At public libraries we spend an awful lot of time celebrating the holidays and happy parts of life (as we should): Halloween parties, Valentine's crafts, Thanksgiving storytime, book launches, STEM programs. These are all exciting and essential services. But what about the needs of our patrons that are sometimes a bit messier, a bit more hidden from public view, a bit less Hallmark-card sweet and a bit more nitty-gritty reality?
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At the L.P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, N.B., we already have a monthly Family Board Game night and an afterschool Board Game Club, but when local chess aficionado Derek Vihvelin inquired about possibly beginning a chess club we answered with a resounding "YES!"
At the height of Summer Reading Club (SRC) or during an autumn back-to-school heat wave, sometimes the best thing to do is take the kids outside and hose them down — that will get the fidgets out! (Kidding!)
But seriously, throwing water balloons at people or targets is extremely therapeutic. I asked my SRC leader, Ebony Scott, to come up with a program called Water Games. My only stipulations were (1) that it not wet any of the books and (2) that it have a reasonable budget. (If only we could afford giant Nerf Super Soakers for everyone.)
Each year on June 21, the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, celebrates International Yoga Day, first made official by the United Nations on Dec. 11, 2014. But you don’t have to wait until June 2018 to celebrate — you can copy what we do by having a Family Yoga Party any time of year!
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, things fall apart. Or rather, it feels like we are falling apart, tearing at the seams. We scramble, gather the loose threads, look around desperately for someone to stitch us back together, but some life events are just too powerful. The emotions that come with these events bowl us over and yet we must carry on: children must be read to, timesheets must be submitted, reference questions must be answered, cameras flash and we smile and pretend everything is all right.
Ask most boys today if they want to play with paper dolls and you might get a scrunched-up face in response, but paper dolls haven't always been seen as such a gendered activity. In fact, paper dolls have existed since paper was invented and come from many different cultures around the world.