Monthly Archives: May 2015

Early Literacy Skills and Story Time

2840740920_7be2b55a23_z[1]Researchers at the University of Washington Information School have conducted a study called Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully 2 (VIEWS2). It is the first study which demonstrates that “Storytimes can provide many opportunities to help children develop early literacy skills.”

This seems obvious, right? Isn’t that the whole purpose of story time? While it may seem readily apparent that the goal of story time is to increase children’s early literacy skills, it is important to remember that there are key concepts that we can address during story time to increase understanding of these ideas.

The VIEWS2 study resulted in resources demonstrating how to incorporate eight early literacy concepts into your story times. The concepts include:

Each resource page includes a definition of the concept and a brief video (under 3 minutes), along with a concept tool and a tip sheet.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate early literacy skills into story time? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Superhero Books for Teens

UnmaskSloganAt one of the Summer Reading Workshops in February, a librarian asked for superhero themed books for her teen book club. I did a bit of research and thought I’d share it.

While there are a lot of books for teens with protagonists who have superpowers or supernatural abilities of some sort, there were not nearly as many books with a superhero element for teens as there were for kids and adults. If you are looking for recommendations for superhero books for any age, check out Superhero Novels for reviews.

If you don’t have a teen book club at your library, check out these tips for starting and running one successfully.

Do you have any other suggestions for superhero books for teens? Share them in the comments!

Self-Directed Programming Round Up

kids[1]At the Summer Reading Workshops in February, I got feedback that many librarians in North Dakota were interested in more passive programming, aka self-directed programming, ideas. I started a Pinterest board to feature self-directed ideas, and I will try to regularly round up and highlight ideas you can use in your library that will hopefully be both easy for you and fun for you patrons.

Each of these links include multiple ideas:

Some of these ideas will work better for some libraries than others, but hopefully everyone can at least get good ideas for brainstorming what might appeal to your community. If you try any of them, use the comments to let us know what worked or how you tweaked it to make it work better for you!

What successful self-directed programs have you run at your library? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Acceleration Nation

checkered-flags-309794_640Scholastic and NASCAR have teamed up to provide a STEM education program for elementary and middle school students, with the target ages of 8-12. Acceleration Nation teaches students about the math and science behind NASCAR’s “Three D’s of Speed: Drag, Downforce, and Drafting” and also gives them a behind-the-scenes look at some of the popular drivers in NASCAR and how pivotal science and math are to the sport.
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Getting Started with Self-Directed Programming

Young student studying homeworkThe goal of self-directed, aka “passive,” programming is to offer something interactive for your patrons on their own schedule, so you don’t have to worry about putting a lot of effort into a program, only to hope everyone is free to attend at 3pm on Tuesday – patrons can participate whenever they stop in without assistance from you. If you do have a regular after-school crowd, this is a great way to keep them engaged. Let’s look at what you’ll need to consider to get started. Continue reading