Author Archive | Sharon Phillips

September is Library card sign up month


September is Library card sign up month! Library card sign up month has been held every September since 1987 to mark the start of the new school year. Libraries across America take this month to remind their patrons about all of the services and resources libraries offer, and to encourage individuals to sign up for a library card.


This year’s mascot is Snoopy, the lovable beagle from Peanuts. He is letting everyone know that having a library card is cool!


Find your local library and more information about Library Card Sign up month.

Summer Reading 2016 Happenings!

Summer is almost at an end, but there is still fun to be had at your local public library. Here are just a few of the fun activities going on at libraries across New York State.

Kids at the Canton Free Library in Canton, NY got to participate in the library’s yearly pet show. This year there were 3 dogs, 2 cats, 3 goats, 2 rats, 3 chickens, one rabbit, and a small wooden dog named “Wag-Tail” in attendance.

pokemon2 chicks

Kids at the DeRuyter Free Library in Deruyter, NY had fun at the Library’s Science week. They got to make Magic Mud (Cornstarch and water) and conduct some Baking Soda Experiments (Baking Soda, Shaving cream, Food dye, and Vinegar).


Summer Reading 2016 Happenings!

Kids at the Albany Public Library celebrated the Olympics by making and decorating Olympic themed cookies as a part of the Library’s “Ready, Set, Read” program. Youngsters were encouraged to read Olympic themed books, and share about the books that they had read. The party continued at the North Albany Library Branch with a viewing of the movie “The Gabby Douglass Story”.


Check out what else is going on at the Albany Public Library by visiting their Facebook page!

Summer Reading Happenings 2016!

Summer may be half over, but libraries still have plenty of programs and activities to lure you in! All across the state, libraries are hosting Summer Reading at New York Libraries events and fun is all around. Here’s a sample of one recent enjoyable program for children at the Irondequoit Public Library. The library hosted a Mermaid Meet and Greet, where KatFish the mermaid read a story to the kids and the kids got to do a fun mermaid related craft. Read more about the event and see more photos on the library Facebook page at


Unique New Mexico Summer Reading Program

All across the country, libraries are celebrating Summer Reading in their own unique way. In Santa Fe, the Tribal Libraries program partnered with the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) for a fun and unique summer reading program. This is the second year that the two programs have partnered to offer a summer reading program. This year, they followed the national slogan of “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!”  and activities were centered around health, fitness, sports and games.


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Over 250 kids and chaperones attended this year’s programs from 9 pueblos: Santo Domingo, Acoma, Laguna, Santa Clara, Teseque, San Felipe, Ohkay Owingeh, Cochiti and San Ildefonso. Activities focused on being healthy and active.  Kids learned how to throw an Atlatl, an ancient tool that was used to take down big game, how to grind corn in the traditional way, and how to make tamales among other things. Kids sampled meals that were present in New Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish, such as buffalo, corn, turkey, and strawberries.


Read more about this event here.


Summer Reading 2016 Happenings!

And they’re off! Readers across the state have leapt into Summer Reading with local library events based on the 2016 slogan “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!” ! Here are a few highlights from libraries across the state.

Teens at Lincoln Library get ready for some strenuous reading by making tie-dyed t-shirts at their Summer Reading launch party. Olympic fencer Iris Zimmerman came to the library and gave the kids a talk and a hands-on fencing lesson.  Next week they will be making some super fun bouncy balls!

Teens at the Lincoln Library learning to fence.

At New York Public Library, teens and tweens between the ages of 10 and 18 got in the reading game at the Aguilar Branch of NYPL. Teens and tweens receive a scratch off ticket for participating in various reading related activities throughout the summer. They can receive a ticket for checking out a book, attending a program, volunteering, or writing a teen pick review. This ticket gives the reader a chance to win any one of a number of fun prizes- from advanced reader books, to t-shirts, or even the grand prize- two tickets to a Yankee’s game!

Locate your local library and check out the summer reading happenings !

Pokémon GO and Libraries

In a little less than a week, Pokémon GO has become the viral video game of the year. The game integrates users’ real world location and surroundings by requiring them to visit different public locations in their quest to “Catch them all”. A number of libraries have been made “Pokestops” – a location that the player must visit to gain valuable in-game materials. A select number of libraries have also been made into Pokémon gym – a location where a user can battle with their Pokémon and gain points that allow them to progress through the game.  This means that libraries will have a number of new visitors, some of whom may not typically visit libraries.


Many libraries have used this game to increase their number of patrons by creating programming related to the game and the theme. Some libraries are throwing Pokémon parties and setting up displays of Pokémon books and movies. Other libraries are decorating the library with Pokémon themed items. A good way to get your library involved is to download the app yourself. The game allows you to take screen shots of the Pokémon that you find – you can then post those screen shots on your social media sites and boast about all the different Pokémon that have been sighted in your library!  Read more about Pokémon GO and libraries here.

Uniting Summer Reading and Summer Meals with kickoff events

For many children, when school ends in June they lose access to free and reduced cost meals over the summer. This means that they may have to go without healthy food or even without food at all. In New York State,community organizations, Hunger Solutions New York and NYSED are seeking to prevent these children from going hungry by making sure kids and teens can get healthy, no-cost meals and snacks in communities across the state.  To celebrate the start of summer, a number of kick-off events were recently held to promote Summer Eating and Summer Reading at libraries across the state. Children and teens were able to get a meal, and parents were able to sign their kids up to be included in the summer reading  program.


So far, 92 libraries across the state are approved to serve a meal and/or snack to kids in their community! For more information about summer meals, including information on how to become a registered site and how to locate feeding sites near you, please visit Summer programs at libraries, schools, and parks often serve healthy snacks and meals for kids and teens. You can also locate a Summer Meal site near you by calling 1-866-3-HUNGRY or by texting “food”or “comida”  to 877-877.

13600243_665691550249290_8035087247136470613_n                                                                                                                                                                Find more information about the Summer Food Service program by going to the Great Partners page of Summer Reading at New York Libraries  where you can  download a variety of flyers and promotional materials to help provide information about free summer meals to kids and families.  Help kids be well read and well fed all summer long!

Fourth Graders get into national parks for free!

Did you know that the National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016?  Join the celebration and check out National Park resources and Centennial events and programs here.


In honor of this milestone and to encourage kids and families to explore and learn more about the natural beauty of our parks, the National Park Service has created a program called “Every Kid in a Park.” This program allows all fourth graders to request and print a paper voucher or pass that allows the student and their family into any of the 407 National Parks for free. Passes must be shown on arrival at the park entrance, and the fourth grader must be present.  Passes for this season  expire on August 31st, 2016. Current third graders can get a pass starting on September 1st, 2016, granting them a whole year of fun in local national parks.  For more information on the “Every Kid in a Park” program, please visit the National Parks Service website.


Exploring National Parks is a great opportunity for families to get outside and have a fun, educational outing during Summer Reading season. National Parks offer a wealth of nature and science learning opportunities that are fun for the whole family.  There are seven participating locations in New York, including the Erie Canal and Fire Island. Find a full list of participating locations here.

On Your Mark, Get Set…READ to start exploring and planning your park visit and activities here  and have a great summer!

National Summer Learning Day is July 14th

National Summer Learning Day takes place on July 14, 2016. This is an annual advocacy day led by the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) which focuses on the importance of keeping kids and teens learning, safe, and healthy over the summer. While many think of summer as a time off from school and learning, it’s critically important that children actively participate in many different learning and reading activities during the summer. The brain is like any other muscle- use it or lose it! Children who do not participate in learning can suffer from the “Summer Slide” which is a demonstrated  loss of up to three months’ worth of knowledge.


The “Summer Slide” can easily be prevented by participating in educational programs locally at libraries, at museums, or at other cultural institutions. A great example in New York is Summer Reading at New York Libraries. Public libraries across the state host fun and exciting Summer Reading programs free of cost for all kids- newborns all the way up to teens!  Many public libraries also offer summer snacks and meals in conjunction with their library programs, so kids have a safe place to have fun and learn while on summer vacation.


You can find out more about National Summer Learning Day  and check out the many great resources available on their website. You can also access a map of summer learning events and locations across the country, and find great learning opportunities while traveling on summer vacation.  And if your library or organization is hosting a summer learning event, you can add it to the map by submitting it here.

Find out more about Summer Reading at New York Libraries!

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