Start the new year right with inspiring children’s programming activities, fun craft projects, fresh book suggestions, and much more!
Considering using portable air cleaners in your library or classrooms? Get the details on how they work, which ones are most effective, and the best way to use them.
In this episode of the Open Book Webcast, two members of Madison Public Library’s marketing team discuss how to effectively market library services to community members during a pandemic.
In this episode of the Open Book Webcast, you’ll hear from Stephanie Freas, Assistant Director of John McIntire Library, about how she and her staff are meeting community needs during the pandemic as well as planning for the future.
Make learning even more fun with the early literacy activities on the November calendar! Parents and children will celebrate gratitude and togetherness with songs, games, and more.
Libraries aren’t just buildings! There are so many ways for you to engage your community members during a pandemic — here are four things to do right now.
In the ninth episode of the Open Book Webcast, you’ll hear from Tinashe Blanchet, founder of The Learning Laboratory New Orleans, who shares how she turned her hands-on STEM summer camp fully virtual during the pandemic.
Keep kids in your community engaged through virtual library programming with these five popular take-and-make kits — supply lists and directions included.
Follow these steps for creating a curbside pickup plan to get books and materials into students’ hands this year.
In the eighth episode of the Open Book Webcast, you’ll learn about the readers’ advisory book bundle program at Madison Public Library in Wisconsin. This innovative curbside library service connects patrons to materials while inter-library loans are on pause.
Figuring out the best way to shield students and staff from germs can be daunting. Download this handy guide to help you compare the features of each desk barrier so you can find the right fit for your learning spaces.
Building community in your classroom has always been an important part of making students feel safe and ready to learn. But how do you do this when you’re not in a traditional classroom setting? Get 25 ideas for creating a culture of community in your virtual classroom.
In the seventh episode, Elementary Principal Amy Williams joins the Open Book Webcast to share how she’s leading her school community through the pandemic by emphasizing social-emotional wellness.
Whether learning at school or from home this year, students will need comfortable personal learning spaces that give them the tools they need to stay healthy and productive. Discover 10 products that can help you create spaces where learners thrive.
Makers still gotta make! Diana Rendina gives you tips for managing your makerspace during the 2020 pandemic while observing social distancing guidelines and keeping kids safe.
In the sixth episode of the Open Book Webcast, hear how Librarian Jessica Ryan pivoted to create virtual programming for the children and adults in her community in response to the pandemic. She then met her community’s needs once again by adapting her programming in response to George Floyd’s death.
Your school community’s well-being will be top of mind this school year as kids head back to school in various in-person and virtual models. Get tips from a seasoned school counselor on how educators and parents alike can support students’ mental health by helping them prepare for changes, stay connected, and be successful this school year.
Get an October calendar full of engaging children’s programming ideas for activities, craft projects, and books suggestions that will make kids’ mouths water and boost their cultural awareness.
Fall into reading with the early literacy activities on the September calendar. Parents and children can have fun celebrating Teddy Bear Day, playing restaurant, and going on nature walks together!
In the third episode of Demco’s Open Book Webcast, librarian and popular children’s lit podcaster Matthew Winner discusses the role librarians play in supporting students’ social-emotional learning and how children’s literature can help families navigate the turbulent waters of 2020.
In the second episode of Demco’s Open Book Webcast, Art Teacher Mandy Stringer talks about how she had to quickly switch to teaching art virtually during the pandemic and how social-emotional learning became more important than ever in her lessons.
Worried about how you’re going to keep kids making this school year while still observing social distancing guidelines? Makerspace expert Nick Provenzano shares activities to keep kids making in every type of learning situation.
Social-emotional learning will be more important than ever this next school year, and school librarians are poised to lead the charge. Get tips and ideas for infusing SEL into your library program.
In the first episode of Demco’s Open Book Webcast, Cathy Farley, Director of White County Public Library, talks about what reopening their physical library was like after being closed to the public for seven and a half weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Award-winning school librarian Kim Borden outlines why you need to be advocating for your position during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a three-phase reopening plan template for your library that you can customize and share with your administration.
Every school year is different — but 2020–21 is sure to be unlike any other that came before. Librarian Matthew Winner brings you ideas to help you serve your students no matter what changes come about this fall. Read on to discover ways school librarians can continue to nurture a love of reading, innovate and collaborate with classroom teachers, make their library mobile, and deliver critical services to their school communities.
From funding cuts to staff morale, find out what our survey respondents said are the biggest challenges public libraries are facing right now.
Parents, students, and staff are most likely nervous about returning to school in the fall of 2020. As you start making plans for creating a safe environment for reopening your school, consider how you can best reduce their fears.
From germ prevention to traffic flow to what to do with your makerspace, this planning guide will help you decide how to best serve your students in your library when they come back to school.
What will schools look like for the fall of 2020? Experts aren’t quite sure yet, but they have a lot of ideas for what reopening school looks like. Get tips and resources for creating a safe school environment when students return to classrooms.
Parents and youngsters can beat boredom during the lazy days of summer with fun math, science, and early literacy activities. Celebrate special events like Independence Day, Anti-Boredom Month, and everybody’s favorite — National Ice Cream Month!
From staff procedures to traffic flow to room layout, this planning guide will help you figure out what you need to think about when you open your doors back up to the public.
As students bring books and other materials back to your library, the question of how to ensure staff and student safety is on everyone’s minds. Read this article to learn what the experts say about how to quarantine library materials.
As books and other materials start circulating from your library again, the question of how to ensure patron and staff safety is on everyone’s minds. Read this article to learn what the experts say about quarantining your materials.
Help parents kick off summer with early literacy activities they can do at home with their little ones. The June calendar is filled with creative craft ideas, math and science activities, book suggestions, and more.
Once again, libraries around the world are transforming their services to meet the needs of their communities. From providing increased access to digital resources to becoming popup food banks, libraries are continuously proving they are essential institutions in a variety of ways.
We’ve curated a list of home-learning resources to help you serve your community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Inside you’ll find activities, tools, and more for librarians, educators, and parents.
Yay for May! Help parents keep their little ones busy and learning with a calendar full of early literacy activities. Find ideas for crafts, math and science projects, books, celebrations like National Smile Day, and much more!
Although they’re often called “digital natives,” kids don’t always have a firm grasp of all the digital tools out there and how to use them safely. Get ideas on how librarians and educators can help students become digitally literate.
Are lack of time and resources stopping you from introducing making activities to your students? Veteran teacher-librarian Mrs. J in the Library explains how to overcome these obstacles and gives you six good reasons to get started making today!
You’ve prepped and planned and set up your makerspace, now how do you make sure it’s used? Nick Provenzano offers project-based learning (PBL) ideas to help you engage students and get staff excited about the opportunities offered by your makerspace.
In an out-of-school program, it’s essential to keep kids interested. This keeps them coming back which leads to better learning and personal outcomes.
Read how one school combines science, technology, reading, engineering, art, and math in one designated space where students are encouraged to express themselves and be creative.
Floor seating is a must in any active learning environment. Check out these fun and functional options that not only add comfort, but also offer ways to extend learning in your space.
Help kids fall in love with reading this February with a month of children’s programming, including fun activities, crafts, books, and celebrations to spread the love all month long!
Give parents an early holiday present in December with a month full of early literacy activities ideas for crafts, math and science projects, books, fun celebrations, and much more.
Learn how makerspaces, after-school programs, and other out-of-classroom experiences can help connect learning to student’s lives and the rest of the world.
Librarians and educators are tasked with the important job of helping students become good digital citizens. Get ideas and resources for ways you can teach students to be safe online and leave a positive digital footprint.
There’s so much to be thankful for in your library this November! Spread the joy with a month of creative children’s programming, including activities, craft projects, book ideas, and fun celebrations, like World Kindness Day.
Give parents another reason to be thankful in November with a month full of early literacy activities for crafts, math and science projects, books, fun celebrations, and much more.
Makerspaces offer students the space and the opportunity to develop critical 21st century skills, but they also play a part in students’ social-emotional development. Find out the key benefits that makerspaces offer and how to maximize their impact on student development.
Your reasons to create a makerspace should be as unique as the needs of your teachers and students. Use these ideas from master maker Nick Provenzano to help you think through why you want to build an amazing resource for makers in your school or library.
Give teens lots of reasons to be thankful for the library this month! The November calendar features creative teen programming ideas for STEAM projects, notable birthdays, books, and celebrations, like National Novel Writing Month and National American Indian Heritage Month.
Kick off a spooktacular October in your library with this children’s programming calendar! Matthew Winner offers engaging activities, craft projects, book suggestions, and more to celebrate not only Halloween, but also National Cookie Month and much more!
Find Spooktacular early literacy activities in this October calendar. Get craft ideas, math and science activities, book suggestions, and more to celebrate not only Halloween, but also fun days like National Pumpkin Day and much more.
Two years ago, educators at Mineral Point Middle and High Schools found it difficult to plan maker activities and find the supplies and tools required. After they got the TeacherGeek Maker Cart, their problems were solved and hands-on, project-based learning reached new heights throughout the school.
The October calendar features a variety of creative teen library program ideas, including craft projects, suggestions for book discussions, and fun celebrations, like National Popcorn Poppin’ Month and World Animal Day.
Help parents build early literacy skills at home in September! You’ll find craft activities, math and science projects, books celebrations, and fun celebrations, like Teddy Bear Day and National Play-Doh Day.
Learn the questions to ask to determine the success of your library program and gain the insight you need to improve and market your future programs.
Learn how Dallas Public Library added more summer learning opportunities to inspire curiosity in science, math, art, reading, and technology.
Learn how Kendallville Public Library (KPL) transformed their summer program and freed up staff time and energy for developing new programs, community outreach, and more.
Give parents fun ways to transition their little ones into fall with an August calendar full of early literacy activities. Get ideas for crafts, math and science activities, books, and fun celebrations, like Friendship Day and Coloring Book Day.
Looking for fun ways to boost literacy learning? Look no further than your makerspace! Dr. Jacie Maslyk shares strategies for integrating maker learning with literacy and helping students demonstrate their understanding in language arts through something they design, make, or engineer.
The new school year always brings a wealth of opportunities to try new things. Matthew Winner provides questions you can ask yourself to jump-start your thinking, new ideas for your classroom or library, and plenty of resources to make the next school year the best one yet!
Children’s literature provides the perfect springboard into maker projects, which can help extend learning and boost student engagement. Dr. Jacie Maslyk gives you starter ideas to help you connect making activities with literature.
Fall is just around the corner, but summer fun is still in full swing at your library! The August adult programming calendar is full of ideas for displays, books, interesting dates in history, and celebrations, like Dog Day and Relaxation Day.
Summer may be winding down, but the fun at your library doesn’t have to! Get teens engaged with an August calendar full of craft projects, book discussion ideas, and fun celebrations, like Book Lover’s Day and Bad Poetry Day.
Keep summer boredom at bay in your library with the July children’s activity calendar! Find exciting activities, book suggestions, craft projects, and fun celebrations, like National Anti-Boredom Month and Video Game Day.
Help parents keep their little ones entertained this summer with a month full of early literacy activities in July. Get ideas for crafts, math and science activities, books, songs, and fun celebrations, like National Ice Cream Day and National Moon Day.
Great educators are always looking for new things to try and ways to enhance their lessons — but who has the time to do all the research? Diana Rendina suggests resources you can take advantage of over the summer — or anytime you have free time — to upgrade, reimagine, or enrich your makerspace.
The enrollment of English language learners is rapidly growing, and it’s important to explore strategies that will support the development of both their language and social skills. Maker learning is one pathway you should consider to achieve this, says Dr. Jacie Maslyk.
Learn more about the challenges, logistics, and benefits of genrefication from school librarians who are putting it into practice.
What better way for adult patrons to spend the dog days of summer than cooling off at your library? The July adult programming calendar is full of fun ideas for displays, books, interesting dates in history, and more.
Get kids in the spirit of summer in your library with the June children’s activity calendar! Find exciting activities, book suggestions, craft projects, and fun celebrations, like Best Friends Day and Sunglasses Day.
Formal school assessments drive everything from funding to curriculum decisions, but should they have a place in your makerspace? Learn why maker educator Heather Lister thinks evaluating maker projects can provide valuable information to both educators and students and gain resources for creating your own rubrics.
Feeling overwhelmed about making the switch from summer reading to summer learning? Instead of changing your entire program all at once, start with these simple moves.
Keep little ones happy this summer with a month full of early literacy activities in June. Get ideas for crafts, STEM activities, books, songs, and fun celebrations, like Best Friends Day and Repeat Day.
Are you overwhelmed by all the information and opinions about switching from summer reading to summer learning? We’ve debunked a few common summer learning myths so you can make the transition with confidence.
Looking for easy ways to spark collaboration and creativity in your learning space? Look no further than whiteboard surfaces, says maker educator Diana Rendina. From dry-erase tables to removable sticky tiles, there are myriad ways you can inspire kids to learn and create.
Do you have good a good reason behind why you want to start a makerspace? Taking the time to craft a vision for your space will ensure that it’s successful. The question is, how do you find your “why”? Seasoned maker Heather Lister gives you four strategies to help you define your vision and makerspace goals, as well as ways to measure your success.
School makerspaces can play a pivotal role in helping students cope with grief and loss. Get makerspace programming ideas and tips on how to facilitate compassionate making projects.
Inspire your adult patrons to spend quality time at the library this summer! Get display suggestions, interesting dates in history, and creative ideas to celebrate LGBT Pride Month, Global Running Day, and more!
Summer has arrived, and what better place for teens to spend those long summer days than at the library? The June calendar is filled with fun crafts, cool displays, and exciting celebrations, like LGBT Pride Month and Best Friends Day.
The school year is winding down, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops in your library! The May children’s activity calendar offers exciting activities, book suggestions, craft projects, and fun celebrations, like Lost Sock Memorial Day and Love a Tree Day.
Make parents happy with a month full of early literacy activities to do at home this May. Get ideas for crafts, STEM activities, books, songs, and fun celebrations, like May Day and National Space Day.
As a critical component of STEM learning, engineering is an important skill to teach kids starting at a young age. Discover eight engaging tools to use in your makerspace or classroom that will get kids designing, building, and using their imaginations, from building blocks to curriculum-based activity kits.
Are you applying for a grant to start your makerspace? Or maybe you’ve already won a grant or received a donation. Regardless of how you received the funds, chances are you need to make some quick but thoughtful decisions about what to buy. To help you decide, maker educator Diana Rendina recommends some tried-and-true tools for your makerspace.
When Cabot School District in Arkansas decided to focus on STEM learning in their makerspaces, they wanted a solution that would not only provide engaging, student-driven learning opportunities, but that would also make it easy for educators to get started. Discover how the Demco Maker Collection is getting kids and educators alike excited about STEM learning.
Having a school makerspace allows teachers to increase learning opportunities for students and build connections across grade levels and content areas. Read examples of making throughout the curriculum and gain ideas for your own classroom.
Robots and tech gadgets aren’t just for kids! Learn tips and tricks for running a tech outreach program for seniors that promotes socialization, fosters interaction, and boosts overall well-being (and is just plain fun!).
Spring is in full swing in your library with a May calendar full of teen programming ideas, like crafting paper flower bouquets, as well as fun celebrations, like Cartoonist Day; interesting dates in history; and more!
It’s not an April Fools’ joke – the April children’s activity calendar offers a month full of exciting programming. Find fun celebrations, like National Poetry Month; book suggestions; crafts; and more!
Give parents fun ways to build literacy skills at home this April with a month full of early literacy activities they can do with their little ones. Find fun celebrations, like Animal Crackers Day; craft ideas; book suggestions; and more!
When it comes to furnishing your makerspace, it can be tricky finding the right pieces to meet all of your needs. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what you need until you get your space up and running. That’s why we’ve done some of the homework for you. Check out four innovative makerspace furniture products available only from Demco that provide creative work surfaces and mobile seating and storage while helping you keep your space organized.
Having all the goodies is great, says educator Diana Rendina, but to build a thriving makerspace, you also need to spend time on nurturing the maker culture in your school. Read on for practical ideas you can implement right away.
[VIDEO] Maker educator Nick Provenzano teamed up with Demco’s interior design experts to create three separate spaces for making that follow the design process. Read about his schools’ new tools and furnishings and take a video tour of the space.
Let the creativity flow in your library this March with a children’s activity calendar full of activities, book suggestions, crafts, fun celebrations like Youth Art Month, and much more!
Welcome spring with a March calendar full of early literacy activities parents can do at home with their little ones. Find craft ideas, math and science activities, book suggestions, songs, and much more!
You’re ready to make the change to a flexible seating classroom, but how do you get parents and students on board? Find out with helpful tips and free downloads and start making parents and students your biggest flexible seating advocates.
You’ve got all the maker stuff, but where are you going to store it? Whether your supplies are on the move or stay in one place, the right makerspace cart can make all the difference. Find out how to choose a cart that work best for your space and discover six educator favorites.
Where will my students put their things? How often can they change seats? How do I prevent arguments over seating choices? If you’re thinking about implementing flexible seating, this post will provide you all these answers and more.
Learn what you need to consider before implementing flexible seating in your library or classroom, and get tips on how to make a smooth transition when you make the move.
Spread the love in February with a month full of early literacy activities parents can do at home with their little ones. Find craft ideas, math and science activities, book suggestions, songs, and much more!
Find out about the learning that took place when one administrator introduced her elementary schools to the Demco Maker Collection with Challenge Guide.
Help parents get the new year off to a fun start with early literacy activities they can do at home with their little ones. In the January calendar, you’ll find unique days to celebrate, like National Sticker Day, as well as craft ideas, book suggestions, and much more!
Looking to add flexible seating to your learning space, but not sure where to start? Meet the needs of all your students by offering different options. Choose from low seating, floor seating, soft seating and standing options to set your students up for learning success!
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!
What happens when administrators give their staff permission to try new things? Learn how saying “yes” to makerspaces can result in powerful learning opportunities.
Our November Early Literacy Activity Calendar is overflowing with simple activities parents can do with their kids to celebrate Thanksgiving, autumn and much more!
Maker expert Nick Provenzano saw firsthand how creative students could get when given the opportunity to create with cardboard. When he introduced Makedo™ tools to the mix, students took their creations to the next level.
Looking for ways to ramp up the STEM learning in your library or classroom? Take a closer look at K’NEX. K’NEX are a popular and versatile building tool for all age groups, and they allow students to quickly design, prototype and iterate. Get students’ gears turning with three quick K’NEX challenges from Diana Rendina.
This November, show your patrons you are thankful for them with creative adult programming ideas to celebrate National Novel Writing Month, Parents as Teachers Day, important dates in history 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.
Administrators play a key role in leading the charge for creativity and innovation in their schools. Find out how you can best support a makerspace initiative in your school or library from an administrator who has spearheaded new makerspaces in two different districts.
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!
Give parents easy early literacy activities that they can do at home with their little ones this autumn. Get fun ideas for crafts, math and science activities, books, songs and more!
The real-world design challenge Diana Rendina gave her students resulted in a maker cart that is now manufactured by Custom Educational Furnishings (CEF) and offered through Demco. Read on to learn how you can offer your students authentic design challenges in your makerspace.
If you’re looking for validation that makerspaces belong in libraries, seasoned maker and librarian Diana Rendina has got you covered. Explore these 5 important reasons and share them with stakeholders to help them understand how a makerspace can benefit your school community.
Try these powerful library activities to get your students involved and excited to start the new school year.
It’s time to unveil autumn programming at your library. Laura Damon-Moore offers ideas and activities for celebrating fun festivities such as Good Neighbor Day, National Grandparents Day, and, of course, National Read a Book Day.
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!
Cardboard is the perfect medium to get your kids started with making – it’s free, it’s abundant, and what kid doesn’t see potential in a cardboard box? Learn how makerspace veteran Angela Rosheim helps her students take their cardboard creations to the next level with Makedo™ tools and connectors.
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 take on the challenge of choosing new furniture for your library? The right furniture choices can help you make small spaces seem a lot larger or make your casual spaces great for work as well. Use these tips to create multifunctional library spaces that meet your users’ many needs.
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!
You’ve prepped, planned and set up your makerspace, now how do you make sure that students and staff use it? Nick Provenzano brings you ideas on how you can engage students and get staff excited about the learning opportunities offered by your makerspace.
Makerspaces can get messy! Do you have a strategy to stay organized? Angela Rosheim offers ideas to keep your school or library makerspace materials in order and easy to find. You’ll also get storage tips, ideas for handling works in progress and advice on how to get students to help keep your makerspace in order.
Matthew Winner shares LGBT resources and books to help educators recognize Pride Month in June and celebrate inclusiveness all year long.
After using their geometry skills to create string art, Winnetka fourth-graders supersized their projects using the hands-on makerspace tool Rigamajig. Learn how they created a giant-sized protractor and took their string art experience outdoors to apply engineering, math and art concepts.
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!
There are so many great makerspace tools and supplies you could use in your unique space. But how do you choose which ones to buy on a limited budget? Expert Nick Provenzano gives you tips on what to keep in mind when figuring out the right tools for your space and shares some of his favorites.
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.
Did you miss the Feb. 22 #DemcoMakerChat about meaningful making? No worries! You can still learn from your peers about how to promote meaningful making in your makerspace. Here are some of the great responses shared during the chat. For the full archive, search #DemcoMakerChat on Twitter.
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.
What’s the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators? Librarian Amanda Bressler explains and provides tips on how to 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.
You’re never at a loss for ways you could increase your library services to better serve your students and your community. Unfortunately, you don’t always have the funds to pursue your vision, but knowing how to write a winning grant application can help. Successful grant writer and educator Mary Bangert provides six tips for writing effective grants and getting the funds you need to support your mission.
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.
In the same way that companies use data to target specific customers, libraries can use data to identify supporters and plan a targeted library campaign. Learn how EveryLibrary uses data to inform their messaging and rally support for libraries — and how you can do the same.
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.
Flexible seating is becoming more and more popular in today’s schools. Maybe you’re thinking about trying it, but you still have more questions. See what questions our readers had and how our experts answered them.
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.
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.
You’re ready to start creating your makerspace, but what kind of furniture and seating will you need? Use this handy checklist to help you decide how you will you use your space and what you need to think about when choosing furnishings.
With more and more libraries curating Libraries of Things, library cards just got a little more powerful. Read how two libraries have jumped right in to offer unique collections to their patrons. You’ll learn about their new offerings, from wireless hotspots to yard games, and how they’re getting the word out to their communities.
You and your staff are passionate advocates for your library. But what really matters when it comes down to gaining funding for your library? Patrick Sweeney from EveryLibrary shares with you why it’s important to build a network of activists who will take meaningful action for your library and its initiatives.
The role of the school library is expanding and it’s transforming the way students use your space and the services you provide. Learn from an award-winning library media specialist about what you need to think about when transforming your library to a learning commons model. From the services you provide to the instructional and study spaces you design, a little planning can go a long way.
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!
Marketing your library can be a struggle — you have so many great resources, but how can you promote all of them? And what’s the best way to get the word out? Library veteran Cathy Hakala-Ausperk offers advice for your marketing questions.
After writing grants, garnering the support of the college foundation and finding community partners, St. Petersburg College’s Innovation Lab was born.
A cardboard building project turned into a successful library makerspace and countless opportunities for students to learn through making.
Professional conferences can leave you feeling ready to take on the world with all the new ideas you’ve gathered. But attending conferences and events isn’t always an option. Fortunately, there are multiple online learning opportunities available to the library community. Discover your options!
Support (and opposition) for your library can come from some interesting places in your community — and it’s all about relationship-building. Start developing long-term relationships that can result in positive support for your library campaigns.
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.
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.
Looking for the next new tech tool to add to your makerspace? See how School Librarian of the Year Todd Burleson is using drones to engage students and teach coding in his classroom.
Searching for ways to make your librarian resume stand out to hiring managers? Look no further for the answers to all your questions.
Show students how fascinating following their interests can be with these engrossing nonfiction activities that teach how-to and how-do!
We asked five libraries to tell us about how this one product helped them do more with their media collection. See what they had to say.
As a follow-up to his popular Book Doctor blog posts, expert John Ison answers your specific book repair questions, both common and unique. Learn how to remove a grease stain, fix the spine on a children’s book and what to do when your cat attacks your paperwork.
Library content marketing expert Angela Hursh answers librarians’ questions about how to ramp up their library’s newsletters. You’ll learn the best content to include, how to find it, and the most effective way to distribute your newsletter.
Inspire kids to get involved and help others in their community with fun volunteering activities for your summer reading program.
There’s no reason why you should stumble through your library career! Get tips on how to find a professional mentor and how to become one yourself.
Ah, teenagers! They’re a unique age group with their own wants, needs, and one-of-a-kind personalities. How can you reach them? Create a space that offers them comfort, creativity, socializing, and exploration. See top picks in teen seating.
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.
Celebrate Women’s History Month in March by highlighting the struggles and accomplishments of women throughout history. Use this book list to break stereotypes and inspire and motivate students to follow their dreams.
Renovated and expanded in 2015, the Schreiner Memorial Library (WI) was smartly designed to serve the community’s current and future needs. See why it was named Library of the Year from the Wisconsin Library Association in 2016.
When this elementary teaching veteran read about the benefits of flexible seating in classrooms, she just knew she had to try it. Learn why she cleared 30 desks out of her room and replaced them with flexible seating and why she’ll never go back.
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.
A year ago we published the first Adult Engagement calendar. Each month was filled with seeds of inspiration and ideas for programs of interest for your adult patrons. It has been a fun experience, and I’m amazed by how many interesting and obscure things there are to celebrate.
Prepare to be fascinated by the 2016 Paralibrarian of the Year. Winner Brown Biggers shares how his IT role makes important connections with students and faculty at UNCG’s academic library.
Read how the Gail Borden Public Library won the 2016 Upstart Library Innovation Award for taking traditional library summer reading programs in an exciting new direction.
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!
If you’ve found time to watch any of the Demco-sponsored webinars, you know we are fortunate to partner with smart folks who share their expertise and experiences. What you may not have discovered is the archive of the questions attendees asked but were not always answered during the live session. Read on to find answers to questions on library space design.
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Sharona Ginsberg highlights the benefits of makerspaces in academic libraries and gives tips to start you on your way to success.
Do you wish your library’s marketing efforts were more effective, but you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong? Library marketing expert Angela Hursh shares 5 tips you can implement immediately to improve your library’s promotions and get results.
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.
There has been a significant leap in adult programming and outreach. Read about 5 ways that libraries are pushing the envelope and leading the way in their communities.
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.
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.
We asked renowned librarians and authors at the top of their game about their job advice for new librarians. What they said are things we can all learn from!
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.
What makes for a positive library user experience? What strategies and products can help? Read the blog post and browse a helpful idea gallery.
Are you entertaining thoughts of ditching Dewey and exploring subject-based classification in your library? Nationally Board Certified Librarian and Mover and Shaker Tiffany Whitehead gives you tips and tricks to help you start genrefying your library.
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!
What’s on the horizon for your book clubs and adult library programs? Need inspiration? Demco’s Angie Schoeneck talks unconventional book clubs. Plus, the September and October calendars will spark new ideas!
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.
Support young patrons’ literacy development and confidence through artistic expression with The Picture Show — an easy program for any library or classroom to implement.
How well is your library meeting patrons where they are and understanding customer needs? Read this ALA session recap to check yourself.
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!
The way college library spaces are designed to meet the variety of students’ needs has evolved considerably. Read one university’s story.
Library makerspaces come in many forms and offer places to tinker, develop work skills or invent. What are your makerspace goals? Check out