Sneaky STEM: Life Cycle

At my library we offer evening storytimes twice a week and Wednesday evenings are my nights to lead them. I’m used to having preschoolers and toddlers attend my programs, but when I arrived to my current branch most of the kids turned out to be school age (1st grade and up). One of the challenges has been finding crafts that keep them engaged, but I realized I wanted them to learn something rather than do cut and paste crafts.

Enter Sneaky STEM. Last week we read all about the life cycle of different animals. The books are as follows.

What Will I Be? by Nicola Davies

Turtle, Turtle Watch Out! By April Pulley Sayre

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

I was really worried that these books were going to be too baby-ish, but they turned out to be real conversations starters. The kids were also learning about life cycles in school! Librarian win!

The sneaky STEM portion came in with this life cycle craft from Kizclub. You cut out two circles and paste the life cycle of the animal in order. It’s super simple and so easy, but was creative enough for kids to do what they wanted in terms of coloring and decoration.

It was a lot of fun and I think the kids got some added information from the storytime to take back to school.

What are some ways you incorporate Sneaky STEM into your everyday programs?

– – Librarian Jayla


May 2016 GOALS



I am really bad at blogging. There is no rhyme or reason as to why I’ve been neglecting my blog other than I am busy with work.

Start reading blogs at least once a week — I have a variety of library/book related blogs that I follow, but I NEVER read them unless I am looking for an idea for a program, display, or storytime. Hopefully that will change this month.

Post at least twice a month— When I was in graduate school I did a lot of blogging around books reviews and such. I am not sure I want to continue that perse, but I would at least like to blog about something library related to keep myself engaged in the community. The original plan was to blog once a week, but I want to set a more realistic goal.

Read at least two books – I SUCK at reading, you guys.

Organize myself – Generally speaking, I am OK with being organized, but I could be a lot better. I recently got a hold of a fancy new work bag, am going to try my hand at the Bullet Journal, and will generally try to get myself together overall.

Educate myself about child development – It’s a big part of what librarians do, whether you believe it or not. If anyone has recommendations on what to do, share them in the comments!



Librarian Jayla @ ALA Annual San Francisco!

I'm Attending ALA 2015

ALA Annual is right around the corner. I’ve always liked going to library conferences. This will be the third national library conference I’ll be attending (and probably my last for a while other than Mid-Winter in January), so I am going to make the best of it. I’ve already got my days planned out for maximum socializing, networking, and learning! Below you can check out some of the sessions I am most excited about.

Saturday, June 27th

Learn and Share the Secrets of a Successful Money Program, 8:30 – 10:30 AM – I’ve wanted to do a financial literacy program for a while, but haven’t had the chance to plan it out yet. Hopefully this sessions will give me ideas to take back to my own library!

Reading Into the Future: Tips and Tools for Staying On top of the Book World, 10:30 – 11:30 AM – I SUCK at reader’s advisory even though I read plenty of books throughout the year. This sounds like the kind of session that can help me not suck when it comes to helping people find books.

Sunday, June 28th

Come Write In with National Novel Writing Month, 10:30 – 11:30 AM – We attempted to do a NanoWriMo event at my last library, but it fell through (poor planning on my part), so I am really excited about this program and hope I can jumpstart a program at one of the locations I work at!

Sunday Ignite Session: Outreach – Keep It Simple Stupid, 11:30 – 12:00 PM – Outreach is one of my Resolve to Rock goals, but it’s also a goal for my library system this fiscal year! I’m hoping to bring back some valuable information to share with colleagues.

Monday, June 29th

Graphic Novel Petting Zoo, 10:30 – 11:30 AM – I’ve gone to these three years in a row and it’s really helped me scope out some amazing graphic novels to add to my TBR list.

Early Literacy Outreach for Teen Parents: Engage & Inspire with ECRR 2.0, 1:00 – 2:30 PM – I’ve always wanted to do a program that reaches out to teen mothers, but my last library system didn’t have the community for it. However, where I’m located now could do with a program geared towards them. Interesting to see how this goes about.

Odyssey Award Presentation and Program, 3:00 – 5:30 PM – AUDIOBOOKS ARE MY LIFE. I went to the Odyssey program during a Chicago annual a few years back and it was fabulous!

I’ll also be at some lunches and parties, but there are WAY too many to list here. Will you be attending #alacc15? What are you most excited for?

Resolve to Rock 2015


Storytime Underground a fabulous professional resources for children’s librarians, is encouraging all librarians to set professional goals for the new year. To be honest, I’ve never really thought of goal setting as something you can do in the professional world, but it makes sense. For me, the whole point of making goals is to motivate myself. Below I have

1). Keep up with blogging — This was originally going to read “contribute to the librarian profession”, but I think for now, keeping up with blogging in a more attainable goal. I love and miss the blogging world. Blogging motivates me to read and, in the past, has introduced me to so many people! My hope is that blogging will help me open up my network, provide with a

2) Make outreach a priority — I started my job here in Houston in August and I’ve finally gotten comfortable enough to finally reach out to schools and daycares to let them know we are here to help. I’ve got half a game plan planned, but I just need to finish and implement said plan.

3) Familiarize myself with library policies and procedures — I feel like, as an assistant manager, I don’t have good grasp on our library systems policies and procedures. This can prove problematic when an issue with a patron comes up and I don’t really know what to do. By familiarizing myself, I am hoping I can become a better at my job.

4) Participate in YALSA 2015 Hub Reading Challenge and Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge — One challenge will help me keep up with what’s “up and coming” in YA and the other will stretch my literary horizons. Both will, hopefully, help me become a better at readers advisory. We shall see.

5) Read professional librarian blogs — This is purely for motivational purposes.

My list is short, simple, and sweet. I am really excited to see what the new year holds for me in terms of professional advancement. I’ll be kicking off the new year in Chicago with other librarians as we all meet up for the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. Will you be there? Happy 2015, everyone!