Monday, 31 March 2014

Blogs I read

   Because I love children’s books and storytime and have chosen to be a Youth Services Librarian in a small rural town, I depend on the Internet to keep me alerted to new trends and ideas in my field. Physically located pretty far from a Big City, I only get to see other children’s librarians a few times a year. But with the Internet, and with the plethora of good blogs these days, I can find excellent ideas for Storytime, read about what is new in my profession, and keep up on the latest and greatest books for kids and teens.  I wish I had enough time to read these blogs every day; as it is, I only get to some of them some of the time, and others serve as a first-choice resource for when I go looking for something.  I think that many of these would be of interest to parents and teachers as well, so here we go:

The ALSC blog:  This is the blog of the professional organization I belong to, the Association for Library Service to Children.  While it often has library-specific information, it also has great program ideas that could be useful to homeschool parents and to teachers. I also write a monthly post for this blog. 

Beyond the Book Storytimes:  Anyone who has ever wished they could use puppets should check this one out. Steven Engelfried shares his creative ideas on turning books into puppet stories, and he even has videos to help you. This one is a real gem!

Jbrary These two librarians from British Columbia are rocking it on this blog. They have so many resources here it is hard to list them all. They have themed storytimes,  Pinterest boards, and the best video song library ever! If you are looking for some rhymes or songs to share with your child or to spice up your storytimes,  this is the first place to go. 

Little Elit:   This is a one-stop shop for all things digital. This blog has articles, ideas, and resources for those who want to know more about using apps and devices with children. They also have great Pinterest boards with recommended apps. And Cen Campbell, the founder of the site, used to be a Bookmobile librarian right here at AVRL. 

Fingerplay Fun Friday:   The WCCLS blog has a regular Friday feature—fingerplays! Rick Samuelson does a fine job of making the fingerplays FUN – learn some new rhymes to share here. 

Storytime Underground ; This one is pretty librarian-centric, but teachers and homeschool parents could find great ideas here. There’s also a list of “Blogs that kick butt” for further reading. Dig in and find out what is going on in the Storytime world! 

Teen Librarian Toolbox;  For all things teen, this a great blog. Book reviews, issues, program ideas. 

For book reviews and interesting conversations about books, I like to read the Horn Book blogs. Plenty to keep the kid-lit bilbiophile busy here.

On the local front, I've started reading the Valley Family Fun blog which has great ideas for activities to do with kids.  Laura Churchill Duke shares fun ways to play and learn at home and out in the community. 

---Angela J. Reynolds, Head of Youth Services

Monday, 24 March 2014

Spring Babies

Are you anxious for spring to begin this year?  Spring officially began on March 20. There are signs that it is on its way:  bulbs peeking through the earth, insects migrating across the snow, geese returning, and spring babies are being born. 

Our Middleton branch is offering a ‘Welcome Spring’ program on Tuesday, March 25 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.  Come and learn how to make a colourful flower arrangement, plant some seeds to take home and see baby lambs and bunnies. There will also be delicious snacks to enjoy. Bring the family to welcome spring and say goodbye to winter!

A very special baby is growing up at the Oaklawn Farm Zoo. He is an African Lion and his name is Obi. Our Youth Services Librarian, Angela Reynolds, and I were fortunate to meet him this week. When entering the kitchen, Gail said “And here comes the lion, you’ll need to put your boots on top of the fridge!”  The Oaklawn Farm Zoo is an incredible destination for families to visit. At this time of year, a belted Galloway calf, a horned Dorset lamb and many other species are welcoming new babies. This year Oaklawn Farm Zoo is opening on April 12.  Check out their website for more information.  Stay tuned for a surprise partnership with the zoo this summer!  You will be as happy as we are to see what we have planned.

Young families can share baby animal storytime with some of these Baby Animal books.

For many more selections for all ages, browse our online catalogue. Reading about baby animals is a wonderful way to get excited about spring.

Wendy Kearnes, Outreach Services Manager
Special thanks to Oaklawn Farm Zoo for allowing us to use pictures from their Facebook page.