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Showing posts from December, 2013

The 2013 So Tomorrow Reader Survey

For the past few years, I've asked blog readers to give me some feedback on how I'm doing. I really take your comments to heart and so I'm hoping many of you will take the time to fill out a short survey about my blog. 

If you have a few minutes to answer the questions, here's the survey. I'll leave it up for a few months so, no hurry. And if you're prefer to comment here or send me an email, that's awesome too.


Instant Professional Development: Four Favorite Storytime Gems I Learned In 2013

2013 was a big year for me! I started my third children's librarian job, and my first new job in almost 5 years. My family and I moved so I could cut my commute to that new job from 90 minutes to under 30. It was a big leap of faith to take a new job and start over in a new part of the state, but I am so happy to say that I love my new job and couldn't be happier. Woohoo!

To close out the year, I'd like to share with you 4 new storytime activities I learned this year and give a shout-out to the people who taught me them. I haven't had the chance to try all of these with my storytime kids yet, but I'm looking forward to our new session starting in January! Thank you Mary, Kendra, Lindsey, Dana, and Anna for being a part of my professional learning network (and my virtual colleagues and friends). Ready? Here we go (in no particular order)...

1) "Sleeping Bunnies" which I discovered via Mary's awesome ukelele at storytime posts
Learning to play the ukele…

Fall Writing Center Activities

As I did for the summer, here's a quick rundown of what our monthly prompts for the fall were at the Writing Center in my department:

September is when the kids go back to school (here in Michigan, we have a state law that mandates the first day of public school be after Labor Day with a few exceptions) , so we asked them what their favorite part of the school day was. You probably guessed that lunch and recess ranked pretty high, but a lot of kids said math too!

In October, the kids told us what their favorite costume to dress up in was and in November, we asked what the kids were most thankful for: For some reason, I don't have photos of either of those months! Oops.

Since it's December already, the current question is "What is your favorite memory of 2013?". There have been some very sweet ones!


Instant Professional Development: Circulating Ideas Episode On Storytime

As you may know, I'm a nerd for professional development. Well, as it happens a bunch of youth librarians* were recently interviewed on the librarian podcast Circulating Ideas about storytimes. Some people have even called it a Storytime Brain Trust, and best of all, listening is free! So go listen to bothparts!

*okay, I'm one of the people interviewed. Thanks for the opportunity, Steve! We're still nemeses though.

Toddler Drive In Movie

Another program we had in December was a Toddler Drive-In Movie. This was inspired by an idea floating around on Pinterest, as well as Marge's blog post about hers. We needed another program to round out our offerings in December but it needed to be something easy to put together because we had one huge program (LIVE REINDEER) and a bunch of holidays and vacations among the staff. So I decided to put a Toddler Drive-In Movie together for ages 1-4. Here's what my daughter's car looked like:

It wound up being really easy and fun! At first registrations were slow, but then we hit a long cold snap weather-wise and everyone must have gotten tired of sitting around at home because then we wound up with a waiting list of a few kids. We were able to get everyone in since my building always has so so so many boxes in storage.

Speaking of boxes that's the hardest of supplies for this program to get together. So, if your library isn't swimming in boxes (mine is!), that will…

Live Reindeer Program

December is generally a slow time for public libraries, and my library is no exception. Our storytimes are on hiatus until January, a lot of the staff members (and patrons) are on vacation, and it is a good time to get projects done for the most part. While things are pretty slow, my library does have one huge program at each of our branches: live reindeer! And we go all out!

Each branch in my county system does this program. And even the smallest branch had hundreds of people turn out, so I definitely think it's worth the investment. It is truly a team effort to put this program together. Our maintenance department put out the big contractor lights and placed barriers by them. (They also did a particularly beautiful job hanging Christmas lights on our front lawn as you can see in this photo.)

Each branch is responsible for preparing crafts to go with the reindeer's visit. Inside my branch, we had two crafts and kids were able to make either or both. The first is your basic re…