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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Friday, June 26, 2015

Changing-Table Initiative of ALSC

3 of the posters available to download and print
In order to help encourage parents and caregivers to talk, sing, play, read and write with their young children, the Association for Library Service to Children created some gorgeous posters that are available to librarians, community partners, and anyone who has a place to put them!  They were originally designed to go above changing tables, but you could probably put them in other places where you know caregivers with young ones will see them.  Check them out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

SummerTeen Free Virtual Conference

Just what you need to keep you going this summer--a FREE conference that requires no travel.  School Library Journal is sponsoring a free virtual conference about serving teens, SummerTeen on August 13, starting at 10 am Central Standard Time.  It includes sessions on gaming with teens, working with teen volunteers, and author sessions with authors like M.T. Anderson and Susan Kuklin, talking about a range of important teen and readers' advisory topics.  There will even be exhibits!

If you register, you also can access the archive, so even if you can't make it that day you can take part.

Thanks to Patti Blount from Durand for passing on this information!

Monday, June 22, 2015

When In Doubt, Go to the Library

I had the opportunity to attend National History Day festivities in College Park, Maryland last week.  Wow, if you ever need some great inspiration about some amazingly dedicated, smart, interesting, and enthusiastic teens, this is a terrific place to get it.  It was fun to listen to the side conversations about historical minutia while waiting in the dining hall line.  It was incredible to watch the documentaries and performances done by the national finalists--truly amazing what kids can do.  And it was super-fun to see the buttons and t-shirts on the folks from Iowa.  Their quote:  "When in doubt, go to the library."  An homage to Hermione, of course, but also to the librarians and collections that supported brilliant work on the part of students.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Travel flannel board kits

Thanks to Valerie from Ladysmith for this great idea/guest post!

For our Earth Day storytime, I wanted our craft to be something that we could make reusing materials we already had at the library. We have many DVD cases that can't be used for circulation because they have holes in the sides. We also have lots of felt pieces and scraps. Together with some scrap paper for a cover, we made Travel Felt Kits. 
Each kid made their own traveling felt board!  Here's the inside

I did use the die cut machine in Eau Claire to cut out small circles and hearts, but the rest of the shapes were cut by the kids and their adults. The kids loved them! They were matching shapes and making up stories. I even had a mom tell me that her son slept with his for the next week! Because they worked out so nicely, our July Make and Take is going to be create your own travel game, using up some more of those DVD cases.

Here's the outside

Friday, June 12, 2015


I was just listening to a recorded ALSC webinar by Cen Campbell (founder of the Little eLit blog).  She made an analogy that made a lot of sense to me.  She suggested that no matter how we feel about kids spending time interacting with screens, sticking to abstinence-only education when we talk to families about it is not as helpful as giving them information to help deal with the reality they are experiencing in today's connected, high-tech world.

This analogy really clicked for me, and I thought I'd share it with you in case it does for you, too.

And if you are looking for ways to be more prepared to act as a Media Mentor in your community, please check out two upcoming workshops, made possible by an LSTA grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services:

September 18, Rice Lake WITC Campus:  New Media, Early Literacy, & Libraries with Carissa Christner, we'll talk about evaluating apps, finding apps, and practical ways to use new media effectively in your library.  Register here.

October 6, Florian Gardens in Eau Claire:  Media Mentors with Erin Walsh and Chip Donohue, we'll talk about child development, technology, and how to help families navigate all the information to find the media diet that is most healthy for them.  Register here.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

May Reading Goals

Whoops!  This got away from me this month!

Each month, IFLS librarians (and any other blog readers, for that matter) are invited to read a book written for kids or teens in a certain category.  These can be recent books, or ones that have been on your list for a long time.  Then report back on your book and the rest of us can use your recommendations!   June's goal is Historical Fiction.

Here is the compilation of May's Reading Goal Results of

Fantasy Titles:

Primary Grades

Brown, Marcia.  Chavela and the Magic Bubble.  Illus. by Megaly Morales.  2010
Nora from New Richmond recommends for adults and families, preschoolers and primary grades
Rice, Clay.  The Stick. 2014
Nora from NR recommends for adults and families and primary grades, especially kids with a great imagination.
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse.  Uni the Unicorn.  Illus. by Brigett Barrager.  2014
Nora from NR enthusiastically recommends for preschool and primary grades, and says it has great adult appeal because of beautiful story and pictures.
Singleton, Linda Joy.  Snow Dog, Sand Dog.  Illus. by Jess Golden.  2014
Nora from NR might recommend for preschoolers and primary grades—especially if they wish for a pet.

Middle grades (grades 3-6).  * are recommended for middle grade and up (MS, HS, adults)
*Bachman, Stephan and Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, Emma Trevayne.  Cabinet of Curiosities:  36 Tales Brief and Sinister.  Illus. by Alexander Jansson. 2014
Patti from Durand recommends this, especially for those who like mysteries and scary stories.
*Colfer, Chris.  Land of Stories (series).
Patti from Durand recommends this brothers and sisters adventure by the former Glee star
*DiTerlizzi, Tony.  The Search for Wondla.  2010
Patti from Durand recommends this one, and thinks kids will enjoy the interactive, web-based extras
*Gaiman, Neil.  The Graveyard Book.  Illus. by Dave McKean.  2008
Howard from Chippewa Falls enthusiastically recommends this one for all ages, especially fans of Terry Pratchett, and those who like a well-written fantasy with a little horror thrown in.
*Millford, Kate.  The Greenglass House.  Illus. by Jaime Zollars.  2014
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this one, and thinks adults will enjoy as much as children—she was surprised by several of the plot twists.  Kids who are adopted and those who like mysteries might especially like this book.
*Pearson, Ridley.  The Kingdom Keepers (series)
Patti from Durand recommends this series about a group of kids that get stuck in a different part of Disney World in each book.
Pratchett, Terry.  Dragons at Crumbling Castle.  Illus. by Mark Beech.  2015
Valerie from Ladysmith recommends this book of short stories and drawings to imaginative kids who like humorous stories.  She didn’t particularly enjoy it, but can imagine many kids who would.
Segel, Jason and Kirsten White.  Nightmares!  Illus. by Karl Kwasny.  2014
Cassie from Augusta recommends this one for middle grade through middle school.

Middle School.  * are recommended for High School, also

Auxier, Jonathan.  The Night Gardener:  A Scary Story.  2014
Jenna from Fall Creek would recommend this one to kids who are on the fence about fantasy, and kids who like ghosts, travel and history.  It is a fast-paced read, but also very long, so kids who aren’t put off by long books are more likely to pick it up.
*Maas, Sarah.  Court of Thorns and Roses.  2014
Monica from River Falls would recommend this one, and Cassie would recommend it enthusiastically.  Elements of fairy tales, faeries, magic, and love scenes that made Cassie blush.  Cassie would recommend for older teens, Monica for middle school and up.
*Sabaa, Tahir.  An Ember in the Ashes.  2015
Monica from River Falls would recommend this title to people who like dystopias, but want a different twist.  Set in Ancient Greece, with magic thrown in.
*Stiefvater, Maggie.  Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  2014
Valerie enthusiastically recommends this book, and the whole series it is from (Raven Boys).  Based on Welsh legends, but set in the United States.
*Wilson, Willow.  Ms. Marvel (series).
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this comic book series about a Pakistani American teenaged girl who becomes an endearing superhero.  Has heard reports of younger kids enjoying, too.

High School

Aveyard, Victoria.  Red Queen.  2015
Cassie from Augusta recommends this one.
Hartman, Rachel.  Seraphina.  2012
Cassie from Augusta enthusiastically recommends this title.  “It has dragons!  The main character is also half-dragon.”  Nuff said.
Thomas, Rhiannon.  A Wicked Thing.  2015
Cassie recommends this title.

My daughter got a copy of this coloring book "Unicorns Are Jerks" in a care package from her aunt this year

Trains on a Track Preschool Activity

Thank you to Valerie in Ladysmith for sharing this guest post:

A proud artist/engineer shows off his train tracks

For our train themed preschool storytime this spring, we made a really neat interactive craft. It's just a paper plate with a design drawn on it, a craft stick with a magnet attached, and a small object with another magnet attached. The craft stick magnet, when held under the plate, moves the object on top of the plate. While ours were train themed, you could do anything - cars on a road, people moving around town, animals swimming in the ocean, etc. The kids really enjoyed it AND they got a science lesson and lots of hand-eye coordination practice.