Tuesday, June 28, 2016


It's been YEARS since I had time to put any real effort into displays. They've been books + book lists for seemingly forever. This summer I have a great intern as well as an aide, so I have slightly more time to make things pretty. I started out with a big PRIDE display for June:

The best part was how amazing it looks from the other side, too.  Most of my displays have just faced into the Teen Room without a lot of regard for how they looked from the other side.

I almost didn't want to take down the rainbow, especially after Orlando, but I have had my July display planned for a long time....HAMILTON.

 I still need to add, you know, books.

Portraits of a lot of the major characters from Hamilton, with quotes from Ham underneath saying who they are...

See? Cute!

The best part is that it looks great from the other side, too!  There are always going to be some visible back-sides of posters, but the flag and fireworks are ON POINT. I decided to make the readable from this direction.  There's too much glare to photograph them well but they look great.

This sort of thing takes a lot of time I don't really have, but the teens love it and it helps them know someone cares about them and their space, so it's worth it.  Plus I get a huge sense of accomplishment from a good display!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Just TRY and make me use a collaborative theme.

Here we go again, Summer Reading articles are due!  This *should* be my final plan for this summer, since I've already turned them in!  I'm going a little lighter on clubs this year, and doing more stand-alone programs. I've also hired more outside people than i usually do.  We're so busy all summer that I'm trying to give myself a break but still lure in a lot of teens!  I've broken most of the programs down into a few categories.  And yes, I'm using Science as a verb.  WE'RE GONNA SCIENCE THE HECK OUT OF SOME STUFF!

Summer 2016


Test Kitchen: Tuesday,June 21st, South Branch 2pm
Are name brand foods better than store brand?  Come take blind taste tests of several types of snacks to determine which are the best! R

Cupcake Wars: Tuesday August 2nd, Main Library 6pm
Everyone will get unfrosted cupcakes and a bag of decorating items.  Who can use them to make the best masterpiece?  Everyone’s a winner because we all get cupcakes. R


Tie-Dye: Wednesday June 22, Main Library, 2pm
Bring your own plain white cotton shirt to tie-dye! All other materials will be provided, as well as instructions for a few pattern possibilities.  R

Jar Etching: Wed. June 29th, North Branch 3pm / Mon July 11th South Branch 6pm
Create a stencil and etch your design onto a mason jar you can use for drinking or storage! One jar will be provided, but you may bring a few smooth jars of your own with you if you wish to make additional projects.  R

Open Mic Night: Tues July 19th, South Branch, 6-8pm
Perform a song, poem, rap, puppet show, interpretive dance…whatever you do best! Just keep it library appropriate. R

Writer’s Workshop: Thurs July 7th South Branch 6:30, Tues July 12th Main Library 6:30
Come meet other local writers for writing games and activities to get your creativity flowing! R

Cat Toys: Wed July 13th, North branch, 3pm
No sewing experience required! Make simple cat toys for animals at a local shelter. R


Retro Recess: Wed. July 27th, Main Library, 2pm
Let’s play outside! We’ll have our giant parachute plus relays, games, and a WATER BALLOON FIGHT! Make sure to wear clothes that can get wet! R

Yoga for Teens: Saturday July 23, Main Library 11am
Whether you’ve done it before or want to try it for the first time, come for a relaxing yoga workshop with a certified instructor. She’ll be breaking down poses as well as moving through yoga sequences. Please bring a yoga mat or a large towel.  R

Jedi Academy: Saturday August 13th, 2pm
Ring of Steel Action Theater and Stunt Troupe are coming to teach the ways of the Jedi and theatrical light-saber fighting! Space is limited, make sure to register early for this awesome event! R


Exotic Zoo: Sat July 16th, Main Library, 1pm
The Exotic Zoo is bringing LIVE ANIMALS for you to meet and learn about! R

Meet Makey-Makey: Monday June 27th Main Library 1pm, South Branch 3:30pm
A makey-makey GO can turn anything into a button for your computer.  What can we invent using the tools like wires, Scratch (a basic coding program), donuts, and ourselves? R

Robot Rampage: Saturday August 6th, Main Library, 3pm
The library has amassed a small collection of awesome tech toys to learn and play with.  Build mazes for our Sphero BB-8 to navigate, draw paths for our Ozobot, and write with our 3-D pen! R

Learn Coding Basics with Scratch! Saturday May 7th, Main Library,
Learn how to use the free program Scratch to make a basic video game, no experience necessary! R

Trivia! Wednesdays May 18, June 15th, July 20th, August 17th. Main Library, 6:30
Adults and teens in 8th grade and up are welcome to play alone or in teams of up to six.  Questions can be about anything, and the teams with a wide age range seem to be the most successful! Winners earn serious bragging rights—our trivia is tough! R

Brawl Tournament: Saturday, June 25, Main Library 12-6pm
Teens and Adults are welcome to our all ages BRAWL tournament!  This is a serious tournament for serious players.   R

Minecraft Realm:  Online
We’re bringing back our Minecraft Realm for the summer!  Email sjones@cmpl.org with your username, real name, and grade to be added.  At this time you must have your own existing Minecraft account for PC to join. We’ll occasionally arrange meet-up times in-game!


Pajama Prom: May 20, Main Library 5:30-8pm
Not going to prom, but looking for something to do on Prom Night? Come to Pajama Prom at the library!  Wear comfy clothes or PJs and enjoy pizza and snacks while we watch the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.   Current 11th and 12th graders only, all schools/districts welcome! R

Movies: Select dates and locations
Maze Runner: Tuesday June 28th, South branch, 1:30
Percy Jackson Lightning Thief: Tuesday July 26th, South Branch, 1:30
Pirates of the Caribbean Tuesday August 9th, Main Library, 1:30
Paper Towns: Monday August 8, South 1:30
Pre-Party Movie: Saturday June 18th, 3:30 Main Library
Come early for the Unbirthday Party and watch the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland.

Study Hall: June 10 3-6, 11 1-6, 13th 3-9
 Need a place to study for exams? We’ve got you covered.  Space and snacks are available in our auditorium!

Summer Reading Kick-off: A Very Merry Unbirthday June 18th, Main Library, 5:30-8PM
Not your birthday? Not ours either! Let’s celebrate with an after-hours lock-in!  We’ll have pizza, cake, an ice-cream sundae bar, crafts, and games.  R

Save the date, this year’s epic party will be Friday, August 26th!  Invitation Only—you can snag an invite by finishing the Teen Summer Reading Program!

Summer Reading
Teen Summer Reading will run from _________ to _________!  Read whatever you want and win fun prizes!  Pick up a form from any of our three buildings starting ___________ Please note that the Teen program ends one day before the Kid program!

Reminder Blurb:

Unless otherwise noted, programs require registration, last about 1 hour and are for students going into 6th-12th grades only.  Parents and younger siblings are not permitted to attend except for special circumstances which must be approved in advance.  After-hours programs will be cancelled if there are fewer than 15 registered 3 days prior to the program.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Board Games!

It's been a busy year for my library.  Since our millage passed, we are once again fully staffed and able to do a lot of things we didn't have a lot of time to devote to before, like outreach. 

My favorite project this year has been building our Circulating Board Game collection.  It's not a new idea or one I came up with on my own.  I blatantly stole this from my pal-on-social-media John Pappas, who blogs about his experiences here: http://boardinthelibrary.com/

It started, for me, with a little extra money in the budget and no physical space for more books. The next step was an email to my direct boss wherein I made excellent points about nontraditional collections and the resurgence of games.  Just kidding, it said this:

Obviously there was some back and forth about specifics, but I am lucky enough to work somewhere where we're encouraged to at least give things a try!  So I bought 10 popular games to get us started.  When they were ready to go, I posted about them on our FB page.

This remains our most popular post of all time.  162 likes, 67 shares, over 10,000 page views.  This was shared all around the world!  Many of the games were checked out by the end of THAT DAY.

And they stayed out!  We'd initially been worried about shelf space, but it turns out that the games are out most of the time.  Youth Services chipped in some funds and we added games for kids and more adult games.  We're now up to 53 games!  Right this minute, 5 are "in", 5 are "just returned" and the rest are checked out or on hold. People LOVE this collection--including staff!  One of our pages has taken home almost every game at least once to try out. 

The stats are a little misleading at this point, because I've been adding games in waves--so the ones I added earliest make up most of our top 10 list:

The biggest thing that held people back from being supportive of this collection can be summed up with the phrase,


So here's the reality, after 6 months.  Total number of missing items: 2.  Well, 3 if you count a pair of dice as two items.  We've lost one tiny red gem (easily replaced, we have closets full of that sort of thing in Youth Services), and a pair of dice--also easily replaced.  That's it.  The games come back repackaged perfectly, our patrons are very respectful of the game collection.

Other FAQs:

Who selects the games?
-me. I started with games I knew were popular, like Ticket to Ride and Cattan.  Since then I've been using board game awards and amazon recommendations to pick other games.  The only game that hasn't been super popular is Hanabi.

Who catalogs the games?
-me.  They have very very basic cataloging--title, publisher, and the blurb on the back of the box.

Who checks for all the little pieces?
-me.  THOUGH now that we're up to 53 games, the circulation department has been  helping out when they can. 

How are they processed?
-The games are circulated right in their boxes, which are secured with 4-way rubber bands.  I put stickers with our name on the bigger things in the box (instructions, game boards), and keep little pieces in baggies. Most games actually come with little ziplock type bags, and we have some adorable tiny drawstring bags leftover from when we had a library store that I use for things like dice.  Some of the boxes are getting a little worn, when they do i give them a round of book tape.  So far this has worked just fine.

Where are the games in the library?

-We keep them all next to the video games, in our popular materials department, even the games for little kids.  We don't really want people to use them in the building--though they can if they really want to.

Basic stats:  Games are holdable and renewable, circulate for two weeks, and have a $1/day late fee.

If you want to start a collection but are having trouble getting permission or getting staff on board, the "I will handle everything to do with this" model works, so long as you're, you know, willing to handle it all.  It's worth it for me!