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SWON News - Escape Room DIY, Graphic Novel Collection Development, and Spanish Storytime

Monday, January 28, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Emily Wages
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DIY an Escape Room with SWON's Latest Tech to Lend

You are probably familiar with the idea of "escape rooms" - in the last five years, escape room businesses have exploded onto the entertainment sceneAccording to the Room Escape Artist blog database, there were only 22 escape rooms in the U.S. in 2014. As of November 2018, however, there were at least 2300 escape room businesses operating in the US! These businesses charge a fee to play their game (ranging from $30-$60 depending on the place) and the timed challenge usually lasts one to two hours. Like many entertainment trends, not everyone can afford to have an escape room experience, though, which is why libraries around the country are creating their own DIY escape room programming for people of all ages. Escape rooms don't have to be solely for entertainment, either, of course! According to School Library Journal, this type of activity allows teachers and librarians to teach using play and to foster problem solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills in their students. Escape rooms give students the opportunity to experiment, fail, and try again in a low-stakes environment (as opposed to all the high-stakes testing they are used to). 

Many libraries and schools are DIY-ing their own escape rooms, which involves buying various boxes, locks, invisible ink pens, flashlights, and more, as well as finding or creating a story/theme for the room. SWON was recently able to purchase two Breakout EDU kits using LSTA grant funds. Whether it's to entertain, teach, or both, Breakout EDU can help you create your own escape room experience. The kits come with everything you'll need to create a fun and exciting escape room experience - including content. Breakout provides an online platform filled with tons of lesson plans and ideas, as well as resources on how to facilitate a Breakout EDU game. (You will be provided with a login to access these if you borrow from SWON.) These are now part of our Tech to Lend program, and are available to borrow for up to a month at a time. If you have questions about the kits or how to borrow please feel free to email me

Emily Wages, MLIS
Emergent Trends & Technology Educator, SWON Libraries


SWON Webinar - Graphic Novel Collection Development

Comics - those are for kids that love capes, right? Wrong! Graphic novels come in every genre you can imagine for every age you can imagine. In this webinar, you will learn how to develop a well rounded Graphic Novel & Manga collection for your patrons based on what's popular, what's appropriate, and what's fun. Join us to learn the best practices for graphic novel collection development. 


Graphic Novel Collection Development
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
2/28/2019 - Online

  Register Here  


Spanish Storytime: Where to Start & How to Do It (even if you barely speak Spanish!)

There are more than 37 million Spanish speakers in the United States, and it is by far the most spoken non-English language for people over the age of 5.  Spanish is also the most spoken language of non-Hispanics in households in the United States.

The desire for parents to give their children exposure to a second language and the rapid growth of Hispanic populations in the United States is all the more reason to start an engaging bilingual storytime at your library.  

In this interactive webinar program, Alicia Lemar will give you a variety of tools that you will be able to use to:

• Select appropriate titles for Bilingual Storytimes
• Teach rhymes and songs that will help children and adults recall the language
• Utilize props to further enhance language development

Learn the ins and outs of presenting a bilingual storytime from an experienced children’s librarian and bilingual storytime presenter. We’ll cover tips and tricks to make your bilingual storytime a success - even if you are not a native speaker or have limited knowledge of Spanish! 
Presenter Alicia Lemar has enthusiastically shared her passion for bilingual storytime for eight years. She earned her MLS from Indiana University and is a former Children’s Librarian at the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library in Indiana and the Forsyth County Public Library in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  She is teaching her own brood of children Spanish through songs and rhymes and stories! 


PCI Webinar - Spanish Storytime: Where to Start & How to Do It
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
2/6/2019 - Online

  Register Here  

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Coming up on the Calendar...


Please register for SWON & PCI events by the Friday before they take place


SWON Webinar - 4C for Children: Who we are, what we do
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
2/14/2019 - Online

PCI Webinar - Working with Angry Customer Behaviors
FREE for employees of Supporting Member Institutions
$15 for members in our Ohio service area
$20 for everyone else
2/20/2019 - Online

HRDQ-U - Courageous Leadership: How to Build Backbone, Boost Performance, and Get Results
FREE (an HRDQ-U event)
2/20/2019 - Online

Infopeople Webinar - What's New in Children's Literature - 2019
Free (an Infopeople event)
2/27/2019 - Online


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Save the Date



African American Read-In
2/9/2019 - Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Main Branch
800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio  45202

Spring Summer Reading Program Workshop 2018 - A Universe of Stories 
3/14/2019 - West Chester Township, OH

Computers in Libraries 2019 
3/26/2019 to 3/28/2019 - Arlington, VA

4th Annual Nonfiction Read-In + Graphic Novels 
4/4/2019 - Erlanger, KY

SWON Spring 2019 Membership Meeting 
4/30/2019 - The Hamilton Clermont Cooperative
1007 Cottonwood Dr
Loveland, Ohio  45103

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SWON Libraries
10250 Alliance Rd. Suite 112
Blue Ash, OH 45242

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