Children's Programs and Services

Help Your Patrons and Your Library Go Green with Make-and-Take Recycled Crafts

Inspire patrons to reuse things they’d ordinarily throw away. Not only does this help the planet, it also fosters creativity, a quality many children don’t cultivate because they spend so much time with technology.

This activity can take place on one day, or you can provide a regular table for make-and-take crafts, varying the project regularly.

Display books featuring crafts made from recycled materials (along with examples of the more complicated projects, if you want to make some).

Set up an area in the library where interested patrons can make some of the simpler crafts to take home. Post directions with the materials, or have someone available to help people. If you lack staff for this activity, try recruiting volunteers. Some high schools have environmental action clubs, whose members might make sample crafts ahead of time and/or work at your event.

Use these super simple ideas, or consult books from the list below. Each issue of Highlights Magazine for Children also offers crafts made from household objects.

If the library doesn’t have enough materials, solicit donations through newsletters and posters.

BOOKMARKS

Children cut off the corners of reply envelopes from junk mail and decorate them with stamps or crayons.

CALENDAR PUZZLES

Children cut old calendar pictures into four to twelve pieces, depending on the picture’s size and the degree of difficulty they want their puzzles to have. Provide reply envelopes from junk mail for storing each puzzle’s pieces.

CALENDAR BINGO (A GAME FOR TWO PLAYERS)

Play Bingo with an old calendar.

Tear off the pages for three months. Make sure at least two start on different days of the week. Cut apart the squares for one month. Mix them up. Spread them out facedown in the middle of the playing area.

Each player puts one of the other months in front of him/her.
Take turns picking up a square and putting it in the corresponding section of your month. Keep playing until someone gets four in a row, vertically, horizontally, or diagonally. That player wins. (The squares need not be consecutive, just in the same row. For example, you could win with 5, 7, 9, and 11 in one week, even though those four numbers aren’t consecutive.)

Store the pages and squares in reused mailing envelopes.

BOOKS WITH CRAFTS FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS (745.5)

Anton, Carrie. Earth Smart Crafts.
Bone, Emily. Recycling Things to Make and Do.
Burke, Judy. Look What You Can Make with Paper Bags.
Chapman, Gillian. Making Art with Packaging.
Friday, Megan. Green Crafts.
Jones, Jen. Cool Crafts with Newspapers, Magazines, and Junk Mail.
Kohl, MaryAnn F. Art with Anything.
Nguyen, Duy. Junk Mail Origami.
Ochester, Betsy. Look What You Can Make with Egg Cartons.
Redleaf, Rhoda. Learn and Play the Green Way: Fun Activities with Reusable Materials*.
Richmond, Margie Hayes. Look What You Can Make with Paper Plates.
_____. Look What You Can Make with Tubes.
Ross, Kathy. Earth-Friendly Crafts
_____. Every Day is Earth Day.
_____. Look What You Can Make with Dozens of Household Items!
_____. Look What You Can Make with Newspapers, Magazines, and Greeting Cards.
_____. Look What You Can Make with Plastic Bottles and Tubs.
Siomades, Lorianne. Look What You Can Make with Boxes.
Sirrine, Carol. Cool Crafts with Old CDs.
_____. Cool Crafts with Old Jeans.
_____. Cool Crafts with Old T-Shirts.
_____. Cool Crafts with Old Wrappers, Cans, and Bottles.
Sullivan, Susan White.The Big Green Book of Recycled Crafts.
Warwick, Ellen. 50 Ways to Get Your Carton.
Young, Karen Romano. Science Fair Winners: Junkyard Science.

*written for adults who work with children

Dee Anderson is the author of Reading Is Funny!: Motivating Kids to Read with Riddles (ALA Editions, 2009)

New Books from Rob Reid in the Works

I just got done proofing the galley for Reid’s Read-Alouds 2: Modern Day Classics from C.S. Lewis to Lemony Snicket, the companion to my Reid’s Read-Alouds, which was published by ALA last year. I had a great time with this project, too.  It gave me the chance to re-visit titles from my childhood as well many published during my children’s childhoods, and I found many wonderful books to share aloud with groups. As I did in the first book (and do in my Book Links “Reid-Alert” column), I included a “10 Minute Selection” for each book. I hope that gives you the perfect place to start book sharing.

I can now turn my attention to my next book–a companion to Something Funny Happened at the Library. I opened that first book with the following statement: “My job is to make kids laugh.” I still feel that way. If I can make them laugh, I have their attention. If I have their attention, I can lead them to wonderful forms of literature and storytelling, which eventually leads us to the library. The new book, tentatively called Something Funnier Happened at the Library, looks at humorous books that have been published since the first book arrived. In addition to several new story-program lesson plans, I’ll highlight aspects of humor not found in the first volume---for example, humor in graphic novels and in young adult books.

I definitely think a new companion book is needed. When I went through the first book, I was dismayed to find that many of my favorites (including Margie Palatini’s The Web Files and  Sing Sophie by Dayle Ann Dodds). Luckily, there new authors, illustrators, and titles to fill the void. Mo Willems, for example, wasn’t around for the first volume. He has certainly taken the humor children’s literature category by storm. As I’m typing this, he has two books on the NY Times Bestseller List: his third Knuffle Bunny book and another Elephant and Piggie easy reader. And this isn’t the first time Willems has had multiple titles on the bestseller lists.

So, I’ll be spending a lot of the next year reading funny children’s and teen books, so I can share them with you. I’ll be including “Laugh Out Loud Moments” for most chapter books I list (similar to my “10 Minute Selections” for the Reid’s read-aloud projects), and I’ll be creating funny, ready-to-go story program lesson plans. I like this job! Look for the book sometime in 2012. Sorry to make you wait. I have a lot more reading to do!

Every Child Ready to Read Initiative: The Next Generation

The following post has been excerpted with permission from the author’s Story time Share blog. Visit http://www.earlylit.net/programs/readtogether.shtml for more information. 

Many of you have been asking what to expect from the new Every Child Ready to Read materials. I thought I would summarize what I’ve discovered from reading the new Task Force Reports and attending the ECRR sessions at ALA Midwinter 2010 and the ALSC Institute Closing Session on September 25, 2010.

First of all, you can find the official information from the ECRR Task Force on the homepage of the ECRR website at www.ala.org/everychild.  Watch the site for updates and for the information on the new materials. At the September ALSC Institute, we were told that ECRR materials would be available for purchase later in a few months.

Dr. Susan B. Neuman, a professor of educational studies at the University of Michigan specializing in early literacy development, was hired to do the recent evaluation of ECRR, and is currently working on the new materials. She gave us an overview of recent early literacy research in both an informative and enjoyable way. Her perspective about the role of the public library in meeting the early literacy needs of those in our communities was insightful, challenging, and reassuring.

I’ve combined her information on the recent research with the information from the previous ECRR sessions and Task Force Reports.

  • ECRR will continue to focus on the parent/caregiver as the child’s first and best teacher.
  • The model will continue to be research-based; new research to be included.
  • Materials will allow for more flexibility with models for conveying early literacy information not just in adult-only workshops but also in an adult-child format.
  • Key talking points as opposed to the more structured scripts will be used
  • Modules will offer more flexibility within a workshop format.
  • Modules will not be divided by age-level; each topic will encompass newborn to age five.
  • Tools for evaluation will be included in the materials.
  • The current ECRR looks at the skill first and notes what activities support the skill. New ECRR will start with the activity first.
  • The seven modules will (probably) be: Overview, Talk, Sing, Play Read, Write, Language-rich environments (library, child care center, home)
  • Training. There will be no approved national trainers. I have heard there will be a pre-conference at ALA in New Orleans, but have seen no information on that as yet.

Childrens Programming Monthly: We Want to Hear Your Ideas!

Well, Children’s Programming Monthly is off to a good start, and we have already had inquiries about submitting programs for publication. Look for submission guidelines in the January issue. In the meantime, we have put together a selection of upcoming issues meant to please. Look for “Add It Up” in December, chockablock with programs and resources to put little ones in a counting mood.  Then welcome winter with our January issue, which promises to keep the fun inside while the cold stays out.  Have children pack their pillows and blankets in February for a cozy pajama party. Our “Good Morning, Good Night” issue will help you plan.

What themes would you like to see in future issues? Maybe a who’s who at the zoo or an issue devoted to stars and the sky?  Do you have great storytime tip? Please share! You can comment on this blog post or e-mail me. You may see your theme blossom into a magazine or your tip as part of a handy CPM Top 10.

If you haven't subscribed yet, be sure to check out the free sample issue available for download.
 

Interview with Frances Jacobson Harris

I had a chance to interview Frances Jacobson Harris, Educator, school librarian, and author of I Found It on the Internet, Second Edition.

J. Michael Jeffers: Frances, you have been a high school librarian in a very special school for how many years? Tell us a little bit about your school and also what has changed the most in your tenure?

Frances Jacobson Harris: This is my 24th year at University Laboratory High School at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Uni is a public laboratory school that serves gifted students in grades 8 through 12. We're small - only about 60 students per class (300 total). The program is rigorous and students are held to high standards. At the same time, teachers have a lot of autonomy to develop curriculum. Pretty much each of us gets to know every one of the students. What has changed the most while I've been here? Technology, without a doubt. It's changed the way we communicate and, for many of us, the way we teach. What hasn't changed is a school culture that values trust, creativity, and community. Lockers stand open, students have free periods rather than required study halls, and most every student participates in extracurricular activities and/or sports. As illustration - the class of 1972 sponsors the Wylde Q. Chicken Spontaneous Generation Award for Coloring Outside the Lines. For the most part, technology has served to facilitate this culture.

JMJ: Have these changes been good for the school learning environment?

FJH: Definitely. Advances in technology have certainly improved access to information resources and possibilities for collaborative learning. Our student newspaper is entirely online; student journalists now write for an unlimited audience (and the comments on their stories to prove it!). In fact, I wish some of our teachers would do a lot more to transform their teaching with technology. A few still use it in the same way they used overhead projectors.  

JMJ: What about the students themselves. What drives, motivates, interest them?

FJH:: Many of our students come to us with a lot of intrinsic motivation, which is a too-rare, but entirely wonderful characteristic. They are, of course, interested in all the things their peers are interested in - music and other media (including books), friends, hanging out, fitting in, and getting more sleep. Unfortunately, grades are often a big motivation around here. We don't do class ranking, or it would be even worse. Many, though, are just insatiably curious - which is a joyful thing for a librarian.

JMJ: Tell us some of the new initiatives or programs at your library.

FJH: Our main claim to fame is the team-taught computer literacy curriculum, a semester course which is required of all incoming (eighth grade) students, followed by another semester course in the freshman year. Some of my pieces of the course can be found on our website: http://www.uni.illinois.edu/library/computerlit/index.php. While not exactly "new" (we've been doing this since 1996), the courses are in constant evolution. They have given me a chance to really focus my instruction on information evaluation and responsible use of information and communication technology. These skills are particularly important in our environment because we have never installed Internet filtering software (having the University of Illinois as our Internet service provider obviates the need for E-Rate funding and its mandate of filtering software). Therefore, it's terribly important that we talk, talk, and talk with students about what they find online and how they treat one another online (and in person). The course, as well as collaborative work I do with teachers, gives me lots of opportunities to keep those conversations open. In fact, the vast majority of problems we have do not involve exposure to inappropriate content, but tend to revolve around interpersonal relationships.

It is my hope that our approach to information access can serve as a model of what "normal" could be. Yesterday I saw a tweet from Dr. Alec Couros, a professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, who posted "I'm feeling pretty stifled with China's Internet filtering, but it still seems more liberal than most western K12 schools." Unfortunately, I think he's spot on about the draconian way we restrict access to the Internet in schools. I'm convinced there are ways to keep our students safe AND to allow them to engage in the online world in enriching and engaging ways - ways that prepare them for the world outside school.

   JMJ: When you talk to colleagues and friends in the (school) library world, what are their biggest concerns?

FJH: Lack of funding for staff and materials are HUGE points of discussion. I also hear a great deal about restrictive technology environments - not just filters, but rules and administrative procedures that tie librarians' hands, making it difficult to deploy Web 2.0 tools, communicate with students and parents, and even update library websites. And of course, many of my colleagues are concerned about the impact of today's high stakes testing environment, one that overly ties a curriculum to preparing students for testing.  

   JMJ: You must be very proud of the second edition of I Found It on the Internet. What is especially new and significant in this edition that readers really must know and understand?

FJH:: For this edition, I was particularly happy to shine more light on what we now understand about young people's use of the Internet as it relates to safety issues. Recent research tells us that the stranger-danger "technopanic" response is no longer the appropriate one. The vast majority of kids know how to protect themselves from those textbook types of dangers. Those who do not, or who actively court risky online situations, do need our attention. But we do kids no favors when we broadcast a generic "just say no" response. Instead, we need to recognize that young people are active participants in the online world, not just passive inhabitants. Truly, they shape their online world as much as it shapes them.  I'm hoping that after people read this edition of the book they'll be better informed about how we can help kids do that shaping, as much as coming to a better understanding of what we can and should do to protect and educate kids.  

JMJ: Finally, a trick question: Since your recent book went “rather well” would you consider doing another book for Editions?

FJH: Yes - when I retire! Actually, I will probably do that (retire) within the next 5 years. Right now I hardly have time to eat. I've been spending every available minute filling this website with content: http://www.cufolkandroots.org.

Introducing Children's Programming Monthly

Whether we set the stage with “In the beginning,” “Once upon a time,” or “Long ago and far away,” everyone expects a story to follow. Finding a good story is easy; building a successful storytime isn’t. As librarians, we actively encourage children to come to our programs, but let’s face it, we aren’t all comfortable in front of a group of wiggly, irrepressible kids, and we don’t have time to plan a different program every week. What’s more, longer class visits mean the 20-minute program you presented in the library last year is much too short now.

Whatever your situation, Children’s Programming Monthly, a new online magazine from ALA Editions, will put you a step ahead. This electronic newsletter, available in easy-to-download PDFs, is devoted to ideas that will help you build library programs for children in preschool through grade three. Each themed issue is packed with creative art and craft projects, music and book lists, and ready-to-use storytimes to fit your programming needs.

The simplicity of an electronic the magazine that is easy to view and print will save you time, help you plan, and supply you with fresh ideas culled from some of Editions’ best-selling programming books: Storytime Magic, Early Literacy Storytimes @your library and Leading Kids to Books through Crafts  to name just a few. You can find out more about the magazine and download a free issue here. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please e-mail me.

Welcome to alaeditions.org!

I would like to welcome you to Editions.org and our open-forum blog. It is my privilege to be the Publisher of both TechSource (subscriptions, e-learning, webinars, and workshops) and Editions (professional and reference books, both print and electronic). My team is part of a larger unit at the American Library Association called Publishing.

The dirty little secret is that I am not a librarian, but I know a great deal about what librarians do, what they think about, and what they are concerned about.  But I never know enough; I will never be close enough to the action because I do not work in a library. So my colleagues and I depend on you tell us what is going on and what you need for your professional development. And here is a chance for you to do just that.

Something that we in publishing share with librarians of all kinds is high anxiety about how quickly our work world is changing. I am old enough (the proverbial 39, thank you Mr. Benny) to remember when the art and science of putting a book together meant having a hand-written manuscript typed by two different people (in order to ensure that the material was correct), comparing the documents, creating a master with hand edits, and sending it off to the compositor—who made galleys. (And why did we call them galleys, anyway. A galley is a long metal tray that holds type ready for printing.)

The galleys would be edited, read by the author, edited and corrected again, and sent back to the author. Changes would be made again until we finally had page proofs, which were sent back to the author and then to a proof reader. Cover art had to be hand drawn; even charts, graphs, and other display elements were hand drawn—we had an art department with lighted tables, for goodness sake.  And permission letters were a horrible bore—they took forever to do and get back. Did I forget the index……done manually? Once the art was in place and the index readied the second set of page proofs were sent off to the author. Corrections always came back, no matter how often you explained that an author could not rewrite anything! Finally, everything was sent to the printer, who put the book under the camera to make film, to make plates....and on and on.

Well, the back and forth still goes on, and we still go to the printer (for how long, one wonders). But it is all so wonderfully different now; still a lot of work for both author and publisher, but our output is more than just a physical book. It can be a PDF of the book you can print yourself; but it also can be an e-bundle that allows you to read one of our books on your Kindle or iPad or whatever your favorite device happens to be.

And of course, this is part of our shared high anxiety: Will an actual book disappear? Some may remember a quaint little movie “84 Charing Cross Road” with Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins from 1986—a movie that glorified and revered not only books, but old books. In it are great scenes from the proverbial musty book shop in the basement of a London building. The staff was totally devoted to and knowledgeable about books, great ones and little volumes of seemingly no consequence other than the fact that someone wanted to own them and read them. To have them. Librarians and publishers alike are anxiously asking if patrons will continue to want and to own books. And no one knows for sure.

Now I have to confess my second dirty little secret: I have owned a Kindle for over two years, and I love it. Not only do I love it, I take it everywhere. My non-publishing friends are scandalized. But you are a book publisher. No, I respond, I am a publisher and my world has changed greatly. I want librarians to own our books, courses, and newsletters, but I don’t care if they buy an actual book or something they load on their Sony Reader. Just tell us by your buying decisions that we are publishing correctly for you. What I really want to know is if our content is helping librarians be better librarians, which is what ALA Publishing in general and TechSource and Editions in particular are all about.

So, welcome again to our blog. We want to talk about anything that has to do with books, with publishing, with libraries, with technology…..come join the party.

Michael


P.S. Many of you may have heard that Barnes & Noble is for sale. Leonard Riggio, the founder, will probably lead a group of investors and take the chain private (again). It was not long ago that the entire industry was in fear and trepidation about the power and control that the super store chains would have on the book world.  Everyone fretted that one company, with over 700 stores, would so dominate the market. They indeed did change the landscape. There are very few independent stores around. In 2001, B & N’s total market capitalization was $2.2 billion while Amazon’s capitalization was $3.6 billion.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. B & N today is capitalized at $950 million while Amazon is currently at $55 billion. Who’s the monster now…….?
 

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