Calling all book lovers! Go beyond the library this summer with Matthew Winner’s roundup of fun reading activities for the whole family.
Summer will be winding down in August, and it’s the perfect time to plan library programs for adults that celebrate National Simplify Your Life Week, National Book Lovers Day and National Relaxation Day. So grab a good book, put your feet up and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
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.
Get ready for some tasty treats — National Ice Cream Month, National Picnic Month and National Sugar Cookie Day all take place in the month of July! Check out this library activities calendar from Laura Damon-Moore for more sweet adult programming ideas.
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.
Deciding you want to create a makerspace is easy. Figuring out what it’s going to look like can be the tricky part. Read on for tips from Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, about how to develop your creation space. Get advice on gaining more space in your library, considering instructional needs and choosing furniture for your space.
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!
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects one in 68 children. You can use your makerspace not only to bring awareness to ASD, but also to engage children of all abilities. To celebrate Autism Awareness Month in April, Gina Seymour provides you with five maker activities and tips on how to offer programming that’s both inclusive and fun year-round.
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!
Gathering ideas for your summer reading program? Look no further! We polled librarians and asked what their favorite and most effective programs were and they delivered. From teaming up with hometown heroes to STEM programming to taking your show on the road, there are so many exciting ways you can engage your community through summer reading.
Foster a love of reading in your young patrons by building intrinsic motivators into your summer reading program.
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Emily Ellis shares library programs for adults that will promote health and happiness in your library and celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, National Salad Month and more!
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!
Library summer reading programs are key to keeping kids engaged and learning over the summer, a time when many kids experience learning loss. Libraries are starting to take a closer look at their traditional programs and asking, “How can we have an ever bigger impact?” And some have already enhanced their programs by transforming them into a summer learning model. Learn the reasoning behind this change from Youth Services Supervisor Amanda Bressler, and gain 5 steps to get you started in your own transformation.
What happens when you create an Innovation Lab at your library where people can explore, learn new technology and share their knowledge? Everybody wants in! Learn how Chad Mairn from the Seminole Community Library designed a Maker Boot Camp just for kids to connect them to coding, robotics, circuitry and more.
Encourage your patrons to forget their troubles and grab a good book — Library Journal Mover and Shaker Emily Ellis shares engaging programming ideas for Drop Everything and Read Month, National Stress Awareness Day and more.
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.
Need to add a little art to your STEAM makerspace? Looking for a way to motivate summer reading program participants? Love collaborative art pieces? Read what librarians shared about how they are using StickTogether mosaic posters for all this and more and steal some ideas for your own library!
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.
Offering outreach services like bedside storytimes and volunteer training is an extremely rewarding way to support hospitalized children and their families. Gather tips and advice for reaching out to hospital staff, launching a partnership and designing your programs.
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.
Are you on the hunt for new ways to serve your community’s diverse population? Learn how Adult Services Manager Trinity Lescallett finds books and activities to engage adults with disabilities in her library, and gain resources for your own programs.
Join Mover and Shaker Erica Freudenberger as she shares her experience of embracing community engagement to create a democratic, community-led organization and revitalize a library and community.
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.
Libraries are a welcoming and safe place for everyone and you can help ensure this message gets across to your patrons from the very beginning. Learn ways you can practice inclusivity in storytime and throughout your library.
Head of Youth Services and #weneeddiversebooks advocate Angie Manfredi gives you 10 children’s book picks to diversify your storytimes.
Show students how fascinating following their interests can be with these engrossing nonfiction activities that teach how-to and how-do!
Inspire kids to get involved and help others in their community with fun volunteering activities for your summer reading program.
The Demco Makerspace Survey revealed the pain points many librarians have with starting and running a makerspace, but it also revealed some great advice for meeting those challenges head on. See what your peers had to say about their makerspaces and get tips and pointers.
Teen Tech Week is March 5-11 and master maker Diana Rendina has got you covered. Diana shares 5 makerspace projects that will inspire teens to become change agents in their communities while practicing the design process.
Libraries are known for offering equitable access to their services. To ensure that everyone, including the LGBTQ+ community, feels welcome in your library, follow Jessica Jupitus’s 10 tips for creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.
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.
If you struggle to get community members in their 20s and 30s to use the library’s services, this post is for you! From partnering with a local pub to holding Punk Rock Aerobics in the library, Sacramento Central Library Manager Jessica Jupitus shows you how to design unique programs that speak to millennials and Generation X. Get ready to branch out and have some fun!
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.
Accomplished maker and educator Heather Lister provides you with sample projects and resources to incorporate the maker movement within your school, library or classroom (or all three!), with little to no technology requirements.
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.
Want to get more buy-in from staff and added exposure for your maker programs? Children’s Librarian and maker extraordinaire Holly Storck-Post fills you in on the benefits of holding a maker program for the entire library staff.
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.
Join the conversation! Madison Public Library staff reflect on the organization’s recent successes and plans for future community outreach programs and service.
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.
Your physical space is one of your library’s biggest assets. Wi-Fi tracking technology can help you visualize how patrons are interacting with that space, as well as inform new library programs and space changes.
Learn how you can use proven community planning strategies to engage and support underrepresented communities at your library. This webinar with Madison Public Library’s planner covers lessons learned, scaling this to your institution and more.
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.
This guide is a must-have for librarians — chock-full of kid and adult coloring tips from tried-and-true programs across the country! Plus, the coloring contest winners are announced!
Dealing with college students and stress? Get down with the ABCs of de-stressing! It’s easy to get started — all of these activities are budget-friendly and simple to set up.
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!
What will 2016 bring into the world of library technology trends? Get ready to have fun with your community and staff as you forge new ground with fitness trackers, robotics, coding and more!
Long-time artist or new to the color craze? It doesn’t matter — anyone can use these tips to bring some serious coloring therapy to their community.
Change is afoot in the world of library programming and services for adults. A recurring theme of limited resources and the need for ideas emerged from our conversations, with many seeking help and guidance, information and resources. This prompted us to take action.
Staff from The Mix at San Francisco Public Library share their experience in developing, funding and building their new teen library space, as well as how they engaged their youth and made it a community project.
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.
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!
International Dot Day celebrates mentorship and its power to foster self-discovery, creativity and courage. How will you inspire and encourage this year?
Even the most reluctant readers can be engaged through programming that brings reading to life. In this webinar, you’ll learn new ways to help kids in your community discover their deepest interests and a passion for reading.
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.
In the U.S. 39% of the population are over age 50, yet 70% of library services are for children. Learn what’s important to adults and how to engage them beyond books to improve their health and enhance their lives.
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.
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.
The Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University (EIU) could have held a film screening and called it a night. Instead the library team brought more depth to people’s lives. Read the story.
Imagine teens calling all the shots and adults letting them! Sound crazy? That’s the case at Mattoon Middle School in Mattoon, IL and librarian Anieta Trame prefers it that way. Read her story!
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.
Having trouble connecting with today’s teenagers? This webinar is for you! Join teen programming expert Sarah Flowers as she discusses what it takes to draw teens into the library, including budgeting, planning, marketing and more.
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!
View a clever infographic showing survey results from real librarians about customers’ needs for digital content, community engagement and programming and what librarians are doing about it all.
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.
Studio 300 is Fountaindale Public Library’s answer to what their community needs in a space that allows creation and collaboration. While there is never a typical day at Studio 300, there is a common theme. Patrons use lab resources to curate, create and share their own stories.
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.
Connect with resources to effectively market your library services, including ideas on how library staff can make positive contributions to marketing efforts.
Madison Public Library in Wisconsin has developed a flexible model that suits the needs of their community well and can also be deployed in their branch libraries. Tana Elias shares insights surrounding the development of their program and what they are learning from their program.
Library co-ops and consortiums have long been utilized to leverage purchasing power particularly for electronic resources, databases and basic library needs. Today’s more collaborative efforts take this resource sharing one step further by increasing the benefits to all libraries involved — allowing them to go beyond what each could accomplish on their own.
A friendly staff, welcoming space, technology and interesting programs make your library space a desirable destination for teens. Teens want a place for self-guided, interest-driven learning — a place of exploration that is intertwined with sharing and learning from others.
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.
Whether your budget is big or small, this webinar can help you create the ultimate teen space! Library consultant, Kimberly Bolan Cullin, updates you on new teen space trends, digital creativity and interactivity, collaboration spaces and more.
A novel partnership between a community foundation and 28 county public libraries has yielded fantastic results. Discover how their joint efforts to enrich collections, build a programming endowment and create new collaborative opportunities can be applied to your library!
Recognized as an effective, “game-changing” program, YouMedia sees as many as 400-500 kids a week who come to spend time pursuing a variety of activities.