Author Archives for Michala Sage

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (11/11/19-11/17/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie’s top titles include:

Note: Annamarie serves as chair of the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings Committee. Due to her position, she listens to and evaluates many audiobooks for children and teens. Annamarie never includes any of the audiobooks she listens to in her “What Are You Reading?” posts.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: LeVar Burton is indeed proud. I am maintaining a reading streak! On a personal note, I have just secured a new apartment and will begin the crazy fun of moving during the holiday season!

Teen Passive: Coloring

Kids have always been afforded coloring sheets, and then adults realized that “hey this is really relaxing” and the adult coloring book craze began…but somehow teens were, for the most part, left out in the coloring cold. When I inherited my teen department it actually came with a a few coloring books for use in house, but they were not really utilized by our teens.

Our current selection of coloring books in the Teen Room

I could tell there was a want, as many times the books would be looked at, but I think they were tired of the books we had and wanted things that were less intricate to color in. So came my quest for some new fun coloring books!

I started trolling Amazon looking for simple pictures, pop culture references, and random odd things. (This can sometimes be harder than it sounds as when the pictures get simplified they can begin to look very juvenile.) However, once you fall down the rabbit hole you can find an amazing plethora of coloring books such as:

Every other week I do wind up going through the coloring books looking for any inappropriate additions to the books, or as I call “my sweep for Ds and Fs”. Any swear words, social media handles, or genitalia drawn in gets pulled from the books. I also will pull any overly scribbled on pages because when there is a lot of scibblage no one will continue to color on that page. I don’t pull all additions from the book though and sometimes you wind up with some greatness.

Occasionally, I will also have a large coloring sheet printed out and I will tape it to a coffee table that I have in the teen room for some “allowed vandalism”. It stays on the table until it is either colored in, has lost the battle to swear words, penises, and “follow me @s”, or my favorite death, having every square inch covered in Old Town Road lyrics and a rainbow of a million “YEETS”. (Does that make it Yeeted to death? Yoted?)

And sometimes you wind up with some gorgeous, collaborative art.

Teen Passive: Concentrate on Charms

Every month I host a passive activity in the teen room. Sometimes they are repeat styles of something like Book-in-a-Bottle or Book Emoji Storylines where the shredded or emoji explained book will change, but the concept stays the same: identify the title. But in October, something magical happens at the Westerville Public Library…the whole building turns into a school for witches and wizards of all ages and we showcase the magic of the library during the Wizards & Wands Festival.

2018 was the first installment of this festival and the outpouring from the community was enormous! This year with one magical festival under our belt the Wizards & Wands Festival has grown even larger and features all kinds of fun activities around the building leading up to the night of festivities. One of those activities is my October Teen Passive: Concentrate on Charms.

All across the largest wall of my Teen Room are different wand movements for spells from the Harry Potter Universe, each one labeled with it’s name for identification purposes, as we can’t all be Hermione and recognize each swish and flick or the different spells/charms.(Thank you Potterhead superfans and Wizards Unite! game for the wand movements) Anyone wishing to participate can snag an answer sheet from the Teen Desk and wander through the stacks to the bright green wall in the hopes of finding the correct spells and drawing out the wand movements necessary to successfully cast it.


Searching the wall for the correct spells can take a bit of time as I only ask for 9 spells to be identified and there are 30 gracing the wall.


Each person can participate once per day and when their answers are returned to the Teen Desk they are awarded one prize ticket that can be turned in for a raffle style drawing during the Wizards & Wands event. While most of my passive activities are limited to teens only, the W&W Themed passive for October is open to all ages. The Wizards & Wands event will be this Friday (October 25, 2019 5-9pm), but Concentrate on Charms will remain up through the end of the month.

This passive activity has already had over 250 answer sheets returned to the Teen Desk and there are still 8 more days to play (2 more days if you are collecting those prize tickets!)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (10/14/19-10/20/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

My life is consumed by our library’s annual Wizards & Wands Festival for the next two weeks, so don’t expect many updates from me. I’ll post pictures when I can!

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: Only a couple of chapter books this week. Wizards & Wands Festival is happening this Friday and YALSA the following Friday. The next few week’s will be light from me.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (10/7/19-10/13/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

My life is consumed by our library’s annual Wizards & Wands Festival for the next two weeks, so don’t expect many updates from me. I’ll post pictures when I can!

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: Storytimes, booktalks, professional development, and just for fun books this week!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (9/16/19-9/22/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie’s top titles include:

Note: Annamarie serves as chair of the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings Committee. Due to her position, she listens to and evaluates many audiobooks for children and teens. Annamarie never includes any of the audiobooks she listens to in her “What Are You Reading?” posts.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note:

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (9/9/19-9/15/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie’s top titles include:

Note: Annamarie serves as chair of the ALSC Notable Children’s Recordings Committee. Due to her position, she listens to and evaluates many audiobooks for children and teens. Annamarie never includes any of the audiobooks she listens to in her “What Are You Reading?” posts.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: I survived an after hours teen and college student game program on Friday the 13th which was also a full moon….I have no additional notes this week.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (8/26/19-9/1/19).

Annamarie’s Reading

I’m enjoying a much-needed vacation for two weeks.
I’ll be back with my new favorite reads in September!

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: I am not gallivanting all over and having vacation adventures over the next couple of weeks. So, I tried to pack in a few more picture books and middle grade books to help fill the big void of no Annamarie picks.

Steven Universe Color Party

This coming weekend Cartoon Network is showing every single Steven Universe episode ever, all leading up to the premiere of the new Steven Universe musical on Monday…so this feels like a great time to talk about my Steven Universe Color Party program!

Steven Universe
Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems (Pearl, Amethyst and Garnet).(Cartoon Network)

If you are unfamiliar with the TV show Steven Universe let me try and catch you up to speed, even though I will not be able to do the show justice at all. Let me start by saying that it is the most LGBQT+ cartoon you will ever watch, it is political, diverse, and even though the entire premise revolves around alien gem lifeforms with special fighting powers it is completely relatable.

The first season features a goofy kid named Steven and weird alien adventures that he goes on with his female warrior guardians, the Crystal Gems. Steven is learning to master his alien gem powers as he is half human and half gem. His lovable human dad is a bit of an oaf and the other unique and diverse characters in Beach City are all given decently explored back stories which we learn throughout the seasons.

Then season two drops and you get more back story on the Gems and you begin to think wow there is more to this show than just a fun alien saving rainbow world….then seasons three through five having you question how you were lulled into thinking this was anything but an epicly awesome, equality driven ode to love, diversity, rainbows, and truth.

Steven Universe shows human nature better than any TV show I have ever seen. It may be geared for kids, tweens, and teens, but it does not shy away from big issues or dumb down it’s content. It walks the line of having pop culture appeal and being topically relevant to society which is why I think so many of my kids gravitate towards it. And is why this summer we needed to have a fun, light hearted party to celebrate the alien space gem warriors.

I planned stations and activities based upon the Crystal Gems’s strengths where each attendee got to go through different “training” with each Gem and of course it had to be very colorful.

Pearl

Pearl is the mom figure of the group. She is always looking out for Steven’s best interest and trying to guide him through life. While she is a stickler for rules, Pearl understands that Steven learns in his own way and helps teach him skills he needs as a Crystal Gem, like bubbling.

image
(Cartoon Network)

For Pearl’s station we worked on our bubbling skills. I added various food coloring colors to bubble mix and had teens blow bubbles using the colored mixture at white paper. You can also place bubble mix in cups and use a straw to blow bubbles in the cup until the mixture overflows for more intense bubble shadows.

Garnet (Sapphire & Ruby)

(Alexbandria @Mrs_Motionless)
  

Garnet is actully a gem fusion. She is the combination of Ruby and Sapphire. So for her station teens got to play with my giant spin art machine* and fuse colors together.

Amethyst

Amethyst is a bit of a rebel in the group. She is the gem that pushes boundaries and speaks her mind bluntly. Amethyst also has a fun kid like streak to her perosnality. Since everything is very straight forward, upfront and fun with Amethyst we needed an activity that fit that criteria.

So instead of Steven Tag we played Rainbow Tag!

Rainbow tag is exactly like regular tag only all players are running around with handfuls of color run or Holi Festival powder*. The regular rules of the game still apply, but with a twist. One person is it and will chase other players in a designated area trying to tag someone, if they succeed the tagged individual becomes the next person that is it and the cycle continues. The twist is that instead of tagging someone by tapping them with a hand, Rainbow Tag lets you tag someone by throwing your handful of color powder at another player. The game ends when you run out of powders or out of energy to run around, whichever comes first.

Peridot & Lapis Lazuli

Peridot and Lapis Lazuli are newer members of the Crystal Gems. (Another member of the squad that could have been included in this activity is Jasper, but I had to cut her out of this area as my printer decided it was no longer going to print properly and was unable to have her repped during the program.) Peridot was a mathematical Home World Gem that was converted to the ideas of the Crystal Gems and began to fight to save humanity. Lapis Lazuli is a water based Gem that had been fractured during the first Gem War and was bubbled for safety reasons until freed by Steven. (The militant, Jasper was also a Home World Gem and had a longer redemption arc before joining the Crystal Gems.

File:Lapis Jasper Peridot sketch By Peri.png
Lapis Jasper Peridot sketch By Peri.png

This final station was all about accuracy, power, and water, which could only mean…..water balloons! Teens got to aim and throw water balloons filled with colored water at targets to improve their Crystal Gem fighting skills.

All in all we had an awesome time and there was a lot of very heated discussions about Crystal Gems and their character flaws while having fun with art!

*Giant spin art machine and DIY color run powder directions will be featured in next week’s blog post

Teen Volunteer Training

I am incredibly lucky to have a large base of teen volunteers to help at Westerville Public Library. Part of that is because of school requirements.; high schoolers and middle schoolers have community service time as a graduation requirement in Westerville City School District. I also have many teens who are actively seeking scholarships or involved in extracurriculars that require or encourage helping out in the community that they live.

All in all I have a little over 350 active teen volunteers every school year. (This the monthly archiving of teen volunteers that have aged out of the program as well as those that have not volunteered at the library for a year.)

On the third Monday of each month, I can be found leading a one hour training session for teens ages 12-18. During the school year training covers how to help out at library programs and how to shelve materials in designated areas. Teens that attend training can begin selecting desired shifts and putting in some hours at the library for whatever their community service needs they have the very next day. (I really love how streamlined it has become.)

The training session is really simple. We lightly touch on the types of programs that teens can help at (storytimes, parties, special events, etc.) as well as special assignments that can become available throughout the year (making buttons, cutting out crafts, placing stickers, etc.). Because each program and librarian requesting the help is unique and the needs vary we do not spend a lot of time on this subject. However the basics of what is expected for helping at programs is covered, as well as talking about the general personalities; i.e. if you aren’t a fan of little kids….storytimes might not be your best fit. The WPL website also provides a link to a Google doc I maintain listing descriptions of more specific tasks that volunteers would be doing at each event.

The majority of the hour is focused on shelving training. Teens are able to help return materials in 3 locations: J Fiction, Teen Fiction, and DVDs. Spine labels and call numbers are explained, examples of different stickers that may be seen on books are shown, and then we get into the nitty gritty of the ABCs.

Like most fictions sections, our books are organized alphabetically by the author’s last name, then first name, then within that specific area the title of the book and/or series. I annoy my kids with several slides showing exactly what I mean by “author’s with the same last name” and that no matter how awesome you are about know series order they still go alphabetically. And then I up the ante and make them move and do things.

I start out getting groans and mumbles because I have us all sing the ABCs together and will stop or slow down if I don’t get participation from attendees. 

When teens show up at the beginning of the training I have the attendance sheet for sign-in* and everyone receives a beautiful paper with their last and first name on it. This paper comes into play after our lovely a capella, because it is actually their spine label featuring their very own call number. Each teenager is now a book and collectively they need to alphabetize themselves as if they are being placed on a shelf. 

Then comes the next physical movement and moment where teens will have to intereact with each other. Basket sorting! When setting up for the program I pull 10 items from each designated shelving area mix them up so they are out of alphabetical order and place each grouping in a basket for the trainees to sort and alphabetize while working together. Each team of teens will wind up sorting each basket of materials so that they can work with the items in a controlled environment. I, of course, throw some curve balls in the mix to make sure they all understand the order of author’s last name > author’s first name > title alphabetical system that we use and can correct any missteps along the way.

Then we get to do the super happy fun times tour and visit the areas where they get to shelve items! Starting in the Teen Dept. I show volunteers where to collect items needing to be shelved, where they get placed, and how to move book ends around. Most of the shelving in this area has bookends that are connected to the stacks and I teach them how to not only move the brackets back and forth along the track, but how to get them back in when they come out. Everyone get to “break a shelf” and practice moving the brackets and replacing them back properly.

DVD land is next with the same start as Teen, showing where to collect materials they get to re-shelve as service. Bonus time though because I sneak in one more round of alphabetizing training and have everyone select a DVD to shelve, let them loose in the stacks, and follow behind checking their placement to ensure we have it down. While they are winding through the stacks with DVDs in hand I remind them that shelving is not a race and that accuracy is key and what we are really looking for. If they need to sing the ABCs to themselves or take a minute to make sure it is being placed right, then do so. An item not in the correct location is as good as lost until it someone finds it.

After DVDs have been explored the last stop on the tour is the Youth Dept. We learn where materials to be shelved are located and have a look at the unique layout of the stacks in the area and I explain how to shift shelves. Because of our checkout rate and pages staying on top of things, very rarely do our volunteers need to know how to shift materials, however I’d rather have them armed with that knowledge than stumble across over packed shelves later.

At the end of the tour, we go over how to sign up for shifts using our system (which will be explained in a post on another day). And I implore them to please ask any questions and to make sure that they have things spelled correctly on the attendance sheet before I let them escape to the outside world armed with new knowledge, a pocket-sized handout on shelving basics, and my business card.

*Note: I try to keep registered programming to a minimum, however Teen Volunteer Training is one of those I do ask for sign-up. It helps me more easily check for applications and have the spine labels printed beforehand, as well as foreshadows IRL to the teens that they will need to sign up for things…like shifts. Teen Volunteer Training is also the one registered program that is the exception to the rule that only registered individuals can attend. I keep blank spine label forms in case I have kiddos wandering in to go through training so that they can be books too and we talk about responsibilities and signing up for things at the end of the training.