Friday, April 20, 2018

Ready to Go Book Display: Cats

Welcome to our series, "Ready to Go! Book Display." Once a month we'll highlight the latest or greatest for every age group that you can promote within your library or order for your collection. We are looking at books featuring some of our favorite four legged friends. This month is cats! (Next month we'll feature dogs.)

Recommendations for Adults and Teens:


Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian (Nov 2016)

Introducing 40 of New York's favorite felines, all of whom have an extraordinary story to tell.



Breaking Cat News by Georgia Dunn (May 2016)

Three adorable house cats are reporting the most hilarious breaking news. Based on author/illustrator Georgia Dunn's real life pets, Elvis, Lupin, and Puck strap on neckties and pick up microphones to provide the most up-to-date relevant news stories (at least according to them).



The Life & Love of Cats by Lewis Blackwell (Oct 2012)

Combines facts and full-page photographs in a book that discusses the history of cats and their relationship to humans.




Traces the author's discovery of a half-frozen kitten in the drop-box of her small-community Iowa library and the feline's development into an affable library mascot whose intuitive nature prompted hundreds of abiding friendships.



Bolt and Keel: The Wild Adventures of Two Rescued Cats by Kayleen VanderRee and Danielle Gumbley (Oct 2017)
 
Photographs of two felines who hike, paddle, and snowshoe through the wilderness with their owners.




A photographer celebrates cat-owning men and the kitties who have stolen their hearts.



Shake Cats by Carli Davidson (Oct 2015)

Showcases side-by-side images of cats in the middle of shaking water off themselves.



Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book by Grumpy Cat (Jul 2013)

The Grumpy Cat book teaches the fine art of grumpiness and includes enough bad attitude to cast a dark cloud over the whole world.




When London street musician James Bowen found an injured cat curled up in the hallway of his apartment building, he had no idea how much his life was about to change.


Recommendations for Kids:



Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood (Aug 2017)

Cat is not so keen on stepping in as substitute teacher at Kitty School, but he's surprised by how much he's able to teach the kittens - and how much he learns from them.



The Very Fluffy Kitty, Papillon by A. N. Kang (Sept 2016)

Papillon is a cat who is so fluffy he floats, so his owner tries many silly ways to keep him on the ground.



My Pet Human by Yasmine Surovec (Aug 2015)

A cat that enjoys his carefree life gets some treats and backrubs from the humans who have just moved into his favorite abandoned house, then sets out to train them properly, all the while protesting to his friends that he has no interest in being tied down to a human pet.



Chester by Melanie Watt (Sept 2007)

As the author/illustrator attempts to create a picture book about a mouse in a house, her rotund feline Chester sends the mouse packing and attempts to rewrite the story with his handy red marker.



Naughty Kitty! by Adam Stower (May 2014)

Lily learns that kitties can be almost as much trouble as dogs - but they can also be very comforting.



Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel (Aug 2008)

Takes a humorous look at the normal way cats bathe, why it is inappropriate for humans to bathe that way, and the challenges of trying to give a cat a real bath with soap and water.




Profiles cats that have unique characteristics and loving relationships with their owners, including a cat that knows sign language, a rock-climbing cat, and a surfer cat. 

Friday, April 13, 2018

7 Ways Libraries Can Go Green

How green is your library? Everyone knows where you can recycle old books that don't sell at the Friends' book sale, but what about the other items at your library? With Earth Day just around the corner, we thought it'd be a good time to explore different ways to keep your library's junk out of landfills:


Recycle Bins

Does your library have recycle bins for paper and plastics for patrons as well as staff? If you allow patrons to drink in your library, where can they put their empty bottles? It might be a great volunteer program for your teens to empty the bottle bin and bring back the cash for teen programming. Or, maybe you can make a community connection and invite in a group (like the local Boy Scouts) to empty the bin monthly and they can keep the money.

Recycle Your Electronics and Batteries

There's a long list of electronics that you can recycle from computer speakers and printers to gaming consoles and handhelds at Staples. Also, if you are collecting a lot of dead batteries with your many electronics, you can drop them off at these places as well or find a drop-off location at call2recycle.org.

Give Back Box

Amazon and other retailers have joined the Give Back Box where you can use their boxes (or any box) and ship for free (no weight limit when using UPS!) to local charities. This may be your perfect program for items donated to the library that you cannot use and, for the Teen and Children's Librarians, any programming materials that you know you won't use anymore. (An old tea set? Costumes?)

Unusable Toys and Other Big Stuff

TerraCycle has lots of free programs for you to recycle non-organic and non-hazardous waste. If you don't have time to separate your stuff out, you may be interested in buying a generic box and just recycle everything together. It isn't free, but it'll do the environment good! It could also make a great annual program to open to the community -- asking them to drop off unusable toys and you'll send them off to be recycled. Another option is to collect your broken electronics and wait for your community's electronics recycling day.

Try to Avoid Crayons for Art Projects

Washable Markers and Paints on paper are recycleable, but crayons are not. If you do have crayons, you can get rid of your small pieces by sending them to The Crayon Initiative (thecrayoninitiative.org), or you can melt them together and make new crayons.

Recycle Lost & Found Phones

Find lots of phones at your library that no one is claiming? You can mail them to Smartphone Recycling and make some money! You do need at least 10 phones in your shipment box, but this may be a great opportunity to ask staff if they want to participate as well (or open it up to the community as a fundraiser for the library). You can earn up to $350 per phone and they do accept Lost & Found Phones. If you don't have 10 phones to send in, you can donate them to the Operation Gratitude program which supports U.S. Troops.

Buy/Use Green Products

Decrease your battery waste by buying rechargeable batteries. Make sure the librarians who shop for library programs and events are using reusable bags and not collecting plastic bags (Bonus points if the reusable bags advertise the library!). If that doesn't work, designate a place to collect plastic bags and assign someone to recycle them at any grocery store.

Friday, April 6, 2018

25+ Gifts for the MLIS Graduate

May is just around the corner. Time to start getting Summer Reading pulled together, your order lists done and welcome new MLIS librarians to the profession! If you are lucky enough to know someone graduating, you might be wondering what to buy them to celebrate this milestone. Well, have no fear! We are here with 29 ideas that'll make any librarian's day.





Folding Book-Shaped Reading Night Light (#1)


1. Folding Book-Shaped Reading Night Light

2. Librarian Action Figure

3. A Session for a Professional Photo

4. Etwoa's Bookshelf Infinity Scarf Circle Scarf Loop Scarf

5. "She is Too Fond of Books" Quote Pendant

6. Novel Teas (contains 25 teabags individually tagged with literary quotes from the world over)
Knock Knock Personal Library Kit (#7)

7. Knock Knock Personal Library Kit

8. Library Due Date Necklace

9. I Cannot Live Without Books: Literary Tattoos for Book Lovers

10. Anything from Litographs.com

11. Book Sleeve Book Cover

12. Fun Elephant Paper Clips (or any fun office supplies)

Book Sleeve Book Cover (#11)
13. Sticky Page Markers

14. Book Lanyard

15. Vintage Library Checkout Card Business Card Case

16. Membership in a Professional Association

17. Color and Activity Book for Librarians

18. Card Catalog: 30 Notecards from the Library of Congress

19. Reading Log

Sticky Page Markers (#13)
20. Book Tote Bag

21. Banned Books Socks

22. I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks

23. Lego Minifigure Librarian

24. The Librarian's Book of Quotes


Lego Minifigure Librarian (#23)
25. Willow Tree Love of Learning

26. A Session with a Professional Resume Reviewer

27. Leather Portfolio

28. Anything from Out Of Print

29. Personalized Name Plate


This list was compiled by Jess and Kat, though we would be remissed if we didn't mention a few ideas came from the Library Think Tank Facebook Group.


Friday, March 30, 2018

5minlib Recommends: Super Library Marketing

Let's talk about library marketing. It is an important part of libraries. It is how we get the word out about our collections, boost attendance to our programs, share with the public the good we do for our communities, and how we bring in new cardholders.


But there are so many different ways to advertise, so many different formats to use, and too little hours in the day to get it all done. We at 5minlib wish we have the perfect library marketing plan for you, however our expertise is limited. But there's good news! Angela Hursh is a content marketing enthusiast and she shares her wisdom on the fantastic Super Library Marketing blog. As she says in the tagline, it is all kinds of marketing ideas for all kinds of libraries. It is one of our favorite blogs and we're excited to highlight it today.


What we love about it:

Hursh has a wealth of marketing ideas from different kinds of social media to signage. She breaks them down into easy, doable steps. She also explains the pros and cons, the do's and don'ts, and provides examples so you're armed with everything you need to know to really up your library marketing.

For example, Hursh is a huge proponent for email marketing. She not only explains why, but gives you tips on how to write good subject lines, content, spam words to avoid, and how to analyze marketing data. Marketing takes up a lot of time, but with Hursh's blog, you can focus your time on the parts that'll really make a great impact.

Our Favorite Posts:

Subject Line Secrets: Get Emails Opened Now!
Five Excellent Ways To Improve Every Sign in Your Library
Boost Attendance at Library Programs–How to Start a Revolution
Four Instant Ways to Improve the Most Valuable Page on Your Library Website
Now Is the Time For Your Library to Get Back to Snapchat

Hot Tips:

To easily find specific topics (like emails, Youtube, Snapchat, signage, etc.), use the search feature on the right. When you click on an article and scroll to the end, you'll find tags which lists the keywords for her categories so you can find more on that topic.


Where to go:

You can go to the website at www.superlibrarymarketing.com. You can also follow Hursh on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest via @webmastergirl.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Delicious Library Programs

Like many people, the two great loves in my life are good books, and good food. What better way to integrate the two than to do a library cooking program? Of course, there are many ways in which to do this; I've compiled a list of ideas in which cooking can enhance your library.

Cookbook Clubs

There are a couple different ways that I've seen cookbook clubs work in libraries.
  1. By Theme: Everyone finds and prepares a recipe that follows a certain theme (for example, cheese, cookies, vegetarian, Food Network Stars etc.). Participants bring their completed dish, along with the book it came from (or a printed recipe), to a meeting, and they can eat and discuss the various cookbooks and what they liked or didn't. Pros: you may get everything from Grandma's cheesecake recipe to the new and exciting Food Network stars. Also, you don't have to find many copies of the exact same book.
  2. By Book: Everyone uses the same book (or a choice of two or three pre-chosen books by a certain author or theme), and chooses a recipe to bring. Pros: It's easier to discuss the book itself (Were the directions clear? Does the food actually look like the photos? Did you like how it was organized?) if everyone uses the same book, and you get to try a variety of different foods from the same author. Cons: It may be hard to locate several copies of the same book, and you may have to have a sign-up sheet with different recipes, so you don't end up with everyone bringing the same dish.
Whichever way you decide to go, it's probably a good idea to make sure that there is a copy of each recipe with each dish, so that people who like it may take one or copy one, and also to ensure that any allergies are accounted for.

Book Clubs with Food

Is your book club getting a little tired of chocolate chip cookies every meeting? Perhaps it's time to add some themed refreshments! This is especially fun with books that have a very definite setting, whether somewhere in the world or in time; Jane Austen-era books would be perfect with tea and cucumber sandwiches, while international books may have regional cuisines that might suit. It would be easier for the librarian to have book club members alternate on who brings the refreshments, which means that each person is only responsible for bringing treats about once a year.

I have done this with children's book clubs; while reading Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me, we made sandwiches (the main character has a part-time job in a deli); when we read Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, we had Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, which feature in the story. This helped the readers to connect to the story in a unique and memorable way.

Cooking Classes

Kids

Cooking classes for kids are lots of fun. Some places are equipped for actual culinary masterpieces, but for me, they were more mixing and assembling than actually cooking anything (rather than baking cookies, we would decorate them). You can choose from the myriad of cookbooks for children that are out there, or use whichever of your own recipes you like. The hardest part was letting every child be sure to add some of whatever ingredient we were using (hint: if you need 2 Tsp of something, that's 8 kids who get to add 1/4 tsp!) Some ideas that worked well for me (tried and tested!) are:

  • Whipped cream: you need a hand mixer for this one, but that's easy enough. Amaze the kids (I got a lot of "you can MAKE whipped cream?!") and then have them make ice cream sundaes.
  • Make your own ice cream sundaes.
  • Marshmallow treats - great for seasonal programs! Melt the butter and marshmallows in the microwave, stir in cornflakes and green dye for wreaths, chow mein noodles for bird nests (top with jelly bean eggs and Peeps), or Rice Krispies and rainbow sprinkles for a birthday confetti theme.
  • Decorating cookies or cupcakes - always a blast.
  • Dirt & Worms - mix chocolate pudding, cool whip, and oreos; each child gets extra crushed oreos and gummy worms to put on top.
  • Melting chocolate and dipping food into it. (Kids will eat anything covered in chocolate - sour cream & onion potato chips, cheese crackers, you name it.)

I always started with the rules: The first step is always "wash your hands," don't put your mouth on anything until we are ready to eat, parents can have some if there's any left once all the kids are served.

Teens

Cooking with teens can be more fun and involved than children's programs are. If you have access to a toaster oven and a microwave, you're in business! A hot plate would be nice, too. Teen recipes can include all the children's recipes as well as:

  • Smoothies - I brought my blender in from home for this one.
  • Nachos
  • English Muffin Pizzas
  • Decorating cookies or cupcakes (including Cupcake Wars and other programs)
  • Melting chocolate and dipping food in it
  • Pancakes (if you have a hot plate)

Adults

Adult cooking classes can, of course, be even more complicated. It all depends on the space you have available, but demonstrations are usually easy enough to set up. Everyone can eat while questions are answered, variations are discussed, or future meals are planned. Some program ideas include:

  • One pot meals
  • Slow cooker meals
  • Pasta dishes

Nutrition Classes

It may surprise you how many people could use, and may enjoy, a class on nutrition. The rules have changed quite a bit over the years, from the 4 Food Groups to the Food Pyramid to the My Plate guidelines, and when you get used to eating a certain way, it's even more complicated. (A recommended serving of pasta is HOW small?) Try to include samples of well-prepared healthy foods, because things can be much more delicious, and therefore inviting, when prepared well. (Have you had roasted broccoli? It's life-changing!)

Food Tastings

Take your taste buds on a ride with some delicious food tastings! Learn about chocolate, and try different brands and intensities (white, milk, or dark). Test different teas and see which one you like best. I went to a library program where different teas were paired with different cheeses - it was delicious!

If you're not sure where to start, perhaps locate a local store that specializes in a certain type of food, and see if they're interested in collaborating. As a coffee fan, I would be very interested if a local cafe taught me the differences between blond roast, regular, and dark roast coffee, or what actually is the difference between a latte, cappuccino, and macchiato.

You could also do blind tastings of different brands; perhaps one cheese pizza from each of 3 different restaurants could be compared, or see if patrons could tell the difference between generic and name brand items.

Have you tried it?

We would love to hear from you! You can leave a comment here on this post, on our Twitter page, or on Facebook.




Friday, March 16, 2018

Ready to Go! Book Display: Day at the Circus

Welcome to our series, "Ready to Go! Book Display." Once a month we'll highlight the latest or greatest for every age group that you can promote within your library or order for your collection. How about spending the day at the circus?

Recommendations for Adults:


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Sept 2011)

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, a circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.



Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (May 2006)

Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.




A collection of fourteen cute circus designs to crochet.



The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman (Jul 2017)

After being sold to a circus sideshow in 1931, Lilly Blackwood carves out a life for herself as best she can - until tragedy and cruelty collide - and, two decades later, it is up to Julia Blackwood to discover the truth about his older sister that she never knew she had.



Everything You Came to See by Elizabeth Schulte Martin (Jan 2018)

Talented circus performer Henry Bell's blind ambition and determination to create bigger, better performances, which destroys the relationships around him, could save or destroy the circus itself unless he can reckon with the family and past he's left behind.


Recommendations for Teens:


The Circus by Olivia Levez (Jun 2017)

Willow has everything: a rich daddy, a pony and a place at a prestigious boarding school. Everything except the one thing she really wants - a father who cares enough to find her when she runs away from home.




Freeks by Amanda Hocking (Jan 2017)

Mara longs for a normal life while her friends perform supernatural feats in Gideon Davorin's Traveling Sideshow, but a sinister threat reveals an ability she never knew she had.



Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby (Apr 2018)

On her first day of high school after the circus settles in a small town, Gemma meets Henry and everything changes as they begin to unravel secrets that will bind them forever.



By a Charm & A Curse by Jaime Questell (Feb 2018)

Emmaline King is ensnared by Le Grand's Carnival Fantastic, a traveling circus bound by a centuries-old curse that dooms its members to participate in an endless, ageless series of performances.


Recommendations for Children:


Circus by Lois Ehlert (May 1992)

Leaping lizards, marching snakes, a bear on the high wire, and others perform in a somewhat unusual circus. 




Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes (May 2007)

A young girl watches as the activities across the street from her bus stop become a circus. 




Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (Jun 2015)

When he realizes that his grandfather's stories of an enchanted circus are true, Micah Tuttle sets out to find the mysterious Circus Mirandus - and to use its magic to save his grandfather's life. 



DIY Circus Lab for Kids by Jackie Leigh Davis (Feb 2018)

A how to guide on creating your own circus equipment and teaches circus skills like juggling, acrobatics, balance and clowning. 



If I Ran the Circus by Dr. Seuss (Oct 1956)

A young boy imagines the fantastic animals and incredible acts he will have for his greatest of all circuses. 




Magnolia returns to explain the many downsides to bringing a circus to a local library. 



The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Jan 2012)

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Easy Staff Picks Displays


Sometimes, when you have a lot on your plate, creating new and exciting displays falls by the wayside. The good news is, we're here to help!

Everybody loves a good Staff Picks display - I mean, who doesn't like like tried-and-true book recommendations? - but how do you make your display really stand out?  We've got you covered.

Signage

Print out one of these signs and stand it on top of your display. Done and done.


Bookmarks

Tuck a bookmark inside each book explaining why you enjoyed it. Books can go up on display this way, or, if you're not in the mood for a big display, you can even have them on the shelf with a special bookmark tucked inside.

   

This one stands out, even though it's tucked away on the bottom shelf.


For your convenience, you can choose between "Staff Selections" or "Staff Picks," or use a combination of both.






Shelf-sitters

A shelf-sitter is a tag that you slide under your book, with the front folded down so that it hangs over the shelf. These are great for books in your display, and also work well for highlighting specific titles that may otherwise be overlooked on your shelves. How you use them is up to you.
     

I designed these shelf-sitters so that you can cut around the shape, and fold the rest down. This makes the star or sunburst designs really stand out against your books! 





To use these designs, simply right-click on the image and save. They are all sized to easily be printed on 8.5 x 11" paper (though I recommend cardstock). Please enjoy and feel free to share! All designs were made in Canva by Kat Ealy.

As always, we'd love to know what you think! Please let us know in the comments here, on Twitter, or on our Facebook page.