I planned a series of swap programs for the library to promote sustainability and bring people into the building after the pandemic closure. For each swap, we had two days where people could drop off donations of items for the swap. The following day, we opened up the room with the organized donations and gave away as many items as we could to anyone who could use them. Leftovers were donated to local charities.
During 2022, I planned four swaps: two clothing swaps, one toy, board game, and puzzle swap, and one art supply swap. These events brought hundreds of people into the library. Some feedback from attendees included:
“I was living in my car, and I had to get rid of two storage units full of crafts and this is helping me replenish my stock. I’m so grateful for this.”
“I didn’t used to have friends with kids, but I made friends by coming to the library every day. I love the library activities. This is so wonderful. Thank you.”
In this interview, I talk with Kate Ristau, author of the book Clockbreakers: Asterion’s Curse. This fantasy adventure story features Charlie, a girl who must battle evil in another world to save her father with the help of her friends and a Greek god.
Clockbreakers: Asterion’s Curse has been called“… a time travel book, … a heart travel book, a book about friendship, forgiveness, courage, and the powers waiting to be discovered in each one of us.” Tune in to hear thoughts about the importance of diversity in children’s books, learn how to successfully pair automatons with a Minotaur to build an army, and discover what a folklorist does in her spare time.
In 2020, the library had to quickly change how we offered storytime and other programming to patrons due to the pandemic. Within weeks of closing to the public, youth services staff began creating videos to post on the library’s YouTube channel. Between 2020 and 2022, I created over 150 videos.
I edited them using DaVinci Resolve at first, then switched to using Adobe Premiere Pro. Below are examples of my videos.
DIY Race Tracks was an inexpensive STEM program. Children in grades 1 through 5 used recycled materials and supplies the library already owns to build their own race tracks. The only expense was buying race cars to test the tracks.
Super Awesome Game Show was a combination of Family Feud, Scattergories, and trivia for kids and their adults. I booktalked some of my favorite children’s books, then formed teams. For each round, I named a category such as “books with a mouse as the main character” or “books with time travel.” The teams had one minute to come up with as many children’s book titles that fit the category as possible. A point was awarded for each correct answer and bonus points for unique answers and for naming the “secret book” in each category (books I booktalked at the beginning).
Parachute Party was a chance for kids ages 3 through 6 to play with everyone’s favorite: the parachute! I created a playlist and modeled movement activities to go with the songs. 38 children and parents listened to a story, moved with the music, then ended the hour with coloring or playing with scarves.
Sensory Bin Playground was a chance for kids ages 2 to 6 to experience play through touch. Stations included a water bin, digging for plastic animals in bins filled with oatmeal, rice, beans, and dirt, squeezing and writing letters in bags filled with tinted shaving cream and hair gel, and building with cloud dough made from flour and baby oil. 58 people attended this Saturday afternoon program.