Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Enchanted Engineering

Update from the Children's Room!

In honor of this year's theme for the national summer reading program, Build A Better World, Miss Shannon and I decided to curate a schedule of activities and events for our calendar that all feature a focus on STEAM; that is, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. One such program that we ran yesterday, to much success, was Enchanted Engineering.

In this program, our youngest patrons were tasked with helping the Three Little Pigs build a house strong enough to withstand the respiratory force of the Big Bad Wolf. We started out by reading a version of the classic fairy tale that many of the kids were familiar with, following our three porcine protagonists through their experiments at home durability with a straw house, stick house, and finally, a brick house. After that the kids were given free rein to gather supplies and get building! We provided Popsicle sticks, playdough, Legos, and corn-starch packing peanuts. Everyone got to work and built some great homes!

Once construction was complete, the kids switched sides, coloring and cutting out a wolf mask so they could try and blow their houses down. I'm happy to report that all the residences stood strong and sturdy, despite our wolves' best efforts!

All said, there were about 15 kids who participated in the program with the help of their adult caregivers. Everyone had a blast!

We hope to see our budding architects again on Wednesday, August 16th @ 10:30AM for our second installment of Enchanted Engineering, where we'll help Jack build a beanstalk tall enough to reach the clouds.

Take a look at some of the creations!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Hello avid library fans!

The blog officially has a new caretaker! My name is Miss Meredith; if you or your family have visited the Children's Room recently, you might recognize me as Miss Shannon's smiling and bubbly assistant. Or, as one of our younger patrons noted, "the girl with the thing in her nose". Referring, of course, to my septum piercing, which is a constant source of joy and curiosity to kids the world over.

I originally started working at the Lawrence Library back in the winter of 2015, primarily on Saturday mornings with a night shift here or there. However, in the last few months I've taken on more hours! I now get to come in and enjoy the mornings here in the library, whether they're quiet or hectic or somewhere in between, as well as my typical evening and Saturday shifts. I've never been happier!

The summer months mean hot days, lazy thunderstorms, vacations, and of course, lots of reading time. Miss Shannon and I have been busy with book recommendations for our younger library-goers, helping them pick out the new series or old familiar favorite to keep them busy during their school break. Upstairs, my colleagues have been just as busy keeping us up to date with the newest novels, non-fiction selections, movies, graphic novels, and of course, a shiny new encyclopedia set! (It really is a beauty; be sure to check it out!)

We're also smack-dab in the middle of our Summer Reading Program. This summer our goal is get Pepperell to read 1000 BOOKS!!! Joining us in our pursuit of 1k literary conquests is easy: simply sign up on Wandoo Reader's website and log the books you read to yourself or others. Then, at the end of the summer, join us for a celebratory ice cream party on Wednesday, August 23rd at 11:00AM. Who doesn't love ice cream?!

I'll be posting and updating here frequently, now that I've been given The Power. I hope to make this a space where you, our loyal patrons, can come to get updates, craft ideas, book recommendations, literary news, and all sorts of jazz! Please feel free to leave comments here, or pop on in to say hello and let us know what you think. We value and appreciate your feedback; this library is yours as much as it is ours, and our goal has always been to work with our public to create a space for all.

Thanks for taking the time to check this all out. Stay tuned for all the fun and excitement to come, and please, have a safe and wonderful summer!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Treasure Box

I suppose it goes without saying that here at the Lawrence Library, we love books. We love to hold them, we love to organize them, we love to read them and we love to share them with you.

But once in awhile, an idea comes along that is so delicious and delightful, we can't help but sacrifice one of our beloved books just to have it.

Here is one of them.....A book treasure box:

How fun is this? You can use it to store your secret stuff, so your brother can't find it....

Or you can use it to stash your phone or tablet so your parents think you are reading....

Or you can leave it on a bookshelf and send private notes back and forth with someone in your family!

 I want to tell you that this treasure box is easy to create, but the truth is that the process requires a little time and a lot of patience. All you will need is a sharp exacto knife and some ModPodge or glue.

With the knife, carefully start to remove rectangle shapes, a few pages at a time. Once you get to the desired depth, it is time to stop and use the glue to paint on a few layers, which will secure the pages to each other.

If you prefer, you could like the inside chamber with felt or fabric.

VOILA! It's your little secret, and you can keep it forever.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fun with Hot Chocolate!!!

1 1/2  cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of cocoa
1/2 cup of salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 cup of boiling water

Mix the dry ingredients together and add the oil and boiling water. Throw a healthy of handful of flour onto your work surface and knead the dough thoroughly. Add glitter if you want! And whatever you do, DON'T TRY TO EAT THE DOUGH!!! It smells so good but it tastes like YUCK.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Allow me to introduce name is Mandy Roberge (formally known to children everywhere as "Miss Mandy") and I am the new Library Assistant in the Children's Room here at Lawrence Library. And it bears mentioning that I am pretty happy about that.

Because I love to write, I have pleaded with the powers-that-be to let me take over this blog for awhile until they kick me out and let someone else do it. So for now, you are stuck with my words, my pictures, my thoughts as I tell you about all the awesome things we have going on here and about reading, literacy, kids -- basically whatever I feel like talking about when I sit down at this desk and imagine who might be out there reading. Moms? Teens? Our senior-est patrons? Whoever you are -- I'm talking to YOU!

Today I want to let you know that despite the distinct lack of white amid the outdoor landscape, it's full-on winter here in the Children's Room. We have a serious winter theme running through the room, with not only lots of snowman related activities but also plenty of books that will tickle your coldest funny bones.

With a new focus on teens and tweens, I am also pleased to announce that I will be here on:

 January 17th from 2 to 4 p.m. to offer FREE HENNA TATTOOS to patrons! 


Prior to coming to the library, I have worked as a traveling henna artist for the better part of a decade and I have been offering library workshops for as long. I am excited to show the Lawrence Library patrons this unique art form and maybe if you are feeling brave, you will come get a tattoo. I hope you will stop by and introduce yourself to ME!

Miss Mandy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

All About George

"Make sure you get my good side."
Who is George?
In short, George is the library frog.  He's an African Dwarf Frog who lives in a tank on the bookshelf next to my desk in the children's room of the library.

How We Got Him
The library was lucky enough to be able to adopt a pet this past spring. I (Miss Kat) had been talking to my assistant (Miss Shannon) about possibly getting a fish or a gerbil or something.  "How would you feel about a frog?" she asked, and called her mother right then.  Shannon's mother was the proud owner of George, an African Dwarf Frog, with whom she had lived for 9 years. (Nine years!) Unfortunately, poor George was often being terrorized by the cats, who were trying to get into his tank. The poor little guy was stressed out, and was invited here to live at the library.
No cats here! High five!
George and his mother are still on good terms, of course; she follows him on Twitter so she can keep up with his active social life.  (You can follow him, too! His handle is @LibraryFroggy .)
Biology and Such
George is an African Dwarf Frog. He's very little - smaller than he looks in photographs.
The camera adds 10 ounces.
His body is only about an inch and a half long - this isn't counting his legs, which are probably another inch and a half long on their own.  African Dwarf Frogs, George included, live their whole lives underwater. They have lungs and breathe air - they don't have gills like fish do - so they need to swim to the top of the water and take a breath every 10 minutes or so. They do need to be underwater, though; their skin is delicate, and can dry out really quickly.
Yes, George can understand English, though he doesn't have the vocal chords to speak. He also doesn't have teeth or eyelids. He eats frog pellets, which come in a jar that looks like fish food. (According to my research, he could also eat frozen bloodworms, but I'm not excited about that idea.)
ADFs live for an average of 5 years, but can live for up to 20 years! We are celebrating George's 10th birthday on September 6, which puts him right in the middle.  We hope he has a long and happy life ahead of him.

Hobbies and Interests
George loves singing. When it's really quiet (and usually later in the day, but not always), you can sometimes hear George's song, which sounds like a little tiny zipper being zipped.  "Zeep! Zeep! Zeep!"  It's a happy noise, and he has been known to sing when he's happy. He's also an avid reader, and usually has an opinion on just about any book he's read, though it's not always easy for him to articulate it.
If he was in Hogwarts, he'd be a Hufflepuff.
He's a really good listener, and will often swim up to the glass on the tank if you sit down to join him for a bit. (Not always, though - ADFs can sleep up to 12 hours a day, and might snooze through your visit.) George is also a history buff, and enjoys celebrating the anniversaries of famous events.  Here he is honoring the Apollo 11 astronauts and their successful moon landing. 
"That's one small step for George, one giant leap for mankind."
All in all, George is a pretty cool guy.  Do you have any questions that I didn't answer?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fall 2014 Events

Fall is just about upon us (at least, when it comes to planning programs) and I'm sure that after a summer of thrilling blog entries and arts & crafts tutorials, you're all clamoring for more information about what we're doing at the library. So, here's what's coming up:

We will start being open on Saturdays again in September, and I've decided that the first Saturday of the fall will be George's birthday. For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of meeting him, George is the frog that lives in the kids' room of the library, on my bookshelf.  He's an African Dwarf Frog that belonged to a friend of our's (actually Miss Shannon's mom) for nine years (!) before he came to live with us a few months ago. Given that he wasn't a tadpole when she got him, we can safely assume he was at least few months old by then, so we may not be too far off on the birthday that we assigned him. Officially, he will be 10 years old on September 6.
Isn't he handsome?
To celebrate George's birthday, we're having an Ice Cream Party, where you can make your own sundaes. (To be honest, we did this last year, anyway, but this year we have a good reason to celebrate.) I am working on frog-themed decorations.  I could write a whole post about George, and maybe I will at some point. In the meantime, you can follow him on Twitter to see what he's up to (no, really - @LibraryFroggy). 

We're trying to do a party each month, just for the fun of it. On the calendar are the Despicable Me Party, a Pirate & Princess Party, and a Holiday Gift Wrap Party (where we watch movies and wrap presents and drink cocoa and feel festive and alive). Those are far enough away that I'm not working too much on them just yet, though.

Right now, I'm in the planning stages for the Fall Crafts event (the first of this school year's monthly Arts & Crafts Club meetings).  Last year, we did one craft per month, but I'm being a bit more ambitious this time around, and I'm going to attempt to have materials for 2 or 3 different crafts each month.  These will mostly be made with stuff we already have or that doesn't cost a lot, so we can watch our budget... Also, they're easier to duplicate at home if it's not all from a kit. I always felt like doing from-a-kit crafts was somehow cheating, anyway.

I'll post the instructions online later, but here are a couple of the Fall Craft samples I made: 
Whooooooo would make an owl out of a toilet paper roll?
You may be sensing a theme here.  Owls out of cupcake liners, and owls out of felt and puffballs (in the actual craft, I'm hoping to use acorns instead). The third craft, however, will be making foxes out of leaves, so if you thought it would be another owl... looks like I out-foxed you! (Hahaha, I kill me.)

Also new this fall: We are revamping storytime! What used to be "Baby Lapsit" is now "Baby Time" (since that's what I always called it anyhow), and I'm going to do my best to add in more nursery rhymes and finger plays. Even more exciting, what has been "Toddler Time" for years and years is now "Story Adventures"! Miss Shannon will be doing more books, bigger crafts, and the whole thing will be on a brand new day! That's right: due to many conflicts of scheduling with other storytimes and toddler- or preschool-aged activities available locally, we have switched storytime to Thursday mornings! This may not seem like big news to most people, but it's very exciting to us! I hope we get off to a running start.

The Tween Book Worm Book Club is still meeting twice a month; they have chosen books to read through February. Nothing new there, but it's always a good time. 

Other than that... business as usual. Maybe once school starts, it can slow down enough here that I can get my desk cleaned off (what are the odds?).