Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Want my job?

I've got some professional changes coming up, friends. Next week, I'll be relocating to the Chicago area to take a job in the Learning Experiences Department at Skokie Public Library. I'm excited about the change, but more on that later. It's not the main point of this post.

This post is to let you know that you can apply for my current job.

I've been at the Corporate Parkway Branch of the St. Charles City-County Library District for three years now, and it has been an outstanding first professional position. I could not have been more fortunate to start my career under a tremendously supportive branch manager, with an outstanding branch staff, and with the guidance and friendship of colleagues spread across all branches of the library district. Seriously. I would not have been able to be the Show Me Librarian without this job.

So if you're interested in a branch children's librarian position, take a look at the listing. It's open until August 31. And if you choose to apply, good luck!


Note: I'm sharing this job posting because I want as many people to see it as possible--I want the best possible person to take over in my great branch and continue serving an unbelievably wonderful community. I will have no influence on the hiring decision.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Excellent Explosions on the ALSC Blog

I shared a recent preschool science program, Excellent Explosions, on the ALSC Blog last Friday. It was such a hit, I wanted to make sure to link to it here, too!

Grab some common grocery store items and start making explosions with your preschoolers!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thrive Thursday August Round Up!

Merlin's beard, you guys! The participants in this month's Thrive Thursday roundup have so many outstanding ideas for school-age programs and activities, all of which are that magical combination of interesting and engaging. And, cherry on top, these colleagues are happy to share their successes so that other librarians might not have to reinvent the wheel in order to offer a range of school-age programs. I love this profession.

Before I give you the round up of awesome programs, remember that you can look through past round ups at Thrive After Three. You can also stay engaged with the Thrive Thursday community between round ups by following the Pinterest Board and Facebook group!

And now for those glorious ideas:

Nikki at heytherelibrary offered a program that was all things caves, from cave paintings to exploring caves as habitats to making hats. Very cool.

Over at In short, I am busy, Jennifer and her kiddos enjoyed a Mad Scientists Club titled "What Floats? What Flies?" Here attendees made and then tested both paper airplanes and craft boats. Great STEAM program, ahoy!

Lindsey of the Jbrary duo put together a round up of all the book character parties she's done, seen, or heard about on the interwebs. If you're always scrambling to find ways to program around that large costume character you've ordered, look no further.

My fellow Missourian and Cubs fan Sarah of GreenBeanTeenQueen offered a somewhat impromptu, but fully heroic, Batman Day at her library. I'm more of a Marvel girl, personally, but I think her program is sensational.

Lisa at Thrive After Three has been knocking it out of the park with science programs this summer, all accompanying the CSLP theme "Fizz Boom Read." One program in particular is especially egg-celent...

No decoder ring necessary to read all the bits and details about the Spy Night hosted by Angie of Fat Girl Reading. Stealth skills optional.

Awnali at The Librarian Is on The Loose recapped her Big Nate program, which looks like it would be terrific fun for all those Big Nate fans. The program--or, I think, unprogram--offers self-guided stations so every kid can get what they want out of the program.

Over at The BibliOBrien Blogs, Alison has been sharing her series of programs based on NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Mission. The linked program included an activity to build a hurricane-resistant structure. What a great way to showcase that science is interesting and relevant to life.

The titular Kelly of Ms. Kelly at the Library has two excellent school-age science programs to share this month:

Bryce of Bryce Don't Play talked about her library's new weekly series to help with the summer day camp craziness. Her program is based all around Sasquatch, and she also hosted her colleague Lindsay's light painting program in the same series. What lucky day campers they have up there in La Crosse!

Looking for scavenger hunt ideas that get kids moving about the library? Catherine at Z Before Y has you covered.

Over at The Neighborhood Librarian, Brytani detailed her Harry Potter Birthday Party, which she offered a whopping three times. That's a lot of butterbeer. Fifty points to your Hogwarts house, Brytani.

Kary Henry shared a program description as opposed to a whole blog post. It's enough to pique interest and inspire you to take her ideas and run with them, that's for sure!
I co-hosted a STEM program on Illinois mammals to go with our Paws to Read SRP theme. We borrowed a kit from the IL Department of Natural Resources full of pelts, skulls, replica tracks and replica scat. Young patrons, ages 5-9, and their grown-ups, went from station to station with a passport, where they could record information and draw pictures. Mid-way through we read a book, and to finish we played a True/False game with facts about mammals.

And, if I may humbling share my own program, I will direct your attention to an Origami Hour program I offered in July. It required minimal setup and materials, utilized plenty of library books, and was engaging for kids at every level. I loved seeing the kids' origami creations at the end.

That's the August round up for Thrive Thursday! Make sure to watch Ms. Kelly at the Library for information about the September round up, and keep writing about your programming for school-agers! We all love it when you share.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thrive Thursday Placeholder for August 7: A Blog Hop of Excellent School-Age Ideas!

I'm excited to be hosting the Thrive Thursday roundup of school-age programs and ideas for August.

Thrive Thursday is all about programming for the school-age children we serve. It's a place for librarians offering programs to share what they've done and/or find new ideas. It's a place for those of you who don't currently get to experience the joys of school-age programming to dip your toes in the water and share in the fun. It's a most excellent resource.

Want more info about Thrive Thursday? Check out Lisa Shaia's blog (she's the idea genius behind this whole shebang), and don't forget to check out the Pinterest board and Facebook group, too. So many places to find great school-age ideas!

If you'd like to participate in the August Thrive Thursday blog hop, all you need to do is post a link to and brief description of your school-age program in the comments of this post. If you don't have your own blog and want to write up your program to share via Thrive Thursday, send me an email at amy.e.koester(at) so you can guest post here on The Show Me Librarian, then share your link that way. Many options! Just make sure you share a link to your program in the comments of this post by the end of the day August 7. The recap post will go live shortly thereafter.

I cannot wait to see what strange and wonderful school-age programs you all have to share!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flannel Friday: I Have a Little Turtle

I learned some great new rhymes and songs at the Guerrilla Storytimes that took place at ALA Annual in Las Vegas, including a few that immediately struck me as fun fodder for felt versions. And thus today's felt story was born.

Rebecca Dunn shared this excellent, simple rhyme with the guerrillas:

I have a little turtle
His name is Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub
To see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water
He ate up all the soap
And when he woke up the next morning
He had bubbles in his throat! 

When I put the felt rhyme to use in storytimes, I first ask questions to help the kiddos identify the felt objects before I tell them what they are. Then we'll do the rhyme a few times, making exaggerated slurping and chewing noises when Tiny Tim ingests rid of the bath water and soap. We'll do the rhyme a few times, and on the last time, I blow bubbles using a small bubble container I've concealed behind my lap-size flannel board. What a surprise!

Check out this week's full Flannel Friday roundup on Lisa's blog Lisa's Libraryland.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Constellation Guidebooks on The Library as Incubator Project

Today I'm over on The Library as Incubator Project with my final post in my guest Show Me STEAM series. Have you been looking for ways to incorporate a bookmaking activity into a program? Have you ever thought of giving that book a STEAM purpose--say, to guide in stargazing? I'm sharing a constellation guidebook STEAM activity over on The Library as Incubator Project, and I hope you'll head over there to check it out.

Thanks so much to the great moving and shaking folks at The Library as Incubator Project for allowing me to be part of their outstanding blog these past six months. I've loved getting to share these programs and activities with a wider audience, especially one as cool as the LAIP's readership.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Art Bots & Family Forts: Last Week at the Library

It's been a busy summer at the library. That's just the way we like it: a dance of activities ranging from summer reading to exciting STEAM/maker programs to featured performers to special after-hours events and beyond!

I want to share what we were up to last week at the library. We offered two particularly exciting events, which I want to share here with Vines and links to full how-tos and program write-ups. I hope your summer has been this fun so far, too!

Art Bots!

I had about twenty school-age kids and their caregivers in the library last week to make Art Bots, fantastically simple but incredibly amazing drawing robots. Be not afraid, oh ye with fears of robotics and/or maker activities. These little bots are actually very straightforward, and my kiddos caught on to their construction really quickly. I used this excellent program write-up from the Cheshire (CT) Public Library as I prepped for the program.

Family Forts After Hours

I first heard about this program from Marge at Tiny Tips for Library Fun, and I first offered it (and blogged about it) at my own library this past winter. It's been a repeat hit during the summer months, too, with a great balance between families new to the program and those who are repeat attendees. The whole event is a treat: getting to be in the library after hours, the construction and use of reading forts, and--the finale--glow in the dark hide and go seek. So. Much. Fun.