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Where The Child Things Are

“Mom, I’m Bored.” How To Beat Summer Boredom

Posted: July 19, 2018
By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Assistant Director

Did you know that July is National Anti-Boredom Month? I had never heard of it before, but my friend and I like to text each other wishing the other Happy National (whatever day it happens to be), so I am looking these up on a regular basis. I suppose July being National Anti-Boredom Month makes

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Picture of both an old set and a new set of Lionel Trains .

10 Toys a Century Later

Posted: January 5, 2018
By: Megan Stepniewski, Youth Associate

Hello and Happy New Year from the Glen Ellyn Public Library! The new year is a great time to plan a head, set goals, and look to the future, but it’s also a great time for reflection and looking back into the past; 100 years into the past, to be exact. The year was 1918.

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2019 Reading Goals

Posted: January 15, 2019
By: Melissa Hilt, Community Engagement Librarian

As discussed in a previous blog post, many of us make New Year’s resolutions. It’s a way to start our year off on the right foot and motivate ourselves, if you will. For one of my resolutions, I always set a personal reading goal. Last year, on Goodreads, I pledged to read 65 books in

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One of two 3D printers in Youth Department.

3D Printing at GEPL

Posted: April 12, 2018
By: Christina Keasler, Youth Technology Librarian

If you’ve been to the library since the Youth Department remodel, you might have noticed our two 3D printers are featured in a fancy display case. If you haven’t, I’d like to introduce you to the library’s two 3D printers: Eugene and Gertrude. Eugene Gertrude Eugene has been at the library since 2012. He’s older,

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Amy Waters reads from an old Archie comic.

A Reading Life: From Cereal Boxes to Shakespeare and Everything in Between

Posted: July 12, 2018
By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

When I was a child I was a voracious reader and I read anything and everything. The best cereals were the ones with lots to read on the back of the box. Newspapers were great places for the comics and picking up new words. Those new words would lead me to the dictionary, which fascinated

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Chu's First Day of School by Neil Gaiman

Are You Ready for Kindergarten?

Posted: July 5, 2018
By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Whether it’s your littlest child or your oldest child, transitioning to kindergarten can be very emotional. You want them to be confident and ready for every new experience. It’s difficult to anticipate how much your child will learn, change, and grow between now and the first day of kindergarten. We’re unrolling a band-new series of

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A man sits with his kid on lap reading to him.

Can’t Sit Still? Tips to Make Reading Together More Enjoyable

Posted: September 13, 2018
By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Not every child can sit still long enough to listen to a story, and that’s OK! It’s natural to have concerns about how to raise a reader when your child can’t sit still. I have some tips to help make reading together a more enjoyable experience. Interactive and Dynamic Stories Some of my favorite stories

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Celebremos! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage and El Día De Los Muertos

Posted: October 11, 2018
By: Cristina Bueno, Youth Associate

National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated from September 15 through October 15, honors the histories, cultures, and contributions of people from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. El Día De Los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a multi-day holiday celebrated October 31 through November 2. It originated in central and

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GEPL Reads for SCARCE | May 29 through September 2

Congratulations Summer Readers!

Posted: October 2, 2018
By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Department Assistant Director

GEPL Reads for SCARCE officially ended on Sunday, September 2, and I am happy to announce that we surpassed our goals! The Youth Department exceeded our reading goal of 70,000 hours with 71,532 hours read – well done! The Adult Department also exceeded their goal of 4,000 books, reading 4,151 books. As the result of

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Picture of what a page in a bullet journal looks like.

Dear Diary

Posted: February 15, 2018
By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Are you ever overwhelmed by all the events you have planned or the tasks you need to complete, but you don’t want to be tied to a traditional calendar? Enter the bullet journal, or bujo for short. It’s basically a hybrid diary, planner, and to-do list housed in one completely customizable notebook. Bullet journals are

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Dear Grown-Up: Let’s Write a Letter

Posted: December 18, 2018
By: Cristina Bueno, Youth Associate

Writing letters, even just mailing a card, seems to be a thing of the past nowadays. With all the new ways to connect and keep in touch (email, texting, video chatting), how important is it for our kids to write and send cards? In my opinion, very. Letter writing is a way for kids to

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Dive Into Reading

Posted: July 26, 2018
By: Cristina Bueno, Youth Associate

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau Need some help getting started on your summer reading? Check out our new ‘Dive into Reading’ display featuring books about summertime, swimming, pirates, mermaids, and more! It’s located near the windows when you first walk in

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Fort Fun

Posted: August 9, 2018
By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Librarian

With factors such as rainy weather and the school year just around the corner, you may be looking for more activities to do inside. There is one activity that can be done all year round, with as many people as you want and with any kind of supplies you want. That activity is fort building!

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Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer

Free-Verse Poetry for Children

Posted: February 8, 2018
By: Stephanie Rivera, Youth Department Director

Poetry has always been my favorite type of writing, both as a child and as an adult. This type of writing forces the author to be intentional in their choice of words, which can create a powerful statement. Poets use words to show rather than tell. For example, instead of writing “I was so mad!”

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Indoor Gardening: Growing Air Plants, Terrariums, and More by Lisa J. Amstutz

Get Outside and Get Gardening!

Posted: March 8, 2018
By: Cristina Bueno, Youth Associate

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero The days are (thankfully) getting warmer, and soon we’ll start to see the arrival of spring! This means trees will get their leaves back, flowers will begin blooming, and more animal friends will come out to play. March is a

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Grow, Grow, Grow!

Posted: March 29, 2018
By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Associate

Despite the ever-changing weather in Illinois this month, I promise spring is coming! Spring brings flowers, sunshine, and plants. To jump start your spring and end your break from school, why not plant a garden in your house? There are many plants that you can buy and start planting now without waiting for the more

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The library's butterfly garden.

Growing Your Child’s Interest In Gardening

Posted: September 6, 2018
By: Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” – Cicero Libraries and gardens are natural cousins — they both depend on collective effort; they are bedrocks of our communities; they bring people together; and they require a lot of weeding! A community garden can connect neighbors with each other through

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Host Your Own Mock Caldecott Awards!

Posted: January 8, 2019
By: Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director

Youth library staff love to talk about their favorite children’s books, and this is the best time of the year to do so, because the annual awards are right around the corner. The American Library Association (ALA) will announce the winners of the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Geisel, and other notable honors on January

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Hygge (Hue-guh): Let’s Get Cozy

Posted: December 4, 2018
By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

This is not a quiet time of year. Holidays, weather, work, and school all seem to require more of us. I don’t know about you, but last week has me feeling the need for a little hygge (hue-guh). This Danish concept is used to describe a feeling or a moment that is, essentially, calm and

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Is It Spring Yet?

Posted: May 3, 2018
By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

The calendar may have said spring a month ago, but with snow as late as April 19 and several ball games postponed because of the weather, it’s easy to think that spring forgot to show up. The good news is that the forecast ahead is for warmer days. Even though I tell myself that snow

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Christina's son gets ready to head to his first day of summer camp.

It’s Back to School Time Once Again!

Posted: August 31, 2018
By: Christina Keasler, Youth Technology Librarian

Back to school – it’s a bittersweet time! Parents breathe a silent sigh of relief as they get back into a school routine, and teachers take a breath of empowerment to get energized for the next nine months. Families and teachers alike start their routines. For some families, like mine, it’s a new experience. My

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Ticket to Ride First Journey Board Game

Keeping Your Kids Occupied On A Rainy Day (Or A Long Trip)

Posted: June 21, 2018
By: Christina Keasler, Youth Technology Librarian

Summer vacation is here! School is out; GEPL’s summer reading program is underway (have you signed up?); and parents are thinking of plans, or survival skills, to make sure the kids don’t drive the parents, or themselves, crazy with the idle time. We know the importance of outside play, but there are times when that’s

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Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director

Meet Ms. Heather – The New Youth Director!

Posted: June 28, 2018
By: Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director

I am so excited to bring my enthusiasm and expertise to GEPL! My top priority is to ensure outstanding youth services through responsive customer service, fun and creative programming, and meaningful community connections. My driving passion is for serving kids and families. My specialties include holistic family services, community engagement, storytelling, play-based learning, and early literacy

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Musicals Adapted from Kids Books

Posted: August 16, 2018
By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian

“This is the greatest show!” Have you seen The Greatest Showman yet? If you haven’t you are in for a treat! You will want to sing along with all the actors during this movie musical about P.T. Barnum and his circus. I had heard lots of good things about the movie, but it took me

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New to Nonfiction? Recommendations for Young Readers

Posted: November 14, 2018
By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian

My second grader recently brought home his reading log from school. This year the students in his class are tasked with finding books from different genres, and the first three assigned were fantasy, realistic fiction, and nonfiction. My son loves fantasy, and almost everything he reads includes a talking toilet, lifelike robot, or complaining crayons.

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New Year, New You!

Posted: January 2, 2019
By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian

Happy New Year! It’s 2019! Can you believe it? With a new year comes a time to make resolutions or set goals for the upcoming year. It’s time to try something new! No matter what interest you’d like to pursue, the library has you covered. Would you like to try 3D printing? Did you know

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Ohh, Origami!

Posted: June 7, 2018
By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Librarian

Have you ever seen paper cranes and wondered how they were made? Have you ever wanted to create a paper crane? A dog? A hat? Some kind of shape? Well you can through origami! Origami is the Japanese art of folding squares of paper into different shapes, symbols, and animals. There are various levels of

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The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Page to Screen

Posted: January 25, 2018
By: Kelly Mahoney, Youth Associate

It’s always fun when a great book is turned into a movie. It’s exciting to see your favorite characters come to life on the big screen. But it can be a little disappointing if your favorite part of the book is left out, or something in the movie doesn’t look quite the way you imagined

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Picture of the library's collection of picture books.

Picture Books

Posted: May 10, 2018
By: Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate

When I taught first grade, most of my students wanted to read chapter books, despite their varying abilities to do so independently, simply because, “everyone else is doing it!” It was, in a sense, the six-year-old version of Keeping Up with the Joneses. While I admired and supported their goals to improve their reading skills,

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Stacks of books surrounding a doorway leading to a forest.

Plots n’ Pizza

Posted: January 18, 2018
By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Associate

The new year has begun, which means goals are being set, lists are being made, and books are ready to be read! Here at the library, we have a really cool parent/child book club called Plots n’ Pizza, where you get to work on your reading goals while also enjoying delicious pizza. Because who can

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Kids listening to something on headphones.

Podcasts for Kids

Posted: January 11, 2018
By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian

Recently, I attended a workshop that was all about podcasts for kids. While I know many people who listen to Serial or other popular podcasts, I didn’t know a lot about podcasts just for kids. However, the idea of podcasts for kids makes so much sense because they are a great way to enjoy some

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Raising a Reader

Posted: August 23, 2018
By: Heather McCammond-Watts, Youth Department Director

Sometimes reading looks a lot like chewing. Children prepare to read long before they enter school. Early literacy is a baby who chews on a book to discover what it’s like, a toddler who begs for a favorite book to be read aloud over and over, and a preschooler who “reads” the story to you

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A father reads to his newborn baby.

Reading to Newborns

Posted: August 2, 2018
By: Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate

So, you just had a baby. You bring it home. Now what? Chances are that if you have a newborn right now, your old summer activities have flown out the window. Beach days on Lake Michigan or long Sunday brunches aren’t frequent activities for you anymore, but you have a sense that you should be

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The Water Princess by Susan Verde

Ready or Not, Here They Come!

Posted: April 5, 2018
By: Kelly Mahoney, Youth Associate

If you’ve been to the Youth Department in the past week or so, you may have noticed that our Rebecca Caudill, Bluestem Award, and Monarch Award displays just changed. Each now displays the 2019 nominees. One of the great things about the books nominated for the Caudill, Bluestem, and Monarch awards each year is that

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Official photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex families and bridal party.

Royally Good Reads

Posted: May 31, 2018
By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian - Homeschool Services

In case you missed it, there was a royal wedding that took place recently. Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, or as the Chicago Tribune tweeted “Northwestern Graduate Marrying British Guy.” It was an exciting and beautiful ceremony to watch. I definitely had fun watching all the celebrities arrive, eventually followed by the bride. If you

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Picture of a fancy tea party setting with pastries

School-Year Rituals Can Keep Families Connected

Posted: September 20, 2018
By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

Whether it’s a daily bedtime routine, a weekly pizza and a movie night, or annual holiday or birthday traditions, many of us can point to a ritual we have in our families. In her book, The Book of New Family Traditions: How to Create Great Rituals for Holidays and Every Day, Meg Cox highlights the

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Sensory Play All Day

Posted: November 20, 2018
By: Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate

As the name suggests, sensory play incorporates your senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing, as well as your senses of balance and movement. While you might think of preschool or your local children’s museum as being the only places to supply your kiddo with sensory play opportunities, you can easily provide them at

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Picture of a kids slide with STOP the Summer Slide!

Stop the Summer Slide

Posted: June 15, 2018
By: Kelly Mahoney, Youth Associate

Did you know that it’s common for students to lose academic progress over the summer? In fact, some students lose up to three months of growth in key academic areas. This has been documented by research studies dating back over 100 years, and it makes a lot of sense. Imagine if you tried to play

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GEPL Reads for SCARCE | May 29 through September 2

Summer Reading is Back!

Posted: May 24, 2018
By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Assistant Director

It’s that time of year again! The weather is finally getting warmer; flowers are blooming; school is ending. And you know what that means — summer break! I know as a kid I always enjoyed summer. It meant staying up late, playing outside, ice cream, and summer reading. Yes, even as a kid I was

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Pre through Grade 4 Reading Level Chart

The Dangers of Leveled Reading

Posted: June 22, 2017
By: Megan Stepniewski, Youth Associate

Don’t get me wrong! Leveled reading is a wonderful tool that has come into existence. For years, many kids have struggled to learn how to read just because educators did not know where a child was coming from in regards to phonetic and text awareness. Each child is so different in comprehension levels of phonics,

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Young boy playing at the light table in the Youth Department.

The Importance of Play

Posted: February 1, 2018
By: Cristina Bueno, Youth Associate

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.” – George Dorsey We all know our children love to play, whether it’s with blocks, dolls, trains, puzzles, balls, etc. What we don’t often think about is just how important play really is. Playing is not just a way to occupy time or beat boredom but is an opportunity

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A horizontal stack of classic books.

Transitioning to the Classics

Posted: March 22, 2018
By: Kate Easley, Youth Librarian - Homeschool Services

My family and I recently visited Walt Disney World and it was a wonderful, magical trip.  One thing we did was visit Tom Sawyer’s Island in the Magic Kingdom. This tiny island is designed to look just like the setting of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. You take a raft over to the

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Veterans Day: Making it Meaningful for Kids

Posted: November 6, 2018
By: Kelli Rolston, Youth Associate

Every year, on November 11, we honor veterans, living and deceased, who have served our country. It is difficult for many children to imagine the ways service members risked their lives and the hardships they endured to protect our freedom. How can you help your child show veterans their appreciation and gratitude? 1. Display your

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Kids crawl underneath large parachute during storytime.

We Love Storytime

Posted: April 19, 2018
By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Librarians at the Glen Ellyn Public Library can be pretty busy. I answer questions at the reference desk, connect books with readers, select items for you to checkout, plan developmentally appropriate programs, coordinate preschool visits, and collaborate with my coworkers. I’m constantly learning and trying new things, but one thing remains the same — Storytime is

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What Does the Vox Say?

Posted: December 11, 2018
By: Melissa Hilt, Community Engagement Librarian

Over the past few years, we have had more and more people telling us they no longer own a CD player at home, and new cars often don’t come with one, either. Playaways are available at the library for adults and older kids, and we also have apps to check out books on a mobile

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A Different Pond by Bao Phi

Who Tells Your Story?

Posted: February 22, 2018
By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

In her powerful TED Talk, the author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about the danger of a reading only a single story about a person or place. In particular, she mentions how vulnerable and impressionable children are when they read stories. As a young girl, she loved to read foreign tales, but never seeing herself reflected

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Winter Boredom Busters

Posted: December 26, 2018
By: Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate

Winter is upon us. As the temperature drops, our time indoors increases, and refrains of, “I’m bored!” become all too common. Here is a list of my tried and true boredom busters, tested out in my years as a nanny, first grade teacher, and current toddler mom. 1. Put a piece of cardstock and a

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Kids display their collections in the Youth Department.

Youth Display Cases

Posted: March 15, 2018
By: Alexa Moffat, Youth Associate

Each time we enter the library, my almost 2-year-old daughter makes a beeline through the Circulation Department toward the display cases in the front of the Youth Department. She circles them, checking each collection, and announces her favorites to me. “Mama, trolls! POPPY!” she shouted at me on our most recent visit. Often, she hunkers

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Youth Media Award Winners

Posted: March 1, 2018
By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Assistant Director

I am always excited when it’s my turn to blog and the Youth Media Awards (YMA) have just been announced! On Monday, February 12, I could once again be found at home watching the awards stream on my iPad. The YMAs include the Newbery, Caldecott, Geisel, and Coretta Scott King awards, as well as many

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