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Showing posts from May, 2013

Show Me The Awesome: Finding My Voice

For Show Me The Awesome, I wanted to write about one of the things I do really well: preschool visits. I have to say that I absolutely love this age group and find their enthusiasm infectious.I can remember being so nervous to do any kind of visits when I first started out. The fear of a group of strangers was terrifying to me (even if those strangers only came up to my knees).

 It took a while before I realized that the trick to a successful group visit was to share my absolute favorite material, and nothing less and then my natural enthusiasm for those stories would shine through. Realizing that was my "lightbulb moment" and I have looked forward to having preK classes come in to my library ever since.

Being a great youth services librarian means finding your own voice. It means I'm constantly discovering books that fit with my personal voice and style. What are your favorites? Please share them in the comments. Here are mine:

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
Red Sled by Lita…

Tween Book Club: Unsinkable by Gordon Korman

May's selection for the tween book club was Gordon Korman's Unsinkable. I've been a fan of Korman since I was a teenager myself and I knew the kids would love to read the first book in his Titanic series. They even noticed right away that the three cover photographs together show a complete image of the Titanic!

As far as what we did, we talked about some general book discussion questions. I followed Abby the Librarian's suggestion to use the book 882 1/2 Amazing Answers About the Titanic to share some trivia. We also did a Titanic crossword puzzle I found. I pulled a lot of our Titanic books and let the attendees go through them and share anything they found interesting.

Unfortunately this program was held during that big storm on Monday evening, so we had a small turnout and most of the girls who came were not able to finish the book. But we spent a lot of time just talking and I think it was still a fun time for them. I am really enjoying getting to know these young…

There's a First Time for Everything: Booktalking

I have been in youth services for more than 6 years in public libraries and this is the first year I've ever been asked to go to schools and booktalk! I will admit to completely panicking at first, but then-- like any good librarian would-- I started doing some research. Now I am sharing some of the resources I discovered along the way.

A search in my library's catalog for "booktalk" turned up an awesome book from 2003: The Booktalker's Bible: How to Talk About the Books You Love to Any Audience by Chapple Langemack. I found Chapple to be very reassuring to me even while most of the recommended titles given as sample booktalks are actually adult books. The advice is solid no matter your audience.

I also found Silly Books to Read Aloud by Rob Reid to be a great source of short book talks. I will be the first person to admit that my personal reading tastes tend towards the macabre so I thought this was a great way of balancing the mood and throwing some funny titl…

Tween Book Club: WONDER by R.J. Palacio

At my new job, one of the programs I'm doing is a book club for tweens grades 4-6. April was my first time leading it and the book selection* was Wonder by R.J. Palacio. The kids seemed to like it well enough but no one raved about it.

Here's a little background on how the book club works. We meet once a month, during the school year only, on a Monday evening at 6. The library provides dinner (pizza) and a drink (Capri Sun or pop--NOT SODA). The books (usually paperbacks, but not with Wonder since it was only available in hardcover) are purchased out of the library's programming budget and are only used for book clubs system-wide (often, summer reading prize books are added into this collection). The kids register and there's usually around 5 kids, which is a small program for us but easily managed.

For Wonder, I printed off the book discussion group questions from the author's site. I also made a playlist for the book's trailer and some of the songs quoted i…