Transforming Your Library into a Learning Playground: A Practical Guide for Public Librarians

125p. appendix. chart. index. Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. Jan. 2018. Tr $45. ISBN 9781440857300.
With this concise, step-by-step guide, Jacobs, an advocate of lifelong learning, uses the spy club she founded at the Free Public Library of Philadelphia to demonstrate how the power of play can turn a public library into an educational learning center where children and teens thrive. Young people ages three to 15 were challenged each week to solve puzzles and play games. Weaving in STEM lessons, Jacobs created an environment in which all participants found their strengths and worked together to accomplish goals. Drawing from both triumphs and failures, the author offers valuable advice on engaging the community and fostering an atmosphere that makes young people eager to learn. She shares tips on interacting with youth one-on-one, handling bigger groups, forging strong relationships with staff (and between staff and young people), and making use of the library environment and materials. Jacobs's background in education shines through. The book is well organized, tracking the progress of program creation and implementation through real-life examples. Featuring tables, charts, and templates, the appendix is a gem.
VERDICT A quick, inspiring guide for public librarians looking to amp up their youth services.

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