Saturday, January 28, 2012

This week at the library; or, Series, Series, Series!

Life - and programs - continue, but I have a big project coming up in February. I'm figuring not many people will be showing up during that month, so I'm planning a big change and reorganization of the children's area. Once it's finished, I think I will finally have the children's area exactly as I want it!

One of the major things I'll be doing is weeding, refreshing, and shifting the juvenile series. These are all beginning chapter books and are looking rather tired. So, QUESTION TIME!! What are your favorite, most popular beginning chapter book series and genres?

Monday - A morning of interesting questions...a patron who wanted a particular book in the series wouldn't really believe me when I explained it was a "vook" (which was new to me) and not a "real" book. Somebody, apparently inspired by the Recall Walker petition people in the lobby, wants to set up a vegan food sampler in our lobby. No school, so lots of kids today as well. And an entire afternoon of meetings. No matter how many meetings we have, it's never enough!

Tuesday - Frantic planning, I was supposed to meet with my aide (see what I mean? no end to the meetings!) but my preschool program took longer than I anticipated. I set up half the community room for storytime and half for bleeding art tissue paper, with two tables of books about oceans and water. For storytime, we
  • sang "Sunny Day"
  • read All the water in the world by George Ella Lyon
  • read Down Down Down by Steve Jenkins
  • sang "the animals in the ocean" to the tune of "the wheels on the bus"
  • read About Crustaceans by Cathryn Sill with flannelboard
Then the kids made bleeding art tissue paper fishes. Some finished early, so I hastily read Down by the cool of the pool by Tony Mitton (which really only works if you're jumping up and down and I should have done a storytelling instead). The tables of books weren't really necessary, the teachers wanted the books I had read and a few more, but didn't have time to look at them. The 40 kids did a great job listening and they learned several new words! This wasn't too time-consuming - about 45 minutes to set up the room with my aide's help, 25 minutes of storytime, 20 minutes of craft and putting on coats, and about 45 minutes to clean up and put everything away. Mostly. Then I spent a couple hours on the desk and also cutting out peacocks for our bird storytime tomorrow. My to do list stretches forth, but I ignored it and went home only 15 minutes late.

Wednesday - Had a really big group of kids for Preschool Interactive, at least 20 (because when we did Pretty Ladybug, I handed out 20 dots. So that's how I know). Went well although I was NOT organized, had to go back to my office for the name tags and then for the books! I am always reminding myself that every storytime does not have to be perfect. I don't have to have the perfect books, the perfect combination, etc. It's ok if I don't have every single child riveted every moment. I remind myself of this when things are kind of crazy like this morning.

I had on my calendar "tentative visit" from the county's special education school, Lakeland, and it turned into a definite visit. About 20 middle school aged kids. They were more active and involved than the previous group that came, and I hadn't really planned anything, but it worked fine anyways. I did a tour, read the books I happened to have in my office, we made butterfly masks, and then the kids hung out in the storyroom and looked at books while we waited for the bus. It turned into a long visit - 12-1:45 - but everyone was pretty relaxed and enjoyed getting out and socializing at the library. I'm getting better at working with these special kids, although I'll never be as good as their teachers of course! But I think I'm offering good programs that everyone enjoys and is comfortable with. The books we read:
  • A dog is a dog by Stephen Shaskan (loved this one)
  • There are no cats in this book by Viviane Schwarz (it took them a few pages to catch on, but then they loved it)
  • Go away big green monster by Ed Emberley (REALLY loved this one. They were all shouting "big green monster!" by the end)
  • What will fat cat sit on? by Jan Thomas (they weren't sure about this one)
  • The cow loves cookies by Karma Wilson (loved the chorus)
  • Plant a kiss by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (loved the rhymes)
  • My friend is sad by Mo Willems (they LOVED the happy vs. sad dichotomy. A couple kids explained to me that happy and sad were opposites!)
They told me I was a good storyteller!

Lego Club is booming again, back to 45 people today! I am going to have to think about rearranging the room again.

Thursday - I did have another Lakeland visit today, just three guys. We had a slow tour of the library, the bookdrops being the highlight as always, and some stories in the storyroom, A dog is a dog, Jan Thomas' Doghouse, and Duck Soup.

Our second try at the Elephant and Piggie Kids' Club! We were mostly snowed out the first time, so I just did the same thing again this time. It was HUGE! I only had a couple kids when I started promptly at 3:30, but they started trickling in a few minutes later. By the time we finished our last story at 4pm, I had about 15 kids ages 3 to 10, mostly in the 5-7 range. As we were painting piggies, some more kids stuck their heads in the door and asked if they could come in...then a group of middle school we ended up with around 35! I still need to work on integrating puppets - I'm not really sure how to hold a book and a puppet, and not really comfortable enough to do the puppets without the books, so I had the kids do the puppets, which kinda worked, but not as well as I wanted. I need more rehearsal, but for that I need more time and, well...anyways, this is what we did.
  • Introduction: Elephant and Piggie are all about friends and stories. The Elephant and Piggie Kids' Club will focus on listening to and telling stories, puppets, and working together as friends!
  • Opening song: Sunny Day
  • Mo Willems story (with Elephant and Piggie friends) My friend is sad
  • Long story: How to be a baby by me, the big sister by Sally Lloyd-Jones
  • Folk Tale (with puppets): Anansi and the talking melon by Eric Kimmel
  • Puppet story: Three little pigs
  • Short story: A dog is a dog by Steve Shaskan
  • Craft: paint piggie banks
  • Open puppet playtime
It was Girl Scout (Daisies) night, which is always exciting and I also had reserved our Storyroom for the Cub Scouts, who showed up promptly as the Daisies were leaving...all three of them. Turned out some people had cancelled the meeting, but hadn't told everybody else or something.

Friday - No programs, just me and the Amazon orders (I am the queen of Amazon) and planning all the crafts for February, so I can plan what I need to order, so I can plan what I need my aide to cut out and prepare so I can plan the get the point. I still have to plan the actual programs asides from the crafts and projects. Also had a hectic afternoon on the desk. My sore throat is telling me grimly that if I don't get more sleep it's going to transform from a "I'm tired" sore throat to a "I'm sick" sore throat, so I will probably let most of my planned work for the weekend go and catch up on sleep with large amounts of orange juice.

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