Computer programming is now considered a skill that is necessary for success in the 21st century workplace, and many schools and libraries are taking the lead in giving everyone an opportunity to learn this critical skill. Meet five creative, inclusive products that make it easy to introduce coding to kids and adults alike.
Making is not only for students who excel in math and science or who are exceptionally artistic. Makerspaces benefit students with academic and behavioral barriers to learning, as well as students who are nonverbal or those whose first language isn’t English. Discover the many benefits of maker education and how it offers every child an opportunity for hands-on learning.
This holiday season, give parents the gift of early literacy activities they can do at home with their little ones. The December calendar includes celebrations, craft ideas, math and science activities, book suggestions, songs and much more!
Help teens show their gratitude for others with creative programming ideas and book suggestions that celebrate Thanksgiving, Giving Tuesday, Homeless Youth Awareness Month, National Adoption Month and more.
This October, scare up some tasty fun in your library with this children’s activity calendar from Matthew Winner. Get ideas for delicious celebrations like National Pizza Month and National Cookie Month, including book suggestions, craft projects, and more!
Give parents a treat this October with early literacy activities they can do at home with their little ones. Celebrate fun days like Homemade Cookies Day and Color Day with crafts, math and science activities, books, songs and more!
Whether you’re a librarian at the secondary level or college level, it’s likely you spend a lot of time talking and teaching about information literacy. Instructional and Research Librarian Dr. Lauren Hays offers five steps to guide you in creating an information literacy course that will help your students become skilled researchers.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Hispanic Heritage Month. Get ideas to celebrate and bring greater awareness of Hispanic heritage, culture, and achievements to your classroom or library this month, and all year long.
Trisha Frankland offers a myriad of programs and activities to bring teens together and celebrate inclusiveness this October: not only is it National Bullying Prevention Month, it’s also Unity Day and Stop Bullying Day.
The September calendar features fun children’s activity and book ideas to kick the school year off right in your library. Celebrate International Literacy Month, Library Card Sign-up Month and more!
Try these powerful library activities to get your students involved and excited to start the new school year.
September is National Library Card Sign-up Month — what better time to draw teens into your library? Laura Damon-Moore shares craft projects, game ideas, book suggestions and more to entice teens to visit the library again and again!
Not only is August Back to School Month, it’s also Family Fun Month and National Sandwich Month. And days like Friendship Day and National Book Lovers Day offer even more opportunities for fun library activities for kids!
Summer may be winding down, but you can still help parents and caregivers keep kids entertained this August with simple and fun early literacy activities that celebrate Friendship Day, National S’mores Day, National Dog Day and more!
Learn how you can promote creativity, teamwork and experimentation by creating a STEM club for middle-schoolers. Amanda Bressler helps you face down your fear of not being the expert, walks you through program setup and gives you a simple challenge to get kids started.
Holding a Maker Fest in your school or library is a great way to showcase all the wonderful learning taking place in your makerspace. Diana Rendina walks you through the details, gives you ideas for stations, and helps you make sure your own Maker Fest will be successful.
Ready to get kids excited about coding? Library Journal Maker Hero Alisha Wilson shares how she draws a crowd with her Coding for a Cookie event with three key steps. You’ll gain a host of coding resources, learn about setting up stations, and get tips on advertising your event.
Matthew Winner shares book suggestions and children’s activity ideas for a deliciously fun July at your library! Not only is it National Ice Cream Month, but it’s also National Hot Dog Month, National Blueberry Month, and National Picnic Month. Is your stomach growling yet?
Give parents simple early literacy activities they can use to keep their kids learning this summer. The July calendar offers craft ideas, math and science activities, book suggestions, songs and fun celebration ideas for National Ice Cream Day, National Dance Day and more!
Matthew Winner shares LGBT resources and books to help educators recognize Pride Month in June and celebrate inclusiveness all year long.
Oh, the places kids can go in the library! Bring the simple joy of whimsical rhyming adventures to your library this summer with these Dr. Seuss activities, passive programs, decorations and much more.
July is National Anti-Boredom Month — keep teens engaged with a calendar full of creative activities from Laura Damon-Moore. Get ideas for craft projects, games, book suggestions and much more!
Ready to have a great summer at your library? The June calendar is full of fun activities for kids and book ideas for summery celebrations like Great Outdoors Month, Great American Picnic Day and more!
Help parents build early literacy skills at home this summer! You’ll find ideas like celebrating Best Friends Day along with craft activities, math and science projects, books and more!
It’s May – time to celebrate Get Caught Reading Month! Kids and teachers are dreaming of summer, and it’s the perfect time to boost recreational reading habits. In this month’s post, Matthew Winner offers fun ways to promote good reading habits in your school and community.
Give parents fun and easy ways to build early literacy skills at home. The May calendar is filled with crafts, math and science activities, book suggestions, songs and more!
With the release of the new Disney movie, it’s the perfect time to encourage students to read A Wrinkle in Time and engage them with these thought-provoking activities!
We dare you to try to keep a straight face this April — it’s National Humor Month! Get ready to laugh it up at your library with a full calendar of engaging spring activities for kids.
Share the inspirational stories and amazing accomplishments of notable women this March — and all year round!
Make parents and little ones smile with lots of early literacy activities they can do together at home to celebrate April Fools’ Day, National Pet Day, National Superhero Day and more!
Demco Master Maker Nicholas Provenzano, aka @thenerdyteacher, talks meaningful making and how to create an inclusive learning environment that supports the Maker Mindset. Learn the different ways you can implement and diversify your makerspace to meet the needs of all students and staff.
In this first installment of the Demco Master Maker blog series, expert Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, shares his background, talks about the importance of makerspaces in schools, gives a preview of the topics he’ll be addressing in future posts, and invites you to join the conversation during the monthly #DemcoMakerChat on Thursday nights.
Makerspace skills aren’t often recognized on report cards, so how can you celebrate student achievement in those areas? Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, is using badges to acknowledge the hard work, ingenuity, critical thinking and computer skills students develop through working in their makerspace. Learn how you can develop your own badging system for your space.
Libraries are safe spaces, known for finding ways to welcome everyone, and makerspaces within libraries should be no different. Award-winning library media specialist Gina Seymour provides tips and resources for how to welcome and accommodate all users in your makerspace.
This collection of valuable resources will help you and your students celebrate African American heritage not just during Black History Month, but all year long.
According to teacher-librarian Angela Rosheim, “Just having students make will not automatically create deep learning — you need to have sound pedagogy to go along with it.” In this blog Angela shares how she integrates making into her curriculum, along with a fun lesson plan that combines research with design thinking.
Help students show their appreciation to the important people in their lives with these simple gratitude activities for Thank You Month.
Adding a STEAM component to a literacy assignment can encourage students to think more deeply about what they are reading and writing. Library Journal’s Maker Hero School Librarian of the Year Alisha Wilson shares three ways you can collaborate with classroom teachers to integrate robotics, circuitry and coding into English class.
In the wake of this year’s devastating hurricane season, books about Hurricane Katrina carry timely messages. These lesson plans will help children understand the impacts of such disasters while also teaching skills such as problem solving and researching.
Expand students’ understanding with these Universal Human Rights Month resources and tips for building community and connections in your classroom.
Help parents bring winter cheer into their homes with a month of early literacy activities, crafts and books they can share with their little ones in December.
Engaging college students is about much more than providing academic services. Learn how taking student outreach to a personal level can open new doors at your library.
Challenge kids to get creative and unleash their inner novelists by taking part in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) this November!
Diana Rendina details 3 engaging makerspace projects that fit right in with the 2017 Teen Read Week (Oct. 8–14) theme: “Unleash Your Story.” Students will be eager to tell their stories with these creative activities that combine literacy and making.
Global literacy heroes are working tirelessly to ensure books reach impoverished and remote areas around the globe. Award-winning librarian and SLJ Mover and Shaker Krista Welz shares ideas for introducing kids to these literacy heroes and inspiring learning opportunities through their stories.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month and there’s no better time to teach anti-bullying lessons through children’s literature. Promote discussion, spark writing activities, and teach kids how to be buddies not bullies with these three library activities.
The Newbery award-winning book “The One and Only Ivan” tells the inspiring story of a captive gorilla from his point of view. Use this book to capture students’ interest with 3 library lessons centered around Ivan’s story.
In this webinar, award-winning educator Mark Schreiber walks you through a step-by-step process for integrating making and maker projects throughout your library and classroom.
The start of the school year brings new energy and fresh ideas! Get your teens excited to help you promote Library Card Sign-up Month with #selfies, celebrate being weird on Wonderful Weirdos Day, and spread some sunshine on Positive Thinking Day. New book releases and STEM fun will help start the year off right!
A cardboard building project turned into a successful library makerspace and countless opportunities for students to learn through making.
Too Small to Fail’s campaign “Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read, Sing” provides you with early literacy resources to help you further your goals of empowering parents and enriching the lives of young children.
Show students how fascinating following their interests can be with these engrossing nonfiction activities that teach how-to and how-do!
Measuring the impact of programs and services is a challenge, but it can be done. Learn how a library partnership and data sharing can get you started.
Matthew Winner of All the Wonders is here to help you get ready to ring in the new year at your library with January activities and books that are sure to put big smiles on kids’ faces!
Learn how you can harness new education strategies and transform your children’s library into an interactive STEAM learning environment.
Learn how to evaluate your collection for diversity! Get diverse books and multicultural author suggestions, plus activities to help create a culture of inclusivity.
Looking for ways to take STEM programming to the next level? Check out MeeperBOTS! These mobile-app-controlled motorized BOTS bring LEGOs® to life. Plus get a tried-and-true program that’s sure to capture kids’ interest.
Struggling to find the best tools for your library makerspace? Join expert Laura Fleming as she discusses how best to support your space.
Have you ever wondered what to tell parents and caregivers when they ask “Is it ok to share digital picture books with my child?” Early childhood expert Elizabeth Stilwell helps answer this question and shares advice and resources for librarians and caregivers.
Looking for ways to use the littleBits Synth Kit? Director Mary Glendening shows you how to emulate one of the most popular littleBits programs held at CreateSpace@MFL, located in the Middletown Free Library. Learn the step-by-step directions for running the program at your own library and encouraging kids and teens to invent music with littleBits.
Learn how Skype can help create authentic, real-world learning experiences in the library. Plus, discover new ways to reach out for World Read Aloud Day!
Engaging a reluctant reader can be a challenge, but Mo Willems is here to help! Supplement his engaging books with these Elephant and Piggie activities.
Mover and shaker Emily Ellis offers ideas for getting the whole family involved in STEAM activities through Tinker Day at the library, plus find out how your library can can leverage the popularity of Pokémon GO!
Reading aloud every day can have a big impact on a child’s future success. Join Read Aloud 15 MINUTES and share this literacy program with your community.
Hand this September calendar full of early literacy activities to parents and you’re giving them a valuable tool for sharing learning with their kids every day.
Quicksand, black holes and tsunamis — oh my! Combine attention-grabbing topics with engaging STEM activities and books, and draw in even the most reluctant readers.
The Maker Movement has hit the library! Watch this webinar and learn how to ensure patrons can pursue open-ended maker projects and enjoy playing to learn.
Support young patrons’ literacy development and confidence through artistic expression with The Picture Show — an easy program for any library or classroom to implement.
Kendra Jones and Cory Eckert, creators of Storytime Underground, share multicultural activities, books, songs, rhymes and resources for creating diverse storytimes.
Back to School Month, Family Fun Month and more — use these August activities to help kids soak up the last days of summer and get excited for back-to-school fun!
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Colleen Graves discusses design thinking and making and provides project ideas to get started tinkering with littleBits™ in your library and creating a community of makers!
America Recycles Day is the perfect time to start a global collaboration project that gives schools and libraries authentic opportunities to learn and make connections beyond their walls.
Four County Career Center has found the perfect tool for supporting teen parents in teaching early literacy skills — The Very Ready Reading Program.
Even the most reluctant readers are drawn in by the excitement of extreme sports! Discover STEM project ideas that will kick-start kids’ enthusiasm and test their engineering skills.
By collaborating with Reach Out and Read clinics to improve early literacy from birth, your library can have a greater impact on the lives of the children in your community.
Digital citizenship is a critical literacy for today’s students to master, and the library is a natural place to do it. With these online and print resources, you can create digital citizenship lessons that help students learn to act safely and responsibly, with courtesy and respect, in the digital world.
Join the many delightful Mo Willems characters for activities like a cookie toss with The Pigeon, a dance party with Elephant and Piggie, a shape hunt with Knuffle Bunny and much more!
Social and emotional skills play an important role in a child’s academic success. As an educator, you can use the friendship stories children gravitate towards to help them make connections, gain confidence and engage in learning.
Human relationships and interactions play a key role during the first thousand days of a child’s life. Learn from Dr. Navsaria, founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin, about the importance of early literacy, how toxic stress and early adversity can lead to lifelong issues and some key concepts about literacy development.
The spectacular early literacy programming at Redwood City Public Library has established the institution as a leader in education and outreach, passionately supporting childhood development and literacy in their community.
Holidays and special events are all good when Pete the Cat is part of the festivities! This groovy guide is filled with games, crafts, writing activities and more fun ideas to keep kids “feline” fine all through the year.
Have you been wanting to add a STEAM program to your library’s list of events but think it might be too expensive or too difficult to plan? Think again! In this blog post, Terry Ehle shares the inspiration you need to get started.
Go full STEAM ahead at your library! Download this free activity guide for a plethora of hands-on projects that encourage students to think outside the box and use their imaginations to create!
Your library is an important resource for your community — get the word out! Learn all about how the Take Your Child to the Library Day initiative started, discover how to get involved, and explore engaging program ideas, past success stories and online resources.
Raise awareness of your library’s services in your community and find ways to reach underserved populations with the 3 Ps of library outreach, a formula to help you plan your next outreach event and partner with community service providers for maximum impact.
6 Myths About Diversity in Early Childhood Storytimes (and How We Can Read Diverse Books in Our Library’s Storytime Now)
Our population is becoming more and more diverse, with the youngest generation leading the way. We owe it to all our readers to offer diverse books during storytime, deepening the connections we are making and furthering our goal of building a solid reading foundation.
Solve the mystery about credible sources! Use the fresh ideas in this FREE Upstart activity guide to help students better evaluate sources and put them hot on the trail of A+ sources!
Help students become good digital citizens. Download a free activity guide from Upstart that includes interactive activities, online video references and games.
When children are not given opportunities to experience language through books and other interactions, disparities develop that can last a lifetime. Pediatrician Dr. Navsaria teaches us how to combat this and empower parents!
“Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers was right — incorporating STEAM into preschool storytimes sets a strong foundation for future learning.
International Dot Day celebrates mentorship and its power to foster self-discovery, creativity and courage. How will you inspire and encourage this year?
Thinking of extending early literacy learning into the homes in your community? 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiatives are a great way to give families the tools they need to prepare their children for later reading success.
Deliver a powerful message to caregivers through the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program — books are all kids need to be ready for school!
Looking for a cost-effective, parent-led library program that can have huge returns on early literacy in your community? Get the lowdown on 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten and find out how easy it is to start this program in your library!
You’re in the fall swing of things and now is a great time to showcase your library’s many colors and programs. Get ideas for September activities, holidays and observances.
From fun displays to multimedia and guest speakers at your school, this list of reading strategies will help you win over kids and foster a love of reading.
Crack the code on what baby babbling really means. As babies make these noises, they’re making important progress toward language development: they’re literally finding their voice! Learn about the importance of encouraging baby babble and ways your storytime can do just that.
Children with developmental disabilities can struggle in traditional storytimes. As a result, their caretakers may avoid bringing them to library programs. Find out how you can help all families feel welcome and address children’s learning needs with sensory storytimes.
May is the perfect time to flex your reading muscles and reach even more readers with great new ideas, displays and resources! Catch up on all the holidays happening in May 2015.
With countless classic tales and tens of thousands of new children’s books published each year, selecting books for storytime can seem overwhelming. We’ve got just the fix. Gain helpful hints for choosing read-aloud books for your next storytime.
From encouraging fine motor movement to expanding vocabularies, art plays an important role in strengthening the skills our children need to succeed in the 21st century. Learn more about the benefits of incorporating art into storytimes and get 10 tips for talking to kids about art.
At the La Crosse Public Library in WI, children pretend to shop at a farmers market, tell stories on flannel boards and play parachute games. See how playtime at the library builds early literacy skills in a natural way and learn how you can create an engaging children’s environment, even on a budget.
Spring is in the air! Get crowd-pleasing and library-friendly ideas for April Fools’ Day, National Library Week and more. You may even learn about holidays and observances you didn’t know existed!
February is known for Valentine’s Day, but there’s so much more to do this month! Get great ideas for your library programming, such as celebrating Library Lovers Month, Black History Month and more.
In an ideal world, libraries would be able to offer an array of storytimes designed to meet the varying developmental needs of young children at different ages and stages. But, this isn’t always the case. Get tips on creating successful mixed-age storytimes for kids.
Did you know that some preschool curriculums only spend 58 seconds of a five-hour day on math education? STEM skills are invaluable but often overlooked in early education. Learn to integrate these skills into your STEM curriculum and help your youngest learners succeed.
Looking for a way to incorporate speaking and listening standards into projects? Look no further! See LibrarySparks’ tips for holding a student debate that draws on students’ reading, writing, and speaking and listening skills.
Children today are born as digital natives, surrounded by cell phones, televisions, tablets, computers and other media. See how one Youth Services Librarian is using storytimes to help parents find and use the best apps for early literacy learning.
Picture books capture children’s attention while building essential literacy skills. Get started with book recommendations, resources and a library lesson plan from LibrarySparks.
According to researchers, children’s participation in unstructured playtime is crucial to laying a foundation for literacy success. Learn how to maximize the positive effects of play through storytimes and parent involvement.
See how librarians can promote early literacy skills through enriched storytimes. During these storytimes, librarians model activities that parents and caregivers can practice at home with their children to boost reading readiness.
Fall into some great ideas for kids, teens and adults alike with our November activity calendar! You’ll benefit from new angles to engage readers and your community with your library.
This activity guide is the cat’s meow! Celebrate Pete and all kinds of cats as you motivate readers. Read in the Kitty Corner, play games with buttons and shoes and have everyone draw their own cat!
This activity guide has everything you need for a Seuss-sational program to get kids exploring the wonderful world of books! Practice creative rhyming, have a family literacy night and play in some oobleck!
Bow WOW! There are so many doggone fun activities packed in this reading activity guide! Make an origami dog, have a barking contest, eat some puppy chow and fetch a good book to read in the dog house!
Educators have students take a second look and even a third look at texts. This deeper study of text is called close reading, and it’s helping prepare students to meet the text analysis requirements of the Common Core State Standards. But, how can you help students get the most out of close reading? Read this post to learn more about effective close reading strategies.
Grow your confidence and secure your spot in your school! Author and Library Media Specialist, Toni Buzzeo, explains how Common Core standards align with school librarians’ skills, how to partner with teachers and how to seize the opportunity to play an even stronger role in education.
Sue McCleaf Nespeca, a youth services librarian and early childhood education expert, has traveled across the country to train librarians in research-based best practices for early literacy learning. During her travels, she heard a common plea: How could librarians incorporate best practices into storytimes? Learn more about how Sue turned research into action with The Very Ready Reading Program.
Sound familiar? Crucial need for family literacy services. Limited resources. See how a new storytime for kids approach was the solution for a Washington library.
Did you know the #1 determinant of successful language and literacy development is parental involvement? Learn what small steps you and parents can take to yield big results for children.
Start a conversation about bullying while teaching students crucial literacy skills. Get 10 children’s book recommendations and a free library lesson plan to introduce young readers to the concept of bullying.
Wondering how you fit into the new Common Core world? Author and librarian Toni Buzzeo leads a lively discussion and offers pointers on how you can become an indispensable instructional leader at your school.
Looking for a research-based early literacy solution? Hear about the science behind The Very Ready Program, how to maximize children’s brain development and 7 ways to easily get parents involved.
Mmmm mmmm. Knowledge is sweet. Try a bakery-themed reading corner in your library, mixing up fun with “dough,” toy mixer and some cookies (real or faux, you decide). So many ideas in this indulgent activity guide!
Oh, the places a child can go when they visit the library. How will you make National Take Your Child to the Library Day better than ever? Get some fresh ideas on how to set the scene and rock this holiday.
Hup 1 * 2 * 3. Learn the secrets to creating a reading regimen for kids that helps them be all they can be. Gain ideas on how to transform your library into a reading base camp or how to bring an obstacle course to life.
What’s a genre? Kind of hard to describe, huh? That’s why the 7 genre dudes are here. They’re quite the characters and in no time kids will understand the differences between each of the genres and which ones they want to get to know better.
Martial arts in the library!? Definitely! Instill skill, discipline, fitness, confidence and positive mindset in your young warriors. Get ideas for dynamic displays and more. For example, find out how to create a map showing the many places in the world that have martial arts traditions. Learning good, karate good, everything good.