Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fancy Nancy Soiree


Fancy Nancy is turning 10 years old and in honor of this we held a Fancy Nancy Birthday Soiree. The invitation instructed the children to arrive in their fanciest attire, we had many princesses and even two angry birds! We started off by teaching the children some fancy french words, such as bonjour, oui, non, merci and s’il vous plait. Next we taught them fancy etiquette, complete with pinkies up, bows and curtseys.

We put our new fancy knowledge to the test by singing If You’re Fancy and you Know It!

If You’re Fancy and You Know It

If you’re fancy and you know it clap your hands

If you’re fancy and you know it clap your hands

If you’re fancy and you know it and you really wanna show it

If you’re fancy and you know it clap your hands

(repeat with curtsy & bow, stomp your feet, shout I am)

Next we made fancy tiaras and crowns. We had feathers (plumes), sequins and jewels to decorate with! The kids got really into this craft, some even spelled out their names with the jewels. To make the tiaras we used glittery visors and for the crowns we had shiny silver paper. Some of the boys went with tiaras and some of the girls with crowns, I was pleasantly surprised by this!

tiaraMy poor tiara… it lost some gems during all the fun and games!

While the kids finished up and a staff member removed the tables for the craft we played a game of Nancy Says (aka Simon Says). The children had a lot of fun playing and it kept them distracted.

Once the craft materials were removed my co-worker read “Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes.”

This book was a nice introduction to our next activity…


We had lots of frosting and sprinkles for the kids to use to decorate their cupcakes, luckily for us we were almost out of time and parents started to arrive. The parents were able to help the kids decorate (and even eat) their cupcake. And of course before we enjoyed our delectable cupcakes we had to sing Happy Birthday to Fancy Nancy!

I’ll admit we didn’t plan this program very well. My coworker had bronchitis and I was in Mexico (and didn’t want to come back) for a week. That left us frantically planning and preparing the day of. While we weren’t very organized  we made it work and the kids loved it! We had the program at 4:15 and didn’t even think about the fact that cupcakes were ruining some dinners (oops) but overall the parents didn’t seem to mind. I wish I had more pictures but we were so busy during the program that I didn’t have time to take any!


Fancy Nancy World

Harper Collins

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Storytime: Kittens

The books I picked for our kitten theme I refer to as story time gold! Here’s why: all ages become enthralled with these books. There are just some books that pull kids in (“The Napping House,” “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” etc) and leave them in awe. Sometimes it is the story but other times it is the pictures. These three kitten books are always crowd pleasures, the adults oooh and awww and the kids just stare silently in amazement. I have to say this story time (even with 13 kids ranging from 1 to 6 years old) was the most well behaved I’ve ever had and I truly believe that is because of the books I read. No antsy kids!!

Mama Cat has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

A Kitten Tale by Eric Rohmann

Where Is Big Cat (Tune: Where is Thumbkin)

Before starting I introduce the kids to Big Cat (my thumbs) and Little Cat (my pinkies). The cats give a little meow and the kids show me their Big Cat and Little Cat.

Where is big cat, where i big cat (hide thumbs)

Here I am, here I am (bring thumbs out)

How are you today cat (wiggle one thumb)

Very well I thank you (wiggle other thumb)

Meow, meow, meow (put thumbs behind back)

Meow, meow, meow

(repeat with little cat)

Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat

Kitty cat, kitty cat turn around

Kitty cat, kitty cat touch the ground

Kitty cat, kitty cat stand on your toes

Kitty cat, kitty cat touch your nose

Kitty cat, kitty cat say meow

Kitty cat, kitty cat sit on the ground

Five Little Kittens

Five little kittens standing in a row (hold up 5 fingers)

They nod their heads to the children so (bend fingers)

They run to the left, they run to the right (wiggle fingers side to side)

They stand up and stretch in the bright sunlight (stretch fingers and hand)

Along comes a dog who is looking for fun (make other hand into a fist)

(slowly move fist to the five fingers to scare the kittens)

MEOW, see those kittens squeal and run (hide fingers behind back)

Kitten’s Mitten


My poor little kitten lost her mitten
And started to cry, boo-hoo.
So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten.
Her beautiful mitten of blue
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my mother’s bed.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored red
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my father’s pillow.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored yellow
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
On the hand of my brother’s toy clown.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored brown
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the laundry so clean.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored green
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside a grocery sack.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored black
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under my sister’s kite.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored white
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Under the kitchen sink.
But, alas, the mitten was not the right mitten,
For it was colored pink
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
Inside my favorite shoe.
And this time the mitten was just the right mitten,
For it was colored blue

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Storytime: Letter L

Caterpillar’s Wish by Mary Murphy

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino

ABC Magnets


I like to start and end the Alphabet program by singing our ABCs. To start I put out all of the letter magnets and have the children tell me what letter is missing, that becomes our letter of the day. After we go through the letter and some words that start with it I invite each child up to take two letters off the board and put it into my bag. At first all the children like to swarm up and will grab as many letters as they possibly can, but after a few weeks they begin to understand that they must wait until they hear their name called. To help them stick with two letters only I count out loud (this program maxes out at 12 children so I know I will have enough letters). The children get very excited when it is their turn, plus this helps them learn patience and how to take turns!

Ladybug Ladybug

Ladybug, ladybug, flying through the air (arms out like an airplane)

Ladybug, ladybug, landing in my hair (fingers in hair)

Ladybug, ladybug, what should I do? (shrug shoulders)

Ladybug, ladybug

Shoo shoo shoo (shoo with hands)

Source: King County Library System

Pretty Ladybug (Tune: Muffin Man)


The ladybug has one black spot,

One black spot, one black spot,

The ladybug has one black spot,

Pretty ladybug!

(add spots)

Source: Storytime Katie

Did You Ever See a Llama?

Did you ever see a llama, a llama, a llama

Did you ever see a llama go this way and that (lean side to side)

Go this way and that way, go this way and that way

Did you ever see a llama go this way and that

(repeat leaning front and back)

Lunch (Flannel board)

photo 3-3 I made felt pieces for Denise Flemming’s Book “Lunch” and used a mouse puppet to grab the pieces off the board. Before verbally telling the story we went over what each item was and what color it was. The kids loved this board (and so do I)!

Marching Around the Alphabet by Hap Palmer

This song has become a story time favorite! Every week the children line up on the outside of the alphabet rug and start to march with their adult. When the whistle blows the children stop, bend down and point out which letter they are standing on. I like to participate as well and sometimes I will ask a child what letter they stopped on and the color of the square.


The children all grab on and we make some waves (fast, slow, big, small) then I ask the parents to hold on to the parachute. The adults lower the parachute and then pop it into the air, the children then go under (lots of happy squeals) and we gently shake the parachute over their heads. We do this 3 or 4 times, there is always one child that doesn’t want to come out but the parents are pretty good about it. Next I have the children hold on again and place foam letters on the parachute. We shake the parachute and watch the letters fly (again lots of happy squeals)!



I always tell the parents to please do not do the craft for their child, feel free to help them use the glue stick but if they want to put an eye where the foot should be well then that’s just artistic license!

L is for Ladybug!


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Library Interviews

I have been working in public libraries for 5 years, during this time I have held positions in 5 different libraries (some simultaneously) and have lost track of how many interviews I have gone on. Applying for jobs and receiving an interview can be really exciting but after your third interview in a month and you still haven’t been offered a position (woe is me) they can become a mini hell. Lucky for me I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, have experienced many interviews (good and bad) and have a boyfriend who would does staffing for a living, all of this has helped me grasp a better understanding of how interviews work. I am by no means, shape or form an interview professional but here are some of my personal insights and tips about interviewing in a public library.


Big No Nos

  1. Do NOT be late! – under no circumstance  should you be late, run that red light if you have to! You should always be 5-10 minutes early for an interview. I personally prefer to be 10-15 minutes early to ensure a parking spot (public library parking isn’t always ideal) and to scope out the library before the actual interview. It’s good to be early and get a look around, this way you can say in  your interview “Well I loved how you had x,y and z in your library.” I think I’ve only gone to a handful of interviews where it actually started on time but that is still no excuse to be late.
  2. Don’t bad mouth your current or last supervisor – public libraries tend to be small communities, you all end up at the same round tables and workshops, you have worked with some of the same employees and people tend to know each other by name. Not only does complaining about a supervisor or co-worker risk them finding out but it looks bad. You don’t want to be known as “that guy” who talks badly about a co-worker behind their back. Libraries are all about team players!
  3. Turn your phone off – I hope this is a duh one, obviously you want your phone to be off and by off I don’t mean vibrate. Turn it all the way off and give your interviewers the respect they deserve (and expect).
  4. No gum – this is a personal pet peeve, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to have a serious conversation with someone and to see them openly chewing gum. I had a discussion with someone that hires and fires people for a living and they are on the same page as me. I understand wanting good breath for an interview but opt for a mint, and if you just so happen to realize too late that you have it…swallow it!
  5. Oh S*%# – watch your mouth! No swearing, no obscenities, nothing that would be deemed rude or vulgar. When you work in a public library not only do you represent the library but you also represent the town, they don’t want someone who swears to represent them.

Library Dos

  1. Do your research – know what the library has to offer, look at their website, social media and anything else you can find. Make sure you know what current programs they have going and the major demographics of the town. When you do your research not only are you more prepared but the interviewers will be impressed.
  2. Dress to impress – I understand that libraries tend to be more laid back in attire but that doesn’t give you the green light to wear jeans and a t-shirt. You want to dress business casual, I tend to go for dress pants, nice flats, a sweater or  tank top and cardigan. I know some people dress business professional and usually the reason is because it makes them feel better. My big thing is to dress appropriately and to still feel like yourself (I feel like I’m playing dress up in a blazer and heels). How you end up dressing is your call but just remember that you are trying to show the best you.
  3. Eye contact and smile – it can be intimidating when you have a panel of 4 or 5 people interviewing you but do not look down and fiddle your fingers! Show them those pearly whites and be confident. When someone is asking you a question make eye contact! This way the interviewers know that you’re friendly, open and listening.
  4. Be prepared – interviewing for a position in a Children’s Department can be an odd experience so be prepared! I have been handed a book on the spot (more than once) and asked to read it aloud. Don’t feel stupid, just go for it and own it! The interviewers feel as weird as you do about it but they need to see how you interact in a story time setting. I have also been asked to sing a song or do a rhyme, once I was told to have one prepared but another time I was asked without any warning. Have something ready, I tend to pick songs and rhymes that aren’t too common this way I will stand out from the ten other people who sang 5 little monkeys.

Have an Answer

The majority of interviews I have been on are for positions in the Children’s Department, these are the questions I have been asked most often.

  1. What has been your most popular program?
  2. Give an example of a program that did not work out well?
    • When asked this question I like to describe a program and then explain how it could be done better (such as different time or day, different age group, tweaking it), this way I am showing them that yes not all programs are a wild success but that I am willing to revise them and come up with new ideas.
  3. Give an example of how you dealt with an unruly patron
  4. Give an example of one time where you had amazing customer service
  5. Give an example of one time where your customer service failed
    • And again add how you could have fixed it.
  6. Why are you a good candidate for this position/why should we hire you?
  7. Name a recent book that you have read/name your favorite author/name your favorite book
    • This question is the bane of my existence! Yes I read a lot, yes I love to read but no do not ask me this question! I always draw a blank, I can never think of a title or an author and I just freeze. I do not think I have ever properly answered this question. It is such a simple question (and yes I prepare for it every time) but every time it still stumps me. Unfortunately, I think I have it ingrained in my brain that I will automatically fail when this question is asked, so do not be like me! Prepare this question and have some books and authors memorized.
  8. How would you handle a disruptive child or teen?
  9. What is your experience with technology in a library setting?
  10. How do you spend down time while at work?
  11. How do you handle a multitasking situation? (phones ringing, patrons in front of you, child is yelling)
  12. What is your experience with collection development?
  13. What are some programs that you have done?

Ask These

  1. What are your goals for the department this year?
  2. What is the largest demographic (race and age) you see?
  3. What is your most popular program?
  4. Why is this position open?
  5. What are the specific responsibilities of this position? (if not already stated in the interview)
  6. What is the first major task or project you would like me to work on?
  7. Are there specific goals you would like accomplished by filling this position?
  8. How closely do the departments work together?
  9. What is the work schedule? (nights, weekends, etc)
  10. Ask if someone can give you a tour of the library and ask questions during it!

All in All…

All in all try to build a good rapport with your interviewers. When you join a library staff you become part of a team and they want to add someone who they can see fitting in. You don’t want to get too personal with them but you should laugh and joke and turn the interview into more of a conversation. The best interviews I have ever had were not ones where it was a straight back and forth question and answer but ones where we laughed and talked. I even have had a boss tell me that I was picked over another qualified candidate because she liked my personality. At the end of the interviews you are more likely to be remembered for your outgoing, friendly personality than your answers.


Looking for better advice?

Check out Mr. Library Dude, he has a lot of great resume and interview tips!




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