Tag Archives: Spotlight Program Series

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!

Spotlight Program: Hosting a Long Night Against Procrastination

Dive-signal-night-ok

Academic libraries are always looking for more ways to serve their patron communities – and helping students through finals week is an ongoing challenge! Have you thought about setting up a night focused on helping students to overcome procrastination in their final projects?  Check out this great blog about a program at Loyola Marymount University for all the information!

This post was co-written by Rachel Deras, Librarian-in-Residence at Loyola Marymount University, and John Jackson.

For the past three years, the William H. Hannon Library at Loyola Marymount University has hosted a Long Night Against Procrastination as part of its Spring Finals programming. Fifty undergraduate students are invited to attend a four-hour-long event and enjoy all the comforts and services the library can provide in a private, intimate space: a quiet room, access to research librarians and writing tutors, brain food and a never-ending flow of coffee and teas. With the exception of our Milk & Cookies event hosted during fall finals, our Long Night Against Procrastination (LNAP) is by far the most popular and most-requested library event of the academic year.

Long Night Against Procrastination promoThe William H. Hannon Library’s Long Night Against Procrastination is among the library’s most popular events.

Based on similar events at other institutions, our LNAP was originally designed by Jamie Hazlitt, then our outreach and communications librarian. The current outreach team has followed the same model with few changes. The feedback is consistently positive and, though we’ve discussed the possibility, it is difficult to argue for making any changes to the model. We believe that our model is solidly designed and could be successful at almost any institution.

Our LNAP begins at 8 p.m. the night before finals begin and runs until midnight. There is only one room in the library large enough and quiet enough (due to the ability to close it off from the rest of the library) to host the event: our third-floor event space. Students register at a front table and receive their free goody bag, which contains a mix of vendor-donated items: highlighters, pens, notepads and snacks. After a brief introduction — during which we talk about the schedule and the availability of tutors and librarians — the students get to work. We have scheduled breaks and raffles throughout the evening and order in pizza midway through. After midnight, students are encouraged to remain in the room and continue working, but the library staff and tutors call it a night.  Continue reading Spotlight Program: Hosting a Long Night Against Procrastination

Spotlight Program: Reading Rocks

Rock texture

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. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

This program would be so easy for any type of library do set up – and what a fun way to connect with your community!

Reading Rocks

October 20, 2017

Once the Rocks-a-Hachie group partnered with NSPL, a group administrator organized local artists and children to paint the rocks. The group was asked to paint rocks of authors/series/characters that they enjoy, and they chose book themes, scenes and characters to paint on smooth rocks. The majority of the artists chose children’s titles for their rocks’ inspiration, but some chose general fiction (C.S. Lewis) and popular YA fiction (The Hunger Games series). On the back, they listed their Facebook group name and wrote “Return to Library.” (View the finished rocks under Photo Slideshow at right.) They then brought the rocks – about 75 to start with –  to the library, and the library organized the program details, marketing and program implementation.

The main goal of the program is to get families excited about books, to discover new books, and to get them to explore places in town that they may not have visited. Other goals include reaching potential library users/families that otherwise have not known about the library and to get more families signed up for library cards and programs.

Our main concern is participants keeping the rocks instead of hiding them because they are so beautifully done! To keep rocks in circulation, we will also host rock painting programs for tweens and teens in conjunction with the Rocks-a-Hachie group continually providing book-themed rocks.”

Spotlight Program: ‘Stranger Things’ at the Library

Stranger Things logo
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. (On November 9, 2017, we will drop a podcast episode on Library Programming; you can tune in here to check it out! Or, of course, subscribe or stream to enjoy any of the episodes!)

Stranger Things is a really popular TV show, and Season Two starts this week. Your library can connect to this trend with some fun programming! Check out this blog describing a craft program going on in the Mt Prospect library.

“The second season of the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things” will be released Friday, Oct. 27, and fans are pumped. One way to tap into the excitement is by hosting a library craft night leading up to the release.

Why crafting? Working on activities together creates a low-pressure environment that allows participants to connect with one another over the show. Plus, everyone gets to leave the event with their creations!”

They make buttons, magnets, canvas art, and coasters. Wouldn’t you like to try them?? If so – invite us over!