Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shark Week: I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916!

When my dad got his BA back in the 70s,
he was probably imagining that one day
he'd have a daughter who'd have to
free-hand a large shark.
This Spring, Sara at YA Librarian Tales and me both had the same idea for a summer program: playing into the wild success of the I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis at our libraries! We had a discussion on Twitter about it that many librarians joined, including the kid-culture-programming maven Angie at Fat Girl Reading. The conundrum: Which book could I feature that meets this criteria: 1) is exciting, and  2) will not bum out everyone attending, especially the adults.

The three that were definitely out for me right away were The Attacks on September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, 2005, and The Battle of Gettysburg, 1863. After a pretty rousing discussion on Twitter, Sarah and I came to the same decision: to tackle The Shark Attacks of 1916. If anything, my decision was dependent on 2 factors here: 1) sharks are cool, and it is super-interesting that they were once thought to be as docile as a bunny rabbit; and 2) the death count was relatively low, so the chances that someone in attendance would say that a family member died in these incidents was slim, nationally.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

P.U.F.F.IN Library Lab: Light Painting!


The first PUFFIN Library Lab in July was the brainchild of my LPL colleague Lindsay. It was a cross-department program, and she rocked it!

You know what? I'll just let her tell it. I'll even let her call me by my legal name because what type of jerk changes their first name when they get married for Internet purposes and doesn't tell anyone IRL about it. I mean, honestly. I'm the worst. --Bryce

Hi, everybody! Lindsay the Technology Librarian, here. Last month, Sara and I ran a super fun light painting program for elementary school aged kids. I first learned about light painting at an ILEAD conference last year, where I saw a couple of librarians testing it out. The idea percolated in the back of my head until Sara invited me to join the Fizz Boom Read fun this summer. As a kid, what could be more fun than standing around in a dark room waving flashlights around while your picture is taken? Sara agreed, and the fun began.

This might be a good time to point out that I've really mostly worked with adults over the past 7 years. I teach adult computer classes and do adult Reference. Suffice it to say, I was pretty nervous about this program. Does anybody else out there get the jitters when challenged to work with an age group outside of your comfort zone? Here’s what worked for me: rehearsing the general flow of what I wanted to say, being prepared for different levels of learning, and just owning what makes me, me. (A potential fourth: making sure any tech equipment works!) The first two can take some time and thought. The 3rd one has taken me years and is still a work in progress. So what if I stumble over words sometimes or crack lame jokes about cats during classes? That’s me. I’m human. Adults seem to take it in stride, so I told myself kids would too. And if all else fails? I pretend I’m super-outgoing Lindsay and not binge-watch-Star-Trek-on-Friday-nights Lindsay. What do you all do to ease your nerves?

I shouldn’t have worried so much; the program was a blast! 

Monday, August 04, 2014

PUFFIN Library Lab: Sasquatch Escape!

Basically one of my favorite movies of all time.
This summer, we decided to work WITH at least one of the many groups that visit our library each week to help make the experience more positive and delay/prevent teacher burn-out. One local group was known for coming into the library for one hour, then bringing in a second group for another hour, sometimes with the same teachers. Needless to say, eventually during the summer the kids would run out of favorite books to read, and teachers would get sick of helping their students make good choices.

To fill a pretty big need the size of everyone's sanity, P.U.F.F.IN Library Lab (Pop Up Free Fun IN the Library) was born. One program done twice every Tuesday (one for each group that visited), the topic of which announced to the public day-of over Facebook. And damn, did it work out well!

Marge held two PUFFIN labs in June, while I took July. My first program was inspired by Ariel's Monster Party. My rendition of a monster party was based on the book Imaginary Veterinary #1: The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors.

As you might remember, I'm kinda into cryptozoology, so I'll basically talk about it whenever I get a chance.