Letters to the Zoo

Adventures in Blurry Culture

Month: August, 2016

Lucky Dip Books

Lucky Dip

Dear Zoo,

A recent activity in the library. I always try to have something to engage the small ones who walk through the door and this idea is easy to put together on weeks where there are no other major programmes on. It is of course not my idea: surprise books have been making appearances in libraries for a while (though maybe not as much in the kids area?).

I remember actual lucky dips from when I was little and MAN were they exciting. I think lucky dip books are even better because when you unwrap it you find, well, a book instead of say a plastic whistle. To put my librarian hat on it is also a  good way to get unloved parts of the collection moving or to help kids try new things.

I chose to photocopy the first page of each book and stick it on the front of the ‘present’, that way kids can get a feel for the reading level and maybe get gobbled up by the story and dash to the counter to take it out. I found a fun duvet cover at the opshop for $2 which brought the display together. I didn’t put any dates on the poster and I laminated it so we can use it again. And instructions. I have learnt in the last two months that you should never assume what a child will know or think about something!

OK – time to go to my other home, the library!

Yours,

Laura

Shout Out to Jbrary

Dear Zoo,

So, I’m really new at this thing. Not writing – that goes way back. Being a children’s librarian is something I kind of took the ‘deep end’ approach with. That is mostly an OK thing to do – it’s scary, and you have to be prepared to take a Sir Ed sized step outside of your comfort zone (like, just forget you even have a comfort zone) but it’s definitely possible. Anyway, I’m rambling. The sun is going down and I’m waiting for the oven to heat up so I can make some much needed food.

You need some good support systems if you’re going to do something that is all new and hard and these systems take many forms. One of mine has been the big and beautiful library industry. Librarians are marvelous souls in that they are so generous with their knowledge. Today I would like to share (and thank) the blog/ youtube channel Jbrary. Those ladies have some serious storytime style! In September I have to do a ‘babytime’. I have next to no experience with babies apart from giving the odd chubby-cheeked relative a good squeeze (and sniff, because damn babies smell good!) But thanks to Jbrary I’m rather looking forward to my first babytime session.

OK – sun’s gone, house needs lights. Laura needs tea. And eggs.

Yours on a well-supported learning curve,
Laura

The Week of Big Things

Animal parade

Dear Zoo,

So somehow I made it to Thursday evening. This week I did a whole bunch of things I have never done before. It was a big week and I had this little script running through my head “keep going, keep going, keep going”. Big things are harder when you can’t hug it out with your loves at the end of the day, ae? But I did the things! Six class visits, five preschools. Here is a picture of something entirely not hard: fun, funky animals. Each fabulously unique. It makes my heart happy.

Have a superific weekend. Rest up. Do your thing.

Yours – in much need of sleep and hugs (they’re coming),
Laura