Friday, November 1, 2013

Fall @ Your Library

So, the summer rush has faded, school is well underway (down here, kids have been in school for 3 months already), and the fall pickup in library activity has begun.  How do you respond?


Here are a few of the programs we've been doing for the last couple of months:

Afterschool - My full-time employee, D, runs this one beautifully. It's designed for K-5th graders, but our average age is 2nd/3rd graders and we have a lot of fun. D reads a few longform picture books, and we're currently reading chapters from Caroline Carlson's glorious debut, MAGIC MARKS THE SPOT. Our school district's mascot is the Pirate, so a pirate book is a HUGE hit--we even decorated our storytime room to reflect it! (My staff is the best and most creative staff in all the land.)

This is Pete. 

Here are the awesome q-tip skeletons D had them make for their Halloween craft. Also Cheetos!

We had a local author/artist/radio personality/twitter celebrity, Marshall Ramsey, stop by last month.  He's the political cartoonist for the local paper and he has done a wonderful picture book called BANJO'S DREAM.  He gave us a sneak preview and even drew some pictures for the kids!  He's a great supporter of libraries and we always love having him.

Today he stopped by my office to leave me a copy of the finished book. He even drew me a little Banjo to go with it!

The Fall Reading Challenge is something my library has every year.  This is the Sixth Annual challenge, and I'm challenging K-5th graders to read 500 pages in October and November.  The kids that reach their goal get to come to a celebratory dinner at the library in December and get a free meal and a prize donated by our local bookstore. Our library-wide goal is 20,000 pages in two months and we're making serious progress!

Progress chart! We're about six rungs higher now than when this was taken last week. We're going to blow the top off of this thing!

But our biggest, most awesome fall program is our Fall Family Festival.

I rocked that Minnie Mouse costume, y'all.
The Fall Family festival is an annual event.  It attracts a large crowd, and this year didn't disappoint. I had 103 people come to the library for the progam! We always do food, a craft, and games! Everyone has a great time.  I was out of the branch for a huge portion of the month, so a LOT of the planning fell on D.  She did a wonderful job. The food was spooky and fun, the games were great, and everyone had a good time.

We absolutely could not have gotten it done without our teen volunteers! We had two girls who are homeschooled come at about 10 in the morning to help with setup, food prep. I HIGHLY recommend finding a wide variety of teen volunteers that are willing to help you out, but these homeschool kids (there's a large homeschool population in my town) have been a lifesaver for me for programs during the day.  The families I work with are grateful for the opportunity for their kids to get some volunteer experience at the library and I get an extra hand when the rest of my regular volunteers are at school!  I'll leave you with some super-fun pictures of our evening:

Holy cow this cake was good.
One of our regular kids came as a tornado!!

 This is Amelia, one of my beautiful preschool patrons.  She and her sisters brighten my day every time they walk in. The night of the festival was also her birthday, hence the crown.  It's a little blurry, mainly because Amelia is almost always in motion. She is dressed as Belle, who is my favorite Disney princess. Because she reads, obviously. Picture used with special permission from Amelia's sweet mom, Randi.

What has YOUR library been doing this fall?

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