Middle School Programming – Passive Doesn’t Mean Boring: 5 Passive Program Ideas for School Libraries

This is an interesting blog article from programminglibrarian.org that talks about “Passive Programming” ideas for tweens. I had only read this term in passing, so it was nice to see it in action! I also really like the idea of having activities set out in the library without the need for a specific event at a set time planned. It seems like a great way to make the library inviting at any time – more of a hangout spot.

Some of Kate’s (the librarian who blogged the article) passive programming ideas include bookmark making, trivia questions, zentangles, jigsaw puzzles, and customizable, giant crossword puzzles. 

“Passive programs can be a great way to regularly attract students into the library without having planned, specific events. Pick a corner of the library that can be designated for these drop-by activities, set out the supplies and some instructions, and let it go!”

Middle School Programming – Passive Doesn’t Mean Boring: 5 Passive Program Ideas for School Libraries

Elementary School Programming – ACLA Youth Services / Storytime Savers


This is a great list of “Story Time Savers”! I found it on the Allegheny County Library Association page, which I was initially directed towards in one of our readings for this course.

The list of ‘Savers’ is basically just an aggregated list of different story time themes, and book ideas for each theme. I like that the list incorporates some standard themes (ex. zoo story time, pet story time), but my favorites are the unconventional ones like Animals Nobody Loves Story Time.

For example this list includes the books:

A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid. Petunia is just sure she wants a skunk for a pet, until she first smells one. Illustrations are truly delightful and her ‘unfair parents’ rant is great fun to read aloud.

Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks a delightful story about a spider that desperately wants to be a family’s pet. Another opportunity to scream loudly.

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen is a great story about a crocodile raised by ducks who is surprised to discover crocodiles eat ducks, but then tricks big, nasty crocodiles and protects his true family.

Some other fun themes are the Fruits and Veggies theme, and Shoe theme.

Elementary School Programming – ACLA Youth Services / Storytime Savers

Elementary School Collection Development – 4 Tips for a Diverse School Library | NAESP

This is a short, but helpful resource for Elementary-age collection development. While it could definitely apply to all age groups, it was produced specifically by the National Association of Elementary School Principals.


There isn’t anything super different from what we’ve read in class so far (especially in the Naidoo text), but it does suggest some interest tips.

One is that the Junior Library Guild, which is a subscription service that sends a collection of books monthly to different public + school libraries, now has a specific “Multicultural Books” category.  Their website describes the collection as:

“…12 books that feature plot lines with ethnically and culturally diverse characters that may help foster an awareness and understanding of others.

Perfect for: Elementary readers seeking books about diverse characters and cultures”

Another tip the article recommends is having your library participate in a diversity reading challenge. This would ensure that your elementary school library collection is covering all the right areas! They specifically name the Diversity on the Shelf challenge, which unfortunately I don’t think is happening anymore. However, I was curious about this and found a few more, such as this one & this really cool Diversity Bingo idea (it may include topics that would be harder to find in elementary-aged reading materials, but it could definitely be adapted for younger readers!)


Elementary School Collection Development – 4 Tips for a Diverse School Library | NAESP

Elementary School Programming – Ready, Set, Kindergarten is now on your phone!


I though that this texting initiative, offered by the Brooklyn Public Library, was a super cool early childhood resource and idea!

The initiative was developed as part of BPL’s early education program Ready, Set Kindergarten!, which is a multi-session series of stories and activities, designed to develop early learning practices.

The premise of the idea is that parents sign up to receive text messages on their phone (during times that they’re most likely to be with their child), that include tips on learning different literacy and early education skills. An example text message would be:

“Find a time to read with your child every day, at a time that works for your family.”


The library studied different text initiatives when developing the program, like

NYC Department of Education’s Pre-K On the Go.

Research surrounding educative texting programs found that “these children did better on literacy tests than children whose parents didn’t receive early literacy tips via text. The texts were reaching parents when they were likely to be with their kids and able to act on the suggestions.”

Elementary School Programming – Ready, Set, Kindergarten is now on your phone!

Collection Development for Early Childhood – Ready to Read Resource Center


Another link I found relating to early childhood collection development is to this great non-profit called Ready to Read Resource Center. Coming from a more rural community in Montana (we did have a public library – but it was small!), I was curious about other rural communities with more limited literacy resources, smaller library, and fewer public libraries, and consequently how they might look at collection development a bit differently.

There are a few different literacy organizations with similar names, but this particular one works specifically with the Alaska Public Library system! The center was born through a partnership between the Anchorage Public Library & the Alaska State Library in 2006. Their website describes their service as promoting early literacy development to Alaska’s pre-K children. They do this by loaning free reading kits to organizations (primarily libraries, but in the case of towns that don’t have a public library the kits can be leant directly to caregivers and/or parents). Within Anchorage, kits can be borrowed directly from the library, and in towns with smaller public libraries they can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. There are a few different kits available, ranging from lapsit bags with 5 or 6 books, to ‘Ready to Read’ tubs with up to 50 books.

The organization also advocates for early literacy by “giving presentations to caregivers and early childhood organizations.”

“Many rural Alaskan communities have no bookstores or libraries and those communities that do have libraries, even in urban areas, may not find adequate collections of books for infants and toddlers as these collections are expensive to maintain.” – Ready to Read Resource Center

Overall I thought this was a really interesting variation on collection development, offering an option of less permanent collections for libraries and communications with much more limited resources.

Collection Development for Early Childhood – Ready to Read Resource Center