Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year!

Happy New Year!

What was the most interesting thing you learned about, or explored, or tried, this year in Youth Services?

For me, it was starting to think about Library 2.0 and the Transparent Library stuff, in terms of children and children's libraries, in a more systematic manner. I'm not very far along yet, but as we think about ways of encouraging patron interaction with the library and its processes, in person and on the web, we should be thinking about how to include children as well. I'll post more on this later in the month!

Monday, December 29, 2008

readertotz Arrives!

Hooray! Another cool blog to share with you guys! This one is called readertotz and it's from the same people who brought us the fab readergirlz.

readertotz aims to celebrate the best of the books for infants and toddlers. You can read their press release to find out more.

I'm so excited about this because choosing books for my baby storytimes is such a struggle. I use the same titles and authors all the time! I can't wait to keep an eye on their list and get some fresh ideas for storytime and for our board book bins.

What are your favorite books for the youngest kids?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Literary Clocks - a fun project!

This neat idea was passed on to me by Amanda P. It's an adorable clock made out of a children's book! (I would vote for using Where the Wild Things Are, myself!)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Children's Librarian Training, Chicago-Style

Here's a post from the ALSC blog that describes "basic training" for Chicago PL Children's Librarians!

As we swing into the new year, what training would you like to see ALD offer so you can continue to build your skills as youth services staff?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux movie is out tomorrow!

Guess what I'm going to ask? Yes, that's right. What are we going to recommend? For books or for movies? Post your ideas!

We link to games on the movie site from the Treehouse and have a nice If You Like list there.

Monica Edinger at Educating Alice talks about seeing the movie and Alison Morris at PW talks about it too. (Thanks Fuse #8 for the links.)

This title is still a big favorite with classroom teachers and an easy one to recommend when a child has to read off the Newbery Medal list for school. If you haven't read it yet, now's a great time to get caught up.

If you have read it--how is it holding up for you? Did you like it when you read it? Do you like it now? What do you think? Does it still feel like a Newbery? Is anybody planning on seeing it?

I read it when it won, but now I just have foggy impressions of a dining hall, dungeon, and authorial asides. Guess it's time to read it again!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Best of 2008

It's a fun time of year--lots of "best of the best" year-end round up lists are out.

Check out a few of these lists...are any of the titles familiar to you? If not, now's a great time to read some reviews! You'll be ready with some fresh books the next time someone needs a recommendation!

Horn Book Fanfare
New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books
School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly (scroll down for youth titles)
Amazon: Picture Books, Middle Readers, and Teen.

Books that are on at least three of those lists?

Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Kingdom on the Waves
Hunger Games
Little Brother
Our White House
Pale Male
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Tender Morsels
We Are the Ship

Need more?
Check out the Best Of page at Chicken Spaghetti.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Grade-Level Reading Lists

This time of year, we sometimes get patrons who are asking for good books they can buy as presents for their nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. They may not see them often and may wish us to recommend books by grade level because they don't know what the children are currently reading.

Well, help is at hand! While we have fewer paper bibs and lists in the libraries, there are grade-level reading lists on Tales' Treehouse.

This is a great resource to share with grownups. To get there, go to the Treehouse, click on Swoop the Owl, then on Great Books. You'll see "Books by Grade Level" on that list.

We want to make sure there's a good mix of genres and interests on each list. Go have a look and see how we've done so far. If you have titles you'd love to see included, send them to Alyson Corcoran!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Colorado Libraries

Another good blog to keep an eye on--no matter what Interest Group you're in!--is the Colorado Libraries blog from the Colorado State Library and CLiC.

As you might expect, the blog covers a lot of ground, from academic libraries to public libraries, from the Front Range to the Western Slope. If you read it all, you'll get a good idea of what's going on and what people are talking about all over the state. You can subscribe via RSS or have new posts sent to your email.

Or you can just choose a category, such as Children's Services, and just get those updates sent to your reader.

(Don't use a reader? Check out Andrew's recent post on the Professional Development blog about tips for using Google Reader. Don't know what RSS or a reader is? I'm happy to help you set up your own reader.)

Monday, December 8, 2008


The RA challenge has been a great way for me to plow into children's material while I readjust from teens.
I finished one vertical and one diagonal row and am working on some others. Some highlights:
E/J Biography: Abe's Honest Words - beautiful illustrations from Kadir Nelson, out in anticipation of Lincoln's 200th birthday
New J Fiction: Leanin' Dog
– set in Colorado and with a Colorado author

ER series: Sam at the Seaside and others – who doesn't love a cute puppy who gets in trouble

Children's Poetry - Where Fairies Dance - not really children's poetry but famous authors (Blake, Shakespeare) who have written about fairies - gorgeous illustrations, for older fairy fans

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Hipster Librarian's Guide to Teen Craft Projects

The Hipster Librarian's Guide to Teen Craft Projects by Tina Coleman and Peggie Llanes is a new ALA book.
"It's not your grandmother's crafting projects! Instead, you and your teen patrons can engage in the hottest new DIY way of life, recycling everything from discarded books to Altoids® tins. The authors' focus on recycled no-cost and low-cost materials addresses most libraries' budget constraints. These craft sessions offer a unique way for teens to claim their identities and gain confidence—at the library!"- from the ALA store

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We have a Book Club here at Smoky and this months pick was a YA book called "Elsewhere". We use books from many genres, but I am particularly excited to include YA books in our selections. It is nice to be able to choose from the book club kits for a YA selection!

Good Storytime Resource

I ordered and received a new storytime resource that I'm happy to share! It's called More Family Storytimes by Rob Reid, and has titles/ activities for 24 creative themes like "What'cha Gonna Wear," "Mouthsounds," and "Uh-Oh Accidents!" Let me know if you'd like to use it, and I'll send it your way. Thanks- Lori

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

January Trainings

The January Training Calendar is now available on StaffNet. Classes of interest to the Youth Service Interest Group might be Children's Databases (Part 1 and 2), and Merchandising.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December: Vocabulary

This month's early literacy skill is Vocabulary!

What is it?

Vocabulary is knowing the names of things.

Why is it important?

Because the more words kids know, the easier it is for them to read. It's a lot easier to sound out a word that they already know than one that is new. Plus, the more meanings of words kids know, the easier it is to make sense of what they read.

What does Vocabulary look like in storytime?
  • Reading picture books is a great way to increase children's vocabularies, because picture books have more rare words than does casual conversation.

  • Talk with the children before and after storytime. The more words children hear, the more words they learn.

  • After a story, go back to a page with an unfamiliar word or phrase and talk about it some more.

  • Choose books with rich language. Think of all the synonyms and "sleep" words there are in the simple story "The Napping House."

  • Songs like "She'll Be Coming Round the Mountain" and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" all introduce great vocabulary words.

  • Read non-fiction as well as fiction in your storytimes!

  • Talk about the emotions of the characters in the story.

What do you like to do to enhance Vocabulary in your storytimes? What Vocabulary tips do you give to the parents during storytime?