Tag Archives: Program

‘Singing librarian’ rockin’ the library experience

Libraries are cool, and library people tend to do the most interesting things! Check out this story about a library person who connects with a community using music.

“INDEPENDENCE – Helping children develop a love for reading is as simple as singing a song, according to Joel Caithamer.

Caithamer is the children’s services coordinator for the William E. Durr Branch of the Kenton County Public Library. He is widely known as the “singing librarian” because he likes to incorporate music and song into the programs he operates.

Library patron Debbie Noble visits Caithamer every Tuesday for the Preschool Storytime at 10:30 a.m. at the Independence location. She brings her grandson, 21-month old grandson Evan, and her 4-year-old grandson Owen when he’s not in preschool.

“My boys like the music,” she said. “It seems to get them to interact. Joel is a valuable asset because he gives us babysitting grandparents a bit of his time to entertain our grandkids and give us a break.”

The storytime doesn’t just include a book with large vibrant pictures. The time includes singing and dancing as Joel strums on his guitar or banjo.

“It’s a fun time,” Caithamer said. “I really enjoy it. I like working with the kids.”

Caithamer, 49, of Walton has worked at the library for about 10 years. But admits, “I don’t feel like I’ve worked a day in my life.”

He said he always knew he wanted to get into children’s services and loved reading so the library was a “perfect fit.” He studied library science at Indiana University.

“I love my work,” he said. “Being a children’s librarian, you’re recommending books and encouraging new readers to discover new authors and titles; you’re going to schools to promote programs. It’s all about library awareness. You let the kids know, hey we’re here and it’s not just for homework, the library is a destination.”

Reading is very important and learning to love reading at an early age is essential for a well-rounded life experience, according to Caithamer.

Caithamer also has a deep love for music. He even plays electric guitar in a band. “It’s really fun to perform,” he said. But playing the guitar and banjo for and singing during storytime – well that’s his passion.

“I can’t imagine myself doing anything else,” he said. “This is so much a part of my life. It’s a part of the day to day of who I am.”

Kenton County Library Director Dave Schroeder said the library is fortunate to have Caithamer.

“Joel is an energetic bundle of excitement and creativity,” he said. “He’s constantly thinking of new ideas to reach children and get them involved in reading and being creative. He’s got an eye for things that engage children, and things that will get them thinking about the world around them and how they experience life. It’s part of who he is.””


It would be great to hear from an accomplished author, and to learn more about Somali culture, so we can be ready to provide outstanding library service! Come meet Hudda Ibrahim!

Check out this event happening Wednesday July 12, at the St. Cloud Technical & Community College Library. (If you missed the July 12th event, mark your calendar for July 29th! Barnes and Noble St. Cloud is hosting Hudda Ibrahim along with other authors for a similar event. More info here.)

Register here!

You’re Invited!


From Somalia to Snow: How Central Minnesota Became Home to Somalis

Time: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (There will be a brief program at 4 p.m.)

Date: Wednesday, July 12

Place: St. Cloud Technical & Community College Library

From “Somalia to Snow” gives readers an invaluable insider’s look into the lives and culture of our Somali neighbors and the important challenges they face. Designed with a diverse audience in mind, this book is a must-read for students, healthcare professionals, business owners, social service agencies and anyone who wants to better understand the Somali people in Minnesota. READ RECENT PRESS

The book can be purchased at the event for $22.00 or at www.HuddaIbrahim.com.

Date and Time

Wed, July 12, 2017

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM CDT

Add to Calendar


St. Cloud Technical & Community College Library

1540 Northway Drive

St. Cloud, MN 56303

View Map

Somali translation: Continue reading HUDDA IBRAHIM BOOK-SIGNING EVENT

Libraries and Quilts!

Image result for quilt

As a quilter myself, as well as a librarian, I love to see quilts in libraries! I have traveled around the country, visiting all kinds of libraries, and am frequently pleasantly surprised to see quilts on display.

And I’m clearly not alone in this! Check out some of these great library (and library-adjacent) programs, and consider bringing some quilting to your library!! (If you do this anywhere in the area of CMLE, I will come by to admire the quilts, or to bring my done-ten-years-from-now-maybe quilt to work on with your group!)

    A quiltSuspended from the ceiling of the Loveland Branch are over 50 examples of work created by local fabric artists. The display includes traditional quilts as well as quilted and embellished clothing. All types of quilting are represented, including hand, strip, and paper piercing, as well as hand and machine quilting. This non-juried show gives quilters of all levels the opportunity to display their work. The exhibit will remain on view at the branch throughout the month of May and a number of related programs will take place throughout the month.
  • QuiltThe Norfolk Library: Thirty-two women from Norfolk and surrounding towns contributed thirty-nine quilt patches for the Norfolk Library Associates- sponsored quilt. Each appliquéd or embroidered patch is the product of someone who knows and loves Norfolk. Put together, they stitch an imaginative portrait of our town. These women and others contributed to the quilting, completed in the library as a communal activity. Eve Thew fashioned a replica of the library. Nancy Eckel produced the Battell Chapel and Colleen Gundlach created the Congregational Church. Several quilters worked on more than one square. Debby Tait was the champ with shares in seven. Kathryn Noles made three; Mary Ford-Bey, Dorothy Pam , Gloria Gourley and Sue Frisch each made or took part in two, and Ruthann Olsson lettered both the script on the central village green patch and the miles signs text. Quilters: Rebecca Eaton, Madeline Falk, Pat Harms and Leila Javitch worked on quilting, as did many of the women who contributed patches.
  • Lake City Library pieces together programming with Quilting basics workshop
    “LAKE CITY, S.C. – A patchwork of fabrics and a few tools are all that Vera Cooper Martin required to host a beginners quilting class in Lake City last week – that and a lifetime of quilting-making that she first learnt as a young girl from her grandmother.

    Martin, who exhibited several of her memory quilts at the Lake City Public Library in early February, was invited back to host a class as one part in a series of activities designed for the adult members of the library.

    Martin had those attending the class work in pairs to create small lap quilts from nine nine-inches squares of cotton fabrics.” (Read the rest of this article at the link above!)

  • Sew-Quilt-Create
    Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library
    Saturday, March 11, 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

    Program Description

    Quilter Heather Kojan kicks off our day-long sewing-quilting-creating retreat with her presentation, “From Traditional to Modern: My Quilting Journey” and a trunk show. Additional activities include vendor sales, your choice of hands-on classes, plus project “show-and-tell” and Q&A session with quilters and shop owners.

    Supplies for class projects are provided. Sewing machines, along with basic sewing supplies and thread are required for two of the classes, noted below. Registration is required for afternoon classes only.  Lunch is on your own; library café will be open as an onsite option.

  • Morrill Public Library Quilt Show & Programs
    AccuQuilt Demonstration and Quilt Club Organization Meeting
    June 18 at 6:30 pm
    Get some hands-on experience with our AccuQuilt fabric cutting machine with scrap fabric provided by the Library! We will also discuss interest in organizing a Quilting Club at the Library. Bring your ideas for program topics and the best dates/times to meet. If you are unable to attend but still interested in participating in a Quilt Club, please call us at 785-742-3831 or e-mail morrill@hiawathalibrary.org. Quilt Show
    July 16 to August 1
    Quilters are invited to display their handiwork during our July Quilt Show. The “People’s Choice Award” winner will receive a $25 Gift Certificate to Sunflower Quilt Shop. Entry forms available at the circulation desk or click here to view and print.
  • Programming Idea: Community + Quilt = CommuniQuilt from Web Junction!
    In 2014 and 2015, the Boston Public Library (BPL)and Saquish Foundation offered librarians the chance to apply for special grant funding for programs serving older adults. While many grant recipients focused solely on adults 55 and up, at the Mattapan Branch, I teamed up with Teen Librarian Caren Rosales and we broadened our scope to create intergenerational programming that would bring elders and teens together. Our first collaboration in 2014 was an oral history project. While there was a lot of interest, record-breaking snowfall that year had a serious impact on our program schedule and reach. The CommuniQuilt, our second collaboration, proved to be much more fruitful thanks to smart marketing, abundant refreshments, and a blessedly mild winter.
  • West Chester Public Library: Quilting@the Library – making “Quilts for Kids”,  for dates and times see below:
    Next meetings: Wednesdays, May 24, 1pm – 4:30pm; June no meeting; July, 26, 1:pm – 4:30pm.  Join in for an afternoon of fun (bring a friend!) transforming fabric into quilts that comfort children in need:  children fighting a life battle with an illness as well as children of abuse.  All that is needed is your sewing talent, your sewing machine (if you can bring one), quilting gear like rotary cutter, mat, pins, etc. and the desire to help a child in need.
    Experienced machine quilters can pick up a kit to make a quilt at home filling it with lots of love as they sew and returning the completed quilt at a future meeting.  Want to learn more about quilting? This is a great time to practice and get tips from experienced quilters.
  • macdowellIn American culture, the handmade quilt has long been a freighted signifier of home comforts, domestic economy, and “women’s work” in the private realm. In Quilts and Human Rights, four quilt scholars from the Michigan State University Museum subvert that notion mightily, demonstrating that, for over two hundred years, thousands of women across many cultures have used their quilting skills instrumentally, to assert themselves as citizens of the wider world, capable of organizing to address human rights abuses and agitate for social change at home and abroad.

  • Calvert Library Goes Quilt Crazy Is there a National Quilt Month?  If there is not, then there should be and it should be May because that is when the Calvert Library is showcasing some very special quilts and quilt events.
  • Library Artwork and Quilts Three quilts hang from the second and third level balustrades. “The Eagle Has Landed” quilt has been on loan from award-winning local quilter Sue Clark since shortly after 9/11/01. One Bicentennial Quilt depicts scenes of Hamden; the other Bicentennial Quilt depicts scenes from the Whitneyville section of Hamden.

  • Make a Library Books Quilt Block for NaNoWriMo: November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short). This year, more than 295,000 writers have pledged to write an entire novel in just 30 days!

    Inspired by their commitment to creativity (and speed!), I have decided to carry this nod to novels into my quilting, and write up a simple library books quilt block tutorial. Because even if you can’t write the great American novel, you can whip up several of these blocks from colorful fabric scraps, and make a huge dent in your stash. You can even create an entire quilt with book-inspired blocks using the “Book Club” pattern from The Modern Quilt Workshop by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. But first, let’s get started with this quick tutorial!


Library Lock-ins for Adults

Lock Clipart
(From Public Libraries Online, by Melanie A. Lyttle and Shawn D. Walsh)

It’s a Friday night and library staff are planning to be awake for the next twelve hours, plus the time it takes for them to drive home and fall exhausted into bed. It’s another lock-in, but this time the youngest attendees are 18. It’s an adult lock-in, and just like when they were in high school, there is no expectation of sleep. Squeezed in around jobs and school, new adults make time to gather with their friends at the library and be kids again.

We can’t say that this is an activity that would work everywhere. It seems quite situation-dependent. For example, our Adult Library Lock-In consisted of a core group who grew up attending lock-ins and other library programs. However, this time they brought their college friends, roommates, co-workers, and significant others to meet the librarians and former classmates they spent hours with at the library sometimes as long as five years ago.

How does an adult lock-in look different from a high school lock-in? Instead of large coolers filled with lemonade and water there is a carafe of very strong coffee and some 2 liter bottles of soft drinks. There isn’t a litany of rules to go over at the beginning so everyone behaves because everyone is an adult now. Anyone can leave when they want because most have cars, so there isn’t a need to call an over-sleeping parent and remind them to come get their child in the morning. There is more talking among the participants at the beginning of the event as they catch up with each other on what they have been doing since the last time they saw each other. Even in the age of social media it seems like talking face-to-face is still the best way to get information. There are also new friends from outside the community. It isn’t just kids from the local schools in the area.

How does an adult lock-in look the same as a high school lock-in? There are current and retro-gaming systems set up around the building. Tables are filled with board games ready to play. One television is ready for movie-watching. There is still pizza to eat, and someone still wants to organize a game of capture the flag. There are still people who decide to curl up in a niche on a comfy chair and read during the night, and there are still one or two people who decided to sleep for an hour or two during the event.

Why an adult lock-in? Whether these new adults are attending some type of post-secondary education in the area or farther away, they still want to come home. For many of them the library was their home during high school. This was their third place other than school and home. They could be themselves here. Now they want to share that with their significant other, their college roommate, or their co-worker who likes the same things they do. It is also a time to show the important adults in their lives, the librarians, that they have grown up and become something. Now they tell the librarians about their jobs, their classes, and their internships. And just like during high school, the librarians listen attentively, praise their efforts, and remind these young adults that they still believe they can do anything.

These kids aren’t kids anymore. They are now able to vote for library levies and generally support or ignore libraries. Soon they will have kids of their own, and hopefully they will bring their babies to your library for storytime!

(Read this entire article here!)

Dinosaurs roam Gail Borden Library in Elgin

London - Crystal Palace - Victorian Dinosaurs 1
From the Chicago Tribune

“On Monday, Gail Borden Public Library officially unveiled its Dinosaur Giants interactive exhibit, timing it with the launch of the library’s summer reading program.

“This is why it’s important to have these exhibits,” Gail Borden executive director Carole Medal told the dozens in attendance. “It’s wonderful to have them right in your backyard.”

The exhibit features four full-scale dinosaur skeletons, one dinosaur skull, and one full-scale flesh model of animals that once inhabited what is now part of Africa 110 to 135 million years ago.

The centerpiece is the Jobaria skeleton, which stands at two stories tall, its head and neck fitting in between the library’s spiral staircase opening.

While the skeletons are all made of plaster casts and not actual fossils, the exhibit nonetheless is impressive, said Medal.

“Each display is interesting, colorful,” she said. “Oh my God, jaws will drop.”

Curiosity bloomed from practically everyone who stepped foot inside the library Monday. A group from St. Mary’s Catholic School, children and adults alike, gaped at the Jobaria skeleton.

“We’re very lucky to have a library like this close to us, that our kids can come to from school and see this, it’s pretty impressive,” said Barbara Colandrea, the school’s principal.

Some actual fossils are sprinkled around Gail Borden. Near the entrance of the children section is the femur fossil of the Jobaria, weighing in at 350 pounds and 135 million years old.

The exhibit continues the library’s long run of attention-grabbing displays, such as castles, Legos, robots and artwork from childrens author Maurice Sendak.

“From beginning to end, this project was so exciting,” said Mary Amici-Kozi, the library’s exhibits manager. The first items and artifacts of the exhibit were delivered last week, and many staff members were working double-digit-hour workdays, said Amici-Kozi and Medal. The Jobaria skeleton took two days to set up.

It is also a return to dinosaurs, having done the same thing in the fall of 2005. Medal said that first exhibit was a game changer for the then-new library, which had opened only two years earlier.”

(Read the rest of this article here!)

We support libraries!