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Summer reading

NYS Summer Reading – YA Books Widget

One of the many fun projects that I have the privilege of working on is the New York State Summer Reading program website. We’ve been working on some redesigning, which is always a work in progress, and also lots of updates for this summer (not done yet)

I was checking stats today to see what pages were getting hits and was pleased to see the Teen Booklists (boring name I know) was the top hit getter. teenreads

Since I’m in no way an expert on YA titles, I wanted an easy way to add titles that appear on the many booklists available from different sources.  But also wanted something that had some graphic appeal. Since it’s a statewide site, I couldn’t pull a list of covers from a library catalog and link directly back to the titles.

Enter LibraryThing. I added titles from lots of different lists and used their widget building tool to create a widget that randomly displays 15 titles at a time.   There’s also a YouTube playlist of book trailers (again, that needs updating)

It’s easy enough to build your own widget, but if you want to use ours, here’s the code you can use to embed it on your own website.

<div id="w3ea6ee67fbfdc058028747e08628acc8"></div><script 
type="text/javascript" charset="UTF-8" 
href="">My Library</a> 
at <a href="">LibraryThing</a></noscript>

If you have suggestions for the booklist or the booktrailers widgets, let me know.   Maybe I’ll spend my summer vacation reading YA lit? What do you suggest?

(post was originally published on June 3 2014, republished for 2015 summer reading program)

New York State Performers and Programs Database

Performers and Programs New York State

An email query about how the New York State Performers and Programs project was built sent my memory banks into overdrive today trying to remember what tools we used to create the project back in 2004.

Taking a look at the site for the first time in a long time, I was so pleased to see that it’s still being used and updated with great new programs and performers.

The database is searchable by audience, topics, regions, costs and keywords. And includes over 800 programs that have been updated in the last year. The whole database includes over 2,000 programs.

If you know of a performer or program provider that isn’t registered, encourage them to do so! And do check it out to find some new program ideas.


New York State Performers and Programs

More information about the project.  The site is currently maintained by the New York State Library Dept of Library Development.

Smithsonian Museum Day Live, Summer Reading, Science, NYLA

map showing participating museums

That’s a whole lot of museums!

What do they all have in common? The Smithsonian Museum Day Live event is Saturday September 28. The NYLA annual conference in Niagara Falls ends that day. There’s a small science museum in Niagara Falls. And the 2014 summer reading theme is all about science.

So why not take advantage of the free admission offered by Smithsonian Museum Day Live program and visit a museum after the conference ends, there are tons of them participating.

And if it’s a science museum, you can get a head start on inspirations for the 2014 summer reading. I know, I know, no one really wants to start talking about summer reading for next year yet. But still, take a break on your drive home and visit a museum of some other sort.

New York State Summer Reading

New York State Summer ReadingSummer reading programs are well underway at this point. For me, that  means most of the work that I do for the NYS 2013 summer reading site is done.

This year I took advantage of embedding content from Pinterest and LibraryThing.  Pinterest boards for Teen and Kids activities were embedded on these pages: Word Games & Puzzles (consistently the most popular page on the site), Teen Crafts & Fun and Kids Crafts & Fun.  These are collaborative Pinterest boards, so anything pinned by any of the group members shows up on the summer reading site without any intervention or updating by me.

On the Teen booklists page, I thought our bulleted list of booklists was truly boring. I’m not criticizing anyone but myself here, the lists themselves have great titles in them, but my bulleted list was boring. We needed book covers!

Since this is a statewide site, I knew I couldn’t link titles back to any particular library catalog, so LibraryThing was perfect. I “stole” titles from all of the following wonderful booklists, added them to a teenreads collection and embedded a book cover widget on the teen page. It changes whenever the page is reloaded and since I keep adding books when I have a few minutes, there’s always something new. This page is one of the top most visited pages.

Some of the booklists included are:

If anyone wants to suggest more booklists, please do! I am not a teen librarian, so picking YA titles is way out outside of my skill set! And if anyone wants to use the same booklist widget, I’ve put the embed code is in a google doc, please use it. I’ll likely by using this same strategy next year and add more books to the same widget.

With the 2013 work done, we’re now planning a major redesign of the site for 2014, a simpler layout, responsive design and more. Yay! WordPress (of course!)


Summer Reading Glogster Poster

Jan Tunison, who is the Head of Library Services at the Scotia-Glenville (NY) High School forwarded this wonderful summer reading poster that she created with Glogster. Additionally, she’s in the process of creating ones for chapter books and nonfiction.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished project with all the linked posters!

Kids Create Library Promo Videos

A couple of great videos created by the kids at the Sarah Hull Hallock Free Library in Milton, NY.

In the first one the kids tell why they like the library: books, computers, hanging out with friends, lemonade!

And the second, an appeal to voters to get out and support the library budget in November.

Creative and fun! This library participated in a summer reading mini-grant project sponsored by the Mid-Hudson Library System.  The grant provided video cameras and training on editing video (full disclosure – I had great fun doing the training session). Many of the videos are now posted on the NYS Summer Reading site.

Thanks to Marilyn Fino of the Milton Library for sending these in!