Fun, food and learning at the Nevada County Library |

Fun, food and learning at the Nevada County Library

Lisa Nowlain and Rachel Schneider
Youth Services LIbrarians

Something we like to tell visiting classes at the library is that the kid's area is not a "shhing" area. Instead, we sing, dance, make art, play with robots, connect with friends, and read to boot.

Our Youth Services staff, consisting of Lisa Nowlain and Teri Alton at Madelyn Helling Library, Rachel Schneider and Amy Rutton at Grass Valley Library, and Sachi Neumann and Teri Alton at Truckee Library, work to create welcoming spaces full of learning and literacy opportunities for young people, their families and teachers.

Last year, thanks to Measure A, our programs at Madelyn Helling and Grass Valley Library served almost 7,000 youth and over 4,000 adults, with almost 474 programs. These programs range from storytimes, which support early literacy, to singing and dancing, to robotics programs that teach coding. We see the library as a space for informal learning, where kids can learn because they are curious without the pressure of assessment.

We are currently planning our Summer Learning Program, which incorporates reading and learning challenges for all ages and programs for youth at all our branches. Our theme this year is Read the River: Summer Learning at Your Library, which runs from June 9 to July 28 in Western Nevada County.

Everyone who signs up for Summer Learning gets a free book, and everyone who completes Summer Learning gets entered into our grand-prize raffle for prizes including: a Sphero and tablet, a drone, Amazon cards, 3-D drawing pens, movie tickers, and gift certificates from local stores. Our kick-off party on June 9 brings Mad Science Sacramento to Grass Valley Library.

Other programs include Musical Mondays at Madelyn's. This successful collaboration with InConcert Sierra will once again bring music to the Marian E. Gallaher, M.D., Amphitheater for weekly Monday concerts. We will also be hosting programs from SYRCL, Sierra Harvest, Conservation Ambassadors, and Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release.

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We also seek to serve adults who work with children. Beyond our class visits and reference services, the Technology Lending Library, funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, allows teachers and after-school providers to check out technology sets to use in the classroom or at afterschool programs for free with their library cards.

Technology includes Sphero robots, littleBits invention kits, Wacom Intuos tablets, Snowflake microphones, Makey Makeys, Lego Mindstorms, Arduinos, K'Nex, Legos, and Kibo Robots. We have been hosting monthly technology programs for kids, including this week's program, Hacking with Arduinos. Librarians are available to teach educators how to use the technology as well.

We even have great programs happening for Teens! This month we are hosting a Teen Lock-in on April 27 at the Grass Valley Library with the theme of Hamilton and other musicals, as well as a printmaking class for teens on April 14.

The Otaku Club, for grades 6-12, meets Thursdays from 4-5 p.m. at Grass Valley Library to discuss manga and anime. The western county Teen Advisory Group, made up of 12 fantastic teen volunteers, meets monthly to plan teen events, promote Young Adult books, and guide library policy. We are always looking for new members.

This summer we will be collaborating with the Grass Valley School District and the Department of Public Health to offer free summer lunches at the Grass Valley Library during our Summer Learning Program. Grass Valley-Royce Library will provide healthy meals and fun activities for children and teens. More details on this and other summer events will be available soon.

Lastly, we have been hard at work creating engaging displays to draw readers to new and wonderful books. We often get asked if it is allowed to take the books off the top of the shelf on display.

The answer is, yes! That is why they are there!

At Nevada County Community Library we are excited about reading and are always happy to give advice on your next great book. We look forward to seeing you at the library!

Source: Nevada County Library

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