Images to make your day…

Posted on September 17, 2013. Filed under: Children's Book Week, Fun Stuff | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

There is little as heart-warming as art made by children, unless of course it’s artworks displaying their love of reading! All 241 entries in our Book Week Art Comp can be viewed in this video (or have a look on our Facebook page if you prefer to look through the gallery of images at your own pace rather than watch the slideshow).

Thank you to all staff for supporting this initiative!

Naomi, Aniko and the Love2Read Committee. 

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30 Educational iPad Apps for K-6

Posted on August 2, 2013. Filed under: Fun Stuff, Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Do you ever get enquiries from parents wanting to know about educational apps for primary students? I’ve put together a list of 30 free iPad apps suitable for K-6, covering different subjects. YA list to come in the next week or so! 

Image source:

Reading and Comprehension

1. Best Books for Tweens – This app is a fun way for parents, teachers, librarians, and readers to get more information about top rated books at the fifth and sixth grade level. Tag a book as “I want this” or “I’ve read this” to add it to your list. You can email your list out for an easy way to show which books you’re interested in getting and which books you’ve already completed.

2. Kindle – The Kindle app is optimized for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, giving users the ability to read Kindle books, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs on a beautiful, easy-to-use interface.

3. iBooks a reading bookstore, with access to a range of classic children’s books for free download.

4. Stanza – a free reading bookstore, with access to a range of children’s books.

5. Bedtime – these coloured picture books are narrated for children to enjoy listening to.

6. Word Magic – the object here is to find missing letters to complete words. There are some options to customise this game and increase the level of difficulty in words.

7. Toy Story Readalong – With interactive colouring books, puzzles and singalongs, in addition to full readings of the story spliced with movie clips.

8. Alphabet Projector – Letter recognition practice for pre-school and Kindergarten.

9. Word Sort – children read words moving across the screen, and drag them to the correct grammar bucket (e.g., noun, verb).

10. Sentence Builder and Story Builder – helps children sequence words to create a sentence or story.

11. Doodle Hangman Free – an animated and fun version of the word guessing game.


12. Pocket Body Lite This full body app, with its elegant design and nine layers of musculoskeletal, neurovascular, and internal organ visual content, contains over 70,000 words of learning material.

13. Video Science – A growing library of over 80 hands-on Science lessons that are great for home and the classroom. These short videos demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.

14. Solve the Outbreak – Get clues, analyze data, solve the case, and save lives! In this fun app, you get to be the Disease Detective. Do you quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? The better your answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly you’ll save lives. You’ll start out as a Trainee and can earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.


15. EarthViewer  – What did Earth’s continents and oceans look like 250 million years ago, or 1 billion years ago for that matter? Can we say anything about Earth’s climate as far back as our planet’s origin? Use your fingertips to scroll through Earth history for the last 4.5 billion years.


16. SkyORB – SkyORB features many functions as a 3D real-time representation of the planets position around the sun, the ability to hold your device and point toward a visible star and planet and reveal the name by tracking the GPS position, compass orientation, the elevation from the gyroscope, warn the user when a phenomenon is occurs as a full moon, a planet really visible, which is worth the observation


17Addition Under Sea Adventures – children learn to add through ‘under the sea’ activities and games.

18. Jungle Coins – great app for counting.

19miTables – times tables practice with many options to customise the questions, including the minimum and maximum numbers, number of points to advance to the next table and sound effects.

20. Pop Maths – a matching game where questions and answers to maths questions are inside balloons and children pop the matching ones.

21. Kids Money 2 – This simple budget calculator teaches kids about pocket money management and the importance of saving while helping them save up for the things they want.

22. Kids Clock – matching game of analog clocks and digital times with the ability to customise levels of difficulty.

Memory and Puzzles

23. Giraffe’s Matching Zoo for iPad – the classic game of memory has been upgraded for the iPad with an animal twist. Kids search for matching pairs of cute cartoon animals, each of which makes an engaging, unique noise when touched. With 25 different animals and a selection of backgrounds, it promises plenty of educational fun for kids of all ages.

24. Brain Trainer – designed for children and adults alike, including a range of activities designed to improve brain processing, this app aids in problem-solving, memory, speed, flexibility and attention.

Entertainment and Learning

25. ABC iView – this app is not specifically for kids, but there is a lot of ABC 4 Kids content available to stream on iView.

26. BrainPOP Featured Movie – learn about everything from Shakespeare to DNA with this slick animated app that delivers a free informative movie every day, and an interactive quiz to follow it.

The Arts

27. Sound Touch Lite – cool pictures and sounds, featuring interactive musical instruments.

28. Doodle Buddy – Addictive art app lets kids finger paint without getting their hands dirty. They can also add stamps and funny sounds, draw with other friends over the internet and even post their finished artworks to Facebook.

29. Squiggles! – Like an electronic Mr Squiggle, this app takes your child’s freeform doodles and turns them into amazing moving pictures. Squiggle away, hit the GO button and watch drawings move and twirl.

30. Play School Art Maker – Create pictures, animated movies and story slideshows using Big Ted, Humpty Dumpty, Jemima and the rest of the Play School toys, and even watch episodes of the TV show over wi-fi.

Sources and further reading:

  3. Australian iTunes Store –


To best of my knowledge, the above apps for iPad are available through iTunes Australia at the time of writing (August 2013).

 – Naomi

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Robots in the library!

Posted on January 29, 2013. Filed under: Fun Stuff, Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , |


Thank you so much for all of the recycled bits and pieces sent to me for the Recycled Robot workshop at Springwood Library – as you can see, your items were put to good use and provided a lot of fun for the kids!













See more photos here.





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Young Adult Library Pinterest

Posted on November 23, 2012. Filed under: Books, Fun Stuff, Libraries and Librarians, Web 2.0 + Web 2.1, Web sites | Tags: , , , , , , |

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Totally Tubular!

Posted on October 4, 2012. Filed under: Fun Stuff, Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , , |

Here’s some pics from the recent ‘Totally Tubular’ school holiday craft workshops, in case you’re curious what we got up to. Big thanks to Maxine and Sue for helping me with this messy – but very fun – activity!

Click here for more pics and info about what we did.

– Naomi

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‘The Wrong Book’ at Blaxland Storytime

Posted on July 10, 2012. Filed under: Books, Fun Stuff, Libraries and Librarians, Web 2.0 + Web 2.1 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

The Love2Read committee crashed Blaxland’s storytime with Aniko a few weeks ago! Click here to see the results on YouTube!

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Winning ‘Live Life’ Portraits of Seniors

Posted on May 27, 2012. Filed under: Fun Stuff, Web 2.0 + Web 2.1 | Tags: , , , , , |

The winning ‘Live Life’ entry, by Arabella Say

The winners of the ‘Live Life’ portrait competition for youths (aged 15 – 21yrs) were awarded their prizes earlier this month. Please click here to view the award ceremony at Springwood Library, and see each of the winning portraits. Aniko envisioned an art competition that celebrated the lives of seniors through the eyes of the youth and worked with Naomi to create a project that was promoted to the local high schools. The standard of artworks received was very high – and Sarah Gurich from the new Blue Mountains Cultural Centre was asked to be the judge. Naomi put up an exhibition of the winning works at Springwood Library.

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The Wrong Book!!

Posted on May 25, 2012. Filed under: Books, Fun Stuff, Libraries and Librarians, Web 2.0 + Web 2.1 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Yesterday, there were some interesting visitors to Storytime at Springwood Library.

Watch the video below to see the characters of ‘The Wrong Book’ (by Nicholas Bland) come to life!

Thank you Love2Read committee and Children’s Services for pulling it off so well – and big thanks to John Merriman for the wonderful filming!!

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‘Live Life’ Portraits of Seniors

Posted on March 19, 2012. Filed under: Food for thought, Libraries and Librarians | Tags: , , , , , |

Last Saturday at Springwood Library I held a portrait painting workshop for ages 15-21yrs, with a focus on Australian seniors as the portrait subject. Have a look below at the great work (click on an image to enlarge it):


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Wake Up and Read with Frank Ozo

Posted on January 30, 2012. Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , , , , , |

The kids at Springwood library were in for a treat last friday. They were enthralled for the entirety of the show ‘Wake Up and Read with Frank Ozo’ – a one-man comedy incorporating music, drama, mime, puppetry, magic and circus skills all linked with short charming tales about growing up in Australia. Each tale is another piece in the puzzle of how Frank came to do what he does today and tells the important role books played in his life. The photos are by John Merriman – thanks, John!


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