Summertime Musings

It is the last week of the summer reading program here at my library and I find myself reviewing what has taken place over the last eight weeks. Thousands of titles have been read and hundreds of volunteer hours have been recorded. Many families have been delighted by themed programs with special performers. New friendships formed among teens who attended book discussions and field trips to see book-based movies. It has been VERY busy and sometime exhausting, but always worth it. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, I wonder about those who question the need for public libraries and the services we provide. For parents unable to afford the price of conventional summer activities, we supplied free enriching programs and opportunities for their children to maintain and develop new literacy skills. Middle school students developed useful leadership skills and camaraderie among their peers as Junior Volunteers, while teens spent the summer reading and networking in the library. Yes, it was a hectic summer but every minute was totally worthwhile! How was your summer?

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Show Me the Money!!!

The days are longer, the mercury is rising (just a tad) and teens anxiously await the end of school drawn by the allure of earning cold, hard CASH!!!

                                                

Here are a few titles to help prepare your eager wage-earners for the world of time clocks and direct deposits.

The Complete Guide to Personal Finance: for teenagers and college students by Tamsen Butler

In this book, teens will learn the ins and outs of finance from credit cards, to purchasing a car, budgeting and steps to avoid financial uh-ohs.

In Pursuit of My Success for Teens by Katherine Berntzen

Author Katherine Berntzen tackling such issues as; funding a college education, resume tips and developing a career path in this second edition of this insightful book.

What Color Is your Parachute? For Teens by Carol Christen

Diving into the real world of employment and careers can be a bit tricky. Thankfully, What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens provides tools for self-discovery that will help teens navigate a safe landing.

Basic beginnings: a finance management handbook for teens and young adults by Carol Stokes

For teens needing to construct a solid financial foundation this handbook is a must read.

Check-out these super sites for more personal finance info. for teens.

Teen Consumer Scrapbook

Sense & Dollars

Money Talks

Quintessential Careers

And the Winner Is…

I had the distinct pleasure of serving on the 2011 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee and as my involvement ends, I pause to muse over the experience in its entirety and take a quick account of what I have gained. Of course for starters there is the massive shipment of books from publishers (over 600!), the wonderful collection of selected works, the late night soirées after long committee meetings and the responsibility of submitting commendable nominations. However the highlight has been connecting and collaborating with new peers.

Because of this experience, I have an even greater appreciation for award committees and have begun to think of ways to incorporate elements from my experience into future library-related endeavors. For example, one goal is to connect more with others who share similar interests regardless of their occupation. On the Caldecott Committee, I had the opportunity to collaborate with teachers, librarians and even an award winning author. Each unique background lent a richness and depth to the work of our committee. As a result, I am considering forming a “think tank” or “sounding board” group that will consist of librarians and non-librarians.

Paying attention to details but not missing the big picture or broader context is another lesson learned in my experience.  All in all, I cannot fully describe the delight and reward of serving on the award committee, but what I can say is that it was truly enriching and will not be soon forgotten.

Holiday Crafts and Decorations

Looking for a way to keep your teens engaged @the library during the chilly, winter months? From holiday décor to community outreach, here are a few sure-fire cures for the winter blahs!

Deck the Halls

Just when you thought you exhausted every possible recycled water bottle craft, here’s a neat idea that transforms those landfill nightmares into a beautiful wintry star garland. Click here for more details.

Origami crafts are always a big hit, so why not apply this technique to creating whimsical ornaments? This is a low budget craft idea that requires paper and a few embellishments. Step by step instructions can be found here .

For those who are ambitious (and for those who need to weed their magazine collection) here is a décor craft that is surprisingly simple yet stunningly elegant. For instructions on creating a Christmas tree from recycled magazines visit this link .

Sharing is Caring

Winter vacation is a great time for teens to get involved in the community. Arrange for teens to conduct a story time at a local women and children’s shelter or at an orphanage. How about holding a gaming day at a senior center? Have a monopoly tournament or spend an afternoon Wii bowling. Positive intergenerational activities are a big hit. Check out these links for tips on coordinating teen outreach programs, 20 Ways for Teenagers to Help Others by Volunteering, Do Something and the National Youth Leadership Council .

‘Tis Better to Give…

Looking for some great handmade gift ideas that teens will  enjoy making and receiving?  Here are a few ideas to get you started!

Mod podge hangers are cool, classy, practical and oh, so chic.!

I can hardly believe how cool and uber-simple it is to make this no-knit scarf! Thick, bulky yarn and a few strategically placed square knots and “voila!” you’ve created a really cool gift! Click here for instructions.

What can you do with a yardstick and a few clothespins? Make a hat organizer! The chapeaux divos/divas on your list will appreciate this useful gift. Follow the basic instructions found at, this link and add bit of flair that the recipient would enjoy (favorite team colors, etc.).

Well, that’s all for now. Go forth and craft!