Author Archives: Sarah Matusz

STEAM Programming Resources for Libraries

chemical-laboratory-1063849_1280At the Spring Workshops the State Library hosted in April, Elizabeth Larson-Steckler from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) presented a session on STEAM/STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) education. She covered ways to integrate literacy into library STEAM programming by using books as a jumping off point for exploration.

DPI defines STEAM education as an integrated and blended curriculum that is driven by creative thinking, problem solving, discovery, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions. Often kids question why they have to learn certain skills because they see no relevance to their lives. STEAM programming helps students make those real life connections. Continue reading

Advertisements

2016 Teen Video Challenge

Teen Facebook CSLP2016

This year we were pleased to have three entries from two North Dakota libraries in the CSLP Teen Video Challenge!

The first entry was “Get in the Game, Read” from Maya Bachmeier from the Minot Public Library:

The second entry was “Read in the Summer” from Nolan Mathews, also from the Minot Public Library:

The third entry was “Get in the Spirit” from Skye Avka, Racheal Couture, and Andrea McCubbin at the Valley City-Barnes County Public Library:

“Read in the Summer” was chosen as the winning video from North Dakota. Nolan and the Minot Public Library will receive prizes from CSLP and Upstart. All participants received a certificate and a book from the North Dakota State Library for participating. Thank you to all the 2016 participants!

Graphic Design Resources for Library Posters

oil-painting-1128693_1280In March I attended a Minitex webinar called “Graphic Design for Maximum Engagement.” It was aimed at librarians and taught by Meggan Press, who is not a graphic designer. She covered tips on layout, color, images, and fonts. The archive (60 min.) is available if you’d like to watch it. It’s well worth it, but in case you don’t have time, I wanted to highlight a few of the resources Meggan shared that could help you improve the posters you create to publicize the programs at your library. Good news – you don’t need to purchase or learn to use any fancy or expensive software! Continue reading

Grants for Libraries

MC900433808[1]These grants were also featured in the April issue of the Flickertale newsletter.

 

 

Lois Lenski Covey Foundation

Deadline: May 13, 2016

Lois Lenski established a foundation to provide grants to agencies serving children in disadvantaged populations. The Foundation awards grants to libraries for purchasing books published for young people preschool through grade 8. School libraries, non-traditional libraries, and bookmobile programs are eligible. The Foundation provides grants to libraries or organizations that serve economically or socially at-risk children, have limited book budgets, and demonstrate real need.

Roads to Reading Literacy Initiative

Deadline: June 30, 2016

The Roads to Reading Literacy Initiative will provide books for circulation and story time in school and public libraries, remedial reading programs in schools, afterschool programs and community centers.

Tom and Frances Leach Foundation

Deadline: June 30, 2016

Tom and Frances Leach were dedicated to sharing their prosperity by using private funds to promote the public welfare. The Board of Directors follows the grant making guidelines set forth by the late Mr. and Mrs. Tom Leach, which supports endeavors to include the arts and humanities, education, human services, medical sciences and health, and the social sciences. General policy of The Tom and Frances Leach Foundation, Inc. is to make financial contributions to organizations in Mid-Central USA which are qualified as charitable, religious, scientific, or educational.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative

Deadline: Ongoing

Basin Electric and its subsidiaries are community-focused. Each year our Charitable Giving Program donations are dispersed to charities in the Basin membership’s service territory. Basin Electric also donates surplus office equipment such as computers, desks and chairs for organizations in need.

Books for Kids

Deadline: Ongoing

Books for Kids creates and furnishes libraries within existing preschools and day care centers, which enables children who may not have access to a public library to discover the world of books. Each library is created with an age-appropriate collection, which includes the core group of standard titles recommended by the Department of Education and early childhood literacy experts. Books are carefully selected to reflect the backgrounds and life experiences of the children in that community. Libraries include child-friendly chairs and tables, colorful carpets, listening centers, puppets, print-rich murals, and more.

Alternative Book Clubs

booksBook clubs are popular library programs, and the North Dakota State Library offers a number of book club kits. However, if a typical book club hasn’t taken off in your library, or if you are looking to spice up or diversify your book club offerings, why not try a book club that’s a little different?

Here are some ideas that might work well at your library:

  • Cookbook Club – Book clubs often involve snacks anyway, so why not try making food the focus of your club? Emphasize your cookbook collection, learn new cooking skills, and have a selection of tasty treats at the end! Pick a theme or let members pursue their interests. A kitchen at the library is not required; everyone cooks at home and brings the end results to share. The Winnipeg Public Library has a successful cookbook club if you want to learn more about how they structure theirs.
  • Knitting Club – A knitting club gives patrons the opportunity to share patterns, progress, and projects. You may need to invest in some pattern books if your library doesn’t own any. With a knitting club, everyone chooses their own project and works at their own pace, so knitters of all abilities are welcome. The Winnipeg Public Library has helpful guidance for your getting a knitting club started at your library based on their experiences.

Continue reading

Library Volunteers

volunteerAlmost every library depends on volunteer help at some time or another. Some libraries in North Dakota are run entirely by volunteers year-round! Summer, however, means summer reading programming. As one of the most time and labor intensive programs that most libraries offer, summer reading is one time nearly all libraries rely on volunteers for extra help. Finding and retaining reliable volunteers can be as challenging as planning a whole summer’s worth of programming, so here are some resources that may help.

The National Summer Learning Association has a tip sheet to help you recruit and select seasonal staff. It helps you identify potential sources for recruiting summer help, and it also provides tips for interviewing.

Continue reading

Resources from the American Heart Association

heartThis year’s summer reading theme is health, wellness, fitness, and sports. The American Heart Association has a number of resources to help support active programs at your library. If your local school participates in Jump Rope for Heart, you may already be familiar with some of these resources.

You may have heard of the NFL Play 60 Challenge. If you are interested in hosting a challenge at the library, you can use the teacher guide to help you get started. Even if you don’t host a Challenge, there are plenty of ideas for activities you could use on their own.

Depending on the age group you are working with, there are lesson plans for both elementary and middle school age students. You can also find guides for jump rope skills, basketball skills, and ideas for Heart Smart stations.

For food oriented programs, you can register to receive School Garden Lesson Plans. The guide includes 35 lesson plans about healthy eating. The best part is you can do the activities in the guide even if you don’t have a garden!

What are you doing to encourage your kids to be heart healthy during the summer reading program this year? Share your ideas in the comments!

Science Resources for Library STEM Programming

summer scienceLast week I covered some resources you could use to find science ideas for your story times. If you are looking for support for STEM programming ideas for your school-age kids, check out these helpful resources. They were both specifically developed for educators who with kids outside of school, so they are perfect for a library environment.

howtosmile is “a collection of the best educational materials on the web, in addition to learning tools and services – all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.” This site allows you to “search over 3,500 of the very best science and math activities on the web. All activities are available to anyone, free of charge.” For added convenience, you can also “filter by age, material costs, and learning time to find exactly what you need.” There are also curated topic pages if you are looking for themed programs.

Click2Science is “an interactive, professional development site for trainers, coaches, site directors and frontline staff/volunteers working in out-of-school time STEM programs, serving children and youth.” In addition to professional development resources, there are learning modules addressing Planning STEM Learning Experiences, Interacting with Youth during STEM, and Building STEM Skills in Youth. You can register for a free account to connect and interact with others in the online community. Check out the article “20 Skills that Make STEM Click” for a great overview before getting started.

Do you have any excellent sources of STEM activities you rely on for programming? Share your suggestions in the comments!

Science in Story Time

STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) topics for library programming are very popular, but often they focus on school aged children. If you are looking for ways to incorporate science concepts in your programming for younger children, check out the Science in Storytime blog for ideas and themed concepts.

Promoted as “A place to share cool science ideas for storytime!,” Science in Storytime is an effort of the Lincoln City Libraries in Lincoln, Nebraska, to “help to set the “science interest” stage for formal education.” Blog posts feature book suggestions and related science activity ideas appropriate for preschoolers. If you don’t have a particular concept in mind, you can use the categories to browse. If you do have a particular topic in mind, you can use the tags or search box to find specific ideas for your program.

The Lincoln City Libraries developed a logo that they use to indicate when they will be discussing a science concept in story time. The blog also links to Great Science Websites for Kids, which is sponsored by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of ALA. It is a great starting point for even more resources and ideas.

How do you incorporate STEM concepts into story time? Share your ideas in the comments!

Movement in Story Time

EL Chld MomDhtr ReadWith this year’s summer reading theme being health, wellness, fitness, and sports, now is the ideal time to incorporate movement activities to your weekly story times as well. Kids are not designed to sit still for long periods of time anyway, so why not use that to your advantage during story time?

In their publication, Young Children, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has an article called “Moving Bodies, Building Minds: Foster Preschoolers’ Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Through Movement” by Michelle L. Marigliano and Michele J. Russo. The authors state that “linking movement experiences with language—both receptive language (understanding that of others) and expressive language (sharing one’s own thoughts and ideas)—builds children’s thinking skills.” The article features suggested prompts to encourage movement, along with ideas for using dance standards. Scroll to the end of the article to find a box highlighting children’s picture books that feature movement.

For more ideas on books you can use during story time, check out Book to Boogie, a monthly blog series from The Library as Incubator Project which “pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time.”

Over at the Programming Librarian, Jenn Carson has a blog post on Storytime Stretching in which she recommends “adding some yoga poses or movement exercises to your storytime programs, if only to help get those wiggles out!” The article provides helps tips on movement activities for young children, and her website, Yoga in the Library, has a number of great resources for all ages, including sample program outlines.

How do you incorporate movement in your story times? Share your suggestions in the comments!