Fanfiction in Libraries

Fanfiction in libraries!?! I’m sure many of you are thinking “not in my library!” but with the growing popularity of fanfiction and pop culture this is an easy programming idea. During the North Dakota Library Association’s annual conference Dr. Aimee Rogers, from the University of North Dakota, and Justine Sprenger, from the Grand Forks Public Library, gave the presentation Fanfiction: Why you should be a fan! Through this presentation the two presenters described why fanfiction is beneficial to young patrons in libraries, how many main stream authors began in fanfiction, and even books that highlight fanfiction as a part of the plot line. Their focus was to help the audience understand what fanfiction is and why it should not be scoffed at as a writing style. In fact, studies show that teaching writing through fanfiction helps the novice writer because they do not need to come up with their own characters and their own worlds, they can just add to the one that already exists.

If a library has a creative writing program within it, for children or teens, allowing them to begin by writing fanfiction may be more helpful than making them create everything on their own. Though some patrons may have all those ideas others may be intimidated by the fact that they need to create everything themselves, especially if they only have a character idea that could fit into another world. This presentation encouraged librarians to continue to embrace pop culture in their libraries through clubs and programming that highlight items like fanfiction, graphic novels, and cosplay. After the presentation, the presenters welcomed a discussion on how the librarians in the session felt about fanfiction in general and about it as a tool to be used to help with creative writing.

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Grants – Oct., Nov., Dec. 2017

 

School and Library Grant Opportunities

 

Grants to Educators (NEA Foundation)

Deadline: October 15, 2017

The NEA Foundation supports new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. Their goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures. Funding preference will be given to projects that incorporate STEM and/or global learning.

Find out more and apply at: http://bit.ly/VzK2hN

 

English Literacy for New Immigrants

Deadline: October 31, 2017

Vernon Library Supplies will be giving away their 2017 operating profits to libraries and other non-profit organizations with programs designed to help new immigrants achieve English literacy and proficiency.  Grants of up to $5,000 will be given out on December 1 for programs in 2018.

Find out more and apply at: http://bit.ly/2mj21uc

 

State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Grant

Deadline: October 31, 2017

State Farm grants focus on safety, education, and community development. Charitable funding is awarded to educational institutions and eligible nonprofit organizations. Grant amount requested must be $5,000 or more.

Find out more and apply at: http://bit.ly/1rkkWld

 

Carnegie-Whitney Grant

Deadline: November 3, 2017

Provides grants for the preparation and publication of popular or scholarly reading lists, indexes, and other bibliographical and library aids that will be useful to users of all types of libraries. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded annually and are intended to cover preparation costs appropriate to the development of a useful product, including the cost of research, compilation, and production exclusive of printing.

To find out more or apply, visit their site at: http://bit.ly/2eLDMyV

 

EBSCO ALA Midwinter Meeting Sponsorship

Deadline: November 6, 2017

This award is designed to allow librarians to attend the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association. The grant provides up to $1,500 in reimbursed expenses. Applicants must be ALA members and currently work as a librarian.

For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/2cLVotF

 

Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation Grant

Deadline: November 10, 2017

The Foundation awards grants to support community-based non-profit organizations. They will consider requests to support museums, schools, programs for youth, seniors, and the handicapped, and other community-based organizations and their programs. Grants typically range from $1,000 to $20,000.

For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/2w4KLwZ

 

Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Program Grant

Deadline: November 15, 2017

This grant from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is designed to encourage reading programs for children in public libraries by providing $3,000 in financial assistance. Applicants must be members of ALCS and ALA.

For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/1qu9aOB

 

AgriBank Rural Community Grant Fund

Deadline: November 30, 2017

Grants up to $50,000 will be available within the Rural Community Grant Fund to facilitate infrastructure improvement and/or development initiatives encompassing housing projects, health, safety and environmental programs, medical facilities, educational programs and more. Disbursements through this fund are designated for projects and programs in rural communities in western North Dakota.

For more information and to apply: http://bit.ly/2tqx0WJ

 

Baker & Taylor/YALSA Collection Development Grant

Deadline: December 1, 2017

The purpose of this award is to give $1,000 for collection development to public libraries who work directly with young adults (ages 12-18). Applicants must be members of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

Find out more and apply here: http://bit.ly/2dfAzJ5

 

Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant

Deadline: December 1, 2017

This award, established by the Preservation and Reformatting Section of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), allows librarians with 5 or fewer years of experience in the libraries and archives preservation field to attend the ALA Annual Conference. The award is a $1,250 cash grant to be used toward registration fees, airfare, and lodging.

Find out more and apply here: http://bit.ly/2dFkhHK

 

Regional Stem Days for Students

Deadline: December 29, 2017

ND STEM is looking to encourage educational entities and business/industry partners to participate in STEM activities and projects for K-12 students. K-12 districts, Area Career and Technology Centers, REA’s, Universities, and other entities who directly impact K-12 education are eligible to apply. Grant requests may not exceed $4,000. Funds may be used for presenter travel and fees, activity supplies, transportation of students, and facility rental, but not to supplant state and local funds nor to fund existing programs.

Find out more and apply here: http://bit.ly/2hrh18d

 

Walmart Community Grant Program

Deadline: December 31, 2017

The Walmart Community Grant Program awards grants ranging from $250 to $2,500 to eligible nonprofit organizations that operate on the local level and directly benefit the service area of the facility from which they are requesting funding.

Find out more and apply at: http://bit.ly/2rsb7Uc

 

Awesome Foundation

Deadline: ongoing (15th of each month)

The Cass-Clay Chapter of the Awesome Foundation awards a $1,000 grant each month to those who can demonstrate and deliver great projects to make the Cass-Clay area an even more awesome place to live. The grant cycle ends on the 15th of every month, with an award made the 15th of the following month.

Find out more and apply at: http://bit.ly/2g3yBcZ

 

Enslow Publishing

Deadline: ongoing (1st of each month)

Every month Enslow Publishing selects a winner of their free books contest. The winner may choose $100 worth of Enslow titles. No purchase is necessary. Simply fill out the online form each month for a chance to win.

Find out more and apply at: http://bit.ly/2dQf0PA

Book Lists – Game of Thrones

Are you a fan of the HBO television series Game of Thrones? Are you a fan of George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire book series? If so, here are some great book lists for you!

Book Lists – Children

Looking for a good children’s book to read? Looking for a good children’s book to recommend to your patrons? Looking for a good children’s book to add to your collection? If so, here are some great lists for you!

Starting a Coding Club at Your Library (5)

CodeDak logo

Greetings and welcome to another installment of CodeDak, the State Library’s monthly column on running coding clubs in libraries! This episode is unflaggingly focused on one topic: lesson plans. If you’re offering a weekly, bi-weekly, or even a daily program, things will run smoother with some field-tested plans to work from. Even if you have no advance knowledge of this whole “computer science” thing, you can turn to these to guide you through. Below are links several sets of curricula and some brief explanations of what you can expect at each site. Enjoy!

Code Club: Code Club has full curricula for six different coding languages (Scratch, which may be best for beginners; HTML & CSS; Python; and three hardware-specific sets of curricula for working with Raspberry Pi, Sense HAT, and Sonic Pi). Each curriculum has six projects, which introduce concepts and complexity as they progress. For Scratch, HTML & CSS, and Python, there are multiple sets of 6 project arcs—six for scratch and two each for the others. As an added boon, these are all available in 28 different languages, which can be a great help when working with new Americans: https://codeclubprojects.org/en-GB/

Code.org: You may already be familiar with Code.org through the Hour of Code, but they also have comprehensive lesson plans presented alongside supplementary materials for teaching coding concepts to any grade level, from K-12. Have pre-readers? No problem. Advanced kids? Code.org has you covered. Simply start out by selecting Elementary, Middle, or High School under “Full course catalog” and you’ll be guided along to everything you need. If that’s a bit overwhelming and you’d like to take a more stripped down approach, simply go the “Express” route,” which comes in two flavors: Pre-reader and CS Fundamentals: https://studio.code.org/courses?view=teacher Continue reading

Robots!

CodeDak logo

At the 2017 Summer Summits, Library Development staff presented on coding and coding clubs; and robots, too! Several robots were featured in our coding themed presentation (the slides can be viewed here); but we were only able to demonstrate one of the robots (the Sphero). But never fear, YouTube is here!

Through the power of YouTube, you can see all of these robots in action and learn more about them in the process. Enjoy!

Sphero

 

Kano

 

Codeybot

 

Dash and Dot

 

The Finch

 

Ozobots

 

Lego WeDo 2.0

 

Cubelets

Starting a Coding Club at Your Library (4)

CodeDak logo

In this installment of CodeDak, we’re going to look at some robots, books, and games you can incorporate in your library’s coding club to help make computer programming more approachable, concrete, and fun. Even if you’re not running a coding club (though you should be!), everything mentioned here could still be used in a variety of engaging educational programs at your library. As a side note, the State Library intends to develop circulating kits around many of the interactive ‘bots below, though these aren’t anticipated to be in circulation until early 2018. We’ll provide more details as plans gel!

Robots and games, no computer required:

Circuit Maze: A single player game that teaches logic and sequential reasoning in an electrical engineering framework. Play pieces on the game board within the constraints of a challenge card, complete the circuit, and light things up: http://www.thinkfun.com/products/circuit-maze/

Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set: Tap instructions into the back of a plastic robot mouse to steer it through a maze you build yourself. Appropriate for even very tiny people. Good times! https://smile.amazon.com/Learning-Resources-Robot-Activity-Pieces/dp/B01A5YMCH4/

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Starting a Coding Club at Your Library (3)

CodeDak logo

We’ve been easing you into the idea of running a coding club at your library and participating in this year’s Hour of Code. If this is your first time checking in, you may wish to refer to the previous entries in this series.

What at minimum do you need to get started?

Time. You will want to hold regularly scheduled meetings of your club (or clubs!) and each meeting should be at least an hour long. During the summer and afterschool are optimal times, but weekends can work well, too.

Computers. Desktops or laptops; tablets will work handsomely for block coding (which is likely what you’ll start out with), but if you’re going to be working with older teens or eventually catering to more advanced coders, keyboards will become important.

Curriculum. The core curriculum we’re recommending is CS First. It’s completely free and targeted at ages 9-14. You can schedule it flexibly and it’s based around block coding, which makes it accessible and easy to accommodate. Plus it ties in really well with educational robots (coming soon from a State Library near you…)

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Starting a Coding Club at Your Library (2)

CodeDak logo

In the first installment, we introduced you to CodeDak, the State Library’s initiative to encourage and support running coding clubs in libraries throughout the state. We looked at the exigent need to provide safe, fun, and free opportunities for our youth to learn coding and computer science. Now we’re going to define some terms and detail the bare bones of what you need to get started. This guide is far from comprehensive, but fear not—there’s more to come in future issues of the Flickertale!

Coding: Also called programming, computer programming, or scripting, this is the practice of creating sets of machine-interpretable instructions that make a computer do your bidding. This is an incredibly powerful skillset, as computers are in almost everything, including phones, drones, refrigerators, and rubber duckies. The applications of coding range from creating games and apps, automating routine processes like sorting, making robots dance, performing complex math, modeling weather patterns, even creating art and music—anything a coder can dream of.

Programming Language: Just as people use a wide variety of languages to communicate with each other, there are many different languages for communicating with computers. Common ones taught in coding clubs include: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Scratch, and Ruby on Rails.

Block Coding: A visual style of coding where instructions are represented as Continue reading

Starting a Coding Club at Your Library (1)

CodeDak logo

The Library Development Department of the North Dakota State Library has begun a new initiative focused on coding in libraries. It’s our goal to see libraries throughout the state participate in this year’s Hour of Code. More than that, we want to work with you to start a coding club in your library. Please, please, please don’t be frightened or rage quit your job. You’ve totally got this and we’ll be with you every step of the way. Before we get into the weeds, I wanted to provide a few reasons behind why we’re doing this:

  • Currently there are more than 500,000 computing jobs open nationwide (572 in North Dakota)
  • Last year, less than 43,000 computer science students graduated into the workforce (117 in North Dakota)
  • Computer science drives job growth and innovation throughout our economy and computing occupations are the number one source of all new wages in the U.S.
  • North Dakota has no K-12 computer science curriculum standards nor are North Dakota high schools required to offer computer science courses (though to their great credit, many do)
  • Learn more at: https://code.org/promote

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