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Constitution Day

Posted By Janice Conger, Librarian, Wissahickon Middle School, 215-619-8110, jconger@wsdweb.org, Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Library Type

School Library

Description

The Wissahickon Middle School Library created a BreakoutEDU (https://www.breakoutedu.com/) for Constitution Day. We invited all classes to come and crack the code and save the Constitution. The BreakoutEDU platform is Social Literacy at its best, allowing students to work together to solve codes and open locks. This supports Civic Literacy because it enhances understand of the way our government works and the role the Constitution plays in government.

Tags:  Children  Civic & Social  Teens  Wissahicken Middle School Library 

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Imagination Station

Posted By Leigh-Anne Yacovelli, Dir, Wernersville Public Library, 610-678-8771, wernersvillepl@berks.lib.pa.us, Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Library Type

Public

Description 

Imagination Station is a storytime STEM program for children ages 6-11. This program has it all! It has stories! It has STEM! And it has snacks!


Twice a month, children hear a story of adventure with characters who have a problem that they need to solve. Children have fun interacting with each other while engaging in STEM activities that help the story characters through their journey. A whimsical and fantastic story keeps them laughing and engaged, while teaching them (though they don’t know it!). Every meeting is a new story with fresh characters, and children are exposed to scientific concepts, mathematical problems, and fun toys that vary from the latest tech gadgets like Little Bits to the mainstays like Legos and Keva planks.

Just as the Office of Commonwealth Libraries rolled out updated goals and measures for 2019, the Wernersville Public Library began a series of programs that introduced elementary school students to STEM in a fun and meaningful way. Since starting their positions in early 2018, the Director and Youth Services Coordinator struggled to find something that would bring children 6 to 11 years of age into the library. They realized there is a growing awareness of STEM, and that it was no longer just an industry tagline. STEM clubs are gaining in popularity in schools, and parents are interested in seeing their children do things that relate to one or more of these topics instead of just watching TV or playing video games.

The library already incorporated STEM topics and activities in the toddler through Pre-K storytimes, and it was believed this could also be done for older children who are exposed regularly to STEM in school. Having a program with a STEM theme, with heavy advertising at the schools, helped the library target this hard-to-reach demographic through the brand recognition of STEM. 

An additional draw is the stories. The characters are always boys and girls, who are the same age as the children attending the program. Tara Gouldey, the Youth Services Coordinator, is a budding writer. Instead of reading a storybook to the children, something with a definite beginning, middle, and end, she builds the story with the participants. 

Tara creates a brief outline of a story for each meeting; typically who, where, problem, and potential actions that lead to the solution. The names of the children and places where they live are completely made up, such as Tabitha (age 9) and her brother Andy (age 11) who live in Twintonia. When the children “pull into the station” (arrive to the library and head down to the multipurpose room), she begins her story with a brief introduction to the characters and a description of where they, and the participants, find themselves. For example, “Twintonia was a magical place, full of different creatures, colors and sights to behold. They lived in a small cottage below a large tree, and the sunlight shone through the branches and leaves, drifting down towards the children for them to bask in.” 

After the setting is established, Tara and the children dive into the problems and potential solutions. For instance, Tabitha and Andy were tired and wanted to go home. They needed to climb a tree to see how far away they were. The children were then told the characters “came to a clearing where 19 tall trees sat, growing taller every day. Which tree do you think they will choose to climb?” It is at this point the first STEM activity happens. The children are instructed to build the largest “tree” or “tower” that they can with Legos so that Tabitha and Andy can climb to the top, and look out below. They were given approximately 20 minutes to do this, so more of the story could be added and another activity introduced. In this case, the children had to build a path, which they figured out needed collaboration to accomplish, and move the characters (represented by hexbugs) down the path.

Regular storytime follows a traditional layout. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are read a book, followed by a song they can join in, and then all is repeated before breaking for a craft. Imagination Station follows a similar plan wherein at certain parts of the story, they do an activity in order to help the characters move onto the next step. By the end of the program, the children have learned new skills, including leadership and team work, and feel successful.

The program is simple in design, with minimal setup and clean up. Tara found a wonderful way to meld her love of writing stories with the need to create a STEM-based activity for school-aged children. Thanks to the generous collection of materials at System Headquarters, the library is able to put on this program while staying within budget. The only cost to the library is staff time and basic craft supplies.

The children who attend Imagination Station are not always the same from the visit before, which tells us we are not done growing our attendee list. Of the six times the program has run, there have been at least two new attendees (those never having attended an Imagination Station before); and two girls and one boy, not of the same family, have attended five of the six sessions. Even more people comment on the library’s Facebook event page, either in showing an interest or tagging friends by name to spread the word. 

Imagination Station is steadily gaining a following of regular visitors. It is also something that can be duplicated over the summer when larger groups of children are looking for something to do, which not only saves time in planning, but it also helps to convince children they want to return to the library for more once school is back in session. 

You will need some initial STEM materials (Keva planks, Hexbots, Legos, Little Bits, the board game Mouse Trap, etc.) and you'd incur a cost there if the library doesn't already have those accessible. Once those are secured, ongoing costs to the library are staff time and occasionally basic craft supplies. 

Tags:  Basic Literacy  Civic & Social  Civic Literacy  Social Literacy 

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Hour of Code

Posted By Allison Mackley, National Board Certified Teacher Librarian, Hershey HS, allisons21@gmail.com , Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Library Type

School

Description 

Computer Science Week in December is the perfect time to host an "Hour of Code" with any age patron. Using the Google CS First Program, it is easy to set up a classroom and invite patrons to join a "classroom" to work on a project or module that focuses on themes such as animation, social media, sports, friends, the arts, and much more. In addition, the projects can be as simple as making your name jiggle to developing an animated game. Google CS First is a free product that uses the coding language Scratch. It is possible to add in challenges or competitions in your library. 

There was no cost for the program. We did, however, offer snack, drinks and prizes that were provided by an ALA Libraries [Ready to Code] Grant. 

Tags:  Civic & Social  Civic Literacy  Code  Information Literacy  Social Literacy 

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Meyersdale Public Library celebrates African American History Month

Posted By Terri Foster, Director, Meyersdale Public Library, mpldirector@meyersdalelibrary.org, 814-634-0512 , Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Library Type

Public 

Description

Author Lynn Bowman presented a power-point program about regional African-American history, based on her book "Everyone Counts -- A History of African-American Enslavement in Allegany County, Maryland." (Our library is located near the Maryland border.) The author included information about a local African-American veteran of the U.S. Civil War who was recently honored by our local historical society and G.A.R. Post. 

Tags:  Civic & Social  Civic & Social Literacy  PA Forward 

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V-E Day Celebration

Posted By Amy Jackson, Publicity and Circulation Associate, Shaler North Hills Library , Friday, June 22, 2018

Library Type

Public 

Description

A local community member, Mr. Robert Buckler, donated an amazing World War II plaque commemorating the Glenshaw / Shaler Area Home Front to the Shaler North Hills Library. Area residents had pooled their contributions and, as cited on the plaque, “This aircraft rescue boat [was] sponsored and made possible by War Bond purchases of the people of Glenshaw, Penna.” This donation was especially poignant as ground had been broken for the new Shaler North Hills Library on December 7, 1941, which just happened to be Pearl Harbor Day. The library just concluded their gala year-long celebrations of its 75th birthday during 2017 with many programs, activities, and events for the local community. Moving forward, this plaque will be on permanent display at the Library.

Shaler North Hill’s Library’s Director, Sharon McRae, decided to introduce this special plaque to the local community on May 8, V-E (Victory in Europe) Day. We created a poster branded with the PA Forward 5 Literacies logo and posted it at the library, as well as sharing it on social media.

At a gala event hosted at the library on Tuesday May 8, 2018, the Shaler community demonstrated what this plaque means to our area, remembering those who served on the Home Front during the war. The Glass City Swing Band performed classic hits from the 1940's and members of the VFW Post 9199 presented the colors. SNHL Library Board President and Shaler Township Commissioner Mr. David Shutter gave opening remarks and the Rev. Ing Kalchthaler, the library’s Youth Services Director, led an opening prayer. A representative from Senator John Heinz History Center was on hand to answer questions. Community members enjoyed snacks, book and memorabilia displays, plus shared memories among the veterans in attendance.

As Shaler North Hills Library (SNHL) is in a central location in our township, we were grateful for the opportunity to share this special commemoration with our community.

Tags:  Civic & Social  Civic Literacy  Information Literacy  Social Literacy 

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Bike Safety Day

Posted By Mina Edmondson, Director, Salem Square Library, 717-849-6961, medmondson@yorklibraries.org, Thursday, May 17, 2018

Library Type

Public

Cost and Funding

$2000

Partnership

City of York, York City Police, Crispus Attucks, SafeKids/Wellspan, YMCA, YWCA

Description

Salem Square Library in York, recently hosted a Bike Safety Day. Working with Leadership York, a development course for upcoming leaders in the community, the Salem Square Library along with our community partners and local organizations such as City of York, York City Police, Crispus Attucks, SafeKids/Wellspan, YMCA, YWCA, as well as several bike safety organizations. Leadership York also obtained donations for the day's events.
The program closed a city block and enabled children and families to "play in the street". More than 200 people attended the event, enjoyed the music and toured the library. Each individual who registered received a back pack and the opportunity to win a bicycle. Bike locks and helmets were available for the children in attendance. Every child had the opportunity to have a bicycle tuneup, breaks and seats adjusted, and tires filled and aligned. Two bicycles were given away at the end of the event.

Tags:  Adults  Children  Civic & Social  Health  Teens 

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Vocalist Judi Figel

Posted By Marilyn Klingensmith, Director, Plum Community Library, 4127987323, klingensmithm@einetwork.net, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Library Type

Public

Cost and Funding

$400

Description

Judi Figel is a dynamite singer and great pianist who performs a wide variety of music styles in and around the Pittsburgh area, as well as the Gulf coast of Florida. Her repertoire includes pop, jazz, country, light rock, Broadway and standards. Her fun-loving personality along with strong vocals will captivate an audience to provide high quality entertainment.

Tags:  Adults  Children  Civic & Social  Teens 

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National Library of Medicine Exhibit "Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture"

Posted By Christina Steffy, Director, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences, cjsteffy@pacollege.edu, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Library Type

Academic

Cost and Funding

under $500

Partnership

National Library of Medicine

Description

This year's National Library of Medicine exhibit is Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture. According to the National Library of Medicine, "The exhibition explores the rise of AIDS in the early 1980’s and the evolving response to the epidemic over the last 30 years. The title Surviving and Thriving comes from a book written in 1987 by and for people with AIDS that insisted people could live with AIDS, not just die from it. Jennifer Brier, the exhibition curator, explains that 'centering the experience of people with AIDS in the exhibition allows us to see how critical they were, and continue to be, in the political and medical fight against HIV/AIDS.' Surviving and Thriving presents their stories alongside those of others involved in the national AIDS crisis. The six-banner traveling exhibition utilizes a variety of historic photographs as well as images of pamphlets and publications to illustrate how a group of people responded to, or failed to respond, to HIV/AIDS. Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics, and Culture began traveling around the United States in October 2013." This exhibit tied into the College's common read and our distinguished lecturer. We also teamed with our staff development department to offer PSNA credits for people who viewed the exhibit and took a short quiz. This exhibition was produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Tags:  Adults  Civic & Social  Teens 

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Celebrating Black History Month

Posted By Kathy Pienkowski, Circulation Manager, Citizens Library, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Library Type

Public

Cost and Funding

Approximately $20 from the Teen Program Budget

Description

The documentary, The Souls of Black Girls, was shown and then discussed among teens and with an adult mediator.

Tags:  Civic & Social  Teens 

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May the Fourth Be With You

Posted By Alexis Neapolitan, Hazelton Area Public Library, 570-454-2961, aneapolitan@hazletonlibrary.org , Friday, April 6, 2018

Library Type

Public

Cost and Funding

Free

Description

In a library galaxy, not far, far away, Hazleton Area Public Library invites you to “May the Fourth be With You!” Celebrate on Friday, May 4th at HAPL in the Cosmos room (Community Room/ Green St. Entrance) at 6 p.m. Enjoy episode IV of an intergalactic epic, have a photo taken with some of your favorite character’s cutouts, and celestial refreshments. Come dressed as your favorite SW character. Prizes for the best costume! Reservations are required, and may be placed by phoning HAPL’s reference desk at 570-454-2961 prior to Monday, April 30th.

Tags:  Adults  Basic  Children  Civic & Social  Teens 

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