Thursday, November 15, 2018

Celebrating Multicultural Crafts!

Good Morning!  It's a chilly November morning here in Northern California.  37 degrees is actually very cold for us Californians!  I woke up this morning feeling super excited because my colleague Dunyau and I presented at the California Library Association's (CLA) 2018 Conference on November 10th at the Santa Clara Convention Center.  We sent in a proposal last spring and it was accepted.  Our presentation is called Celebrating Diversity & Multiculturalism Through Crafts.  We had a lot of time to plan for our presentation and we did a lot of research because we are librarians and that's what we do :)  We had an amazing slideshow that Dunyau made on Canva and so many excellent topics to talk about.  We were really focusing on cultural awareness and helping young children learn about diversity and how we can find ways to share our similarities and differences.  When we were finished talking we invited everyone to make the crafts that we showed in our presentation.  What a blast it was!  All of the participants (I think there were around sixty) were really excited to try and make the crafts.  We had five crafts in all for them to make.  There were Ramadan mosaic tiles, Diwali painted pots, Pride ribbon streamers, Multicultural paper dolls, and Dia de Los Muertos mini tin altars.  I especially liked the mini tin altars, they are super cute and very easy to make.  Several participants told me that they were "inspired" and they are going to try these crafts at their library.  We are very excited to continue to share our research and presentation with other libraries and plan to create a webinar and possibly even a class that we take on the road!

Next time I will share more about our presentation and feature some of the crafts with the supplies needed and how to make them.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mashup Time! P.S. I Like You ♥♥♥

Hello again!  I am pursuing again my idea to pair up YA fiction books with fun crafts and yummy recipes.  I'm thinking of a mashup of craft ideas that go with the awesome YA books I read. I will pick a book and then give a description and then list all of the crafts and/or recipes that apply.  I think it will be fun to see how many of these I can come up with.  Let me know if there is a YA book that you would like me to pair up with a craft or recipe!  

I just finished the sweetest book called P.S. I Like You by Kasie West and have so many ideas for mashup crafts.  In this book, our main character Lily Abbot is writing in her notebook in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her intrigue!    

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters, sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she's kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can't always be spelled out...  

Here are a few mashup ideas for P.S. I Like You ♥  

Open When Letters

These are really adorable!  You can customize your Open When envelopes for anyone.  This blog Bethartscrafts has a lot of great ideas for you to get started on customizing your envelopes.  

                     IDEAS FOR ‘OPEN WHEN’ LETTERS

Paper Heart Note Fold

You can find a tutorial here on this lovely paper folding crafty ideas.  Paper Heart Note Fold

The Secret Letter

All you have to do is write your letter with lemon juice and let it dry.  To make it visible, wave the paper over a flame (candle, stove, lighter), letting the flame almost burn the paper.  The areas where you applied the lemon juice will brown faster than the rest of the paper, the words will slowly appear, and you will have decoded the secret message.

Tune in next time for a Book n' Craft Mashup for YALSA Top Ten Nominee Passenger by Lisa Lutz!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Hello Mrs. Librarian Lady is Back!

Wow!  It's been a long time since I posted here.  I feel bad, but I still have lots of fun ideas for teen programs and crafts.  One thing I just implemented at my library is something called the Teen Make n' Take Station.  This is really cool because each month I come up with ideas and buy the supplies, make a few samples and then put out everything at the station.  It has been wildly popular and I am excited to keep this going for our teens that come into the library.  Here is are a few of the crafts I have had at the Make n' Take Station so far.

September:  Paint Chip Bookmarks -  These were so fun and easy to make!  Visit your local home service store that has paint samples and you'll find all kinds of colors there.  Find different shaped hole punches or decorate with metallic sharpies and stickers.  Anything you do with these bookmarks is awesome!

October:  Decorated Animal Masks - The cutest masks ever :) Just print out the masks and make sure to have stickers, glitter, markers, hole puncher, and lots of ribbon

November:  Simple White Tile Coasters - I bought a box of  50 - 4" x 4" white tiles for $20 and decorated a few of them with colorful and metallic sharpies.  They turned out to be so adorable I gave mine away as gifts!

I'm looking for ideas for December, so if you have any easy holiday crafts ideas let me know!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Friday, December 30, 2016

Reality Scoop

I have been interested in writing about the issues of teens and have found that many of the issues that they face are very difficult.  Since I read so much YA fiction, I have seen that there a lot of books that tackle teen topics in a very sensitive and conscious manner.  A few years ago I started to write about real topics that teens are dealing with such as depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, stress, and other mental health issues and pair these topics up with YA realistic fiction books in a column I called Reality Scoop.  I came up with this idea because I feel like many teens could relate to issues they might be dealing with by reading books they can check out from their library.

Here are a few articles that I have written for my column Reality Scoop on the YALSA Hub:

Random Acts of Kindness
Holiday Stress Released
Depression in Young Adult Literature
Autism Awareness
Mental Wellness

I'm thinking of continuing Reality Scoop here on this blog and I am currently working on a list of topics for 2017,

This will be a fun writing project for the upcoming year!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Craft Ideas for Teen Programming

Let's talk about New Year's craft ideas for teen programming! 

If you are in need of some craft ideas for January, look no further. January is a great time for winter-related programs, and of course, for programs that focus on new ideas and new beginnings. For the programs below, I wanted to highlight January as a time for teens to get creative and try new things. I was also inspired by the colors black, white and gold — colors that for me, represent the chilly, glamorous celebratory vibe of New Year's Eve celebrations.

 Here are some very awesome crafts programs that you can try out at your library in January!

Silhouette clipboard: Turn a plain clipboard into a fantastic, golden gem with this DIY tutorial.

Black and gold Sharpie journals: These journals are stylish, and the gold is so inviting. Teens can record their thoughts throughout the year, and they also make great gifts for their friends.

Infinity scarves: Follow this excellent YouTube tutorial to make a simple infinity scarf on a loom. Teens will love it!

Gold glitter dots: All that is gold really does glitter! Try some of these dot crafts that are so perfect for January.

Coastal magnets: I love these magnets; the colors are all so gorgeous. You can use nautical images or come up with images of your own.

Tune in next month, for creative ideas for Valentine's Day programs or should I say Anti-Valentine's Day programs? Forget the hearts and flowers. I will offer up some edgier crafts and activities that teens will love.

See you next month!

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Are Urban Legends Important for Teens?

I love to write, it is one of my favorite things to do.  I am a librarian so I am an avid and natural born researcher.  I am also very passionate about weird and wacky things and love the history of folklore and legends.  I have a master's degree in Consciousness Studies, so I have a strong background in psychology, philosophy, and dream studies.  My thesis for this degree was all about the history of fairy folklore and the origins of the dark fairy Morgan LeFay.  I love poetry and literature and enjoy reading very much.  I'm very in tune with the young adult world and have been a teen librarian for many years.  I have so many ideas that I could write about.

Right now I am very interested in researching Urban Legends.  I feel that these legends are interesting, upbeat, and engaging for teen readers.  I think it would be great to write about different legends each week and find out more why these legends are important and how they relate to teens in today's world.  I also think it would be really cool to come up with craft ideas that relate to the legends. One urban legend that always sticks with me is the one about the lady with the beehive hairdo that ends up having a spider's nest in her hair!  It would be great to pair that story up around Halloween time with a creepy spider's nest craft.

I think researching urban legends will help to find the answer to whether urban legends are important to teens.  I will further this idea as we progress each week.

Mrs. Librarian Lady

Monday, December 26, 2016

Looking Ahead for Fun Summer Crafts

Are you looking for a fun and easy craft to do with teens this summer?  Look no further!  I bet you have all of the materials you need right on hand.  All you need is yarn, school glue, a bowl, and plastic wrap.  That's it and you won't believe how cool it looks when it's all done.  Here are a few links to some awesome Yarn Bowl tutorials.

Y is for Yarn from Fantastic Fun.  Learning blogger Shaunna Evans shows us how easy it is for teens to make a yarn bowl.

Glue Yarn Bowl DIY - Red Ted Art blogger Maggy gives us the scoop on how to make yarn bowls for any occasion.

Yarn Bowl - Kiwi Crate shows you how to get messy with yarn and glue, it looks really pretty when it's done!

Here's a great idea!  How about taking the fun outside and creating life size games for teens to play?  Here are a few ideas that could be a huge hit with teens during the summer.

 Messy Twister Game With A Paint Twist - Try this out, it looks like a blast!

Sponge Water Bombs

Giant Jenga

Tune in next week for more fun summer crafts from Mrs. Librarian Lady!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Books and Recipes for Teens What a Great Combination

I love starting new book clubs for teens! They encourage teens to read something new and provide great enrichment by asking them to examine what they've read. Then the teens soak up new vocabulary words, figure out the storyline, and learn about the characters in the story.

I am also a firm believer that book clubs help teens build leadership skills and gain confidence. Joining a book club give teens a chance to speak up in a group and respectfully share their ideas and opinions, particularly since so many YA books delve into controversial topics. Teens that take the lead in book discussions will gain an extra edge that will help them in school and social settings.

Most of my teen book clubs have focused on a theme. I think having a theme adds a bit more excitement to the club and also offers you, as the facilitator, a chance to be creative and find great books for your teens to read. One of my first teen book clubs was called “Muggles and Magic,” and all the teens wanted to do was read "Harry Potter" over and over again. It was fun — and tricky — to find other books after we were done with the "Harry Potter" series, but my imagination took over, and I found quite a few books that blend magic and mystery for teens. We also played games like "'Harry Potter' Jeopardy" and dressed up as our favorite characters from the book at the end of the school year.

This book club was a great way to figure out how to get teens to read and discuss books. It also gave me the back-up I needed when I started working in a public library to continue to host book clubs. I am always looking for ideas to start a new book club, and since I have just recently started at a new library, I think it could be a great way to get to know the teens in my new community. 

I read a great article about pairing books with desserts on Shari's Berries, and it totally gave me a great idea! It gave me a chance to explore the world of fiction and the food that is taken from the pages of some of my favorite books. You can find all kinds of recipe ideas in books. Many fandoms have created special web pages just for recipes and ideas. I’ve also seen blogs with resourceful recipes inspired by "Twilight," "Hunger Games" and "Harry Potter."

So, what do you think about planning a book club that focuses entirely on reading YA fiction books and making the food that is mentioned in the book?  Sounds fun, right?  It's also a great way to promote reading.  Not only will the teens be reading, they will also be testing their cooking skills. It's so easy to do.  Choose a book every month and have each member pick a treat to make and bring to the discussion meeting? I bet there will be some creative cooking happening! Check out some of these recipes that book club readers could easily recreate for a fun and interactive book discussion group. 
  • The Selection by Keira Cass: "May, don't these strawberry tarts just make you want to cry?" America's Strawberry Nutella Tart
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner: “Beds were assigned, clothes and bathroom things were passed out, dinner was served. Pizza. Real, bona fide, greasy-fingers pizza.” Maze Runner - Tablespoon Pizza Rolls
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen: "Layla's crazy fry eating ritual will leave you wanting to test out the mystery blend method after completing your own french frey gathering trifecta."  Layla - Homemade French Fry Seasoning Blend
  • Splintered series by A.G. Howard: "I need to get to that tea party and wake up the guests ... and how are you supposed to do that? Give a magical kiss to the half-baked hatmaker?"  Allysa -  Edible Tea Cups - YUM!
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth: "I only came for cake." Tobias Eaton  - Dauntless Cake recipe
  • Check out my Pinterest board, "Tasty YA Book Recipes," for more fun ideas on pairing YA books and yummy treats!

    Tune in next month for more tips and ideas for tween and teen programming from Mrs. Librarian Lady.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Teen Summer Challenge Extended!

Hello everyone!  I know it's been a while since I have checked in here.  I've been busy writing for the Programming Librarian blog and was working on a great piece called the Teen Summer Challenge.  I didn't get a chance to finish up on the PL blog, so I was thinking that since summer isn't officially over until September 22nd that I would post the rest of my summer challenge ideas here.  My plan is to post about projects that teens will love to do at the library during the summer. I’ve got ideas for refreshing summer recipes, creative crafts, and even some outdoor activities. If you are a teen librarian or school librarian you can join the challenge by duplicating these engaging ideas at your library. Here's a sneak preview of some of the projects on my summer list that are still left to do:

  • Yarn bowls
  • Games 101
  • Leaf art
  • Kaleidoscopes
  • Plant pals
  • Sock puppets
  • Mastering the jump rope
  • Waterproofing the jump rope
  • Custom crayons
  • Lazy summer day playlist
Here are some crafts and activities that I already tried at my library!

Summer Fun with Adorable Tape and Dancing

More Summer Fun with Dream Catchers and Playing in the Dirt

May the Fourth of July Be With You

Feel free to try these crafts and activities out any time of the year!

Love your library!

Mrs. Librarian Lady