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Welcome to this latest attempt to connect librarians from west-central Wisconsin with each other! Please send in content (booklists, ideas, photos, etc.), and comment on posts so we can help each other. If you were using feedmyinbox to get new posts sent to you before, you'll need to switch to another service (blogtrottr works like feedmyinbox, googlereader is a good blog-reader to try).







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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Child Development Webinar!

I'm excited about this upcoming webinar, which I found out about from the Growing Wisconsin Readers blog.  I feel like I need more information about child development, and I'm thinking of ways to bring that information to our system.  Check it out:

The California State Library Early Learning with Families (ELF) 2.0 Statewide Initiative presents a webinar:



Date:  Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Start Time:     2PM Central

Presenter:  John Hornstein Ed.D., Brazelton Touchpoints Center


§ What do library staff need to know about the basic developmental tasks of early childhood?
§ How can we use this developmental knowledge to help us more effectively interact with family members in supportive and constructive ways?
This webinar will build upon and expand the conversation begun with Dr. Hornstein's April 10, 2014 webinar,  Foundations of Early Childhood Development: It’s All About Relationships. In this second webinar we will review the basic tenets of child development from the Touchpoints perspective – identifying the major developmental tasks of infants, toddlers and preschoolers within the context of their relationships and culture. The discontinuous nature of this developmental process will also be explored. We will then examine how library staff can respond to families by focusing on parent-child relationships, and supporting parental mastery as might occur in various library-based scenarios.

At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will be better able to recognize developmental themes of:
§ Infancy
§ Toddlerhood
§ Preschool
§ Support parent-child relationships
§ Support parental mastery
This webinar will be of interest to any and all library staff who interact with families of young children.

For more information and to participate in the Wednesday, September 3, 2014 webinar, go to https://infopeople.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=422.

Webinars are free of charge, you can pre-register by clicking on the Register Now button (at the top and bottom of webinar information page). If registering with less than 30 MINUTES from the start of the webinar you can join directly from the thank you page by clicking the Join Nowbutton. If you pre-registered you will receive an email with login link and a reminder email the day before the event.


If you are unable to attend the live event, you can access the archived version the day following the webinar.  Check our archive listing at:  http://infopeople.org/training/view/webinar/archived

Monday, August 18, 2014

Paint Bomb Art

The artists and their finished explosively awesome art
Christy in Pepin sent in another great post about making Exploding Paint Bombs at her summer storytime.  The basic instructions are here, but Christy had a few extra tips for librarians considering doing this at home.
The work in progress
1. We used an "assembly line" to do this.  I filled the baggies with vinegar mixture and paint color of their choice, zipped them shut, gave the child a baking soda packet and sent them down the paper to a dad who opened the baggie, had the child drop in the packet, shake the bag and toss it onto the paper.

2. You can use a little tape to keep the baking soda packets closed.
3. The more vinegar mixture the quicker it reacts.  I had premixed the vinegar and water. It wasn't warm by fun time, so temperature may change the speed of the explosions.   I measured the first baggie (3/4 cup) and after that just guessed. 
4. Once the baking powder packets go in the baggie shake just a bit.  Watch them.  As soon as they start to expand put them down.

5. Keep a safe distance just in case they explode toward someone and paint them. 

We did have a quick reaction baggie so one of the boys got some paint mixture on his arm, while another had it on both legs.  Dad & I took each of them into the library and immediately washed them off with no staining to their skin.  I didn't check my grandson's shorts for paint - they were black, but his sandals washed clean.  Once back outside everyone had fun again--it was touch and go for a minute after he got sprayed.  The volunteer was also a good sport about needing to get new sandals.  After the first spray he just took them off. Maybe being barefoot for everyone might be the last tip.

For a video of the excitement, check Pepin's Facebook Page.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Costume Exchange

Thanks to Christy from Pepin for this guest post!

Every fall families would come into the Pepin Public Library and socialize with each other and the conversation would turn to “What are your kids going to be for Halloween?”  They would then talk about costumes that they had and would be willing to give to each other.  Each family always had that one costume that no longer fit any of their children and their friend’s children didn’t want.

This got me thinking that maybe the library could be a place where unwanted costumes could come and find new homes.  Thus was the beginning of the Halloween Costume Exchange.  Flyers were made and distributed and tickets were printed.    Families were told that they could drop off any costume for any age or size.   These costumes would then belong to the library to use for the exchange and if any costumes were not used they would be donated to a local charity at the end of October.

Families had several options to choose from when dropping off a costume.  They could do a straight up one for one exchange – drop off one; take one home.  They could drop off a costume and take a ticket to be traded for a costume anytime in October.  This worked for families who didn’t see anything when they came in, especially if they were some of the first to drop off a costume.  Near the end of the program families were able to make a monetary donation to the Friends Group and then just take a costume home without having to provide a costume.  All of these options were used.  In addition some families just made a donation of a costume without taking one. 2013 was the first time we attempted this and we had 6 families do some type of exchange. 

We started to accept costumes the third week of September to have some on hand for the beginning of October.  The first two weeks of October preference was given to families who had costumes to do an exchange or redeem tickets.  The last week before Halloween anyone could get a costume by any method.  We accepted costumes throughout October.The few left over costumes were then given to the local community assistance organization or kept at the library to be available for the children to play with. 


Tickets were created in Publisher using a business card template.  We had some blank business card sheets that we printed on and then tore apart.  We wanted something more substantial than regular typing paper.  Printing on card stock and cutting apart would achieve the same result.  We also dated them so we could do this again in the future without worrying about another year’s unredeemed tickets emerging.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Record Crowds for Fire Circus in Cameron!

This past weekend, the Cameron Public Library held their Summer Library Program wrap-up, with a performance by the Fandazzi Fire Circus.  A whopping 447 people (maybe more) attended!  This would be a tremendous turn-out in any city, but Cameron is a small town!  More than a quarter of the population turned out for the festivities.

Here's what Dawn, the library director, had to say:
To promote, I distributed signage to the post office, local grocery store, Senior Citizen's Center and the local bank.  The bank advertised it on their digital marquee.  There were also signs at the library, we posted it on facebook and our website.  Rice Lake, Barron and Chetek libraries advertised for us, as well.  I sent it to all of the local papers, including Cameron's newsletter.  In May, all of the children at the elementary school received our programming schedule when I took a week to make school visits (this was planned with the school library).  Last but not least, we had a kids' program (the Zany Inventor) on Monday that attracted 77 children (also awesome attendance for us) and we reminded them to come to Thursday's family program (the Fire Circus).  Other than that, it was on our voicemail outgoing message. 
I highly recommend the Fandazzi Fire Circus.  They kept in excellent contact with me, were very specific about meeting our needs (they contacted me a few times to find out what kind of music we wanted, the nature of the program, etc.) were reasonably priced (they cost us $624), offered to help us secure a fire permit, send info for the press, the crowd loved them, they cleaned up after themselves AND they cleaned up after the crowd - our park pavilion was spic and span.  They do have seven people and a live band (they write their own music) in the troupe, but four and the band went to another engagement.  Having just the three performers and programmed music was in no way detrimental to the performance. It is likely that more performers and the band would cost more.


While they were preparing between "acts,"  they offered information regarding fire safety (for the sake of safety,  they will absolutely not tell anyone what they are using for the fire-breathing), provided personal information about themselves (one was a Dr. of Physical Therapy, etc...), talked about the special insurance (clown insurance) that they have to have, and other educational information.  We selected the gypsy experience for our program, and they provided historical and other super interesting information about gypsies. They do offer whatever theme you want from country-style to hip hop programming.  We had an outdoor fire performance, but they also offer programs using led lights. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Changing It UP

Summer Library Program is an exciting, exhausting, and time-honored tradition at public libraries.  I love to hear stories of success and continually popular traditions.  I also love to hear about your innovations, your questioning how to improve outcomes, your taking a step back to think about things!

There's been some interesting buzz lately in library-land about re-thinking prizes, changing formats of summer library programs, and working on really reaching the kids who are most susceptible to the summer slide.  Take a look!

ALSC Blog
Tiny Tips for Library Fun
YSS Blog
Portage County Library working with donations to charity for prizes


At this year's SLP workshop (November 18, Florian Gardens, Eau Claire), along with concrete ideas about displays, projects, promotion, performers, collaboration, working with teen volunteers, and more, we are going to be taking some time to wrestle with some of these bigger-picture questions.  It should be an awesome day!  You can register here.

And in the meantime, congratulations on making it to AUGUST, and here's hoping for a rejuvenating weekend ahead.

Monday, August 4, 2014

An ELF Elf in Ladysmith


Kudos to the Ladysmith staff who created this adorable library elf to promote Library Elf!  Hollis says the elf doesn't leave the library--but there is probably someone on your staff or among your volunteers or community members who could make something like this for you!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bugs Bugs Bugs




Patti from Durand sent over some photos from their program with Bruce The Bug Guy--they shared expenses with Colfax and Bloomer to bring him, so they saved money, and they had over 85 people attend.  Looks like a fun intergenerational program!