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, October 16, 2017

STEM Inspiration Conference

image of dna
I love hearing from colleagues who have flown the coop, so to speak, and are working in libraries outside of our system.  First of all, I love to hear from them because I like them, and love to hear what they are up to and what they are thinking about.  Second, they often share cool tidbits with me that I can pass on to everyone else!

This past week I got an email from Ashley Bieber, who used to be the teen librarian in Eau Claire (also former Youth Services Section Chair).  She is now working for the Hennepin County Library, and told me about a STEM conference she is planning to attend at the end of November, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension called Capturing Imaginations:  Building Skills.  This looks like a pretty exciting conference, and a great way to perk up the Oncoming Winter Blues.  Look here for registration information.

Bonus:  if you go, you'll get to see Ashley!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Making Justice in Madison

watercolor paint box with multiple colors
There are some public libraries that are doing great work with kids involved with the juvenile justice system.  At ALA last summer, I attended a program about a library that lines up volunteer bedtime readers and author visits at the local juvenile detention center.  And in our own state, there are libraries doing some great work with kids who are incarcerated or who are at risk of detention.  This morning, Wisconsin Public Radio highlighted a program run by the Madison Public Library's  Bubbler called Making Justice, that works with teens and volunteer artists to create art together.  I highly recommend taking a listen--it is great to hear about such an exciting program, and fun to hear libraries make the news for such a positive reason!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Collection Development Resource

cats and mice playing around stacks of books
The blog has been a victim of the triage that becomes necessary during especially busy times, which August, September, and October seem to be.  BUT.  I have it on my calendar to do a blog entry several times in the upcoming weeks, so look for more content.  And remember to send content my way if you have something to share!!

YESTERDAY, I went off to do new library director visits, and in the course of talking about our monthly Starred Reviews publication, I found out about another pretty remarkable resource from Debbie in Prescott, who has been using it for quite a while.  Jen J.'s Booksheets is a publication that tracks things like awards, and the number of starred reviews an item is getting.  It might be a useful resource for keeping track of items that are getting a LOT of buzz.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Readers Advisory Tips and Training from Novelist

Thanks to Maureen Welch for passing on these tips from the NoveList newsletter!  They are specific to helping kids and teens find books using NoveList. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Did you know?
Appeals terms describe the mood or feel of books (think: funny, sad, inspiring), and they are a great tool for talking about books. Kids instinctively understand the terms and they provide a common framework for talking about what each reader enjoys. Learn more about appeal.

5-minute learning activity
Help that teen who enjoyed the movie Wonder Woman find books with strong female characters. Type AP strong female characters into the NoveList search bar, then limit your results by audience to teens. This search strategy has step-by-step instructions for finding books in other ways, too.

Power play
Combine the search for AP strong female characters with Lexile levels and/or Accelerated Reader Interest Levels to get books at just the right reading level. In NoveList, this is possible by using the limiters found on the left side of the page. Watch this 2-minute tutorial on searching by reading levels.

If you have more time
Here's a fun activity to do with a group. First, hand out copies of The Secret Language of Books. Then, use the appeal mixer in NoveList to build a reading list for each of these fictional readers:
·         A third-grader who loves thrilling, true-life adventure stories
·         A teen who prefers stories a little on the snarky side
·         A listener who loves audiobooks with different voices and/or accents
·         A kid looking for books with characters from multiple racial and cultural backgrounds
Use this appeal scavenger hunt for more ideas.

A special tip for those libraries that have NoveList Select in their catalog: As kids search in your library's catalog, show them how to click on the appeal term links they're interested in to find more books. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writing Workshop for Kids in Eau Claire

colored pencils
As part of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, local writers  will be holding  wonderful sounding workshops for young writers at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire.  Jessi Peterson is one of the presenters for the workshop for 3-5 graders.  Jessi is not only a poet of some renown (and she built her own cordwood house with a round hobbit door), she is also the Children's Librarian at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, so we know she knows how to work with kids!  She asked me to put this on the blog, since folks from quite a distance attended last year.

Here's the information to pass on to your young writers:

Let's Write!  Grades 3-5 10:30am-12pm . Chippewa Room
Join local writers Sara Bryan and Jessi Peterson for a morning of inventing, writing, and sharing. We’ll bring the paper, pencils, and a passel of tips, tricks, and treats! With Special Guest Appearance by The Cabinet of Curiosities, guaranteed to Ignite Your Imagination.  Attendees are encouraged to submit their work to the Young Writers Showcase.

Stories Save.  Grades 6-8 10:30 am- 12:00 pm, Eau Claire Room.
Join local writers Andrew Patrie and Derick Black for an exploration of how our experiences can be the most fertile soil for growing stories and relationships. Paper, pencils, and prompts will be provided to get you writing and sharing.

Register for either program online at ecpubliclibrary.info/kids or call 715-839-5007.

For more information about the presenters, check out the Chippewa Valley Book Festival site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

WLA Conference Cool Stuff!

WLA logoSorry for the absence of blog posts, I've been out of the office more than in for the past few weeks, taking part in some terrific opportunities (the Youth Services Institute, Prepare Training to learn how to defuse challenging situations, and dropping my youngest kid off at college, to name a few).  Then, when I finally had a chance to write a post, I posted in the YSS Blog by accident (blushing, here).  If you haven't checked out the YSS Blog, I highly recommend this excellent, frequently-updated resource.

Now I'm back, and thinking about another chance to get away from the regular day-to-day work and explore some new things and hang around with some inspiring folks!  The Wisconsin Library Association Conference comes early this year (October 17-20), and there are several things I think you should know about this year's conference.  This is only a partial list of the things I am excited for at this conference:

  • Tuesday, October 17:  Pre-conference:  Representation, Authenticity, and Being Real:  Diversity in Youth Services with Anna Haase Krueger and Tami Lee will take a deep dive into collection development and library programming, with ideas and hands-on book examination.
  • Wednesday, October 18:  Andrea Davis Pinkney, author, publisher, and extraordinary speaker, will be the YSS Luncheon speaker.  Get ready to be inspired!
  • Thursday, October 19:  Linda Liukas will give the keynote address.  Linda is a programmer, storyteller, and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland.  Check out her TED talk!
  • Friday, October 20:  My very own cousin, Ehryn Barthelme, will be teaming up with a public librarian from Rochester, MN to discuss the reality of what teens and young adults are thinking about, dealing with and experiencing related to sexual health, sexuality, and gender expression.
  • Througout the conference, you will be able to see librarians from the IFLS region presenting, including Jerissa Koenig, Rebekah Palmer, Martha Kaempffer, Jennifer Cook, Susan DeBolt, Cole Zrostlik, Katherine Elchert, and yours truly, plus you'll have a chance to see John Thompson and other contributors to the PLSR process talk about the system re-design process. 
I hope you will consider joining us for an amazing time.  Please let me know if you need some help advocating for yourself for a chance to attend!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Early Childhood Development--Understanding Numbers

toddler holding up 3 fingers

Even though it is on a commercial site, this is a great explanation of the way kids learn to understand numbers (being able to count to 10 does not mean that children understand the concept behind the numbers).  It gives some simple suggestions of activities to do to help children develop the skills of understanding what numbers mean, and other concepts that make up the foundation of understanding mathematics.