Page Turner Adventures

Riley Roam and Kenny Mikey of Page Turner Adventures delivered on their promise to bring the Summer Reading Program manual to life with humor, movement, participation, video and music. In two sessions, they presented a plethora of ideas that fit the theme One World, Many Stories and You Are Here. My favorite was the mask wheel. This wheel of masks is easily made with dowels and allows the storyteller to “become” another character with a simple turn of the wrist. This photo shows four masks, but the wheel could actually hold eight masks if a second level was made.

Riley and Kenny also perform at libraries and would love to entertain in your community. For further information, visit their website.

The Power Wall

Are your displays looking picked over? One quick fix I heard at the SCLS program Trading Spaces/Show It Off: Increasing Circulation Through Merchandising was to implement the “Power Wall.” The concept is to keep books or media shelved with the spines out beneath the items you display face out at eye level. Then you and your co-workers can quickly fill the face out displays with the items underneath. Just make sure you don’t use a random assortment of stuff – presenter Kathy Schalk-Greene emphasized that each display should have one message. Once you’ve determined your message and selected your items to display, try using the Power Wall to move your items faster and save your staff time. For more tips, check out the DIY Toolkit.

SCLS Resources

Librarians’ Alliance for Parents and Children (LAPC) Listserv – the electronic discussion group of the Librarians’ Alliance for Parents and Children, a coalition formed for librarians who conduct Parent-Toddler Workshops in Suffolk County (NY) public libraries.

New York State Performers & Programs Database – A new state-wide resource for librarians to use in finding performers and programs available for library events. 

SCLS Ellison & Accu/Cut Dies – A complete list of dies available from SCLS Youth Services. Instructions for requesting a die can be found here.

SCLS Program Resource File – Find a program or let other librarians know about your experiences with a performer.

SCLS Streaming Media Database – Videos of the 2010 SCLS Performers Showcase can be found on this site.

YouthNet – An electronic discussion group focused on issues in youth services for the public libraries of Suffolk County, New York.

Ingram Library Services

Jeff Meskill from Ingram Library services will be at SCLS on March 10th at 10:00am for a presentation on Ingram’s library services. Jeff has forwarded this link to a compilation of teacher’s guides to books for children and teens:

Feel free to share this resource with teachers in your community. While most of the guides lend themselves to educators, you might find some useful information for your book clubs.

Innovative Programs for Tweens

To a packed house on February 8, Andrea Vaughn and Lisa Goldstein presented the creative programs they’ve developed for tweens at the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library.

The children’s librarians encounter a captive audience of campers every summer through their partnership with Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program (BCAP). The librarians engage this audience with original programs featuring popular themes like A Day at Hogwarts and Spy School of Brooklyn, and Supernatural Creatures. Sometimes their creativity is sparked by pop culture phenomenons like the YouTube video Creme that Egg! that inspired a program in which tweens create their own Rube Goldberg machine.

Andrea and Lisa have provided links to handouts from their presentation – please see this month’s Teen Direct or contact youth services for the information. If you missed this program, you also missed the free copy of Kiki Magazine, but not to worry: you can look online for a sample issue of this smart magazine for tween girls.

Awards, Contests, and Grants

February 24 CLASC Barbara Flescher Scholarship

March 1 The Frederic G. Melcher Scholarship

March 1 The Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarship

March 1 ALSC Spectrum Scholarship

March 12 Win a Visit from National Ambassador Walter Dean Myers

March 15 Ezra Jack Keats Mini Grant deadline

April 6 Freedom to Read Gordon M. Conable Conference Scholarship

More opportunities:

ALA ALSC Professional Awards and Grants

ALA YALSA Professional Awards and Grants

SCLA Awards

NYLA Awards & Scholarships

NYLA Youth Services Section Awards

Great Idea at Huntington Public Library

The next time you visit Huntington Public Library be sure to take a peek at the artwork on display in the Youth Program Room. Autographed posters, hand-written letters, and original sketches by authors and illustrators decorate the walls of the room.  Many of these pictures and letters are responses to children who have participated in a program to send authors and illustrators happy birthday wishes.

Creators of children’s books love to hear from their fans. If you implement this letter-writing idea at your library, you may just hear back from your favorite writers and artists!

At Huntington Public Library, a different children’s book creator is featured each month in the Happy Birthday Book Display by the picture book area. Norman Bridwell, Jane Yolen,  and Denys Cazet are just some of the wonderful authors who have responded and this month’s display features Mem Fox. According to staff, the letter-writing program is inspiring the children of Huntington to learn more about the people behind the story.

Can You Do Without Dewey?

That’s what library staff members were asking themselves as they listened to Rachel Fewell and Jesse Ransom at SCLS on January 25th. The two librarians presented their innovative conversion to a word-based classification of non-fiction materials at the Rangeview Library District in Colorado, which is now called the Anythink Library. The presentation was filmed and is available for viewing on the Gateway.

Like most library staff, I grew up with the Dewey Decimal System. In fact, when the Hauppauge Public Library staff somehow walked away from an SCLA dinner with a beta fish, we all named him (or her) Dewey without any discussion.

But now I am thinking about what Fewell said about the way children ask for books: They use words. They use words when they search and they use words when they ask for help. Expecting kids (or adults) to convert their words to the Dewey Decimal system could be thought of as one more obstacle to accessing library materials.

The presentation went into great detail about how the Rangeview Library District converted to the bookstore-like model currently in place at Anythink Library. In many ways, they were poised for success: their board of directors wanted to see big changes in the library. The community had just voted on a bond to renovate the buildings and build the collection. The branches were able to close one at a time to allow for a conversion with the least amount of service interruption. Following the presentation, there was much discussion of how a word-based system works and how a library would begin its implementation. I could never disseminate all that information here, but happily, Anythink is more than willing to share what they’ve developed and work with other libraries to create best practices. Visit, click on “Anythink Tank,” and you’ll discover useful materials such as the “BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) to WordThink Translation Key” and the “Juvenile WordThink grid.” These spreadsheets illustrate how Anythink Library used the BISAC codes as a basis for the word-based catalog and worked in partnership with Baker & Taylor to develop what Fewell called “the experience model.” 

Perhaps the easiest innovation to put into effect at your library are the custom-made signs/bookends that guide users to sub-categories such as “Jokes and Riddles.” As a children’s librarian in the audience pointed out, libraries could use these kinds of shelf-markers even if they aren’t ready to convert to a word-based classification system. At the Austin Public Library we used visual shelf markers that included an image, the subject and call number. These were created by APL’s graphic designer and then outsourced to a manufacturer (yes, having a graphic designer on staff was awesome). As a librarian working in the youth area, I often ditched Dewey, preferring to tell children wewere heading towards Little Red Riding Hood rather than the 398.2’s.

So whether or not you are ready to do without Dewey, it’s worth it to revisit the way we’ve always done things and brainstorm ways to make library materials more accessible to young customers. And if your library is thinking of making a change of this kind, staff at SCLS would love to hear about it.