Thursday, December 22, 2016

December Happenings

Tis the season to be super busy in real life, and that is the same for libraryland as well.  This blog is a slight picture explosion, but I just had to share!

At the beginning of December I invited students to share their holiday traditions.  3 were turned in.. not only are they BEAUTIFUL.. they made great decoration in the library! (in January I inviting students to build snowmen!)

I loved the bulletin board that Mrs. Gamez made (she made several to spruce up the library) and I do have to admit I was pretty pleased with my booktree and fireplace that my husband helped me make.

On the Thursday before we got out for break the library was HOPPING! We had kinder Polar Express, New Bookstache Party and Late Night in the Library.
How can you not be excited to wear PJs all day

The kinder students come into the library led by a train conductor.

Couldn't get through a day without these ladies (this was after a slight trainwreck0

PTA provided hot cocoa and candy canes for our bookstache party

I mustache you who is the best ITS.. it is this awesome woman right here!

After our Bookstache party I picked up and prepared for our December Late Night in the Library.  I have gotten more organized!  Since one of our pumpkins won money from Irving Schools Foundations, that is what is funding our Late Night in the Library! For this Late Night I had stations set up (and there were about 93 people that came!!) The captions have the links to where I got the ideas (but of course I made them my own) I am also attaching my station information pictures. I try to have enough materials for 125-150 people.

Things I learned this time-
-Stations are much better and spread out.  It was much more organized.
-This Late Night happened after a music program.  I like that it was attached to something, but I want to make sure that if I do attach it to something it does not take away from the other event.
-I am going to start using my new library helpers for this!
Jingle Bell Maze- patrons created mazes for a jingle bell to go through. I do believe this was my favorite station!
Jingle Bell Maze

Binary Code Ornament.  I did ask each person to only make one that was 4 letters long. Of course I did have a couple of patrons that made her whole family.
Binary Code Ornament

Create a tree that can stand on its own using one piece of paper and no more than 3 pipe cleaners.
Tree idea and Tree idea here

This time we made snowball catapults.
Snowball Catapult we also did it for pumpkins in October.

Getting ready for Santa

Binary code ornaments

Jingle bell maze

Texas Santa passing out candy canes

Loved that my family was able to help with this!

Library helpers raiding our new book cart!
Guess what else I did... I trained my library helpers! I got them signed up, created a Google Classroom and taught them some basics of the library.  I can't wait for next semester! This last week I also ate lunch with 2 fabulous librarians (Renee and Christine) and we came up with #NTLIMB a place for North Texas Librarians to share their ideas and resources! Are you a North Texas Librarian and want to be part of the page, let me know!

Here are my station signs and information:
I added hashtag information too! If you are wondering how I made these or my newsletters.. Canva and Picktochart are my FAVORITE!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Late Night in the Library-November

Our first Late Night in the Library in October was a big hit (okay.. I count that 75 people coming in the library after they did trunk or treat is a big hit)  I knew that I wanted to do this again.

I do have to say, I was SUPER inspired when I had a meeting over at Lady Bird Johnson Middle School. Their librarian Mr. Cummings had an event called the Gathering going on. Those middle schoolers were so engaged, and there was so many parents there too!  I took some ideas away from that for my next Late Night in the Library (my November one was already planned)  I liked how he had different stations set up and invited other librarians over to help manage and run some stations. The teachers that were there too were having a great time!

Okay.. back to my Late Night in the Library November.
Invitation that was sent to all students and posted on social media. I LOVE using Canva!

For these Late Night in the Library events I have been trying to find different types of books to use. I LOVE that I came across this gem in our library- Balloons Over Broadway by Melissa Sweet (her website is fantastic by the way!). In the library this month we have been talking non-fiction, so this was a perfect book for the evening.  It is all about Tony Sarg and how he invented the balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It is a great read with beautiful illustrations.   Of course to go along with the read-a-loud there is a hands on activity.
I love Teachers Pay Teachers to give me ideas and this one was perfect.  I of course did not have time to all the great activities that are in this pack, but our hands on activity was for patrons to create their own prototype for a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon.  I always hope these types of things are well attended, but if only 3 students show up.. that is 3 more students that are having a chance to work with their parents.  These events are really focused on parents having a chance to work along side their child.  Guess what.. I had 25 people show up.. AND.. 30 books were checked out!

We put last years Macy's parade on the big screen.  On the tables I had materials out:
-pipe cleaners
-construction paper
-tissue paper
-planning paper
-a few samples that my Destination ImagiNation teams made

The different designs that the students did were awesome! Of course my favorite part was seeing the parents working with the students.

An awesome volunteer working with a couple of the students

A great example of one of the balloons that was created.

Just a few of the balloons that were created
I of course LOVE this one that a parent made for me!
I was much better at preparing and planning for this one.  For our event in December I have a special guest coming to be the guest reader.

I hope to also use Mr. Cummings idea and have several volunteers to help with various stations.  I know that one of the stations will be a binary code Christmas ornament.

Although I LOVE posting about all the great things that are happening in the library.. libraryland can also be overwhelming (okay.. maybe for me.. because I am sort of an over achiever.. don't giggle at that if you really know me)  I will be really starting a library helper crew after Thanksgiving break! I want to make sure that I am meeting the needs of all the different people that come into the library, but in doing so I get so behind on shelving and pulling books.  I look forward to training some great helpers.

Other exciting things that are coming up in the library- Holiday Traditions! I am inviting students to share their holiday traditions through displays in the library.  We had 50 pumpkins entered to the pumpkin contest, so I look forward to seeing what students come up with for displays.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Late Night in the Library- October

I LOVE being in the library! Now, granted.. it is overwhelming, but an overwhelming in a good way. My brain is constantly moving, I am constantly learning, and I am constantly finding one more thing that I love about my new job.

During this summer I was inspired by one of our Irving Library sessions that Jennifer Larariviere gave. I loved so many of her ideas such as finding a just right book..but I also loved her idea about parent involvement with parent/child reading event.  She did hers during lunch time, but after conversing with my principal that wasn't really a feasible idea.  BUT.. I did come up with another idea! Each month I am going to have a late night in the library.  The library hours are currently 7:15am-3:45pm every day (well.. except Wednesdays it is 3:00pm) but I know that sometimes parents can't make it to the library during that time.  We had our first late night in the library to go along with Trunk or Treat.  Now, Late Night in the Library will not always go with another event.

The idea:
-have a read-a-loud
-have a STEAM activity to go along with read-a-loud

Invitation sent out to all the students (there was a Spanish version too) I used  Picktochart to make this.. I LOVE this program!

The book that I chose to go with this evening was Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. I of course also scoured Pinterest for ideas on what our STEAM activity could be that would be fun, affordable and fairly easy. I came across this blog Fun with STEM: A "Punkin Chunkin" Catapult with Craft Sticks.  Thanks Heidi Songs for the great idea (and directions!) There are of course a ton of ways to do this activity, but I liked the ease of this one.
Materials needed:
-Popsicle sticks (7 per patron)
-masking tape
-we used candy corn pumpkins 

The Idea
Give parents and students a chance to work together.  Give parents a chance to sign up for a library card (and check out books with their student!) and of course share a story.  They also got to view the 50 pumpkins that were submitted to our first Book Character Pumpkin Contest.

I was super thankful that the specials teachers were there to help me out! Since people came in at different times, it was nice to have several areas set up.  I ended up reading the book 2 different times, with the 2 different groups that meandered through.  I also used a counter to count how many people we had come in.. we had about 70!!!  3 parents checked out 10 books.

Ideas for next time
I have the very high possibility of doing the next Late Night in the Library on my own, so now that I have done it once.. I know how to organize a little bit better.
-have station signs with directions in both English and Spanish
-Have materials in several locations

LOVED that I had Max help me out for this.

Next up.. October 31st is Texas Library Snapshot Day and my husband is SUPER excited to be the Guest Reader to 3 groups.  He of course will be reading Where the Wild Things Are.. and there will be a STEAM Activity go along with that as well.  The library will also be open for extended day until 5pm.  I plan to do 2 more read-a-louds that afternoon and STEAM activity for those that come.

Do you offer a Late Night in the Library? What different programs do you do? 

Sunday, October 9, 2016


This week began my first ever book fair! I am person that asks a ton of questions, but not always the the person to ask for help.  Being in this new position, however, I know I need help.. but often times I am still unsure how I need help.. and if you don't know how you need help, managing volunteers can be a little crazy!
I knew that I wanted to decorate.. and I just knew that I would have time to do it. But then, reality hit and my good friend Madden reminded me.. get these awesome parent volunteers to help!

But wait- before I go any farther- have you seen the AWESOME new layout of my blog? My friend Carrie (aka Heck Awesome) did an AMAZING job redesigning this blog and my Ideas from a Busy Bee! I mean seriously- go check her out @HeckAwesome and her website.  I am in LOVE with it (my blog is getting more hits because I keep looking at it :)

The theme for the Scholastic Book Fair this fall was Bookaneers where Books are the Treasure.  Did you know that you can shop online too (now, it doe get delivered to me.. but if you live in the DFW or Amarillo area.. I bet I can help you out.. I can't ship.. but I can deliver!)
Lots of pictures in this blog, but I wanted to share what I am going to do different for the next book fair
-have volunteers set up for preview time to help monitor students and offer help
-have volunteers set up books (thinking about having a book fair crew)
-have volunteers help with book buying by making sure that kiddos in line actually have money to spend. (which happens next week.. so I am sure I will figure out more ways to have volunteers help!)
-have volunteers help with check in and check out (still having regular check in and out times)

Party city had coins. I am part of the Book Fair organizer page and got this idea!

Look at all of those books!

Changed the circulation desk into a pirate ship.  These parents did a great job!

Had another parent change the doors into the library into a pirate.

Had donuts and juice for staff members on Wednesday morning while they made their wish lists.

You can't go wrong when you have the chance to dress like a pirate!

This weekend is a 3 day weekend, so Saturday I had a chance to attend an author visit at the 
South Irving Public Library.  A couple of weeks ago, I had my first ARC (advanced reader copy) of a book delivered to the library! Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley is the book I can't wait to delve into this long weekend! But super fun to actually meet the author.  If you think the name sounds familiar, her sister wrote Circus Mirandus

Look at these fun cupcakes!

I bought a copy of the book for the Elliott Library! You know I can't pas up a selfie with anyone.