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News in Youth Services

Monday, May 2, 2016

Week of May 2nd through the 8th

Two great events happen during the week of May 2-8.  One of the events is Screen Free Week. 
During this week, children, families and communities around the world will unplug from digital entertainment and spend free time playing with toys or board games, reading, exploring and reconnecting with family and friends.  The library is a great place to be during Screen Free Week because we have so much to do without being on a screen.  Did you know that you can play board games upstairs in the Youth Services Department?  We also have an ENORMOUS selection of reading materials - from fiction to nonfiction to graphic novels to audio books to magazines to comic books - all waiting to be checked out and enjoyed.  Plus we have puzzles you can put together with  your family or check them out to enjoy at home.

Children's Book Week is also going on during the same week.  It's an annual celebration of children's books and reading that was established in 1919.  It is one of the longest-running literacy initiative in the United States.  Children from classrooms around the country receive copies of the nominees and vote for their favorites.  This is how the five final nominees are selected.  Then any child throughout the country can vote for their favorite title!  The Children's Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where kids and teens of all ages select the winner.  Kids vote for Book of the Year, Children's Choice Debut Author and Children's Choice Illustrator.  In 2013, over one million votes were cast at  So come into the library by May 8th and vote for your favorite title.  Then I'll let you know once the winner is announced if Roselle kids choose the same winner!

Library Catalog
Children's Choice Book Awards
Screen Free Week


Monday, April 25, 2016

Ready for Kindergarten: At-Home Info

Hello there! I've been reading quite a bit about the origins of kindergarten and how kindergarten has evolved since it first came to America in the 1870s. As a Youth Services Librarian, part of my job is to make sure that kids start school ready to learn. One way that I do that is to incorporate kindergarten readiness skills into the storytimes that I provide. But let's be honest, I only see each child for 30 minutes a week and that isn't nearly enough time to cover all the skills they will need to have mastered before they go to school.  That's where you come in! In just 10 minutes a day, you can help prepare your child! Over the next few months, this series will cover all the skills on the Getting Ready for Kindergarten Checklist. The categories will include: personal information, academic skills, language, math, social skills, and physical skills.

Kindergarten classroom, Canada, 1898.

Our topic for today is Personal Information. These are the things your child is expected to know prior to starting kindergarten.
  • Recognize first and last name
  • Write first name with first letter capitalized
  • Tell you their age
  • Tell you their phone number
  • Tell you their address
  • Know family members and names
  • Know body parts

That seems like a long list, but I'm willing to bet that your smarty already knows some of this information.

Phone numbers and addresses can be hard to remember so I find it helps to set them to music. For example, I will use the library's phone and address.

To the tune of Bingo/There was a farmer, had a dog.

When I call home, I use the phone!

6-3-0 (drag out that number: ze-ee-roh!)

and that's how I call home-o!

My home it has an address too!
This is where you'll find it:

40 South Park Street,
40 South Park Street,
40 South Park Street

Roselle, Illinois!

If you don't like that tune, you can choose another. Just sing your song once a day for a week, and your kiddo will have those numbers in their heads forever. Do remind your kids never to share this info without asking you first!

Names are important! While you may be the only Mom/Dad/Mama/Papa in your child's life there is a good chance that you aren't the only parent in a crowded room. Knowing the first names of parents can save time in an emergency! To teach first names, you can make a game out of it. Come up with words (or sounds) that rhyme with the first names of everyone in your family. Then the next time you sit down to eat a meal together, use the name-rhymes to talk to each other.

When teachers want your children to know the names of body parts it is so that everyone in the classroom can communicate clearly with each other. You can call heads "melons" and toes "piggies" at home. But in school, toes need to be toes! Imagine trying to understand an injured child who tells you that their cauliflower got hurt on the playground. Do they mean their head? Or their ears? Or their knees? Knowing the names of body parts makes everyone safer.

Next time we will start on Academic Skills! That list is a little bit longer, but I know that we can conquer it together.

If you want to read a comprehensive document, the American Federation of Teachers has put together a 34 page document you can read here.

Additionally, the Illinois State Board of Education has a website for the Illinois Early Learning Project. This website offers tip sheets in English, Spanish and even a few in Polish!

Until next time, friends! 

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22. Earth Day was founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, then Senator of Wisconsin. The year before there had been a terrible oil spill in California, and Senator Nelson wanted to encourage people to work together to protect the environment all across America. Now people all over America come together on Earth Day to clean up parks and waterways, plant trees, and clear invasive plants off of public lands.

This year the focus of Earth Day is planting trees. The goal is to plant 7.8 billion trees by the time Earth Day turns 50. Why trees? Trees are great at producing clean air for us to breathe. They also provide homes for animals and insects. Trees can live a long time--the oldest tree in the world is in Sweden and is 10,000 years old!

At the library on April 23, we have our annual Garden Day. You can talk to a master gardener, learn about Fairy Gardens, or participate in some hands-on activities (registration required). You can also check out a whole bunch of awesome books on gardening, trees, and insects.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!!

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy 100th Birthday Beverly Cleary, Happy Birthday to You!

April 12th is Beverly Cleary's 100th birthday!  She was one of my favorite author's growing up.  Her character Ramona always got into trouble in her many adventures.  I'm not sure how her sister Beezus handled her!  I wonder if that is where Barbara Park got her inspiration for Junie B. Jones?  I was reading an article about Beverly Cleary where the great author Judy Blume gave her credit for helping her develop the characters Peter and Fudge after she had read Cleary's Henry Huggins series as an adult (see even adults like children's literature!).

Beverly Cleary grew up in a farm in Oregon.  Her town was so small it didn't have a library.  Luckily her mother knew how important books were and arrange with the Oregon State Library to have books sent to her town and her mom acted as the town librarian.  It was then that Beverly learned to love books.

Did you know that Beverly was a struggling reader?  Her family moved to Portland when she began school.  She found herself in the low reading group.  With hard work, Beverly conquered reading by third grade.  She spent so much time at the library, the librarian suggested that she write books when she grew up.  I guess she took her advice, and thankfully so.  Can you imagine a world without Ramona or Ralph S. Mouse?  The Mouse and the Motorcycle was one of my favorite books in elementary school.  I even watched the after school special movie of it (but the book is way better!  Isn't that always the way?)

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards:

  • 1984 Newbery Medal, Dear Mr. Henshaw (another of my favs)
  • 1978 Newbery Honor Book, Ramona and Her Father
  • 1982 Newbery Honor Book, Ramona Quimby, Age 8 
So the next time you are looking for a great book to read, especially at bedtime (remember that reading together as a family is one of the best ways to promote literacy with children), check out Ramona or Henry and fall in love with them like I did.

Beverly Cleary books
Beverly Cleary website

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

National Pet Day

 April 11th is National Pet Day!  I am lucky enough to have a pet Boxer who loves me and I love him!  This day is about appreciating and celebrating the wonderful pets in your life.  Did you know that there are approximately 86.4 million pet cats and 78.2 million pet dogs living in the United States today?  And that is not even counting all the gerbils, birds, turtles and fish that are the next most common pets to own.  I know that my Boxer is totally part of my family.  I guess I'm not along on that feeling as six out of ten pet owners feel the same way!

There are tons of books and movies based on our love for our pets.  The Shiloh trilogy by Phillis Reynolds Naylor, Old Yeller by Fred Gipson, Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight, Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls are just a few examples of books that were written about the love of pets.  All these were made into movies as well.
National pet day was founded by Colleen Paige, who is a pet and family lifestyle specialist and animal welfare advocate.  She did it to raise awareness about the importance of pet adoption and to find animals in shelters find forever homes.  The motto for the holiday, “Don’t shop!  Adopt!”  Did you know that shelters are homes for more than just dogs and cats?  I didn’t until my friend told me that she was going to adopt a rabbit from a shelter.  I found out that shelters also take birds, horses, cows, sheep, goats and other small animals.  Who knew?

So celebrate National Pet Day by taking your dog on an extra-long walk, give your cat a little catnip or just cuddle up with your bunny.  Not a pet owner yet?  The library has some great resources to help you pick the right pet for your family.  You know fish make fun pets.  Watching them swim around the tank is so relaxing.  Or maybe a bird is the right choice for you.  We have gooks on everything from rats to sugar gliders to horses.  Come check it out. 

Here are some ways to celebrate National Pet Day:

1.  Adopt a pet from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization.
2.  Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to care for the animals.
3.  Donate blankets, food and toys to a favorite animal welfare organization.
4.  Have a National Pet Day party and celebrate all your pets!
5.  Spend the day taking photos of your pets and then post them on Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat.
6.  Buy your pet a fun new toy...or two...or five.  :) 


Sunday, April 3, 2016

April is ....National Poetry Month

April is a joyful, expressive and amazing month.  Why you ask?  It's National Poetry Month.  We get to enjoy thirty delightful days of celebrating the pure delight, melody and rhythm of poetry.  It's the largest celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, teachers, librarians, and poets marking poetry's important place in our culture and our lives.

This year's Young People's Poet Laureate is Jacqueline Woodson.  She is the author of the 2015 Monarch nominee Each Kindess, a beautiful book with a deep message on why we need to be kind to each other.  It is her hope to share the joy of poetry with young people and to get them to write, speak, and think about poetry every day.

There are many ways to celebrate poetry throughout the month of April.  The site has 30 different ways.  I'll just share a few: 

  1. You can sign up for a Poem-a-Day and read one each day. 
  2. Check out poetry books from the library.  We have lots of choice from great authors. 
  3. Chalk a poem on the sidewalk.
  4. Celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 21, 2016.  The idea is simple:  select a poem you love, carry it with you, then share it with coworkers, family, and friends.
  5. Write your own poetry.  The Read-Write-Think website has some great online resources to help you create different styles of poetry.
So I'll leave you a fun little poem by Louis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat 
by Lewis Carroll

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you're at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a teatray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle

This poem is from the public domain.

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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spring Break Boredom Busters

Happy Spring Break! Come to the library for a week of Looney Tooney Fun!

Looney Tunes has been entertaining us since 1930! Originally created to sell musical recordings owned by Warner Brothers production studios, the cartoons were in black & white and viewed in movie theaters instead of the previews we watch today. In 1935, when Tex Avery and Chuck Jones joined the Looney Tunes creation team, our favorite characters were brought to life. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig were introduced first and were soon joined by others. Bugs Bunny has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! And in 2013, Looney Tunes was ranked as the third greatest cartoons of all time by TV Guide. Looney Tunes has had several spin-off series, including Tiny Toons and the Looney Tunes Show. How many Looney Tunes characters can you name? Do you have a favorite character? Come on down to the library and see what we have in store for you during this Looney Tooney week of fun!

All week we will have a Looney Tooney Coloring Contest. The winner of the contest will receive a Looney Tunes DVD.

On Tuesday stop by for Grandparents Got Springtime Game from 1:30-3:00pm

Grandparents Got Game! Spring 2015

On Wednesday come and build a Looney Lego creation from 12:00-2:00pm

Lego My Lego 2013

On Thursday drop by for a Storytime from 10:30-11:00am

Storytime with Mrs. A


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