Friday, December 28, 2012

Youth Services 2012 Year in Review, or WOW! We did all that?

This happens to me every year, and maybe it happens to you too...I look up one day, and suddenly it's the middle of December. When that happens, I think to myself, "Where did the time go?" and then I tick off all the projects that led me to lose track of the time. Here in the Youth Services Department, we've been busy as usual, but a few big projects kept us on our toes.

We had a little work done (just a nip here, tuck there) that gave some much needed lift and color to the Youth Services area. We painted a wall in our Youth Services alcove behind the elevators bright blue, and it also happens to be magnetic! That's where you'll find build-your-own poetry pieces most of the time, but sometimes it's puzzles, sometimes it's word and picture matching games...but it's always fun! This project was in preparation for our fantastic first PoetryPlay event in April (National Poetry Month) with special guest author/poet Janet Wong!

I'm certain you have noticed our new orange wall in the Young Adult area. It's the first stage in a project of updating that wall to provide information, displays of materials, flyers, and other cool stuff. Coming in January is phase II, be sure to watch that space. Another update to the YA area included brand new and very sleek containers for our collection of music CD's. What a difference!

We finally replaced the bulk of our bulky desk/study chairs with bright blue, moveable and stackable desk chairs that have a great, comfortable profile that fits almost any body, kid or adult. After we replaced the chairs, we lowered the desk height of the Youth Services internet stations so that between the chairs and the tabletops, it's a much better fit and much more ergonomic.

You may (or may not) have noticed some new additions to the collection. This year we added a few e-readers to the mix: Kindles, VTech Innotabs, and LeapFrog LeapPads. We also have game cartridges for the Innotabs and LeapPads. I say you may not have noticed them because these items check out like gangbusters! These initial purchases have been so successful that you'll be sure to notice more of this in the coming year. New this year too were cartridges for your Nintendo DS here on the Youth Services floor. Check one of these many new items out today, or if you can't find one on the shelf, place one on hold for yourself or ask a staff member for help so you'll be sure to get in line for the next one available.

In March we rode the wave of the Hunger Games. A group of 25 received the red-carpet treatment through a generous partnership with Muvico in Rosemont: we had exclusive use of the game room while we gathered together, then, in our VIP reserved front-row seats we watched together as Katniss survived the Hunger Games on screen. Later, we gathered at the library AFTER HOURS to fight it out in several challenges of strength, intellect, endurance, and wits. Only the strong survive.

March was especially busy because it was also our visit and workshop with author/illustrator Raina Telgemeier. In a partnership with Algonquin Middle School, we listened to Raina's stories, asked her questions, practiced drawing with her, and got our copies of Smile signed by the author!

New this year also was a program around software and materials purchased through a generous partnership with NorthShore University HealthSystem. LEGO WeDo Robotic programs for 1st-3rd and 4th-6th graders brought the house down! Watch for more of these in 2013.

And I didn't even get to all the wonderful storytimes, outreach programs, workshops, book discussions, amazing volunteers, Family Science Expo, Art Attack, Battle of the Books, Reading is SO Delicious summer reading...I could go on! If you're not here with us, you're missing out. We are closed on Monday, December 31, and Tuesday, January 1, but we'll look forward to your visit in 2013. Happy New Year from all of us in the Des Plaines Public Library Youth Services Department.

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