Posts Tagged ‘frisco public library’

Library Magic

Mad Science

We all have been to certain places that impact us.  These places are special for any number of reasons.  Most importantly, they add the “magic” which brightens our days and make us better than we would be without them.

I went to a museum recently.  I parked my car and walked eagerly toward the entrance with my family and other visitors.  Some people seemed to physically lean forward as if willing themselves toward the doors more quickly.  As soon as we crossed the threshold, the air seemed to change.  Not in the sense that it was air conditioned or filtered,  but in the sense that this was a special place.  Magical.  We were going to learn, explore, admire, and enjoy.

As my family and I worked our way through the exhibit, we carefully danced around other people, trying to take in everything.   As we left, we discussed our experience.  We were enthused, exhilarated, and enlightened.  Somehow, time in the museum had improved each of us.

I got back in time to come to work at the Library.  I parked my car and walked in, passing a few patrons on my way.  When I entered the Library I had the same experience I’d had earlier in the day at the museum. This is also a special place where all are invited to visit, learn, and enjoy.  The children coming in were already planning their “library strategy”.  They had ideas about what books and movies might be most interesting.  I noticed them leaning forward.   As soon as I got to the desk on the Children’s Floor I was greeted by eager patrons who had questions about our collection, suggested reads, or other resources. Many were eagerly waiting for Family Story Time.

Rochelle & Stuart

As I watched patrons leaving with their new-found treasures or well-read favorites, I knew that their library visit had made their day better.  They left charged with the energy and inspiration which every library visit can provide.

There are special people, events, and places  in all of our lives.  The Library is one of the most magical places I know and sharing it with our patrons only makes it more so.  Best of all, at the end of a library visit, you get to take some of the magic home.

Summer Fun

Check out the amazing things going on at the Frisco Public Library at www.friscolibrary.com,  then join us for a wonderful day.

Submitted by:

Ellen Zarate

Youth Services Library Assistant

Ellen

 

5 Reasons to Submit to the FPL Poetry Contest

The FPL Poetry Contest for kids in grades 1–12 is one of my favorite events here at the library. Why? I love poetry, I love kids, and when you put the two together some real, honest-to-goodness magic happens.

Here are 5 reasons to encourage your child to submit to the poetry contest … as if you needed more reasons to encourage your child to write, but what the hey! We’ll give you some anyway.

1. Creativity in poetry knows no boundaries.

It’s true! For our poetry contest, the only rule is that your work be original. You can write in any style, on any subject you like. What better way to encourage kids’ creativity than giving them unlimited room to stretch their minds?

2. Expression is good for the soul.

Because we allow kids to choose their subject, they can write about whatever crosses their mind. Maybe a friend has hurt their feelings, they want to honor an important adult in their lives, or they just need to get something off their chests. Whatever the need, writing poetry can be one of the best ways for kids to express themselves freely.

3. Can you say confidence-booster?

Many families have told us that their children experienced a large boost in self-confidence and confidence in writing once they had submitted to the our contest — awesome!

4. Submit as many poems as you want!

We do not put limits on how many poems a single poet submits. Submit one or submit one hundred — we’ll read them all!

5. Why not?

Lastly, we’d just like to ask — what’s the harm in trying? We do not share the poems with anyone else other than the contest judges and the poet retain all rights to the work. If he/she wins, great! If he/she doesn’t, the poet still has a work of art engineered by their very own heart.

Past winner Grace Catherine Hale with her family

Past winner Grace Catherine Hale with her family

 

So what are you waiting for? Download our entry form and submit your poem today. Deadline for all submissions is March 3rd.

 

Submitted by Lisa Kilian, Youth Services Librarian

Lisa Kilian's picture

 

Big Book Literacy Stop

As many of you already know, the Frisco Public Library is a one-stop shop for books, CDs, eBooks, audiobooks, and fantastic programs for all ages.

As you and your younger child wander into the 2nd floor tower for picture book browsing, computer games, or puppet play in our theater, you may want to stop and take advantage of a great early literacy resource in our kitchen play area.

The Big Book Literacy Stop is located on the west wall of our kitchen play area.  These big books have been selected especially for their appeal to our younger audiences and their generous size.  There are a number of titles that are changed out periodically and we are certain that one of these will appeal to your child’s mood that day.  Why B-I-G books you may ask?  Well, obviously, the larger than life colorful illustrations are a huge allure to the young child.  Also, the sheer size of the book is unique, after all, what toddler doesn’t like a book as big as them?

Another recent addition to the Big Books is the activity sheet that has been personally created by 2nd floor staff members to highlight specific activities that can either be done independently by the older child or that are parent-driven.  These activities reinforce early literacy skills to help your child develop into a successful reader. The activity sheets are located on the inside of the front cover and are unique to each big book.

Since these books are not able to be checked out, the Big Book Literacy Stop is a great place to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy some one-on-one time with your child – the comfy chairs help too! Happy reading!

 

Diane_Wheeler Diane Wheeler
Library Assistant
dwheeler@friscotexas.gov

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.

Bernard

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
bwalsh@friscotexas.gov

Around the Library with Lisa

Quite frequently, I get asked “What do you do all day?”

The idea of working in a library — a children’s library at that! — is sometimes confusing to my friends and family. Do I read books all day? Do I sing to children? Do I use Google? And my personal favorite — do I shush people?  So I thought a post about a day in the life of a library assistant might be pretty cool!

One of my favorite days at the library is Tuesday — that’s because I get to put on the Young Toddler and Toddler storytimes! This past Tuesday was especially exciting.

My day started at 9:00am when Bonnie and I began setting up and practicing for our Young Toddler program. We practice reading our books and warm up our voices. At 10:15, we open the doors! I also lead the Toddler program at 10:45. There’s not much time in between for things like resting and practicing so that’s why I prepare ahead of time. Sally Snail and I are ready to go!

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Once I’m done with Story Time, I work on my project to update our professional collection of books to use in Story Time. Yes, we do have our own library back in the workroom. Out with the old and in with the new!

Luckily, I do get some time to eat… but then it’s back to work! This week we are filming a new episode for our FPL Sign Time Series. I had to be filmed in front of the green screen for when I introduce our upcoming episode “Getting Dressed.” Hint: It’s about getting dressed — in sign language! :) In the afternoon, we film for our upcoming episode “Please and Thank You.” Once our cast members arrived and got their fair share of treats, it is outside to play and film in the sun. Not only do these young stars get to be on camera — they also learn some magic words, like “please,” “thank you,” and “share.”

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And of course, no day is complete without some time spent at the reference desk. I spend my last hour in the Teen Room answering questions and helping teens find new books to read. Right now, it seems that everyone is studying for their SATs — I handed out the last prep book! Luckily, we have SAT prep available through our Online Resources. No book, no problem!

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Whew, what a day! And I get to do it over the next day and the next day and the next day. And you know what? I love it! After all, what’s the point of spending all your time at work if you’re not having any fun doing it?

See you around the library!

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IMG_3837 Lisa Kilian
Library Assistant
lkilian@friscotexas.gov

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.

Reading

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.

 

Books

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
KBreithaupt@friscotexas.gov

Story Time Quick Picks! — Snow and Winter

The Story Time Team’s Featured Read:

This book is for anyone that does not like to be addressed by anything other than their given name. Elizabeth loves her name and does not appreciate everyone shortening it or calling her be any nicknames or variations. She has had enough and so she lets it be known “My Name is Elizabeth!”

This Week’s Theme: Snow and Winter!

You might see these books in story time!

And you might hear these rhymes!

 

The sun came out (Form circle with arms overhead.)
And the snowman cried. (Boohoo loudly.)
His tears ran down (Move fingers slowly down cheeks.)
On every side.
His tears ran down (Boohoo loudly.)
Till the spot was cleared.
He cried so hard (Boohoo loudly.)
That he disappeared. (Sink to floor.)

Polar bear, polar bear, turn around,
Polar bear, polar bear, touch the ground,

Polar bear, polar bear, reach up high,
Polar bear, polar bear, touch the sky,

Polar bear, polar bear, bend down low,
Polar bear, polar bear, touch your toes,

Polar bear, polar bear, take a bow,
Polar bear, polar bear, sit down now.

This Week’s Early Literacy Focus:

Writing

•Encourage your children to “sign” their name on their drawings. This helps show that something written can represent their name.
•Give your child every chance to draw, paint and write. Talk about what they make.

And last but not least —

The Parenting Read of the Week:

Choosing the right name for your child can be one of the most important decisions you make as a parent. Sci-Fi Baby Names may help you get thinking in the right direction. The book offers more than exotic names the likes of Slartibartfast from Douglas Adam’s Hitchhikers Guide…. Listed within are many traditional names shared by Sci-fi characters such as Rick – the ordinary sounding first name of bounty hunter, Decker of Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep – Awesome!

IMG_3837 Lisa Kilian
Library Assistant
lkilian@friscotexas.gov

How to Find a Holiday Book During the Holidays

Uh-oh. It’s that time of year again… the time of year when the 2000+ books in our Easy Holiday (E HOL) collection are challenged to meet the demand for the several end-of-year holidays.

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But that’s okay! Because we have seasonal books stashed away in other sections of the library as well. With just a little detective work and the expert tips below, you can find a holiday book to take home.

You’re always welcome to simply browse the shelves – serendipity is one of the joys of a library. However, with a quick search of the catalog, you can browse the collection virtually from the comfort of the closest computer.

First stop, the Beginning Reader collection.

This collection is the closest substitute for the picture books. So, if you have toddlers and preschoolers, it might be your best bet.

From the Frisco Public Library catalog, choose the “Advanced Search” option.

(1) Enter your holiday of choice in the “keyword(s)” search box and (2) choose the “Children’s Beginner Reader – 2nd Floor” option as the “collection location.”

(3) Click “Search” and browse through the resulting list of books.

[Another perk of using the catalog? If the title you want is checked out, you're in the right place to put it on hold!]

Second stop, the Nonfiction collection.

If your kids are interested in learning more about the holiday — or you’d like to find some crafts to keep them busy while they’re out of school — this is the collection for you.

Follow the directions above but substitute “Juvenile Nonfiction – 2nd Floor” in the “collection location” field.

OR, use the main search page. Enter your holiday of choice.

Once the results come up, “Narrow your results” by clicking on “Non-fiction” under “Genre” and “Youth Reading Level” under “Audience.”

This method has the benefit of showing you nonfiction books in both the Beginning Reader and Juvenile collections with a single search.

(Expert tip: Different spellings will return different results, so try both “Hanukkah” and “Chanukah”)

Finally, don’t forget Chapter Books!

Christmas books at FPL

Who doesn’t want a holiday with more quality family time and less commercialism? So, why not start a tradition of reading a holiday book aloud as a family? The time spent reading one chapter a night might become everyone’s favorite part of the celebration.

Finding just the right chapter book for your family may take a little effort, but will be well worth it!

To start, go to the “Advanced Search.”

Enter your holiday of choice in the “keyword(s)” search box and then choose one of the following options for the “collection location”:

Juvenile Fiction – 2nd Floor
Juvenile Mystery & Suspense – 2nd Floor
Juvenile Series – 2nd Floor
Juvenile Science Fiction & Fantasy – 2nd Floor

Still having trouble? Just…

Ask Us

We’re happy to help and have favorites to share!

Whether humorous, adventurous, historical, or touching, you’re sure to find a new holiday favorite for your family somewhere in the library.

Happy Holidays Reading!

P.S. If your family already has a favorite holiday book, tell us about it in the comments . ‘Tis the season for sharing — especially good books!

IMG_95652 Elizabeth Chase
Senior Librarian & Catalog Ninja
echase@friscotexas.gov

Meet the Staff! Elizabeth Chase

Technically, Elizabeth isn’t a member of Youth Services. As she sometimes point outs, however, she has worked with the Youth Services Department longer than everyone who is. So maybe it’s time to introduce her.

LK: You work in Material Services and Technical Services.

EAC: That’s right.

LK: And you also work the Ask Us desk on the 2nd floor.

EAC: Yes.

LK: So… what’s your job title?

EAC: I’m lobbying to have it changed to “jack of all trades, master of none.”

LK: Umm… good luck. What do you do on a typical day?

EAC: Day to day I do a lot of different things.

I oversee the cataloging and processing of all the Youth materials in the library, everything for babies through teens. (That means I’m the very first person to see all the new books and movies that we add to the youth collections!)

I try to make the catalog easier to use. Sometimes I create lists of popular resources (like 2×2 and Bluebonnet books) so all the titles can be found with a single click. Sometimes I customize our software.

I also collect a lot of statistics so we have information to help us improve our services. And, of course, I work the Ask Us desk one weekend a month.

LK: And you want to add blogging to all of that?!

EAC: I like to have my fingers in a lot of pies. Particularly fruit pies!

Seriously, I’ve worked at the Frisco Public Library for almost eight years and in libraries generally about twenty.

And now that I’m a Mom, too, I feel like I have even more to share. I understand how librarians think about libraries and how parents want to use them. (And how toddlers actually use them, which is something else altogether!)

I’m excited to write about the books my husband, son, and I enjoy reading together and to help our members find what they want in the collection.

LK: When did you first know you wanted to be a librarian?

EAC: I was in Elementary school and we watched a very cheesy video teaching library skills. Learning about the card catalog (yes, I’m that old… a CARD catalog) was a defining moment in my life. I went home and started making author, subject, and title cards for my own books. At the time I was not interested in loaning, just organizing. I love organizing! But I have gotten better at sharing since then.

LK: Tell us about some of your favorite books.

EAC: For picture books, I’d recommend you follow this blog. I’ll be writing about lots of them. There are so amazing titles — even ones that parents will enjoy as much as their kids do! (Though maybe not quite so much after the 100th re-reading.)

My favorite book title is The Celery Stalks at Midnight by James Howe. I’m a sucker for puns. And alliteration, actually.

My favorite teen books are The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

LK: What are some of your hobbies?

EAC: Reading, reading to my son, and baking yummy things to eat while I read.

LK: Anything else you’d like to say?

EAC: Make sure to leave lots of comments on my blog posts. And happy reading!

EAC_LibMom2 Elizabeth Chase
Senior Librarian & Mom
echase@friscotexas.gov

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:
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We had Read to Rover …
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We made crafts …

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Beebo visited all his fans …
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We had story time …

And most importantly, we celebrated the library left and right!
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Yay, FPL Open House!

Photos of the Storytelling Festival soon to come!

KatieIcon Katie Breithaupt
Library Assistant
KBreithaupt@friscotexas.gov