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, November 20, 2014

Super Heroes Being Super-Heroic

She-Ra, a real-life superhero
We had a terrific workshop this week, thinking hard about summer programs in the context of youth services programming all year long.  Fabulous keynote speakers Shawn Brommer (South Central Library System) and Sue Abrahamson talked us through some good approaches to thinking hard about the outcomes we desire for our summer programs and how to get there.  The afternoon was full of amazing break-out sessions with IFLS librarians, super-heroically talking about collaboration, outreach and promotion, stealth programming, using teen volunteers and more.  It was INSPIRING, I tell you, INSPIRING!   Check out the web page with links.

One of my favorite things that we did during the keynote was identify our own super power, write it on an index card, and attach it to ourselves.  There are some marvelous superpowers out there.  Here are a few I remember:

  • Children flock to me because I see them
  • I turn bad things into good things
  • I really listen to what kids have to say
  • Bridging
  • Enthusiasm
  • Listener
  • Creativity
  • Storyteller

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10th Anniversary, Schneider Family Book Award

ALA's Schneider Family Book Award
Many of you already know that ALA's Schneider Family Book Award was conceived and is funded by the inimitable Dr. Katherine Schneider, who lives right here in the Chippewa Valley.  Kathie created the award, along with the folks at ALA, in order to highlight books for children and teens that artistically embody the disability experience.  Growing up as a blind kid, Kathie didn't find many books that did that, and as an adult, she decided to do something about it.

This year marks the 10 year anniversary of the award, and this year the UWEC McIntyre Library held a special event to commemorate the event.  One of the most amazing things at the celebration was a display of books with quotes from authors and illustrators about the effect the award had on them and on their career.  Here is one:

Winning the Schneider Family Book Award has truly been one of the biggest highlights of my career as a children's book author...The award has done so much to encourage both publishers and authors to tell the stories of people with disabilities, and also to lift up those books to a very high standard...I am so appreciative of all that Katherine Schneider has done to make this world a better, more understanding, and more inclusive place for all children"  Cynthia Lord, author of 2007's award-winning book, Rules.
It's pretty thrilling to have the person who is responsible for this right here in our midst, advocating for libraries and accessibility and animals.  Hooray for local super-heroes!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Early Literacy and Technology--Three Resources

Here are three things to help you feel informed about early literacy and technology:

1.  A FREE WEBINAR this week:  
Wednesday, November 19
11:00AM-12:00 PM (Pacific Time)

What's the best way to bring technology into a storytime? How do you evaluate apps for early literacy?    This free webinar will share best practices, resources, and ideas to help you easily and effectively bring technology to your library’s early literacy programming. We will hear from two guests with expertise in early literacy and childhood education.
  • Tanya Smith will share practical, research-based recommendations published by the Fred Rogers Center and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • Lori Crocker (Douglas County Libraries, CO) will share practical examples of how to bring technology into library storytimes. 
  • Learn about free online resources like LittleeLit.com and Reading Eggs.
This webinar will be recorded and archived on the TechSoup for Libraries website. Please register to receive an email notification when the archive is available.

2.  ZERO TO THREE has developed Screen Sense:  Setting the Record Straight—Research-based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old. This new free resource, written in partnership with leading researchers in the field of media and young children, is an authoritative review of what is known about the effect of screen media on young children’s learning and development.  It is designed to serve as a tool for guiding parents and professionals in making informed decisions about screen media use.

In addition to Screen Sense, there is a summary of the key findings, tips for how to use screen media with children under 3, and an infographic about 5 common misconceptions related to children and screen media. 
3.  Starting in 2015, look for a series of Tinker Times, chances to examine technology resources through the lens of various early literacy skills.  This program is a collaboration between IFLS and CESA 10, and will also be a great chance to get to know your colleagues from the early childhood world!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Teen Librarian Toolbox

I had heard about the Teen Librarian Toolbox blog/resource before, but hadn't really spent much time exploring it until I had the chance to see Karen Jensen at this year's Wisconsin Library Association YSS Luncheon.

If you haven't taken time to look, I highly encourage you to take a gander.  Here are some of the treasures:

  • Real-life issues like sexual violence and consent, and ideas about how to use literature to open up important discussions about these topics
  • Suggestions for working with middle-grade/tween audiences (3rd-7th graders)
  • Teen Services 101, with everything from suggestions for booktalking to creating teen service plans to a whole bunch of other relevant stuff
  • A plethora of teen programming ideas

And a whole bunch more.  Take a peek, you'll be astonished and pleased that there is such a fabulous resource out there FOR YOU!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stealthy in More Ways than One!

Fun in the stacks with Riddle Me Readers Stealth Program
Thanks to Alisha Green from LEPMPL for this guest post, talking about the stealthy ways she and her colleagues are teaching kids to use the catalog!

I was first approached last year by our Friends coordinator who wanted to sponsor a program for kids during National Friends of Libraries Week that would encourage kids to use the computer catalog and get them into areas of the stacks that they may not normally visit (we offer more than just Pok√©mon and Disney princess books!).  We came up with the Riddle Me Readers program and have done it the last two years, both with great results. 

Offered each day of the week was a different riddle that led to a children's book.  We used riddles from the book Spotthe Plot: a riddle book of book riddles by Patrick Lewis.  If participants solved the riddle and located the item in the stacks they would find there an envelope with a prize drawing form.  Each finisher received either a piece of candy or a sticker and one winner was drawn each day to win an amazing prize (such as an art or science kit or a Razor scooter!) purchased by the Friends...though prizes obviously wouldn't be needed. 

It was a simple program that brought great opportunities to help kids learn how to use the catalog and locate materials in a fun way.  Parents loved it too!  It was good practice in catalog searching whether they knew the title but not the author or when they knew what the book was but they couldn’t remember the exact title.  It also gave staff several opportunities to walk kids through a catalog search and show them how to search for an item with only limited information about it, and we got that info by taking key words directly from the riddle.  Several of the titles were available as a book, audiobook and movie which meant they had to search (and learn about) more areas of the library until they found it…hehehe.    

It's even more fun to solve riddles with a friend!
Several families made it a point to come to the library several times that week just to solve the new riddle of the day.  There was one family for sure that visited the library every day that week for the new riddle.  The mom of this family wrote on our Facebook riddle post: “Our kids are having so much fun with these riddles!”  

I think some kids try to steer clear of having to use the catalog, but this was a great way to show them how to use it and what a great tool it can be. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Awesome SLP/Library Promotion Idea

I attended a Lead the Change pre-conference at this year's Wisconsin Library Association Conference, and was pleased to see a bunch of IFLS librarians there.  Yay, IFLS!

One of the great ideas that was shared at this workshop was related to Summer Library Programs.  Kids who register for the SLP in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana get a Library Champion yard sign.  Then parents are encouraged to send in a digital photo of their children for the library to post on their website and social media sites.  Not only is this a cool thing for kids, neighborhoods, and library visibility, it also draws lots of traffic to the website and social media sites, as proud parents and caregivers share links to the adorable photos of their children being champions.  Several other libraries across the country do this, too.

What a cool idea!  Are you going to try it?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where to Find Performers Now?

The Wisconsin Children's Performer Directory that was maintained by the Division for Libraries and Technology is being discontinued as of this year.  If you hire performers, that might be a sad loss...Here are some other resources I found that might be useful to you as you look for help with presenters of programs:

Wisconsin Humanities Council has a Speakers Bureau  

Directory of MinnesotaArtists

MELSA (the metro area library system in Minnesota) has a  short list of performers 

SELCO (southeast MN) list of “vetted performers

The Minnesota History Center’s History Players