CHILIS Spring Conference: March 5, 2015

Please join colleagues and friends at the CHILIS Spring Conference, which will be held on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at Southern NH University in Manchester.

The morning offers programs about graphic novels and the nuts and bolts of summer reading as well as the presentation of the CHILIS Librarian of the Year Award. The afternoon features the Kids, Books and the Arts Showcase.

We are asking you to complete both an online registration as well as a brief printed form to be sent with your registration check.  Register online at, then fill out this form to send with your check.

Conference Schedule and Directions to SNHU can be found here.

The conference registration deadline is Friday, February 20, 2015.

Spring2015ConferenceInfo Spring2015ConferenceForm

CHILIS On-the-Move Book Club Kits

Do you have multiple copies of a children’s book that a book discussion group would welcome? Are you willing to lend this set of books to another public library in NH?  If you answered yes to these two questions, please consider adding this book to the CHILIS On-the-Move Book Club holdings in NHU-PAC. You just need to complete a survey, and your information about the title will be entered into the statewide catalog. To enter the book titles, please visit the CHILIS On-the-Move Book Club Kit page, also located under the Resources tab above.

If you want to borrow a kit, you can search for one using NHU-PAC. Kits are sent via the van just like any ILL item.

Summer Memories

Our Fall conference is less than 48 hours away, but there’s still time to share some summer memories.  Thanks to the libraries who submitted photos of their children’s staff Fizzing, Booming, and Reading! If you would like to submit a photo to add, you can email me at

Here’s David at Barrington, deflecting LED throwies they made with their teens.  Later on, he dyed his beard blue and shaved his head when the kids read more than the teens.


Kristen and Wendy at Barrington show off whirligigs made from recyclables.


At Haverhill, they made firework art:


Emily and Kathy at Kimball prepare for a school visit in their science gear.


Kathy is covered in reptiles and bugs because her kids met their reading challenge. Yikes!

Greenfield creates a quilt out of their past summer reading T-Shirts.


Peterborough enjoyed timeless experiments like bouncing eggs and soda geysers.



Moultonborough’s patrons were greeted by a robot, constructed by the library’s maintenance staff!


Our July 4th parade in Merrimack was the wettest it’s been, so my Mad Scientist was extra mad.


A patron sent in this colorful photo from one of our Storytimes in the Park.


Angie and Steffaney got geared up and channeled Einstein for their school presentations.

The kids at Littleton made marble runners from cardboard tubes:


Looks like everyone had a fun summer! Looking forward to hearing about the activities you’ll be sharing this fall.

Best wishes,
Merrimack Public Library


CHILIS Fall Conference Registration now closed

fall costumeFor those of you attending, we look forward to seeing you on the 9th in Greenfield for a great day with Starr LaTronica, M.H. Herlong, and wonderful, talented colleagues from around the state.

Wear something fall-ish for a discount on your raffle tickets!

For directions and the agenda, click HERE.

Register for the Fall Conference!

harris-campPlease click HERE or on

Conferences>CHILIS Fall Conference in the menu above

to access all the registration information you need for the exciting day we have planned for October 9!

Libraries as Makerspaces

motherlode-whittle-tmagArticleToday’s Motherlode blog post in The New York Times, written by Jessica Lahey of Lyme, contains a nice endorsement of libraries as makerspaces and as resources for ideas and activities. Check it out by clicking on the photo at left or the link above!


2014 Great Stone Face Award (click the image for the final tally)


GSF 2014 winner

Scientific Storytimes and Stories

Hi CHILIS folk. I meant to get this entry out to you a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily, we still have plenty of time before Summer Reading to implement these awesome science storytime ideas into our plans, and order these delightful sciencey books.  And by plenty of time I mean “AAAAAH IT’S ALMOST APRIL!”

The  Spring Conference this year boasted of our own panel of librarians presenting storytime ideas and new books for the scientific Fizz Boom Read theme.  First up we had three presenters with four storytime themes for Preschoolers and Toddlers.

Lisette from the Dunbar Free Library shared her “Light and Sun” themed preschool storytime.  She took us from beginning to end, introducing us to her preferred opening song (from Linda Adamson’s Love to Sing, Love to Dance), and her storytime feathered friend Rhythm Bird:

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She shared the read-alouds she’d pick for this theme, and talked us through sharing the simple science in them.

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She also shared her craft ideas (spectrometer craft, stained glass craft) and story-stretchers.  Her complete storytime plan with tips can be found here.

Next up, Judy from the Converse Free Library in Lyme showed us her Bubbles & Suds storytime, where preschoolers can make this easy and fun colored bubbles project (a la a lava lamp):
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She also took us from top to bottom with her “Hello, How Are You” song, her puppet friend Riley Raccoon, and read-alouds:
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It’s safe to say we all enjoyed blowing bubbles from the audience as her “charges” too.

Our last storytime presenter was a two-fer: Meg from the Richards Free Library in Newport showed us a Preschool option and a Toddler option.  For Preschool, the theme was Weather, which brought out the “Big Books.”

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She also shared her introduction song, her read-alouds, and her weather chart craft (sadly still stuck at snow).

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For Toddler Time, she showed us her “My Senses” theme, including a homemade “flannel board” made out of a music stand, felt, and laminated print-outs.

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Meg’s storytime plans can be found here (Weather) and here (My Senses).  If you want to hear more from her, head over to her blog Miss Meg’s Storytime.

Lastly, Nina from the Thornton Public Library and Tara from the Campton Public Library presented some brisk book-talking on books for kids and teens that fit nicely into the science theme.  You can view their full bibliography here.

Thanks to all the librarians who presented at the Spring Conference this year.  Please comment if you have more Science books and storytime ideas to share!



More Spring Conference Photos

You can view more photos from the 2014 Spring Conference here:


KBA Performers – Did you miss out?

We had a great showcase of performers at the CHILIS Spring Conference last week.  Here’s a brief intro to them, in case you missed out (or need a reminder of who’s who)(or just want to relive the talent again!).  To make up for the fuzzy pictures, we have some video as well. Presented in order of the roster, NOT in the order of performance.

Peter Boie – Magician

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Peter shared some magic and comedy with every day items. He presents himself as a bumbling magician, but has quite a few tricks up his sleeve.


Critters and Creatures – live animal program

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Mona showed us a (destinkified) polecat, and a blue-tongued lizard, just a sample of her many amazing animals.


Scott Jameson – Magician

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With audience help, Scott debuted a new scientific water trick, as well as a classic from his repertoire in the video below.  After he has disolved three cups of different colored sands into a bowl of water, he removes each color individually.



Jungle Jim’s – Balloon Artistry

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Jim uses 20 volunteers to create a Rube Goldberg Mouse-Trap. Watch it come to life below:



Lindsay and her Puppet Pals

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Lindsay introduced us to her Moose friend before the performance, and during she shared the science of color-mixing with her ape Einstein, plus sneak preview of her new Robot puppet named Bob.

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Mad Science – Science shows and workshops

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Mad Science made clouds in a bottle, made cap-popping potions with librarians Tara and Meg, and below they show us the balloon experiments they do in their smaller, hands-on workshop:
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Magic of Science

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Sarah from the Magic of Science shares the scientific secrets that often appear magical.  Below, she convinces Kristin that a bed of nails is actually quite comfy.

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Linda Peck – Mary Poppins Performance

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Linda brought along her carpet bag of tricks for her Mary Poppins performance, which includes volunteers as Jane and Michael Banks.  She has an alternative performance option called “Starry Starry Night.”

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Hunt and Allison Smith


Hunt and Allison present a performance option as well as a workshop presenting the Science of Sound, bringing volunteers into a big orchestra:



Gary Sredzienski – Accordion musician


Gary presents a humorous program introducing kids to the accordion, its history, and the mechanics of what makes it work:

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Vermont PuppeTree

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Vermont PuppeTree presented a shadow puppet performance of a Leo Lionni favorite.  Video below:



Michael Zerphy – Storyteller and Juggler

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Michael’s program shares the story of how he became the Speed-of-Light-Kid, including a juggling act.


If you need more info on any of these performers, here is the complete roster with program descriptions and pricing. And don’t forget, KBA Grant applications are due on Ann Hoey’s desk by Friday March 28th!

Later this week, we’ll share our own librarian presenters and their ideas for storytimes and books to share for Fizz, Boom, Read!