South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative: Puppet Resources
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Around the World and in Your Library

Learn how to easily incorporate puppetry into your library program with many examples of puppets from around the world (great for multi-cultural programs) and easy, creative and low-cost ways to do puppetry (with not a paper bag puppet in sight). 
Kathy Schalk-Greene,
Mount Laurel Library

Every culture, every library, every person has a story to tell.   Let puppets help tell these stories.

Easy Ways at Use Puppets in your Library Program

  • Master of Ceremonies.
    Use a single puppet to become the mascot or master of ceremonies for your library program. 

  • Collaborate with Others.
    Puppets make for great multi-disciplinary collaborations. Puppetry can incorporate any or all of these subjects: language, theater, science, mathematics, art, movement, social studies, history.

  • Quick Shadow Shows.
    Use die cutting machines (like Ellison/Accu-Cut) to quickly make lots of silhouettes. Mount using a straw or bamboo barbeque skewer (clip off the point) mounted with masking tape. Use an overhead projector to show your shadows.

  • Celebrate!  

    • Why not celebrate Earth Day with recycled puppets?

    • Did you know there's an Annual National Day of Puppetry? It's the last Saturday of April.

Resource Suggestions
There is a wealth of information on puppetry. 
Here are two of my favorite books, plus some web resources where you can find more.

  • Leading kids to books through puppets.
    Caroline Feller Bauer. Chicago : ALA Editions, c1997. ISBN: 0-8389-0706-7
    The best book I've seen about using puppets in libraries. Many simple-to-use
    tips from a practitioner about incorporating puppetry in your library.. 

  • The Art of the Puppet
    Bil Baird. New York : Crown Press, c1973.
    This is my all time favorite book about puppetry. Although out-of-print, this title is definitely worth getting for you and your library. Lush photographs of puppets from around the world with a text by a master American puppeteer.. 

  • Puppetry Home Page

    A labor of love between a professional puppeteer (Nick Barone) and a computer programmer (Rose Sage) who met at a puppet festival, fell in love, started this online resource, and recently married. This site is chock full of information and presented with a very personal flavor. It's the best single site for kids doing projects about puppetry.

    Puppeteer Nick Barone's gives his personal picks on all aspects of puppetry, with links to sources for detailed bibliographic info and/or purchase at

  • Puppetry Store
    This service of the Puppeteers of America offers a great selection of both popular and hard-to-find titles. Especially check the "Education" section. 


  • Puppeteers of America
    The organization to join if you're interested in puppets and puppetry. Among the many services offered to members are education and library consultants who can be contacted free-of-charge for advice/suggestions. Also check links for the puppet guilds affiliated with PofA to find local people interested/experienced in puppetry. 

  • Center for Puppet Arts in Atlanta
    The Center is premiere puppet theater, with a puppetry museum and active outreach program. 

    The Union Internationale de la Marionnette is the oldest international theatre organization in the world, founded in 1929. The organization's mission is to promote international understanding and friendship through the art of puppetry. You'll find great links here for puppet companies around the world.


  • Puppeteers of America (PofA) Festivals
    On ODD numbered years (like 2003) PofA sponsors a week-long national festival during the summer.
    On EVEN numbered years (like 2002) PofA Guilds across the country sponsor shorter (2-4 day) regional festivals.  There's a festival at Bryn Mawr in Pennsylvania on July 11-14, 2002.

  • Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater
    Started by Muppet creator Jim Henson, the Henson Foundation sponsors an International Festival of puppetry in New York City, which later tours the US. This is usually given during EVEN numbered years (like 2002). 

Sources for Puppets

  • Ask for them. You never know what amazing things you'll be given!

  • Look for them. I've found great buys at yard sales and thrift stores. 

  • Make them. Check out the resources section above for many books about making all kinds of puppets.

  • Buy them.
    Here are two companies which have inventive, well-made hand puppets:

    • Folkmanis Puppets
      High quality animal, people and fantasy puppets often linked with folktales.

    • VelcroŽ Puppet Playhouse
      Professional puppeteers Andrew and Bonnie Periale, of Perry Alley Theatre, have designed a number of puppet sets for VELCROŽ Toys. Three puppet bodies and 40 "velcro-able" parts (eyes, mouths, hair, costumes) enable you to make dozens of characters. Six fairy tale scripts are included. Additional sets of "body parts" are also available.


About the presenter:


Kathy Schalk-Greene still has the first puppet she was given at age 5. In the years since then she has performed and taught puppetry to all ages. She is a member of the Puppeteers of America and the Greater Philadelphia Area Puppet Guild.  Kathy is the Assistant Director of the Mount Laurel Library.  


South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative
Paint Works Corporate Center
10 Foster Avenue - Suite F-3 Gibbsboro, NJ 08026
Phone: 856-346-1222  Fax: 856-346-2839  Delivery # 3818 Directions to SJRLC
Karen Hyman, Executive Director:
Peter Bromberg, Program Development Coordinator & Web Master:

The South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative (SJRLC) is a multi-type library cooperative serving 560 member libraries in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. SJRLC is part of the New Jersey Library Network linking over 2500 libraries statewide. SJRLC services are funded from state tax funds appropriated by the New Jersey Legislature for the New Jersey Library Network.