The Children's Room Blog

Author Archive

This wailed recently in the Children’s Room as a loyal patron, unable to locate a favorite book, was shown by a librarian how the Graphic Novels have been reorganized (by series). And in an attempt to make your life easier, not harder, we have also reworked the CDs.

Maybe you weren’t even aware that we have music CDs in the Children’s Room, tucked away as they were in a bookcase in the AV room. In an attempt to improve their visibility and browsability (if it’s not a real word yet, it will be soon), we have moved them from the dark, cave-like bookcase they formerly resided in, to the well-lit wall opposite the elevator. We have also labeled them with categories like Classical, Folk, Holiday, Lullaby, Pop/Rock, Soundtrack, and World. Come take a look and a listen!



In December, Yvonne Coleman joined the staff of Fox Library as the Friday Children’s Librarian.  We are thrilled to have her here with us.  Here’s a little introduction that she wrote.

Let me introduce myself.  Yvonne Coleman.  I am thrilled to be a new member of the Fox “family.”  (Does that make me a cub?  No, my cub days are behind me.)  I was Head of Children’s Services in Winchester for several years, as well as a teacher of children’s literature and book reviewer.  I am so happy to be working directly with children and book again.

When not at the Fox (on Fridays), I spend lots of time with my five grandchildren (and my three children).  I look forward to sharing my favorite book, The Wind in the Willows, with each of them.  I would describe myself as a tree-hugger, elephant lover, reader of dystopian science fiction, and an avid fan of pygmy music.  I believe in fairies and the power of Animal Planet to change the world.  I am newly into cooking shows (especially Chopped), but I don’t really cook.

In fact, I have decided that I am an “appreciator” of many things.  I used to worry that I should settle down with a good hobby or two.  I have come to the realization that some do and some are content to gaze admiringly at what they do.  Libraries are a good fit for those of my ilk– the endlessly curious.

You can join Yvonne every Friday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Fox Library for her Fun at the Fox program, geared to children ages two and up.  Welcome, Yvonne!


Do you know a child between the ages of 9 and 13 who might be interested in learning more about photography?  If so, encourage him or her to sign up for our upcoming photojournalism program at Fox Library.

With the guidance of a professional photojournalist and Fox Library’s willing patrons as our inspiration, this workshop will help young photographers learn the principals of composition and other technical approaches to create compelling images.  This program is for children ages 9-13.  It will run on consecutive Wednesdays in January and February, including January 23, 30, and February 13, with a final show on February 27.  Children should attend all sessions.

We encourage participants to provide their own cameras, but if that’s not possible, please contact  We can figure out a solution.

If you’re interested in the program, you can sign up by clicking here.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the great influx of grand-parental units in the Children’s Room.  They come in a bit unsure of the routine but oh so glad to be given the grace and the time to spend with their favorite people.

Grandparents tend to be a little more attentive and a little more curious.  They’re willing to give me the scoop on everything they know about their grandkids– what they like to do and what they like to read and what they did yesterday that was amazing and what they had for breakfast this morning that was delicious…

Well, grandmas are usually a little bit more in charge.  They’re the hand holders and the book selectors.  They ask when our programs are and what kids “this age” like to read.  They remember to pick up the tickets for the programs and they manage to get the whole group out the door by 11:30 for lunch-before-nap.

But grandpas are here too.  They’re the loaders and the toters.  They settle into the chairs in the corner surrounded by bags, bottles, and binkies– maybe a bit unsure of why they’re there… But they are there and they are present and they are the ones who the kids turn to for a question or to crawl into a lap for a quick story.  Grandpas can do that.

Grandparents have the luxury of perspective.  They worry less and enjoy more.  They watch and observe but most of all they laugh.  They chuckle at the children and they goof around with me.  (This morning, one grandpa noticed that I was noticing him clutching a baby bottle slyly said, “It’s really for me… for the sing-a-long… I might need it.”)  They’ll sit and read five books because they can and there is really nowhere else that they’d want to be that’s more important than right now, right here, with a baby in their lap sharing a book.

Welcome to the Children’s Room, grandparents.  I’m glad we have room for your children, their children, and you!

You can get your own library card. Bring your adult* with you to the Children’s Services Department, and make sure that he or she has an ID, with proof of address. Tell the librarian that you want to get your own library card. She will give you a form to fill out (it’s OK if your adult helps you with that part) and then the librarian will give you your very own blue Minuteman library card. You will sign your name on the back with a pen!

You can use your card to check out books, CDs, DVDs, and puppets. In case you didn’t know, librarians always love to talk about books if you need some ideas for what to read or listen to. You can also use your card to borrow toys, puzzles, and games to play with while you’re at the library. Oh, and you can also use it to log onto a computer while you’re at the library. I guess what I’m getting at here is, to quote Lilian Jackson Braun, “A library card is the start of a lifelong adventure.” What are you waiting for?

*Parent or guardian

Five-year-old Maisie, proud owner of a brand spanking new library card!

Attention, attention, kids, teens, and grownups…  Time is running out to enter the Community Reads Writing Contest!  To find out more about the contest, please click here.  Not only is the contest going to be great fun to enter, but our prizes are out of this world!  Here’s a list of some of the great things that we have for our contest winners:

Adult Writing Contest Winner:

Arlington Dinner and Movie Package, which includes $25 gift certificates to Za and  Tango Restaurants in Arlington, accompanied by four movie passes to the Capitol Theater.

Teen Writing Contest Winner:

One free spot in a six-week Teen Writing Workshop at the prestigious Grub Street Writing Center in downtown Boston.  Grub Street is the second largest independent center for creative writing in the United States.

Grade Six to Eight Contest Winner:

Autographed copies of prize-winning books, including the 2011 Newbery Award Winner, Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos, as well as two free movie passes to the Capitol Theater.

Grade Three to Five Contest Winner: 

Autographed copies of popular graphic novels by Jef Czejak and Jarrett Krosoczka, as well as two free movie passes to the Capitol Theater.

Up to Second Grade Contest Winner: 

Autographed copy of award-winning picture books and four free passes to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, located in Amherst, MA.

Winners of the Writing Contest will also be honored at a formal Prize Reception at Robbins Library on Saturday, October 20.  You can enter the contest by filling out this online form.  Or you can drop off your submissions at either the Robbins or Fox Libraries.

Good luck, authors!

If you signed up for Dream Quest Summer Reading, come in this week to tell us about your last Quest, decorate and take home your Dream Quest Chart, and choose a book to keep from the red cart.

Oh, and even if you didn’t participate in Dream Quest this summer, come visit us anyway because we like to see you.

Summer Reading Stars

Some of the favorite books read this summer shine on our wall.

Visit the Robbins Library online!