We partnered with the nutrition department at Louisiana State University (LSU) to bring in a blender bike for a fun and educational program. Teens ages 12 to 18 worked in groups to create one-of-a-kind smoothies and then judged each others' smoothies based on nutrition, color, texture and overall tastiness. The winning team received bragging rights and smoothie tumblers.
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Maker Monsters is the name of our summer library program. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to come to our school library from 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday for six weeks. While there, they can check books in and out, listen to a monster-themed storytime and make something. They also can interact with robots they program themselves and work with kits to create gadgets. A teacher/librarian leads the activities, an assistant helps with book searches and check-outs, and for several sessions, teachers and an author help with projects.
Each summer, we hold a popular children's program called the Library Circus. Designed for children from preschool to fifth grade, the one-hour program offers a variety of hands-on stations for kids to visit. Several hundred people attend each year, including families, preschools, day cares and summer school.
On the morning of June 25, attendees of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., gathered to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The vigil not only provided an opportunity to mourn, but it highlighted our profession’s commitment to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all patrons. ALA Annual focused on inclusion of patrons from all sections of our communities, whether or not they fit into our majority demographic. From collection development practices to program development, attendees were encouraged to listen to and learn from their patrons.
If you work at a public library, you probably answer lots of digital literacy questions: how to change the margins in Word, how to apply for a job online. At Darien Library, we noticed that quite a few people were quietly working on their dating profiles, but they were shy about asking for help. We wanted to create a program where people could ask questions and share their concerns in a safe environment.
While the workshop is open to everyone, it is particularly popular with middle-aged or older adults who are re-entering the dating scene after a breakup.
Hungry Hungry Hippos is a life-sized version of the classic tabletop game. Participants play as the hippos, and their objective is to collect the most plastic balls before time runs out. Starting from different corners of the room, the players move around on scooters and can only use their “mouths” — plastic buckets — to capture the balls.
This was a four-week course in which we created our own custom barn quilts, learned a little about their history, and had a wonderful time bringing people together and beautifying the town. We are now on the local barn quilt trail and will be doing another class soon.