I am announcing a new project: “Let’s Move! Libraries.” At the project website you will find information on movement-based programs in public libraries throughout North America (think yoga/tai chi/Zumba in the library, StoryWalks, music and movement, walking groups, etc.). The overall goal of this project is to strengthen work already underway in public libraries that seeks to get our communities up and moving.
If you work in a public library in Minnesota, please consider taking a few minutes to fill out this short survey about any programs or services your library provides, has provided in the past, or is planning to provide in the future. The results from this survey will be shared on the project website in Fall 2017.
Please share this message with others you think may be interested in this project. Thank you for your time! I look forward to your feedback.
“by Elizabeth Bonsignore, Katie Kaczmarek, Kari Kraus and Anthony Pellicone from the University of Maryland; and Derek Hansen from Brigham Young University
The following scenario offers a glimpse into gameplay for ARG The Tessera:
Ms. Edmunds is a middle school librarian running a #ReadyToCode after-school club that has been playing The Tessera, an interactive online mystery that introduces teens to foundational computational thinking concepts and key individuals from the history of computing. Her 8th graders have just entered a room within the game world that contains materials curated by members of a secret organization called the Tessera.
Here, they discover an old library catalog whose cards contain “book ciphers” that, once decoded, will reveal a letter from Ada Lovelace, a Tessera leader who is known today as the author of the world’s first computer program. The teens must work together to find the books listed in the catalog cards, then follow the encoded clues to locate the words within those books that comprise the contents of Ada’s letter.
Ms. Edmunds helps her club members to find several of the books in their media center or online via resources like Project Gutenberg. They page through the books together, compiling a growing list of words that disclose the letter’s contents. Once complete, Ada’s letter rewards players with key details about the Tessera’s secret mission against the evil “S.” During after-school sessions, Ms. Edmunds shows her teens how they can share their questions, frustrations, and successes with others in-game, through the Tessera players’ forum. She also encourages them to contribute their own findings and musings on the public-facing Tessera community wiki.
Like the teens in her club, Ms. Edmunds has a player profile, which she uses to respond to players’ questions and share her own thoughts. Over the course of 8-12 weekly after-school sessions, Ms. Edmunds facilitates online and face-to-face meetups with teens in her media center as they tackle the multi-level computational thinking challenges in this interactive, multiplayer mystery.”
If you are a Harry Potter fan, there are so many opportunities out there to attempt to recreate the magical spells from the book. One of my favorite recent versions is the Google-enabled control of the flashlight on your Android device.
Another new opportunity to try your hand at spell work comes in the form of a free, downloadable game! Designed by a student at Princeton University, this game looks pretty fun. Check out this article to read about the game’s debut at a Harry Potter library event, and don’t forget to watch the video of each spell!
Libraries are always thinking of new and interesting programs to try. Have you been thinking about something new to try? Consider a program in beautification or street art!
These can add some excitement to your area, and also help to showcase the library as an organization that does interesting work. (It’s always good for us to not just be the “boring people with dusty books” when people think about us!!)
Try out one of these project, and then tell us about it!
Chalk the Walk: “Chalk the Walks (a project of The Joy Team) is all about spreading joy, optimism and inspiration through the magical power of sidewalk chalk. Remember when you were a kid and you’d draw pictures and write happy thoughts with chalk in your driveway and down the sidewalks of your street? And the adults always smiled when they read the big, pastel-colored messages? This is just like that. Only we’re bigger now. And we don’t have to go in the house when the street lights go out. The idea is as simple as it was in childhood: write happy messages, have fun doing it, spread some joy while you’re at it.”
Moss Graffiti: “Contemporary artists have discovered that street art is not only beautiful to look at, but that it can also be soft and smooth to the touch. Moss graffiti is eco-friendly as it doesn’t use any aerosols; what the “painting” needs is just a dash of water to thrive. Here is a recipe for how to make your own moss graffiti. Just bear in mind that choosing the right space for street art is very important.”
Yarn Bombing: “While yarn installations – called yarn bombs or yarnstorms – may last for years, they are considered non-permanent, and, unlike other forms of graffiti, can be easily removed if necessary. Nonetheless, the practice is still technically illegal in some jurisdictions, though it is not often prosecuted vigorously. While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting and crocheting worldwide, each with their own agendas and public graffiti knitting projects being run.”
Rainworks: Using hydrophobic spray, you can paint designs on concrete that are invisible – until rain shows the art! “Anybody can visit our official tutorial page to learn how to make their own rainworks. We’ve shared all of our tips & tricks from our years of experience so that you can avoid making the mistakes we made while we were learning. The Official Rainworks Map now has over 100 rainworks, from dozens of contributors, spanning over 4 continents. Anybody who makes a rainwork can add its location to the map!”
These are suggestions for teen cooking programs from assorted libraries – but they could easily be done for all ages! The library people running these programs report they get a very good turnout; so might be a fun (potentially messy – never wrong) way to bring some new life into your programming.
Note: If your library does cooking programs, know that the CMLE HQ staff is ready and willing (even eager!) to come help with the taste testing! (And if you were not planning to include taste testers – we still volunteer!)
Teen Iron Chef
Stranger Things Cookie Bake-Off ( teens stop by the teen room to pick up a mystery ingredient that they have to incorporate into their cookies; since our theme is Stranger Things/80’s, we’ll be asking teens to use ingredients like Marshmallow Fluff, Teddy Grahams, and other snack foods that were released in the 80’s)
Make pasta from scratch – with rolling pins, the way my grandmother made it, not with a machine
A culinary school near by and the owner and an assistant (possibly student) came and did a pizza making program
Hunger Games Cornucopia themed food program where teens had to rush into the Cornucopia and grab an unmarked bag. They then had a certain amount of time to create a food creation using all of the ingredient.