Free ebook on the importance of summers

Free ebook on the importance of summers

I thought some of you might be interested in the ebook Summers Matter: 10 Things Every Parent, Teacher, & Principal Should Know About June, July, & August by Matthew Boulay, the founder of the National Summer Learning Association. It is free today and tomorrow. I haven’t read it yet but I just got it and plan to give it a look. It might provide some useful information when talking to parents, funders, and other stakeholders about why our libraries are such a wonderful resource during the summer!


#BookReview: Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David Adler

#BookReview: Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David Adler

Don't Throw It to Mo!Don’t Throw It to Mo! by David A. Adler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher: Penguin

easy reader

Mo Jackson loves football, but he is smaller and younger than all of the other players on his team. He usually sits on the bench… until one day Coach Steve puts him in. The other team doesn’t think they will throw the ball to Mo, or that Mo will catch it, or that he will be able to run very fast. At the end of a game they are loosing, Coach Steve puts Mo in. He goes deep, he catches the ball, he runs it in, and they win the game. Mo tells Coach Steve that his play won the game, but Coach Steve says that Mo was the one that caught the ball.

This recently took home the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award at the 2016 ALA Youth Media Awards for the most distinguished beginning reader book. Personally, I think some of the honor books were perhaps a little more worthy (A Pig, A Box, and A Fox). But this is a sweet little story about achievement which is something little ones just learning to read get a rare glimpse of during this time of development.

I am torn on something about this book. Mo is just a part of Coach Steve’s plan. He isn’t the one to initiate it. We don’t really get to hear Mo’s point of view. Is he questioning himself? Struggling? Perhaps this is intentional. And at the same time, I like the relationship of adult and child… teacher and student. Teacher laying out a situation for discovery.

Perhaps I dig too deep into easy readers? 🙂 But children transitioning to reading on their own need good material. Quality easy readers are rare so I always appreciate when one is well done!

This would make a good book to highlight during #SRP2016.

View all my reviews

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!



Be a hero to your community: Making SRP incentives charitable

I love this idea from Keen on Librarianship.

“I became inspired by the hero theme and decided that this year we were going to challenge Summer Reading participants to “be a hero for their community.” Instead of getting prizes or coupons for completing each level, the kids and teens received a sticker that allowed them to vote for one of three community organizations to receive a donation at the end of the summer. Ultimately, all three organizations would receive something, but it was up to the kids to decide who the number one winner would be.”

Check out her entire post on why they got rid of prizes and made most SRP incentives charitable here.

Keen on Librarianship

My very first independently planned and executed Summer Library Program is officially inslp1 the books. Phew! It is a relief to be done, but man those six weeks sure flew by! Over the next few weeks I plan to post a series of SLP write-ups, covering everything from incentives (which I’ll be posting about now) to weekly themes (yes, I did themes-within-the-theme), to specific programs that I thought were particularly successful. I’ll talk about the things that went well as well as the things that I’d like to change for next year. After all, this is just one giant learning process, is it not?

This year’s theme was Every Hero Has a Story, so we celebrated heroes of all kinds including–but certainly not limited to–superheroes. Last year, the librarian in my position made a wonderful move to cut down on cheesy prizes, instead offering coupons from local food joints and area…

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MOOC from EdX with Stan Lee and Michael Uslan on The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture

The Smithsonian and EdX are offering a free MOOC called The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture co-taught by Stan Lee and Michael Uslan. It begins on May 5th and run for 5 weeks. Go here to learn more and register!

From Superman® and Spiderman®, to The Avengers® and The Hulk® and beyond, who are these heroes? And, how have they evolved from folklore and myth, across all cultures and religions?

Learn from Smithsonian and industry experts including:

Stan Lee, who created the modern superhero template. His early comics featuring Spiderman, Iron Man®, The Hulk, Thor®, and The Avengers led Marvel to success. He continues to reinvent himself to create modern global superheroes and appear in cameos in superhero films and TV, such as Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Michael Uslan, executive producer of top grossing, award winning movies, including The Dark Knight series, Lego® Movie, the animated Batman films and Batman® VS Superman.

In this course, we explore the following questions:

  • Why did superheroes first arise in 1938 and experience what we refer to as their “Golden Age” during World War II?
  • Why did the superhero genre ebb and flow in popularity over the decades?
  • How have comic books, published weekly since the mid-1930’s, mirrored a changing American society, reflecting our mores, slang, fads, biases and prejudices?
  • Why was the comic book industry nearly shut down in the McCarthy Era of the 1950’s?
  • How did our superheroes become super-villains in the eyes of the government, clergy, educators, and parents of the mid-20th Century?
  • When and how did comic books become acceptable again, and eventually become valid teaching tools in universities and schools?
  • When and how did comic book artwork become accepted as a true American art form as indigenous to this country as jazz?
  • Finally, when and how did comic books become “cool” and the basis for blockbuster movies, hit TV series, top-selling video games, and acclaimed animation, while also impacting fashion and style- and even the moral and ethical codes of children- around the globe?

via The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact On Pop Culture | edX.