Reaching out in an outreach trip

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In my library system, we have a number of “smart goals” we have to achieve each year, and one of those is a certain number of outreach events within the neighboring community. To me, outreach – bringing the library to people outside of our concrete walls – is hugely important, and I’d want to do it anyway even if we weren’t required to. So yesterday, coworker C and I went to a nearby elementary school to do a tag team storytime for a preschool extended day.  It turned out to go really well, because we planned it ahead of time, we planned out a schedule, and had a simple craft for the kids to do.

We started off singing our usual hello songs, and between the two of us, read four books: two silly ones, and two ones about rain, given that the weather was leaning toward drizzles all day. (C read Rainy Day by Patricia Lakin and The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague, and I read The Rain Stomper by Addie Boswell and Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett. One thing I learned: the kids can clamor about having read a book already or owning it, but they’ll still participate awesomely in the reading of it.) We also did C’s “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” felt, and sang some songs before our usual goodbye songs.

We’d decided to do a simple craft with the kids, so we cut out lots of umbrellas and clouds (thank you, Accu-Cut!), took along some cotton balls and blue paper, and had the kids glue the shapes on and color the pages. They were very creative!

All in all, it took about an hour, and it was overall terrific (for some reason they were laughing hysterically during our opening song; we couldn’t quite figure out why). We’ll be doing it twice a month, I think (rotating among ourselves), and I’d very much like to go again. The question is, of course: will they be more inclined to come to the library because of our experience with them which, I like to think, they enjoyed?

So, links:

From friend D, some of history’s great loves – a la Elizabeth and Darcy.

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods is going to be a series!

A little scrap of Jane Austen has been found.

From friend M, don’t ever doubt that children’s books can have a lifelong impact.

Grab a mop before you read this post, and most certainly before you read the book.

A little chat between Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket) and Newbery winner and children’s literature ambassador Kate DiCamillo.

A story that’s been causing a lot of buzz – J.K. Rowling regrets the Ron/Hermione relationship.

Finally, this from Mama Bear: how many can you work into everyday conversation?

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