Thursday, October 09, 2008

Family Place

If you've ever wondered what a Family Place Parent/Child Workshop is like,
as you can see it is a lot of fun!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I have never been so filled with ideas! The meetings and workshops that I have had the privilege to go to over the past 2 weeks have been astounding and inspiring.

PaLA Leadership Orientation: Every year, incoming and outgoing chairs of PaLA's divisions, committees and round tables gather together to get inspired on the best way to lead others towards this fine organization. What are the missions of our prospective areas? What haven't we tried yet to get new members interested in PaLA? What do we need to do to keep members involved in PaLA? How can I get my division inspired to do new things and be more vital to the organization? I have some new ideas inspired by this gathering that I would love to discuss with all of you at our annual meeting during the PaLA Conference on Monday, November 10, at 8 am. I promise that, with enough coffee and attendees, I will try my best to inspire you to get involved along with me.

Family Place Retreat: This was awesome! On the first day, we learned about how Norfolk, Virginia libraries went above and beyond the Family Place Library concept to redesign their branches to have Kidzones - inviting and spacious areas for play and imagination to help kids grow and learn. Go to this website: and scroll down to look for the Pennsylvania Family Place PowerPoint presentation on the right. You'll be amazed and inspired too.

The second speaker was from the Vermont Center for the Book and has designed programs and kits for us to use on Science and Math concepts. Each Family Place Library got a kit of 6 of these awesome kits to bring back and make use of in many fun and creative ways. We played with blocks to make a map of the room. How many meetings let you play with blocks?

Each District also received more materials to share to make the concepts more well rounded. I already have my entire next year planned out thanks to this inspiring talk and these kits. Check them out at You might be inspired to do science and math based programs with your families. Make discovery centers for families to play with science and math based objects like tangram puzzles and other fun stuff.

Between the science and math kits and talking about the upcoming art and drama based summer reading club theme (Be Creative @ Your Library:, I began to wonder just what was left of a school curriculum we were not covering at my own library. We use the word "Explorers" a lot in naming our programs. We have Sensory Explorers - using the five senses in new ways; Fitness Explorers: using our bodies and getting in shape. The new kits will help us develop Science Explorers and Math Explorers. Summer Reading Club will bring Art Explorers and Drama Explorers. We explored the world and cultures via Passports to the World this past year. What was left? HISTORY! We'll do a monthly program on varying kinds of history!

As you can see, the possibilities can be endless once the kernal of an idea gets me going. I hope that many of you will be able to join us at this fall's PaLA Conference to get inspired at the wonderful selection of workshops and sessions we are offering this year. Please check out the schedule at and I hope to see you all at our annual meeting too.

Let the ideas begin!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Family Place Libraries Save the Date!

Please mark September 24 and 25 for the 2008 State-wide Family Place program. We will begin around 1 on Wednesday afternoon and finish with lunch on Thursday. The tentative agenda is

Wednesday afternoon join Norm Maas, Director of the Norfolk, VA Library and one of his children's librarians. They will be talking about the Kids Zones they have created in their library branches and how Family Place has helped them leverage money and clout in the early childhood arena. This would be a good program for directors to attend. The second half of the afternoon will be a make and take program for parent programs and a time for sharing.

Thursday morning join Sally Anderson, Executive Director of the Vermont Center for the Book. She will be doing a three hour training on What's the Big Idea? kits for libraries and for take home. Each Family Place Library will have access to at least one of the full librarian kits (probably going to be distributed on a county basis). Each FP library that attends the program will receive one of at least 6 of the take home kits. For more information on this program visit .

I will reimburse mileage for one vehicle and provide one double room per per FP library. Breakfast and lunch on Thursday will be provided. Dinner Wednesday night will be on your own. The program will be held at the Grantville Holiday Inn.

I plan to send registration forms out in July.

Susan Pannebaker Youth Services Advisor
Office of Commonwealth Libraries
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St. Harrisburg, PA 17126-1745
v: 717-214-4047 f: 717-787-2117

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fundraising idea

Dear Youth Services Division Members,

In the past, people have asked about how they can be more involved in Youth Services Division. I also remember that we as a division have a hard time raising money for things like training and workshops – which is at the core of our division mission. So, I contemplated what we can all do together to solve these two issues and I came up with what I think is a really fun idea: a silent auction.

How you can be involved: think up something to donate, such as a “program in a box;” “a mini vacation in a bag;” or something, anything, that you think that will be useful or fun for a fellow librarian (remember those non-youth services folks too!). Imagination and creativity are the only limits. Package it up in a creative way that will entice someone to bid on your donation, write up a brief description and bring it with you to the PaLA Convention in November.

We will set up all of the donated items in the PaLA bookstore with bidding sheets. As folks peruse the store, they can write their bids on the sheets. At the end of the allotted time, we shall announce the winners and collect the bids – all for the Youth Services Division.

If you cannot attend the convention, but still wish to contribute, that’s great! Send items to: Denise Pulgino Stout, Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library, 1001 Powell Street, Norristown PA 19401 and I will bring it to the convention for you.

Please email back to me if you are interested in participating in this fun project. We need your contact information and the approximate idea behind your donation. I know that many of you are incredibly creative and can come up with some cool ideas that others will be interested in bidding on. I also know that your generosity is endless and we youth services folks can gather together to help our organization do some great things if we come together – while having a little fun along the way!

If you are interested in helping to set up the auction, I can use your help. Just let me know via email and you’re volunteered.

Thanks a bunch for considering this idea and I look forward to hearing from folks and feedback it will garner.

Denise Pulgino Stout
Youth Services Division Chair 2008, PaLA

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Conference Proposals Please!

Calling Youth Services People! You are all doing fabulous things, so here's your venue to share what you do!

The Pennsylvania Library Association (PaLA) is currently accepting program proposals for the PaLA Annual Conference, to be held November 9 – 12, 2008 at the Valley Forge Convention Center/Scanticon Hotel in King of Prussia. The 2008 Conference Committee, led by Carrie Turner, Director, Cheltenham Township Library System, is hard at work planning another great conference, which will offer more than 50 sessions, exhibits, meal events, tours, receptions, and more!

The deadline for proposals is April 15, 2008. Proposals can be submitted online via:
Click Here to Submit

Thank you in advance to all that submit proposals, we appreciate your dedication to PaLA and to Pennsylvania’s libraries!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Priestley Forsyth Memorial Library

Some terrific things are happening at Priestley Forsyth Memorial Library:

We are getting ready to start a new TAG and make a new area for teens. We went to the workshop in the fall and won a really cool table which we have installed two laptops on. We're excited about it.

I have another resource I thought was important. I found a website that gives out free seeds ( well, almost free, you have to pay shpg./handling charges). It is called the America The Beautiful Fund and they will send packets of seeds with a request letter from your organization. We sent one last week so children could get a packet of seeds with their Up, Down, All Around book at our library events.

Just thought you might want to share with others and I thought this was a cool place to do it.
Kim King
Priestley Forsyth Memorial Library

Thursday, February 21, 2008

News from Susan Pannebaker

I wanted to thank everyone who contributed suggestions for future summer reading slogans and themes. I have forwarded them to the Collaborative. The Collaborative meets the end of April and I will let you know in May the slogan for 2010 and the theme for 2011.

I have a couple of other things I would like to share:

This spring there will be four workshops being held in the East on the Mother Goose on the Loose program by the creator of the book of the same title Betsy Diamont Cohen. The workshops will be held in libraries in York on April 28, State College on April 29, Wilkes-Barre on April 30 and Haverford on May 1. Registration forms will come out in early March. Only forty people will be able to attend each session due to limited space in the libraries. Part of the program will be Betsy doing a session of the program with a group of local preschoolers.

For those of you who do not belong to the Association for Library Service to Children and don’t receive Children and Libraries you may want to go on POWER Library’s Professional Development Collection database and find the Winter 07 issue of the journal. This issue focuses entirely on children with special needs. The first article is a great bibliography by an education professor on books that show children with particular disabilities. It lists over 300 titles on everything from autism to ADD. The author feels it is very important that children be able to see themselves in books. To get to a specific issue click publications then type the title of the journal in the browse box. Click on the title when it appears and then click on 2007 to open that year and then click on winter and the entire issue will appear. This is a great way to read through current issues of not only Children and Libraries, but also Horn Book, School Library Journal and YALSA’s journal.

Susan Pannebaker
Youth Services Advisor Office of Commonwealth Libraries
Pennsylvania Department of Education
333 Market St. Harrisburg, PA 17126-1745
v: 717-214-4047
f: 717-787-2117

Monday, January 28, 2008

Check out this blog

The folks at Lackawanna are really awesome and they are doing some terrific things - check them out! Any other blogs out there we should know about? Drop me a note and I'll post them up.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hello Out There!

Hello Everyone in Youth Services Land! I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself, Denise Pulgino Stout, your new Youth Services Division chair. I have been in Youth Services for over 16 years, most of which I have been at Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library. Please feel free to contact me with any inspirations, ideas, comments at or my home email . I want to do well by all of you and do our division proud - it's hard to follow an act like Ing's, but I shall strive to do my best.