Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Writing a Successful Grant Proposal

As funding for programs continue to get cut, a great way to fund your passive programming library initiatives (the ongoing stuff that may bolster check-outs with minimal extra staff time in the long run) is through grants.

As school funding gets cut, so does funding for extraneous frivolities like gym and field trips. For our Library Stars initiative, we knew that a large part of getting all second graders to visit us during school hours required about 14 buses. Buses are expensive, between gas prices and extra pay for the driver. We knew that if we couldn't offer to pay for the buses, it would be an uphill battle for schools to agree to visit (no matter how much they would like to, personally). So that's what our grant application asked for.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Trailer Making Program for Kids

Friday was a no-school day for the kids in my city, so I thought I would tackle something that I've wanted to do with kids since I learned of its inception: the creation of book trailers. Because I knew it was going to be pretty involved, I had registration and capped it at 10; 7 registered, and I ended up with three (hey, it was a sunny, warm, no-school Wisconsin Friday in February).
Film reel

The kids who did show up were from other program that I've run; 2 from Wednesday-ology and one from the Garfield party. Knowing them like I did already, I couldn't ask for a better group to try out a brand-new program that was entirely conceived, written, and implemented while I was hyped-up on cold medicine.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Halfway through the Wednesday-ologies, and I started to get a little crazy. Well maybe not crazy, but I decided to run with Monsterology into this Crypto-zoology wonderland.

My search, as always, began downstairs in the Shelves that Craft Day Forgot. There, I found glow-in-the-dark bracelets, and farmer's hats. Upstairs, I found passport-like stickers left over from the Summer Reading Program. Put the stickers on the farmer hat, and you have a great Indiana Jones hat.

So with this, I decided to make nametags with ______ Jones on them, with the ______ being the name of a state. I have a LEGO Indiana Jones keychain on my library lanyard, so naturally that name was taken; then I took the name Wisconsin Jones, Wisconsin being the state our library is in. All fights averted, I randomly handed out other state names to the kids.

We learned about monsters according to the Monsterology book. Here's a write-up of what was taught (I had pictures so that the kids could get good visuals. Never underestimate a Google image search and a quality color printer.You can skip to the activity if you don't care; my feelings will not be hurt. MAYBE my pride):

Monday, February 13, 2012


I set the mood with a few CDs by the incomparable Captain Bogg & Salty, a pirate-themed children's band from the Pacific Northwest. Like last week's Spyology, I brought back the nametag idea. This time, I pre-populated a sheet of 20 nametags with pirate names, and had the kids pick them at random from a bag. My personal favorite was a little kindergartener who totally owned the name "Muscle-Arm Jones". Other examples of names were Sloppy Skipper, Happy Shoes, Rusty Boot, and Gilly Grog. Yes, I made these up from the top of my head. It took a disproportionately short time to do. But hey, when you're listening to Captain Bogg & Salty....

In case you were wondering, I also had a nametag; I am a cheeseball, after all. My name was Cap'n Pegleg, of course, as Pegleg is my undergrad nickname and remains, for the most part, the only name I will respond to in a crowded place (do you know HOW MANY PEOPLE are named "Sara[h]"?! My best friend in undergrad shared my biblical name, which I'm sure would've confused a whole lot of people if my name wasn't actually Pegleg instead).

Friday, February 3, 2012


Wednesdays in February I decided to hold camps/classes based on the Ologies series. My first -ology was Spyology. Seventeen school-age attendees learned about all things Spy-related. For effect, the Agent Cody Banks soundtrack was played in the background.