Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Iron Fist Child Management: The Class

Oh my goodness, everyone. I've looked like Abed here since I found out my proposed class was accepted with UW SLIS Continuing Education, and am so happy that it's posted and people can register for it and please maybe register for it so it doesn't get canceled!

Announcing:
Iron Fist Child (and some parent) Management: The Class.

This is something I've wanted to do since I found out that this is a thing, Marge was nice enough to set me up with a contact at SLIS. I sent them a proposal, followed up with the exact description that you see on the website, and here we are!

Here's what I really want to say about this course for those on the fence:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Built-in Self-Regulation: A DOAWK Book Launch Story


*All GIFs are Diary of Wimpy Kid quotes by Jeff Kinney ran through the Madden Giferator. You're welcome.

I held a DOAWK "The Long Haul" party a few weeks ago,and I was originally going to write that up. I still will, here, with a free downloadable PPT so you can make one too; but it was what I added last-minute the night before (isn't that always the case?) that I really want to talk about.

SO. DOAWK at my library has a wide appeal, and a very small but incredibly fandom-like hoard who attend our DOAWK programs each and every year. This year, there were around 15 kids in attendance. I go back and forth about whether I want to keep doing these for 15 kids, but I'm glad I did this year.

Anyway, wanting to keep it fresh and also appropriately geeked-out, I went for something I hadn't tried before:

Friday, October 03, 2014

Top Five Takeaways: #ALSC14

I was so frickin' lucky to get to go to the ALSC Institute in Oakland, CA, everyone. And you're pretty lucky if you didn't get to go because I'm gonna lay out for you the top five things I learned at this conference (you I know both know that ten would be all TL;DR). Because if there's one thing I know, conferences are hella expensive (the thing about ALSC was that they actually fed you without you paying extra, so that was cool). Not just monetarily, but in your own time and the time of your library.

But that's all right. As my banner motto says, "it takes a village, but it's nice to have a blog." I've got you covered, as much as animated GIFs will allow.
So buckle up, throw out all your liquids over 3 ounces, put your phone on airplane mode, and keep your seat in an upright and locked position (you entitled jerk), because here we go to Oakland!


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tween Scavenger Hunt in the Library!

We have been fortunate enough to partner with many groups in the library. One group, and adventure camp with 10-25 kids, visited the library each week to look around. They were planning a biking tour of scavenger hunts around town for one of their final projects, and wanted us in on the action.

I met with the group leaders a twice before hand, once with Brooke. They were undergraduate students trying so hard not to look like they were undergraduate students. They came in with ideas that were SO NOT doable, I left the first meeting with a bad taste in my mouth. I wonder how often this happens in libraries, that University students ("on behalf "of their universities, of course) come into the public library asking for a hell of a lot, and we take it as kind of an insult: What do they think we do all day? What kind of partnership IS this? But then I remembered: I was a 20-year-old education student once, too, and I remember what it was like to dream of all this stuff I could do with kids but it was like really, really, a lot, and dependent on lots of factors that I could not control, but I assumed I could do it all JUST AS SOON as I got that degree. THEN I would change the world. WITH KNOWLEDGE. And that's where these kids' heads were at. Needless to say, there were no rhyming verses, or archives work, or riddles they would need to ask multiple staff members for, or any other of their (very good, from an idealistic perspective) ideas. I asked for their input without promising anything. They actually had really good insight on how well their kids could read (pretty well, with one reluctant reader), what their favorite spots in the library were (00s and the graphic novels), where they were having trouble (finding good chapter books and the catalog). I ended up incorporating this into the hunt.


I wanted to make sure what we did was engaging for the kids as well as super-easy on the precarious sanity of a short-staffed summer (say that five time fast). And then, I remembered there are actually two episodes of Adventure Time that take place in a library. And with a GIF, an incredibly easy-to-make/engaging Tween Scavenger Hunt was born.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Summer Reading Game Cards!

The kids are safely back in school. We all need to give ourselves a big pat on the back, because for all the blood, sweat, tears, and hives (no joke I literally got hives this summer, and I'm on every allergy medication known to man)... it's done. The school year has started, and we're gearing up for yet another ridiculously crazy time (namely, the entire school year), but it's crazy in a different way. You know what I mean. But before I dive head first into fall programming (yes, and finishing my write-ups of summer stand-alone programs. It'll be fine and I won't leave you hanging too long), I want to give some insight into the creation of our Summer Reading Game Cards.

Marge wrote about going prizeless, which turned out fine and our participation stayed strong. I was over-the-top happy that we trusted ourselves and our kids enough to encourage reading as a positive expected behavior throughout the summer rather than rewarding it in little bits like a chore. It's important to remember that going prizeless means placing a higher value on your kid patrons' intrinsic motivation, AND on yourselves. Going prizeless means you've placed a high enough value on your well-developed collection, your awesome reader's advisory, your kick-ass programs, and your welcoming environment to know that those mean more to kids than a wooden boat. That's some heavy shizz right there, and I commend Marge and our library director for taking that leap (it's been years in the making. Seriously, please give them a round of applause in GIF form like NOW).


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shark Week: I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916!

When my dad got his BA back in the 70s,
he was probably imagining that one day
he'd have a daughter who'd have to
free-hand a large shark.
This Spring, Sara at YA Librarian Tales and me both had the same idea for a summer program: playing into the wild success of the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis at our libraries! We had a discussion on Twitter about it that many librarians joined, including the kid-culture-programming maven Angie at Fat Girl Reading. The conundrum: Which book could I feature that meets this criteria: 1) is exciting, and  2) will not bum out everyone attending, especially the adults.

The three that were definitely out for me right away were The Attacks on September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, 2005, and The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863. After a pretty rousing discussion on Twitter, Sarah and I came to the same decision: to tackle The Shark Attacks of 1916. If anything, my decision was dependent on 2 factors here: 1) sharks are cool, and it is super-interesting that they were once thought to be as docile as a bunny rabbit; and 2) the death count was relatively low, so the chances that someone in attendance would say that a family member died in these incidents was slim, nationally.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

P.U.F.F.IN Library Lab: Light Painting!


The first PUFFIN Library Lab in July was the brainchild of my LPL colleague Lindsay. It was a cross-department program, and she rocked it!

You know what? I'll just let her tell it. I'll even let her call me by my legal name because what type of jerk changes their first name when they get married for Internet purposes and doesn't tell anyone IRL about it. I mean, honestly. I'm the worst. --Bryce

Hi, everybody! Lindsay the Technology Librarian, here. Last month, Sara and I ran a super fun light painting program for elementary school aged kids. I first learned about light painting at an ILEAD conference last year, where I saw a couple of librarians testing it out. The idea percolated in the back of my head until Sara invited me to join the Fizz Boom Read fun this summer. As a kid, what could be more fun than standing around in a dark room waving flashlights around while your picture is taken? Sara agreed, and the fun began.

This might be a good time to point out that I've really mostly worked with adults over the past 7 years. I teach adult computer classes and do adult Reference. Suffice it to say, I was pretty nervous about this program. Does anybody else out there get the jitters when challenged to work with an age group outside of your comfort zone? Here’s what worked for me: rehearsing the general flow of what I wanted to say, being prepared for different levels of learning, and just owning what makes me, me. (A potential fourth: making sure any tech equipment works!) The first two can take some time and thought. The 3rd one has taken me years and is still a work in progress. So what if I stumble over words sometimes or crack lame jokes about cats during classes? That’s me. I’m human. Adults seem to take it in stride, so I told myself kids would too. And if all else fails? I pretend I’m super-outgoing Lindsay and not binge-watch-Star-Trek-on-Friday-nights Lindsay. What do you all do to ease your nerves?

I shouldn’t have worried so much; the program was a blast!