Archive for Storytime & Kids’ Programs

Summer Reading Program: Over & Done With!

I know I shouldn’t be this jubilant, but I am! After 6 weeks of programming-on-crack for babies through teens, I need the break. I’m getting weak in my old age, people!

We have survived a summer of record attendance. By week two, we handed out more reading logs than we had passed out during all 9 weeks of last summer’s reading program. We’re still handing our logs, and last I checked, we’ve given out 5700+ to kids 11 and under. For the 12 and up crowd, we’re closing in on 1000!

I gave these and other impressive numbers to a reporter from the Dallas Morning News who was working on a story about people using their libraries more this summer than usual due to “economic” reasons. Now, I’m pretty sure the situation at Frisco has more to do with the huge influx of new residents, half of which are under 18, and of course the simple fact that we kick mucho butt. Here’s the article as published, where we are mentioned briefly:

In economic slump, more flocking to North Texas libraries

I also took a cool picture on my new phone today of our library’s fourth floor, as viewed from the fifth floor “lookout”:

A bird's-eye view of the fourth floor

A bird's-eye view of the fourth floor

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The Opposite of Kick Butt

I am not feeling very kick butt lately, people. In fact, I’m feeling quite the opposite. Not that things at the ‘brary are going badly or anything—it’s just that there’s so much going on, so many patrons, and so few books and videos left on the shelves that it’s a bit of a struggle staying caught up and feeling optimistic day in and day out. As of yesterday, we had given out well over 2000 reading logs to the fifth grade and under set, and almost 500 reading logs to sixth through twelfth graders. And the Summer Reading Program had only started 8 days prior!

On the plus side, I’m now on a 3 day weekend. Even though I’m going in for an hour or two on Monday to practice one of the 6 puppet shows we’re performing over the summer, I plan to do a whole lot of vegging for the remaining 70 hours of my break:)

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Gearing up for the SRP

Ahhh, the Summer Reading Program. It happens once a year, during those hot-as-heck months when it seems that everyone but you is enjoying countless hours of leisure. Librarians all over the country are frantically gearing up for the SRP just about now.

The Frisco Public Library finds itself in the fortunate position of attracting hoards of children, tweens, teens, and parents—and that’s during the dead of winter. Come summer, the crowds get so thick you can barely see the (quickly vanishing) shelf of Junie B. Jones books from the reference desk just ten feet away. Yes, this is a good thing. Yes, it means we are indeed a kick-butt library. But it’s also enough to make me tremble slightly in my sensible(ish) shoes.

Check out what FPL’s got going on:

Kids’ ProgramsTeen Program

To really kick things off this summer, I’m having two wisdom teeth pulled and eight cavities filled tomorrow morning. I took off tomorrow and Friday, and I don’t have to work the weekend, so I brought home plenty of reading. On my coffee table:

Art Fraud Detective by Anna Nilsen (David the librarian raved about this one!)

The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckle (First in the Sisters Grimm series)

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (I keep meaning to pick this one up.)

Junie B. Jones and the Smelly Bus by Barbara Park (What is all the fuss, people? It’s my job to find out.)

Miss Daisy is Crazy by Dan Gutman (First in the My Weird School series)

Hopefully I’ll be able to read despite all the painkillers, and hopefully I’ll be able to function again normally come Monday. God knows I need to be in tip-top form to survive the SRP!

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Storytime’s Back in Session!

We’re starting storytime again tomorrow, after a month break.  I’m so out of practice—I almost forget what work is like when I’m “performing” to hundreds of parents and kids on an almost-daily basis.  So, yeah, I’m pretty darn nervous.  The butterflies are having a party in my stomach!

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Lisa’s Storytelling Festival Photos

Check out my friend and coworker Lisa’s blog for some great photos of the aforementioned Frisco Storytelling Festival. I forgot to announce that we received a proclamation from the governor in recognition of the Festival, and that next year’s festival will be renamed the Lone Star Storytelling Festival at Frisco. We’re so cool!


Two of my teen puppeteers and I get ready for a long day of puppet shows!

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I Survived…

…the 4th annual Frisco Storytelling Festival! This yearly event takes months to prepare for (more like the entire year for some!) For those not in the know (like myself, before I took this librarian job!), storytelling festivals have nothing to do with storytime at the library. Instead, we’re talking dramatic performances sort of akin to one-man theater or stand-up comedy, and directed not at young children, but at older children and adults. This year we had four featured storytellers, and I had the wonderful opportunity to emcee for three of them (all except the Emmy Award winning Bobby Norfolk) at Friday’s Field Trip Day for all the one million fourth graders of Frisco. I have to say, Beth Horner—the only woman storyteller this year—was such a lovely and kind person. She was giving me encouragement and applause throughout the Field Trip Day concerts, and was just super-sweet and funny as could be.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see any of the storytellers’ concerts during Saturday daytime, nor did I catch any of the 19 student tellers I helped train throughout the months leading up to the Festival. That’s because I spent the day manning the Puppet Show Tent (directed at toddlers and preschoolers, who definitely wouldn’t “get” the storytellers) with my kick-butt compadre Misty and four of my favorite teen volunteers. After 6 half-hour performances at the top of each hour to a total of 1,117 people, the six of us were just about ready to drop dead!

Still—though beaten, tired, sick, and hungry—I can safely say we all had a great time, and truly felt a sense of accomplishment after wrapping up another outstanding Festival!

Want to know more about our featured tellers? Check out their websites:

Beth Horner

 

Doug Lipman

 

David Novak

 

Bobby Norfolk

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Now I Can Eat, Sleep, and Breathe!

I just got back from throwing a humungoid Harry Potter party at the library. We’ve been preparing for weeks, and none of us knew quite what to expect. Would we get 50 kids? Hundreds? All said and done, we ended up with over 400 guests of all ages for the two hour party!

We used the entire children’s floor for the party, since we figured we wouldn’t be able to contain the whole thing in one room. Mastermind Lisa (with the help of some crafty volunteers) decorated the Children’s Program Room like a Quidditch Field, and we played an ongoing game of Harry Potter Scene It in there, up on the big screen. Out in the library, we set the ambiance with one of the Harry Potter movie soundtracks and created our own Diagon Alley. At Ollivander’s, kids made their own tasty magic wands out of pretzels, icing, and sprinkles. At Honeydukes, guests tasted Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans and guessed how many beans were in a jar (the winner took them home, of course!) At Dervish & Banges, kids created secret messages simply using paper, pencils, water, and some magic. We set up an area for the little ones at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, where they could dress up and color a magical creature. Finally, we had some of our student storytellers from our upcoming Frisco Storytelling Festival read the first chapter aloud in Hogwart’s Library.

Everyone eagerly entered our raffle; we gave out 5 copies of the new book (big shout out to Jennifer’s man Jerry for those!), plus 16 other cool Harry Potter related prizes we were able to scrounge up. We also awarded prizes to the three guests with the best costumes—though it was sure hard to choose!

We had our very own Hermione (Michelle from the adult staff, we salute you!) and a huge, walking (well, hobbling) Sorting Hat. Unfortunately, the chicken wire used in the costume gouged up the skin of the brave teen volunteers who wore it. I’m hoping I made it up to them (at least slightly) with the glow-in-the-dark Harry Potter posters I tried to buy their silence with.

So overall, things went exceptionally well! All of the staff and volunteers involved were amazing, and the guests were enthusiastic, polite, and so appreciative. But I won’t lie—I’m also happy it’s over. I can now eat, sleep, and breathe a little more calmly. Phew!

Photos hopefully to come…

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