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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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We Love Books Storytime

Many thanks to Valerie Spooner, the new youth services librarian at the Rusk County Community Library in Ladysmith.  Valerie comes to libraries from a rich early childhood background, and she took the time to send us a blog post about her first storytime!

Today was my first storytime so  I wanted to do something simple and easy. We talked about book care and created a poster to hang in the children's area of the library. Here's an outline of what I did with links :)
It seems like a lot, but it filled our 30 minutes perfectly.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Getting Close to Authors and Illustrators

I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing I'm not the only book geek who runs in this circle.  I am fascinated to hear about the process that goes into book creation and I'm thrilled to have a chance to see authors and illustrators.  Though usually I'm too bashful and tongue-tied to say anything to them, I still love being in the same room with authors and illustrators and listening to what they have to say.

There are a few terrific opportunities either coming up, or already here, to get closer to book creators and learn more about their process.  If you have the opportunity to take advantage of them, I highly recommend it!

  • From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick is just what it sounds like--a glorious exhibition of the original artwork that went into more than a dozen books that Brian Selznick illustrated.  It is marvelous to see the original work (including a few doodles in the margin of some of the pieces), and really interesting to read the statements about each book's creation.  Bonus:  a video of Brian Selznick sharing fascinating tidbits and background stories about the books, and individual illustrations.  This exhibit is at the UW-Eau Claire Haas Fine Arts Center's Foster Gallery until September 25.  Weekend hours:  1-4:30 both Saturday and Sunday.
  • The Chippewa Valley Book Festival is coming up in a few weeks.  Candace Fleming is one of the authors for young people who will be there, and one of the few to make a public appearance.  I'm excited to see this author of fascinating nonfiction and delightful picturebooks on October 18!  I'm also looking forward to seeing Josh Hanagarne, the author of The World's Strongest Librarian, who is speaking at the Schneider Disabilities Forum on September 16 (if you haven't read his book, you should--each chapter starts with a great little vignette that takes place in the Salt Lake City Public Library).
  • Two famous, charming, and enormously talented authors of books for young people will be at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference this year!  Avi, who was named Notable Wisconsin Author for Young People, will be the Thursday luncheon speaker.  Kevin Henkes, winner of the Wisconsin Children's Book Award for The Year of Billy Miller, will be presenting a session Thursday at 2:45.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Power of Listening

I read an interesting blurb in the Fred Rogers Company's Professional Development newsletter about the power of listening to young children.  A good reminder in busy times, that young children need us to give them time to talk, and to show them that we hear and understand what they say.  It talks about the importance of letting kids say things that you are a little uncomfortable about hearing, and also about how good it is to get down to their level, so they can talk to you while looking in your eyes (and not strain their necks).

Come to think of it, people of all ages crave a listening ear...as librarians well understand!  Cindy Beyer, a youth services librarian from Port Washington and a participant in last year's Youth Services Institute, put it this way:  children's librarians are like the bar-tenders for stay-at-home parents.

So, thanks for listening!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Libri Foundation Alternative

Picture books in a library
I just found out that the Libri Foundation, an organization that has provided many libraries in our system with grant funds to help them improve their collection of children's books, is no longer making grants in Wisconsin.  This is due to the fact that the auditing practice they use is no longer accepted by the state of Wisconsin.

That leaves a big hole, but luckily, another foundation has stepped in to fill that hole.  The folks at Libri recommend looking into the Pilcrow Foundation, which is set up to help libraries obtain high quality children's books with a 1/3 matching grant (from a Friends group or fundraiser).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Banned Books webinar

Thanks to Patti Blount from Durand for passing on this important sounding webinar.

Let's Talk About Banned Books: Acquiring, Displaying, and Dealing with Challenges
Thursday, September 11, 2014
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET / 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM PT

Some of the most popular and widely respected children’s and YA books have been challenged in schools and libraries across the country. Banned Books Week is celebrated the last full week in September and strives to make the public aware of books that have been banned or challenged in schools and public libraries, as well as in bookstores and other venues. What do you do to prepare for those challenges and keep important books in the hands of readers?
Join SLJ for an important discussion with SLJ columnist Pat Scales, along with authors M.E. Kerr and Todd Parr as they provide practical advice when dealing with book challenges and hear the authors’ perspective on their books that have been banned over the years. You’ll also hear from Youth Services librarian Heather Acerro on ways that librarians can celebrate, display, and use these books.
Register now!


Pat Scales - Columnist, School Library Journal
M.E. Kerr - Author
Todd Parr - Author
Heather Accero - Head of Youth Services at Rochester Public Library
Kiera Parrott - Book Review Editor, School Library Journal

Friday, September 5, 2014

Read, Play, Grow

A toddler plays with a hoop at library celebration in Dresser
We had a great webinar today with Rachel Payne of the Brooklyn Public Library, talking about the importance of play in the development of young children, and describing some of the activities and programs her library uses to promote interaction and play.

Check out the archived recording, and the wiki Rachel created with lots of resources about the Read, Play, Grow program!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Easy and Beautiful Process Art Idea

This is a great idea for a project that allows preschoolers (or even older kids) to experiment with the process of creation, the most developmentally appropriate kind of art project,  and it also creates a product that you can send home for those parents that like something to put on the refrigerator to look pretty.

This No Time for Flashcards post details the process of creating art from a salad spinner!  You can make it fall related by having your cardstock paper cut into leaf shapes (IFLS librarians:  remember to avail yourself of the die cut machine capabilities, housed at Phillips Public Library!).  Use liquid tempra paint in a variety of colors (hopefully ones that will blend well together).  Have kids squirt it on the paper in whatever pattern they want.  Then they can spin the salad spinner for a few seconds, and take out the beautiful leaves.  For a better description (with photos), see the post.