F*Ups and Outreach: A Day in the Life of a Teen Services Librarian

This post is by Kristy Kemper Hodge, Teen Services Librarian at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. Want more f*ups or to share your own? Join us at OLA for Many Points of Failure: One Big F*%!up.

You know that moment: You’re at an outreach site, setting up for some totally rad, yet totally-new-to-you activity, and you realize you forgot a key supply!

This moment came when I was unpacking materials and setting up my station for creating lava lamps at Cheldelin Middle School earlier this month as a pop-up maker event I was leading in the school library. I had totally forgotten the key ingredient: food coloring! How could we make colorless lava lamps? Who had even heard of such a thing?

And yet … that was not the f*up of the day. While the school librarian phoned the cafeteria, asking about food coloring, she missed by triumphant, “HUZZAH! It was here all along!” that I shouted across the school library. In between classes, of course.

No. The real f*up came right as I was leading a library full of eager, wide-eyed, and excited middle schoolers through the very first step of creating their own lava lamp. Continue reading

OYAN Review: Are You Ready for Eclipse 2017?

This post is an article from the Summer 2017 issue of the OYAN Review and has been edited slightly for publication on the blog. It was written by Keli Yeats of the Multnomah County Library.

A photograph of a partial solar eclipseAs you may have heard, “The Great American Eclipse” is coming on Monday, August 21st, and parts of Oregon are on the path of totality (Here’s a list of communities that will be able to see the full eclipse). Other areas should be able to see a partial or near total eclipse.

While you are preparing for traffic and tourists, many of your are planning programs as well. Fortunately there are a lot of resources to help you with your program.

Continue reading

Fun with Fizz, book, READ!

bubble night

Bubble Night

by Teena Nelson, Driftwood Public Library

Over the past year, ‘Ms.Teena’ at Driftwood Public Library, in Lincoln City, has been changing up story time on Tuesday evenings to incorporate science in almost every Tuesday event.

Tuesday night 6:30pm storytimes began as Pajama Times. Kids could wear their pj’s and hear stories in the evening. This though, only drew a small crowd of young children and their parents.

After hearing a talk from librarians working in a Portland area library, Teena became inspired to use some science ideas in the story times in the evenings.

“ I wanted to draw more school aged children to attend story programs. Evenings were a good time and my attendance grew as teachers from the local grade schools got word of these science nights. Soon a homework assignment choice in second and third grade was to attend one of Ms. Teena’s science nights!”

Oobleck Night

Oobleck Night

Because of  STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology interpreted through engineering and the arts in the language of math) learning curriculums in the public schools, and the hands on excitement they instill, Driftwood Public Library intends to enrich children as much as possible in the ½ to 1 hour science night visit with something new and exciting each time.

Ideas with youth assisted demonstrations and experiments happen every

time. Some ideas fail, but the principles of the idea travel the room. Books loosely related to the topic of the evening are always presented first followed by the science experiment or demonstration.

 “One of our simple favorite science explorations at the library used this past year at Science Night Tuesday is…

Title:  “Digging up Dirt”..

By using magnifying glasses, garden dirt and the library’s big electric print enlarger/magnifier machine, we observed worm mouths, centepede legs and tiny insects enlarged x200!!..it gave many a thrill finding the tiniest bugs in garden dirt!

A “dirty” book to read before you begin? Try  Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin.”

Lots of our ideas come from ScienceBob’s website (www.sciencebob.com) a great one with a little more prep?  “Rapid Color Changing Chemistry” try it, it’s amazing!!

Riley at lego club

Riley at lego club

Interestingly enough the summer reading theme for 2014 happens to be Fizz, Boom, READ for kids and Spark A Reaction for teens. (yay!) This year’s theme gave the library another exciting opportunity by offering science and technology for older kids. Teen ‘Maker’ programs for this summer will include rocket building, kitchen chemistry with no cook-cooking, inventing using small motors to create “artbots”, “bristlebots” etc., puppet making, juggling and more.