April Youth Services News

April Youth Services News

Shared from the CTLS monthly newsletter.

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

Summer Reading Program Tracking Survey

Libraries that are considering using software to track their summer reading programs frequently ask what systems/vendors other libraries are using and why. We have created a short survey that will allow us to collect this information.

Only 8 questions long and estimated to take between 3-5 minutes, this survey will enable us to understand how CTLS libraries are tracking their summer reading programs, which vendors they are using for software, and why those vendors were chosen. The results will be available and will be useful to those looking to transition to software or those looking for a new vendor. Even if you are using a spreadsheet or paper, please let us know this in the survey.

We appreciate your participation! Please let me know if you have any questions.
You can take our SRP Tracking Survey here.

Thank you!

National Robotics Week

National Robotics Week is coming up from April 8th to the 16th. Started back in 2010, NRW is a way to educate the public about robotics and encourage youth to pursue a career in robotics. For those working robotics into your programs like our Bots & Books libraries, you can register your program on the National Robotics Week website and use some of their resources. There are posters, images you can use for social media, and press releases. And there is a cute Robotics Week mascot named Bleeker! 🙂

http://www.irobotweb.com/~/media/NationalRoboticsWeek/Images/Logos/2017NRWlogoH.jpg?la=en

Total Eclipse of the Sun

On August 21st, my family will be headed north so that we can view the solar eclipse in totality and we are very excited. Even though here in Texas we will only see a partial eclipse, it would still be a great way to bring your community together at the library! Here are some resources:

  • timeanddate.com can tell you based on your location when you can expect to see the maximum eclipse possible. For instance, the maximum we will see here in Austin will be 68% coverage at 1:10pm, though the entire event will take about 3 hours. Consider scheduling a community viewing event around your local viewing information that can be found here.
  • Remember it is dangerous to look directly at the sun! You can apply for some free solar viewing glasses and other resources through Star_Net’s NASA @ My Library program. The deadline to apply is May 1st so apply here today!
  • Astronomers Without Borders is also rolling out an educational program that will provide resources. You can sign up to get information for their initiative here.

 SRP Manual Highlight

Chapter 6 of the Teen Manual, Literary Foundation, includes activities celebrating stories: geeking out about characters, making bookish goodies, and creating stories of your own. On page 61, it lays out what you would need to get teens started doing Stop Motion Animation. This is a great way to get your teens being creative with technology because it doesn’t require much.

You need devices such as tablets or phones (yours or theirs), any number of free apps that can create the animation from photos taken, and supplies to manipulate in the photos! Those supplies can be as simple as Legos, playdough, or yarn. Have a light source like a flashlight, a flashlight app, or a desk lamp to manipulate shadows, too. The manual suggests using an app called Stop Motion Studio which is available for iOS and Android. There is a basic version available for free, but I quickly ran into something I couldn’t do with the basic version. Instead, I used an app called PicPac, only available on Android, to create this video. This 10 second video took me about 40 minutes so you see how time involved it can be. Teens can share their final production with themselves via email to show off to their friends. With their permission, show their productions on social media to entice others to come for future programs!

CSLP PSA Media Available

The Collaborative Summer Library Program has made public service announcement media pieces in both English and Spanish available here for sharing on websites, social media, or with local media. Use this valuable resource to publicize your summer reading program! Do you make your own videos? Please share them with us!

YouthLinks

March YouthShare News

March YouthShare News

Reprinted from the CTLS monthly newsletter.


YouthShare: News You Can Use Anchor

by Katelyn Patterson

 

SRP Manual Highlight

Chapter 9 of the Teen Manual is called Beyond the Library Walls and has many good suggestions for easy projects for patrons to make and then donate to a good cause.

This immediately reminded me of the wonderful work done at the Bee Cave Public Library and their participation in “# 25000 Tuques”, the global charity project to collect hand-knitted hats for Syrian refugees arriving in Canada. Bee Cave collected hat donations and held a knit-in to see how many hats could be made at the library. Over their participation for the last two years, they have donated 896 hats! Amazing work, Bee Cave!

Starting on page 141 is a section called For the Love of Cats and Dogs. There are four different animal toys to make out of old t-shirts that could be donated to local animal shelters or city animal control. My first suggestion is to contact the shelters to ask what is needed to make sure your donation is welcomed! Next, get your teens to work on these easy projects. Use old SRP theme shirts you have, ask the community to donate shirts, or visit a thrift shop to purchase some for cheap.

I chose to make this dog rope toy from page 142. It was easy and fun to figure out. You could make them as small or large as you want. You could easily get more than one toy out of one adult t-shirt.

Check out my SRP2017 Pinterest board where I am saving ideas from the manual and elsewhere. I created an SRP2017 Spotify playlist with suggested music from the manual and other on theme songs and you can access that here.

Please share with me how you plan to use the theme!

YouthLinks

November/December Youth News

November/December Youth News

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

 

Summer Reading Program Updates

What better time to plan your summer than in the dead of winter! You are probably aware that theme of the 2017 Collaborative Summer Library Program manual is “Build A Better World.” I am quite excited about this theme as I think there are lots of possibilities, especially for STEM programs. Kwame Alexander will be the 2017 National Summer Reading Champion. You can find information on the 2017 Teen Video Challenge here.

CTLS will be offering a combination Summer Reading Program workshop and Youthshare at several locations around the state. We are currently working out dates and locations and will be sharing those soon.

The Texas State Library and Archives will be providing a webinar on the Teen Manual on January 5th. You can learn more about that here.

I will highlight an activity from this year’s manual here every month. Keep an eye out for our announcement of dates and locations for our face-to-face workshop to help get you prepared for your best summer yet!

Haul Out the Holly?

It’s that time of year again! “When the world falls in love,” sings Frank Sinatra. Does your library get festive around this time with decorations and special programs? Even though we are in the throes of the (my personal favorite) holiday season, I would like to give you an alternative perspective to consider. In the future, consider going holiday free.

I know what you are thinking. No Santa visit? No special storytime? No Christmas tree in the lobby? No fun Christmas craft? Yes, that is exactly what I am suggesting.

To state why very succinctly, these kinds of programs exclude individuals, specifically those whose religion doesn’t celebrate the day or those who practice no religion at all. And despite the argument that Christmas has become largely secular, this belief varies greatly from individual to individual.

Perhaps no one in your community has made a complaint about this before. Consider that no one has complained because they don’t bother coming to programs in December because they expect to be excluded. Perhaps you don’t know anyone in your community that might be offended by these symbols. Though we strive to know our communities, there is no possible way we can know everyone and their preferences. Perhaps you want to reflect what the majority of your patrons want. While it is most likely safe to assume that only a handful of individuals in your community might be excluded from a special Christmas program, we have always been in the business of fighting for inclusivity for everyone. Simply revisiting ALA’s Library Bill of Rights reminds us of this. In fact, for every plan/program/decision that gets made at your library all year round, take a moment to ask yourself and others on staff, “How could someone be excluded by this choice?”

There are ample opportunities for our patrons to revel in the joys of the holidays. Some radio stations play nothing but Christmas carols. Decorations are at every turn. Special holiday events are happening every day during December in our communities. I know because my calendar is full!

Instead, consider focusing on the broader themes of the season. Decorate with snowflakes or have an adult coloring program with these beautiful snowflake coloring pages from Dover. Offer cookies, hot cocoa, and cider. Or have a program on making upcycled gift wrap, cards, and gifts.

Consider making the library a welcoming place for everyone during the holidays. For some, the public library might be the only place they can go to be free of the festivities.

Further reading:

YouthLinks

August Youth Services News

August Youth Services News

I wrote the following for the CTLS Newsletter. The entire newsletter can be accessed here.

 

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

Libraries Helping a Healing Nation

Tragedy struck again right here in Dallas since last month when I talked about the occurrence in an Orlando night club. The Dallas Public Library was committed to supporting their community in the days that followed and even helped to preserve the tributes left as a memorial to the fallen officers during a rain storm.

Libraries and supporting organizations all over are playing their part to help communities trying to understand our current national climate. Recently Storytime Underground, a collective of Youth Services Librarians, made public comments about the importance that the library reflect these events and movements to help our communities cope and understand. The Oakland Public Library has a wonderful page of resources called Listen, Learn, Participate: A #BlackLivesMatter Resources Series. Earlier this year, WebJunction provided a 2 part post on Racial Equity in the Library: Part 1: Where to Start and Part 2: Diverse Collections, Programming, and Resources.

And of course, book displays and booklists are being created for the same reasons. I particularly want to point to the We Need Diverse Books Summer Reading Series. In addition to the wonderful graphic design, each post simply and briefly states the title’s similar themes (friendship, relationship with grandparents, searching for family, etc.).

Similarly, as we get closer to November, patrons may want to know where to get the best information on the candidates and the election. Library Journal recently reviewed several Free Resources for an Informed Electorate that you may find useful.

August is Read a Romance Month

Did you know that August is Read a Romance month? At the recent Romance Writers of America conference in San Diego, a presentation was made showing just what a huge impact the Romance genre has on the publishing industry. Do you see romance flying off the shelves at your library? Here is an excuse to introduce the genre to others who haven’t dipped their toe into it.

Library Extension


My new favorite Chrome Extension is called Library Extension. By installing this to the Chrome browser, anytime you browse for books online at websites like GoodReads, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, Library Extension will let you know if the book or ebook is available at your local library. Borrow and Place a Hold buttons will even take patrons directly to that title in your catalog. They support many libraries (I looked up a few CTLS members) and if you don’t see your library, contact them to let them know! Right now it only works with Chrome but will soon be available for Firefox, too. This is a great way to drive traffic to your site and catalog and could be a great extension of service.

School Library Journal TeenLive Conference

On August 10th, School Library Journal is offering their 5th annual TeenLive Conference, formerly called SummerTeen, which is a free, completely virtual conference discussing teen materials and programming. Keynote speakers are Meg Medina, author of Burn Baby Burn, and Maggie Stiefvater, author of The Raven Cycle. Register to “attend” the event here or follow #SLJTeenLive on Twitter.

YouthLinks

Y’all Means All: Inclusion in our Public Libraries

Y’all Means All: Inclusion in our Public Libraries

[This newsletter article is from the July issue of the Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide monthly newsletter. You can sign up for that here.]

Y’all Means All

Though June was  LGBT Pride Month and we were able to celebrate the location of the Stonewall Uprising becoming designated as a National Monument, therecent incident at an Orlando nightclub reminds us that inclusion is one of the most important services that we can provide as libraries. How can we make sure that all of our patrons feel welcomed? ALA’s Annual Conference took place in Orlando weeks after the incident and they had a host of support events organized. Here is a roundup of PRIDE book displays from libraries and bookstores all over the world. What are you doing towards inclusion in your community? What more can we be doing?

Libraries and Autism

There is currently a push for England’s around 3,000 public libraries to become more welcoming spaces for people with autism. They are creating a network of autism-friendly libraries, educating staff about Autism Spectrum Disorder so that they can be more tolerant and understanding, and creating spaces for them to feel comfortable and welcome.

On our side of the pond, two libraries in New Jersey have put together this wonderful site of resources including decals letting your patrons know you are mindful of their needs, a brief training video for staff on providing customer service to those in the autism community, and this non-verbal communication tool. They also offer a $5,000 grant for those that are looking to create new programming or enhance current programming to benefit people with autism and their families. They are accepting applications for the 2017 grant starting September 1st.

And right here in Texas, our very own Cedar Park Public Library recently received an award from Autism Speaks for their Sensory Storytime. They were awarded $550 to purchase supplies including magnetic storyboards, musical shakers, carper circles, and weighted lap pads among other items. Youth Services Manager Kit Coates provided me with a brief description of their program: “Sensory Storytime is a Library story time specifically designed for children on the autism spectrum. It was developed to address the need in the community for a story time for this specific population and began in the fall of 2014. Held once a month, the story time is a chance for children on the autism spectrum to experience story time in an environment that is aware of and responsive to their needs. Adaptations to the traditional story time format are made to account for the needs and wants of children on the spectrum. The staff member responsible for the program received training in providing story times to children with autism, and has
further researched best practices in other libraries. The story time is approximately one hour in length, and closely follows a posted schedule so children are aware of what will occur. Sensory Storytime includes books, songs, fingerplays, and flannel boards proven to be engaging and meaningful for autistic children. The story time also includes sensory activities involving water, sand, rice, and other materials. All the books, songs, and activities are carefully researched and purposefully selected with the needs of the children in mind. They have participants register in advance, and this past fiscal year have had between 6-8 children and about the same number of adults at each story time, which has been a perfect size for this group. You can learn even more about their program by checking out their blog.

If you already have programming, make sure it is posted where special needs families can see. Here in Central Texas, the Autism Society lists local events so that families only need look in one place to find events and programming to fit all of their needs.

Please share with us what you are doing to make your library inclusive to all! Simply by sharing you can inspire someone else to do the same in their community. Write to me or share on our discussion list. And thank you for all that you do!

YouthShare Series

I am hoping to have a series of YouthShare sessions in FY2017 because it has been awhile since we have had these. I put together this quick survey to get some feedback and gauge interest. These and other workshops are for you and we value your input. Thank you!

YouthLinks

June Youth Newsletter

June Youth Newsletter

This is my article for the June Connecting Texas Libraries Statewide newsletter that I put together every month.

YouthShare: News You Can Use

by Katelyn Patterson

YouthShare Series

I am hoping to have a series of YouthShare sessions in FY2017 because it has been awhile since we have had these. I put together this quick survey to get some feedback and gauge interest. These and other workshops are for you and we value your input. Thank you!

Summer Learning Day

Here is a wonderful video from First Lady Michelle Obama encouraging kids and parents to continue learning throughout the summer. The National Summer Learning Association has declared that July 14th is Summer Learning Day to do just that. Use their resources, such as this video, to talk to your community about the importance of not falling behind and how your library resources and programs and keep kids on track.

SRP Video Promotion

Check out this great video promoting Summer Reading from the San Marcos Public Library. A videographer that works for the city put a series of videos together at no cost to them and they will be sharing them over social media to help promote.

And look at how much fun they are having in this promotional video from Harker Heights! They had a homeschooling group and their high school cheerleaders do some cheers and a talented library clerk helped them put it together.

Please don’t forget to share your pictures, promotional materials, and summer stories with us!

TSLAC Survey for 2017 SRP Manual Format

In 2017, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission will again be providing the Collaborative Summer Library Program‘s Summer Reading manuals to Texas libraries. However, instead of providing it on a DVD, the manual will either be available to your library on a flash drive OR online with a password. Please take a moment to take this survey to let TSLAC know which way you prefer to get your SRP materials.

Next year’s theme is Build a Better World and we have already started collecting ideas on Pinterest.

IDDDYSRCC

We are used to dealing with many acronyms as librarians. This one you may not be familiar with. Or perhaps you have been contacted about it? Recently on several youth services listservs and groups there has been a lot of dsicussion about a boy named Aaron Yang and IDDDYSRCC which stands for  I Double Dog Dare You Summer Reading Challenge Contest USA. Apparently Aaron and some of his friends started this challenge when they were in middle school in 2014 and it is still going on. The challenge is to contact public libraries all over the country to try to sign up for their SRP and get them to send prizes. Here is some information that was sent to one of the lists that was said to have come directly from Aaron.

~~~

“IDDDYSRCC is a contest, or dare, that was created by 2 middle schoolers in 2014. Now in high school, the dare has continued. The dare has been moved into a contest and there are now 5 people in it. Each year, a king and queen of IDDDYSRCC is chosen. In order to be eligible to be in the contest, members must be first initiated. There will be a test to see the ability of the member’s common sense and credibility. During the contest, the contesters must outnumber the number of the libraries that the king and queen are doing. For example, if I did 5 libraries and the king did 7, I lose. These libraries must not be in California.

How does the point system/rules work?
At the beginning of the contest, each person is to keep a secret on how many libraries that person is doing. Everyone will reveal their secrets at the awards dinner and party. Each member must at least email 2 libraries in each state of USA. This year, Canada is added for more amusement. Here is the point system:

1 point if the state is on the west coast of USA, excluding California.
2 points if state is located in the mountain regions
3 for midwestern states
4 for east coast states
5 for Hawaii, Alaska, or Canada

Additional points:
2 points if you win a prize drawing at a library on the west coast
3 if you win a prize drawing at a library in mountain regions
4 for midwestern area
5 for east coast
6 for Hawaii and Alaska, AND 7 total plus the 5 if library is located in Canada.
10 points automatically if you win the grand prize at a library, counts only if you receive it! 20 for Canada!!!!

Cant cajole a library to mail things? Beg them to mail at least something small, must have library name or address either on the item or envelope,box,package,etc.. and receive 5 points for trying. 5 for USA, 10 for Canada.”

~~~

Some librarians are very upset by this because clearly many of us have limited resources and want to serve our immediate population before anything else. Others are trying to be more optimistic saying that we should be encouraging youth to want to use library resources, no matter where they are.

Mostly I wanted to make sure you were all aware of this situation should you be contacted about this. Have you been contacted by any of the participants in IDDDYSRCC? Do you have a policy stating that only individuals with library cards can participate? Would you mail a prize to someone out of state?

Please don’t hesitate to contact me about this if you need any help or guidance.

Getting Excited and Inspired for #SummerReading at CTLS Workshops

Getting Excited and Inspired for #SummerReading at CTLS Workshops

Last week I was in Mansfield and Cedar Park having our first Summer Reading Program workshops and we had a blast! Here are just a few highlights!

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Suzan Nyfeler is our fantastic tour guide through the 2016 manual! We talked books, songs, decor, and display ideas.

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2016-01-22 14.17.47The photo booth was a big hit!

2016-01-22 09.55.14The morning was spent brainstorming and sharing ideas…

but the afternoon was spent playing games, making crafts, and doing theme-related activities.

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We had such a wonderful time! A big thanks to the Mansfield Public Library and the Cedar Park Public Library for hosting us. I will be on the road again next week at the Jourdanton Public Library and then again in February in Edinburg, TX.

I will be highlighting some of the crafts and activities we had at the workshop on the CTLS website and in the CTLS newsletter leading up to summer. These workshops have left me so inspired, I even started my SRP2017 Pinterest board. You can never start too early…

Happy reading!