April 8th, 2011

What’s Your Story?

nlwBeginning April 10th, libraries throughout the nation will celebrate National Library Week.  This year’s theme is “Create Your Own Story @ Your Library.”

Throughout the course of the week, our libraries will offer programs geared at helping you do just that.  The Rising Sun branch will host National Library Week themed children’s story programs on Tuesday, April 12th at 1:30pm, Wednesday, April 13th at 10:30am, and Thursday, April 14th at 10:30am.  They will also hold a Family Game program on Saturday, April 16th from 1-2:30pm.  Winners of the county-wide NLW children’s bookmark contest will be announced at each branch during the week.

Teens will get the chance to perform an extreme makeover on boring book covers at the Perryville Branch on Thursday, April 14th at 3pm, and those with a flair for creative writing can exercise their pens, as well as their imaginations, at the Elkton Teen Writers group on Thursday, April 14th at 3:30pm. Cecilton teens can view a classic story made modern with a screening of Ten Things I Hate About You on Saturday, April 16th at 2pm.

On Wednesday, April 14th, the Friends of the Library will sponsor  “Meet the Authors,” featuring three local authors—Ken Wiggins, Corinne Litzenberg, and Bobbie Hinman—who will share their stories and advice on becoming a writer.  You can delve more into the story of “you” at the North East Branch’s Genealogy Detectives program on Saturday, April 16th from 11am-1pm.

To finish out the week, the Elkton Central Library will host an Open House from 10am-4pm on Saturday, April 16th, featuring tours of the CCPL Bookmobile and a family concert with local songster Scott Birney (free Italian ice and pretzels for all who attend the concert!).  Visit our “tech café” to watch previews of this year’s Cecilwood Film Festival and sample playlists from our cd collection (check out a free playlist preview here).

Please check with your local branch for additional details on programs taking place during National Library Week.

Looking for a library/librarian inspired read this week?  Check out our list of favorites here.  I’m currently engrossed in Deborah Harkness’ A Discovery of Witches, set in Oxford’s atmospheric Bodelian Library.

My library “story” began when I was five years old and signed up for my first library card at the Elkton library, spending much of my childhood in its stacks and kicking off a lifelong love affair with books and libraries.  I know that throughout the course of my life, both as a librarian and a patron, the library has given me access to knowledge and learning opportunities I never would’ve had without it.  That’s my story—what’s yours?

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January 19th, 2011

Sign Up for Spring Kids’ Programs

“Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye…” and tap some rhythm sticks while you’re singing!  Better yet, give the rhythm sticks to your child and sing together at one of our spring StoryTimes!

We Children’s Librarians love to incorporate singing, rhythm activities and musical instruments into our StoryTimes.  We know that children enjoy music, and we know that music offers countless benefits.  First, music provides a pleasing structure for children to learn.  From the alphabet song that teaches letters, to counting songs (“This Old Man, He Played One”) to songs about body parts (“Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”), music enriches a child’s vocabulary.  In turn, this helps to develop pre-reading skills like letter recognition, narrative skills and phonological awareness.  Phonological awareness refers to the specific units of sound in a language, and this is a key skill in learning to read.

Another benefit music brings to children is that music quietly creates structure.  Children learn there is a time to start and a time to stop, a time to play with the instruments and a time to put the instruments away.  Music builds listening skills and makes following directions fun (“Beep your nose!” “Shout hurray!”).  The repetition in music and songs also helps build memory skills.

Music is also a great way to shake the wiggles and sillies out!  Music helps children coordinate their movement and increase their motor skills.  It also helps children learn spatial relationships and teaches them positional terms (“raise your hands high, bring them down low, put them behind your back, where did they go?”).

Research shows that the skills music helps a child learn can also help the child’s brain develop and grow.   One researcher, writing about how music may help a child learn crucial language skills, points out that “Music engages much of the brain and coordinates a wide range of processing mechanisms,” and that language, like music “relies on interpreting complex acoustic sequences that unfold in time,” (Aniruddh D. Patel, 2008).  While that sounds complicated, basically all the researcher is saying is what we already know:  music helps a child learn language and pre-reading skills!

On a simpler level, music unites us.  Many songs sung in our StoryTimes have been sung for generations.  Songs come from many lands, which helps children learn that the world is big and wonderful.  Music connects us all, over land and over time.

Come share in the power of music at one of our StoryTimes.  Registration has started for all branches and we have programs for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  In addition to music, we’ll introduce your children to excellent books and help you guide your children on the life changing journey of learning to read.  Call or stop by your local branch for more information about our spring kids” programs!

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