pat palm of one hand twice over fist of other like honking horn)
Came from Big Truck Mac, (Hold up fist only)
Four Little Trucks came rumbling back. (Hold up four fingers and move them from far away toward body)

And then you keep on counting until this final verse:
One Little Truck went out to play, (Hold up one fingers)
Into the mud pit far away. (Make circle in front of you like hole in the ground with both hands and move far away from body)
When HONK HONK, HONK HONK (Pat palm of o…

Crowdsourcing Storytime a Success!

Here's an update on my #crowdsourcingstorytime post from last week: It was a smashing success. I want to thank everyone so much for helping me out, special shout-outs to my fellow MichiganderVicki and Melissa for sending loads of ideas. I was worried people would think I was lazy or uncreative, but if you thought that--you kept it to yourself! And I thank you for that. Please note that Mel's craft ideas are her own design and she is being very generous in sharing them with my blog readers. Contact her if you have any questions about use and permissions (ie. copyright restrictions).

Here is our 6-week overview
Week 1- Cars & Trucks
Dinosaurs in Cars"
My Dump Truck felt board, (from Storytime Magic #397 here)
That's Howby Christoph Niemann
I Stinkby Kate McMullan
The Little Dump Truckby Margery Cuyler
Craft Idea: On the Road traffic signs and cars (by Mel) and Road Trip map (drawn by me--don't laugh!)

Week 2- Silly Stories
Soup Operaby Jim Gill  (acting out with puppets…


Here's an oldie but a goodie for today's #FlannelFriday! It's the traditional song, "BINGO!"

The letters are on the front and I flip them over to indicate where to clap. This is for my benefit as well because I am extremely absent-minded.
You most likely know this one, but just in case, here are the words:

There was a farmer who had a dog,

And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

And on the subsequent verses, you begin to substitute a clap instead of saying the letter, like this:
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

Patterns are from The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra (not sure which edition it's in, possibly both?)

Looking for more Flannel Friday goodness? This week Mollie is hosting…

What's Hot at Your Library?

I loved Travis's idea to post the Top 10 most circulating books, so here are ours (due to ties, there may be more than 10 in a category)! We are a public library youth department (birth through high school) in mid-Michigan. This would be fun to do every year and compare.

Since we're a public library, we normally do circulation statistics based on the calendar year (or sometimes fiscal year), but in the spirit of "end of the school year" I ran mine from August 2010 to June 2011. Our circulation periods for all of these items are 3 weeks (except the DVDs), with one renewal possible if there is not a hold on the title. Please note that these are the most circulating copies of books and not the most circulating titles, which I am honestly not sure how to calculate on our ILS. That explains the absence of many of the series we have lots of copies of (Harry Potter and Twilight come to mind) but even though we have several copies of Jeff Kinney's, Suzanne Collins', o…

Help plan my summer storytimes!

I always enjoy helping others #crowdsourcing storytime and now I need help to find crafts that go with my plans for summer reading storytime. So I am begging you for some ideas, please! I like to do artsy stuff on my own time but I don't like thinking of craft activities for storytime. It seems to take way too much time and I'd prefer to use that time to find awesome books and group activities.

Here are some things to keep in mind:
1) I am hoping to make these take-home crafts so they must be easy for the parents to understand as well as easy to pass out (I am hoping to avoid using Ziplock baggies due to the expense and because of #2. Also the amount of garbage).
2) We expect about 100 kids per week (give or take) so it must be something easily affordable and easy enough to make in large quantities
3) Must use things we/families already have (copy paper, construction paper, glue, makers, crayons, etc.) We have some things at the library that some families might not have (seq…