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Showing posts from February, 2012

Speaking Announcement

I am so excited to announce that Travis from 100 Scope Notes and I will be speaking at this year's Spring Institute! SI is an annual conference for youth librarians put on by our very own Michigan Library Association. This year it's in Ann Arbor, so I am looking forward to exploring Michigan's eastern side more.

Thursday, March 22, 2012
11:40 a.m.-12:40 p.m.  Blogs, Blogs, Blogs: Think it, Write it, Use it

Blogs are everywhere and they can do a lot more than just tell you what John Smith had for lunch on his day off. Find out how you can use blogs to help you plan programs, keep up with reading trends, collect marketing ideas, and more. Plus, learn how, you too, can enter the Blogosphere and start a blog of your own and why you may want to.

 I will be at S.I. both days, so I hope to meet some new friends and see some old ones. If you are going to be there, please say Hi. I promise to out-awkward you. I will try to remain somewhat dignified.
If you can't make it, just kn…

Crowdsourcing Storytime: Dream Big, READ!

Last year I had such a blast "crowd-sourcing" my summer reading storytimes (and especially appreciated the help thinking of fun crafts to go with them) that I wanted to try it again this year too. Sadly, I will be on maternity leave during our summer reading program, so I won't be around to enjoy some of the fun stuff I'm planning, but I still want the kids to enjoy their storytimes. 

The majority of our storytimes in the summer are outside and off-site, so that is a consideration as we don't want to have to lug too much stuff out to cars and back. All the same, I couldn't resist sneaking The Game of Light in for the sky storytime (would also work for camping or PJ themes) even though we can only do that one indoors. 

Another consideration is the huge age range and number of attendees vary constantly. Some weeks we will have 10 people at storytime, others 60 or more. The only way to manage is to plan way more than you think you will need and be flexible about y…

Alice the Camel

One of my favorite interactive songs to perform with kids is "Alice the Camel," also known as "Sally the Camel," but, Alice is the correct name. I like to check YouTube to see if songs I am unfamiliar with have a video there, so if you haven't heard this one before, give that a try.  I have everyone shake their hips on the last line of the verse.

Alice the Camel
Alice the camel has five humps.
Alice the camel has five humps.
Alice the camel has five humps.
So go, Alice, go!
Boom, boom, boom, boom! 

(Remove a hump. Repeat the song as you count 4, 3, 2, and 1 humps) and then:

Alice the camel has no humps.
Alice the camel has no humps.
Alice the camel has no humps.
Cause Alice is a horse!

You can make a felt/flannel board story for this song by using these body and hump patterns, courtesy of the Texas State Library. Since the pieces don't overlap, a magnet board would work too. Originally I made this out of camel-colored felt, but that version appears to have gone on s…

Milk Filters Source List

Looking for a unique and wonderful gift for the Children's Librarian in your life? Try tracking down some milk filters! Judging from some of the Google search results that bring visitors here, milk filters are harder to find than Sasquatch! Below I've compiled a source list for milk filters. Please note that I have not bought anything from the stores below and cannot vouch for them. I did not receive anything from the stores below for mentioning them. If you know of additional sources, please clue us in with a comment below! 
Wondering what on Earth children's librarians use milk filters for? Try reading Andrea's post and an old one of mine for some background. 
Online Sources: Blain's Farm and Fleet  sells a box of 100 15 inch milk filters (by KenAg) for $13.49 + shipping. You can input your zip code to get a shipping total. My zip code was $4.95 for economy shipping via the post office (within 5-10 business days). 
Shane's Tack also sells a 100 quantity of the s…

This Is a Library, Not a Playground

Do you have a phrase that you overuse in your library? I definitely do and it's "This is a library, not a playground." I've been thinking for a long time that I need to come up with a better way of expressing what behaviors are expected of the kids in our department. I want kids to enjoy their visits, but sometimes what they are doing makes it less enjoyable for other people using their small space. And, yes, sometimes making it less enjoyable for other people is code for "you are driving the librarian crazy." 
So, I was thrilled to discover Sara's post about child management. It is full of really practical ideas for communicating your expectations that she learned through her training and experience in education. Those of you who are former teachers or are school librarians probably already know those, but for those of us who come from other backgrounds, I think it is tremendously helpful to read this whole post. And I am so grateful my library doesn…

"This is Big, Big, Big" Picture Book

Did you know that you are now reading the blog of a picture book illustrator? Inspired by Melissa'spost about making her own big book of "Twinkle Twinkle," I decided to try illustrating her fingerplay "This is Big." And, yes, I did get her permission to adapt her rhyme before I started. Today, I am thrilled to unveil This is Big by Melissa Depper and Anne Clark! We hope anyone reading this who may be on the Newbery or Caldecott committees remembers us in January 2013. ;) 

I started by sketching the words and images to see how I could lay it out. Here's what that looked like: 

Next, I hooked up the Cricut machine and got to cutting and gluing! Details are below if anyone is interested in making their own version. 
Here it is: 


DetailsCricut cartridges used: Doodle CharmsEveryday Paper DollsCreate a CritterFont of your choice (I used Sesame Street&#…