Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Reading and Programming

MondayOur second program of the summer! This is a repeat from last year. It's an hour-long workshop for age 11 and up on babysitting techniques and child development. It's my most carefree program of the summer, since it's taught by a very experienced and lovely teacher from the high school. We had 9 kids last year and 8 kids this year, which is a good response for this age group (they're all in the 11-13 range). This year's group was very interactive and had lots of comments and questions! Our local parks and rec department does a very in-depth babysitting course, which lasts several weeks (and costs money). I like to bill this as a "refresher" or "introduction" course. If you're interested in doing a similar program, I suggest asking if your high school has child development classes and getting to know the teacher!

I have no idea how many kids we signed up today - somewhere between 50 and 70. We had a huge inflow this morning and a very good group for our "Tween Favorites Book Club" where the kids ate cookies, made crafts, and got to pick books to check out from all the gazillions of new books I took to the schools.

I plan to change the name of this program to "Make it and Take it" in the fall (Make Crafts, Take Books) since it's too easy to hear "Teen" and the younger kids think they can't come.

I also gave up completely on finding a henna artist and ordered a do-it-yourself kit from Amazon and a goodly supply of Dover henna tattoo booklets, in case it turns out to be a dud. I paid a whopping $25 for shipping, but I wanted to make absolutely sure it was here before my program June 22!

Storytime starts tomorrow, I keep reminding myself that preschoolers are at 9:30 now...

I've been sort of doing Wii gaming with teens all last spring. I just set up the games and let them hang out for a couple hours. We generally had the same group of about 5 boys and although one of them was fine, I had to constantly pop in and out reminding the others about language, arguing, and pestering each other. Oy! Also, younger kids didn't really have a chance. Anyways, I'm trying something different this summer. I'm alternating - one week ages 6 - 12 in the storyroom, one week teens in the young adult area. I've talked our adult services librarian into supervising the teens and I stay in the storyroom with the younger kids. Also, we're only doing it for an hour. I had about 5 kids the first time and it worked well. I don't enjoy it, as it takes a lot of refereeing and the game noises drive me nuts, but I did it. I think this might be only a summer program though.

Our Wii Sports has mysteriously disappeared though....

Summer Reading Exhaustion
Argh! Only 4 days in and I already messed up the stats. My total stats (457!) are correct - I doublechecked by counting the remaining reading bags. My school stats are correct (415 - we sign up 3-5s). But my age stats were way off when I checked this evening. I'm pretty sure I forgot to enter a day's worth of ages. It's no big deal, the ages are just for me and always pretty much the same - a slow build through the 3-6s, huge numbers of 7-9s, and a gradual decline. But it's annoying. We only had about 50 sign-ups today, so things are slowing down.

My first teen entries! One of my voracious and faithful summer reading program girls, who was just old enough this year for the teen program, is reading Nancy Drew. Yay for summer favorites!

Summer school storytimes tomorrow - I always do the same thing, a quick mention of the summer reading program, a couple frog stories, a retelling of Aesop's Frog and the Ox, and then we make wide-mouthed frogs out of paper plates.

Messy Crafts: Painting and Gardening!
My first messy craft program of the year was a HUGE success! Last year, I had these on Friday afternoon and...well, not many came. This year I kept them Thursday afternoon, when I normally have Family Storytime (which I would like a new name for, btw. We basically read stories and do crafts). I wasn't sure how many people would come so I just got 15 pots - 12 of the 15 people signed up came, and lots of other people who hadn't signed up! We managed to find pots for almost everyone though.

There is a large cement area outside one of our library's entrances - we set up two tables (covered with newspaper) and painted small pots and plastic dishes. Then we filled them with dirt, added a couple nasturtium seeds, and put them on the windowsills in the library! I'll have photos up later on the library blog.

This was fairly cheap - I got the pots for about $1 each at Walmart and the plastic dishes for even less, a little acrylic paint, a bag of dirt, a packet of seeds, and ta-da! You could ask for pot donations too, if you wanted to cut out that expense. I'm looking forward to seeing how many show up at our next messy craft!

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