Life Lately at the Library: January 2015

Life Lately January 2015I realized the other day that anyone who reads this blog probably thinks that all I do at my job is Toddler Art and Storytime and read picture books.  Which, yes, is a big part of my job.  But I actually do a wide variety of other things too.  These other things may not deserve their own blog posts, or maybe they do and I’m just too busy to get around to it.  Either way, I still want to share what I’m up to each month, which is why I’m starting a new blog series:  Life Lately at the Library.

Where’s what I was up to in January:

Frozen Party 1

1) Frozen Sing-a-long

Okay, this program actually happened at the very end of December, but it was close enough to January 1st that I feel comfortable adding it to January’s LLatL.  One of my coworkers was the mastermind behind this program, but I was there to help out for the afternoon and evening showings.  The program itself was really simple:  we showed the sing-a-long version of Frozen in the library’s theater and allowed the kids to come up on stage and sing along with the songs.  We also had a photo op area for families to take their pictures with cardboard cutouts of Elsa, Anna, and Olaf.  Overall, the program was a big hit (we had over 100 people attend each of our three showings), though I got so sick of Frozen, that I don’t know when I can actually watch it again.  I was also sick with a cold that day.  But as a very wise person on Twitter mentioned, my cold didn’t bother me anyway. 😉

Media Tie-Ins

2) Categorizing the Media Tie-Ins

I’m in charge of my branch’s media tie-in books.  These are the books that are based off of movies or TV shows (think Dora, Disney, Star Wars, etc.).  We have a special area set aside for these books, and we put orange stickers on their spines.  This collection is very popular — so much so that it’s impossible to keep them in shelf order.  So in January I started categorizing these books by TV Channel and/or Movie Production Company.  To do this, I placed smaller stickers within the orange stickers.  So now the Disney books have blue dots within their orange dot.  And the Dreamworks books have green dots within their orange dots.  And Nickelodeon books have yellow dots, etc.  It’s still impossible to keep them in shelf order, but now it’s a little easier to find books, because you only need to flip through a certain color of dots.

3D Printing

3)  Minecraft and 3D Printing

I was going to talk about how awesome the Minecraft and 3D Printing programs are, but then I decided that this really does require its own post.  So for right now I’ll just say that Minecraft is a weekly program that I do along with a coworker.  Minecraft’s popularity is huge, and I had to turn kids away several times in January due to not having enough computers.  3D Printing is also very popular these days.  I offered two classes in January and had over 30 kids attend!  Woo hoo!


4)  Mock Caldecott and Newbery Awards

I am super, super fortunate that my library offers a Mock Caldecott and Mock Newbery each January.  Last year I just did the Mock Newbery, but this year I did both.  And it was so much fun!  Colleagues from all over the state came together to discuss the year’s best books and to vote on our favorites.  And we were eerily close to guessing the actual winners this year.  Click here to see the results of our Newbery election.  And click here to see the results of our Caldecott election.  And ten points to the Hogwarts house of your choice if you can spot me in the pictures!


5)  Day of Diversity Forum @ ALA Midwinter

A few months ago, I was awarded a Building STEAM with Dia mini grant (more on that in the coming months).  Because of this, I was invited to attend the Day of Diversity Forum at ALA Midwinter.  And.  WHOA!  It was, by far, one of the best events that I have ever attended!  I’ve already written about it here, so I won’t say any more about it on this post other than Chicago is a beautiful city.


2 thoughts on “Life Lately at the Library: January 2015

  1. minecraft and 3D printing programs are both things I’m trying to get started this year (minecraft will have to be outside of open hours because we don’t have enough computers as it is–else I suppose I could just walk over to the kids computer area afterschool and start issuing timed build challenges for small prizes–that might work, actually).

    I did see your discover 3d printing post last year and wonder if you had any updates or additional tips? I think I may replicate your entire program there (though we only have one 3d printer and, since we’ve no secure public place to store it, it is only brought out during special programs–I’ll have to think of something else besides a “free print” to satisfy the kids).

    Have you played at all with the printcraft server (a minecraft server set up especially for designing 3d objects to print out)? That is something I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t been able to because of computer restrictions at work (waiting for the latest java update, among other things).

    thanks again for sharing! and happy new year!

  2. My 3D printing program is still basically the same as a year ago. I start with a powerpoint and discuss the basics of 3D printing, then I show them Tinkercad and Thingiverse and let them explore. I still do free print certificates. I print them out ahead of time and hand them to kids as they’re leaving.

    A coworker at another branch keeps her class size limited to 6 people, and instructs them to make a simple keychain as their project. They are then able to print during the program because the program is something like 2 hours long, and the keychain takes only 10 to 15 minutes to print. If you did something like that, you could avoid the free print certificates. (Though making a keychain isn’t as fun as making Minecraft creepers.)

    I have not played with the printcraft servers yet, but it’s very intriguing! We use MinecraftEdu here, so I wonder if that’s compatible with printcraft servers?

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