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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Top 10 tween books that have stayed with readers for a lifetime

As seen on "Tween us" blog.

Top 10 tween books that have stayed with readers for a lifetime
There's a big trend of Facebook asking people to share the top ten books that have stayed with them or influenced them.  I'm loving reading these lists. What fascinates me is how many of the books I keep seeing listed are great books that are often first read during the tween years.
Here are the top 10 tween books that I have seen make appearances on several lists:
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Englemockingbird
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
The Little House on the Prairie Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Diary of Anne Frank
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Bonus book #11: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (This may be a little young but I'm willing to stretch it as I remember reading it third grade, and many kids then are 9, which counts as an early tween. The same may be true for others of these)
The lists also serves as a reminder of the many wonderful books available to our kids.
Seeing the lists of books that have stuck with people has reaffirmed for me the importance of reading as a tween. As busy as our kids are these days, it can be tough to carve out time for just sitting with a great book. That book may be one that stays with them throughout their lives, and what a gift that is.
What great books would you add to the list?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

What children's book character are you

I saw this post on the NY Public Library page. Interesting question.
They taught us to love adventure. They taught us to yearn for the stars, how to be strong, and what it means to have compassion. We might be all grown up, but the characters from our favorite children's books will stay with us forever. Which one are you most like?

Anyone have a thought?

Summer Reading Survey

Thanks to all of you who filled out the summer reading survey on Survey Monkey. I'm sorry to ask you for all this information, but the state needs it. Thanks in advance! Patty

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The John Green Effect

Will there be more movies based on John Green novels? Don’t bother answering that.
Now that The Fault in Our Stars is a certified hit, The Hollywood Reporter gives details on the “frenzy of interest” in his other novels.
Paper Towns   Wonder    Behind the Beautiful Forevers
The one most likely to hit screens first is Paper Towns, (Penguin/Speak), which has Nat Wolff, (Isaac in TFIOS), set to star. Fox 2000 on the search for a director.
THR also reports on the “ripple effect” for other “grounded” Y.A. adaptations (which have the advantage of not requiring expensive special effects). On the heels of the success of TFIOS, Lionsgate says they are close to hiring a director for an adaptation of R.J. Palacio’s Wonder, (RH/knopf)
Note to Hollywood: Green is currently promoting a much different book, one that is not yet a movie, but should be, he says, Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House).