All Tangled Up

On October 8, the library held a “Movie Afternoon” where we showed the movie Tangled. Though it wasn’t well attended (and made me, once again, question having programs on Saturdays) I did have two girls show up and they were very excited. I decorated the meeting room fairly simple and just covered a few tables with bright purple fabric. I served Kool-Aid from a “crystal bowl” (just a pretty plastic punch bowl) and had cookies available on a platter. The kids were most excited by the popcorn though and I went through two bags of it. The girls watched Tangled and ate their snacks and when it was over we started on the crafts. I had made a few banners based on the sun symbol from the movies:

The girls really enjoyed coloring them and made some of their own from the construction paper I had laying out on one of the tables:

They also hung some of the printable activities that I found HERE. The kit comes with several ideas for activities the kids would enjoy and even has things that you can print pre-made. After the girls hung the banners they made, we played “Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Rider.” I forgot to take pictures of them actually doing it, but the idea is the same as this:

Finally, I let them take their pictures as “Frog Princesses”:

On the way out the door, I had a display of “Princess and Fairy tale Books” for them to check out. They also got to take home the lanterns they made (using THIS pattern) and some color sheets. All in all, it was a successful program even with few attendees. Our “How to Train Your Dragon” program was much more successful. It had almost 25 attendees and they had a blast!


All About Me! Story Time

Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future. A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence, from friends she chooses, to how well she does academically in school, to what kind of job she gets, to even the person she chooses to marry.

STEPHANIE MARTSON, The Magic of Encouragement

Story time is suppose to be fun. Kids expect fun animal crafts and exciting songs about pirates, the whole horse ‘n’ pony show (so to speak). While I agree that 99% of story time’s should be exactly like this, I also feel that I have an obligation to teach children about more important issues. Issues like body image, nutrition and self-esteem are often overlooked because they don’t appear to be as much fun to plan. These issues will plague them into adulthood and I want them to remember that the library will always have the information to help them.

A few Wednesdays ago, I decided to have an “All About Me” story time. I searched the internet and came up with an idea for the kids to create name banners. I made these out of paper plates, construction paper and glitter.

They enjoyed making these.

We read a few different books, which they enjoyed because they got to tell me stories about themselves after each one. It even helped some of the kids who aren’t so talkative and tend to be a little shy.  Each of the kids enjoyed taking the banner home and they were showing it off to their parents after story time.

Books We Read:
Incredible Me!  by Kathi Appelt
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
Being Me by Julie Broski
For just one day by Laura Leuck

I also made them a handout that asked them questions about themselves. The handout had things like, “My favorite color is________.”, “If I was an animal I would be ____________.”, “The toy I love the most is ________.”

After I had read the stories we talked about what we liked about ourselves, what our favorite things are and why we like them. It was nice to hear some of the kids say that they really liked who they were!

Scarecrowbot says, “Read Banned Books, Kids”

Let’s start with the three fundamental Rules of Robotics…. We have: one, a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Two, a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. And three, a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

-ISAAC ASIMOV, Astounding Science Fiction, Mar. 1942

After a full day, he is completed. We used all recycled parts and (though he is a bit lopsided) we love him!

CRT screen protector, mother board, heatsink, RAM, reflectors, memory, fuses, random cords.

He is telling Scarecrowbot "Kill all humans..." And YES he has a monocle!

I haven’t finished the banner yet, but I have to work on it all day tomorrow. He is going to WIN! At least he better. We are extremely proud of him and hope the communities response is positive. The business that collects the most votes (quarters) in their coffee can will win $100. The library could use that money for our spring programs.

All of this was made possible by our super cool branch manager and Scott, the owner of Used Books and Other Cool Stuff! Thanks to everyone who helped make Scarecrowbot so amazing!

On Being Subversive (and also Limeades)

[Librarians] are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn’t mess with them.
― Michael Francis Moore


It’s that time of year again! A time when libraries everywhere display (even more proudly) The Catcher in the Rye and The Satanic Verses.  Banned Books Week is almost here and we are gearing up to promote banned/challenged books within our community. Banned Books Week is one of my favorite library events and I always get extra excited when I start putting up the promotional materials around the library.  Last year I created a banned books display using Cricuted robots and I was pleasantly surprised by the discussion it created. Many of our patrons stopped by the front desk and asked for a list of the most challenged books for the year which we had printed as bookmarks. I also had a lot of our younger patrons ask me to explain why a book is banned or challenged. All in all, the display was a success and I was thrilled with how involved it got the community!

This year we are creating a “Scarecrowbot” Scarecrow to enter into the first annual scarecrow contest. We decided to continue the Banned Books robot theme by creating a robot scarecrow. We are using recycled wire, old computer hardware, CRT screen protectors, broken CD/DVD’s and other bits of recycled metal. The robot will be holding a sign promoting Banned Books Week and we will be handing out materials about the “Most Challenged Books of 2011” at the circulation desk. Hopefully our Scarecrowbot will not only promote Banned Books Week, but it will also get people into the library asking questions!

Questions: What are you doing for Banned Books Week? What resources do you use to help promote Banned Books?

Please Click Me and Fund Science!

On another note, my mother who teaches 6th grade science and technology is in the running for $500 grant from Sonic and its “Limeades for Learning” project. I am trying to help her get enough votes to win so that she can get the resources she needs for her “Help Us See the Light” project. My mother is a fantastic teacher and I would love for her to get this! She deserves it!

To vote for my mothers project please visit: or click here. You can also donate a set amount by going to If you use Twitter, please retweet your vote so that it is promoted, if you use Facebook let your friends vote too! You can vote once a day, everyday until September 30,2011. Now go fund science!

>Outreach: Teens

>I have GREAT program ideas, I really do. I just don’t know how to get teens to actually come to the library. When I have my outreach presentations at the middle school/high school, the kids are super excited and they all sign up for the programs. The day of the program, however, I get 1-3 kids who actually show up.

So I suppose that my questions would be….

1. How do you continue the excitement up until the day of the program?
2. How do you get the teens to actually participate in the program?
3. What kinds of programs do you have that keep the teens coming back to your library?
4. How do you fun your programs?