"Tell me and I will forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand."
The theme for the 2019 TD Summer Reading Club is The Natural World. At a time of its most urgent need, focusing on the planet is the ideal choice. Our diets play a key role in the creation of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. Libraries across Canada have an opportunity to share with children a more sustainable way of living and eating that is practiced by 2 billion people in other countries. Please join me Tuesday, April 2 at 1pm for a webinar on how to incorporate entomphagy as part of the summer reading club. This session will also include a discussion with Entomo Farm of Norwood, Ontario, North America's largest human-grade edible insect farm. Ask your library administration to register you through the OLA's Education Institute.
I made a basic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beanbag toss for the 2017 Turtlefest. This proved very popular, with children lining up for hours to play. To expand this concept and reduce the need for children to wait, I built four midway style games.
Like many young boys, I developed a great love of magic and would perform for family and friends. Many years later, while enrolled in the MLIS program, my interest in magic was renewed. As I began to read more widely, it became apparent that there was an opportunity to create magic specifically for libraries to promote literacy and library resources. Following a year that involved writing, photographing, designing and producing the book, Library Legerdemain was complete.
A Summer Reading Club banner I built to serve as a focal point for registration and reporting. Programming and events were posted on both columns.
The castle entrance I built for my second Summer Reading Club. The windows open to allow for registration and reporting. The list of events was available on a scroll. The top reads Adventure Awaits You Here.
A view of a Christmas-themed exhibit that was added to the children's section. The gingerbread people are made of styrofoam and coated in cinnamon. The candy canes are painted pipe covered with peppermint oil.
I enjoy wearing all kinds of costumes. My usual work attire wasn't appropriate for storytime. I had vests custom-made that are reversible and matching bow ties to wear that feature puzzle pieces, stars, crayons and robots.
Due to the popularity of fake food, I built a restaurant to encourage more interactive play. Although it was expected to be popular, what has been most surprising is the interaction between parents and children. Typically parents sit and watch their children play. This gets them involved.
A hexagonal display of optical illusions that I built to promote Science Literacy Week. This format allowed several people to try a different illusion at the same time.
Unsatisfied with the theme offered by the TD Summer Reading Club, I chose instead to offer pirate-based programming. This included the temporary addition of a ship's wheel and Pirate Pete mascot.
To promote a superhero party, I posed with my homemade Thor hammer and digitally added a lightning effect.
To promote free comic book day, I built a bat signal that was positioned at the entrance of the children's area. Its prominent location generated a lot of attention and comments.
A display created for PA Day about entomophagy - eating insects. In addition to information, participants were able to try cricket powder pudding and received a certificate recognizing them as entomophogists.
My midway games set up outside the library for the Turtlefest block party. For more information see the projects section.
A "Fun on the Lawn" exhibit of summer reading club materials, activities and contests at Annandale National Historic site.
Researched and wrote a history of the Aylmer Old Town Hall documenting the building's renovation and participated in a launch event recognizing the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Aylmer Public Library.
Designed a touch-screen new book display to celebrate Ontario Public Library Week. This was a concept for replacing the library's static display with something that would provide more information. Titles appeared on the screen and when touched a new page would appear with additional information.
Conceived a Harry Potter day activity that digitally photographed participants and inserted them into a scene from the movie.
A musical puppet show about acclaimed Canadian children's librarian Lillian H. Smith was conceived to bring awareness to her career. Two promotional songs were written and produced with the assistance of composer Adrian Ellis and singer J.M. Frey. This first song is about Smith's inspiration to build a library for children in Toronto.
A second promotional song about Lillian H. Smith described her attempt to create a method of cataloging books. She was dissatisfied with the Dewey decimal system.
Filmed on location in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Based on the novel by Andrew Clements.
My appearance as Peter Rabbit at an anniversary celebration.
I have experience doing voice work and volunteered to write and record a radio spot to promote March Break programming. The station chose the background music and sound effects.