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The latest from the children’s and teen public librarians in Westchester County is posted below.  For more on this blog, check the ABOUT page in the banner below the top graphic.

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March 13, 2015

Join us on Friday, March 13, 2015 at 6:30pm
at PANERA BREAD 1 North Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
for an open discussion group for adults who read (YA) Young Adult Literature. Come join us to talk about our featured book, Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw, and also bring reading suggestions for possible featured books for future meetings.

Flyer is attached!

NOT JUST FOR YA BOOKCLUB march 2015 (1) (1)

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Common Core Specific Programming Example

Based on a January 2015 inquiry from a reporter regarding public library programming that supports the common core, the following libraries provided these examples:  (note resulting article will be linked when available):

White Plains Public Library: Bag-A-Tales we assembled through a Target Grant. We expanded our collection of 30 “storytime in a bag” bags to include more nonfiction informational titles, more math and science themes to support the new academic focus on common core and STEM.

Eastchester Public Library: I started a program called “Mad About Math” which is aligned with the CC curriculum in Math for K-1 level. I selected the topics to be explored such as Geometric Shapes, Counting Money, Fraction, etc., and we will read a book or tow then do a simple project on the same topic. So far we have a very steady attendance (average 10-15 kids).

Harrison Public Library: Archforkids programming is it for now here in HWE. We did a family workshop, “Playhouse of your Dreams”, a 90 minute STEM program that included concrete applications of math, science, art – all aligned with Common Core standards. Participants constructed model playhouses out of cardstock, cardboard and pipe cleaners and then decorate them with additional materials such as construction and tissue paper, “jewels”, markers, etc.

We will also do an “Adventures in Architecture” series from February 18 through 20, 2015, with a different building activity every day. These programs give the children essential skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. They apply their knowledge to real-world settings, become better aware of their communities, and deepen their capacity to act as engaged citizens. (

Larchmont Public Library: We offer a monthly story time centered around a science theme for 5-7 year olds called Mad Scientists Club where we read fiction and nonfiction books, talk about a science concept, and then make something to take home. We also offer a Library Lab for 8-11 year olds where we offer a fun exploration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We choose monthly themes. We also focus on an early literacy skill each week in our toddler programs, and offer book marks with tips on how to engage children on working on these skills.

Mount Vernon Public Library: We are currently working with the Mayor’s Youth Bureau, hosting a program that works along STEM guidelines. It took place in the fall for 8 weeks and will continue now for another 8-10 weeks.

Every time we provide the sources of primary documents and multiple points of view, we have facilitated analysis. With multiple genres, we can mash up fact and literacy expression. Access for patrons without home computers and printers make it possible for students and their families to create polished presentations. Library System subscriptions include age-appropriate review of fundamentals with test question feedback. Online databases back up research. Specialized teachers, program presenters and performers provide positive experiences which encourage repeat visits to the library, stimulate curiosity, and motivate learning. Libraries embody freedom to read, access, and boundless information in all subjects including those not yet neither imagined nor taught formally, we are the free, unbiased portal to it all – every day, every hour we are open.

(Armonk) North Castle Public Library: We changed how we ordered materials and have put together focus on creating readers advisory tools to help children find materials, especially for children who prefer fiction to nonfiction.

Mamaroneck Public Library: We are doing a good amount of STEM programming and programs related to the maker movement, integrating some nonfiction books into our existing early literacy story time programs, and generally beefing up our nonfiction collection to support the common core.

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2014 Performers Showcase Contact Info

Thank you to all of the performers who so generously donated a free or discounted show for our raffle! 

Click here for a complete list of Performers.



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Ready to Read at New York Libraries

The New York State Library is proud to announce the finalization of the logo for Ready to Read at New York Libraries. You are encouraged to use this on any materials or hand-outs relating to this initiative and/or to early literacy.

Ready to Read

Here is a color version of the logo. Other versions can be found on the Ready to Read at New York Libraries’ website, which you can access here

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NYLA YSS 2014 Spring Conference Handouts Are Posted

Materials are on the NYLA site at this link:
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Protected: materials from Faber YS session

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Common Core Presentation with Lisa Kropp

Below are the handouts from the Common Core presentation:

fact and fiction pairsfiction-nonfiction mashupCommon Core creative curious reads

Also below is Lisa’s PowerPoint presentation:

public libraries in a common core world – PowerPoint

Please especially look at the last slide for it has very useful links to the referred – website of the Common Core


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Handouts from 9/17 YS Meeting

Magic the Gathering Basic Info Handout Presented by Jamie Reilly from Somers

Stay tuned for rest of the handouts

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Sept. 17th YS Meeting Minutes

Youth Services Meeting 9/17/13

(Below are the notes from the Youth Services Meeting. Please feel free to make corrections if needed.)

Anne Quick hosted the Youth Services meeting on Tuesday, September 17th at WLS to discuss summer programs and to highlight 4 specific programs done at libraries this summer

Summer Highlights from various libraries:

1. Zahra from the Yonkers library explained her intergenerational program called Word Wednesdays. The idea was to get seniors/adults to play word games with kids. It was funded by a rotary grant. Board games and games with apps for the ipad, kindle, nook etc were used. Different stations were placed all over the room with the idea that everyone would rotate from station to station. To look at photos from this program, go to, click on the flickr button, and click on Word Wednesdays

2. Carolyn from Irvington shared her Wacky Wednesday programs where ages 5 to 10 played bingo, painted a painter’s hat and other fun and wacky ideas.

3. Tricia from Ossining used the outside area at their parking lot and read stories, sang songs and had the children color/free play on the sidewalk with sidewalk chalk.

4. Rebecca from Larchmont discussed her successful CSI program which she did in collaboration with the Larchmont police. Children ages 8 and up tried to solve the crime of the theft of a rubber duck. It was an inside job. Children got to dust for fingerprints. Next time they do it, they want to take mug shots for the children. In the fall, they will be doing STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)

5. Cathleen from North Salem had a sleepover at her library despite the fact there was no water in the building. They used their creativity and had on hand Purell, buckets of water and pitchers of water for children to brush their teeth. They have an inventor’s club and will continue with their STEAM programs (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics)

6. The Will Library had 78 programs with 3,300 children. They had pirate/princess, cowboys/cowgirls, decoupage, and Diary of a Worm/sweet treat programs. They also held a luau with a limbo and hula hoop contest. They used Jim McClanahan the magician and Frannie the clown.

7. Amy from Briarcliff had a Halloween in July program where she read stories and did a Halloween craft. Children wore their Halloween costumes and trick or treated at the circ desk, reference desk and at the Director’s office. She also spoke of the Family Nights that she has held for the past 3 years. This years paralleled the theme of Dig Into Reading. There was cave paintings, wooly mammoth tusk game, Natives American games, chocolate chip cookie excavation and the children made hieroglyphics. 25 families attended. The program is done when the library is closed as to utilize difference spaces/sections in the library. In previous years, each room was a different country and last year was constellations. When children sign in they get some sort of passport or holder and receive stickers or stamps for each section they visit.

8. Elise from Montrose spoke about an inflatable screen that was blown up at the library and where they showed the movie and had watermelon. They also did crafts with Joan Lloyd who makes beads, earrings for a woman’s shelter. They also did bottlecap jewelry (necklaces, keychains, bookmarks) with Sharon Kohlberg. Anne Beir did decoupage. Lavinna Wiggins from Peekskill made mobiles of jewelry and paper.

9. Andrew from Greenberg had a Brazilian martial arts group called CBO Capuate (is this name correct) Yow from Yonkers (did I spell that right) recommended Josie’s School of Dance. Irvingtonn also had them. They are reasonable and nice.

10. Shodie from Bedford had families make Terrariums. They purchased large jars and had a nature person come. They provided supplies and invited families to bring items for their terrariums. Each family did 1 (although a few were able to do 2) They also had a field trip to a neighboring farm. They had signups and everyone met there.

Featured Librarians (All of their handouts will be going on the Wiki)

1. Jamie from Somers—Magic the Gathering
· An easy club to do, on Thursdays from 3 to 5. To get started she bought 2 decks of Magic cards from Barnes and Noble. 14 kids signed up and she would recommend that they be middle/high school students. Jamie highly suggests watching the video links to learn how to play. This fall she is hoping to do a tournament.

2. Andrew from Greenburgh—Teen Auto Repair
· A 1 hour program that easily went into 2 hours. The mechanic (please get his information from Andrew)was great and he didn’t try to sell anything. He took his time and explained belts, hoses etc. 15 teens were signed up. They are going to try and do this program for adults and perhaps for girls only. He is also capable of doing a presentation in a room. Andrew is going to email everyone the information.

3. Shodie from Bedford –Dog Show
· Had a dog show on their village green. Had signups, limited to 12 dogs, dogs needed a license, had to be on leashes, children had to have a parent with the. Carpet squares were setup in a circle for the dogs and children. A local trainer came and went around to each dog and observed them to determine who would get what prize (for example, fluffiest, best dressed etc) Awards/certificates were given out to each dog. You definitely need a trainer or someone with good dog experience-perhaps someone from your local dog park to serve as your host. They gave out doggy bags at the end to the dogs. The program took about 1 hour. Staff went around and took a photo of each dog with their family.

4. Carolyn from Irvington—Stuffed Animal Sleepover
· Signed up 17-19 kids and had 5 volunteers. Carolyn had her own stuffed animal to show the children. Her stuffed animal slept over with the others. They made a craft—a foam photo frame that the kids took home. She emphasized that you need to make sure you take enough pictures of all the stuffed animals and to keep track of who you are taking pictures of. Her handout was great and had lots of specific details.

· A survey on the mock awards was emailed to everyone, please fill it out
· Legoland—They came to Yonkers and had a master builder make a creation near the circ desk. 350 people came. However the children were disappointed that they had no type of lego kit to take home. Montrose is having a 75th anniversary celebration and they are using Legoland to make a creation and will use this as a fundraiser. Also on October 27th Montrose they will be having a wine pairing fundraiser.
· Some librarians read stories in the park or even at town pools

Next Children’s Meeting will be on Tuesday, October 15th. Please use this link to signup

Minutes taken by Tee Cotter (Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library)

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From Tee Cotter re the 1st ever YS Regional Gathering

Today we had a great youth services regional meeting at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library.

 Here are some of the issues we discussed
·        School Summer Reading Lists—It is a nightmare for most of us.   Yonkers has worked with their board of education to try and eliminate some of the school  summer reading list headaches—out of print books and 150 children trying to read Frindle at the same time
·        Some libraries are getting rid of their reference collection because it is outdated or no longer used/needed (For example:  Something About the Author has so many volumes—do you keep them or get rid of them)
·        Digital Media Programming
·        Ipads and libraries
·        Using “Scratch” for a teen program.  Bonnie from White Plains has a co-worker who has been using this for a technology based teen program.
·        Mary Johnson from Armonk has been running a film club successfully for a number of years.
·        The teen librarian at Larchmont has been running Gaming Tournaments.
·        Teens want more downloadable books.  Are there circ stats out there that show what type of demand there is for Teen downloadable books?
·        Are audio books circulating at your library?  Did you know that some new cars are not installing cd players?
·        Follow up emails and reminders to attend meetings are a plus!
·        Mark your calendars–October 15th Youth Services meeting on the Common Core
A special thanks to those who attended:  Ken (New Rochelle), Bettyjane (Rye), Ellen (Mamaroneck), Rebecca (Larchmont), Mary (Armonk), Betsy (Somers), Bonnie (White Plains), Tata (White Plains), Susi (Field/Scardsdale), Yaw (Will)
Reminder—You can still signup for the other Youth Service gatherings. 
Rivertowns (Mid Westchester) Meeting (Run by YSAG Member Anne Quick)
Thursday, August 15th, at Irvington Public Library, 6:00pm-7:30pm
Come chat and get to know your colleagues.  Drinks and desserts will be provided, possibly with attendees bringing a potluck dish.  I will email those who sign up closer to the date with more details.

Northern Westchester Meeting
 (Run by YSAG Members Betsy Bishop, Liz Anastasi, and Cathleen Sulli)
Thursday, August 22nd at Somers Public Library, 9:30am-11:00am
You are invited to join with other librarians in Northern Westchester to get to know each other and take home a few activities you can use with any group in your library.  From ice breakers to ice cream,  Ice in August will be an opportunity to chill out and make friends with a fellow librarian.
I hope everyone has a great summer!
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