When I first started Life Lately at the Library, I really hoped that I’d be able to post every month. Clearly, I have fallen off track, so while I plan to continue with this blog series, it might have to be a seasonal thing.
So here’s what I’ve been up to this past spring:
1) Spring Preschool Puppet Show
I once again participated in my library’s annual Preschool Puppet Show, and it was so much fun! And a lot of work. But mostly fun! Preschools, day cares, and families from all over the area flocked to the library to see our show. We did 9 (NINE!) performances over four days for close to 1,400 people. By the end of the week, I was exhausted with a capital E. But it was also very, very rewarding, and one of the things that I’m most proud of. Since I embedded the video of last year’s show on the blog, here’s the video for this year’s (I don’t expect anyone to actually watch it):
2) Building STEAM with Día
Several months ago, I was awarded the Building STEAM with Día mini-grant. During the months of March and April, I implemented programming for this grant. Our target audience was at risk children, particularly those who are reticent to attend our usual library programs. Therefore, we focused on offering weekly passive and pop-up programming. Here are some of the things that I did/offered:
Table Top STEAM: This was an all day, passive program that I offered every weekend. Each week, I would put out a different STEAM activity on the tables that are in front of our Computer Lab. Activities included: Build a Tower Out of Index Cards, Dig for Dinosaur Bones, Construct a Minecraft Creeper.
Early Learning Center Pop-Up Activities: We have a 2200 sq ft Early Learning Center in my department, and it’s an amazing room for children and their grown-ups to learn together and play together. I’ve been trying to offer programming in this room for ages, but it’s tricky to do because sometimes the room is too full for programming and sometimes the room is…empty. By offering pop-up programming, I was able to go in whenever it was most convenient and do some simple STEAM activities with the young-uns and their parents. We did things such as Sink or Float, Color Mixing, and Cubelets! (Psst, I highly recommend Cubelets!)
Book Giveaways: One of the greatest things about this grant is that, along with programming, it allows you to earmark money for book giveaways. What’s better than getting FREE books into the hands of children who really need it?
Bells and Whistles: While the majority of our programming for this grant was passive or pop-up, we also tried to entice children into our traditional programming by offering some shiny bells and whistles. For example, we brought the 3D printer into the Children’s Department to get kids interested in our 3D printing program. (And one day, 5 boys ranging in age from about 6 to 14 spent a good 30 minutes just standing in front of and staring at the printer.) We also bought microscopes for our already established STEAM program: Science Explorers.
The programming for this grant is finished now. It was a lot of fun (and a lot of work — that must be the theme for my Spring), and it was a big success. Here’s a photo:
Last Saturday, we offered an exceptionally well-received Free Comic Book Day @ the Library program. It was a hoot, let me tell ya. I wasn’t the mastermind behind this one — two of my awesome coworkers dreamed up and implemented this, but I did get to help out at many of the activities including: Super Hero Storytime, Costume Factory (capes! masks! wristbands!), and Super Hero Training. Super heroes also visited the library and we, of course, offered free comic books all day long. Here’s a picture of some super heroes reading (photo belongs to Allen County Public Library):