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Need Help- Library Progam Ideas

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Hello everyone! I work 20 hours at a branch library in a rather large public library system. My specialty is adult fiction. My manager came to me last week and wants me to implement some programming for children. We already have the standard storytime for the preschoolers and toddlers. She gave me really no boundaries as far as age group or ideas. The only real constraints are it has to be fairly inexpensive and no food. For my own comfort level I defintely want to do school-age up to tweens. I've got a million different ideas going on in my head but I thought I'd pick everyone's brains and find out great public library ideas from your own public libraries. Or, what would you like to see?



Thanks so much in advance!

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Pajama story time for younger kids (esp. in the summer time). Story time is at 7 or 7:30 pm & young kids come in their pjs. They bring their own beach towel to lay on during story time.


Also, our library did a weekly storytime for older kids (3rd to 5th graders, I think) where they read from a long chapter book (so it was spread over multiple weeks). The librarian would also do some Mad Libs with the group.


Craft activities have usually been a big hit (though that would cost $ for the supplies). Sometimes the library has American Girl themed craft days.


How about a movie discussion group for teens? You pick 2 or 3 movies to view, watch them over successive weeks, then discuss/compare/contrast them?

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What about looking at something like the Adam Andrew's program http://www.centerforlit.com/ on how to teach the classics...and kinda do a book club with it. I'd love to take my kids to something like this. We've had book clubs at our library, but they've been marshmallow for the brain books...so it hasn't been worth going, for us.


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Things they do at our library that we really enjoy:


Super Scientists--they watch a movie or learn about a topic and then do a simple experiment or make something (rocks, snow, bubbles, etc) They do go outside sometimes like when they smashed their geods and made their gliders fly.


Legends and Lore--a folkloric, historic or literary topic that includes a shortened version of the story and a craft. Like King Arthur and making shields, Beowulf and making swords, this time it was Coyote and constellations and they made constellations on black paper with glitter glue.


Webkinz Club--all the kids bring a webkinz, talk about it, play webkinz party games, get tips on playing webkinz, etc.


American Girls--each month features a new girl. Activities generally include: craft, game, information about the period and doll. They have also watched the movies.


Stuff that they do that my kids are too young for:


Girls Only--grades 4-6, they make jewelry, do experiements, make crafts, etc.


Boys Only--generally does what Super Scientists are doing only at a more advanced level.


Things that they tried:


Graphic novel club


Book discussion group for older children


Hope you have a great time!:001_smile:

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If you do a simple science theme, mix it up a bit. Blow bubbles, but do it outdoors in the freezing weather. Weigh the bubbles on a balance scale.

The aerodynamics of paper airplanes.


I'd love to get my boys involved in a classic books book study. I'd drive a ways for that! :auto:


Have local people who are from different cultures come and give talks about their country and language, have them bring in souvenirs that they can let the kids see and touch. Play some traditional music on their instrument or just with a tape player. If you could get several people, you could do it all together in a big meeting room as a Tour of the World with different tables set up that kids and families could explore, or on successive days as a series.


Is there a local Irish dance troupe that would enjoy giving their kids a chance to perform (for free), a local Irish imports gift shop that would like to display some of their less fragile items, a Chinese grocery that wants to let people look at their imported packaging and exotic ingredients, an old soldier who began collecting Filipino items during the war and now is an expert? Start asking around and see all the experts who pop out of the woodwork. I put on a very nice display of Belgian information and souvenirs as a result of a summer experience as a foreign exchange student, and my boys did a gorgeous table presentation on ancient Ireland, and they dressed in costumes as medieval Irish monks.

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I'm on our Library Board, we're getting ready to start a Friends group, and beginning tomorrow ds will be volunteering at the library every week, so I've been considering this as well.


some things we've really enjoyed at other libraries:


working w/ clay [i think this one was funded by a grant tho]

chess club -easy and cheap!

family movie night

drama workshops -some theater studios will do this for free for a library if it's not every week, or you can have different studios commit to once every 8 weeks or so.


not at the library, but we did a "Going Buggy with Books" all-day fair type of thing at a school and it was FABULOUS!!! each room focussed on a different story w/ a correlating craft. i definitely plan to implement that!



things we plan to implement at our library:

--school-age read aloud [to about 5th grade], limiting it to short stories that can be covered in an hour so newcomers don't feel outta the loop.


--jr/ high school level bookclub called ChocLit: kids eat/drink chocolate treats while we read aloud short stories and discuss. Probably focus on a few diferent literary terms like Figuratively Speaking does. again --each class should be self-contained so newcomers won't feel outta the loop.


--book-making. everything from the 8-page mini-books folded from one piece of paper to big over-sized cardboard books.


--calligraphy, paired w/ sealing notes w/ wax :D


--salt dough: maps/ ornaments/ presents ...especially if you have letter cookie cutters! or let the kids form their own letters.


--pretend food!! kids can learn to set tables, carry trays of 'food', read books about food, write up menus, etc. "Cooking Up a Good Story w/ the ____ Library." i like the "Book Cook" title at the library linked above :)


--make musical instruments: there are several kid picture books that are songs illustrated. Read the story, listen to the music, let the kids make drums, shakers, guitars, and read/ sing it again while the kids "play along."



I'm really going to focus on keeping the programs focussed on engaging the students in reading and/or writing: we want to have the chance to identify children that are struggling so we can help.


when my dd gets a bit older, i plan on doing the American Girl thing.


something our library used to do and that i'd like to pick up again was having the firefighters/police/ other local "celebrity" come in and read.


good luck!!



other ideas....


puppets. make puppets, use puppets, watch puppeteers.

storytime in Spanish, or counting/ learning simple spanish words/phrases.

ditto that w/ sign language.

Edited by Peek a Boo
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