Posts Tagged ‘community’

Summer Scenes at the Library

The summer fun began at the library last week and we have been busy giving away reading logs for our Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge. If you haven’t already stopped by for one of our story times or programs, check out our schedule to find one that works for you. Here are some of the scenes so far this summer at your library.


George “Bernard” Paw joined the Frisco Public Library family! Bernard likes to hide in his dog house but he comes out to see his friends and tell silly jokes during story time. Have you seen him yet?


Miss Lisa's Story Time

Miss Lisa read about colors during her Toddler Story Time. Toddlers played Little Mouse, Little Mouse to guess where Little Mouse was hiding, listened to stories about colors, and sang songs about colors too.


Rochelle & Stuart

Special guests have stopped by during Preschool Story Time. This week Rochelle and Stuart taught the preschoolers new songs and shared fun stories about shapes.


Mad Science

For our Kindergarten-5th graders, we have had two of our special Monday programs. This week, Dr. Beast from Mad Science recruited some scientists-in training to help him with some cool experiments.

If you haven’t already, stop by and see us at the library! We would love to see you in story time, during our programs, or just at the Ask Us desks!

Brie Walsh Brienne Walsh
Library Assistant – Editor

How Do I Plan a Library Tour?


Do you need a Library badge for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts? We can help you there. Even if you don’t, library tours are a great activity for any small school or community group. The tours at the Frisco Public Library are designed for groups up to 25 in K-12 to show a sampling of what the library has to offer them. In addition to touring the floors relevant to them, the kids get to participate in a library oriented activity. This activity will vary depending on their ages.


The staff at the library are always busy providing literacy programs and managing library materials. Typically, the best times to plan library tours are Tuesdays 1-5pm and Fridays 3-5pm.  This is because we do not have regularly scheduled story times during these hours and most of the staff have not yet left for the day.


If you have special time requests, however, we will be happy to see if a staff member can come in to lead your tour. Please fill out the online form on our website here: Make sure to give us at least two weeks notice to plan your tour. Large groups, such as schools, are encouraged to inquire about tours as well. Please inquire over six months in advance to see if we can accommodate your larger group.


We hope to see your group at the library soon!

Amanda Poore
Library Assistant – Editor

The Norris Family

When Catalina Norris was a child in Eastern Europe her small local library allowed only 15 people in at a time. She would wait outside in anticipation of finding a good book, but often was disappointed.

Today, she and her two girls, Abby (6) and Sophie (4) are regular visitors to Frisco Public Library and feel they have “found a home” within its walls. The Norris family moved to the Frisco area four years ago without family or friends. Catalina says without any connections in the area, the library became their anchor–a place to belong and connect with the community.

Abby, who is now in kindergarten, is reading leaps and bounds beyond her grade level, and her mom credits the library for her skill and love of books. Over the years, Catalina took full advantage of the library’s literacy resources, the expertise of staff and early literacy story times. Abby was reading her first words by age three, and Sophie is now following in her big sister’s footsteps.

Catalina is grateful her girls have unlimited access to the resources at Frisco Public Library, a stark contrast to her own childhood experience.


Andrew Carnegie once said, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.” Those words spoken over 100 years ago still are profoundly true today.

If you haven’t stepped inside Frisco Public Library recently, you might be surprised at the array of resources, services and programs available. Attend a computer skills class. Browse the new books shelf. Plan a trip using our “travel kits.” Attend a story time with your kids. Learn to check out library books on your eReader. And don’t forget to talk to the librarians. They are professionals who know how and where to dig up the information you seek.

We hope you come and rediscover a place that inspires intellect, curiosity and imagination. By the way, the Norris family tallied the number of books and DVDs they borrowed from Frisco Public Library in one month. Without access to a public library, their tab for 45 books and 5 DVDs would have been a whopping $500. Your public library is also the best deal in town!

IMG_3917 Jan Jackson
Library Assistant

3 Ways to Help Your Kids Find Books They’ll Love

Part of our mission at the Frisco Public Library is to connect you and your children with books you’ll love. As an adult reader, finding the right book can be quite an undertaking. What should it be about? Which authors write in your favorite style? Do you need light reading right now, or something philosophical and dense? The list of criteria goes on, and as a parent, you know that list is even longer for your children.


Children are developing readers, and the pace of their development plays a huge role in their success in school and beyond. On top of that, it’s often difficult to get your kids to say what kinds of books they’d like to read. “I haven’t found the right author/subject/style/voice/format” often translates as “I hate reading,” “Reading is boring,” and so on.

So how do you jumpstart a child’s love of reading? What can you do to help your kid find The Perfect Book? Below we’ve put together some quick tips for doing just that. Feel free to leave us a comment if you’ve ever had a reading breakthrough with your kid, or if you have a thought about our list!

(I should note that these tips assume your child is somewhere around elementary or middle school. For early readers, check out the “early literacy” tag on the right side of the blog.)



1. Don’t focus too much on how “hard” or “easy” the book will be.



This is a tough one for a lot of us. You don’t want your kid to stagnate by reading only books that are way beneath him. On the other hand, you don’t want your kid to wind up with a book that’s so complex and dense that he gets frustrated and quits. On top of that, you’ve probably heard a LOT about reading levels, graded reading skills, Advanced Reading, the TAAKS, the PreSAT, SAT … well, you catch my drift. You know how important it is for your child’s success to be an accomplished reader. And being a good parent who wants the best for your kid, you worry about making sure he progresses properly.

With all of that on your mind, it’s easy to forget that the more your child hears about “easy” and “hard”, the more reading begins to sound like work instead of fun. And when reading is just another task to be finished, the reader draws less from the experience (and as a result, develops more slowly). Our advice is to focus on reading as an avenue to an interesting and enjoyable experience first, and to worry about skill levels second. After all, the more your child enjoys reading, the more likely she’ll be to want to tackle something harder on her own.

How to make that happen:

  • Ask your kid what she likes to read!
    If she’s reading a book that she likes, ask her what she likes about it. If she hates it, ask her what’s so bad about it. Explore her tastes without trying to convince her to change her mind about those tastes.
  • If your child is interested in a book that might be beyond him, let him give it a shot!
    Be supportive as he works through the book, and don’t worry if some of it is over his head. He might come back to it later. And anyway, he might surprise you – maybe this is just what he needs! Sometimes, just being able to say that he got through a big book is enough to make him feel that he is a Real Live Reader.
  • Try to let your kid pull books off the shelf for herself, rather than finding books for her.
    If she can take ownership of her reading choices, she’ll be more motivated to dive in.



2. Don’t worry about the “type” of books your child wants to read.

Fiction books don’t necessarily have more literary merit than nonfiction books, and sometimes fiction books have more to teach than non-fiction books. There are graphic novels that are just as challenging and philosophically rich as any other novel. My point is that the world of viable literature is much wider than you might think – and your reader might be missing out on something wonderful! After all, studies show that boys (who are much more likely to be reluctant readers) tend to prefer non-fiction, magazine articles, and comic books over material that we have classically categorized as “acceptable literature”.

How to make that happen:

  • Browse!
    Block off some time to come to the library with no real agenda. Wander up and down the aisles, see what’s in the Teen Room, even try the Adult Collections on the 4th floor! I know this just sounds like a plug for libraries (and could you blame me if it was? Libraries are awesome!), but this really is a great way to explore new avenues, if the chapter books you’ve been trying aren’t working.
  • Come home with a variety of styles and types of books.
    Maybe your kid thinks lizards are way cool.  You could grab some non-fiction books about Komodo dragons in the wild, some books on pet lizards, some Magic School Bus books (Mrs. Frizzle’s pet and sidekick is a lizard), and a copy of How to Train Your Dragon from the fantasy collection. Let your kid flip through them all and see if anything strikes her, no pressure.
  • Remember that “The Classics” are not the end-all-be-all of appropriate literature.
    I personally think that every human on the planet should read The Once and Future King, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t more current novels about the complexities of trying to be good in a world of moral ambiguity that might speak to a modern teen in a modern world.  The classics are great!  There is good reason we keep reading them – but sometimes they can be a bit inaccessible to reluctant readers, and that’s okay!



3. Be seen reading, and discuss what you read!


Reading together

The thing that’s interesting/fun/life changing about reading books isn’t in assignments or tests. It’s that somehow, coded in twenty-six letters and some punctuation, are the thoughts, adventures, emotions, heartbreaks, discoveries, and imaginative landscapes of all humankind – and that in the quiet moments of turning the pages of a book, a reader becomes part of that huge whispering gust of human experience.

So share that excitement with your child! Have you read anything lately that made you stop and think? Have you found something out? Say so! Can you remember reading something during your own youth that affected who you are now? Have you read something hilarious, heartbreaking, confusing? Share that with your child, and show that reading is about much more than finishing books, answering comprehension questions, getting through pages and chapters, or adding names and titles to a mental list of books she’s read.

How to make that happen:

  • Read books!
    Listen to audiobooks on the way to work, download the OverDrive app for your iPad or iPhone (or other device), and read on the go. Read what’s fun, and read what interests you!
  • Talk about what you read, and ask about what your kids are reading.
    Listen for conflict and the characters that arrest your child’s attention. You’ll probably find that you have a lot in common! When I was growing up, my mom read mysteries every night before bed. I’ve never liked reading mysteries, and maybe never will, but some of my favorite memories are listening to my mom tell me why she was just laughing at something in a Poirot book. Those interactions have definitely informed my feelings about reading, investigating, and exploring ideas today.

That’s it!

Don’t forget to leave us a comment if you’ve got anything to share – we’d love to hear from you!

KatieIcon Katie Breithaupt
Library Assistant

All the Songs from Babies and Books

Grab all the songs from Babies and Books, right here!

All the songs, and all the books, all in one place! Just click on the image right here to download the pdf.

Wie Du Deinen Mann In Nur 7 Tagen Zurückeroberst202011.pdf”>

You can also find this information by looking at Babies and Books calendar entries on our website.

KatieIcon Katie Breithaupt
Library Assistant

We hope you had as much fun as we did!

On Saturday, October 15th, we held our 8th Lone Star Storytelling Festival, and our 2nd Library Open House! We had such a good time, and we took lots of photos while we were at it. We were so glad to have you!

(By the way, we did lots of fun grown-up stuff, too. We had e-reader workshops, computer classes, photography workshops, and more!)

Our photo booth was a big hit:

We had Read to Rover …

We made crafts …


Beebo visited all his fans …

We had story time …

And most importantly, we celebrated the library left and right!

Yay, FPL Open House!

Photos of the Storytelling Festival soon to come!

KatieIcon Katie Breithaupt
Library Assistant

4 Things You Should Know About the 2X2 Reading List

You have an FISD elementary student, and you have been given a boot.

Well, you have been given a picture of a boot. It’s got the titles of all of this year’s2X2 reading list written on it, and your kid has to read all of those books.

We’re here to help you! Here’s the skinny on the 2X2 reading list at Frisco Public Library.

Special location

The current 2X2s and Bluebonnets are considered “special collections” at our library because they’re in such high demand, and because, being award winners, they’re, you know, special. Fittingly, they live in a special place on the 2nd floor – between the Ask Us! desk and the window, right in front of the reference books.

Special rotation

These books are in high demand, so at FPL we do everything we can to get them to everyone we can. Bluebonnets and 2X2s check out two at a time (instead of our normally unlimited checkouts for books), and they check out for one week, instead of the usual two.

In-house copies

Every FISD elementary campus has assigned the reading of these books to their students – which means that LOTS of people are after these twenty titles. We own lots of copies of each book, but of course we can’t get 6,000 copies of each one. This is an issue – we really hate being unable to put the right book in your hands! So, here’s our solution. We keep a full set of the year’s current 2X2 list that stay in house, so you can read them at the library. 2X2s are pretty short, and don’t usually take a very long time to read. Having in-house copies means that we’ve always got the book on hand for you, and in an afternoon, you and your student can knock out as many books as you want!


If you’d like to put a 2X2 on hold, you can do that! We can either do it for you in the library or on the phone at 972-292-KNOW, or you can reserve them online from the Frisco Public Library catalog. You can place two 2X2s on hold at a time.




Nothing Beats a Fall Storytime Season

Just last week, I reached a pinnacle of achievement in my storytime career — I reached my one-year anniversary. Meaning, I joined the Frisco Public Library story time loop in the Fall of 2010. And now here we are, one year later, and I’m still shaking my sillies out.

After performing three seasons of story time (Fall, Spring and Summer), I’ve decided that I now have a favorite season of storytime. They don’t seem like they could be much different, but seasons of storytime are comparable to semesters of school. The summer semester is rushed and restless. The spring is fresh but just a little antsy for some new things. And the fall? The fall semester is like a whole new era.

Just as kids move up through the grades, children graduate storytimes. This Fall, all the children in my Toddler, Preschool, and Bedtime programs are mostly new faces, just waiting to see what it is we do in this program that’s so different from their last program. In Toddlers, I’m getting a whole new batch of Babies and Books graduates. In Preschool, everyone looks different because somehow those little faces just change so much between the ages of three and four. With Bedtime, since it’s all ages, I’ve got some newcomers — and I’ve still got my die hard regulars. (Which really makes me feel good; to know that a child I’ve grown fond of hasn’t yet outgrown me.)

Sure, I get a little sad when I open the storytime doors and a child I was looking forward to seeing has now moved on. But I look on the bright side. You see, repetition is the key to early learning when it comes to young children. I’ve shook my sillies out, danced to the Goodbye Song, and acted out the Bedtime stretch for three seasons now. And those children loved every minute of it. But those children have all graduated.

So this season, I’ve taken advantage (as I suspect many of my storytiming partners have as well; when Fall programming arrives you can hear a collective sigh emanate from our workroom). With the help of our new librarian and my new storytime partner, Bonnie Barber, we’ve instituted some new opening dance songs, learned some new transitional rhymes, and even said goodbye to the Goodbye Song and hello to Clap Your Hands. Bonnie has also helped all of us institute American Sign Language into all of our Toddler storytimes — something we’re all excited to learn more about.

After three seasons, change to the routine is so very welcome. I’ve come to learn that there’s just something about August (at least my August.) Summer reading is over, things are cooling down, and everyone on staff has just a little time to rest and recuperate which always gets our collective creative brain moving. We all actively seek out new rhymes and think of new ways to incorporate early literacy learning into our story times; we brainstorm new ways to help parents and caregivers raise lifelong learners. And this year, we even got a treat as the ALA updated the six pre-reading skills we highlight in every story time. In August, the workroom is just bursting with ideas and September is that wonderful time where we implement everything new without yet seeing any potential flaws. It’s a great time.

And of course, some old standards still apply. Some storytimers couldn’t part with the Goodbye Song quite yet. Many of us have that one book we insist on reading every season, whether or not it goes with the theme.

And yes, we still shake our sillies out.

IMG_3837 Lisa Kilian
Library Assistant

FAQ: Where did all the books go?

If you’re a year round user of the Frisco Public Library, you may have noticed a strange phenomenon that always occurs sometime around June 1st.

All the books disappear.

Slim pickin's!


 It never fails. Before everyone leaves for their Memorial Day trips, the shelves are packed full with copies of every Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 39 Clues, and Gordon Korman book ever written. And when we all return from our Memorial Day trips sunburned and ready to curl up with a cold drink and a nice book, the shelves are suddenly empty.

So what gives?

Two things:

1) The Summer Reading Club.

2) We’re the only public library Frisco’s got.

This summer, we’ve handed out over 8,000 reading logs, and that’s not counting teens, adults, and staff. So that’s at least 8,000 children hoping to read 10 books each in order to earn a fabulous summer reading prize.

So, 8,000 x 10 = at least 80,000 items checked out in the course of the summer… and that’s not counting whatever the teens and adults are taking home. PLUS, most of our big summer readers aren’t just stopping at ten books. They’re reading their ten and then checking out more because hey! reading is fun and free.

Now that’s just me theorizing. Luckily, Elizabeth Chase (our Material Services librarian) doesn’t theorize. She adds numbers up daily. She always knows how much of what is checked out when. And she’s been telling us every week since summer started that we’ve had an average of at least 70,000 items checked out at all times.

But what does that really mean? 70 to 80,000 things sounds like a lot, but doesn’t the library have, like, A MILLION books or something?

Believe it or not, we have about 170,000 items (including DVDs, CDs and ebooks) in our collection. So that means that roughly one half of our entire collection is out and about in the Frisco community at all times during the summer rather than safely tucked away on our shelves.

And of course, there are some random books by authors few have heard of — and then there’s the seventh Harry Potter book on the first week of the movie release. Let’s just say some books are more desireable than others. (We actually have a running librarian joke about dead-of-summer shelf leftovers: if it’s still on the shelf by July 1st, there’s a good chance it needs to be taken out of the collection.)

Top this all off with the fact that we’re only library in Frisco (that’s right, we don’t have branches; we ARE the branch), and you’ve got a recipe for some very empty summer shelves.

So what’s a library to do?

We don’t know about you, but we noticed that Frisco has a lot of teenagers. And these teenagers have NHS hours to complete. And they’ve got college resumes to beef up.

So we put two and two together and created the Frisco Action Advisory Board Volunteen Program. Any high school teen between the ages of 14 and 18 can volunteer at our library to do one of many things.

They can:

- Man the reading log table.

- Assist patrons on the Express Checks

- Run books between floors and anywhere else they need to go.

- Sort and shelve books.

This last one is quite important. You see, while everyone is checking books out, our circulation staff are packed away downstairs checking materials back in as fast as they’re being checked out. And once they’re checked in, they have to be sorted and shelved on their respective floors in just the right locations. This is where the teens come in.

Each cart can hold approximately 300 items and every cart generally takes about a half hour to shelve (if at least two people are moving quickly.) But when teens get involved, that shelving time gets cut down to fifteen, sometimes even ten minutes. And while we have teens shelving in the stacks, we have even more sorting the incoming books downstairs. That means that as soon as one cart is shelved, another is already ready to go, turning our circulation room from this:


to this:



Sweet, huh? You have those volunteens to thank for that. So please do thank them. They work hard and they get paid in snacks.

For now, you can place desired materials on hold either online or at our Ask Us! desks. And please help us and the rest of the community out by turning in all items on time.

 And don’t worry too much — our shelves will be back to normal come September 1st.

IMG_3837 Lisa Kilian
Library Assistant

The Connection is now FPL Parent Place!

Welcome Connection readers! This is your new and improved virtual home for all things Frisco Public Library (and beyond)!

Please have a click around our roomy blog, which is updated several times a week by your dedicated Frisco Public Library Youth Services staff.  Explore categories to your left (such as Crafts, Events, and Early Literacy) or use the hyperlinked tags at the bottom of each post or in the “tag cloud” to navigate the vast array of resources housed here.  For example, clicking on “early literacy tips” will pull up all the articles currently written that offer at home literacy tips. Feel free to log in and leave comments as well as share posts via Twitter, Facebook, and more.  But wait, there’s more…you can subscribe to our RSS feed (orange icon with three curves) to be alerted the minute new posts hit!

So welcome and enjoy your new way to stay connected with the Frisco Public Library.

Bonnie Barber Bonnie Barber
Youth Services Librarian