Monday, January 11, 2010

Children's Update: Freeport

Preschool storytime continues to be fun for all who attend. We read books with the themes of Deck the Halls, Snowmen, Reindeer, Santa Claus and Happy New Year. We decorated ice cream cone trees, made snowman ornaments and Santa puppets, and had a new year celebration with homemade party hats and instruments.

Yolanda and I represented the library at Holiday on the Brazos. More than 200 children made an ornament to take home. Craft Day with Mrs. Claus was another success. More than 100 children registered. The children visited the different centers throughout the library. All 108 children received a very nice hardback book thanks to our grant from Walmart. This is such a great community event. Children do all kinds of activities. I staff the center where they decorate cookies with globs of icing, sprinkles, etc. Children come from all the surrounding communities.

Sherry is a grandmother for the first time. She went to visit her granddaughter, Claudia Marie, during her vacation.

Marge, branch manager

Children's Update: Clute

December's preschool storytime themes covered decorations, snow, the holidays, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the new year. We decorated Christmas trees, made snowmen and created door hangers. Thirty-eight children and 20 adults enjoyed the programs. We will continue our alphabet theme in January.

We held a teen game day on December 29.

For our craft day on December 12, we made door hangers.

We will show a movie and make a craft on January 16 for Appreciate a Dragon Day.

Carolyn, branch manager

Children's Update: West Columbia

For preschool storytime, we had 12 children and six adults visit us. We read stories about gingerbread, reindeer, trees, Santa Claus and the new year. We made gingerbread paper bag houses, tree puzzles and calendars.

Puzzle Day was December 5 and each child got to make his or her own puzzle and make a puzzle piece to display. Also, each one was able to make a menorah for Hanukkah. On December 19, we hosted Winter Holidays Around the World. Each child made a craft for Kwanzaa, St. Nicholas Day and Las Posadas.

January 9 is Elvis Day at the library. We are having a hula hoop contest and making guitars.

During the month of December, we passed out candy cane scented bookmarks.

Melissa, branch manager

Children's Update: Brazoria

The children’s area has been busy with Christmas activities. Each week we made an ornament according to our theme including a reindeer, a Christmas tree, and a Santa Claus. The final week we read Clement Clarke Moore's "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and had a party. The children decorated cookies, sorted colored marshmallows and ate lots of cookies and punch. Each child received a snowman ornament to take home and put on his or her own tree. Carmen did preschool storytime on December 30, and she read about New Year’s. The children colored New Year’s pictures.

We had Bedtime Stories this month and six children attended. We read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and several other Christmas books. The evening was topped off with milk and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Carmen and I went to Parent’s Night at the Brazoria Head Start Center. We gave an overview of the library system and the services we provide to children and adults.

I am planning winter events at this time including Valentines for Vets, which I will take to the Veteran’s Hospital in Houston. Also in the works are plans for Groundhog Day, Mardi Gras and a Valentine’s Day party.

We are happy to be “un-decorating” for Christmas and reorganizing for next year. All of us are planning for an exciting winter, spring and summer. Lots of good ideas have been expressed.

Jo, children's specialist

Children's Update: Manvel

This month 82 children and 57 adults attended our preschool storytime programs. We started the month with stories from Mother Goose, then we spent the rest of the month celebrating the holidays. We read stories and sang songs about reindeer, Santa Claus, and Christmas, and we finished out the month, and the year, with New Year's stories. For crafts we made the Three Little Kittens' lost mittens, Rudolph the Red-Puff-Ball-Nosed Reindeer, a Santa Claus puppet, Christmas trees, and a great New Year's party hat.

At Teen Read we discussed new books that have been released, as well as new movies we'd seen. Everyone had seen "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" and was really excited to talk about it. Attendance was down due to the holidays, but we hope that it will rise again in January. For our teen activity this month, we played Name That Holiday Tune. We only had two teens come. They enjoyed snacks and had a great time trying to guess the holiday songs. Both did very well, but we could only have one winner, and he got a candy cane full of Hershey's Kisses.

This month for Pajama Night Storytime, we had three children and two adults come listen to several different versions of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. The program concluded with the original story by Clement Clarke Moore. Afterward, we enjoyed cookies and apple juice.

Our Kids' Craft Time this month was attended by seven children and two adults. We made star ornaments out of craft sticks, rhinestones and glitter glue. While the glue was drying, we put together bags of "Magic Reindeer Food" to sprinkle on their lawns Christmas Eve so Santa's reindeer could find their houses. Everyone had a great time.

In January, we will be hosting our (hopefully) First Annual Paper Football Tournament for teens. We'll also be having our regular Teen Read programs. We'll be making snow globes during our Kids' Craft Time, and Pajama Night Storytime will be "Midnight Snack Attack!"

We welcome our new shelver, Clare, to the branch. Clare started December 14 and is doing a wonderful job.

Geri, children's librarian

Children's Update: Pearland

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa! December started off in a festive way. During the first week of December, we enjoyed a few of our favorite winter stories with songs and finger plays, then the children made a winter craft. Happy Hanukkah was the theme for week two. Ms. Laura read stories about Hanukkah with songs and finger plays. The children made their own Hanukkah toys and menorahs and played Hanukkah games. Weeks three and four were both themed Merry Christmas to You. Our stories varied from classics to modern. The children made their own Christmas crafts such as Christmas tree ornaments, poinsettias and Christmas cards. We also sang songs with finger plays and served cookies and cocoa with marshmallows. Our last preschool storytime for the month was Happy Kwanzaa. We read stories about Kwanzaa and had songs and finger plays. Our craft was to design a kinara, make a toilet paper candle or make a placemat using traditional Kwanzaa colors.

Tween Book Club was hosted on December 11. Our tweens were encourage to read any of the American Girl Christmas stories or a Christmas story of their own liking. We served hot cocoa with marshmallows and cookies.

We had two special programs this month starting off with Winter Holiday Crafts on December 16. Ms. Laura read holiday stories and sang songs. Members of the Pearland High School band came by and played Christmas music in the lobby which was enjoyed by all. Our crafts were set up on six different tables. Each table offered a variety of crafts from creating Christmas ornaments to making their own Kwanzaa placemats. We served cocoa, cookies, candy and lemonade. The second special program was on December 22. There were Christmas stories, six different craft stations, Christmas music, and cookies and cocoa. Some of the children then placed their ornaments on our library Christmas tree. Lastly, the children played “Toss the Teddy.” A fun time was had by all.

We are excited about our next event coming up in January. We will celebrate New Year and winter.

This year the children’s department was decorated beautifully. There are lights, Christmas trees, a menorah and fake snow. We also put some Kwanzaa items in the big bulletin display. We’ve placed some of our preschool storytime and special event crafts out for viewing. Many of the library patrons were happy that there were so many diverse activities for their children to participate in. Kudos goes out to the PHS band for playing the Christmas music at the library. This was the first time the library had live music! We had several students here, and they got some snacks and cocoa too! Thank you to them for providing us with such festive music.

Laura, children's specialist

Children's Update: Lake Jackson

At preschool storytime in December attendance was light as we read stories about a jolly old elf, getting nothing for Christmas, and the New Year. In January we will be reading stories about eXtra special gifts received, rubber duckies, toys and snow.

Boys Read, the new bi-monthly book club for grades 6-8 started in December, but no one signed up for it. Hopefully with some more promotion we will have some boys participating in the February meeting.

Girls Read for grades 6-8 will meet January 26 to discuss "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld.

In December eight children attended the Readers Circle Book Club for Grades 1-3 to discuss the book "One Snowy Night" by M. Christina Butler. In January we will be reading "Vulture's View" by April Pulley Sayre.

Only four children in the Bookaneers Book Club for Grades 4-5 read and discussed Barbara Robinson's "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" in December. In January we are reading "Mudshark" by Gary Paulsen and discussing what makes a person “cool.”

As part of the 24th Annual Children’s Book Swap, children who received book bucks in November returned to spend them in December. On December 5, we had 34 children and 17 adults attend the program and spend $1,536 in book bucks on gently used books at the library. We had purchased $1,121 worth of books from eight families in November. Additional books were saved from donations to the Friends to provide a good selection of titles. Each child attending a program in November earned additional bucks, and each child entering the library on December 5 received $5 in book bucks and was invited to shop. Families with leftover bucks may use them during the year to buy books from the Friends ongoing book sale at the Lake Jackson branch.

During the Christmas break, we offered several programs including movies and crafts. The daily drop-in crafts averaged about 10 children per day.

The dragon book display is drawing a lot of interest and may stay up through “Appreciate A Dragon Day” on January 16.

I read a selection of stories to a group of 24 children and 5 adults at Head Start in Lake Jackson on December 16. In appreciation, the library received a book character doll for the library. Thank you, Head Start!

I continue to email my calendar of events to school librarians and some teachers who have requested it.

February 13, for Valentine’s Day, we are planning several things including making your own valentines; a repeat of last year’s Love Your Library Group Hug and “Why You Love Your Library” contest; as well as a program featuring chocolate tasting and crafts. Details will be announced.

March 20 has been set as the tentative date for this year’s Fancy Nancy Fashion Show.

The new book, hanging bag and DVD display shelving the city purchased has arrived and been set up. Looks great – especially the table-top displays for the easy books. I am using them to feature popular series and authors along with the corresponding character dolls when I have them.

Susan, children's librarian

Children's Update: Angleton

Christmas, pets, trains and trees were our themes for preschool storytime. New visitors came for the first time. The children had great fun and were very attentive for the readings. The train mesmerized all, very entertaining. In January, we are discussing time, cold weather clothes and snow.

LIFE/HCS attended a movie on December 16. Sixteen adults were provided popcorn and drinks. Lots of compliments for providing entertainment for the group.

Vickie was welcomed back with staff support. Clarissa had a wonderful time in Hawaii.

Emma Lou, children's specialist

Children's Update: Sweeny

We had things that are cold during preschool storytime. We made penguin photo frames and had a marshmallow snowball fight. The toddlers looked for winter clothing hidden around the library.

Teen book club had four attendees, and we discussed "What I Saw and How I Lied" by Judy Blundell over cookies and milk.

We made Christmas cards for Sweeny House this month.

We are going to celebrate National Puzzle Day at the end of the month.

Our stats were up for the month off December and for 2009. Kudos to the staff.

Leslie, branch manager

Children's Update: Danbury

Miss Ruby brought the BIG tortoise. We had to get a lift truck (actually just Nick) to bring it in. Too much fun.

Wii is good on Thursdays. During the holidays, we played a little extra when there were lots of children here.

Craft day was making holiday plaques. May have to move craft day from Fridays; it is just not working for our families.

January is looking good so far, despite the cold weather. Craft day is on January 15. We are doing bookmarks with really happening tassels on them.

Set up the children’s computer in the meeting room. Parents are signing up to do it with their children. Showed it to the Friends Group and one of the senior members said he thought this might be just his speed, except the keys needed to be bigger. I agreed the keys being bigger might be better for both him and children but noted how cute the shrunken mouse was!

Kandy, branch manager

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Children's Update: West Columbia

Twenty-five people enjoyed preschool storytime in October. We learned about fire prevention, going to the fair, spiders and pumpkins. We made a fire house, a barn, paper plate pumpkins and painted a spider web with a marble.

Thirteen people participated in the pumpkin decorating contest. We also visited with about 140 children during the Trick or Treat in the Park on Halloween.

I went to the Varner-Hogg Harvest Festival and read stories about cotton farming. More than 200 people were in attendance at that event.

We have a Family Reading Night scheduled for November 16. This event will also feature a Pajama Storytime. A Thanksgiving Craft Day is set for November 21.

Melissa, branch manager