May 22, 2015

SRP Sweetness

I used the fabulous library hero signs created on the Hafuboti blog to make
Mini Candy Bar Wrappers

If you want to print them for yourself, you will have to download them as a PDF for it to print correctly, I'm not sure what's up with that. But these are going to make SWEET prizes at our SRP Kick Off Carnival!

Also, if you want some Super Awesome Capes to jazz up your suckers, check out this Blog.

Let the Summer Begin!

Apr 8, 2015

Yellow've These Books

"Why do you like colors so much?" asks my daily favorite 10 year old library guest. To which I say, "Who doesn't???"

I loved the green Ispy last month so much that I turned it into a yellow display. I love yellow. Sunshine yellow.

Mar 19, 2015

It's Not Easy

It's not easy being green, or a library director! I've been avoiding posting for several reasons. One I've been a slacker and haven't posted much at all lately, I have guilt over this. Why? I have no idea. Two I feel like a whiner for even complaining a little about my new job title. A year ago this month, I added Library Director to my job duties and kept the ones I already had. Needless to say, there was a long, long, long period of teaching an old dog new tricks and I'm still learning everyday. I also had to learn to balance my two duties. One of the things I have lost is time. Time to take pictures of all the fun stuff I do, time to stop and write up a reflection (which NEEDS to be done for the next time I run a similar program). So there it is, my explanation of why this blog sucks now.

I lost my partner in crime, my old boss/director. We used to have so much fun putting displays together. We were great at bouncing ideas off each other and a great creative team ( I MISS YOU KIM!!!!). I was thinking about her and missed doing fun displays, so I took some time to put this display together. I found the idea for this display on Pinterest. I started out making an ispy poster, adding little pictures around the main poster. When I put the poster up and all of the books, I was at a loss for what to put on the top... I found the grinch, then I made him a green cage out of building straws, and set him on the top. He was lonely, so I started to round up anything green we had in the storytime closet and made up a small ISpy poster for the sides of the display.

Sep 8, 2014

Mad Scientists Take Two (Balloons & Electricity)

This book totally became my go to for science projects at the library. 
All of the experiments I used in this program came from this book!
Balloons, Plastic Cups, Hex Nuts (of various sizes), 1 Fluorescent Light Bulb, Lemon Juice, Paper Towel, Nickels & Pennies, and bowls for the water. 

The Experiments:

1. Balloons and Air Pressure Challenge. Found on page 134. Each table has a bowl of water, a few balloons and a bunch of cups. I used one balloon per kid and about 15 cups per table (the successful tables needed more cups). I first asked the kids how many cups they thought we could get to stick to a balloon, and I showed them how I could stick one cup to the balloon. Process: After one child blows up the balloon to about grapefruit size, another child dips the top of 2 plastic cups in water and then uses the surface tension to hold the cups to the balloon. The first child blows more air into the balloon, the air pressure inside the cups changes so the cups stick to the balloon. Pause for more cups, and keep blowing and sticking cups on as long as you can. The challenge was to get over 10 cups on a balloon and one group of kids did it!

2. Balloon Banshee. Found on page 182. Each child has a balloon and a hex nut. I challenged the kids to make noise with their balloons using both of the items. Eventually one of the kids figured it out: put the hex nut inside the balloon and use two hands to get it spinning along the inside of the balloon. As the sides of the nut hit the inside of the balloon, they make a vibration. The faster you can get the nut going around inside the balloon, the more constant the sound is until it sounds like a very annoying banshee. I went around and blew up balloons for kids who couldn't and stuck a nut in and tied it off. Each child got to take one of these fun noise makers home with them!

3. Light a Lightbulb using a Balloon. Found on page 200. Can it be done? First we tried rubbing the balloon on a kids head. Rub and have the kids sing a fun song like the ABC's (it's corny, but they'll do it). Turn off the lights (have a helper do that), stick the balloon to the end of the bulb. We didn't get it to work, we tried it again and sang the ABC's backwards, still didn't work. I had some wool yarn, we tried that and I had the kids count by 5's to 100 as we rubbed. We were able to get a short spark out of the light bulb! The kids came up with different scenarios that we tried out to get the light bulb to light up with the balloon.

That was the transition for building a battery out of money (electricity)

Can we make electricity with money?

4 (& 5). Penny & Nickel Battery. Found on page 192 (I had to wait for the book to come back to the library to find out the correct number of coins for this post). Each table had a small cup of lemon juice, paper towel squares cut into 1" squares, a few sheets of paper towel to lessen saturation levels, and 6 of each clean pennies and nickels (cleaned the night before).

Waaaay back at the beginning we had put the money into different bowls of water: one with soap, one with salt, one with lemon juice and one with vinegar and made predictions about which would be the cleanest (it didn't work how it was supposed to, but that was okay it's more about making predictions and testing them out). The kids all looked at the money to determine the results. As they came up to look, one rep from each table took back 6 of each: pennies and nickels. Then they worked on creating their batteries.

When the paper towel is dipped in the lemon juice and placed between the pattern penny, nickel, penny, a slight charge will be created when you hold each end of the "wet-cell battery". Some of the tables got it to work, and some didn't. We predicted it was because of the amount of moisture on the paper towel squares, but ran out of time to test our hypothesis!

Jul 9, 2014

Picture Book Reorganization One Year Later

It has been a little over a year since we reorganized our chidren's picture books into their own scheme.

It has been a year of learning and a few changes. . .

Added general sub-categories
I had previously left a general book on a topic without a sub-category line. It was confusing for shelvers and library patrons. So now if a book has different types of animals, the spine label looks like this:

rather than:

Dropped Multi-Cultural Section
I felt this was an important area to set aside as a resource to share stories outside of our "rural white-bread" Wisconsin experience, emphasis an "I". I thought it might get ignored, but was hopeful people would seek them out. It turned out that our patrons did not check books out from this section as much as they did from some of the other categories. So now, they are on the shelf with the categories that they naturally fit in and will be stumbled upon: friends, family, behavior, stories, etc. This seems really obvious to me now, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Longer call "numbers"
I had previously used FAVES for my FAVORITES to save space, but it seemed to be counter-intuitive to the whole "do it yourself without codes system" I left the old spine labels as is so we didn't have to buy and print thousands of new labels, but all of our new book spine labels now say: COMMUNITY, FAVORITES, & TRADITIONS instead of COMM, FAVES, and TRADS. All of the call numbers in the catalogs say the entire word, and that is where the patrons look to find where the books are located, problem fixed.

Kid friendly shelf labels
I made picture labels for the subcategories, I am more than happy to forward these on. I did a Google image search of each topic and found the cutest pics I could to put on display! They are just small pictures attached to poster board and covered with Contact Paper, they've been on the shelves almost 9 months and are holding up well.

Other library's adaptations
A few other libraries in our consortium have moved to this scheme over the past year! One of them sent an email out about dropping the P before the main categories.They felt that the colored spines did the trick for them in singling out the books, and I agree they do stick out, I was just worried about finding books on the OPAC.

I had initially planned on genrefying the juvenile chapter books by using colors somehow, which is another reason why I used the P to designate picture books. This project has still not happened as I have been unable to pull together my final vision of how it should look, but it is going to happen some day!

Bottom Line & Final Thoughts:

I would definitely do this again in a heartbeat! It is so much easier for kids to find the types of books they want, and it saves the library staff a ton of reference time.

I REALLY need to add some more princess books and a princess section.  This will just require a commitment. Do princess stories belong in with the Traditional Tales? the Favorites? or the Stories?  Only time will tell....