Monday, August 15, 2011

101 Low Budget No Budget Teen Activities

I'm working on a book! Right now I'm calling it 101 Low Budget No Budget Teen Activities, but 101 Safe, Cheap and Sane Teen Programs is another idea. 101 arts and crafts, games and programs for teens that you can do with barely a budget. You'll raid the children's arts and crafts closet, learn how to score free supplies online, turn community events into goldmines of leftover materials, up and most importantly, be ready for all the drama and danger of running programs.

Of course teen programs are drama and danger! How many cool things can you make without scissors, needles or hot glue guns? Well, we're about to find out, as I'll present alternatives for as many projects as possible.

While I'm making a list of programs and instructions, I'd love to have some "testers" to give me feedback on the projects. If you're interested, please contact me at librariancourtneybennett at gmail and let me know if you want a project involving

1. Office Supplies (and library supplies!)
2. Fabric (and suggestions on where to get free fabrics!)
3. Recycled Projects
4. Children's Craft Closet (felt, construction paper, glitter, safety scissors etc.)

Also tell me about your local safety level- are your teens allowed to cut with adult scissors, use hot glue guns, sew with needles, use a stapler etc.

I'm willing to send multiple projects IF you provide me with feedback on the ones I send.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Nosy Kid

The nosy little girl is back. She saw a list of companies I want to work for and picked up "TechSoup" for some reason.

"I know TechSoup, they make soup!" She said.
"Yes, they make good soup." I said. She's the talkative one, it's best not to engage her.
"My friend's mom works there!" She said. "My friend's mom is the MANAGER."
"Well in that case, can she get me a job there?"

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

nice suggestion

but I'm not going to make any effort to tell anyone that you think the spines on the dvds should be read horizontally, with the items stacked flat, rather than vertically like books. Even if people agreed with you and made that a priority, I can promise the library will no longer have DVDs by the time it becomes feasible.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Animals Don't Wear Pants

I had a very talkative young patron today. I tried to enlist her help drawing books for a display today. It's a kid's display, so it doesn't have to be "good" (ah, yes, I am not a through and through children's librarian). She drew a stick figure of Mama Bear from the Berenstain Bears and asked if she had to draw clothes on her.

All I could say is "not if it's an animal".

The real lesson here is, if you have unruly kids and teens, enlisting them to help make displays is my favorite diversion tactic. We made epic "murals" in Brooklyn using butcher paper on rolls, and it would take weeks to color in a nice 2x7 panel. To keep kids and teens from overcrowding, try to think of mural ideas in "pieces" such as "favorite books to read with mom" or "Alice in Wonderland". If you're a control freak like me, having them decorate elements of the mural such as "sneakers", "Easter eggs" or "letters" can keep your design somewhat in check while relieving you of doing all the work.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Careers for Sports Fans

Would you weed a 20 year old career book called Careers for Sports Fans?

I'm watching a girl about 8 years old looking at It's Not the Stork. Wide-eyed. Oh boy. I just helped her mom find a classic series about horses. Oh boy.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Candy Stripper

Giggle before it's fixed, but the fifteen year old Christian heroine in God Is In the Pancakes is a "candy striper", not a "candy stripper".

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Well, well, well

I know we're not using the same software as Amazon or Google, but must the library keyword search suggestions be that unhelpful? The most random queries kick back even randomer "did you mean" suggestions

"baby names" brings back "did you mean ebay name's?"
"all saints" brings back "did you mean all antes"

but if I accidentally type in

"Guorious George"

it can't suggest I want "Curious George".


the random results are hyperlinks that often bring you to "No Entries Found" or a foreign language book

la la la la la

I mean, can we somehow ride on Google and send this info to their search if it fails to retrieve any information in the library catalog?

In other highlights, I just sent away a pre-teen who was racking up fines on his mommy's card, and the third grade American Catholic project is the CUTEST PROJECT EVER. Except I don't have MY radical Catholic reference book here to help them. I'm totally some in tomorrow.

Monday, January 03, 2011

New Years Resolutions In the Library

1. To dress more professionally

2. To not empathize unnecessarily with patrons who are confused by the library, for instance, they do not need to know how much I agree the print release station is confusing.

3. To read some genre fiction

4. To go out of my way to make great displays, including putting great books on display

5. To be quieter