SeptZENber

It turns out that I got some of my themes/months confused. I had thought that our Pokemon Go decor had been in September. Nope. It was a bonus August theme (thank you to my team for pointing this out to me – and I’ve gone back and corrected my earlier posts as a result). Basically for September’s theme we wanted something relaxing and peaceful; thus SeptZENber was born.

Natasia made a stunning tissue paper mandala in our front windows:

The front windows and door at our Children's Library featuring a lovely tissue paper and Mod Podge mandala in celebration of SeptZENber | hafuboti.com

I would find myself gazing at it when I needed a mental break from the tasks at hand. It looked especially beautiful in the morning sunlight since our building faces east. We also received a larger-than-normal amount of compliments and questions on the application technique from our patrons.

Natasia further continued the loveliness with our reading bench display:

Beautiful "Relaxing Reads" library display with a simplified flowery mandala | hafuboti.com

HUGER THAN NORMAL thank you goes to Natasia for this picture. I absolutely failed at getting good pics of all of her hard work which I hope to have corrected for future posts. It’s worth noting that this display was quite popular with parents who were in the midst of back-to-school stresslandia.

If you look closely at the above pic, you’ll notice a smallish peace sign with something on it on one of the window frames – that was part of our monthly scavenger hunt. It was one where the kids had to find the different colored peace signs and put it on their worksheet. Then they had to unscramble the letters to spell out a simple word like peace or love – depending on the week (or their age – we didn’t make preschoolers do the word scramble).

We also had special classes with Two Keys Creative Studio on stone mandalas and stone painting. Thank you to the instructor Sarah Fettin-Kuester for providing this pretty cool picture from one of our classes:

Image of library class attendees showing off their painted stone mandalas. Photo courtesy of Two Keys Creative Studio | hafuboti.com

It was during this class that Sarah discussed cultural appropriation and what a fine line it can be while giving a lesson about mandalas and what they meant in Hinduism and Buddhism. As a result, I had an “OMG I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS THAT WAY ” revelation. And because of this realization, I do not plan to repeat this exact theme, class, or use mandala coloring sheets for any of our passive coloring programs. I’d much rather err on the side of respect.

We also had a local yoga instructor come in and host classes for both young ones and their families. They were a big hit, and I only had to handle one complaint that “yoga is demonic and anyone who does it invites demons in to possess them.” True story. I believe that the patron and I had a good discussion about this since I try and do yoga to help with my chronic pain, and not once have I been possessed. In the end she was grateful that I took the time to listen and thoughtfully respond. Again – erring on the side of respect.

And that was really the biggest lesson I learned during SeptZenber:

Wouldn’t the world be a nicer place if we all erred on the side of respect? 

Have a Beautiful Day

I could bore y’all with the origin story of how I got this idea, but I’d rather just get to the good stuff: the sharing!

Look at what I did:

Mister Rogers and friends are featured in our activity tables' window featuring a monthly Fred Rogers quote | hafuboti.com

I created the minimalist yet diverse images and quotes to go in our activity tables’ window. The idea is to swap out the quotes every month for an entire year. I also made sure to include the reverse images so that this display could be accessed from the outside as well so that our entire neighborhood can enjoy it:

Exterior photo of our new Fred Rogers window display that will feature a new quote every month | hafuboti.com

I printed my designs out on card stock, cut them out, then double-sided taped the mirrored images together. Then I trimmed the edges until they looked a bit cleaner. Finally, I used matte contact paper to adhere them to the window.

Now it’s your turn to share Fred Rogers’ wisdom! Feel free to download and use these images and quotes however you’d like. Clicking on an image will give you the option to download the pdf (or a zip file in the case of the 12 quotes) that contains the original images and the reverse images.

A simplified "universal man" version of Fred Rogers free to download, remix, or use in any way | hafuboti.com A set of four diverse neighborhood children available to download, remix, or use in any way | hafuboti.com A second set of four diverse neighborhood children available to download, remix, or use in any way | hafuboti.com

Update: I should have included the font I used in my original post – sorry about that! It’s this one from dafont, and I used a combination of the regular and the swash versions.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have. Also, I do love to see how you’re using any of my designs/ideas. Comment here, send me an email, find me on Facebook or Twitter; I’m always thrilled to hear from you!

Partial bust of a minimalist Fred Rogers with the soft blue wording that says "Have a Beautiful Day!" | hafuboti.com

Libraries Are For Everyone: Turkmen

I received a great email from Rahat, who sent me the Turkmen translation of Libraries Are For Everyone. I cannot even begin to express how excited I still become when someone reaches out and shares a part of themselves. It’s the best.

Thank you so very much Rahat!!!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring ten diverse library patrons holding globes on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Turkmen featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

Libraries Are For Everyone: Croatian

Soraya, an awesome librarian in Vegas, reached out to me with a Croatian translation provided by a library patron. She wasn’t sure whether or not I was still taking translations. YES I AM – in case you were wondering that too.

Thank you to both Soraya and her Croatian-speaking patron!!!

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring ten diverse library patrons holding globes on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring three diverse library patrons on a rose background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring three diverse library patrons on an orange background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring three diverse library patrons on a yellow background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring three diverse library patrons on a green background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring three diverse library patrons on a blue background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

Libraries Are For Everyone sign in Croatian featuring three diverse library patrons on a purple background | hafuboti.com #LibrariesR4Every1 #LAFE

A NOTE: I am slowly working on getting my artwork uploaded onto the Wikimedia Commons for people to find it easier all the while making all of it “officially” licensed. That said – my entire blog here is under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license – so know that I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!

I also want to reiterate what I’ve stated in the past since I can’t make it an exception within the license: I do not want my name (given or business) on my minimalist art. It sort of ruins the clean lines and elegance. Just don’t tell people that you’re the creator – I’m fine with you crediting it to “an awesome Punk Rock Book Jockey blogger” if you can’t recall either of my names. Or write by Hafuboti on the back in pencil if you’re worried about it. Seriously. Have fun.

I plan on putting this note on the bottom of all of my Libraries Are For Everyone posts so if you’ve read the above paragraph once, then you won’t need to again (unless you really want to).

Our Early Literacy Corner

A few weeks ago, Cory Eckert (of Storytime Underground fame) shared a quote on Facebook from EarlierIsEasier.org about how important repetition is in a child’s life:

Repetition is a key ingredient to building a healthy brain. When your child asks for the same book, activity or outfit again and again, this is really just their brain demanding what it needs– lots of repetition to help cement those learning pathways!

Her post rocked my mind for two reasons: 1. I hadn’t been aware of Earlier Is Easier – and dang if this isn’t a super-de-duper resource for parents/caretakers of young ones, and 2. THE COMPLAINT ABOUT AND DENIAL OF CHECKING SOMETHING OUT AGAIN BY PARENTS HAPPENS WAY TOO OFTEN.

Ahem.

But seriously, I’d say at least once-a-week I hear a parent or grandparent refuse to re-check something out that the child so desperately wants to rewatch or reread. If I get a chance to, then I try and gently mention that repetition is important and valuable to children.

I shared this quote with my library team, and we brainstormed a way to share it with our community. We always have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how best to use our tiny space, which can be fun, but also a big challenge. Ashlynn was the one who finally came up with the idea of using the back side of our computer carols. It wasn’t until after I put up the display that I realized that it was literally an “early literacy corner.” Heh.

Check it out:

The Early Literacy Corner at Gretna Public Library's Children's Library featuring information from earlieriseasier.org | hafuboti.com

Close up on the pamphlet holders because people are always unsure of whether or not they can take something – be it a pamphlet or a book on display:

Red dot sign on a pamphlet holder that says "Please take one, two, three, or four - we can print out many more!" on it to encourage patrons to take as many pamphlets as they'd like | hafuboti.com

One more artsy-fartsy photo:

Using the corner of a computer carol to feature early learning/literacy tips from earlieriseasier.org | hafuboti.com

And it won’t always be the same tip on each side – I just really wanted to mimic repetition to really send the concept home. All that I used was some looped scotch tape, and then contact paper to put up those signs and pamphlet holders.

Hopefully this inspires you to look at unexpected locations for early literacy tips. Like maybe on paper towel dispensers:

Putting early literacy tips on laminated card stock on our paper towel dispensers. Literacy tips are found at storytimeunderground.org | hafuboti.com

You can find/print out these and other great early literacy tips at Storytime Underground‘s Fast Facts. All I did was print them out on card stock and laminate them before sticking them up with packing tape. Yay for fast and easy! I swap these signs out about once every month or so.

Please feel free to share any of the ways that you get important information out to your community – either by commenting here or sending me an email at hafuboti.com. I’d love to hear/see them!