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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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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Art's Power

hands in the dirt CD coverThe Lines we Cross book cover
A couple weekends ago, I discovered a new favorite band (The Resonant Rogues--check them out!).  As I sat in the concert, I was missing a beloved, departed family member and wishing I could share the music with her, so I wasn't surprised to spring a leak when I heard the song Can't Come In.  But in the past week and a half, I have listened to the CD approximately 10 times, like you do.  And almost every time, I tear up when I hear the song.  Aside from the very real possibility that there is such a thing as tear duct muscle memory, I think that the song, which is a plea to be humane and welcoming to refugees, is just plain moving.

At the same time I've been listening to the Resonant Rogues, I have also been reading The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah.  The book, set in Australia but completely relevant for the U.S.,  is told from two perspectives.  Michael is a teen who has a close and loving family, attends private school, and is trying to figure out how to tell his parents he doesn't want to follow his father's footsteps and become and architect.  His parents are the founders of an anti-immigrant political party called Aussie Values.  He has grown up not questioning their beliefs.  Mina is a new scholarship student whose family has moved across Sydney so she can attend a posh private school.  She's a refugee from Afghanistan, where she and her mother lost her father and uncle to the Taliban, and her little brother to hunger and sickness.  Her stepfather is opening a new Afghani restaurant in their new neighborhood, and they are all working to make the adjustment.  When Mina and Michael meet, Michael is challenged to begin looking at his assumptions and beliefs, and is in the uncomfortable position of questioning everything he has grown up thinking he understood.  The alternating perspectives--a tactic that I sometimes feel is overused in teen lit--work brilliantly here.  I love the mixture of a light touch with serious subjects that Abdel-Fattah manages.  This is an important book, and fun to read.  Both Michael and Mina have believable growth, and secondary characters are interesting and well-rounded--even the jerk bully has some redeeming qualities.

The juxtaposition of the book, the song, and the regular news reports I've been hearing about the plight of refugees stuck in camps in Greece and people trapped in war-torn areas--it's been a powerful combination.  I recommend taking a listen and a look!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WLA Awards--Make a Nomination!

Do you have a terrific and innovative program at your library you are proud of?  Is your whole darn library incredible and amazing?  Do you work with someone who you think is inspiring, smart, and effective?  Maybe it is time to consider nominating yourself or someone else for a WLA Award.

These awards mean a lot to the recipients, from what I can tell.  They are a way of recognizing and honoring remarkable people in our profession.  And apparently the nomination process has been streamlined!  Nominations are due September 1.

Please consider it--when people issue invitations like this, they really do mean YOU!

drawing of an invitation being delivered by an animal, and received by another animal
Public domain illustration by Sir John Tenniel

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SLJ Teen Live Virtual Conference is FREE

Authors will speak on topics including immigration, gender, and reluctant readers.
Click here to register for the 6th annual SLJTeen Live!


SLJTeen Live
Join us on August 9, 2017, from 10 AM - 5 PM ET, for the 6th annual SLJTeen Live! This free, entirely virtual conference will feature more than 20 YA author panelists and keynote speakers, plus two hours of panels on innovative and creative approaches to teen services and programming.

Authors will speak on topics including immigration, gender, and reluctant readers, while your fellow librarians share how they work with special populations, small budgets, and other challenges to create outstanding teen programs.
This year's keynote speakers:
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
  • Barry Lyga, Bang
  • Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World


"Who isn't down with a conference that packs great authors, real-live librarians, free stuff, and high-interest topics for the low-low price of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL?!"
Elizabeth N.
Commerce Township Community Library (MI)

2016 SLJTeen Live! Attendee



During your breaks, network with others or visit digital publisher booths to learn more about upcoming titles you’ll want to purchase for your collections. Special treats, swag, and materials will be available at the booths.

Want to go to two panels at the same time? All sessions will be recorded so that you can re-watch or catch what you missed at a later time.
Register today! No teen librarian will want to miss this.

REGISTER FOR FREE

Don't be greedy : )
Forward this invite to a friend or colleague.





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Monday, June 12, 2017

Cumberland Scavenger Hunt

illustration of a treasure map
Building off a successful program from years' past, the library in Cumberland is sponsoring a scavenger hunt for Pete the Cat, who is hiding in the windows of different downtown businesses each week this summer.  When kids find Pete, they let the library know where they found him, and then they are entered into a drawing for a special prize of the week.  This gets kids walking, families visiting the downtown, and plus, Pete the Cat and the library both get some well-deserved publicity.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Last Day of School Celebration in Phillips

When my daughter was a toddler, she discovered the wonders of Popsicles, and entertained her older cousins to no end by declaring regularly, "I want a need a pop-the-weasel!"

Lucky for the kids in Phillips, the librarians there understand the experience of wanting and needing a pop-the-weasel...err...popsicle.  They encouraged kids to celebrate the last day of school with a visit to the LIBRARY, and gave everyone a celebratory ice pop.
kids of all ages enjoy ice pops in front of the library
It must be summer in Phillips!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Making and Doing in Ogema


Over the past year, a group of tween girls have been spending Wednesday afternoons at the library in Ogema.  To engage these kids in some projects, the library put together a series for them this spring.  Activities included:

  • Making May Baskets to give to folks spending time in the adjoining Senior Center
  • Learning to crochet and knit from local volunteers
  • Planting kale, lettuce and cabbage in library planters (also writing a spring poem together, and playing games with the seeds)
Low tech and super fun for the participants, including the library staff overseeing (so much fun they didn't have a chance to take photos!)


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

River Falls Hosts Little Golden Book Show

raccoon drawing from Baby Animals book
From Baby Animals, illustrated by Garth Williams, used by permission, copyright 1952 Penguin Random House
This summer, the River Falls Public Library Gallery will feature an extensive collection of original illustration art from one of American publishing’s best-loved and most consequential picture book lines, Little Golden Books. Not-so-coincidentally, the exhibition also falls on the 75th anniversary of the essential series, which was published in Racine, WI, until 2001.
From June 10 – August 12, 2017, the River Falls Public Library Gallery will display sixty masterpieces of original illustration art by familiar artists and children’s book illustrators. Each featured work was chosen from a vast Random House archive; this exhibit will include pieces from such picture-book classics as The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, Home for a Bunny, The Color Kittens, I Can Fly, and more. The exhibit was curated by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, Texas.
Illustration of baby holding a doll and looking at a cardinal singing
From Baby Listens, illustration by Esther Wilkins, used by permission, copyright 1960 Penguin Random House

            Launched in 1942—the first full year of America’s involvement in the Second World War—Little Golden Books made high quality illustrated books available at affordable prices for the first time to millions of young children and their parents. Among the artists who contributed to the ambitious series were greats of the European émigré community (including Garth Williams, Feodor Rojankovsky, and Tibor Gergely) who had gathered in New York as the European situation worsened; alumni of the Walt Disney Studios (including Gustaf Tenggren, Martin Provensen, J. P. Miller, and Mary Blair); and such American originals as Leonard Weisgard, Eloise Wilkin, Elizabeth Orton Jones, Richard Scarry, and Hilary Knight.
            Golden Books and Random House Children’s Books are also celebrating the anniversary with the re-release of the complete retrospective history of the beloved line:  GOLDEN LEGACY: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way by Leonard S. Marcus.  Golden Legacy is the untold history of the company, its line of books, and the groundbreaking writers and artists who created them. 
Illustration of a young girl holding a doll and a young boy getting ready to put a bandage on it
From Doctor Dan the Bandage Man, illustration by Corinne Malvern, used by permission, copyright 1950 Penguin Random House

            The Golden Books exhibit at the River Falls Public Library Gallery is open to the public and always free-of-charge beginning June 10. The gallery, located in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library at 140 Union Street in River Falls, Wisconsin, is open Monday through Thursday from 10AM to 8PM, Fridays from 10AM to 6PM, and Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM.  
            Through this exhibition, the River Falls Public Library Gallery strives to educate children and families about illustrated literature and celebrate the best original art published in children’s books. Join gallery staff and community partners for a series of related events for young children to seniors throughout the summer. For more information on the River Falls Public Library Gallery and free summer events, stop in to the River Falls Public Library, visit http://www.riverfallspubliclibrary.org/in-the-gallery or call 715-426-3496.