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, November 23, 2015

Amazing Librarians!

librarians laughing and playing a theater game
Learning theater games takes trust and an ability to laugh!  Luckily, librarians had both at the SLP workshop!

Last Thursday was our annual Summer Library Program (and Beyond) Workshop.  We had an inspiring keynote talk from Sharon Grover and Marge Loch Wouters.  We had outstanding breakout sessions from a bunch of system librarians (and one generous teen) about everything from dealing with rough stuff to re-thinking prizes to theater games to performers.  We practiced our elevator speeches on each other.  And we had terrific conversations and connections happening all day long. It truly makes my heart sing to see everyone laughing hard together, taking each other seriously, sharing generously with each other, and acting as amazing resources for each other.  Everyone, presenter or not, has so much to offer to their colleagues--I love seeing that in action.  I could never hope to work with a more devoted, passionate, smart, insightful and open-hearted bunch of people.

Couldn't be there and looking for the list of resources?  It's here (this includes a link to Marge's blog post which wraps up the resources from the keynote, but also some resources from the breakout sessions).

librarians at table talking
Listening and creating elevator speeches together

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thankful but Mindful

heart shaped cloud
I found a thoughtful piece in American Indians in Children's Literature the other day--an open letter to teachers about some of the images that are so popular at this time of year, but are actually inaccurate and ultimately harmful in perpetuating stereotypes about Indians.  I think librarians need this information, too, so I'm linking to it here.

I remember nervously approaching my daughter's kindergarten teacher about what seemed like problematic depictions and descriptions of the first Thanksgiving, and encounters between First Nation people and Pilgrims.  If you have teachers coming to the library for information, or if you are doing displays or craft programs or putting out coloring sheets related to Thanksgiving, please pay attention to what you are providing--make sure it is accurate!  Look for reviews and information--and just skip the coloring sheets with pictures of happy Native Americans smiling at a table with the Pilgrims.  For Thanksgiving, focus instead on what people are THANKFUL for--there are lots of potential art projects and displays to build around that topic!  Debbie Reese has some other excellent suggestions, too, on her blog.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Public Health Partners for Media Mentorship

Over the course of the past year,  thanks to a LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and also thanks to a growing national and state-wide discussion on the topic, IFLS librarians have been working on getting up to speed about being Media Mentors.  We have learned about they whys and hows of sharing new media with families, and learned about evaluating apps.  We have learned about child development and the needs of young children, and how this fits with technology.  We've had some amazing workshops with national and international experts, and we've had multiple smaller conversations among ourselves.

It's been a fruitful year, and I'm busy working on ways to follow through with additional resources and support to help everyone continue the work we've started.  One of my best resources for doing this is my new friend Karen Morris, this region's Maternal and Child Health Public Health Nurse Consultant.  She is helping me think about ways to link up public health nurses and WIC programs with libraries so they can share information and ideas with each other, work together to reach a diverse clientele, and continue the discussion about child development and media--and how to support families.

I can't tell you how marvelous it is to share perspectives and ideas with someone else who cares passionately about families, but who has a whole different set of background knowledge and work.  I think this will pave the way for a lot more collaboration and partnerships between public libraries and public health (I know many folks are already doing cool things).  Watch for more in the months to come.

tree with sun shining through branches

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

WLA Conference

WLA Logo
I've read a few accounts of the WLA Annual Conference, and I have to add my accolades.  I have had a whirlwind fall with more work-related obligations than usual--I've been out of the office more than in, it feels like.  I wrapped up October with a much-needed family vacation, which was fabulous, but also meant I was out of the office even more!  And then I got dumped out of the family car on the way home from North Carolina for several days with my library colleagues from around the state.

Tending somewhat toward introversion, it was a bit of a stretch for me to go from 100% family-friend time straight to a conference.  But I found this conference to be one of the most inspiring, connecting ones I have attended!  Even though after the wild fall I was tired, and kind of longing for my own bed and 2 days in a row in my office, I also relished the chance to be around so many generous, kind, smart, and passionate colleagues. Ashley Bieber (LEPMPL) told me she thinks of the annual conference as being sort of like summer camp--a great chance to get together with old friends you don't get to see often enough, make new ones, and learn some cool stuff--and spending time on different turf with the kids from the neighborhood (yay for all the IFLS-area librarians who were able to attend!).  Would that I would have had a summer camp experience like that!  But I love the analogy.

I met some new folks at a Youth Services Section Meet-Up and while sitting at the YSS Booth in the exhibit hall.  I cheered on the River Falls Public Library (WLA Library of the Year) and the other amazing award-winners.  I hung out with friends from across the state and system.   I attended fantastic sessions--I left every single one with a nugget of an idea that I'm excited to implement:  Every Day Advocacy seems much more in my reach, difficult conversations a little less terrifying, aspiration-based planning a more realistic aspiration, I'm thinking about future presenters for professional development, and much more.  I truly applaud all the conference planners and presenters, almost all of whom are volunteering to make this happen.  Thanks for putting yourself out there!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reach Out and Read Toolkit

I know there are many fans of the Reach Out and Read program out there in IFLS-land, thanks to the informative and persuasive presentations of Dr. Dipesh Navsaria.  Some of you with programs in your town are looking for ways to engage with the program more, and some of you wish you could convince area clinics to participate.  For both of you, this toolkit, created by Reach Out and Read, might be helpful.  Take a look!  Let me know if you are using it, or what you are doing with your local clinics!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wordcraft Circle Awards

Hungry Johnny, written by Cheryl Minnema and illustrated by Wesley Ballinger, is one of the award winners
Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers recognized several titles for Wordcraft Awards and Honors last week.  These books are written by Native authors, and are great bets for libraries!  In the words of Debbie Reese (of American Indians in Children's Literature), "Librarians and teachers! Get these books. Native kids you work with will find their lives affirmed. Non-Native kids you work with will have that much talked about window into Native life."

Debbie Reese has created a list, with photos of the covers and a few reviews, right here.  Seriously folks, there are a lot of books still being published with inaccurate or degrading portrayals of Native people.  Here is your chance to get some titles that have a seal of approval!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Young Children and Media Literacy Webinar

Many of you attended the October 6 Media Mentor workshop with Erin Walsh and Chip Donohue.   Those terrific presenters told us about Faith Rogow, a "Media Literacy Education Maven."  She has an upcoming FREE webinar from Early Childhood Investigations: Media Literacy Action in the Early Years: Activity Ideas for Reasoning and Reflection.  It looks interesting, and even if you can't attend live, if you register they'll send you the link so you can access it later!

October 28, 1:00 pm (CST)

In this empowering webinar, media literacy education maven Faith Rogow, will provide an overview of how to reach beyond teaching with technology to also integrate reasoning and reflection in age appropriate ways. We’ll discuss the difference between warning children about media and a skill-building approach to media literacy. We’ll also introduce a new, free professional development and teaching resource from NAMLE: short, annotated downloadable videos describing actual media literacy activities that you can try, gathered from accomplished early childhood educators from across the U.S. Learn more...