Curated news and ideas
for youth services.
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Welcome to Think Outside the Stacks. I know that many of you have had a rough time lately, but I also know you are out there every day doing your best to make the world a better place and that's important. Take care of yourselves, you deserve it. As always I love to hear feedback and suggestions for content at or @BethReads on Twitter. 

Here's What I Have For You Today:

Ice Activities and Experiments (via Pocket Full of Preschool)
If you do messy and/or hands-on programs for preschoolers then this post has everything you need to do an ice-themed program. Just add a few favorite icy books like Flora and the Penguin or One Cool Friend and you're good to go. 

60 Rockin Paper Crafts (via BabbleDabbleDo)
So. many. cool. projects. Just skim through the post and take another look at any that you think your patrons would enjoy or that make you think of a particular book. Check out the printables section for great passive programs. 

Sensory Play Ideas for Babies (via Little Lifelong Learners) 
This is a wonderful roundup of sensory ideas for babies, most of which I haven't shared before. My favorite is the ribbon exploration. Just think of all the different colors and types of ribbon available out there! You could do this in the library by using tape to stick strands to a tabletop or the inside of a large box so they hang down to the baby. I would probably cut them a little shorter so they are harder to get in mouths.

What Schools Can Learn From Netflix Culture (via AJ Juliani) 
A look into the corporate culture at Netflix. There are some interesting things here, but the ones that jumped out at me is thinking as a team, not as a family and how important good co-workers are to a great job. 
Lil Love Monsters (via Eighteen25)
These are adorable. I don't see just a Valentine's craft, I see reading buddies. You could make these any time of year, or have teens make them to give to younger kids as a service project. Encourage emerging readers to read out loud to their buddies.

35 Books for Young Activists (via All the Wonders)
A great list of books for young readers about social justice, protest, and people who stood up for what they believed in. 

Iceland Knows How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse but The Rest of the World Isn't Listening (via Mosaic Science)
A fascinating look at the tremendous reduction in teen drinking and drug use, how it happened, and why other countries aren't following their lead. (Hint: A big part of it is giving poor kids the same enrichment opportunities more privileged kids already have.)

Three Gender Myths Almost Everyone Believes - But Shouldn't (via Psychology Today)
The basics of sex vs. gender and a few more things you should probably know if you're serving the public, especially young people, in 2017. 

Awesome Things Journal Jar (via Somewhat Simple)
This is a great concept you can borrow for a program. Buy or collect a bunch of empty jars to decorate and then patrons take them home and use them to remember all the good things that happen this year. 

Featured Book:
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom

There is a lot to love about this book. The bouncy text, clever rhymes, colorful pictures, the non-white main character, and the deceptively simple sound of how the words come together.  This is one I was glad to take back to the library, not because I didn't love it, but because my three-year-old wanted to read it at every naptime and bedtime!

This is a great book for narrative skills as there are limitless re-telling options, phonological awareness, and new vocabulary for lots of children with words like sloth, enjoy, and sneaky. 

Book Trailer
Color Your Own Pinwheels at Oriental Trading Company (Whirly Twirly Toys)


Ed Emberley:The Kids are All Right (via Juxtapoz Magazine)
A fascinating interview with author and illustrator Ed Emberley about how the drawing books came about and his legacy in general. 

What Hamilton Taught Me About Story (via From the Mixed-Up Files)
A middle-grade writer reflects on Hamilton and what she learned about telling a great story. 

An Illustrated Talk With Maurice Sendak (via NYT)
Like many of us, illustrator Christoph Niemann was fascinated by the Fresh Air interview with Maurice Sendak a few years back. He illustrated his listening experience, and now it's been cut with sound from the interview itself.  

Infographic: Is Your Book a YA Romance (via SwoonReads)
I like this cute summary about whether a book qualifies as a YA romance. 

The Only List of Icebreaker Questions You'll Ever Need (via Museum Hack)
100 fantastic ice breaker questions that are actually interesting for your teen programs. Many of them would also make excellent writing prompts or whiteboard questions. 
Spreading Smiles (via The Primary Peach)
I was looking for something positive that would get past even the most conservative naysayers in your libraries and found this great message from an early elementary classroom. Spreading love and friendship is easy to understand for all ages and would make a great book display theme as well. We could probably use the reminder ourselves some days. I especially like the little "Sending Smiles" slips. You could put something similar out and encourage patrons to take them and pass them on to others that need a smile. 

Just for Fun

In case you missed #CuteAnimalTweetOff

New Exhibit Celebrates the Lost Art of the Screensaver (via Motherboard)
A museum in The Netherlands will host an exhibit of screensavers on the idea that they are art. Those of you who are my age will remember these well. 

Sorting Hat Cupcakes (via BookPandemic)
Cupcakes with color candy inside for sorting. 

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