A Look and a Book

Sherwood Village Branch Library is sponsoring a new program designed to stimulate the world of art to children between the ages of 4 to 9. During a fun visit to the Library’s gallery, children are encouraged to touch the exhibits and are lead in a fun discussion about colour, texture, form and shape. Children are then read a related children’s book and participate in a simple craft that draws on the concepts explored in both the Gallery and the Library reading. A creative method of combining art and reading for children.

Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 4:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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I’ve was researching for my course on comic books and graphic novels and came upon, what I believe to be one of the most creative and innovative program ideas that combines kids and comic books. Superhero Club is a kids program designed to encourage children to develop their imagination along with an interest in reading that will continue throughout their adult years. Children design their own comic book and superhero costume and all that that may entail. Once their costumes are completed, they use their superhero powers to defeat supervillains by completing an obstacle course. I would also like to add that Lisa Shaia with the Association for Library Service for Children’s Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for the program.

Published in: on September 30, 2009 at 9:43 pm  Comments (1)  

Character Visits

Going ga-ga!  Small children circle Clifford the Big Red Dog as he sits down to read one of his favourite books “Clifford’s Spring Clean Up”.  But wait!  Next week is Winnie the Pooh!   Library Goddesses‘  ‘Character Visits’ reading program invites these and many more storybook characters to read to children.  Storytimes includes two or three stories and a movie about the character.  Children are then given coloring sheets to take home.  The program is a partnership with Barnes and Noble who provide the costumes.  I might suggest that librarians do a bit of post Halloween costume investing if such a partnership is impossible.

I can only imagine the expressions on children’s faces as they watch Winnie Pooh or Tiger bounce around the library.  Library Goddesses comment on the success of the program as is evidenced by the rise in circulation statistics.  I’m not sure if it the child in me, but I can’t imagine any child not getting excited about reading if Clifford the Big Red Dog was the guest storyteller, can you?

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Night in Paradise

Be forewarned that this event is not specific to any particular library but I’m hoping that after you read about the idea you will come to appreciate it’s worth as a promotional tool.  The Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists found an opportunity to enlighten the public as to the treasures that are part of their collection.  The Council partnered with a local second-showing theatre to present A Night in Paradise. Those attending the event were treated to various short films including one of the province’s first ‘talkies’ and a locally produced film about Louis Riel, to name a few.  A reliable source informs me that the theatre was filled to capacity.

After hearing about the event, I thought that it displayed a unique approach to promoting the archival collection.  I’m curious if libraries have held such an event inside the library or senior’s facility?  I would venture to guess that this would type of event would prove attractive to a more mature crowd.

Published in: on August 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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University Soap Box Derby

Western Michigan University joins its school community to celebrate homecoming weekend by participating in the annual Soap Box Derby.  While some faaculty, staff and students design, build and race the car; others design team t-shirts, organize pep rallies, and hose post-race pizza parties.  Each year the theme of the car is chosen by the library’s staff, faculty and students.  And although the library has yet to cross the finish line first, they always place high in the rankings.  By participating in the event, library staff are given a great opportunity to meet with students, join in the celebration of their community, and show that the library is about more than just books.

I was immediately drawn to this idea, probably because of our annual Keg-O-Rama event held each fall, to welcome students back.  In fact, I’m seriously considering recommending that the library enter a team.  In my opinion, this would be a fantastic way for librarians to reach students.  I’m curious about other events that have been used successfully as vehicles to connect with students.

Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Adults and Libraries

Libraries seem to emphasize programming for children, teens and seniors; but what about adults?  How do libraries draw adults into their libraries?  This is a very good question and one that I was able to answer much easier after reading post by Patti, which lists some interesting ideas that include offering display space to local businesses; holding retro film fests; offering classes on issues important to them like genealogy, gardening or the environment; providing space for local artist shows; inviting hot authors to book talks and finally holding concerts featuring local musical talent.

All of these programs have the potential to draw adults, and in doing so, create an image that libraries are more than just books.  I’m sure that there are lots of ways in which adults are drawn to libraries other than just to search for information.  I would appreciate some input regarding adult programs that are tried and true, along with the logistics that are involved with conducting such events.

Published in: on August 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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‘Create Library Displays’

I realize that there are some librarians who feel that displays do not impact on what choices patron make regarding reading material, but it is a stated fact that individuals who are engaged in browsing with no specific end in mind will be impulsively drawn to exciting and provocative presentations that are timely and poignant. With this in mind – and because I believe attractive creative displays entice readers and serve to show what valuable resources the library has to offer – I wanted to mention a particular site that I have found to be a fabulous resource for display ideas,  Creative Library Displays include information for librarians on how to create fantastic, challenging and inviting displays; and  acts as a database for displaying ideas along with photos, descriptions and instructions on how to create the particular display.

I would suggest anyone having difficulty creating that perfect display or just looking for fresh ideas to visit Creative Library Displays. I would also be interested in any other sites or blogs on creating displays that you may have stumbled upon while looking for display ideas.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 11:45 am  Comments (2)  
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Video Book Reviews

I think we all understand how important technology is to teens, and so when I discovered the King County Library System’s teen video book review contest I was ecstatic.  Jennifer Woolen describes this engaging program for teens that combines a love of reading with technological know how.  The library has teens produce a short video clip or video trailer featuring their favourite book, post it to YouTube and submit the review to the library video contest.  Winners receive prizes that are purchased through the Kings County Library System Foundation.  To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to participate, the library made efforts to provide cameras and hosted video shoots.

The program was successful in that it attracted teens who were frequent users of the  library as well as many new comers.  It is noteworthy to mention that the teen videos exhibited creativity and enthusiasm for the books.  Combining creative expression and books has proven to be an effective venue for teens to get excited about books and libraries.  I invite interested parties to take a few minutes to view some of the videos produced.

Part of the sucess of the program is the participation of teens, but the contest also was instrumental in helping teens learn the value of a book by analyzing elements of the plot, setting and characters in a way that gives meaning.  What also makes it special is that they are allowed to express themselves in a medium that resonates with them.  The contest encourages teens to develop a love of reading that has meaning.  A program that I believe could be offered to more than just teens. I am interested in other librarians experiences and thoughts regarding such a program.

Published in: on August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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Battle of the Books

For anyone who has watched ‘Family Feud’, the description of Battle of the Books will sound very familiar.  A great program for teens was held at the Milton, Oakville, Burlington, Sudbury and Halton Hills libraries and interested schools.  Teams of six identify titles and authors of books by correctly answering questions about characters, plot or setting.  Titles are selected in an effort to promote the enjoyment of readings and encourage further reading by librarians.  A correct title earns 5 points and an author 3, and the team with the most points moves on.  One member of each team is designated as the spokesman and although others members can collaborate to determine the answer, only the spokesman can officially provide the answer.  Teams alternate answering questions.  In the event that a question is not answerable by one team, the opposing team has the opportunity to earn bonus points.  The team with the most points moves onto the next level.  Prizes and medals are sponsored by Chapters.

This program provides teens with a great opportunity to experience genres and authors that may not have been part of their repertoire of reading.  I’m curious if other libraries have participated in this event and whether they partnered with chapters.  Has the event ever been offered independent of schools – say as a summer program sponsored by local businesses – and was success achieved?

Published in: on August 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Accidental Library Marketer

I happen to stumble upon what appears to be a valuable resource by Kathy Dempsey entitled The Accidental Library Marketer.  This resource is currently being used to supplement a marketing course at Simmons College; and is also being hailed by Judith Gibbons, Chair of the ALA Advocacy Training Sub-Committee as having the ability to “graduate accidental marketer[s] to professional and proactive marketers”.  I invite you to listen to a discussion about the book by Kathy Dempsey.  Please feel free to comment on the interview.

A review of the book, by Judith Stress recommends the book to anyone who has “become the go-to person for marketing”.   She suggests that although the resource has been geared to academic and public libraries, it would be a valuable tool for all librarians.

I believe that marketing might be considered by some as the library’s Achilles heel.  Resources such as this one are useful for developing skills and strategies that overcome these obstacles.  I understand that Kathy Dempsey was at the ALA Swap & Shop and I was wondering if anyone had the opportunity to chat with her?  I’d also be interesting in comments from those who have implemented some of the strategies identified in the book.

Published in: on August 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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