Tag Archives: library

Special Event: My Little Pony Party

I don’t know what I was thinking when I scheduled these past few months of my life.  I bought a house, moved into the house, got married on top of working AND then decided I should do an Angry Birds program, Star Wars Reads Day, and My Little Pony Party on top of all the other things.  So, needless to say, I didn’t do as much for these events as I wanted to but the attendees didn’t know that and they had a blast so yay for that!

Today was the My Little Pony Party.  I scheduled it for a day our schools had an early dismissal because of a teacher in-service so it wasn’t connected to a holiday or anything, the kids just got out early and needed someplace to go.  I made sure to REMIND parents of this anytime they mentioned the program’s 2pm start time.

I advertised the program for ages 5 and up and made sure to mention that it was for both bronies and pegasisters so everyone felt welcome.

It worked!  We had a great turn out, around 50 kids, and the age range was a lot of early elementary.  They all loved it!

Crafts included:

Make yourself as a pony (blank pony coloring sheet with crayons)
Make a pony bookmark (corner bookmarks + one of these ponies glued on top)
Make a “cupcake” (accu-cut cupcakes with some tissue paper for “extra frosting”)
Make a unicorn horn (found here)

(I have a Pinterest board full of brainstorming, if you’re curious)

And, of course, a Scavenger Hunt because I love sending the kids into the library and they seem to love it too.  I gave them a gem at the end because they were searching for Spike.

Here are a few photos of the cuteness.  BRACE YOURSELF:

Sugarcube Corner cupcake making was a bigger hit than I expected! Lots of fancy cupcakes, wish they had all been real! Would love to team up with a local bakery next time, maybe we could have a cake decorating class for kids.
Unicorn horns were a HUGE hit, though I miscalculated how much ribbon it would take to tie them to 50 little heads.
The entire back half of the meeting room was COVERED in glitter but it was worth it. The kids loved decorating their horns with glitter and shiny paper. I only wish I had more sturdy paper, basic cardstock barely cut it, especially if they slopped a lot of glue on it.
This guy had a blast! He was probably the oldest kid there but he had so much fun creating his very own pony (complete with game controller cutie mark and xbox headset) and a horn to match.

I got paid to Harry Potter today

Sorting hat #harrypotter #librarian #library

We had a “Science of Harry Potter” program this afternoon. I wasn’t in charge of it, my co-worker (who is far more hardcore into HP) was the planner. My involvement was today during the set-up and actual event.

The program was 2 hours long, though most people were there right at the start. We’re guessing we had over 150 people attend, maybe even 200. It was mass chaos when we opened the doors to the meeting room at 2pm because EVERYONE came right at 2pm and flooded the meeting room.

I ended up at the “sorting hat” table, which had a very short questionnaire for the kids to fill out and then I tallied the answers and told them what house they were sorted in to. This was so simple, something I know we have all done online many times, but OMG THEY LOVED IT! I guess because they are too young to hang out online and take these quizzes? I sorted entire families – kids dragged their parents over because they wanted to know which house they would be in. It was adorable.

We even had a few kids in Slytherin, which was hilarious. Usually it was little kids because, as we know, toddlers are evil.

Other tables included:

  • Herbology lessons — make a anti-nightmare sleep aid from a collection of herbs
  • Astronomy — make a star wheel
  • Enchanting — levitating tinsel on a balloon (which didn’t work well because the room was too humid and we couldn’t build up enough static)
  • Potions — invisible ink with lemon juice
  • Divination — tea leaves, palm reading, and tarot cards
  • Fantastic beasts — Owl origami
  • Hogwarts Library — scavenger hunt starting point, quizzes, and BOOKS!

HUGE HUGE hit, as anything with Harry Potter’s name attached to it usually is.

(I will poke my friend and see if she can post a proper blog about the program since it was her brainchild)

These kinds of family programs with brand names are always insane but so worth it.

Oh, and bonus, I posted the above photo on my tumblr and Library Journal reblogged it!  ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!

And now I’m going to pass out because what a day!!!!


Photo credit: @aacpl

fun with iMovie – before after library remodel video

My library will reopen to the public tomorrow after a MONTH of interior remodeling. It has been a wild and crazy experience being a part of this process. We had many days of laughter, grumbling, some interesting fumes and lots and LOTS of donuts!

Anyway, to kill time on Friday as we waiting to be trained on some new equipment, I threw together a quick Before/After video that **hopefully** we can run on our 40″ TV we have set up in our lobby area now to help patrons visualize what we used to look like just a few weeks ago. It was quite an impressive change, physically and also mentally because the flow of the entire building has been overhauled. It will be confusing for awhile, but I think it turned out well.

If you are curious, here is the video!

Toddler Time #1

We’ve started doing Toddler Time programs at our library as part of our Early Literacy Initiative. We’ve never done programs specifically for this age group and the turn out has been crazy. Toddlers are 18-36 months and when you get 57 of them in a room, things get a little wild. At least I was mentally prepared as we started doing them earlier this month and I knew the numbers would be large.

I figured the best thing to do with a group that size was to keep them focused on me as much as I could using songs and rhymes and other active things.

Early Literacy Tip #1 — Singing, doing rhymes together, and making animal noises slows down your speech so children can hear the smaller parts of words. This is part of phonological awareness and it will help the child later when they are learning to sound out words.

Before the kids came into the room, I made sure I had my puppet ready!

This helped to get their attention on me as he waved to everyone who came in. I’ve decided I really like puppets with arms I can move! Once it felt like we had everyone in the room, I showed the kids that when Wavy claps there is no sound! Then I asked them to clap so I could hear them. Then we sang the “Clap Your Hands” song, which I think was originally on a Wee Sing album but I know it by heart now so I just sing it on my own.

The we did the classic “Open, Shut Them” to get everyone sitting down and facing forward.

After everyone was seated, I did my early literacy tip for the parents. Then to keep it all going, I asked the kids to bring out their SPIDERS. We did Itsy Bitsy Spider and his cousin, Great Big Spider (I just have the kids hold their arms out for this one).

Since they were doing so well seated, I did a really quick book, Peek-A-Moo by Marie Torres Cimarusti. This is one of my go-to books for younger crowds. I asked the kids if they knew their barnyard animals and also how to play peek-a-boo. This book had both the kids and the parents involved.

I could feel the wiggles starting to come back so then I did “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle but I think the concept of moving like an animal may have been too much for the younger end of this crowd and I could feel myself starting to lose them. I sorta rushed the last half the book to get through it so we could move on.

Since they were up and ready to go, I went to my old stand-by of “Jumping and Counting” by Jim Gill. Hardest part here is counting as slow as the kid on the CD! I do a big arms, Pete-Townsend-playing-guitar style counting to help slow down the counting with the actual kids in the room with me.

Best thing about this song? It ends with Gill saying “and you can jump right back down into your seats” so now that we are sitting again, we can try a book. I read “Waking Dragons” which is really short and colorful and the few kids up front were fine but with a room full of 57 kids, its too hard to do a real book so once that was over, it was time for another activity.

Thank goodness for Microsoft Word! The day before I had found a cute Dragon clipart and used it to create a “Five Little Dragons” flannel board.

I used the rhyme on Nancy Stewart’s website but I changed the ending and had Mother dragon roar “I’m going to eat your snack” because that is the sort of thing my mom would have said to make me come back haha.

Then we did “Going on a Dragon Hunt” which is just “Going on a bear hunt” but with more dragons. 🙂

And for their take-home craft, I printed out black and white versions of the Little Dragons and Mother Dragon and added the text of the rhyme for everyone to take home and make their own 5 Little Dragons story.

And now I need a nap!!!

This felt like something librarians should discuss…

This seems like it should be a call to arms for librarians! You can archive the Internet all you want, but who will organize that archive? Is the Internet worth archiving — in my opinion, yes. Mostly because we never think NOW is important, but later we will want to look back, for nostalgia or research. It’s already becoming harder to look back with things like computers and video games as you have to have older consoles/machines to run the games made at that time. Books and artworks that were made physically are not tied to a model number of a processor so we can look at them if they are 5, 50, or 500 years old and say “hey, there it is”. But I just went to the Wayback Machine and tried to find my old Geocities site (stop laughing) and it is, as Mike said, a shell of a site with broken images and the index page was never archived.

I got paid to blog!

I had my first official blog post published on the library’s website last week. It’s all about The Beatles and the library and, of course, me! LOL. 😀

And, bonus, it was picked up by our local newspapers and reposted on their websites. I feel so famous. It’s the little things in life you gotta grab on to, ya know.

And the post begins to answer the question that is the name of this blog so you should probably read it and know me better.

EDIT: Copy+pasting text of the blog here because it seems to have disappeared from the main website!

This month marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. We will be celebrating their musical legacy at the Severna Park Community Library on Saturday, February 15 at 11 am with crafts, trivia, and, of course, Beatles Rock Band. This is an all-ages event, meant to bring families together for a few hours of rock and roll fun.

The Beatles mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For me, they turned out to be not only a musical obsession, but also a gateway into my career as a librarian.

I discovered The Beatles in the early 1990s, when the Anthology aired on television. The documentary piqued my interest in this group of four lads from Liverpool, England. I had heard many of their songs in commercials and covered by other bands. My parents had a couple of Beatles records in their collection, but I wanted to hear everything. Where did I go to find their music, in this time before YouTube and iTunes?

You guessed it – I walked over to the Maryland City at Russett Community Library and began to dig through their CD cabinet. After I had learned all the songs by heart, I ventured into the non-fiction collection and checked out every single book about the Fab Four. I learned to use the new online catalog and requested materials from other branches.  

Then I hit a wall. Several of the books mentioned that John Lennon had written a book back in the 1960s but I couldn’t find it in the catalog. It took a lot of courage for this shy pre-teen to walk up to the Information Desk and ask if it was possible to get a copy of the book. To my amazement, the librarian didn’t scoff or tut at my obsession. She went to a special computer and began searching. A few weeks later, I was able to check out a copy of “A Spaniard in the Works” by John Lennon, published in 1965. I examined it from cover to cover and that was when I saw the barcode on the back from the lending library – it had come from a university in California.

I couldn’t believe it. The librarian had requested this book for me from a library all the way across the country. A whole new world opened up to me. I was in the library all the time, chatting with the staff, finding new things to research. (The Beatles were also a slippery slope into Rock and Roll history, which eventually led me to English and American history). I volunteered at the library over the summer and when I was old enough, I interviewed for a Page position, putting books away for most of high school and through college. After a brief stint working at a radio station in Annapolis, I realized that while I loved music, my true passion was information and getting the right items to help people learn about the things that interested them. I quickly made my way back to the library.

Which is why it seems only fitting that I host a program at my library to celebrate the music and the story of The Beatles. Who knows? Maybe this program will bring someone into the library who has never visited before, someone whose interest in The Beatles will introduce them to all the public library has to offer.

Getting kids reading with comics

"Adventures of Superhero Girl" by Faith Erin Hicks #summerreading #comics Another book I am very excited to read just arrived on my desk :) Appropriate break #reading? Too soon?

Over the summer we had a reporter come into my library to interview me and my friend Andy about comic books and kids and reading. My theory is that he thought we would be stereotypical librarians and wrinkle our noses at the popular format. And I think we surprised him by our enthusiasm for comics and knowledge of graphic novels:

Getting Kids Reading Through Comics

I think for many librarians and teachers that work with reluctant readers, comic books are a powerful tool. For adults who somehow managed to go their entire childhood without touching a comic book, though, the assumption is that they are all either Archie adventures or men in tights. The truth is that this is a powerful format that now features published books in just as many genres as a “normal” book.

“Wewease the seeecwet weapon!”

(bonus points if you know what movie I’m referencing in the post title)

I’m a geek and I love showing off my fandom pride. I love finding lanyards to wear to work to hold my name badge and, more importantly, stick my geeky buttons to represent a few of my favorite things:

My secret weapons

There have been some wonderful unintended consequences to wearing these buttons!

I wish I could tell you how many kids and teens ask me “Is that a Dalek pin?” while I’m helping them find a book. I’ve lost count. But it gives me a great way to break the ice with them and show them that librarians are people too, and we enjoy some of the same things they do. Talking to a teen about Doctor Who one day can make them feel comfortable approaching you for help on another day.

Same goes for my Mockingjay pin, which I’ve had compliments on from both teens and adults. I love the series and it gives me a chance to talk to them about young adult literature and usually upcoming programs (like our Catching Fire program, coming November 26th, just after the movie is released! Mark you calendars now!)

I also have an R2-D2 (a good way to show street cred to prove to the kids that you really are a Star Wars fan and not an adult pretending to “get it”), and my Greendale College lanyard (which I have retired for awhile because it was starting to get a little bit icky) was another fun one. I had many people ask where Greendale was but I had a few sly “Human Beings” who called me out on it.

I know it may sound silly – of course librarians are people too – but these little things can make you more approachable, take away that aura of “stuffiness” that seems to come with being a Librarian, and also make great conversation starters.

storytime – librarian’s choice

It was the end of my storytime run AND the day after a holiday weekend, so needless to say I sorta threw together this pile of books at the last minute. But most of them went over well, even with 63 preschoolers in the room!

I started with the most complex book in the pile:


Brief Thief by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo
There is underwear on the cover and a lizard that has to go poo and finds himself without any toilet paper. I was worried they wouldn’t get it but when I flipped to the last page that revealed the twist ending, the giggles let me know the joke was clear.

This one might have been a bit too weird:


There Was an Odd Princes Who Swallowed a Pea by Jennifer Ward
This might be more fun as a flannel board or something. Or maybe the fact that they are still PreK and not as familiar with the “I Know an Old Lady” rhyme as older kids made this book just a bit much for them. Would be really hilarious if I had a burping sound effect…

Song and Dance time!

Jump Up, Turn Around by Jim Gill

And now a couple of classics.


Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle
I had found some cut-outs on sticks that went along with this story and wanted to give them a try. I had the kids ask me “what do you hear” each time and they caught on after the third animal and did it without prompting. It as cute and fun.


From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
This book is so great when the kids are getting wiggly. They act out what the animals do and they really go into it. Definitely a crowd-pleaser.


Under Ground by Denise Fleming
I am not good at these kinds of books at storytime. Someone else must be because they put it on the shelf, but when you have 60+ kids of varying ages, these one word a page book do not go over well.


Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier
I picked this book because it went really well with my craft but it happened to also be a great read-aloud! I kept asking the kids to identify what the different dots represented. They would go above and beyond, pointing out all the dots (for example: the eggs in one picture were sitting on a round plate so one of the little girls called out that the plate was also a dot).

After we were done, the craft was to use lots of dots to create their own picture. We had some really creative kids! Will definitely use this book/craft combo one again!