Author Archives: elena

Resources mentioned during the April 10 “Tea with Nancy Silberkleit”

More to explore:

Items mentioned by participants on 4/10:

Summer Reading 2019

The Quick Facts are now posted to the Summer Reading page. All those who participated in the Summer Reading survey should have received a pdf of their responses. If you did not, please contact

January 16, 2017: Youth Services Meeting

Escape Rooms

There was a flurry of interest in escape rooms.  Here’s a cut and paste of what was shared.

Brian Mayer is an expert on this, and based out of Genesee Valley School Library System.  He runs fantastic workshops on escape rooms, which involve participants taking part in an escape room while learning how to create them, connect them to educational standards, etc.

 And one run by teens at the Scarsdale Teen Center:

Survey – Please complete by January 14, 2017

Programming for young children is a high impact (and high volume) activity for public libraries.  Over the next few years, WLS has funding from NYS to provide additional professional development opportunities for all library staff in support of service for children ages 0-60 months (and their parents).

Please help us fine-tune what is offered in support of the 145+ members of the WLS member library youth services community. Linked here  is a brief survey to benchmark current activities and awareness of early literacy practices.  We’d like this survey to be completed by all youth services staff that delivery programming to children and teens – full-time and part-time.

Responses are requested by January 14.  (Those who provide a completed survey by the deadline will be entered in a drawing for a $50 iTunes gift card.)

Matchmaker Tales and Strategies: Notes from the Meeting

Hello All!

What a rousing and successful meeting we had on Tuesday February 16th at 9:30 am.

Matchmaker Tales and Strategies: Ways to engage children, teens and families in reading

We had a small turn out due to the horrible weather, but boy did we have a great discussion! Sincere thanks to Allison Midgley for showing us the many ways to use an under utilized resource – Novelist.

Attached is her PowerPoint presentation (pdf). I know this is a resource I will be using more. Remember, if you have any questions please look at the

IT wiki or email Allison Midgley at

Some take-aways from the meeting:

  • Strong feelings that parent involvement is key to children being engaged in reading.
  • Allowing manipulatives, hands on activities and pre literacy engagement (Mother Goose, Toddler Time, Baby Lap Time) for young children in the  library helps to build budding readers and future library users.
  • Some people felt that genre labels were important, some did not.
  • Also it is important to know your collection.
  • Reference interview is key.
  • Programming is also important: Successes include: Maker Programs for YA and Children. Book Trivia Jeopardy has been very successful – buzzer system can be borrowed from WLS – contact Allison Pryor,

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.

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!

Making Books Sing’s touring programs

We are excited to tell you about Making Books Sing’s touring programs that are available to present right in your library this Spring or Summer! Each of our programs use theatre and original music to inspire learning, creativity and fun. We are happy to offer discounted packages for those who book two or more programs. Please see the information below and let me know if you have any questions!
My City Park
Touring Show

When Milo finds out that his favorite city park is going to be torn down and replaced with a shopping mall, he seeks out the help of his two best friends, Odessa the Owl and Bucky the Squirrel. This fun-filled 45-minute educational performance features puppetry, original songs and audience participation. Children will learn about the importance of shared community spaces as they sing along to original songs that celebrate New York City!

$400 per assembly performance; Best for grades PreK-3rd

Literature at Play


Children will work with professional teaching artists as they adapt a class-chosen book into an original musical! These fun-filled workshops inspire creative play, imagination and learning.

$200 per class, 90-minute per workshop; Best for grades 1st-5th

Do you need a Wii or Playstation for a program?

Do you need a Wii or Playstation for a program?

WLS has a Wii (Guitar Hero with Rockband, guitars and drum set) and a Playstation (Guitar Hero and a handful of games).

If you’d like to borrow these for your library, email with the dates that you want them AND the day you can come to pick them up.  That’ll reserve the items.  Look for a confirmation by email.

When you arrive for pickup, please see Anne Marie Perdichizzi in ILL Services. She will check out the items to your library card.

When your program is completed, please return the items to WLS promptly so they can be made available for the next library!