Star Wars Jedi Training


Star Wars Jedi Training 

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This past year has gone by so quickly. I am happy to finally start a new year, but the last tween program of the year helped to end the year on a happy note. For this program, my library put on a Star Wars holiday program for tweens. It was a huge success! 

Preparation
As the month of December approached, my coworkers and I collaborated on some tween programming we could offer during the holidays. When we offer tween programming as a library, we always try to ask our participants what type of programming they would like to see in the future. Over the summer, the answer we got was unanimous- Star Wars.  

Our vision for the program was simple. We wanted a place for tweens to go to celebrate their love of Star Wars and to meet other people with the same interests. We also wanted to show off our collection and encourage our Star Wars enthusiasts to check out Star Wars books and nonfiction literature on space.

Originally, we planned our program to be a glow themed dance that would give tweens an outlet for somewhere to go over their holiday break.

While brainstorming ideas, we discovered that our coworker’s husband taught Jedi Martial Arts and he was willing to come in for free to do a free Jedi training for the kids. This would include showing the kids how to use lightsabers along with some simple health tips such as managing your anger. This simple outreach contact changed the entire structure of our program.

The Program
Before the program began, we first gathered supplies. The only thing we needed for this program were glow sticks and balloons from the Dollar Tree and some cookies. Thankfully, our library already had a set of lightsabers made out of dollar pool noodles that we were able to use for this program. Since our outreach guest volunteered to this program for free, the cost of this program was less than $10.  

On the day of the program we spent about an hour setting up. We placed Christmas lights around the room, spread out glow sticks around the room, blew up balloons, hung up donated Star Wars posters, and set out food.

After that, we gave our Jedi Martial Arts guest full control. He opened the program by discussing that it is important to manage your stress and anger with exercise. The kids did some jumping jacks, planks, and went over some basic breathing exercises.

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Next, he then went through some simple movement that the tweens used to spar with the light sabers with. They gracefully moved up and down our auditorium for an hour.

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After the participants completed Jedi training, they were invited to dance to music from the Star Wars soundtrack and complete trivia for a prize. It was a program that even Yoda would approve of, but it was only made possible with collaboration and outreach.

If you don't have access to someone that could do a free program from a Jedi Martial Arts Academy, have no fear. This could easily be substituted with a bubble machine and some pool noodle lightsabers. Tweens will be excited to meet other people that share their interest and will be excited to do activities that

For even more information on this program, please check out my ALSC blog post on things that I learned from this program.

Until Next time,

Pamela

Fall, Kidlit Con, Bookoplis, and Newberys

Wow, can you believe this year is almost over? I feel like I fell asleep in October and woke up in time for Thanksgiving. I apologize I have been slow to post on here. This year has been full of sickness and stress. I hope that even though this year has been difficult, it will bring new beginnings and opportunities.

One opportunity I had this year is the privilege of going to Kidlit Con. Kidlit Con is a small conference with a one-on-one feel with authors and other bloggers. Having this opportunity to go, helped me to learn about a couple new resources I wanted to share with you.

The first, is Bookopolis


Before this conference, I have never heard of it, but I feel like it is a useful tool for both librarians and parents. Essentially, it is a tool that kids can use to find books that other kids have recommended. It is broken down into kid friendly language such as "I want a big book or an easy book."  Recently, I have been passing this resource onto parents who come in looking for a book for their child who isn't with them at the time. The parents and the kids that I have shared it with, have loved it! It is quickly becoming my new favorite reference tool to share. 

The second, is 90- Second Newbery 


This program challenges kids to read Newbery awards and create a movie in 90 seconds that covers the entire book. It is a wonderful way to expose children to the award and to promote creativity and even some STEAM skills. I imagine it working well with school libraries and maybe even an on going program at a public library. I especially found it fun to watch some of the kid's work. They are very creative! 


I realize this was a quick overview of this, but I wanted to share it with you before I forgot it! I hope everyone is having a fantastic fall season. What is your favorite resource? 
Is there a new resource that you discovered this year? 

-Pamela



Welcome MLA!

Welcome Missouri Library Association! Thank you for attending our session. Here are some program plans and additional resources to assist you in building tween programming at your library!

 


Program Plans


 Scooby Doo Programming




 Scooby Doo Instructions




Please let me know if you have any questions or if there is anything I can help you with.

-Pamela

What's in and out with Tweens? Fall 2016

Every time Ms. A. and I see one of our regulars, we love to ask: What's popular with tweens? 

Our tweens are a very generous bunch, and they love the opportunity to share what they think is in and out with their age group. According to them here is what is hot right now : 

Roblox 

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Shopkins

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Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and Rachel platten (pop music)

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Star Wars 

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Pokemon (but its not as popular) 

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Loombands 
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Youtube 

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I mentioned this in previous posts, but tweens are not watching TV as much as generations before. Instead, they have turned to YouTube for entertainment. Some of the most popular are : 


Aglife - offers tweens tips such as how to get your best school picture





How to prank this is from the tv station Nickelodeon



Rclbeaauty101- funny video, craft ideas, and make up tutorials



TheFallen Jedi - youtuber who makes videos about Star Wars.

Just2good-A Lego Youtube Channel.



As far as what is "out," the tweens I talked to all agreed that the movie Frozen has gone cold. If you like Frozen or sing the songs, you are made fun of. According to our tweens, this is so out. 

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This is just from our tweens. All tweens are different and are at a range of maturity levels and interests. What are some things that your tweens are interested in? 






WWII Books for Tween & Teens


We all of those favorite reader's advisory questions. I'm a history buff, and one of my favorite reader's advisory questions is when someone is seeking a historical fiction recommendation. 

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Lately, I have been flooded with questions with book requests on quality fiction books set WWII.  
I secretly love it. 

 With these questions, I have been trying to making a running list of some of the best ones. 

Here are some of my favorites : 


Salt to the Sea
Published : February 2016
Age : Grades 9 and up 

Girl in the Blue Coat
Published: April 2016
Age: Grades 9 and up 


The Last Cherry Blossom
Published : August 2016 
Ages: Grade 9 and up 


The Book Thief
Published : March 2006 
Ages : Grades 9 and up 
Awards: ALA’s Michael A. Printz Honor Award, 2007



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Published : May 2013
Ages : Grades 9 and up 
Award : Winner of ALA’s Michael A. Printz Award, 2013


The Berlin Boxing Club
Published: April 2011
Age: Grades 9 and up 
Award : Winner of YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2012


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Published : April 2015
Age: Grades 9 and up
Award : Winner of  ALA’s Notable Children’s Book award, 2016


Published : March 2014
Age: Grades 6 and up
Award: Winner of Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Book, 2014


Prisoner B-3087
Published : March 2013
Ages: Grades 6 and up 
Award: Winner of YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014


Published : October 2014
Age : Grades 4 and up
Award: Winner of Outstanding International Books, 2015

Number the Stars
Published : 1989 
Ages: Grades 4 and up 
Awards: 1990 Newbery Award


Published : January 2015
Ages: Grade 4 and up
Awards : 2016 Newbery Honor book
2016 Schneider Family Book Award Winner


Echo
Published : February 2015
Age : Grades 4 and up 
Award: 2016 Newbery Honor

Hidden: A Child's Story of the Holocaust
Published: April 2014
Ages: Grade 4 and up 
Historical Graphic Novel 
AwardsWinner of ALA’s Notable Children’s Books, 2015
Winner of ALA’s Mildred L. Batchelder Award,  2015


Paper Wishes
Published : January 2016 
Grades: 4 and up 


Classic Biographies 




I am sure I will be adding to this list periodically.
Did I miss any? What is your favorite reader's advisory question?

-Pamela






Three Books that Changed my Life


I read an article recently about how library youth services is one of the most undervalued departments in the library world. At first, I was shocked. This can’t be right, how does the public and library administration not see the value in early literacy and in children?

I considered it more, and realized the validity in this statement. There is a misconception in general as to what librarians do. I can not tell you how many times I tell people that I want to be a librarian and they make comments like, "That sounds relaxing. You get to read all day, right?"

If I don't get that, I might get comments like: "You mean go to school to be a librarian?"

The children's department isn't safe from these remarks. I feel like so often many people think that all we do is summer reading with a few storytimes mixed in there.

To help combat that, I try to strive to offer innovative programming and services to my community, but it can be exhausting to constantly worry about what the next big this is.

One of my library instructors recently challenged us to watch a video on Neil Gaiman's three books that changed his life. I watched this video and I was surprised at how lifted me up it made me feel. It made me realize that the foundation of the library will always be with the books and the information we provide to patrons.

It was not long before I started to consider books that have changed my own life.

                    Neil Gaiman : Three Books that have Changed my Life



When I think about what stories have changed my life, the time spent in the car listening to my mom tell stories of her life, story times at my library, and spending time with my family reading books out loud always comes to mind.  I think these moments formed the foundation for my love of reading.

When I stop to consider what books changed my life, I would have to say the following had the most influence on me :

(1) The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne



I have learning disabilities and had a hard time learning to read. At age 9, I was still reading early readers, and I was at a point where I wanted to give up and not read at all. My mom was desperate for me not to give up. She asked my friend's mom what her and her daughter was reading. My friend’s mom mentioned that they were reading Magic Tree House. Out of desperation, my mom picked up one of the books from the library, and we slowly worked on the words together. By the end of the first book, I was hooked. It inspired me to want to read. I remember going to the library later that week and getting 3 more books in the series, but it still took me a long time to finish each book. I remember stealing my family’s flashlight out of the kitchen so I could keep on reading the books at bedtime. It was the first book that made me want to learn to read. It also got me interested in the study of history. I would later get my BA in history in my and picked up books on historical events whenever possible.


This book will always be my first love, and I love sharing it with my library kids. When the movie comes out, I will be sure to be that one adult that will have to see it.


(2) Earthquake Terror by Peg Kehret




My fourth grade teacher read this book out loud to me and my class. I hung on every word. The Magic Tree House series had some action, but I had no idea a book could be so exciting. Once we got done reading it as a class, I checked it out from my local library and eventually had to buy a copy of my own. I eventually wore out two copies. I still need to buy another copy! I was enthralled by the writing and the story itself. I still am. This book showed me that books didn’t have to boring or have the same plot. Stories are a way for us to share experiences and allow us to go places that we haven’t before. (As cheesy as that sounds). I started to develop a reading taste and learned what I liked reading. This made me fall in love with reading even more.


(3) This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

 


In middle school, I really struggled. I was an outgoing child, but once I hit about 7- 8th grade, I started to doubt myself. I faced some bullying and retreated inside myself. I become a quiet and unsure kid. My childhood friends found other friends, and I felt alone. This is probably a classic middle school tale, but I found comfort in books. I became friends with the characters in the books I read. The author I especially loved was Sarah Dessen. Her books were so relatable. It felt like she was writing a story for everything I faced.

When my sister left suddenly, I read Dreamland. When I was struggling with confidence, I read Keeping the Moon. When my crush asked me out, and I was afraid of getting hurt, I read This Lullaby. When I was scared about going off to college, I read Along for the Ride. I always felt like Dessen was my personal Jiminy Cricket. She showed me that we can learn from each other through the stories that we tell. She will always be special to me. I hope to someday to meet her, but I suppose everyone has their own Dessen.

As I journey more into the library world, I am realizing how important reader's advisory is for our tweens and teens. 

I used to be really worried about delivering the next big program, but this isn't what the library is about. 

The flashy stuff like programming makes us sparkle, but it isn't what is going to make a lasting impact on our community. Instead, that lasting impression comes from the books themselves. 
Books are the magic and we are the magicians.

It is up to us as children's librarians to connect kids and families with that. We should create a environment for families to have an experience with reading & stories. 

What are three books that changed your life? 

-Pamela