Get Your Sticker On!


I know, I know – you’re here for the free stuffs, and lately it’s been mostly costing stuffs. Unfortunately, that’s how things are for me currently, and how things are for a lot of library employees in smaller cities. So yes, I would love to get back to posting free resources, and that truly is a hope of mine, and I’ll totally have a dance party when that day comes – I just don’t know when that’ll be.

Okay. That’s covered.

Now onto something that will only cost you about $1: a downloadable sticker template for library scavenger hunts! More specifically, it’s a good generic printable that you could use for any library scavenger hunt! Yay!

Here’s the sample sheet:

These work with AVERY brand round labels 5293. Like this:

Once we print out a sheet, we then cut out each sticker. Depending on how busy we are, we’ll either put out a few for a child to choose from, or give them a sticker to help things keep moving. Here’s our little sticker bowl:

And that’s really it! Simple ‘n good. You can purchase this instant download from my Etsy shop.

As always, don’t hesitate to ask me any questions – either in the comments, or on my Facebook page, or through email at

Library Date Due Slip Palooza!!!

I am excited to share with y’all my latest creations for sale at my Etsy shop: dozens of high-res library date due slips! And they’re only $2 per collection!! And I have 7 collections for you to choose from!!!


For those of  you who didn’t immediately click on the above link to check it out, here’s the whys and hows of this project.

Basically, I’ve been hoarding every date due slip I could get my hands on from my library – whether it be from weeding old books, or finding them in donated books – even my team members knew to keep a look out and put any of those slips on my desk.

Then, one day as I was scanning some in as a collage in order to craft with the printouts, I was like, “Huh. Others might like having access to these, too…”

That was about a year ago. Since then I have been slowly working on this project. It takes a while because I have to sort through the slips and find ones in decent condition/worth scanning, then scan them, and then do some photoshopping on them so that they’d be big, beautiful .pngs. I tried to keep the photoshopping to a minimum, but I still had to do a lot of work on them.

Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, from the Gaylord collection:

So after I had a large number completed, I realized that I needed a way to sort them out since Etsy only allows a certain amount of file space per upload, and only five uploads per posting. I decided on splitting them up by publisher (or lack thereof). Then with the very substantial number of Library Store slips, I broke those up by number of columns, and then a set A and B for the 2-columned ones.

I had briefly toyed with the thought of listing all the dates included in the set. Briefly. It took one large slip to confirm that it would be an enormous task.

To sort of balance the scales, for each listing I made a collage of all the slips that were included within that listing. I hope that this helps anyone looking for a specific date, or a specific style of a date due slip.

Here’s an example from the Odd Variety collection:

Besides crafting with these, I have used them at work in a fun way. In our Main Library’s back office (which is visible to anyone at the circulation desk), there are a ridiculous number of thumbtack holes and other damages to the back wall. I printed out large versions of some of these, cut them out and placed them over the damage. It looks all purposeful and artsy-like.

I hope that you have fun finding ways to use these great files. I love that they’re a reminder of earlier library days, and especially that they’re physical proof that a) libraries have been here for decades, and b) we’ll continue to adjust and remain relevant.

Library Date Due Slips on Etsy

Summer Reading Booklets: The Rebookleting

I can hardly believe that the last time I wrote about our Summer Reading Program booklets was five summers ago. That’s utterly unreal to me. Since then I’ve heard from librarians across the country who have been interested in our program – and some who actually have done it with great success! Yay!!!

Over the years we have made some significant changes to the program that have made our program both easier and more popular than ever. Seriously. We have had people coming from the large city next door signing up for our program since they had heard about how great it is. And yeah, I’m totally beaming with pride while typing that.


Here are the highlights of our changes:


This is our main sheet. Librarians use the four columns on the left, although I’m just now realizing that this does not show the checkboxes within the Booklet Picked Up, 2nd, or Reminder Given columns. The five columns on the right are for my back office use. About three weeks into the program I will either email or call preregistered households of those who have yet to pick up their booklet(s).

This is a tab on our main sheet that we use for “walk-ins” i.e. anyone and everyone who didn’t preregister. Since we’re filling out the info and handing out the booklets right as we give the booklets out, then we only need a checkbox column for the Replacements.

I’m putting the bestest-best change here at the top. When our Children’s Librarian Jennifer suggested that we use Google Sheets for tracking booklets, I almost fell out of my chair – it was one of those things where I was like “WHY DID IT TAKE US SO LONG TO THINK OF THIS?!” And I’m a bit red-in-the-face because this realization happened just this year. Three weeks into the program. Heh.

But Jennifer’s idea was so fabulous that I made time (along with a fabulous Teen Intern named Jayden) to convert our old paper Excel sheets system into a Google Sheet. We did this for Pre-Registrants along with our Walk-ins. And the change was immediately felt and loved by everyone on our team. It also de-cluttered our small circulation desk.

The best part is that now we can hand out our booklets at both of our library locations (it’s a long story). Previously we limited booklet pick-ups to the Children’s Library, but next year we’ll be able to make our booklets even easier for our patrons to get.


To try and increase the number of people who preregister for the booklets, we make sure to let people know that they’ll get a bonus coupon if they 1. preregister, and 2. pick up their booklets within the first two weeks of the program. This is more of a bribe for the parents/caregivers. We do this because it helps us know how many booklets to print as well as helps get kids into reading mode sooner rather than later. We want this to be an active and fun memory-making experience, and the longer kids wait to get going, the less of an all-summer experience it is for them.


We know that stamps are always popular with the kids, but they are totally popular with us, too.

When we started out, we used a self-inking stamp. Eventually it gave up and became more of a pain to try and use. So we broke apart the unit and created hand-stamps using LEGO bricks and kragle.

And then, Jennifer came up with a wonderful idea: get some permanent stamps for use at our library, and then she could take the LEGO’d one to her off-site programs. And we have a lot of those because our site is teeeeny-tiny.

Aren’t they pretty?! I went through this Etsy seller and had a wonderful experience. Pricey? Yes. But worth every penny.

And we also made it an option for businesses who participate in our program to get a new small self-inking stamp. We drop them off when we drop off an example booklet to each business.


Several years back, Jennifer hit upon the perfect bonus activity: attending library events. Need I say more?


Here’s another “bang your head on the desk it’s sooooo obvious” idea that Jennifer had a few years back. It has made creating the actual booklets a bajillion times easier:

Print out a master copy of the inner pages, and then use that to print out your booklets using the beautiful collate option. Since we use cardstock for the cover, then we have to do those by hand since our copy machine can’t handle automatically printing on both sides of thick paper.


And I think that about covers all of the adjustments we’ve made over the years.

Finally, I want to do something that I didn’t do on my first post, and that’s to share our editable files for our booklets! Click on the image below to instantly get a zip file containing all of our Publisher files for our booklet! Enjoy!!!

2017 Children’s Library Themes

2017 Library Decor Themes at the Gretna Children's Library. From 'Appy New Year to Pigeon wanting to drive a zamboni! |

I am so woefully behind on sharing with y’all what we’ve been doing at our Children’s Library that drastic measures are called for in order to catch you up. So this post is designed to be a fast ‘n furious update with minimal text. If you have any questions whatsoever about anything you see here, there, or anywhere on my blog, then don’t hesitate to ask me! Either in the comments, on social media, or at

Now onto the themes!

January 2017: ‘Appy New Year!

I’ve already written about this, but here’s a quick visual for ya.

'Appy New Year: January 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring ebooks and emojis |

'Appy New Year: January 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring our reading bench display |

This theme is one of the most loudly commented-upon by kids. I lost count of how many kids would come into our library and excitedly tell us how much they love emojis. We also had ample opportunities to discuss our ebook resource with patrons.

February 2017: Toss Kindness Like Confetti

This is the only 2017 theme that neither Natasia, our resident artist and creator of our decor, nor I remembered to get a picture of anything. ::trombone wah wah:: You can get a bit of information in this previous post.

March 2017: Nebraska Sesquicentennial

All Nebraska librarians learned to say the word “sesquicentennial” when our state celebrated it’s 150th birthday.

March 2017's theme at Gretna Children's Library was all about the Nebraska state sesquicentennial |

March 2017's theme at Gretna Children's Library was all about the Nebraska state sesquicentennial: Happy 150th display at the reading bench |

The bunting is made out of an atlas that was in our Friends’ book sale with yellow circles in-between.

April 2017: Artsy April

This time around for Artsy April, I asked Natasia to show off her personal artistic style. And let me tell you what: this has been the most popular window display EVER.

Artsy April: April 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring artwork by our talented team member Natasia. Blue, purple, and gold circles |

Both children and adults alike where enamored with Natasia’s beautiful work. What you can’t tell from the photos is that the smaller circles are gold leaf. For reals. It shimmered and created gorgeous effects. Pure. Magic.

The other dots were tissue paper.

Artsy April: April 2017's theme at the Gretna Children's Library featuring artwork by our talented team member Natasia. Blue, purple, and gold circles |

May 2017: The final LEGO MAY-nia

We decided that 2017 would be the last time that we celebrated all things LEGO in May. We felt like we were giving a lot of free advertising to the LEGO company. Plus, we had plenty of other things we wanted to do instead. All that said, we went out with quite a LEGO bang!

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library |

Plastic table cloths and cardstock et voilà! Window display with impact!

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library |

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library |

We put up real LEGOs on our wall to hide all of the paint damage from sticky tack. ::side eyes sticky tack::

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library |

We affixed ultra-brief bios of each real-life “Master Builder” underneath their LEGO Mini Figs so that people could sit on the bench and look up to learn something.

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library |

We loved these giant LEGO bricks that Natasia made so much that we decided to group them in a smaller space so that they’d have a bigger impact. We generally don’t decorate around our activity area, but this was perfect.

The fifth and final LEGO MAY-nia decor theme at Gretna Children's Library | Hafuboti.comAnd although LEGO MAY-nia is over, we will forever do our most popular passive program: The Little Library LEGO Club. A HUGE shout-out to S Bryce Kozla for this program. This year we finally decided to not put batteries into the base (the tower would get too heavy to spin), and let the kids turn the platform to find the perfect spot. This has been a wonderful change that I wish we’d done from the beginning.

June & July 2017: CSLP’s Build a Better World

Natasia did an incredible job with our decor for the summer. Her use of tissue paper is mind-blowing. And with this front exterior, she did a beautiful blend of both tissue paper and cardstock.

The only issue with this decor was that the summer sun beats down on our building for the first half of the day. Instead of sweltering in silence, Natasia opted to go with the flow, and actually ended up getting more compliments on her gears since her solution made them really pop:

Lightly-colored shadows were cast onto the white paper by the tissue paper gears in direct sunlight. It looked super-cool.

Those 3D gears actually did turn if you were gentle.

August 2017: The Ocean

The main paper cutout of the shark was popular with kids. So popular, in fact, that many would come up and smack the window where it was at, scaring the bejebus out of us. It also looked creepy when kids had their hands on the outside windows (little shadowy hannnnds…).

This display was a team effort between Natasia and Adina. All of those ocean creature silhouettes strategically hid sticky tack scars. ::stink eyes the sticky tack::

It was a lot of fun to see people notice the jellyfish – usually when the air vent was blowing and their tentacles gently moved. Natasia made these using paper lanterns cut in half, paint, and plastic bags.

September 2017: Monarch Butterflies

It’s rare for me to declare a theme, but I couldn’t help myself with this one. I have adored monarch butterflies since I was a child, and had begun rearing them from egg to adult. What Natasia did with my request was absolutely stunning. Everything (except the green leaves) were made from black poster board and tissue paper.

I kept the above caterpillar and have him in my home. The rest went to a local high school teacher for her classroom.

I haven’t talked about our fabulous team member Adina enough on this blog. She’s revolutionized our decor over at our Main Library, and lends a helping hand at Children’s now-and-then. She created this cheery scene with paper, scissors, and paper punches. Wow!!!!!

Ashlynn created this neat display on our whiteboard that showed the life cycle of monarchs. LOVE.

October 2017: Creatures of the Night

We continue to enjoy not being constrained by holidays in terms of decor, though that doesn’t mean that we don’t have fun with it. Our focus was on nocturnal critters, and Natasia knocked it out of the park using scissors, an x-acto knife, and black poster board.

::sings:: Gooooogly Eyyyyyes!!!

November 2017: The Return of Dinovember

Typically we don’t like to repeat themes, but since Natasia wasn’t part of our team during our first Dinovember, we thought it’d be fun to have her take a whack at it. She decided to do a “doodle” version of dinos à la Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the like.

December 2017: Decemberley featuring Mo Willems

Ok y’all. I know that we’re in the wrong in the world of copyright. But there are times where I can be a bit of a petulant child (sorry, Hyperion Books for Children and Mr. Willems). When I had the thought of “Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Zamboni,” I knew that we had to celebrate Mo Willems’ work for our annual Decemberley celebration. And I think that it was a good choice because we could hear kids shouting their favorite characters’ names as they approached our front door. Duckling got a ton of love.

I was unable to photograph the cool ice effect that Natasia achieved after some trial and error. The ice is made up of long strips of packing tape that have been covered in different sizes of glitter. It looked amazing in the sunlight. Sooooo sparkly.

My favorite part of our decor was when I realized that we could hang images of all the things that the Pigeon wants (as chronicled in both Pigeon Wants a Puppy and Duckling Gets a Cookie!?). It was irreverent, fun, and a ton of fun when either people figured it out or asked us what was the deal with the cookies, hotdogs, french fry robots, etc. Plus they would spin, and at least once a year I want things hanging/spinning from our ceiling. What can I say? It makes me happy.

Another big shout-out to Angie Manfredi for her Winter Reading Program idea. It continues to be very popular and is a good idea.

Finally, I blew up the How to Draw Pigeon instructions from for our white board.


Hooray! You made it through my most epic post ever. And as a reward for making it to the end, I’ve included the images that I created (or just colored in) for our Mo Willems celebration. Click on the image below to get a pdf of both sides of the following images: a cookie, hot dog, walrus, iceberg, puppy, bus, and french fry robot. You can use these images however you’d like – enjoy!

Disclaimer: no pigeons were harmed in the making of this post. 



Sexuality & Gender Identity Pride Library Logos

A month ago or so, a dear friend (Hi, Nick!) reached out to me to suggest making pride versions of the public library logo. And two days ago, when I was included in a Twitter thread about a design that I had not created, I decided to drop everything and get to work.

I was ultra-inspired and created over 150 designs based on pride flag designs. Fear not! I will not upload them all to my blog (and thus having my followers receive a ginormous email from me as a result). Instead, I have uploaded them to the Wikimedia Commons.

A huge shout-out must go to PrideNation.LGBT for their collection of flag designs. I would not have created these images as efficiently as I did without their shop. Follow the above link and check out their great items for sale (they have way more than just flags).

I would like to dedicate this work to the gay young man who had genuine questions for me back during my college years. It was that single open and thoughtful discussion that has had a beautiful rippling effect throughout my life. I may not remember your name, but you will never be forgotten.

Here are a few sample images for you to use or modify in any way that you’d like. And like everything on my blog, it’s under a Creative Commons license, with the bonus that I do not want to be credited on the artwork. Truly. Look through all of the designs here, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if I unintentionally did anything insensitive, or left anyone out. I’ll get it fixed ASAP!

Bisexual Pride Library Logo | Lesbian Pride Library Logo | Pride Support Fist Rainbow Library Logo | Librafluid Pride Library Logo | Polyamory Pride Library Logo |

I have also uploaded some of the hearts and other symbols that I used such as the following Abrosexual Pride Heart:

Abrosexual Pride Heart |

I had a request for a Facebook cover photo featuring Pride hearts and the #LAFE message. Here it is:

Here’s one for your Twitter account: