Category Archives: children’s services

Harker Heights’ Family Learning Space Opening!

Congratulations to the Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library as they open their new Friends & Family Learning Space, a Family Place initiative. The grand opening is Wednesday, March 1 at 10 a.m. Children, parents, and caregivers are welcome to see the specially designed area with developmentally appropriate toys, new parenting books, new board books, and new circulating toys.

Announcing the CTLS 2017 SRP & YouthShare Workshop Series


Please join us at one of the following locations for a combination YouthShare and Summer Reading Program workshop!

January 27th in Austin at Laura’s Library

January 30th in Diboll at the T.L.L. Temple Memorial Library

February 6 in McAllen at the McAllen Public Library

9am to noon– Discussing the 2017 Collaborative Summer Library Program manuals and theme “Build A Better World”
Break for lunch
1pm to 3:30– YouthShare, where youth services staff come together to learn from and share with each other.

Some ideas on what to bring for the YouthShare:

  • A favorite storytime book
  • Your calendar! Tell us about past and future program plans
  • Songs and fingerplays
  • Craft ideas for preschool and elementary ages
  • A puppet or prop you don’t know how to use
  • A question or issue that you need help with
  • STEM programming ideas
  • Recommendations for your favorite library performers and speakers

Please send your ideas of what you would like to share in advance to Katelyn Patterson (

Let us know if you have any questions. Hope to see you there!

November is Picture Book Month!

Picture Book Month is an initiative to celebrate the wonders picture books offer! Every day in November their website will have a new post from a picture book champion on why they think picture books are important. Here is the calendar for November 2015:

Their site has lots of resources such as a curriculum, suggested ways of celebrating, activities from specific authors, and printables like posters and shelftalkers.

I love free resources and extra ways we can encourage families to read together! How could you use these resources at your library?

Austin Public Library Youth Services Band Puts Kids’ Books to Music

From the Austin Public Library website:

Connecting kids to a love of reading through the power of music!

Come dance along with Echo and the Bats – Austin’s first All Youth Librarian band! You’ve seen their storytimes, now come hear some of your favorite kids’ books put to music! Familiar stories, familiar tunes, all new fun for the whole family! We use our love for books and music to blend the two into a brand new kind of show that makes reading and rocking go hand in hand!

Tunes from Echo & the Bats

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus  A blend of two of our favorite things:  Mo Willems’ book of the same title, and the Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down”
I Like Myself Inspired by the Karen Beaumont book, I Like Myself, and the Ramones “California Sun”
Tiny Dinosaurs Our cover of the amazing song about Pet-Sized Dinosaurs by the band Lunch Money
Will You Still Read Me A reimagining of the Shirelle’s “Will You Still Love Me” from the perspective of a beloved book
Spider Crawlin’ Up the Spout A new spin on the old storytime classic, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” but with structure and melody pulled from the Vaselines’ “Son of a Gun”
Reading So Merrily Fans of Adventure Time will recognize this as Ashley Eriksson’s “Island Song” reimagined as a song about the library
Dancing Song An original work by Mr. Gabriel, bass player for Echo and the Bats

Harker Heights & Barnes and Noble Team Up for Super Saturday!

The Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library coordinated with Barnes and Noble to provide for our community an exciting,  family-friendly that was free for all participants. Since Saturday, September 26 was Batman Day, we decided to incorporate the superhero theme into our annual Library Day at Barnes and Noble.

Harker Heights Batman Day

The Library and Friends of the Library registered individuals for Library cards and demonstrated our Virtual Library throughout the day. The Friends of the Library also held a bookfair at Barnes and Noble. For the Super Spectacular program, we read books, sang songs, and learned cheers. Children made bookmarks, enjoyed facepainting, and became part of the show. Attendees were treated to a visit from Batman, Green Arrow, and Raven. Our superheroes came courtesy of Heroes Alliance.

During Super Saturday, the Library also offered a party at the Library from 2-4 pm. Families came to build Gotham City out of Legos, to make their own bat refrigerator magnets, to eat yummy snacks,  to play Wii games, and to meet Batman, Catwoman, and Raven (provided by the Hereos Alliance.)

The Library wants to thank Heroes Alliance for bringing these Spectacular Superheroes and the Harker Heights Teen Library Volunteers, Harker Heights High School Key Club, Eastern Hills Builders Builders’ Club, and the Harker Heights Kiwanis Club for providing excellent volunteer support for the two spectacular events!

Programming in Scratch EdX Course


Our Youth Services Specialist Katelyn Patterson recently finished coursework in a 6 week long EdX MOOC on programming using Scratch, the free computer programming code language developed by MIT to teach kids how to code. The course is now archived and available to take at your own pace for free. She highly recommends it if you are interested in using Scratch in robotics or makerspace programming at your library! It has great little projects you could mimic with your patrons and will give a good overall understanding of how the language works. Also, it does a great job of showing how the drag-and-drop coding easily relates to other more complex programming languages which will give children the confidence the stick with coding!

You can register for the course or get more information on the EdX website:

Transforming Books Into Pumpkins

News from Taylor Public Library
We decorated the Library for fall with pumpkins made from old books. My husband and his band saw are frequently called upon for such projects. You will kill your hand if you just cut pages with scissors. There are links to a couple of tutorials below.

There are just a few differences in construction I used.
1. Fat books are best. The more pages, the better the pages fans out.
2. Small is good—we cut away a lot of the book to make that rounded shape. If the pages are still too long a distance from the spine, they don’t fan out nicely.
3. There is orange spray paint just for paper or silk flowers with the brand name of Design Master—found at Hobby Lobby or Joann stores. It dries quick too.

Thanks Karen Ellis!

Online instructions for the basic techniques:

Next we will be trying Christmas trees from books using the same technique.