Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth Blog

Homeschool Programs

By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian

Did you know we offer homeschool programs at the library? They are a great way to meet other homeschooling families, and get some extracurricular work into your curriculum.

It’s hard enough to fit all the schoolwork in a day, but trying to do science experiments at your own home can be daunting. Let us help you with that! Join us for Wheels, Levers and Pulleys, a program led by specialists from the DuPage Children’s Museum. It will be a lively and humorous study of seven simple machines. Explore the force of friction, experience the power of levers, and experiment with gear ratios.

This program is for children is grades 1- 5, but we didn’t forget about the younger kids! They are invited to a special session of Smart Starts, our hands-on, interactive science program for adults and children. The theme on March 8 is Patterns Take Turns. We will have lots of fun working together.

Also, coming in April, we have a session of Let’s Build! for homeschooling families, where you can show us your building skills by using our LEGOs® to make an amazing creation. I can’t wait to see what all of you can make!

If you have any questions about homeschooling programs or are interested in other services we can provide to homeschooling families, please contact me. I’d love to meet you and hear what you are studying!

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Presidents Day

By: Leigh Ann Vock, Youth Department Page

When I was growing up in Glen Ellyn we had both Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, and Washington’s Birthday, February 22, off of school. I recall very specific learning activities celebrating each renowned president.

The Uniform Monday Holiday Act was signed into a law in 1968 and took effect on January 1, 1971. From this point on, the celebration of these presidents’ birthdays was melded into one day, now known as Presidents Day. Some choose to use this as a day to celebrate all presidents and others prefer the traditional, honoring both our first and sixteenth president.

In this very colorful election year, my hope is that this month can be used to take time to educate young ones on what the role of our president is. When visiting the library and selecting reading material, our non-fiction section is an excellent source for eager learners. We have so many wonderful selections on Presidents.

Take time to engage in discussions with questions such as “What would you do if you were President?” and “What do you think is the same for a President today and a President that was in the White House fifty years ago?” Make this month a truly patriotic celebration that encourages citizenship in our young readers.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

The Gift of Books

By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

February is a month of celebration. In addition to Valentine’s Day, February is a month of birthdays. Yes, we celebrate the births of Presidents, but for me, it’s a time to celebrate the births of family members, friends and the soon-to-be-53 years I’ve been alive. When you’re a book lover like me, birthday presents are easy. When you give a book, you give a memory.

Book ShelfMy now adult children tease me because I still have shelves filled with youth books, many that I purchased long after they left the nest. But a glance at the shelf is a trip down memory lane: books that I loved as a child, books that my children loved or books that were gifts from cherished friends or family members.

Books are precious moments with family and friends: I love the photos of my children being read to by a late great-grandmother, or a friend from a long ago neighborhood.

Amy Waters Great Grandmother Reading to Her
Neighborhood Friend Reading to Children

Little Kid Wearing Turtle Costume
Books are costume opportunities:

Books are generosity: For my 50th, friends shared their favorites with me so that I could donate them to the Glen Ellyn Children’s Resource Center. What a gift to see their choices and then pass them on!Amy Waters Surrounded by Books

Books are shared connections: This Christmas, my nephew, Jack, and I were in the kitchen working on dinner and he said “Aunt Amy, remember that book “Brave Potatoes”?” I started to quote the rhyming couplets about potatoes at the fair, making a daring escape from the cook. He started to laugh and suddenly he was 5, not 22, and our shared book history continued as an enduring connection.

When you are thinking of giving a gift, think of a book. Then sit down with the child and read with them. That’s a gift of love that can last a lifetime. At Valentine’s, or any time.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Congratulations, Patch Club Contest Winners!

By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Programming Associate

One of our fun reading programs at the Glen Ellyn Library is Patch Club. Patch Club is for children in kindergarten through 8th grade. For every 5 hours of reading, kids will receive a patch of their choosing. After earning 6 patches, children are awarded with a Glen Ellyn Public Library canvas bag. You can earn 16 patches per season. You can have fun decorating all kinds of things (including your new Glen Ellyn canvas bag!) with these easy iron-on patches. And what better way to showcase all of the reading you’ve done?

This year, we held a Patch Club Contest in the fall. Children of all ages submitted their best designs and the ones with the most votes won! It was a tough choice to make, as we received so many unique designs, but the outcome was magnificent. Congratulations to our marvelous Patch Club Contest winners. Their patches turned out great!

Design A Patch Winners Patches
  • Peek-a-Book
    by Abigail Bergmann (Grade 5)
  • Line Design
    by Clara Voswinkel (Grade 1)
  • Reading Thru the Winter
    by William Hohe (Grade 7)
  • Reading is Fun in Fall
    by Jason Abeln (Grade 3)
  • Sweet Treat
    by Kate Zima (Grade 2)
  • Alien Al
    by Thang Dot Pau “PauPu” (Grade 5)
There’s still time to sign up. So make sure you come on in to the Youth Department desk to register for Patch Club and to check out the amazing new patches! You’ll have your own patch in no time!
Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.

By: Emily Richardson, Youth Programming Associate

This year, we celebrate what would have been Martin Luther King Jr.’s 87th birthday. Such a celebration offers the perfect opportunity to begin a discussion with children of any age on civil rights issues, race, and diversity. Below are a few books that might aid in the learning process.

Picture Books

Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu Book CoverDesmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond Tutu
While riding his new bicycle Desmond is hurt by the mean word yelled at him by a group of boys, but he soon learns that hurting back will not make him feel any better.

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss

The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner
Each time Hector watches white boys playing soccer in Johannesburg, South Africa, he dreams of playing on a real pitch one day. After the fall of apartheid, when he sees the 1996 African Cup of Nations team, he knows that his dream can come true.

I am the World by Charles Smith
Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the diversity of cultures, languages, countries, and people of the world.


Every Human Has Rights by National Geographic Book CoverEvery Human Has Rights by National Geographic
Poetry of the sixteen winners of the ePals Human Rights Writing Contest reflects the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Molly Bannaky by Alice McGill
Relates how Benjamin Banneker’s grandmother journeyed from England to Maryland in the late seventeenth century, worked as an indentured servant, began a farm of her own, and married a freed slave.

Civil Rights Movement for Kids: A History with 21 Activities by Mary Turck
Describes the struggle for civil rights for African-Americans in the 1950s and 1960s and profiles important civil rights leaders. Includes suggested activities.

The Little Rock Nine by Rachel Tisdale

The Dream of Martin Luther King by Liz Gogerly
Provides an overview of Martin Luther King’s life and accomplishments, describes the events surrounding his assassination, and discusses his impact on the American people and American society.

Chapter Books

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry Book CoverNumber the Stars by Lois Lowry
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.

Iggie’s House by Judy Blume
When a black family with three children moves into the white neighborhood, eleven-year-old Winnie learns the difference between being a good neighbor and being a good friend.

Revolution by Deborah Wiles
It’s 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny’s town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn’t much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.–From publisher description.

The Watsons go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

New Baby Books

By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian – Homeschool Services

When I was expecting my second child I wanted to prepare my son as much as possible for the new addition to our family. We talked about the new baby, practiced holding baby dolls, and of course we read books about babies.

The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee Book CoverThere are a LOT of books about new babies. It can be a lot to sift through. Some of them are highly entertaining and laugh out loud funny. Mail Harry to the Moon and The Boss Baby are both hilarious takes on having a baby in the family. However, these books and a lot of other new baby books put a not-so-positive spin on the baby.

If you are trying to gently introduce the idea of a new baby there are some other books that are better choices. My all-time favorite book to introduce siblings to their new baby is What a Good Big Brother by Diane Wright Landolf. Cameron’s mom and dad show him all the ways to help his new baby sister when she’s crying. At the end of the story it is Cameron who figures out how to soothe his new sister. It’s a great story about helping a new baby sibling.

I'm A New Big Sister by Nora Gaydos Book CoverHello in There: A Big Sister’s Book of Waiting by Jo Witek is a wonderful book about a big sister excitedly waiting for her new baby. I’m a New Big Sister by Nora Gaydos is another helpful story about all the ways big siblings can help mommy and daddy.

Be sure to check out all our other new baby books in the newly organized picture book bins under Changes / New Baby!

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Welcome Back!

By: Bari Ericson, Youth Programming Associate

It’s finally done, and you are going to be delighted with the results! After months of squealing drills and banging hammers, the dust has cleared, and we have opened our newly remodeled Youth Department! (I know I’m not supposed to use so many exclamation marks, but I’m so excited for you to come see it! I will try to restrain myself from here on.)

As a very service-oriented staff team, we have hated turning you away empty-handed, with only promises that your book would arrive in a few days or with directions to another library. But all that has changed, and we can’t wait to see your faces as you walk into the newly remodeled space. The entire map has shifted with resources for older kids near the west entrance and materials for younger kids to the east. There is a fabulous study and hang-out space for the Middle Schoolers and expanded play area for the little ones. The program room has been expanded to allow for higher attendance and more diverse activities.

I had the privilege of buying new toys for the play space. Here are some of the fun and educational things awaiting your visit:

Picture of Caterpillar Gear Toy
Picture of Color Mixing Blocks Toys
Picture of Add Subtract Abacus Toy
Picture of Tough Trucks Toys

There is much, much more, and you just have to come in and experience it. We can’t wait to see you!

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Miss Deanna’s Favorite Things

By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Programming Associate

Picture of Deanna SiegelHi there!

My name is Miss Deanna and I’m new to the Youth Department. These are a few of my favorite things that I would like to share with you. Maybe these are some of your favorites, too!

Come by and tell me about your favorite things! I can’t wait to hear.


Miss Deanna

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Memories of the Glen Ellyn Public Library

By: Carolyn Wissmiller, Youth Programming Associate

I’m retiring at the end of this year. Yikes! That’s not so very far away. While I’m looking forward to more free time to pursue a variety of activities, it’s also a great time to reflect on the more than 11 years I’ve spent here at GEPL.

Things that have changed:

  • The Library is totally different on the inside:
    • The Adult Staff offices have been relocated from the second floor to the third floor.
    • The Adult Department has been extensively remodeled, adding several more study rooms and a Digital Media Lab.
    • The Youth Department is about to reopen in a beautifully recreated space.
    • We have two new boilers, courtesy of the April 2013 flood.
  • The outside of the Library has changed too:
    • We have created the beautiful Christy Stigailo Memorial Butterfly Garden.
    • The parking lot use to flow counter-clockwise; but now it goes the other way around.
    • Because of the 2013 flood, there are 15” concrete parapet walls that prevent flood water from penetrating the building and swales to hold and redirect rain water away from the Library.
  • Technology has exploded:
    • We no longer keep track of Summer Reading or Patch Club on index cards; we use database software.
    • Movies are on Blue-ray; no more VHS tapes.
    • We have iPads and MacBooks for children to use while in the Library.
    • With our digital library resources, members can check out e-books, audiobooks, music, movies, magazines, without even coming to the Library; in fact, they can check out materials when they’re across the country or around the world.
    • In the Digital Media Lab, members can create music and videos, convert VHS to DVD and musical records to digital files, and edit digital creations in Garage Band, iMovie, or Audacity.
    • Thanks to the proliferation of cell phones, children no longer know their phone numbers.

Things that have stayed the same:

  • The favorite items in the Library’s Youth Department are still the toys.
  • My favorite books from when I was a child, many, many years ago, are still part of our collection. My old favorites and some new ones are listed below.
  • Members of the Glen Ellyn community and my co-workers are fantastic.
  • I will deeply miss everyone I’ve had the privilege to serve and the pleasure to work with.

Here are some of my favorite books now and then:

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

GEPL Kids: Book Babies

By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Have you been to Book Babies? It’s a half hour of fun designed especially for you and baby. We know it probably feels silly to bring a baby to storytime. A quiet library is not a place for a screaming, drooling infant. Wrong. Librarians love to see babies. We understand that babies can be messy and fussy.

Bringing baby to the library as early as possible will only help raise a reader. There are endless other benefits, too. The activities in Book Babies help develop baby’s language skills. And the program has plenty of opportunities for gross and fine motor development. Book Babies also teaches the basics– how to listen, how to hold a book, and how to turn a page.

Still not convinced? Read on…

  • Book Babies is not about sitting quietly in a circle a half-hour. Librarians expect babies to explore, wiggle, and make noise during storytime. It would actually be scary if a room full of babies was quiet and stationary the whole time!
  • Book Babies is a social experience. It’s a great way for you and baby to meet new friends. We even reserve a bit of time at the end of the program for play and socialization.
  • Snuggling up to read, sing, or rhyme together is a valuable bonding experience for you and baby.
  • You don’t need to register. We know you’ve got a busy and (sometimes) unpredictable schedule.
  • Book Babies isn’t just for Mom & Baby. Dads, Grandparents, Nannies, Aunts & Uncles… everyone is welcome to attend Book Babies with baby.
  • We have bubbles.

Our regular storytime schedule will start in January. Check out the schedule.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth