The Youth Department of the Livingston Public Library is an exciting place, filled with endless wonder, imagination, lots of books and programs galore! Here’s a quick glimpse of the events and activities from our March calendar:
The most popular event of the month is also one of the most highly attended programs of the year: Makers Day! Over 300 people had fun making squishy circuits, catapults, and buttons. Participants also got to dismantle computers at the Tech Dissect station, touch 4.5 billion year old meteor fragments with the Morris Astronomical Society, and get chased by robots with the Livingston Robotics Club. It just gets better and better every year!
Our Musical Story Time continues to draw the crowds in. Throughout the month, well over 100 children and adults enjoyed music-themed picture books accompanied with live guitar and ukulele music. The group enjoys dancing along, call-and-response singing, and playing percussion instruments.
The dancing continued with Boogie Woogie Babies. Parents and caregivers got their boogie on with their babies in an energetic dance workout routine. Everyone was ready for nap time after this high energy class!
We love to celebrate holidays! Our Toddler Holiday Crafts: Holi + Purim craft session was so popular, we ran out of supplies.
Of course, reading is the heart of what we do, and our Chinese/English Bilingual Story Time & Craft was a perfect example. Families enjoyed stories and sang songs in Chinese and English, then made ‘turnip’ origami boxes.
The second session of Sensory Story Time: A Private Library Experience for Children of All Abilities was a success! This class is offered while the library is closed to the public, and uses accommodations to cater to each child’s individual needs.
We brought our love of books, reading and music to Burnet Hill and Hillside Elementary schools to celebrate Read Across America Day and were invited to share a presentation with Hillside’s PTA. We also paired up with MPMS to offer a new lunch time book club. Students met in the media center to discuss Restart by Gordon Korman, a book about bullying and second chances. Participants are eagerly casting their ballots to determine the next book.
The Yakety Yak Book Club for grades 2-3 discussed Three Ring Rascals: The Show Must Go On. The children made a balancing toy using card stock and pennies.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy was the topic for discussion in the X-treme Readers Book Club for grades 4-5. After the discussion, the group debated a hot topic: Is technology helpful or harmful to children’s education? Two group members served as judges, heard arguments from both sides, contemplated the facts presented and made their ruling.
Speaking of technology, parents and children participate together in Story Coders using the ScratchJr app and off screen activities to introduce them to coding basics. Children learned how to maneuver a Finch bot to move the Pong paddle on the screen, then pretended to be computer characters that moved according to the color presented.
Female LHS students worked with younger girls in codergals to spark their interest in coding. To inspire the group, the sessions start with a biography reading of women in science, including Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science: the first computer programmer, Hidden Figures: the true story of four black women and the space race, and Mars Science Lab Engineer Diana Trujillo. Then the girls complete projects using WIX, Made With Code, and Code.org.
It was a chilly starry, starry night for the family Stargazing on the Oval event, run by the Adult Services Department. Volunteers from the Morris Museum Astronomical Society helped us view the moon, stars and planets.
The Youth and Adult Services Departments coordinated with the LHS Video Game Club for Teen Gaming @ the Library. Nintendo Switch games on the big screen with snacks? Yes, we play well with others! So much so, that we also coordinated with the LHS Chess Club to offer young chess students 20-minute one-on-one chess lessons in Blitz Chess.
The Teen Advisory Board flipped and served hundreds of pancakes for the after school crowd at our Teen Pancake Party. They had as much fun making them as they did eating them! After the cooking was done, everyone sat down to enjoy the food and watch back to back episodes of The Office.
Our teen volunteers have been busy! After school, you can find a number conscientious teens completed clerical tasks in the Teen Zone and Children’s Room. The young volunteers also assisted the Friends of the Livingston Library by screening books.
And finally, have you noticed the exciting new look in the Teen Zone? That would be because we have new furniture! Fun, colorful swivel chairs, a modern counter height table and plenty of cool looking tables with sleek chairs now provide welcoming new study areas for the busy after-school crowds. Come take a look during your next visit if you haven’t already.
Be sure to subscribe to the library’s weekly newsletter and to check out our full calendar of events for all of next month’s programs and activities.
See you soon,
~Gina Vaccaro, Youth Services Librarian