No matter the time of year, our Youth Services department is a busy place. But things change around here during the summer when school is out. There is definitely a different vibe on the third floor.
from the archive
Celebrating National Children’s Book Week
National Children's Book Week, the nation's longest-running literature initiative, is celebrated during the first full week of May each year. Launched by Boy Scouts of America librarian Franklin K. Matthiews, who believed that children's books and literacy are life changers, the week is marked by events from coast to coast.
Battle of the books
While March Madness is now down to the final four, thing are just heating up in Youth Services. Between now and April 8, come on up to the third floor, where you may vote in our “brackets” for the champion of the 2015 Battle of the Books. Our staff chose 32 of their favorite picture books, both classics and newer titles, and we’re putting them up for a vote.
Tech apps for learners
A question I am asked frequently on the Youth Services desk is whether I can recommend any assistive technology apps. There are several that caught my eye recently, and when I tried them, I was impressed with the continued development of these types of applications. Many people, both young and old, would benefit greatly from using these simple programs. All the following apps are intuitive and easy to use. Some have a nominal fee, and others are free.
An eye on children’s book prizes
People clamor over the Golden Globes and the Oscars, but librarians, especially youth services librarians wait, rather impatiently, for the names of the children's book award winners, which are announced at the American Library Association's midwinter conference. This year's event will take place on February 2 from McCormick Place in Chicago and will feature the winners of the Caldecott, Newbery, Sibert, and Coretta Scott King awards.
Can I borrow a MAC?
Last year, our Youth Services department, and specifically our Teen Center, underwent a freshening up. After reconfiguring our floor space and thinking about how it is used, we decided to purchase several MacBook PROs for afterschool use. We had been circulating e-readers and tablets, so this was a natural next step for us.
We made an initial purchase of eight laptops, and the kids went wild! We rolled out this new service a year ago and it has proven to be so popular that we recently invested in six more just to keep up with the demand.
Thrills and chills at your library
Halloween is just around the corner, so there’s no better time for creepy, spooky programs. This month the Youth Services department will be hosting some events that are sure to give you the heebie-jeebies.
Looking forward to the Princeton Children’s Book Festival
I can hardly believe it's September already. Where did the summer go? September brings us back to school time, crisp fall days and our annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival. For one amazing afternoon, authors and illustrators gather on the Hinds Plaza and our community comes to together to celebrate children’s literature.
Book a Trip
Are you planning a vacation? Are you wondering how to keep the kids amused on a long car trip? Stop by the Youth Services department and let us help. Our “Book a Trip” is one of the many services we offer to provide you a great library experience.
Hoopla, it’s for kids too
Many of our customers already know we are now offering hoopla, an innovative new service that gives you access to thousands of movie, television, music, and audiobook titles, all for free. All you need is your library card to get started with this popular new service that is already being widely used.
This Saturday, March 15 at 2:00 pm marks the return of our Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) club, All SET. With the new buzzwords STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Common Core everywhere, it was only natural to create a program like All SET.
For the next three months children in grades 1 and up are encouraged to participate in hands-on science demonstrations, led by graduate students of Princeton University’s Chemistry Department. This club meets monthly on Saturdays and each month new demonstrations will take place in our Story Room.
It’s all about Roary
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Roary the lion and I am the most sought out member of the Youth Services department. Why am I so popular? Well, that’s an easy answer. I am cute, cuddly and furry and I love a good adventure. Speaking of adventures, I have had quite a few since I came to the library earlier this year. Did you know that I can visit your house too and have adventures with you?
And the winner is…
November doesn’t just bring beautiful fall colors, crisp air and the celebration of Thanksgiving, it also brings the National Book Awards. Each year, the anticipation grows as the long list of contenders is announced – and it certainly is a long list. There are several categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature which includes both children’s and young adult titles.
Who is Sonny, you ask, and why would I want to meet him? Sonny is an English Golden Retriever and the latest addition to our after-school Reading Lab program. Sonny, a certified therapy dog visits the third floor each Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 pm with his owner Milada Meli-Jones.
The power of play
On any given day squeals of laughter can be heard coming from the newly refurbished “play” room in the Youth Services department. This magical room is one of the first stops that parents and caregivers make when bringing little ones to the library. Inside you’ll find a kitchen, interactive wall displays and even a yellow submarine.
Are we there yet?
Anyone who has ever traveled with a young person has heard that question repeatedly. It’s difficult to keep children amused on long trips and there is only so much of the license plate game one can take. The Youth Services department offers a unique service called Book a Trip.
First day of summer, first day of summer reading
It’s a tradition in the Youth Services department at Princeton Public Library. The first day of summer also is the first day of our summer reading programs. This summer preschoolers through teens are invited to “Dig into Reading.” The general theme of our programs and clubs will be the “underground.”
We have an app for that
Our Youth Services department has entered the 21st century in technology. Recently we added two iPads as part of our Early Literacy Initiative. These new devices are perfect for our little customers and their grown-ups and replaced our popular pre-school computers. Each day we feature an “app of the day.” These apps are bright, colorful and perfect for young children. We choose apps that are based on some of the more popular books that kids are drawn to including, books by Mo Willems and Sandra Boynton.
An interview with book app designer Roxie Munro
In the next few weeks the Youth Services (YS) Department will be debuting two new iPads which will be dedicated to our early literacy initiatives. The YS staff has been discussing all the fabulous apps that are available and we are excited to get started with our new endeavor. This got me thinking about different devices and book apps, and what makes a great book app for children.
The Youth Media Awards
The morning of the Youth Media awards (i.e. Newbery, Caldecott, Printz) is always an anxious time for a youth services librarian. Committee members are up and out early heading to the press booth at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference. This year the conference was held in Seattle and the awards were presented on a damp and chilly morning –a very early morning, too.
A great year in Youth Services
When I realized my next blog was going to be posted on New Year’s Eve, I knew I had to write about the wonderful year we had up on the third floor. Youth Services is always a bustling place, sometimes so busy that we often lose sight of just what happens on a day-to-day basis.
When the word “digital” is used in the library or literary world, one automatically thinks of e-books, apps, e-readers, etc. While I agree that all these technologies are vital and important, I am also interested in the assistive technologies that are currently available but not frequently discussed.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit the third floor of the library recently, you are in for a big surprise. Quite a few wonderful changes have taken place recently, changes we think everyone young and old will approve. This renovation has taken one of the most special areas of the library and made it all the more magical.
Home away from home
Recently, Courtney Bayne, one of my Youth Services colleagues, relayed some comments from one of our customers who is relatively new to the Princeton community. We were both inspired to share them here.
The customer and her family are from Australia and have become regular visitors to the third floor Youth Services department. They are among the many short-term residents Princeton has as a result of the major university at its center and the countless domestic and international businesses flanking its corridors.
She’s got Mass appeal
That would be Wendy Mass! Wendy is an amazing author who has a keen knack for writing for tweens. Her sixth sense in what appeals to them and what their experiences are is nothing short of uncanny. I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Wendy since the first Princeton Children's Book Festival back in 2004. She has been a pleasure to know and to work with through these years.
Looking forward to the Children’s Book Festival
It’s that time of the year again. No, I’m not referring to the end of summer reading clubs or the kids heading back to school. I’m talking about Book Festival time. On Saturday, September 8, 2012 Princeton Public Library is proud to host our 7th Annual Princeton Children’s Book Festival. For those of you who are Festival followers, we’ve got a lot in store for you this year. Yes, it does get bigger and better every year.
Summertime, Youth Services style
We’ve hit our midway point for Summer Reading and programming in Youth Services. It seems like only yesterday we were out in the schools promoting the programs, now here we are over one month later with more than 1,200 preschoolers, children and teens enrolled in our summer reading clubs! Nothing short of amazing if you ask me!
The Gargoyles of Princeton
Did you know that Princeton University is home to many gargoyles? These grotesque, carved figures of humans or animals reside along the corners of many University buildings. Often they are found along the gutters, acting as water spouts for rain.
On Tuesday, July 10 at 2:00 pm Youth Services librarians Allison Santos and Martha Perry-Liu will lead a tour on the University campus and help you discover these gothic creatures.We plan to highlight 13 of these unusual beings and offer a brief history of each.
Dream Big this summer at Princeton Public Library
We always dream big at Princeton Public Library, but this summer we’re taking that to a whole new level. This year we are very pleased to announce the return of our summer reading club for adults along with our ever-popular preschool, children and teen programs.
Culinary adventures and more
I’ve been inspired. Let me back things up for a minute. I have always loved to cook; In fact I briefly thought about going to culinary school long before library school. I have been collecting cookbooks for years. Most of the time I read them in the same way I would read a favorite fiction novel. Then I place them back on the shelf to collect dust.
Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore’
I have always been an Edgar Allan Poe fan. I have read all his works, researched his life, and visited his homes in Philadelphia and Baltimore. My interest in Poe knows no bounds.
All you need is Love
Our "Inside A Child’s Mind" speaker series will conclude for this season on Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m.,with the appearance of Kapila Love, children’s librarian and early literacy specialist. "Education and reading seem to be a competitive sport," says Love." I want to focus on the fundamentals of reading, and children’s reading particularly, in a way that is compassionate, humanistic and downright magical.”