Panel to talk about programs. They all had their slide hand outs, which I took.
Jen Lemke, Reference Librarians and Coordinator of Teen Services
She talked about Pinterest to use as a tool to plan programs.
Pinterest- some love it and some hate it. When she is brainstorming for a new program, she creates a new board on Pinterest and pins like crazy.
Google vs. Pinterest: We use Google to search for things and some might not turn to Pinterest that readily. When she did a search on Google, a lot of things from Pinterest came up. When we do a Google search, we get text. Pinterest is much more visual. It’s more stimulating to the imagination.
In Pinterest, you can search for all pins, like for summer reading or for a bingo program. You can also search for people or library systems or companies. It’s a huge form of social media. It’s an electronic pin board. If you start saving programs for a gardening program, Pinterest will make suggestions and appear in your feed.
She showed us a sample search, “Gardening Projects for Kids.” Some links go to Explore Topics. She likes the visuals on each board when she does a search. Gardening in an ice cream cone? Gardening with sponges?
When you find a pin you like, if you scroll to the bottom, Pinterest has related pins. This is helpful for programs. She found ideas doing a Mother’s Day craft.
Explore feature: Pinterest will make general suggestions about awesome stuff that is trending that day. But it also gives you recommendations.
You can also check out what others saved to a board. You can look at that person’s board and raid ideas. “Notifications” shows you who has been saving your ideas.
Pinterest might overwhelm you, so you can also turn it off.
You can also share your ideas. She made two giant games out of tarp, duck tape and poster board. She saved the photos and it got pinned 140 times!
Then she talked about Dollar Tree and how it is your best friend. Pinterest has a lot of DT crafts. She then shared a list of things to buy and not buy at the Dollar Store. Most of the do not is food, gum, electronics, sodas, pet foods, etc.
She also does a Teen Cooking program. She has done Smoothies, Mug Cake, Will it Waffle?, Gingerhouses and Christmas Trees, Hot Chocolate, etc.
Also, whenever possible, seek out recycled materials. She asks for donations months before a program, and has found people want to get rid of stuff in their closet, especially if they know it’s going to good use. She has done “Bad Art” programs, and the ugliest art, wins.
She talked about Cards for Hospitalized Kids, where you can make cards for kids.
Operation Gratitude has a lot of options for community service projects. Soldiers cherish letters or you can also send Halloween candy.
She then talked about more ideas.
The NJ Summer Reading page has a lot of ideas.
Lisa O’Shaughnessy started speaking about Lifesize Board Games. She said they are very easy to do. They always do a LS Candyland.
When planning a board game, think about your space when you choose your game. How are you going to make the game work in your space?
Everything they make for Candyland is recycled materials or from the Dollar Store. You then have to decide on the rules, choose your stations and decide how to build each station.
She has done Grandma’s Nut House, Snowflake Lake, Gingerbread Gardens and Gumdrop Mountain.
Volunteers and helpers are great. They let kids really young to 13-14 to play. They do some prizes and do a craft as people are waiting.
Another program she does is Olympic Games. Balloon Tennis, Potato Sack Races, etc.
She also does Karaoke, which is fun and free to do. Use YouTube to make a playlist, which has a lot of songs already on it. She has had 75 kids show up to this! She has done this in the winter with hot cocoa. Having a kid MC the event can really make it fun.
Marissa Lieberman began to speak. She is a children’s librarian at the East Orange Public Library.
She talked about her ideas.
Life-sized games: Angry Birds. This is something she does and the materials can be recycled.
She also loves game shows and creates them on powerpoint. She has prizes on hand usually, and she adapts a lot of them.
She showed an example using Jeopardy. She sometimes puts the kids in teams. This is great for all ages.
She also uses 10,000 Pyramid, also created on Powerpoint.
Trust Me, I’m a Librarian, has also been adapted.
All three ladies had great ideas!