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Showing posts from July, 2011

Library Day in the Life (#libday7)

If I were a patron, I'd have racked up a serious fine, because this blog post is so overdue! Finally, here is my #LibDay7 post! Thanks for waiting and I hope you enjoy. I will be updating this post throughout the day so I apologize to anyone who sees it multiple times in their RSS feed.

I am a youth librarian in a Michigan public library, but today I have been scheduled to work in the adult department, which is always a challenge when your expertise lies elsewhere. But it can be fun to answer some tougher reference questions and see some new (to me) patrons.

8:00 Arrive at library. Yesterday I was at a workshop so I spend a few minutes going through items on my desk and running through my mental to-do list of items I want to get done before we open at 10:00. Start working on those: change the bulletin board (from an idea I found on Pinterest), go through new books fresh out of processing, check email and voicemail, as well as daily opening preparations (turn on computers, change…

One more Dewey Decimal sign...

This is just a quick post (coincidentally, we are knee-deep in a painting project of our own) to share one more Dewey Decimal sign that is now hanging in our kids' department:

Library Makeover Part 2: New Board Book Storage

While we were repainting the youth department, we also switched out our board books. Previously, they were stored in 2 clear plastic bins, which while functional, were overflowing and not attractive. See?

A quick trip to Meijer and $25 (on clearance!) later, we had an adorable storage solution:

Make It Over! Our Adventures in Repainting the Youth Department

Pictures are up here, if you'd like to see our makeover.  We used Behr's Wickerware (yellow) and Corn Husk Green for our colors. By we, I mean that I picked them. So I'm to blame if you don't like them.

If anyone is painting in the future, here is some advice:
Think really hard about what section you want to paint first. I would start with the one that will be the hardest to reshelve. In most cases, that will be the picture books. Play music. Loud music while reshelving. Something peppy. It will put you in a better mood. Use an assembly-line technique for unshelving and reshelving books, particularly the picture books. They are a pain. Start with them so you can get it over with. Throw the yucky ones that should be weeded in a seperate pile so you don't have them go back on the shelf. Close the library down for more time than you think you will need. Then you won't feel rushed and it is better to reopen early than to stay closed longer than you told people. I…

Library Day in the Life

If you're looking for my #libday7 post, I hope to have something up later this week (I hope Saturday) as we have closed my (youth) department for this week for painting. I am thrilled about this but it makes for a much atypical week. If you'd like to read about a much more typical day in my life as a children's librarian, please read my post from last summer.

If anyone is interested, I will write up a post later this week about our makeover. Or at least share photos.

The Big-Hearted Elephant

In honor of the wedding I am attending tomorrow, here's a lovey-dovey flannel board for all you romantics out here. It's called "The Big-Hearted Elephant" and it is an original Valentine's Day story. After what feels like forever searching, I finally found the source of this story! It is from Holiday Hoopla by Kathy Darling. The book is long out of print, but used copies are available on Amazon or you might be able to ILL a copy.

I'd advise anyone attempting this poem to have one person manipulate the flannel board pieces and another read the words. It is quite long, and you don't want to lose the rhythm fumbling with the pieces. This is one of the first felt stories I ever made (I think it was the 2nd) and it shows in the execution.

Don't forget to stop by Sharon's blog for this week's Flannel Friday roundup. Previous roundups are here.

My Storytime Philosophy

My philosophy for storytime is summed up by a Hallmark ad (of all things!):

Summer Reading Photo Stand & Other Projects

Meant to share this way sooner! Look at what my husband and I put together:

The front was a color-your-own banner from Oriental Trading which I actually delegated to an art major page and then my husband built the frame. We took it to our county's preschool Fun Fair and it has been sitting in the youth department for summer reading since. 
It's always so much fun for us to build things together. We also redid a $5 garage sale bench. Here's the before (with the rest of our finds from that day--the coat rack also got a makeover):

And then after some sanding and painting ($18 for a gallon of paint---more than enough and we've been redoing some smaller things to match and I believe the fabric was around $12--on sale at JoAnn Fabric):

But now my husband has decided to build some storage underneath it for our entryway, so there will be another after pic someday.

Quick as a Cricket

This week I am sharing Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood for Flannel Friday (look for the roundup hosted by Andrea). This is a storytime classic* and a great flannelboard. I will confess to not being the biggest fan of the original artwork. Just not my taste. 

It does have tons of pieces and I didn't have time to dig the bigger flannelboard out of storage (we are getting ready to shut down our youth services department for a makeover soon) so bear with me. 

Here they all are together: 

I'm as slow as a ...

I'm as loud as a...

I'm as wild as a ...

 I'm as strong as a ...

I'm as sad as a ...

I'm as happy as a...

My flannelboard pieces were out of 2's Experience: Felt Board Fun by Liz and Dick Wilmes, but I noticed that KizClub has a pattern for this book as well. It doesn't look like they have all the pieces, so you might have to rework the rhyme a bit. 

Another fun and faster way to tell this story would be to print out photos or clip art and clip each image t…

Summer Reading Week 5!

I can't believe it is Week 5 already! This has definitely been an interesting summer (read my other summer reading posts here) and it has never really felt like we fully hit our stride. I hope our numbers wind up being OK, but I know we won't be setting any records this year. And that's just fine.

For me, one of the highlights of the summer has been being able to actually watch the programs. Most of the year I am the one putting everything on myself and the great thing about our SRP is getting to be part of the audience myself. We have had some very cool events hosted by people who aren't me. We have had a juggling workshop, theater performance, and a family performer stop by and they all were smashing. I even got a few ideas for stories and songs that I might try out in storytime.

I have to say I was really impressed with all of our performers' professionalism. In previous years, I have had a staff member with a petting zoo wearing a pro-marijuana Tshirt and had a…

Storytelling "There is a Bird on Your Head"

One of the things I love the most about how my library does summer storytimes (besides going outside for them) is that we schedule an extra person to help me out with them. This is a luxury that I would LOVE to have more often, because we can do so much more things with another set of hands. One of my favorite is to do a dual reading. And one of the best book series for this is of course by Mo Willems. Any of the Elephant and Piggie books can be great this way, but my favorite is There is a Bird on Your Head.

I am the lucky owner of these puppets from Discount School Supply and am a huge fan. The puppet for the number 3 happens to have three little baby birds in there. When we read this book, I play Gerald (the elephant) and leave the closed nest on my head. When the baby birds are born, I pop my fingers up and there they are. It's a great effect, she said humbly. The other person simply holds the book for us and reads Piggie's lines. At the appropriate time, I move the nest to…

Summer Reading Week 4 Roundup

We are finishing week 4 of our summer reading program here so it is time for another roundup! This week went very smoothly, so that means next week probably won't. Kidding. I hope. 
We have had quite a lot of interest in signing up for summer reading but very few people have returned their logs.  It will be interesting to see if it's just procrastination or taking longer than normal. I won't be at work the last day of summer reading (wedding) so I hope people come in before then with their finished logs so the poor staffers who are working won't be too slammed. 
By the way, does anyone else work in a small town? I am curious what those of us who live in more rural communities do for summer reading and what numbers they expect? Our service area is around 20,000 residents in size. So I struggle when I try to compare our numbers with some people who work in much more populated areas.

Lunch by Denise Fleming

Today's Flannel Friday is Lunch by Denise Fleming. I tell this story using the flannel board and a little mouse puppet (sadly, not pictured, but I think it's this one). As the mouse in the story eats his way through a lunch buffet, the puppet snags the food off the board with his mouth.

This is a nice story to tell for a beginner or anyone who has my inability to memorize. Basically "Mouse was very hungry. He was so hungry he ate some _______________________________" and then "he took a nap until (pause for suspense) DINNERTIME!"

According to my notes, I got the patterns from Toddler Storytimes II. I no longer have a copy of this book, so I can't share them.  You could use coloring sheets off the Internet as inspiration. You could also use print clipart and laminate it. I might try this with play food in the future.

This week's Flannel Friday roundup is being hosted at Storytime Katie. Previous roundups are here.

Am I Ready to Go?

Now that it's July and incredibly hot, I thought it would be fun to post a winter-y "getting dressed" idea for today's #FlannelFriday. This is another Storytime Magic idea (#21), so buy the book if you don't have a copy. You can thank me later.

Here's my male model:

I drew hearts on his boxers, because that's how I roll. Here he is all ready to go play out in the snow:

I like this set because you can use the rhyme MacMillan and Kirker provide or you can invent one of your own. You could also retell Froggy Gets Dressed or How Do I Put it On? (a great baby storytime book, if you have a copy of this out-of-print gem).

This week's Flannel Friday roundup is being hosted by Katie. Previous roundups are here.