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, April 24, 2014

YALSA's Teen Top Ten Nominees Announced

Now it is time to start promoting these 25 nominees to teens so that they can vote starting in August.  The top ten will be announced during Teen Read Week.

How many have you read?  How are they going out at your library?  Do you own them all?  I smell a display here, for sure!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Enriching Early Literacy Programs

Play time after toddler storytime in Bloomer
Librarians in IFLS-Land!  As part of an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, we have been doing some work in the early childhood realm. Here are a few resources to check out:

  • Watch for a re-cap of Thursday's fun with Dr. Dipesh Navsaria and Jim Gill in future blog posts. 
  •  Don't forget to sign up for the Storytimes for Everyone workshop with Saroj Ghoting, to be held in Rice Lake on May 15.
  • I participated in a webinar, put together by Upstart, in part to promote their Very Ready Reading Program, but containing several helpful early literacy tips for storytime.  You can listen to a recording by signing in here.
  • I purchased the 0-24 month, the 2-3 year and the 4-5 year Very Ready Reading Kits for our professional collection.  They have some good sample storytimes, suggestions of literacy tips to share, and more.  They are waiting to be cataloged, but if you need to see them right away, let me know!
  • I am working on updating story kits!  Around the World, Feelings, Insects and Spiders and Rabbits all have new materials, including books, storytelling aids, and manuals.  More to come.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Diversity in Books for Youth

Unless it is about the latest blockbuster film, weighty information about literature for teens and children doesn't always make its way into popular media.  But CNN, Entertainment Weekly, and several other mainstream publications have been running articles about the lack of racial diversity in books for young people.  Thanks to stellar statistics kept by our own Cooperative Children's Book Center, folks are standing up and taking notice of the fact that children's books are looking...well, they are looking as white as ever.  For instance, out of 3,200 books published last year, only 61 had significant Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific American content.  Depressingly little change since Nancy Larrick's groundbreaking 1965 article in the Saturday Review, "The All-White World of Children's Books."

A couple of weeks ago, a school librarian colleague and I took a road trip to UW LaCrosse's Murphy Library to hear author Mitali Perkins talking about diversity in books for young people.  It was terrific to hear her, she had many astute things to say about her own life and writing, and the issues facing teachers, librarians, students and publishers.  She is smart, engaging and very accessible.  Here are 10 Tips for Writers and Readers that she discussed at the talk. 

Another relevant story I want to pass on to you, fabulous librarians is:

There are many ways that kids will find windows (into the wide, wide world) and mirrors (reflections of themselves) in books. Mitali Perkins described a letter she got from a girl in rural Iowa who really identified with the main character in her novel Rickshaw Girl, about a girl seeking a micro-credit loan in Bangladesh.  This  farm kid recognized her step mother's controlling nature in a character that the protagonist has to deal with.  Now this girl has the benefit of expanding her own worldview, while also seeing her own experience validated in print.  Perkins advocated for librarians and teachers to recommend stories to kids by emphasizing the mirrors they will find, no matter the setting or race of the protagonist.

One of the ways to improve the variety on the horizon is to increase demand.  And perhaps one way librarians can do this is by recommending existing titles for a broad range of reasons.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Libraries Doing Good Stuff

I'm in charge of content for the YSS Blog this month, which means I've been collecting great posts from some of the librarians in our system who are YSS members.  In case you don't follow that blog, I want to draw your attention to a few posts from this month so far:

Creative Learning Center Invites Play in Amery about Amery's new early literacy play area

All Aboard the Literacy Train about a literacy fun night in Chippewa Falls

Props for Cool Props Workshop about a storytelling prop workshop Eau Claire held for area daycare providers  (the link for this one isn't working right now, but it is April 11's post).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Free Audiobook Downloads

Free Summer Listening: SYNC

A FREE summer program that gives away 2 audiobook downloads each week for the summer starting May 15 and ending August 14. SYNC audiobook titles are given away in pairs--a Young Adult title is paired with a related Classic or required Summer Reading title.
Check out the complete title list, including James Patterson's CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT and its pair partner, Agatha Christie's THE MURDER AT THE VICARAGE.

How can Libraries & Educators
Promote SYNC?

  • Utilize the print and digital items available in the SYNC Tool Kit to introduce SYNC to your patrons, students, and other readers.
  • Encourage Young Adult readers to text syncya to 25827 to receive text alerts about all the featured titles.
  • Visit www.audiobooksync.com and sign up for title alerts by email.
  • Have your listeners download the delivery software OverDrive Media Console, in advance of the program.

SYNC Program Questions
For questions about the program, titles, and how to use the tool kit to connect with students, patrons, and other listeners, please contact the SYNC Manager, Michele Cobb, at sync@audiofilemagazine.com

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Get Up and Move Early Literacy Webinar tomorrow!

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies is providing a FREE webinar tomorrow, and I'm excited to attend!

Get Up and Move! Why movement is part of early literacy skills development with Dr. Allison Kaplan will air on Wednesday, April 9 at noon - 1 p.m. CST. At that time, the webinar will be available using this link:


All the information you need to access the webinar is in the attached document (although it should be as simple as clicking on the link; the document will help you troubleshoot). The webinar will be live and you will be able to ask questions using text messages within the webinar software. To do so, click on the chat bubble on the bottom right of the screen.

The webinar will be archived at the same web address as the live version and we will also post the link on our web site: http://www.slis.wisc.edu/2014webinars.htm

Monday, April 7, 2014

Summer Library Program Idea Swap Report #3

Some cool ideas that came up for programs for younger kids:

Changing it up, taking the train set away for the summer, replacing with scientist dress-up station, with lab coats, goggles, beakers, lab supplies for creative play and exploration

Creating a hydroponic garden or any kind of garden with kids for summer experimentation and overall deliciousness

Gross stuff programs, including suggestions for making homemade edible earwax, poop cookies and more. 

Edible experiments in general (ideas can be found here and here

Fossil making (here's one method)

Borrow the Star Lab from your area CESA for a program