Thursday, July 29, 2010


Well, our summer reading program is over. Cynthia took this photo yesterday and it illustrates exactly how we felt when the carnival was over yesterday.So much work goes into that eight weeks every summer and it could not happen without the help of volunteers and staff.
                                                       Everyone rallies for the carnival---


                                                                        teen volunteers

                              staff,  maintenance staff, and even some of the Friends of the Library helped out.

It is satisfying to know that so many children had fun, experienced some wonderful entertainers,  discovered how much fun the library is, and what a welcoming place is waiting for them every day. There have been thousands of books checked out this summer and I am confident it will continue.

August will provide some time to refuel and gear up for fall storytimes, book clubs, school visits, and early out programs, as well as Teen Advisory Board. Today I will sit back and smell the roses with the knowledge that months of planning, weeks of effort, and a LOT of energy has been enjoyed and appreciated by so many families in our community.

                                         And now....................................let the refueling begin!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


This summer we loaded up Cynthia's car with bags of prizes we gleaned from our prize closet. Marge Loch-Wouters at gave us this idea a few years ago at a workshop. When kids sign up for the summer reading program we gave then a poster to hang in their window (what if you can't see my window from the street?Hang it on your mailbox in a ziplock bag. What if I live waaaaaaaaay out in the country? We just might be taking a drive and see your house.) Then we mapped out the city (and surrounding areas) and set out to look for posters in windows. When we spotted a poster Cynthia would hop out of the car, run up to the door with a prize bag she would hang on the doorknob, then she would ring the doorbell (what if I don't  HAVE a doorbell---then we knock), and then runs back to the car (er...Su-Prize mobile), and we make a speedy getaway. SU-PRIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I felt like a bit of a creeper lurking around neighborhoods, driving slowly, looking at kids and waving, so we rigged up some posters on the car. It feels less creepy that way and provides some SLP publicity,too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Imagine A Castle/S'More Free Teen Programming

I have been waiting for this day since I planned the program. So many happy hours were spent playing in the sand when I was growing up and I suspect that is true of many kids. It is a delight to watch teens have creative freedom and some time to just relax and have fun. Teens, sand, sun , s'mores, 3D chalk, on a sunny summer afternoon, was the order of the day.

Cynthia and I used the remainder of the glue in the small bottles from last years programs to create everlasting sand castle mixture. Yes, we actually got paid for watching glue drip out of bottles into a big container....ahhh life in the Children's Room. We used the cups leftover from the Iron Chef program and filled them with sand and glue. The teens added some water and stirred with craft sticks, then placed the sand mixture on paper plates (also left over from Iron Chef program), and proceeded to model a castle. We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful day and it was delightful to watch the teens create some sand castles.

After working up an appetite making castles in the sand, everyone tried out the 3D chalk, and then munched some s'mores that were made from...........that's right...........leftovers from the Iron Chef program!

Chocolate, chalk, sand, sunshine, and a summer afternoon. Life just doesn't get much better.

Monday, July 12, 2010

EXPLOSIVE PROGRAMS--Teen Iron Chef and Big Machines

This summer has been an explosion of activity at our library. Lots of children, day cares, reconfiguring the Children's Room, new comfy chair for adults and children to snuggle in, and our new self-check unit (yes ,we are way behind, I know).

We revisited the Teen Iron Chef program as Iron Chef Goes to the Beach. What kinds of things would you like to serve at the beach? Fresh foods, things they may not have tried before, new flavors to add, and some good old standbys. The teens were creative , as usual, adding their own touches and wonderful imaginations to create tasty and interesting new combinations. Beach Boys music set the scene.

Teens just love this program and it is a perfect storm of program elements. Inexpensive, creative, interactive,cooperative,and they can eat!

I try to spend under $70 for this program. Tables covered with white paper allows the teams to spend time brainstorming a name for the team and doodling on the paper. Each team chooses one person from the team to go to the food table to get the things they need to create an appetizer, entree, and dessert. We allow 20 minutes to create the dishes, name them, and then we bring in the judges.The teams are judged on presentation, creativity, and taste. Then we feast.
Clean up is easy with the paper table covers.


I love the big machine or big truck programs. The people who drive and operate the machines have a great time interacting with the public and seem to enjoy the kids enthusiasm. What a wonderful free program that has all the right stuff!

Bring on the trucks and boats,

add some bubbles,

some chalk on the sidewalk,

books of course,

 a bit of sunshine, and you have a perfect program!