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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Monday, February 8, 2016

Fulfilling the Promise Conference

For the past year or so, I've been having enjoying the chance to get together regularly with my colleague Karen Morris, a Maternal and Child Health regional consultant for the Department of Health.  It's so exciting to spend time with someone who sees so many opportunities for libraries and other agencies to work together effectively.

Today, Karen shared information with me about a 3-day conference coming up at the end of the month, Fulfilling the Promise:  A conference for parent educators, home visitors & their partners.  It looks like a fascinating conference, a terrific look inside the work of professionals who are doing important work with families.  Though I can't go, and I'm guessing the time frame is a little too short for most of you to attend, I wanted to bring it to your attention, maybe for next year!

Friday, February 5, 2016

American IndianLibrary Association's 2016 Youth Literature Awards were announced today.  These awards are made every two years.  Here's the list--check your collection, do you have some of them?  If not, consider it!

Picture Book Award Winner
Little You 
Written by Richard Van Camp
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Published in 2013 by Orca Book Publishers

Picture Book Honor
Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People
Written and illustrated by S.D. Nelson
Published in 2015 by Abrams Books for Young Readers

Middle School Award Winner
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
by Joseph Marshall III
Written by Joseph Marshall III
Published in 2015 by Amulet Books

Middle School Honor
Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native Voices
Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale
Published in 2014 by Annick Press

Young Adult Winner
House of Purple Cedar
Written by Tim Tingle
Published n 2013 by Cinco Puntos Press

Young Adult Honor
Her Land, Her Love
Written by Evangeline Parsons Yazzie

Published in 2016 by Salina Bookshelf

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Raising of America: Early Childhood and the Future of Our Nation

"The Raising of America" is a five-episode documentary series that examines the connections between how we raise our children and how we support our parents and future of our nation. 

There is a unique opportunity to watch the entire series for free from today until Feb. 15 only.

After viewing, visit the series' companion website to: 
·  Learn more about national partner organizations and what they are doing to promote care for young children
·Join the campaign and host your own screenings and discussions.  

If you are inspired, check out the Action Toolkit, designed to spark discussion around strategic ways to use the series, potential partners to connect with, and more.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sensory Play at the Menomonie Public Library

Thanks to Jodi Bird, Youth Services Manager at the Menomonie Public Library, for this marvelous guest post! I want to try these things myself!

In January the Menomonie Public Library hosted a Sensory Celebration for our Saturday Stories series.  Families were treated to activities that tickled all the senses.  Each activity was chosen to let kids explore with their parent or caregiver at their leisure.  We had everything from smelling jars to a large crawling box with scarves and bells to push through.

Families also enjoyed using magnets in our sand table,

 playing with homemade play dough,


 “writing” in the salt boxes

  and discovering the marvel of the sticky side of contact paper using pom poms and tissue paper.  

 Yet the biggest hit of the whole morning were the water beads.  Children and adults alike couldn’t get enough of them.  Who knew that a couple tablespoons of little tiny beads could fill the bottom of our water table with so much fun?  If you would like any specifics about our sensory party contact Debbie Nelson at children@menomonielibrary.org.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Road Maps and Sign Posts: Planning Ahead for a Successful Storytime

Road sign picture, courtesy of Pixabay
I attended quite a few of the Wild Wisconsin Winter Webinars last week, and I'm looking forward to listening to several more of them--I'm going to put it on my calendar so I actually do it, and I encourage you to do the same.  All the recordings are here.  There is a youth services track, but many of the webinars are useful for everyone!  And some of the leadership track sessions were led by youth services phenoms.

Today, I'm just going to mention that if you didn't yet listen to the Road Maps and Sign Posts webinar with Melissa Depper, I hope you will take an hour to do so.  Melissa talks about thoughtfully planning ahead for behavior expectations, transitions, and more.  Yet another reminder of how important it is to be intentional instead of haphazard with our efforts.  This can be difficult when trying to juggle too many things--believe me, that seems to be the story of my life!  But having regular reminders of concrete ways to practice this is one of the best ways to help me change my way of doing things.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Thanks to Cole Zrostlik, formerly of St. Croix Falls, now of Franconia Sculpture Park, for this guest post, full of great resources.

After the Supernatural St. Croix Falls fiasco of 2012, St. Croix Falls Public Library has decided, yet again, to tread into controversial territory with the installation of an iPad mini in its early literacy space.

Actually, it seems to have not ruffled too many feathers so far. Since the installation of the iPad Mini in the children's area, attached to an end-cap with a wall/cabinet mount by Joy Factory, few parents have been too, terribly surprised by the iPad's presence. We love the great resources put out by the amazing Leah Langby and put together some of our own, too. The only problem we've had so far is locking the iPad on to a single app (so as not to create too much of a distraction) without losing some part of the app, like the introduction to "Spot" by David Wiesner, the beginning of a fresh game, or the parent instructions. So far, we have just deleted as many of the apps that might cause a distraction for families, turned off the internet access, and have let kids and families experiment with all the early literacy apps on the tablet!
The SCFPL is doing an app ofthe week! I hope some of you might be able to use these-- parents have appreciated the recommendations! I LOVE all the apps in this PDF and have played with them extensively and personally-- check them out if you can, or come visit the SCFPL to try them all!

Questions? Email Cole @ her new email address, colezrostlik@franconia.org or the SCFPL @ scflibrary@scfpl.org.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

AAP Media Recommendations

Child watching television
Most of us are aware that the American Academy of Pediatrics is coming out soon with new guidelines related to children and media.  The actual guidelines aren't available yet, but the AAP has released a preliminary announcement giving an inkling about some of the main points.  NPR did an interview with David Hill, chair of the AAP Council on Communications and Media to delve into the topic a little more.  Hill suggested it might be good to think about media consumption like we think about diet--it is important to pay attention and consume healthy amounts and content.  But he also points out the need for more research, and points to a recent study that indicates that electronic toys that blink and light up and make noise decrease the quality of the parent-child interaction.  All the more reason for librarians to step into the breach and share information with families about the importance of RELATIONSHIPS and INTERACTION related to all media!  Just a reminder that we have some good resources for helping you start these kinds of conversations.  Please let us know if you use them!