Dinosaurs, dreamcatchers and much more

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Being a children’s librarian gives her an outlet for all of her creative energy. She has come up with crafts for months now. This summer, she ran many multi-week classes: a Craft Camp with a different craft every week, the Dinosaur Explore program and a photography workshop for teens.

Summer at the library

The Rockville Centre library sees a big increase in attendance during the summer months.

“The summer is the time for us to have all the special programming we want to do,” said Terry Ain, the head of youth services at the library.

“Our approach to the summer is centered around reading and books and keeping the students active so that they don’t lose what they learned the year before,” explained Library Director Maureen Chiofalo. “We’re trying to keep a theme to it, but also make it fun and enjoyable. Because it’s summertime.”

There are many activities and programs for kids over the summer, and a lot of planning goes into all of them.

A few weeks ago, O’Shaughnessy ran a program for Craft Camp in which children used stencils of Egyptian hieroglyphics to write their names on wooden plaques. The plaques had to be purchased and the stencils had to be created, which meant O’Shaughnessy cutting them out by hand.

“It’s a lot of trial and error,” O’Shaughnessy said of the planning process. “In [librarian] school, you study what’s age-appropriate and where their motor skills are. You learn about what’s appropriate literacy wise, but you also get a little bit of child development and learn about where they are at different points. Once you start working with kids, you start to observe where they are.”

Sometimes the prep for the crafts is simple. For the final week of Craft Camp, O’Shaughnessy had the kids make Native American dream catchers. For that, O’Shaughnessy figured out the best way to weave ribbon around small wooden wreathes.

For one of the Dinosaur Explore programs, she spent hours making paper mache dinosaur eggs (with dinosaurs inside) that kids would decorate and then break apart when they got home.

“This is the greatest place to work ever for a person like me,” she said. “They let me run with things.”

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