Tag: Professional Development

Professional Development Workshop: Wisconsin Ed.

Last week I presented my first full-day professional development workshop in Fennimore, Wisconsin. I met a lot of lovely people and was happy to visit a part of the country I never went before. It was so beautiful! We had a blast all day, playing with STEM. Here’s my presentation, followed by a lot of links I used throughout the day with plenty of ready-to-print handouts:

Wisconsin Presentation Wisconsin


Bus Stop for Programs

STEM Curriculum

Smeller’s Bingo Wisconsin

Catapult Instructions Wisconsin



Who Hatches Scavenger Hunt

Never Smile at a Monkey Kahoot Game

Would You Rather Wisconsin

Lego Afternoons

Book vs Movie

Thanks for all who came and participated in this amazing day!

Afterschool Program Resources

after school

I just finished my Infopeople course, Afterschool and Out of School Programming. It was a fantastic experience! It was a great group of professional librarians exchanging ideas. I want to share all the hard work everyone came up with.

First, I’d like to thank my friends for helping me make this class interactive and fun (as well as educational, of course). Feedback from participant surveys raved about the video clips. I appreciate all the time and effort you put into helping me! In case you missed the class, you can watch videos filled with program tips by amazing bloggers. Take the time to add these to your Watch List! I learned a few tricks myself.

Jennifer’s Tips from In Short, I’m Busy:

Bryce’s Tips from Bryce Don’t Play:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/138267730″>Special Programs and No-School Days</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43536937″>Bryce Kozla</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Meg’s Tips from Miss Meg’s Storytime:

Kelly’s Tips from Ms Kelly at the Library:

Brytani’s Tips from The Neighborhood Librarian:

Rebecca’s Tips from Hafuboti:


A list of program ideas that the class came up with is available here. There are five different pdf files you can download: Early Elementary, Upper Elementary, Mixed-Age, Passive and Special.

I hope to meet you at ALA this weekend!

School Age Professional Development Fall 2015 Course

after school

If you’re looking to develop your school age programming, take my affordable fall course through Infopeople!

An Infopeople 4-week online course, October 20, 2015 to November 16, 2015

  • Would you like to learn the practical nuts and bolts of creating a successful school age program?
  • Do you want to be part of the competition for after and out-of-school learning?
  • Do you want to know more about how to create a variety of programs including active, passive, series, and specials?

Traditionally Libraries have been strong supporters of learning and recently the connected learning movement has provided even more opportunity through the focus on informal learning outside the school day. In this course you will have the chance to expand your knowledge on running successful school age programs at your library, right down to the best days and times for programming. Instructor Lisa Shaia, author of After-School Clubs for Kids, will also push your boundaries and encourage you to think about out-of-the-box ideas such as creating a bus stop, running a field trip, and finding community collaborators.

Course Description: Through practical assignment, discussions and an online meeting this four week online course will provide the opportunity for participants to learn how to create and run successful school age programs from start to finish, including how to calendar for the best attendance, using online registration systems and identifying local community collaborators and funders.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Successful School Age Programming
    • Creating goals
    • Developing a calendar
    • Utilizing online registration systems
    • Explaining Unattended Children’s Policies
  • Week 2: Special Programs
    • Active vs. passive programs
    • Targeted age groups
    • Designing programs for mixed age groups
  • Week 3: Series Programs
    • Popular author/series programs
    • Designing series programming for mixed ages
    • Early and upper elementary series programs
  • Week 4: Kick It Up a Notch Programs
    • Identifying potential collaborators, funders and grants for programs
    • Setting up a bus stop
    • Planning a field trip

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week’s module contains readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week’s work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Public and School Library staff at all levels who work with school age children for the purposes of programming.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:infopeople.org/training/online_learning_details.

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Fee: $75 for those in the California library community, $150 for all others.

For a complete course description and to register go to https://infopeople.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=521

Storytime University Thrive Thursday Badge!

Thrive Thursday BadgeStorytime University has a free, go-at-your-own-pace professional development program. It has amazing ideas and really made me expand my horizons by pushing my comfort level on so many things. I’m still working my way through the program and am so excited to announce a new badge to earn…that’s right a Thrive Thursday badge! You’ll need to complete five tasks to earn this, and you will greatly increase your school age programming skills and knowledge. It’s also a great way to hop into a bigger community of colleagues (and soon to be friends) to share ideas and get help and guidance from. You’ll need to complete five tasks to earn the badge and brag. C’mon, you can do it! Go here now and begin!


Resolve to Rock in 2015!

Resolve to Rock meme image
Storytime Underground is encouraging children’s librarians to Resolve to Rock in 2015! I used to choke when it came to goal setting when I started out my career. I’ve had some practice over the years and have a list of ideas you can use:

The Early Years For those of you new to the field, start out slow! You’ll be facing difficult challenges each day. You shouldn’t have the added stress of completing additional goals on top of learning the job. Try some of these out:

  • Learn and assist the planning and implementing of storytime (you can even be specific with an age group)
  • Learn and assist the planning and implementing of after school programs (again, choose an age group to focus on)
  • Learn and perform all tasks of the children’s librarian position
  • Learn how to tell a flannel board story
  • Learn how to develop a storytime curriculum
  • Learn the state preschool curriculum, school age curriculum, Common Core, and STEM/STEAM
  • Learn the school schedule
  • Learn what times are most busy for future preparation of programs
  • Learn how to order, process, catalog materials
  • Learn how to run reports
  • Develop a playlist for storytimes
  • Survive your first summer reading program

The Intermediate Years OK, now you have the basics under your belt. You can focus on targeting some key programs or collections in your library:

  • Strengthen and expand the summer reading program (you can add an age-specific program)
  • Implement an outreach program (whether it’s preschool storytime outreach monthly, or a book exchange with middle school students)
  • Strengthen the way we publicize and talk about storytimes (Do your parents know the value of storytimes? Do you include the state preschool curriculum? Do you use ECRR?)
  • Strengthen the way we publicize and talk about school age programs (Do your parents know about how important reading aloud is? Books in the home? Do you include STEM/STEAM? Core?)
  • Incorporate crafts into your outreach programs
  • Plan and execute lending materials to schools
  • Develop passive programs for children who visit the library when you’re out of the office
  • Develop a monthly schedule of displays to increase circulation (you can even focus on a specific collection: non-fiction, beginning readers, picture books, storytime books, etc.)
  • Plan funding for a diecut machine to assist with craft preparation
  • Create school age programming on half-days, vacation days, and professional development days
  • Create a partnership with someone from the school (or parks and rec, or museum, etc.)
  • Join Storytime University! Complete tasks ranging from Attend a Conference, to Write a Guest Blog Post.

The Seasoned Years You can plan and execute storytime and school age programs in your sleep. Here are some ideas to spruce up your children’s department:

  • Develop the flannel board collection for storytimes and outreach
  • Update the Unattended Children’s Policy
  • Plan and seek funding for programs
  • Train staff
  • Evaluate programs and modify based on the conclusions
  • Design new library cards
  • Move the collection to increase circulation/ease for patrons
  • Weed the collection
  • Develop fundraising
  • Plan and execute literacy bags
  • Seek funding for furniture to update your children’s room
  • Seek funding to recover classics in the collection that need a facelift
  • Collaborate with schools to setup a bus stop for programs
  • Write a grant to purchase special needs equipment for children’s programs

Professional Goals Now it’s your turn to teach newbies in the field, and those looking for inspiration:

  • Publish an article sharing your expertise
  • Be a guest blogger for Thrive Thursday or Flannel Friday or Storytime Underground
  • Start a blog
  • Write a proposal for your state library conference
  • Write a proposal for a webinar
  • Make a coffee date with a library colleague you admire
  • Post a comment on a blog from an idea you’ve used
  • Write a letter to the editor of School Library Journal or Horn Book
  • Join a Facebook Group
  • Join a conversation on Twitter

How do you plan to rock in 2015?

Successful Public and School Collaboration



Over the past few years my school partner and I have been getting the word out about our successful relationship. Marge Loch-Wouters asked me to share some tips for her amazing class. So Joanne and I got together for a few minutes…here’s a quick video with Cliff Notes on how to get started and what seems to work best for us:

Excuse the coughing at the end. We had just done a Kindergarten Social Program for a packed room of about 80 at 10:30 a.m. At noon we did a welcome program for the New Teacher Orientation. Directly after that we taped this segment (Twice. The first time we were nearly done and were attacked by a gigantic spider. I’m taking about Aragog big!). And since I’m very basic with the video editing the coughing stays. Haha! We’re off to lunch finally at 2 p.m.!


Additional ideas on mentioned programs:

Story Mob (using Press Here)

Summer Reading Collaborative Book Share

Thrive Thursday School Age Programming Blog Hop (Posts at various blogs first Thursday of the month)


You can also check out our webinar found here for more ideas.

An article Joanne and I wrote together that was published: School and Public Collaboration Library Sparks Article.

Here’s a great post about collaboration: http://www.aasl.ala.org/aaslblog/?p=4914


What are your favorite ways to collaborate?

Another Great Book Review!

After School Clubs for Kids

Do you have summer reading burnout! Here’s a great gift to yourself…

Shaia, Lisa M. After-School Clubs for Kids. Chicago, American Library Association, 2014. 192p. index. $45.00pa. ISBN 13: 978-0-8389-1202-7.

Authored by the children’s librarian at the Oliver Wolcott Library in Litchfield, Connecticut and former school librarian, this volume includes contributions by five children’s and youth services librarians from across the United States—Cheryl Cox, Elizabeth Esposito, Kerry Lemont, Melissa Messner, and Amelia Yunker.  Organized into 12 chapters, the authors offer ideas for after-school clubs for children in areas of math, fairy tales, science, humor, art, mysteries, out at sea, adventures, school, chillers, boys only, and girls only.  These afterschool programs will entice children to attend and become active, while integrating reading and literature into the events.  Each chapter includes four-week club plans for grades K-2, 3-4, and 5-6.  Each week includes a reading component of five minutes, an activity, and sometimes music.  The plans also include ideas for publicity, suggested books to display, and clear directions for each step of the meeting.  The single index includes activities, book titles, authors, songs, and subjects.  This is a valuable book for any librarian working with children in grades K-6, whether in a public library or school media center.  Teachers of these grades will also benefit from ideas on how to integrate lessons on these topics into their classrooms.—Sara Marcus, American Reference Books Annual 2015

If you need another reason, check out Booklist’s review here (steak knives sold separately!).

My First Book Review!

After School Clubs

I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for my first book review and here it is. I’m over the moon! It’s from Booklist. Share my excitement! My husband loved the steak knives comment. Haha.

After-School Clubs for Kids: Thematic Programming to Encourage Reading.

Shaia, Lisa M. (author).
Feb. 2014. 208p. illus. ALA Editions, paperback, $45 (9780838912027). 028.5.
REVIEW.  First published May 22, 2014 (Booklist Online).

According to author Shaia, “This book will make your job a lot easier.” It is not self-aggrandizing if it is true . . . and it is. After-School Clubs for Kids walks the reader through 12 different general activity topics (science, fairy tales, humor, art, and mysteries, among them), providing four complete program plans for each topicand for each of three distinct grade-level groups (K–2, 3–4, and 5–6). Each plan recommends a reading component, an activity, and related music, clearly spelling out the time required for each element. A year’s worth of plans, plus program-publicity blurbs, lists of books to display each month, and the expert guidance of fellow librarians? One almost expects her to throw in a set of steak knives. Highly recommended for all librarians working with youth.— Genevieve Grove

Get After-Schooled

Get After-Schooled

Get After Schooled

Thanks for coming to my workshop today. I hope you can use the hands-on ideas we worked on with your children! Here are some links you may find useful based on our conversations today:Get After Schooled

Program Ideas

Department Ideas

Get Involved and Find Ideas

More Workshops

  • “12 Months of Programs”: My school partner and I will be demonstrating some programs we’ve used on May 30 9 a.m.-noon: Connecticut State Library Program @ Middletown Library Service Center Meeting Room (Middletown, CT) We’ll be doing hands-on demonstrations of Book vs. Movie ProgramsBattle of the Books, and our Press Here Story Mob.
  • “Storytime Tools”: Online class beginning July 14 with ALSC (online worldwide!)

And of course feel free to email me if you have any questions you think of later! (lisamshaia at gmail dot com)

I hope to see you again!

CLA 2014: Year Round Collaboration

Thanks for all who came to our Connecticut Library Association seminar on Year Round Collaboration! If you weren’t able to attend, I’ve attached our presentation below.

Lisa and Joanne

I will be doing more in-depth workshops, check them out:

  • “Get After-Schooled”: May 19 9 a.m.-noon @ Oliver Wolcott Library (Litchfield, CT)
  • “12 Months of Programs”: May 30 9 a.m.-noon: Connecticut State Library Program @ Middletown Library Service Center Meeting Room (Middletown, CT)
  • “Storytime Tools”: Online class beginning July 14 with ALSC (online worldwide!)

Here are additional resources you may find useful to inspire a professional relationship that will be beneficial to your community:

Program Ideas

Professional Ideas

Get Involved and Find Ideas


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