Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break at the Library: Stealth Programming For Days

So first off all, can we give a big round of applause to Chris from Criplold for her stellar  redesign of my blog? She's a graphic design artist, and had an awesome deal while she was distracting herself from other things. Chris is lovely to work with and hella creative. And I don't use the word "hella" lightly. Do you think I came up with any of this? Absolutely not. This is 100% Chris, and I'm kinda in love with it. Hit her up at her blog or on Twitter  to tell her how cool she makes me look, and to ask how you can be cool too.

OKAY, SO: Spring Break. The one week in the school year that tells you what a wuss you've become since last Summer Reading; the glimpse of what's to come that makes you rethink your day for maximum caffeine consumption. This Spring Break for our public schools also was National Library Week, and our library had a program where people could take selfies of themselves, tag them online with a hashtag, and be entered in a drawing for gift cards. I loved this idea, and was sure patrons would be into it; but in YS we looked for ways it could translate for kids.

Of course, there was only one answer:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Work With Me Here! (For Real)

We are looking for a new Youth Services Librarian!

So I basically was going to copy the post that got Brooke to apply, because I really just want to say all that again. So go read reasons.

The application period ends May 2, so get going and apply!

Here are some additional reasons:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"K-5 Programming": Differentiating in the Library

This week I had a program where I picked the incorrect book. It was a good book, and good for the topic, and a perfect read-aloud for 8-12 year-old kids.
...Problem was, the day of the program, 4-8 year-old kids showed up. I still "read" the book, skimming pages while following the story; but I left the program disappointed in myself. Why hadn't I prepared for this? Why didn't I just skip the book when I saw who was there? 

I'm kind of glad this came up, because another Iron Fist post has been rattling around in my head, this time about helping kids navigate your programming for success. Truly, the following post is probably step #1 in Traditional Programming Child Management: is your program developmentally appropriate? This is really important to think about now that we're all trying STE(a)M at our libraries. I'm not saying that toddlers can't love learning about the weather or that fifth graders can't love sensory activities; but: how are these ideas presented? Are you explaining clouds in a tangible way that toddlers can connect to their world? Are you talking to fifth graders about the weird things their senses do every day without their knowledge to screw with their heads so they're interested? If they're bored out of their skulls, kids will let you know by acting out. Chaos or disinterest in your program is not their fault, it's yours.

I don't say that to be harsh, I promise. I say that to empower us all: their interest in your program is under your control

As I thought about my book of choice, and how disappointed in myself I was, I realized that my programming is influenced by education in a way that I never realized before: differentiating instruction.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Achievement Unlocked: Guest Post at Letters to a Young Librarian

Today I'm over at Letters to a Young Librarian talking about the most valuable classes I took in regards to My Current Life as Librarian. I hope you'll head over there and talk about your favorite experiences, too!

New here? Here's some places you might want to start:

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Field Trip Adventure Time! with Bryce and Erin


I'm so happy to have this [GIFs and commentary by me] guest post by Erin, a Twitter friend and a student of Marge's CE class. I snagged her when she mentioned me in a tweet about scripting library tours FIELD TRIP ADVENTURES! I was on vacation, and was completely stoked to see her write up in my inbox when I got home! 

And remember, if you'd like try your hand at blogging or if you want to share your version of something you found here (like Erin and Ariel and Julia), please email me at brycedontplay at gmail! I would love to have you create my content so I don't have to.

This guest post is by Erin Davison, Library Assistant II in the Youth Services Department in Holland MI, where she lives with her husband Peter and cat Charles SimicShe used the phrase "done borrowed" in reference to my script idea-- correctly, I might add-- so of course she grabbed the attention of this former Southerner.  Hit her up on Twitter: @erinisinire.

My name is Erin and I was a Lurker [Bryce Note: Hi, Erin.]. My feedly is chock full of smart, creative people's blogs. I joined Twitter almost 2 years ago primarily to follow smart, creative librarians. Last summer, I had the chance to attend ALA and Guerrilla Storytime where I first had the inkling these librarians "rock stars" were actually PEOPLE. I recently had the opportunity to attend MIKidLib14-an unconference planned by Lisa Mulvenna, Anne Clark and Andrea Vernola-and it was at that conference I realized I might be a smart, creative person who had ideas and could help other people. And when Amy Koester wrote the "There is Something Rotten in the State of YS Professional Development" post I felt like it was written for me. I just want to thank all of those blogging, tweeting, Tumblring, Facebookgroup librarians who've been of immeasurable help to me professionally. I WAS a Lurker. I won't be any longer.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cory Eckert: A GIF-filled Tribute (Band?)

Soooo something awesome happened today, and that is: Cory Eckert, founder of Guerrilla Storytime and co-creator of Storytime Underground, was named a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.I was one of the many librarians who nominated her,in good company with Angie, Kendra, and Amy (and I'm sure there's more). In the spirit of lifting each other up and the fact that the little blurb did not do her justice, Here's what I wrote about Cory-- this time, with GIFs.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Are Your Programs S.A.F.E.? A Librarian Look at the Afterschool Alliance Report

Google search: "afterschool lolcat"
Last week, the Afterschool Alliance published a literature review/report called "Taking a Deeper Dive into Afterschool: Positive Outcomes and Positive Practices." First of all, if you didn't know the Afterschool Alliance was a Thing, I forgive you; but please immediately rectify this situation by adding their incredibly informative website to your radar and maybe even following them on Twitter.

Now, many of us librarians don't have the time, resources, or community interest for a daily/weekly afterschool program that this report focuses on; but we definitely can take some great suggestions from its Positive Practices to make our planning more deliberate to set our kid patrons up for success at our programs.

First, some awesome and empowering words about our role in these kids' lives:

  • A great feature of our programming is that we don't have to focus on standardized assessments and academic achievement. This allows us to focus on the meat of success in afterschool programs: personal development, such as social and emotional growth. (page 8 of PDF)
  • a meta-analysis by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (okay I want to read everything by them right away, don't you?) found that children who attend afterschool programs "saw a significant improvement in their perceptions of themselves, improved positive social behavior and a decrease in problem behaviors" (page 8 of PDF)
Note that due to increased pressure of testing and emphasis on assessment-driven instruction (which may take intervention into the afterschool realm, like Club Z as an afterschool offering at Title I schools), we public libraries are uniquely posited to offer personal-development-focused programming. How does our programming support social and emotional growth?