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Book Review: Someone Elses Summer by Rachel Bateman

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3-out-of-5-stars

Pub Date: May 9, 2017

Description: “Anna’s always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies in a tragic car accident on the night of her high school graduation, Anna is completely lost and her family is torn apart. That is, until she finds Storm’s summer bucket list and decides to honor her sister by having the best summer ever—which includes taking an epic road trip to the coast from her sleepy Iowa town. Setting out to do everything on Storm’s list along with her sisters best friend Cameron—the boy next door—who knew that Storm’s dream summer would eventually lead to Anna’s own self-discovery?”

Review: I’m not sure that “epic” is the word I would use to describe this road trip, maybe played out? I really liked the idea of Anna taking over her deceased sister’s bucket list. The road trip was light and entertaining but unoriginal. I felt like this book didn’t have an aspect that makes it stand out from other YA coming of age/road trip books. Anna and Cameron fall in love (obviously) but I never felt connected to their characters and quite frankly I didn’t really like Cameron. The characters weren’t really fleshed out. For example, we keep hearing how Piper is Anna’s best friends but all of their conversations and interactions are superficial. I wish there was more character development to help me become vested in the story. I honestly think my favorite character was Storm, who you never actually meet in the book but only hear about. Storm seemed to be the most dynamic character of the bunch. While I enjoyed the beginning half of the book I quickly grew uninterested. Overall, this book is a standard coming of age story that many teenage girls will enjoy.

 

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Storytime: Valentine’s Day

Heart
I put my hands together (hold palms together)
This is how I start
I curve my fingers right around (make heart with fingers)
And I can make a heart!

Hearts and Kisses
1 little, 2 little, 3 little hearts (count on fingers)
4 little, 5 little, 6 little hearts
7 little, 8 little, 9 little hearts
10 little hearts and a kiss (blow a kiss)

Skidamarink
Skidamarink a dink a dink (hold right elbow in left hand and wave fingers)
Skidamarink a doo (switch hands)
I love you (point to eye, cross hands in front of chest and point)

Skidamarink a dink a dink
Skidamarink a doo
I love you

I love you in the morning (circle hands above head)
And in the afternoon (circle hands in middle)
I love you in the evening (circle hands low)
Underneath the moon (swing arms to one side and make a crescent shape)

Oh skidamarink a dink a dink
Skidamarink a doo
I looooooove you

Little Red Valentine (Tune: Skip to My Lou)

fullsizerender-8Little red valentine, I love you
Little red valentine, I love you
Little red valentine, I love you
Yellow one says, “I do too!”

(repeat with other colors)

Everyone says “We do too!”

Valentines

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And of course I had to give all of my little munchkins Valentines!

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party

To celebrate the new release of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid Double Down” by Jeff Kinney we held a Diary of a Wimpy Kid Party!! We try to hold one monthly drop-in program, this was by far the largest attended. Everyone that came to the party had a blast!

img_0576Manny’s Cereal Toss: Kids get the chance to toss mini cereal boxes into a toilet seat! All you need for this game is a toilet seat (preferably one that is not used), a garbage can and mini cereal boxes. The kids got a kick out of this one! They really enjoyed the oddity that is having a toilet seat in the Children’s Room and it was a fun game.

 

 

Make Your Own Comic: Kids (and some parents) had the opportunity to make their own comic. All you need for this is colored pencils and the comic strip (thanks Scholastic!). The kids got really into this, some even made Zoo-Wee-Mama comics!

 

img_0579Greg Mask: Children were able to transform into Greg with their very own Greg mask! All you need is the mask printed out on cardstock and string or popsicle sticks. We ended up using popsicle sticks because we thought it would hold up better than string.

 

 

 

 

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Egg Hunt Raffle: The big activity was an egg hunt. To make the egg hunt we printed out and laminated different patterned eggs. We hid the eggs around the Children’s Department. Each child received a scavenger hunt list with the picture of the eggs. When children found the egg they crossed off the picture on the list. Once they completed the hunt they were entered into a raffle to win the new book!

 

Have you held a Diary of a Wimpy Kid party? I’d love to hear what games and activities you had planned!

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Storytime: Library / Books

Opening Story
Hello Friends (with sign language)
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
Hello friends,
It’s time to say hello
Source: jbrary

Book

Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk

While I love the book “Library Mouse” and it went perfectly with our craft I will say that the book is a little longer than I typically use for story time. The illustrations are great and I ended up paraphrasing the story, the kids loved it!

Hickory Dickory Dock
Hickory, dickory, dock (walk fingers up arm)
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one (clap hands)
The mouse did run (walk fingers down arm)
Hickory, dickory, dock

Hickory, dickory, dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck two (clap twice)
The mouse said “BOO”
Hickory, dickory, dock

Hickory, dickory, dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck three (clap three times)
The mouse said “Whee”
Hickory, dickory, dock

Hickory, dickory, dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck four (clap four times)
The mouse said “No more”
Hickory, dickory, dock

Let’s Take a Look at this Book
Let’s take a look at this book (palms together vertically)
Here is the cover (lay palms horizontally)
We open it wide (open hands)
Here are pages hidden inside (wiggle fingers with palms up)
There are words and pictures (sway hands)
We look and look
And when we are finished
We close up the book (clap hands together)
Source: jbrary

Book

We’re Going on a Book Hunt by Pat Miller

This is another book I paraphrased. “We’re Going on a Book Hunt” is a great tool to use to start a discussion on how to find a book.

If You’re a Reader and You Know It
If you’re a reader and you know it clap your hands
If you’re a reader and you know it clap your hands
If you’re a reader and you know it and you really want to show it
If you’re a reader and you know it clap your hands
(stomp your feet, shout I am)

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear
Teddy bear, teddy bear turn around
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the ground
Teddy bear, teddy bear reach up high
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch the sky
Teddy bear, teddy bear touch your knees
Teddy bear, teddy bear sit down please

Book

Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn

Flannel Board

IMG_6995 (1)Five Little Books
Five little books at the library
Five little books as great as can be
Along comes (child’s name) with their library card
To take one home and read!
(count down)
Source: What Happens in Storytime

Wiggle Worm
Wiggleworm, wiggleworm
Hiding in a book
Wiggleworm, wigglewom
Where should we look?
Source: Itsy Bitsy Mom

This is a fun guessing game where I hide the worm behind a book and ask children which color book the worm is hiding in. Children love coming up to the board (if it’s a small group) and picking a book or yelling out colors (if it’s a large group). Miss Mary Liberry made up a great song to encourage children to close their hides while I hide the worm.

Everybody Close Your Eyes (Tune: London Bridge)
Everybody close your eyes
Close your eyes, close your eyes
Everybody close your eyes
We’re not peeking
Source: Miss Mary Liberry

Closing Song
Goodbye Friends (with sign language)
Goodbye friends
Goodbye friends
Goodbye friends
It’s time to say goodbye

Craft:
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For a craft we made a book. Children (and some adults) were given sheets of cardstock stapled to a construction paper cover. The kids received crayons, stickers, foam stickers, old magazines and construction paper to use to create their books. Parents and children alike had a lot of fun talking about their stories.

 

 

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Do You Want to Build a Snowman? – Flannel Board

Time to put up a new interactive flannel board! I have come across a lot of Christmas Tree flannel boards on pinterest, like this one, and have been thinking about making one. After much consideration (a whole 5 minutes) I decided I’d rather make something seasonal and non-Holiday related that I can leave up for longer, that’s when I decided to make a mix and match snowman flannel board.

 

So…. Do you want to build a snowman?

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Check out these fashionable snowmen (or snowwomen if you’d prefer)!

 

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  • A winter hat, twig hair and earmuffs are the perfect accessories to keep our snowmen warm.
  • An assortment of buttons to match every outfit.
  • Three sets of boots  – fancy, plain and casual snow slippers.
  • Of course, we couldn’t forget snowmen neck wear, there are scarves and even a necktie.
  • And last but not least, mittens to keep those twig hands nice and toasty.

 

This flannel board has been a hit in the Children’s Department and I am constantly wanting to make more accessories for it! I did end up drawing the faces onto the snowmen because little coal smiles and eyes kept going missing. It took a while to create all of the pieces but luckily it is a fun task for me (who doesn’t like to be paid to make crafts!). To create the pieces I looked at clipart images and drew them by hand onto a piece of felt.

Don’t you want to go build a snowman now?!?

 

 

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I’m Back…

I know I have been MIA for a few months but I’m happy to announce that I am back and with a new job!

I am now the Head of Youth Services!!

As such, I have more responsibilities (and more fun). I’m currently working on a lot of exciting programs focusing on early literacy. I can’t wait to share all of my new adventures with you.

Please forgive me for being gone and get excited for all the great things to come!!

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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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