Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cupcake Flannel Activity

In case you're ever looking for a cute new flannel board idea, try cupcakes!  It goes well with a story time about cakes, cupcakes, or other baked goods, and it's really easy to make a set of cupcakes very quickly.  These examples were based on the cupcake from Cricut's Create a Critter cartridge (10", in case you want to replicate it).  The cherry, flame, and sprinkles were cut free-hand.

There's no pre-made story to go with this, but it works well as a decision-making activity for a small group of kids.  You could also make up a story for larger groups.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Music and Movement

There are few things that perk up patron interest as much as a music and movement class--especially if it's geared to very young children. I don't know why, but there you have it.

There are a few options for creating a program like this. You could hire someone. You could incorporate more rhythm instruments into your storytimes. You could also take the brave step of creating a class all on your own.

I love music. I think everyone should be encouraged to make music. I also think it's a blast to host music and movement classes. They're not particularly expensive, especially if you already have some rhythm instruments on hand, and you'll likely attract people who are new to your library.

Here are some considerations before you begin:
  1. A good class leader knows at least something about music and has confidence in his/her musical abilities (even if they're rudimentary abilities).
  2. Rhythm instruments are a must. Egg shakers, rhythm sticks, and scarves are a great core collection of instruments. Jingle bells, tambourines, drums, and other items are things you can grow into as the budget (and interest) allows.
  3. A good supply of recorded music to play, sing, and dance to is highly recommended. Some people like music with built-in instructions, others don't. Do what's comfortable for you.
  4. You need room for kids and parents to bounce and dance around without hurting themselves. You want a space where they can be noisy. Very noisy.
  5. You need to be ok with limiting the class size.  You probably don't have an unlimited supply of rhythm instruments, and it's difficult to effectively lead the class as attendance increases.  Whether you require registration or cap a drop-in class, have a plan for keeping the size manageable.
Intrigued? Read on!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's so much more than thank you notes...

Here at our little library in Massachusetts we have invited Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting to come in and give our young patrons a "pre-holiday" refresher seminar. The seminars are specifically geared to children and run only 45 minutes to an hour depending on the childrens' ages.
We happen to have a very generous "Friends" group who provided funding for the two sessions; one for Preschoolers & Kindergartners and a second session for 1st through 4th graders. Each session was $100.
Mannersmith was delightful in every way (they come highly recommended from everyone from The Washington Post to Martha Stewart). They even included handouts so that the children could take them home and share their experience with their families.
Unfortunately, because of the nature of the program, Mannersmith did require us to limit each session to 15 participants and (rare for us) required pregistration. I do think, though, that the positive feedback from so many parents (even those that did not sign up) far outweighed the minor annoyance of the few that we unable to secure a slot.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Anime Convention @ your library

At the Springfield City Library, I’ve run a very successful two-day event here called “Springfield Library Chibiconn” for the last 4 years. Basically, we re-create a small anime convention in our community room. Its always a Saturday and Sunday in September. (By keeping it around the same time, folks come to look for it in the future.)

On Saturday we have an anime “Film Festival”. Most years this is actually showing the first two episodes of a variety of shows. We usually start with all age’s shows in the morning and move all the way up to 15+ or older in the late afternoon/evening.

We get permission by going to the companies and requesting them. Most anime companies in America will give the A-Ok for free. The ones I have had the best luck with are:

ADV: http://www.advfilms.com/
Rightstuf: http://www.rightstuf.com/
Funimation: http://www.funimation.com/
Bandai: http://www.bandai-ent.com/

You can see what Anime they own on their websites and the sites have contact info for obtaining permission.

The second day is a day of Anime Events. We do art contests, costume contests, trivia games; invite special guests to give presentations (This year we have a Mass based manga creator coming, in the past its been local convention heads, and some fans that presented workshops on aspects of anime and anime culture)

We get a lot of our prizes at a local Anime Shop, but they can be found online, at Book Stores with large manga selections, or comic shops. I personally attend a lot of anime conventions, and get signed swag for prizes from voice actors.

We run it as an all ages event, but the majority of people that come are teens.

This is one of our more popular events bringing in over 125 people for the whole weekend. We take pre-reg starting about a month before hand, and will allow folks in at the door asuming we have room.