Summer Library Program

Summer Library Program
hands holding books against a white background
Summer 2024 is around the corner!
Requests are now open for our 2024 Programs

What we offer:

  • We come to your library!
  • 45- to 60-minute interactive session with our UNH Marine Docents
  • Hands-on experiences with models, games, or even live critters
  • Children's book recommendations to complement our programs

Our Summer Library Program can begin with story time with your children's librarian, followed by an interactive, hands-on experience with our UNH Marine Docents, and conclude with another story time or wrap-up led by your librarian. Your program participants will also receive a special take-away from our Marine Docents.

Using a wide selection of books as inspiration, we will introduce creatures,  environments, and concepts to your young audience members in a fun and engaging way. Our programs and activities are designed to complement your summer reading story time and programs. For each program we will have recommended books for both the story time and suggested items for your library patrons to check-out. Please view our program options below.

For adult programs, please visit our SeaSpeaks Program page for topics and pricing. The Marine Docents visit libraries throughout the year, however, requests for June, July, and August will be processed specifically through this webpage.

Contact

Dari Christenson
Marine Education Program Manager
Dari.Christenson@unh.edu
603-862-6701

UNH Marine Docent logo

Please visit this page periodically for the latest program information. Thank you. 

Program Options

Beaches & Dunes (Grades K - 3)

At first glance the sandy beaches and dunes of our NH coastline look a lot like deserts, just big piles of sand. But beaches and dunes are full of adventures waiting to happen. The animals living there must be able to adjust to the constant rise and fall of waves, tides, storms, and changing seasons. People visiting the beach get to explore this dynamic environment, never knowing ahead of time what might be waiting for them. We will bring adventure to your library through a series of hands-on activities involving water, sand, life and human influences, with an emphasis on how people and nature can work together to enhance the enjoyment of all. 

We will bring 3 of the following activities geared toward understanding the diversity of interactions and positive relationships between people, the physical setting and the ecology of beaches and dunes. 

  • Sands of the World – Amazing properties of sand from around the world. 
  • Home, Restaurant, Playground – How to better share the beach now and forever. 
  • Making Waves – An ‘outdoor only’ activity to explore risk and resilient development. 
  • Sand Grain Game – Follow the twists and turns of a sand grain as it moves on the coast. 

We will use these to touch upon the following scientific concepts: rock cycle connections, beach ecology, food webs, marine pollution, beach cleanups, being a responsible beach steward and visitor. 

Book Ideas

  • "Surf Gecko to the Rescue" by Bruce Hale (We travel with this book) 
  • "Down at the Bottom of the Deep Dark Sea" by Rebecca Jones 
  • "Flotsam" by David Wiesner  
  • "Sandy Feet, Whose Feet?" by Susan Wood 
  • "One Morning in Maine" by Robert McCloskey 
Rocks on sand

Lobsters (Grades K - 3)

We will address the following questions:

  • What color is a lobster
  • How do lobsters smell and taste?
  • What do lobsters eat?
  • How does someone catch a lobster

We will explore these questions with hands-on activities, such as lobster measuring and banding and learning how a lobster trap works.

Book Ideas

  • "Lobsters (Ocean Live Up Close)" by Heather Adamson
  • "Lobster vs. Crab (Who Would Win?) by Jerry Pallotta and Rob Bolster
  • "There Might Be Lobsters" by Carolyn Crimi and Laurel Molk
Lobster

Rocky Shore (Grades K - 3)

We will address the following questions:

  • Who is wild and crazy enough to live on the Rocky Shore?
  • How do these creatures survive and live along New Hampshire's rocky shore?

Book Ideas

  • "Shrine" by Patrick McDonnell
  • "Star of the Sea" by Janet Halfman
  • "Ocean of Love" by Janet Lawler and Holly Clifton-Brown
  • "Ocean Soup: Tide Pool Poems" by Stephen R. Swinburn and Mary Peterson (illustrations)
  • "Along a Rocky Shore" by Judith E. Rinard
  • "Starfish" by Lisa Fipps
woman holding a green crab

Squid Dissection (Grades 4 and up) $80

Program Description coming soon!

Since this program requires a squid for each participant, we require a fairly firm number of participants to ensure we bring an adequate amount of squid and dissecting supplies. Setup for this activity requires tables and chairs for each participant for their safety and comfort. Our Marine Docent Volunteers can run this program outdoors as well. We look to the expertise of the librarian to consider your space and ventilation concerns. Thank you.

Watersheds (Grades 4 - 6)

We will address the following questions:

  • Why does it matter what we throw in our water?
  • Have you followed a river? Where does it lead
  • Why is important to keep our town water clean?

We will explore these questions with hands-on activities, such as examining water flows on a watershed model, comparing rates of decomposition for types of trash, and tracing local streams to their estuary on maps.

We will also touch upon the following items: pollution, dams, fish, eels, the water cycle.

Book Ideas

  • "Paddle to the Sea" by Holling Clancy Holling
  • "All the Water in the World" by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson
  • "Over in a River Flowing Out to the Sea" by Marianne Berkes, Illustrated by Jill Dubin
  • "The Ocean in Your Bathtub" by Seth Fishman, Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
  • "River" by Elisha Cooper
  • "Watersheds: A Practical Handbook for Healthy Water" by Gregor Gilkin Beck 
A view looking down the coastline of Great Bay, a treelined shore with seaweed extending into calm waters with a few moored boats

Estuaries (Grades 4 - 6)

We will address the following questions:

  • What is an estuary and why is it called the "nursery of the sea"? 
  • What creatures live in an estuary? 
  • How is a box of cereal like an estuary? 
  • Why does it matter what we throw in our water? 
  • Why is important to keep our town water clean? 

We will explore these questions with hands-on activities, such as measuring water salinity, identifying estuarine bird calls, and handling a live horseshoe crab. We will also touch upon the following items: pollution, dams, fish, eels, the water cycle. 

Book Ideas

  •  "A Journey into an Estuary" by Rebecca L. Johnson 
  •  "Life in Estuaries" by Laura Coss 
  •  "Life in an Estuary: The Chesapeake Bay" by Sally M. Walker 
  • "Paddle to the Sea" by Holling Clancy Holling 
  • "All the Water in the World" by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson 
  • "Over in a River Flowing Out to the Sea" by Marianne Berkes, Illustrated by Jill Dubin 
  • "The Ocean in Your Bathtub" by Seth Fishman, Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg 
  • "River" by Elisha Cooper 
  • "Watersheds: A Practical Handbook for Healthy Water" by Gregor Gilkin Beck 
blue sky with trees in background and seagrass in foreground

Whales & Seals (Grades K - 3)

We will address the following questions:

  • How do marine mammals stay warm?
  • How big are they?
  • How do they eat? 

We will explore these questions with hands-on activities such as blubber gloves, feeding frenzy, measuring a whale.

Book Ideas

  • "Following Papa's Song" by Gianna Marino
  • "The Heart of a Whale" by Anna Pignataro
  • "The Whales' Song" by Syan Sheldon and Gary Blythe
  • "Beluga Whales" and "Blue Whales" by Megan M. Gunderson
  • "The World of Whales: Get to Know the Giants of the Ocean" by Darcy Dobell (Author), Becky Thorns (Illustrator)
  • "Finn the Little Seal" by Sandra Klaassen
  • "See What a Seal Can Do" by Christine Butterworth and Kate Nelms
humpback whale fluke appearing above water

 

2024 Request Process

Program cost: $60, $80 for Squid Dissection

  • The Marine Docents are offering a limited number of programs this summer
  • Available Program Dates: Monday, June 17 through Friday, August 9, excluding weekends and July 1 through 5.
  • Library Team will review all submissions that come in during the request window, February 23, 8:00 am through  March 21, 5:00 pm
  • Confirmation of libraries will follow our library program guidelines. Libraries will be notified the week of April 8.
  • We've included the opportunity for a First Choice and Second Choice program. We appreciate libraries' flexibility so that we can coordinate a visit with another library in your area or county. This will allow our volunteers to visit two locations in a single outing. Thank you.

How can your library prepare for our visit?

  • Please provide 1 to 2 large tables for hands-on activities
  • Marine Docents will bring all program-related supplies
  • Marine Docent team leader will email the library contact regarding specific needs, such as electricity, outdoor area, water, etc.

Click here to submit a request for the 2024 Summer Library Program