Nerdy Sidewalk Chalk

We have made sidewalk chalk on numerous occasions. We haven’t done it in awhile, because it is a 10 minute activity, where the finished product isn’t ready for 24 hours. However, summer is a different time than the school year. A 10 minute activity, while a teen waits for their friends to go to the pool, can be just what we are looking for. Before we had done chalk in toilet paper rolls and dixie cups. The finished product is ok, you can go chalk up your sidewalks, but at the end of the day it is a cylinder of chalk. 😦

However, there are tons of silicon ice cube trays with cool nerd culture stuff (You can find more on Amazon). Turns out, teens are pretty excited to make chalk shaped like Stormtroopers, Superman Logos, and a Tardis.

Some notes:

  • Get powdered tempera paint (you can get it pretty cheap from school supply stores).
  • You can follow the directions from the link. However, give each teen a cup of water (about 1/3 of a cup). Then put out bowls of plaster and tell them to add plaster until the have an island of plaster. When mixed, the mixture should look like thick yogurt. Making it not an exact science, means you can just kind of check on people. If you have them measuring exactly, you will need a wet and a dry table and plenty of measuring cups.
  • Remove your chalk from the mold after approximately 30 minutes, then let dry for 24 hours. This way they can take their chalk home with them. Have games and other stuff available for that 30 minute wait.
  • You need to have plenty of molds or limit the number of people. They can make quite a few pieces of chalk with the above mixture.



Carving Pumpkins That We Grew!

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I know it is November, but here are some photos of our pumpkin carving/painting activity. The pumpkins came out our pumpkin patch, which we grow with the help of the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center. I found this stencil booklet with some of the carving tools. It was pretty fun, but it took some patience. If you plan on using stencils, you need to have large pumpkins, and it would be a good idea for the teens to partner up.

The carving tools that you get at the store are great because they are so safe. However, if you have teens who are sorta strong, they might break the carving tools, so make sure you have backup tools. If you have younger teens who aren’t really into carving their pumpkins, they can paint with acrylics. We did have someone who was allergic to pumpkin slime, so it was good that we had the painting option. The teens didn’t have school the day we carved pumpkins, which was good because they could spend plenty of time carving (and we could spend plenty of time cleaning up). We also handed out little LED pumpkin lights and baggies of seeds for people to roast at home.

Dewey Decimal Presentation for Staff Retreat

A presentation on Dewey Decimal that Scott presented at a Staff Retreat.

Scott Rader Library Dictator

Did you become a librarian because you love books? And then you found it is so much more. The programming and community outreach part can be  exciting and inspiring. And maybe you realize that you don’t know some basic stuff … like Dewey Decimal Classification, even though it can be super helpful to customer service. Then you tell your director that the staff learning Dewey Decimal could be super helpful, and your director is like, “Sure, why don’t you present it.” Then you do and you learn a lot and it is fun. Yeah … that is what this presentation was.

10122015 Dewey Decimal Classification

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Recent Booktalk Presentaion Slides

Recent booktalks from us.

Scott Rader Library Dictator

October was a busy month for booktalking. Booktalks are one of the favorite aspects of my job. Also, I haven’t posted in awhile so I thought I’d provide some of my slides for my presentations.

I am not including my actual booktalks here, because I tend to enjoy talking off the cuff for a more natural feel. I could, of course, write that down, which would be helpful … but I have not.

Either way, here are some booktalks I have been presenting lately. After having some success with Gifs in booktalks at a high school last year, they have invaded. How did I ever communicate before gifs, memes, and emojis? ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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