2014 Great Stone Face Award (click the image for the final tally)


GSF 2014 winner

Bedtime Math

Bedtime Math, a nonprofit organization whose mission is “To help kids learn to love math so they can become capable adults is partnering with CSLP this summer. In addition to helping kids avoid the summer slide in reading, libraries are being encouraged to help families keep their children’s math skills from diminishing as well.

Bedtime Math did an excellent presentation at the annual CSLP meeting that Kristin Readel and I recently attended in Biloxi.  One statement that stuck with me was this: “Children’s math skills at kindergarten entry are a better predictor of school success than reading skills or attention span.”  As librarians, we should be helping families develop these math skills along with reading skills.

Even if you don’t purchase the “Summer of Numbers” chart designed for this year’s summer reading program (available on the CSLP website), you can print out some free promotional materials on the Bedtime Math site that let parents know about Bedtime Math’s nightly math problems (which require reading as well!)

Here is a link to the “Summer of Numbers” program that was designed for this year’s Fizz, Boom, Read program.  And here’s a link to a poster for parents.

For more information, visit the Bedtime Math website.

Isinglass Award Voting

Voting for the Isinglass award will take place April 13-19.
Please be sure to scan the tally sheet and return them via email to Nancy Bergeron (nkb@metrocast.net) by April 20th.

Downloadable/Printable Voting sheets and Tally sheets are available on the Barrington Public Library website.

Five New Kits




We have five new kit titles! See the announcement here.

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that there’s a YALS Meeting  this week:

Thursday, March 27 at Tracy Memorial Library, New London.
9:30 a.m. refreshments, 10:00 a.m. meeting

Hope to see you there!

Scientific Storytimes and Stories

Hi CHILIS folk. I meant to get this entry out to you a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily, we still have plenty of time before Summer Reading to implement these awesome science storytime ideas into our plans, and order these delightful sciencey books.  And by plenty of time I mean “AAAAAH IT’S ALMOST APRIL!”

The  Spring Conference this year boasted of our own panel of librarians presenting storytime ideas and new books for the scientific Fizz Boom Read theme.  First up we had three presenters with four storytime themes for Preschoolers and Toddlers.

Lisette from the Dunbar Free Library shared her “Light and Sun” themed preschool storytime.  She took us from beginning to end, introducing us to her preferred opening song (from Linda Adamson’s Love to Sing, Love to Dance), and her storytime feathered friend Rhythm Bird:

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She shared the read-alouds she’d pick for this theme, and talked us through sharing the simple science in them.

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She also shared her craft ideas (spectrometer craft, stained glass craft) and story-stretchers.  Her complete storytime plan with tips can be found here.

Next up, Judy from the Converse Free Library in Lyme showed us her Bubbles & Suds storytime, where preschoolers can make this easy and fun colored bubbles project (a la a lava lamp):
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She also took us from top to bottom with her “Hello, How Are You” song, her puppet friend Riley Raccoon, and read-alouds:
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It’s safe to say we all enjoyed blowing bubbles from the audience as her “charges” too.

Our last storytime presenter was a two-fer: Meg from the Richards Free Library in Newport showed us a Preschool option and a Toddler option.  For Preschool, the theme was Weather, which brought out the “Big Books.”

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She also shared her introduction song, her read-alouds, and her weather chart craft (sadly still stuck at snow).

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For Toddler Time, she showed us her “My Senses” theme, including a homemade “flannel board” made out of a music stand, felt, and laminated print-outs.

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Meg’s storytime plans can be found here (Weather) and here (My Senses).  If you want to hear more from her, head over to her blog Miss Meg’s Storytime.

Lastly, Nina from the Thornton Public Library and Tara from the Campton Public Library presented some brisk book-talking on books for kids and teens that fit nicely into the science theme.  You can view their full bibliography here.

Thanks to all the librarians who presented at the Spring Conference this year.  Please comment if you have more Science books and storytime ideas to share!



NHLA Spring Conference Reminder

Hello, NH Librarians!

Time is running out to register for the 2014 NHLA Spring Conference at the beautiful Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa on April 23rd and 24th! Registration deadline is April 11th. To guarantee a room at the Inn, make your reservations (mention the NHLA conference to get the discount) by Monday, March 24th.

Remember, you can register online using Paypal, or

Download the registration form and mail it in.

Be sure to check out our schedule of the events, and

read the program descriptions.

All of the 2014 Spring Conference information is available at the NHlibrarians.org Website under the Conferences tab. Hope to see you there!

More Spring Conference Photos

You can view more photos from the 2014 Spring Conference here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/om423xmax649b1l/8k9mdQf2ER


KBA Performers – Did you miss out?

We had a great showcase of performers at the CHILIS Spring Conference last week.  Here’s a brief intro to them, in case you missed out (or need a reminder of who’s who)(or just want to relive the talent again!).  To make up for the fuzzy pictures, we have some video as well. Presented in order of the roster, NOT in the order of performance.

Peter Boie – Magician

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Peter shared some magic and comedy with every day items. He presents himself as a bumbling magician, but has quite a few tricks up his sleeve.


Critters and Creatures – live animal program

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Mona showed us a (destinkified) polecat, and a blue-tongued lizard, just a sample of her many amazing animals.


Scott Jameson – Magician

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With audience help, Scott debuted a new scientific water trick, as well as a classic from his repertoire in the video below.  After he has disolved three cups of different colored sands into a bowl of water, he removes each color individually.


Jungle Jim’s – Balloon Artistry

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Jim uses 20 volunteers to create a Rube Goldberg Mouse-Trap. Watch it come to life below:


Lindsay and her Puppet Pals

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Lindsay introduced us to her Moose friend before the performance, and during she shared the science of color-mixing with her ape Einstein, plus sneak preview of her new Robot puppet named Bob.

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Mad Science – Science shows and workshops

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Mad Science made clouds in a bottle, made cap-popping potions with librarians Tara and Meg, and below they show us the balloon experiments they do in their smaller, hands-on workshop:
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Magic of Science

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Sarah from the Magic of Science shares the scientific secrets that often appear magical.  Below, she convinces Kristin that a bed of nails is actually quite comfy.

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Linda Peck – Mary Poppins Performance

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Linda brought along her carpet bag of tricks for her Mary Poppins performance, which includes volunteers as Jane and Michael Banks.  She has an alternative performance option called “Starry Starry Night.”

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Hunt and Allison Smith

Hunt and Allison present a performance option as well as a workshop presenting the Science of Sound, bringing volunteers into a big orchestra:


Gary Sredzienski – Accordion musician

Gary presents a humorous program introducing kids to the accordion, its history, and the mechanics of what makes it work:

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Vermont PuppeTree

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Vermont PuppeTree presented a shadow puppet performance of a Leo Lionni favorite.  Video below:


Michael Zerphy – Storyteller and Juggler

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Michael’s program shares the story of how he became the Speed-of-Light-Kid, including a juggling act.


If you need more info on any of these performers, here is the complete roster with program descriptions and pricing. And don’t forget, KBA Grant applications are due on Ann Hoey’s desk by Friday March 28th!

Later this week, we’ll share our own librarian presenters and their ideas for storytimes and books to share for Fizz, Boom, Read!



Fizz Boom Fashion!

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The CHILIS Spring Conference was a blast, in part due to the ever-willingness of our members to have FUN.  If you missed the conference, we’ll be sharing some photos this week, starting with today’s spread of Scientific Librarians who dressed in the spirit of our Fizz, Boom, Read! theme. Our top photo is Meg from the Richards Free Library in Newport, and her thematic manicure.

Next up: Diane from the Chester Public Library knows you must wear your safety goggles for experimentation!

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Nina from the Thornton Public Library goes MAD – Mad Scientist, that is (with Tara from the Campton Public Library).

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I took a “science fiction” approach with a Doctor Who ensemble:

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Pam from Concord Public sported a bow-tie, proving that geek is chic:

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Nancy from the Dunbarton Public Library penned some scientific symbols on her tee (pictured with Amber from the Lebanon Public Library).

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Katherine from the Belmont Public Library wore constellations (good use of endless library stickers)!

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And Barbara from Wolfeboro Public Library shows how just the angle of your glasses can take you from plain scientist to plain mad scientist!

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That’s all for now – in future posts, we’ll highlight the thematic Fizz Boom Read program ideas we shared, and pictures AND VIDEO of our KBA Performers.  If you simply can’t wait, why not visit our Facebook Page, and “Like” us while you’re at it? We’re a very likable group.

Take care,
Merrimack Public Library