Friday, September 28, 2012

Sam and the Acorn

This prop story was created for my upcoming "Monsters!" family storytime. Since I do an all ages program, I like to use material that will capture the attention of both the children and adults so I find myself often creating stories with props. The concept of "Sam and the Acorn" has been used in books and flannel board stories before - wishing for change and then finding out the original is best after all. I've listed some of them at the end of the story which can be found as a Google Document here.

This prop took some time to create. (The story would also work as a flannel board story and the figures would probably be easier to make.) It was worth the effort for Sam is 50 inches tall and makes quite a visual impact when hanging from my storytelling board. Sam is drawn over 6 pieces of card stock taped together in the back. I outlined him in black marker and painted him with poster paint. I like to use poster paint to color large figures. I used hook and loop dots to fasten the "monster" parts. I painted over the dots to make them less noticeable.

Sam and his monster parts

Sam hanging on my front door


This week's Flannel Friday is hosted by Katie of Storytime Katie.  Complete information about Flannel Friday can be found here.

2012 ALSC National Institute - Reflections

After attending PLA 10 years ago, I finally made it to another national conference - ALSC's 2012 National Institute. Even though I hope to retire in a couple of years, I'm still interested learning more about my profession and in finding ways to improve as a youth services librarian. So I took advantage of my part-time status to take a week off to visit family and attend the Institute.

Since I was attending on my own time and my own dime, I chose programs that I was interested in rather than those which would be helpful to my library (OK, I did attend one program simply to bring back information for my library.) For example, I know little about copyright so I attended "Quick and Easy Copyright." I love picture book art but know little about graphic novels so I attended "Viewing the Picturebook and the Graphic Novel as Sequential Art." There were other programs I would have loved to attend but there were conflicts. (It seems to be a law of conferences that all the programs you want to attend will meet at exactly the same time.)

The best part of the Institute for me was hearing the authors talk about their art - words and pictures. Every single one was fantastic. I do not collect autographs but I value authors as artists. It was such a pleasure to hear them speak. They were entertaining, inspiring and thoughtful.

I learned to deal with technology on the road. I even managed to get a couple of blog posts up using Blogsy. I missed my full-sized keyboard very much. I can type so much faster on it. The younger librarians were definitely way ahead of me - I was very impressed with the tweets and live blogging that went on during the programs.

It's always nice to meet librarians from around the country but I was particularly impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of the younger librarians I met. It's nice to know that the future is in good hands.

In a couple of years I may be leaving my job but I won't be leaving the profession. I'm looking forward to seeing how youth services librarians meet the challenges of the future. I will probably be retired when the 2014 ALSC National Institute takes place but that doesn't rule out my attending.

Road Trip - PA Turnpike

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 3 - 2012 ALSC National Institute

"Quick and Easy Copyright" Professor Tomas Lipinski, Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, presented an overview of coyright law and how it affects libraries. The group attending this program was small so we were able to have an interesting discussion about copyright issues. This turned out to be my favorite Institute program probably because it was a small group and definitely because Dr. Lipinski not only made a complicated subject understandable but his genuine interest in helping libaries and librarians in this area was clearly evident.

"Closing General Session: Exploring Nonfiction though Authors and Illustrators" This panel discussion by three very different authors of non-fiction books for children was excellent. Bryan Collier, Doreen Rappaport, and April Pulley Sayre not only talked about how they research and write their books but also about why they write non-fiction.

Notes: The Institute ended Saturday (Day 3) so these comments are a bit late. I had hopes of posting Saturday evening but it was not to be. Sunday was my big travel day (8 hours) and I was very tired when I got home so again blogging was not going to happen.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 2 - 2012 ALSC National Institute

"Breakfast for Bill: Caldecott Celebration" This event honors the memory of William C. Morris, the first recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award. This year's event celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal. A panel of past medal/honor winners talked about their reactions to winning. Kevin Henkes, Denise Fleming, and Eric Rohmann were joined by Ben Sapp of the Mazza Museum of International Art from Piicture Books who talked about the museum's collection of original art. Because it was the Caldecott's 75th, Ms. Fleming brought birthday hats for the panel and moderator Floyd Dickman to wear.

"What Difference Does It Make? The Impact of Early Literacy Training on Youth Services Staff" The Hedberg Public Library (Janesville, WI) demonstrated how effective their early literacy workshop was in showing staff how to integrate literacy tips for parents into their programs.

"Planning for Excellence: Developing Best Practices for Youth Services" Celia Huffman of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library emphasized the importance of planning programs that keep the library's mission and, more importantly, the community's needs in mind.

"Author Luncheon with Gary Paulsen" Mr. Paulsen was humorous but his talk was far from light entertainment as he told us about his journey to become the writer he is today.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 1 - 2012 ALSC National Institute

After a brief welcome the programs began.

"It's All About the Money: Corporate Partnerships in Children's Programming" Cheryl Lee of the Palo Alto City Library emphasized the importance of building relationships with donors and of keeping detailed contact lists.

"Viewing the Picture Book and the Graphic Novel as Sequential Art" The focus of this presentation by Erin Reilly-Sanders of Ohio State University was on looking at graphic novels and picture books as art rather than literature.

Author Peter Brown was the keynote speaker. He gave us insights into his creative work with a very entertaining presentation. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak - go!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


After a nice visit with my uncle in Ohio, I left today for Indianapolis to attend the 2012 ALSC National Institute. I attended the ALSC happy hour at a nearby restaurant, joining a group of librarians from Baltimore's Enoch Pratt Library on the way. (Thank you for letting me tag along!) It was fun meeting youth services people from around the country and I'm looking forward to tomorrow when the Institute officially starts!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Five Little Monsters - Finger Puppets

The Family Story Time about monsters is starting to come together. I have a cut and tell story, a possible board story, and a prop story. I also have several books which I will have to pare down to three or four. I spent some time looking at monster rhymes. Several were variations of "Five Little Monkeys." I liked the idea of jumping monsters but didn't feel that they should be confined to a bed so I wrote my own rhyme.

Five Little Monsters
Linda Meuse
Notes from the Story Room

Five little monsters jumping with glee,
The silly one said, "Hey, look at me!
I jumped so high that I landed in a tree!"

Four little monsters jumping up and down,
The slimy one said, "Soon I won't be around
Because I can jump so far that I'm jumping into town."

Three little monsters jumping high and low,
The scaly one said, "I just want you to know
That I can jump so fast that you'll never see me go."

Two little monsters jumping with each other,
The smelly one said, "I can jump higher than my brother
So now I'm jumping home to show my monster mother."

One furry little monster was left jumping all alone.
"I miss all the others," he said with a monster moan.
"But we'll jump again tomorrow!" and he jumped on home.

Even though I made my own monsters, clip art of cute monsters can be easily found online for those who don't want to draw their own. (Monsters are easy to draw - give it a try!) My post, "Finger Puppets for Five Colorful Birds" shows how I make my finger puppets.

This week's Flannel Friday Roundup is hosted by Kay Leigh of Storytime ABC's. All things Flannel Friday can be found here.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Mess Monster: Cut and Tell

"Monsters!" is the theme of next month's Family Story Time so I am in the process of gathering and creating storytelling activities that feature monsters. For this cut and tell story I first drew a symmetrical monster figure and then wrote a story to go with it.

The Mess Monster

Linda A. Meuse
(Notes from the Story Room)

Joe's mom came downstairs, turned off the TV and said, "Joe, go upstairs and clean your room. It is a mess!" "Aw, mom," replied Joe, "can't I do it later?" "No," she said, "Do it now."

With a sigh Joe went upstairs to clean his room. He didn't think it was messy for he knew where everything was. As he entered he had to go around a pile of dirty clothes and step over toys on the floor. (Cut from 1 to 2) "Well, maybe it could use a little cleaning up after all," thought Joe. He went back and forth across his room picking up toys and clothes as he went along. (Cut from 2 to 3) He was pulling some dirty socks from under the bed (Cut from 3 to 4) when he heard a noise. He thought it came from his pile of dirty underwear so he went across the room to investigate but he couldn't find anything when he got there. (Cut from 4 to 5) He picked up the pile of underwear and headed over to the hamper. As he dumped his underwear in, he heard the noise again near his toy box. He picked up the rest of his toys walking around the room. (Cut from 5 to 6). As he put his toys in the box he saw it. Joe reached down and grabbed it. "Gotcha!" shouted Joe as he picked up the little creature. "Why you're no bigger than a piece of paper!" (Cut out 7) said Joe, "What are you?" "My name is Sibley," it replied, "I am a mess monster. I hide in messy rooms and nibble on toys. No one ever notices me because the room is such a mess. Please put me down. I would like to go now that everything has been put away." Joe put Sibley down and the little monster ran quickly out of his room.

From then on, Joe always kept his room neat and clean. Well, maybe not always. Well, maybe sometimes. If any of his toys looked like something had been chewing on it, then Joe knew that it was time to clean his room.

Sibley - The Mess Monster
 I added sticker eyes. You can also make eyes by drawing them or using a hole punch.

This is the template with cutting sequence that I made.

The story with the photos is also available as a Google document here.

Library Quine is this week's Flannel Friday host. The roundup can be found at Loons and Quines at Librarytime.

All things Flannel Friday can be found here.