Category Archives: Programs

Spotlight Program: Innovative Book Displays!

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (Check out our podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

This week we are thinking about  great book displays! You can sign into Pinterest and see all kinds of great pictures to give you some other fun ideas to try in your library or archive.

I just love this photo from the Lacey Timberland Library! As a librarian, of course I have very low tolerance for banning books – especially for completely ridiculous reasons. This sign brings into the light some of these calls, so people can see them and think about the importance of freely accessible books and information. If you browse around Pinterest for other photos from this library, you will find all kinds of great displays!

Want more inspiration? Angie collected a bunch of great resources for you! Book displays are fun, because there is no “bad” way to do it. You just want materials to get into the hands of someone who wants to enjoy it – try something today, and see what happens!

You know that putting together book displays takes time and creativity. Some days, you are just not feeling it! When that happens, it’s handy to have some guidelines to help stimulate good ideas. Here is an article you can use to make your displays fun, useful, and to get those materials flying off the shelves: Twenty Rules for Better Book Displays by Susan Brown.

You want to use displays to help you fulfill your basic mission: Connecting your materials to your community.

We would absolutely love to see your displays! If you have a really small one, if you have a massive one, if your display is somewhere in between those – take a picture and send it to us! We want to feature some of our members in an upcoming article, so help us out.

Spotlight Program: Classic Colorado Ski Descents

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (Check out our podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

Freestyle skiing jump2

Last week we looked at a summer program, dreaming about warm weather; this week we embrace the winter with an author talk about downhill skiing!

Minnesota is filled with all kinds of great outdoor activities, and people who love to be outside in the winter – consider bringing one of them to your library to have a good time for everyone!

LONGMONT, Colo. – You might say that Jon Kedrowski, PhD., has an affinity for mountains. He has summited all 55 of Colorado’s Fourteeners, 20 Cascade volcanoes, including Mount Rainier, and, of course, Mount Everest. But Dr. Kedrowski doesn’t just climb mountains; he skis them, too. His latest book, Classic Colorado Ski Descents, recounts Dr. Kedrowski’s achievement as the first person – according to the Denver Post – to climb and ski each of Colorado’s 14,000’ peaks in one winter and spring ski season.  In his upcoming return to the Longmont Public Library on Wednesday, December 13, from 7 to 8 pm, he’ll share those experiences, stories, and lessons learned with Longmont readers.

Dr. Kedrowski’s new guidebook, Classic Colorado Ski Descents, showcases 70 ski options on Fourteeners and Thirteeners, as well as easily accessible mountain passes and locales, with routes that range from peaks with gentle terrain, to tree glades, endless powder, ridgelines, steep faces, and couloirs. In addition to discussing preparation, gear selection, planning and weather/snowpack for skiing in the backcountry, Dr. Kedrowski will summarize the best of the 300 different ski routes and ski descents showcased in his book. Each peak description includes skiable vertical, elevation gain, and roundtrip mileage, as well as easy-to-follow directions to the trailhead.

Born and raised in Vail, Dr. Kedrowski cut his teeth early on some big mountains, which prepared him for some of the more extreme outcomes of his adventures.  In 2012, Dr. Kedrowski summited Mount Everest on May 26, just six days after one of the deadliest days in Everest history, when four climbers died near the summit.  Dr. Kedrowski’s summit was featured on the DatelineNBC documentary, “Into the Death Zone,” which won a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award. Later, in April 2015, he was at the Everest basecamp again when the Nepal earthquake struck, causing avalanches on the mountain and injuring nearly 100 people.  Dr. Kedrowski was not injured and was able to help with recovery efforts as well as gather data for the USGS about the earthquake.

Join Dr. Kedrowski at the Library as he shares stories from his adventures skiing Colorado’s classic backcountry terrain and some of his favorites from his new guidebook published by the Colorado Mountain Club Press/Mountaineers Books. The goal is to send each aspiring ski mountaineer in the audience home with new backcountry skiing objectives and stoke for a new season approaching!”

Spotlight Program: Outdoor Water Party

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (Check out our podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

It’s cold outside, but it is never too early to think about summertime activities for the library! Check out this excerpted article on an outdoor water party you could try in your library!!

The Bellagio Fountains

(By Jenn Carson, MSLIS, CYT, CCYT Library Director of LP Fisher Public Library, Woodstock, N.B., Canada)

At the height of Summer Reading Club (SRC) or during an autumn back-to-school heat wave, sometimes the best thing to do is take the kids outside and hose them down — that will get the fidgets out! (Kidding!)

But seriously, throwing water balloons at people or targets is extremely therapeutic. I asked my SRC leader, Ebony Scott, to come up with a program called Water Games. My only stipulations were (1) that it not wet any of the books and (2) that it have a reasonable budget. (If only we could afford giant Nerf Super Soakers for everyone.)

Even though the sky was threatening rain, Ebony packed half the parking lot with tons of fun and had kids (and their parents) begging for more.

Water game ideas

Here are the descriptions of the games Ebony played:

  • Duck Duck Goose: Played like a regular game of Duck Duck Goose, but the person who is “it” has to break a water balloon over the head of whomever they choose to be the goose. Make sure the balloons you use for this game are thin and easy to break. Before playing it, you’ll want to show the participants how to break them with their finger so they aren’t hitting each other over the head to get the balloons to pop.
  • Sponge Bucket Relay: Participants are divided into two even teams and line up on one side of the space. They take turns racing to a bucket filled with water, fill their sponge and then deposit the water by wringing out the sponge into an empty bucket at the front of their team’s line. You can ask the groups to try to make an object float in their team’s empty bucket; depending on time and difficulty (and age/attention span) of participants, you might skip this part. First team to transfer enough water — either to float the object or reach the high-water line — wins.
  • Water Balloon Toss: In pairs, participants stand across from each other, starting very close together. They pass a water balloon back and forth between them without the balloon breaking. After each toss, participants each take a step away from each other. If they break their balloon, they have to return to their starting distance.
  • Water Gun Painting: Using cheap water guns from a dollar store, each participant helps paint a piece of art for the library to display. Each kid takes turns shooting the canvas with their chosen paint color. The kids can switch canvases so they can help paint both. Canvases can also be spun around to mix the colors.
  • Water Fight: Free-for-all water balloon fight! (We recommend no shots above the neck.)

Ebony, being clever (which is why I hired her), also had a tiny inflatable pool set up with a magnetic fishing game. Kids could go “fishing” while waiting for the next activity to begin. Genius!

What you’ll need

Here are the supplies we needed for all the activities:

  • Two packs of water balloons. There’s a brand called Bunch O’ Balloons that are self-sealing, and you can fill many at once. They were available in packs of 100 at our local Walmart. Note that this brand cannot be filled up too far in advance as they leak water over time.
  • Sponges
  • Four buckets
  • Water
  • Floating objects (ping pong balls work well)
  • Water guns
  • Poster paint
  • Blank canvases
  • Plastic baggies
  • Magnetic fishing kit
  • Caution tape for sectioning off the parking lot. If you have a big lawn or park available, you may not need this. We’re downtown, so use what you’ve got!

We asked all participants to sign a photo release form, and you might want to consider a liability waiver just in case someone gets hurt.

Spotlight Program: Winter Festival of Gifts: A Season of Giving

Misty winter afternoon (5277611659)At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (Check out our podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

By Jennifer Massa, Fiction Program Librarian, Mount Prospect (Ill.) Public Library

“A food drive with a twist, Winter Festival of Gifts (WFoG) has become a beloved annual tradition at Mount Prospect Public Library (MPPL) as a means to creatively give back to the community, while at the same time highlighting staff talent. Diane Davis, pioneer of the program, took time to share the ins and outs of this celebration of giving.

Winter Festival of Gifts is a food-for-crafts charity program for staff members at the Mount Prospect Public Library.Jennifer Massa: Could you tell us a little bit about WFoG? What is it? What is the purpose?

Diane Davis: It is a food-for-crafts exchange to collect canned and boxed food items for local people in need around the holidays. Staff members trade a canned or boxed food item for a ticket to be used in a giveaway for various arts and crafts items. It is set right after Thanksgiving and runs through the second week of December, but isn’t a Christmas program.

JM: Could you give us some examples of the donated gifts?

DD: Lots of baked goods, which we learned the hard way needed to be made for the winner at a time agreed on by both the donor and winning ticket holder. No perishable items on the display! Lots of knit and crochet scarves and hats, paintings, handmade holiday greeting cards and baskets of jams. A few years back we added re-gifted items so that more people could participate. We received donations of yards of 40-year-old unused silk fabric; jewelry (both handmade and mass-produced); unused cell phone covers and chargers; sets of beautiful old china; a warm winter basket of soup made to order containing a soup mug and crocheted scarf; mosaic glass; crochet animals; and more than I can list!

JM: How did WFoG originate?

DD: The WFoG started at MPPL in 2010. My talented colleagues had gifted me with so many lovely knit and baked goods and fun little items that I joked about all of us starting a business. The idea for the giveaway began with admiration for their crafting abilities and wondering how we could use those skills to raise money for local people in need. The plans grew quickly once I started asking my friends to help organize and more staff members got involved, and voila!

JM: How have you tried to encourage donations of gifts and goods?

DD: The WFoG committee has members from most of the departments at MPPL, and committee members are responsible for giving staff tickets for their canned and boxed items. For the fifth year, we decided to expand a bit and decorated the staff room bulletin board, added a large paper thermometer to reflect the number of items received during the two-week period the program was live, and on opening day left mini Take Five candy bars in the mailbox of each staff member. We broke records that year with the number of donated items and the amount of food sent to the local food bank. Over 1,300 canned and boxed food items, I believe.

 The program is a morale booster during a stressful time of the year, winners are thrilled with their gifts and, most of all, you’re helping to feed neighbors in need.JM: How has WFoG grown throughout the years?

DD: We went from around 40 craft items the first year to receiving 100 donations yearly. After opening up the donations to items that aren’t handmade (re-gifting) it really exploded.

JM: What have been the challenges in running WFoG?

DD: It takes a dedicated and creative group of people to make it work. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best! Amy Haffner, Julie Collins and Elaine Ball were amazing, and so many others have been instrumental in putting on the WFoG program each year. By year seven, the last year I chaired the committee, we had the timing down for everything that needed to be done and people in place to do what was needed. Special thanks to MPPL’s webmaster Chris Amling and IT specialist Linda Gadja for putting up donation submission forms and keeping the staff up to date.”

(Read the rest of this article here!)

Spotlight Program: Builder’s Club: Tween Edition

At CMLE, we so enjoy all our different types of libraries, archives, and other members! Seeing all the work you are doing is so inspiring; and we want to return the favor by helping you to find some of the great programming going on around the profession.

Each week we will share an interesting program we find. It may inspire you to do exactly the same thing; or to try something related; or just to try out some different programming ideas. (Check out our podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

S.H Horikawa – Star Strider Robot (スターストライダーロボット) – Front

Check out this great program, from Jess Gould, Youth Services Department Manager, East Hills Library, St. Joseph (Mo.) Public Library!

“Builder’s Club: Tween Edition is a hands-on, collaborative STEAM program for children ages 9 to 14. During each session, a library facilitator introduces a new topic for tweens to explore and practice.

The Builder’s Clubs were part of our summer reading program grant, so nearly all of the programs were planned months in advance.

Before writing the grant request, I spoke with a few local teachers and asked about STEAM materials and technology to which their students had access. From there, I developed a multi-week program that targeted areas of need and interest (computer coding, technical skills, circuits, etc.) and that were centered on the summer reading program theme of Build a Better World.

The Builder’s Club programs were designed to introduce basic STEAM concepts to young people and provide opportunities for local kids to gain exposure to fun, new technology. Our goal was to purchase materials that could be used for future programming within the library and during classroom visits to area elementary and junior high schools.

We planned for two versions of the Builder’s Club: one for intergenerational hands-on learning and the other for targeted skill-building within the tween demographic. (We consider fourth- to eighth-graders tweens.) The Tween Edition required pre-registration and focused on one skill or concept each week, whereas the Family Edition was a drop-in, free-for-all play session.

Tween Builder’s Club took place from 4 to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month: June 8 (Keva Planks), June 22 (Snap Circuits), July 13 (Mouse Maze Challenge) and July 22 (Makey Makey). Due to popular demand, we added an additional program on August 10 (Cardboard Creations). Family Builder’s Club took place from 4 to 5 p.m. on first and third Thursdays.

Sign-up was for each individual week so kids could choose to attend programs that interested them, but we also accepted walk-ins if space allowed.

The set-up was varied as each program had a different theme and structure. For each event, a youth services librarian led the session and one teen volunteer (16- to 18-year-olds) assisted in helping participants and set-up/tear-down of the event. The volunteer arrived 30 to 45 minutes before the event and prepared the Makerspace for the program along with the librarian.

The KEVA Plank class consisted of the LEGOS, the KEVA set, ping pong balls, nonfiction books about architecture, and a flat, open area. The Snap Circuits sets come with educator instructions and project ideas, but we first created a circuit using paper clips, brads, a watch battery and an LED light. The Mouse Maze Challenge used the two maze sets and a blindfold. We used two laptops, some Play-Doh, two Makey Makey sets (we could have used three), aluminum foil, pencils and paper. Cardboard Creations required various scraps of cardboard and packaging, boxes, tubes, hot glue materials, duct tape and whatever other arts and crafts supplies we had laying around.

Unexpected challenge: The manager of the youth services department/program developer was injured in a car accident at the start of the summer reading program and was out on medical leave for the duration of the program. One of our newly hired part-time MLIS staff members was able to take the lead on the programs; it was helpful to have the program plans outlined and communicated prior to the start of summer. ”

Jess has included a lot of great information in the full blog, which you can find here.  Check it all out so you can see if this program will work for your library!