Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Read to Me 2015 Calendars

Read to Me 2015 calendars

We are once again taking orders for the 2015 Read to Me calendar.  Price is $3.50 each.  If you would like to order, please fill out the order form and return to PLS HQ by Monday, Dec. 1st.  Orders will be placed that Monday afternoon.


Victor's iPad Thanskgiving Felt Board

This morning at my Preschool Story Time I decided to try my hand at making an iPad flannel board for the rhyme "Five Little Turkeys".   I used Software Smoothie's Felt Board app.  It turned out pretty well I think.  I was able to change the background of the rhyme, by a door, under a tree, etc. which I don't do with the traditional flannel board.  The kids seemed to enjoy it, we took the time to count the turkeys, count down with our fingers, etc.  They are especially enthralled with the iPad.

It's a pretty easy app to use.  It has a lot of design elements available.  I've also downloaded their Mother Goose on the Loose app (which is free!) and have made a few flannel boards using that.  If you haven't looked into them yet, I'd definitely recommend them.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Thanksgiving Printables

All of these are from Guildcraft.  They are free on Friday's to download and use.

Turkey coloring page.

Thanksgiving Bookmarks
thanksgiving bookmarks.pdf

Thanksgiving Leaves

Turkey Silverware Holder
Turkeysilverware holder.pdf

Friday, November 7, 2014

iPad at the Avon Free Library

      So far, I have just been using the iPad at the end of story hour, since I have many young children here, and limited computers for them to use. But I took the jump today in using it as part of story hour.
     First, I read a couple of books about planes and flying (I want to be a Pilot, and My Friend, Rabbit). We also talked about being on an airplane since many of the kids had been on one before.
     Then we listened to the noises that different planes make. Each child got a turn to touch the screen. The app I used is called Educavroom. It is kind of like the app that Anne showed us with the animal noises, only for all different kinds of vehicles. I mainly just used the airplane ones, but we couldn't just go past the fire engine without listening to that siren! This app could be used in a variety of ways since it has planes, trains, cars and boats. I have the free version, so there is limited access, but the app is $1.99 for the full version and you can record your own sounds too, which might be neat if you wanted to record the kids making the car noises to use in a story.
     Lastly, we made paper airplanes (the kids drew on them, then helped fold them by pushing down on the fold made by an adult) then we tried to get them through a couple of hula hoops I had suspended from the ceiling. They had a blast! They worked off some of their abundance of energy and worked on fine as well as large motor skills. They also felt like they were "winning". They got lots of points for getting the planes through the hoop (entirely their invention!).
     I'm hopeful that other people will share useful apps so I can steal some more ideas! I loved the Go Away Big Green Monster! I did want to use one of the Byron Barton apps, since he has a book about planes available, but we are still working on getting money onto an Apple Account so we can purchase more apps.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

iPad Fun at Newark!

We have had great experiences so far with using our iPad in storytimes at Newark!

At our Halloween Party, before we got to our crafts, movie, and snacks, Miss Caitlin used the Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley App, and it was a hit! This is a book that is perfect to be used in an interactive app, with the facial features that appear and disappear. We also liked that when Miss Caitlin touched each new feature, it wiggled and made a sound.

At today's storytime, we read three books about things that go, and one of them was the Trucks by Byron Barton app. Miss Krystina paired this story with Stanley's Garage by William Bee and Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper. We liked that you could touch anything on each "page" and it would say the name of it, as well as show it in text. The cars moving was also magical to some of the kids.

Both times that we have used the iPad at programs have been pretty successful. I could tell that some of the kids didn't know what to think of a story on a screen at first, but I think they liked how interactive it was, and that the pictures moved.

We are planning an ELA Night for Kindergarteners later this week, and I plan to use some pictures I made using the Felt Board app, to tell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

We haven't put the iPad out for public use just yet, since we're still working on app selection, but I'm sure that once it's out, it will be a great asset to our Children's Room.

We plan to use the iPad often in our programs, so we are very grateful for this opportunity. Thanks, PLS!

Krystina @ Newark

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Go Away Big Green Monster!" App in Storytime

I didn't plan on using my iPAD in storytime quite so quickly but while searching the App Store I found the "Go Away, Big Green Monster!" App by Ed Emberly for sale ($1.99) which worked perfectly with my pumpkin/halloween themed storytime today.

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis
Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas
Five Little Pumpkins by Iris Van Rynbach (This we read twice. First, I read straight through the story and the second time through we told the story together as a finger play while I held the book and turned the pages.

Finger Plays:
I'm a Jack-O-Lantern
Way Up High in the Apple Tree
There Was a Little Turtle
Mr. Turkey & Mr. Duck

"Go Away, Big Green Monster!" (Night & Day Studios)

I introduced the app by telling the kids we were going to try something new in storytime and I gave parents a little background information about where the iPad came from and why I was using it during storytime. We had a smaller group this week which was helpful because all of the kids/parents were able to see. I sat right under a light so I found I needed to be careful about glare on the screen (One of my staff mentioned possibly getting a glare resistant screen cover? This could be helpful in my case). It went great! The kids were mesmerized. I didn't have any trouble with kids wanting to touch the iPad.

This App has a "Read Along with Ed" option, a "Read With a Friend"and  "Read by Myself" options. I choose "Read by Myself" and I turned the sound off. There is a song version included as well that I might try to incorporate in storytime next week.

This app was also included on the list of apps to support ECRR2 provided by Anne Hicks.

"The Wise Old Owl" - I like this song because it helps settle/quiet the kids down.
"The Goldfish Song" by Laurie Berkner - I like this song because it does the exact opposite. We get up and move, dance around the room. The songs had nothing to do with my theme, they're just storytime favorites.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Favorite Story time Books

Favorite Story time Books from PLS’ Youth Services Staff
October, 2014

Cook-a Doodle Doo
Very Cranky Bear
Churchill Tale of Tails
Kiss the Cow
Press Here
Pete the Cat (has great app)
Mit It Up
Tap the Magic Tree
Pumpkin Heads
Little Blue Truck
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
Little Bunny Foo Foo
Paper Bag Princess
Goblins in the Castle
That is Not a Good Idea
The Foot Book
The Napping House
The Fire Fighters (Sue Whiting)
Farmer Brown & His Little Red Truck
Can You Make a Scary Face
Pumpkin Time
Blueberries for Sale
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
True Story of the 3 Little Pigs
There was an old lady…
My Teacher Is a Monster
A Boy and His Bunny
A Girl and Her Gator
A Bear and His Boy
Pardon Said the Giraffe
One Day in the Jungle
It’s a Tiger
Out Foxed
Dog’s Colorful Day
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
3 Billy Goats Gruff
Piggy & Elephant
Freight Train
Piggy & Elephant
I Love My New Toy
The Alligator Who Wanted To Be A Dog (app available)
Stone Soup

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Burn Out as a Youth Services Librarian


It happens to the best librarians, sometimes you just don’t have any more to give. Here are some thoughts on what leads to youth librarian burnout and hopefully it can be prevented.

How To Burn Out:
1. Adopt every controversial library and kidlit issue on a personal level.
We should know what is going on and, of course, we need to advocate for our kids and teens. However, it seems like there is a new library controversy every week and that’s not even counting the internal drama at our places of work. We need to ignore some of it. Just don’t click the link. Youth Services librarians will still be around when everything else turns to ash. We can probably spend less time validating our existence to other librarians, since the PEW study makes it clear our patrons totally get it.

2. Compare your collections, services, and programs to other libraries constantly.
There is nothing wrong with learning from each other, it’s one of the things I think youth services librarians do really well. On the other hand, comparing ourselves to better funded, staffed, or located libraries or libraries with a very different patron base then our own just leaves us feeling inferior. Take a minute to celebrate what you are doing for your community. When you envy another library program consider how your resources and patrons differ. It might be good but it might not be possible. It might not even be what your patrons need. On the other hand, if they match up then go for it!

3. Be so focused on the big picture and/or administrative issues that you don’t get to actually interact with patrons.
If you love being a librarian because you enjoy working with kids and/or teens and helping them get what they need then make sure to make time for doing that. Especially as we become coordinators or managers it’s all too easy to spend our days on meetings, training, budgeting, and other things that don’t have the same magic. Find a few hours to be on the reference desk, work an outreach event, or offer to do storytime next week. You’ll feel much better.

4. Say yes to everything.
We want to help people. We want to serve our patrons. We want to be visible members of the community. That’s all great but if we say yes to every outreach event, group program request, partnership suggestion, and grant-writing opportunity we can’t possibly do all of them well. Work with your supervisor to prioritize these opportunities so they fit your library’s goals. Maybe you can even connect some of those groups to each other so everyone wins.

5. Judge yourself by program numbers alone.
This is an easy trap to fall into. Big splashy programs with big numbers are easy ways to show our impact to administration. They make great blog posts, tweets, and conference programs but what percentage of your patrons does that measure? Don’t forget about all the other ways that we serve people. The biggest impact you made this week might be the struggling reader who finally finished a book you helped them find, or the middle-schooler that passed algebra because you showed him how to use online tutoring.
6. Read only what you “should” read.

Sure, it’s not all about books but most of us do this because we love books to one extent or another. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of reading the “big buzz books” or the “starred review books” or what you need to get done for programs and forget to make time to read books because you actually want to read them. At some point our reading slows down, then we feel guilty for not reading enough, and that makes it even worse. Read for fun. You never know when that will be the perfect book for work anyway!
7. Do everything yourself.

Yes, we know best but sometimes we need to delegate. What jobs can be left to a volunteer? To a paraprofessional? What book can we skip and just read reviews instead? It might not be as perfect as if we did it ourselves, but it will be done. If it doesn’t make a difference in service let it go. Don’t forget that your assistants/clerks/volunteers can’t develop skills if they are never challenged.