ACT Prep

As chair of my library system’s Teen Team, I created and led an ACT Prep class at my library a few Saturdays ago. One of our goals as a team is to encourage work and college readiness, in addition to encourage reading etc. Lucky for me, there is a great resource called Learning Express, and it actually has study guides, practice tests, flashcards, and breaks down the various parts of the test.

I showed attendees how to create an account and we clicked through the study resources in the website. They then took practice quizzes (you can take the full practice ACT Test or practice quizzes, and since we had 1.5 hours and not 3+ we did practice quizzes), and took notes on what they needed to practice. The other great thing about this resource, is everything is saved in your account. So if one of my attendees didn’t finish the science quiz, he or she could go home and log in (or go into the library after the program and log in) and finish the quiz, and they could do that as many times as needed!

I then went over some testing guidelines from the ACT website, like what calculators are allowed and where in our area the test is offered. While I can’t say the kids had fun at the program, it certainly was informative!

Summer Happenings

We’re halfway through our summer reading program, so I thought I’d share some of our library’s happenings: passive and active.

Teen Fandom Passive Program:

One of our volunteens made this endcap sign for our teen area. It’s been super fun to see what teens are loving, and as a major Harry Potter fan, I love that Harry is still on the list. The list also includes, Percy Jackson, Shrek and Hamilton.


Stuffed Animal Sleepover:

One Thursday evening a group of kids came to their library with their favorite stuffed animals, and listened to a bedtime themed storytime. After storytime their stuffed animals stayed behind for an epic sleepover, which was documented. Obviously. The next day, the kids came to pick up their stuffed animals, and some photos. We had some lovely volunteers help us with a display to commemorate the shenanigans.


Captain Underpants Passive Program:

I found a template online and our volunteens have been cutting them out for us. We have the underpants and crayons/colored pencils available for kids to color in the library. They can take home the underwear or display it in the library. Of course, we can’t keep any of the Captain Underpants books in stock to display with the passive program.


Teen Club:

Once a month teens gather in the library meeting room to discuss books, get ARCs, play games and enjoy some snacks. While I’m not leading the program, it’s been fun to hear about!

Who Was… Book Club

One of the new programs I’m running this summer is a Who Was… book club. For those of you not in the know, the Who Was series are super popular among elementary readers. They are short biographies of important historical figures (past and present) and they are expanding to significant events and locations. We get so many kids coming in looking for a specific section of the Who Was books, but we have them cataloged and shelved according to their Dewey Decimal number. I’m toying with separating them out, but in my experience, it makes it much harder for staff. And hopefully, readers will find something else in the area near Who Was Michael Jackson? For example that might interest them.
Anyway. Our first book club selection was Who Was Sojourner Truth? Day of, I remembered just how hard it is to discuss a nonfiction book. Oops. This book was also difficult, although important, because it deals with so many hot button issues, including women’s rights and racial disparity. Since I accidentally scheduled the first meeting on the last day of school, only two girls showed up. We discussed the book, and talked about how brave Sojourner Truth was, and how her name is so representative of her and her values. We then read the “Ain’t I Woman Speech” and discussed it, and the women’s convention. Then we mapped out Sojourner Truth’s travels. Overall, I regret not thinking of a better activity. Next month, Who Was Paul Revere? I’m going to plan everything a little better, and hopefully include a craft or larger activity.

Baby Storytime: 18

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

Open Them, Shut Them


“Itsy Bitsy Spider”



I’m Dirty by Kate McCullan


“Tiny Tim”

Action Rhyme/Tickle:

“Let’s Go Riding in an Elevator”

Let’s go riding in an elevator (hold child in front of you on lap)

Let’s go riding in an elevator.

First floor, (at first floor start to lift child up, raising a bit at each floor)

Second floor,

Third floor,

Fourth floor,


Shared Book:


Big Little by Leslie Patricelli

Action Rhyme:

“I am Big, Big, Big”

I am big, big, big (stretch hands to sides)

I am small, small, small (crouch down)

I am short, short, short (stay crouched)

I am tall, tall, tall (stretch up)

I am fast, fast, fast (roll arms (like during wheels on the bus) fast)

I am slow, slow, slow (roll arms slow)

I say yes, yes, yes (nod head)

And sometimes I say no, no, no (shake head)

*we had some older babies/toddlers, today, otherwise I would skip last two lines*

Shared Book:


Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban

Closing Song

Library Happenings

I am waaaaaayyy behind. I started taking a class and work got nuts, and things just fell to the side. So, to catch up, here are two super fun programs I’ve been working on at the library, and one not so fun one.

Read Across America Day:

Way back in last May (I think) my library got new gates. I hung on to the giant boxes the gates came in because I figured we could make something from them. And we did! For Read Across America Day myself and some staff and some volunteers made puppet theaters out of the gates. We then had stations for kids and families to make Lorax, Fox in Socks and Thing One and Thing Two paper bag puppets. All were a big hit! Although Fox in Socks and the Things were the most popular.

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unnamed 2 I also had a super special Dr. Seuss storytime that even got filmed by a local news channel! One grandma in the audience said I was the best storyteller she’s seen, and she takes her grandchildren to almost all the libraries in the area. That definitely made my day!

I Survived the Library:

On Saturday, April 1, Natural Disasters struck the my library and our intrepid patrons learned How to Survive. The STEM program, inspired by the popular I Survived books, consisted of 5 five stations. Each station began with a reading of the first chapter of the corresponding book, and discussion about the character, what might happen, etc. unnamed

Stations included:

I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79 where attendees learned about the parts of a volcano and created their own volcanic eruption with baking soda, vinegar and dish soap.

I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 where attendees learned about the 10 most destructive tsunamis in history and mimicked the effects of a tsunami on a fake beach made of corn grits, corn syrup, pebbles and water.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 where attendees learned about the ship, it’s lack of lifeboats, and tried to build their own unsinkable ships out of tinfoil.

I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 where attendees built their own cityscapes out of toothpicks and marshmallows on a base of jello-o and mimicked the effects of an earthquake, after learning about how and why earthquakes occur.

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 where attendees learned about the varieties of sharks and took a trivia quiz on shark behavior.

**can you tell I copied and pasted this from my staff newsletter? I’m all about reusing.

Leadership Training:

As a somewhat new supervisor in my system (1 year, and 1 month at the start of the training) I was signed up for an Integrity in Leadership Training through my county. It’s really interesting learning about the different parts of the county and the various work my colleagues do. It’s also interesting to see how different these areas are (and similar in some cases) and how some managerial tactics might work in the assessor’s office but not in corrections, or how a strict dress code might be necessary in the attorney’s office, but not so much in the highway department.

Anyway, what I have found to be the most beneficial piece of advice from our trainer is this: follow your organization’s mission, and if you do that and work with integrity, you can’t feel badly if people get mad at you. As managers, and as people who work in the public, library managers are never going to please everyone (and as a people pleaser I struggle with this), but if we tailor our work to our library’s mission and work with integrity (treat our tasks, and our people with respect) we can go home knowing we’ve done a job well done and not get upset when people are mad.

This is easier said than done for me, again people pleaser here, but I’m working on it.


As I’m sure you all know, March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and also Read Across America Day. In honor of the day, every library in my system created some sort of programming related to our favorite doctor. More details on our special programming can be found here.



Opening Song



Dr. Seuss’s ABC: an amazing alphabet book by Dr. Seuss

Finger Play:

“One Little Cat”

One little cat on a sunny day
Put on his hat and went out to play
Two little cats when the sky turned dark
Put on their hats and went to the park
Three little cats when the sky turned blue
Put on their hats and went to the zoo
Four little cats by the kitchen door
Put on their hats and went to the store
Five little cats on a sunny day
Put on their hats and they all ran away.

Courtesy of Mel’s Desk



Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

Parachute Activity:

“I Don’t Like Green Eggs and Ham”
(to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down”)

 I don’t like Green Eggs and Ham
Eggs and Ham, Eggs and Ham
I don’t like Green Eggs and Ham
Sam I Am!

Would you like them here or there?
Here or there, here or there?
Would you like them anywhere?
Green eggs and ham?

I don’t want them here or there
Here or there, here or there
I don’t want them anywhere
Sam I am!

You should try green eggs and ham
Eggs and ham, eggs and ham
You should try green eggs and ham
You might like them!

Courtesy of Miss Meg’s Storytime

Closing Song

Family Storytime: Dinosaurs

Opening Song



Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin

Action Rhyme:

“Five Funny Dinosaurs”

Five funny dinosaurs letting out a roar.

One went away, and then there were four.

Four funny dinosaurs munching on a tree

One went away, and then there were three.

Three funny dinosaurs didn’t know what to do

One went away, and then there were two.

Two funny dinosaurs, having lots of fun

One went away, and then there was one.

One funny dinosaur having no fun.

He went away, and then there none.




Tea Rex by Molly Idle


Action Rhyme:

“Dinosaur, Dinosaur”

Dinosaur, dinosaur, turn around

Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch the ground

Dinosaur, dinosaur, reach up high

Dinosaur, dinosaur, wink one eye

Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch your nose

Dinosaur, dinosaur, touch your toes

Dinosaur, dinosaur, slap your knees

Dinosaur, dinosaur, sit down please.



How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? By Jane Yolen

Action Rhyme:


Spread your arms, way out wide

Fly like Pteranodon, soar and glide.

Bend to the floor, head down low,

Move like a Stegosaurus, long ago.

Reach up tall, try to be

As tall as Apatosaurus eating on a tree.

Using your claws, grumble and growl

Just like a tyrannosaurus on the prowl.



Simon Says, Dinosaur edition

Closing Song