"Tell me and I will forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand."

Benjamin Franklin

Projects

Stage Play

My undergraduate degree is in film. But I conceived a story that could take place in one location and would be ideal as a theatrical production. Having attended many live shows, I have come to appreciate the immediacy that theater has for performer and audience. I am now pursuing development opportunities.

Hammers and Axes

With the advent of computer generated graphics and now images produced through artificial intelligence, the tangible qualities of art are being replaced by the gloss and sheen of pixels on a screen. My preference for physical objects to be handled and viewed from every angle led me to build prop hammers and axes inspired by medieval weapons. Photographs depicting the production process can be viewed on the linked page.

Red Reveal Secret Message

My second incentive initiative for the summer was based on the opticle principle that is used for secret decoders. There were two elements, a weekly challenge poster and riddle handouts. This was again shared with 11 other branches.

Animated Collectible Cards

To provide an incentive for children to continue reporting throughout the summer, a series of animated collectible cards was created. The program was implemented by 11 other branches. They continue to be used as a giveaway during library visits and other opportunities to promote the library.

Midway Games

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.

Dragon Eggs

One of my most original, involved and popular programs was offered during March Break 2019. This was the first time that I had lineups within the branch waiting to participate. At one point, I overheard a mother comment to another that "it's not as chaotic as it looks." Another mother nicknamed me the "Plaster Master," as it is a product I have used on several occasions because it is inexpensive and relatively easy to work with.

Programming

Select any image to view a larger version.

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.

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.

To promote a superhero party, I posed with my homemade Thor hammer and digitally added a lightning effect.

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 two Halloween-themed exhibits that were added to the children's section. In the foreground, a gate that reads Library for Beastly Boys and Ghouslish Girls. In the background, window silhouettes made of bristol board and tissue paper.

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.

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 promotional display I created for comic book day. Since the library does not have a large format printer, the image was enlarged in Photoshop then individual pieces cut out in 11" X 17" sections. They were printed and reassembled.

Another promotional display I created for comic book day. Like the Thor image, this was printed on individual pieces of paper, then they were mounted on cardboard and cut around the border to make a stand.

A two-level train table that was built for the children's section that featured a variety of rural scenes. Made from wood, foam insulation, resin, plaster, scenery flocking and acrylic paint.

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 silly bird puppet built for the entrance to the children's section. In addition to its crazy appearance, the mouth is constructed from a reaching device that allows it to open and close. This has been very popular with kids. The feet can also be strapped to a person's shoes allowing them to walk around with the puppet.

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.

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.

The children's section was lacking enough tables. Commercial products were too expensive so I built three tables out of MDF for approximately $400. This also allowed me to customize them with patterned legs and feet.

A photo submitted by a grandmother of my time spent with her grandson.

A Harry Potter party I organized to celebrate the publication of the latest book.

Photograph submitted by a patron of the results of a hand casting event at a branch. Parent and child held hands then submerged them in a pail of molding material before being cast in plaster.

Community Outreach

Select any image to view a larger version.

A photo illustration I created in Photoshop for the newpspaper to promote family literacy day.

An activity table I offered at a family literacy day event.

Christmas storytime at an early years centre.

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.

Interacting with children by helping them to make ballon animals during a visit to the Annandale National Historic site.

A Halloween-themed exhibit I created for Government Week, a day-long event that involved Grade 5 pupils from area schools being bussed to the community centre to learn about organizations.

Demonstrating a robot for daycare children.

Interactive storytime with a daycare group.

Posters

Promotional material I have created in Photoshop.

Select any image to view a larger version.

A Halloween poster I have continued to use every year.

A PA Day poster for the month of October with Halloween-themed activities.

A PA Day program featuring optical illusions, challenges and brain teasers.

A PA Day event offering balloon-powered vehicles.

A promotional image that was created to advertise the upcoming Summer Reading Club.

Curious George cupcake toppers used during a summer event.

Newspaper Coverage

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.

As part of festivities recognizing the publication of Peter Rabbit, I appeared dressed in a large rabbit costume and performed parts of the story which was read aloud to children.

In 1983, at the age of 11, I was one of the winners of an essay writing contest with the prize being lunch with children's author Gordon Korman who was only 19 at the time.

Conceived a Harry Potter day activity that digitally photographed participants and inserted them into a scene from the movie.

Appeared in a promotional article for the library's book buddies program.

Audio and Video

Book Rap - Laura Secord

Filmed on location in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. Written, filmed, performed and edited by myself.

Book Rap - Series Fiction

Promoting series books to reluctant readers. Written, filmed, performed and edited by myself.

Book Rap - No Talking

Based on the novel by Andrew Clements. Written, filmed, performed and edited by myself.

Book Rap - Frindle

Based on the novel by Andrew Clements. Written, filmed, performed and edited by myself.

Book Rap - Graphic Novels

Promoting graphic novels to reluctant readers. Written, filmed, performed and edited by myself.

I'm A Children's Librarian

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.

Dewey Just Won't Do

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.

Feedback

Select any image to view a larger version.

From homeschool participant Sophia.

From daycare outreach.

From homeschool family the Walls.

A young girl that visited the library all 5 days of March Break.

From a summer day camp that visited.

A drawing a child gave me after a visit.

A Christmas card from Owen and Blake, two regular participants in the Family Fun Time preschool group.

A thank you card from a public school after participating in their kindergarten prep event.

A thank you note from a child at the end of the summer.

A thank you note from long-time participant Eric who had also interviewed me for a school project.

A holiday greeting from long-time brother and sister. Marshall was one of the first boys to attend weekly programming and has continued to visit as he got older.

A holiday greeting from long-time participant Adelaide.

A thank-you card from a long-time visitor before he began kindergarten.

I received this thank you card from students after visiting their classroom.