Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tips for Library Fundraising

dollar_sign[1]Fundraising is something most libraries rely on to pay for special programs like summer reading, and often for basic services. I recently attended the free WebJunction webinar Beyond Book Sales: Practical Ideas for Raising Funds for Your Library, hosted in collaboration with ARSL. Sue Hall presented 12 facts about library fundraising. I’ll highlight a few of them here. For the full list and additional tips, you can view the slides and other resources in the archive.

Effective fundraising is about relationships first, money second. It’s important to build relationships that lay the ground work for later giving. It is an investment of time, but this is where most North Dakota libraries have an advantage – it is easier to build relationships in small towns where you already know a higher percentage of the people in town.

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Summer Reading and Connected Learning

3240-puzzle-colors-WallFizz[1]Do you have a harder time engaging teens in your summer reading program than kids? Have you considered a different approach to connecting teens to the library during the summer? At the CSLP annual meeting in April, K’Lyn Hann from the Newberg Public Library in Oregon shared her new approach to teen summer reading that focuses on connected learning.

What is connected learning? Wikipedia defines it as “a type of learning that integrates personal interest, peer relationships, and achievement in academic, civic, or career-relevant areas. The connected learning model suggests that youth learn best when: they are interested in what they are learning; they have peers and mentors who share these interests; and their learning is directed toward opportunity and recognition.”

Instead of focusing on just reading, K’Lyn’s program focuses on having teens make a connection between what’s already going on in their lives with related resources the library has to offer. For instance, if you went fishing, you could locate a pamphlet on fish native to your state, a book on how to fly fish, an article how water pollution is bad for fish, or a recipe for cooking fish. Then you would list the activity on your log, along with the item and where you found it in the library. Reading counts an activity as well. For more details, visit her Teens Summer Program page to view her program flyer, entry ticket, and prizes. Continue reading

Story Time Math

math_symbols[1]One of the partners of the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) is Bedtime Math. Bedtime Math encourages making math as integral to your child’s bedtime routine as a bedtime story. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) suggests mixing math into bedtime reading as one of 5 Ways to Build Math into Your Child’s Day. Along those lines, why not make math a part of your story times in the library as well?

While math is a subject that makes many people panic, math for pre-schoolers is not something you need to fear. In a post titled “Everyday Math Play in Pre-School,” Deborah Stewart says that “As adults, we can tend to over-think how to go about teaching math to young children but promoting mathematical thinking and basic math concepts can come through all kinds of simple hands-on activities.” She goes on to share simple math activities that can be incorporated into story time.

In order to help you brainstorm math activities for young children, I’ve rounded up some resources for you. Perhaps you’ll recognize that you already do many of these activities during story times!

How do you integrate math concepts into story time? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Grants for Libraries

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Ottertail Power Company

Application deadlines: September 15 and December 15

Otter Tail Power Company provides financial support for general operating and program expenses to qualifying organizations and activities in the communities they serve. Previous recipients in North Dakota include Lake Region Public Library, Minnewaukan Public Library, and Forman Public Library, and many ND public schools. To determine if you qualify or to apply for a grant, visit their Donations and Grants page.

Great River Energy

Application deadline: September 15 and December 15

Great River Energy contributes to organizations in the communities they serve and the communities where their employees live. Awards of $500 to $2500 are given to nonprofit organizations focusing on community service, education, environment, and youth. Contributions in North Dakota are targeted to requesting organizations in Oliver, McLean and Mercer counties. To apply or find further information, visit their Community Contributions site.

Kinder Morgan

Application deadline: the 10th of every month

Kinder Morgan aims to help today’s science, math, and music students become engineers, educators, and musicians. They fund programs that promote the academic and artistic interests of young people in the many cities and towns across North America where they operate. For further information or to apply for a Kinder Morgan grant, visit their foundation guidelines site.

Mockingbird Music Education

Application deadline: August 1

Do you incorporate music in your story times? Have you ever wanted to lend musical instruments? The Mockingbird Foundation offers competitive grants to schools and nonprofit organizations with a programmatic focus of music education for children. Learn more and submit an initial application through their site.

NDLA Professional Development Grant

Application deadline: August 31, 2015

The North Dakota Library Association offers several professional development grants to current NDLA members who have been members for the past two years and reside or are employed in North Dakota. Their grant opportunities include the NDLA Professional Development Grant, the Ron Rudser Memorial Continuing Education Grant, the M. Vivian Hubbard Memorial Grant, and the Mike Jaugstetter Leadership Memorial Grant. Glean additional details about the various grants and their application processes by visiting NDLA’s professional development site.

Self-Directed Seek and Find Library Programs

1239796766_treasure_map_sample[1]This month I’ve rounded up some ideas for self-directed seek and find activities in the library. Even in small libraries, scavenger hunts can be a great way to introduce your patrons to sections of the library which they might not otherwise discover or explore.

  • Gnome Hunting at Reading with Red: Find the gnome and check out a book from that section of shelving; a great way to also increase circulation!
  • Library Scavenger Hunt at Lessa Librarian: Take photos and have patrons locate where the item is in the library, and several other ideas.
  • Great Character Hunt at Fat Girl Reading: Find multiple characters throughout the library.
  • Summer Seek and Find at The Show Me Librarian: Find a different character each week and learn something new about the library!
  • Wimpy Station at Future Librarian Superhero: Use a hunt to highlight new additions to your collection or to celebrate a newly published book in a popular series.
  • Tween Scavenger Hunt at Bryce Don’t Play: Includes downloadable materials to make it even easier for you!
  • I Spy Board at Abby the Librarian: You don’t even have to hide anything!

Note that a few of these programs do not include a prize, and instead use the intangible reward of contributing to charting the progress of the program with a sticker on a chart or their name on the wall when they complete the activity.

Have you tried library scavenger hunts? Share your tips for success in the comments!

Masquerade Madness Teen Lock-In

teen lock in

At the Summer Reading Workshops, we discuss summer programming ideas for kids, teens, and adults. When it comes to teen programming, frequently the discussion centers on the challenges of programming for teens. If you would like to start offering programs for teens, why not start with a nationwide program where you have the support of other librarians hosting a similar event?

The National Teen Lock-In is an event where “libraries across the United States invite teens to a locally hosted lock-in on the same night.” This year the Lock-In will be held on Friday, July 31, and the theme is Masquerade Madness. While individual lock-ins are organized at the local level, participating librarians “share ideas and expertise to coordinate events that bring teens together across time zones and geographic boundaries.” Last year, 80 libraries across the country participated. Activities include crafts, contests, and games.

One of the main attractions orchestrated by the organizers at the national level is the opportunity to participate in real time video chats with YA authors. YA authors participating in 2015 include:

  • Heather Demetrios
  • Jessica Brody
  • Jennifer Niven
  • S.J. Kincaid

In Homer, Alaska, Claudia Hanes participated because she was “searching for new ways to virtually connect area teens with other libraries in real time.” She points out that Homer “is a relatively remote place,” and I’m sure many of you in small, rural, North Dakota communities can relate to that.

There is a wiki for participants where you can register your event and find out more. While you can benefit from the expertise and experience of others, there is no specific template you must follow, which is great, because that allows you to work within whatever budget you have! You can tailor the event however it would best fit the needs of your community. Keeping that in mind, if your library doesn’t have space for an overnight event, why not partner with another organization in your community that also serves teens? Off-site events can still be library sponsored!

Has anyone tried a teen library lock-in? It may sound crazy, but 80 libraries have done it! What has worked for you? Share your suggestions in the comments!