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Storyville February 23, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics.
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Storyville General Store

Have you been to Storyville yet? Better yet, have you taken a preschooler to Storyville?

What a wonderful, amazing piece of work this is! The attention to detail, the beauty of every element, the craftsmanship… everything in Storyville is cleverly designed to make the best use of space and to cram as many developmental skills as possible into the Storyville experience.

Just as an example: we LOVED the store. First you do your shopping, choosing among the healthy delicious foods for sale with your child. There are scales to weigh your items – very popular.

When it’s time to check out, the kid puts on an apron, scans each item and rings you up (did you know that all kids know what the rectangle of glass at the supermarket checkout is for and how you use it? I did not, until I saw my four year old do it). The cash register works, and is stocked with play money and a couple credit cards.

After you buy your food, then you sort all the food back into its proper bin, shelf, or basket.

The Storyville General Store incorporates about a hundred developmental skills, plus it’s fun, plus the items are bright-colored and detailed and just – neat.

Then there’s the Theater, or, more properly, the Theater District, as it incorporates both a puppet theater and a live-action stage.

Currently, the stage is set so that kids can perform The Mitten, by Jan Brett. Masks of each character are provided, as well as a poster listing the dramatis personae and a giant-size copy of the book. The vertical pylons at the rear of the stage rotate to reveal three different backgrounds: woodland, farm, and one more.

The costumes deserve special note – a Rosedale staff member made them after searching in vain for sturdy costumes that were easy to put on and take off. They are beautiful, with extra-reinforced seams and luxurious fake fur, and invite imaginative play.

Congratulations to everyone involved – Storyville is breathtaking!


Finding yourself in the world February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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London during the Great Exhibition of 1851 by George Shove. ca. 1851; printed map on leather. The National Archives, U.K.

This spring, the Walters Art Museum presents four exhibitions about maps and mapping. Including such fascinating oddities as a map of London on a kid glove (above) and such technological marvels as maps of the universe taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, these exhibitions are in conjunction with Baltimore’s Festival of Maps, a citywide celebration organized by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance to encourage Baltimore residents and visitors to explore museums, theaters, galleries and educational institutions. There’s even a downloadable GoogleEarth layer showing where on earth the

The Festival of Maps runs from March 16 through June 30, 2008.

Take this opportunity to put out a display of atlases and maps, books of exploration, and movies and fiction with plots involving maps.

“Super” kids program idea February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile.
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From American Libraries Direct:

CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has awarded children’s librarian Lisa M. Shaia with the 2008 ALSC/Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program “Superhero Club” at the Bristol Public Library.

Shaia’s program, Superhero Club, encouraged children to use their imagination by creating a superhero alter-ego, complete with a costume, accessories, superpowers and a sidekick. Each club member then drew a comic book starring his superhero and at the end of the session, used their superhero powers to compete against supervillains in an obstacle course.

The program, which ran for five weeks in the spring and then eight weeks in the summer, introduced club members to the superhero genre and encouraged them to read from the library’s growing graphic novel collection. It is Shaia’s hope that introducing young readers to pleasure reading, such as comic books and graphic novels, will keep them interested in reading through their ‘tween and teen years and into adulthood.

“I believe this program is so successful because the superhero genre transcends age, race, sex and children’s interests,” said Shaia. “The club provides children with a way to use their imagination that they don’t get a chance to do any other way. Instead of watching a television show or playing a video game, they can create a persona and lose themselves in their own story.”

She’s a super-cool exploradora February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, spring.
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And she reads! Dora the Explorer has signed on to help ALSC and REFORMA in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). Día’s mission is to spread “bookjoy” by linking children of all cultures with books. Celebrate! Celebremos! The celebration is held on April 30 each year.

Art on the run February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, display topics, fiction, nonfiction.
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Paul Cézanne. Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-1890. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of the National Gallery of Art. 995.47.5

Two recent art heists (articles here and here) have us thinking of The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean’s 12, and books like The Lost Painting and Noah Charney’s recent The Art Thief. Find some big beautiful art books and pair them with some classy true-crime stories and mystery fiction for a fun midwinter display.

More misery from Augusten Burroughs February 20, 2008

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Expect a run on the memoirs and essay collections of Augusten Burroughs when his new book A Wolf At The Table comes out in May.

“I got my start at the library” February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, nonfiction.
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As reported in American Libraries Direct:

“Continuing a seven-year partnership with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries that has generated millions of dollars worth of editorial coverage on behalf of libraries, four entrepreneurs share their stories of how they started businesses using the library with Woman’s Day magazine’s 4 million readers this month.”

The article appears in the March issue of Woman’s Day (pdf here). It might make a nice printout alongside a selection of books about starting a business, women in business, biographies of Carly Fiorina, etc.

Spiderwick suggestions February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J fiction, winter, YA.
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The Spiderwick movie opens this Thursday and it looks like a good one. It certainly has a fun web site, if that’s any indication. Plump up your display of books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black with other books about extra-normal creatures. Click “more” below for a short list. Simon & Schuster offers a variety of printable activities we might offer as pickup items.

Notable Children’s Recordings 2008 February 14, 2008

Posted by sneaks in audio books, J is for Juvenile, YA.
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CHICAGO – The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2008 list of Notable Children’s Recordings. The list includes recordings for children 14 years of age and younger of especially commendable quality that demonstrate respect for young people’s intelligence and imagination; exhibit venturesome creativity; and reflect and encourage the interests of children and young adolescents in exemplary ways. Click “more” for the full list.


You think you’ve got facilities problems? February 14, 2008

Posted by sneaks in fun.
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This beautiful but disheveled library is in fact a diorama created by the artist Lori Nix.

See more of her mesmerizing work on her website.

Audie Award nominees announced February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in audio books, display topics, winter.
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The Audio Publishers Association has announced the finalists for the 2008 Audie Awards.

“Finalists are selected for each category and from each group of finalist one winner is awarded. Finalists will be notified in March 2008, and showcased to the industry-at-large on the APA website, press releases and in association materials. Winners will be recognized at The Audies® gala on May 30, 2008.”

It’s a long and diverse list, including categories for children’s books, mystery, classic and literary fiction, and many others. Neil Gaiman is nominated for three different works, and Stephen Colbert, Jenna Bush, and Ronald Reagan are also among the nominees.

Audio books are seeing a steady gain in popularity – why not showcase achievement in this field with a printed list of Audie Award finalists together with a batch of nominated audio books?

Brush-a brush-a brush-a February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J non-fiction, winter.
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National Children’s Dental Health month is here! Slide our special bookmarks into books from 617.6 and provide fun activity handouts from the American Dental Association and dltk.

Icky Rehab February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in CDs, winter.
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The 50th Grammy Awards have been announced. Amy Winehouse won big, as did Justin Timberlake, the White Stripes, Kanye West, Bruce Springsteen, and Alicia Keys. Expect more demand for CDs by these artists.

For the full list of nominees and award winners, click here.

The Great Backyard Bird Count February 10, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, Picture Books, winter.
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A joint project of the Cornell Ornithology Lab and the Audubon Society, “the Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.”

This event takes place February 15-18. Participants can enter their bird count results on the event’s web page, where you can also find regional bird checklists.

A little nature might be just what your displays need during these short cold days. You might print out our regional bird list, and display a batch of bird books – books from 598 as well as picture books and fiction featuring birds, such as The Snow Goose, The Trumpet of the Swan, Perry’s Baltimore adventure, Little Louie Takes Off, and others.

Share the love February 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, recommended by, winter.
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Tell Us What You Love

This Valentine’s Day themed display encourages library patrons to celebrate their favorite books or share what inspires them.

Heart-shaped pieces of paper are provided, and books with pretty covers and positive themes are displayed.

From the Carl A. Pescosolido Library in Massachusetts.