The Museum of Science is coming to the library today with their inflatable planetarium, Starlab.Â Starlab inflates to be twenty-five feet in diameter and twelve feet high, and can accomodate twenty-five participants at a time.Â Expecting a good deal of interest in this program, I scheduled four sessions spread out over the afternoon, and at this point the two later sessions are completely full.Â (Do call the children’s room this morning if you’re not signed up yet and would like to attend the 2:00 or 2:45 sessions, as there is still plenty of room in each of those.)
After Starlab is packed up and on the road back to Boston, I’ll be setting upÂ the performance roomÂ for movie night.Â Tonight’s movie is Toy Story, and there is PLENTY of space available for those of you who would like to attend.Â Although, I must admit that an under-registered movie night means a great deal less work for me, especially since Lisa won’t be working tonight (last week, Lisa and I worked frantically for a solid half-hour to fill enough popcorn bags to feed the entire audience).Â
Neither of today’s events really fits into the Massachusetts library summer theme of “Catch the Beat at your Library,” but that doesn’t bother me too much.Â While I think that having a summer theme can inspire children’s librarians to bring in some excellent events that we might not otherwise have thought of, I do also think that there is a danger of being limited by the summer’s theme.Â As I study the statistics produced by our new online summer reading log, it becomes clear that summer reading participation and enthusiasm centers on three specific grade levels: those kids entering third, fourth, and fifth grade in the fall.Â What happens if there are three mediocre summer reading themes in a row?Â Do the kids going into these prime grade levels those years lose out?Â In losing out, do they lose interest in reading, and therefore not develop excellent life-long reading habits?Â
My approach, therefore, is to run some events each summer that make use of the summer theme, but also schedule other events that touch on other subjects.Â For instance, with “Catch the Beat,” it could be tempting to focus mostly on musical events, but that would leave the kids who are interested in math and science out in the cold.Â And I certainly wouldn’t let our book group choices to be determined by the summer theme; the books we read should be chosen by virtue of quality and interest level for the kids who are in the book group.
All this by way of explaining my choice of having Starlab come today.Â It’s a totally cool program, for which we finally have the appropriate space, and which appeals to kids who are fascinated by science.Â And Toy StoryÂ was chosen by way of patron request, an appropriate means of choosing programs for a public library.Â It’s all good.
One last thing before I start my work day:Â HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JEAN!!Â With love from your little sis.Â Have a terrific day!!!