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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Voting Practice at LEPMPL

Thanks to Jill Patchin from LEPMPL for this guest post.

Pete for President voting area

This presidential election year, we decided to do an interactive display where kids could vote for their favorite Pete the Cat book. This will go for the month of October, with the winning book being announced in early November.
close-up of ballot box

We had this old voting booth laying around, leftover from a similar display 8 years ago during the 2008 election season, so we put it back together and made a new display to go around it. We settled on Pete not only because “Pete for President” has a nice ring to it, but also because we own the Pete costume, and we may do a few “campaign stops” where Pete comes and meets kids after preschool or family storytimes in October. I made some simple ballots for kids and parents to fill out and put out a ballot box. I made a couple of posters and some letters for the wall. We will keep a few Pete books near the ballot box to encourage kids to “know the candidates” before making their choice.
voting booth in use

You would not have to have a voting booth to replicate this interactive display, just a stack of scrap paper to write your favorite book on and a ballot box (that’s the fun part after all, “casting” your ballot). Have fun encouraging reading this fall!
ballot box in use

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rave Review of a Program Presenter!

Image from Pixabay
Here's a program rave--these program ideas would attract teens and adults alike!  Thanks to Madeline Page (Hudson Public Library) for this guest post!

We were lucky to meet a fantastic new programmer this year: Avia Lukacs.  Avia’s a published author (search for her in MORE), a massage therapist, and a certified aromatherapist.  Our summer theme – health and wellness – brought her into the Library twice; she participated in our first Health Fair and she led a program called D.I.Y. Natural Beauty Products.

At the Health Fair she brought her massage chair and gave complimentary 15 minute massages, along with tips for how to get more out of your massage with aromatherapy.   At the D.I.Y. Beauty class, Avia taught 13 participants how to make their own products (scrubs, sunburn soothers), customized with essential oils to suit their needs.  She came to this program totally prepared with informative handouts, recipe cards, and every supply needed for the participants to make & take the products home.

We see endless opportunities to work with Avia!  She’s coming back this December to help patrons create peppermint foot care kits to keep or gift to their loved ones.  We are planning a February session on massage oils & techniques.  She’s offered workshops at nursing homes on how to clean equipment/household items with non-toxic, natural products.  There are opportunities to teach how essential oils are great for health – physical and mental.  She’s also interested in doing book-talks/author visits.

I can’t recommend Avia strongly enough – she’s a pleasure to work with, organized, prepared, and people respond really well to her.  The interest in natural products & essential oils (and their many uses) is growing, and she’s an experienced guide.  For any libraries looking for some programming ideas, reach out to Avia: alukacs @ hotmail.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Stellar Services to School Age Kids Pre-Conference

The Youth Services Section of WLA and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction invite you to join library staff serving youth for an invigorating preconference. This small and large group event will offer scalable ideas related to programming, drop-in activities, technology, and outreach for children in grades 2-5. TED-style talks by Wisconsin library staff will address tried-and-true and shiny-and-new efforts for this age group. A passive programming gallery of ideas awaits you during the robust snack break. Best of all, network with library peers who are equally interested in reaching kids who are beyond early literacy but not yet a tween. Past participants in YSS + DPI preconferences have said that it’s the best part of WLA! Sign up soon—the preconference is filling up quickly.

Stellar Services to School-Age Kids Preconference
1:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M. Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Potawatomi Hotel & Casino – Clarity Room  (Milwaukee, WI)
Registration Fee: $25 WLA members/$50 non-members
Limited to 50 people 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Teen Top Ten Display in Menomonie

top ten nominees display with book covers
Check out this cool display that Abby made for the teens in Menomonie to promote voting in YALSA's Teens' Top Ten!  How cool is that?  Remember you can also encourage kids to participate in online discussion and rate the nominees on the ratearead.org site, too!
Tenn Top Ten nominees with books and comments

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Play and Learn Fun

alphabet letters with road lines

The Play and Learn area of the LE Phillips Memorial Public Library is big, beautiful, and super fun.  It might seem implausible that a small library could do any of the cool things they are doing in such a lovely big space, but many of their offerings would work really well in a small space with limited resources.
alphabet letters with road lines and tiny truck

Case in point?  Alisha sent me some great photos of their Alphabet Road Trip--letters that look like roads, complete with matchbox cars for driving on them.  She even said that if you want to contact her (alishagreen @ eauclaire.lib.wi.us) she is happy to share the PDF of the letters with you.  Cool beans!

suggestions for using the Roadtrip Alphabet

The same day, I got a message from Jill about a newscast the youth services staff did to promote their new play and learn activities.  Fun?  Definitely fun.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Author and Illustrator Inspiration

light bulb
Image from Pixabay
Sometimes I get downright inspired by hearing authors and illustrators speak about their craft--especially authors and illustrators working on books for children and teens.  What a passionate bunch!  In case you are looking for a few inspirations, with varying levels of time on your part:

Christian Robbins, the illustrator of Newbery winner Last Stop on Market Street, gave a Brief but Spectacular talk for PBS about making illustrations for children's materials.   Really, it is about 2 minutes long and it will make your day better.

Raina Telegmeier, the author/illustrator of graphic novels Smile, Drama, Sisters, and the brand new Ghosts, is going to be in Minneapolis at the University of Minnesota's Cowles Auditorium at 6:30 pm on September 19, giving a talk and a book signing.  More investment of time, but pretty exciting!  Free, but registration is requested.

The Chippewa Valley Book Festival is coming up, too. Lots of inspiring authors for adults and children!

Finally, don't miss your chance to see Bill Konigsburg, author of Openly Straight and The Porcupine of Truth.  He'll be at the YSS Luncheon at the WLA Conference on October 26.  And then we'll have a chance to discuss his books and his talk at an informal setting in the evening.  Our own Ashley Bieber (LEPMPL) was the brilliant person who coordinated this visit.  How cool is that?

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Happy Diaper Bag

little girl holding stinky baby
From Brandon on Flickr (creative commons)
I was up in Rice Lake the other day.  When I went into the bathroom, I was pleased to see a friendly sign saying that there is a Happy Diaper Bag at the children's desk.  For caregivers who find that their child has blown through a diaper and they forgot to reload the bag.  For people who were just going to be in the library for a MINUTE so they left their diaper bag in the car and then...well...then...  For kids who are potty trained except when they get really, really engrossed in stories or play.

Even though my kids are teenagers (and beyond!) and I am not even close to needing the happy diaper bag anymore, this sign made me feel calmer.  It was so friendly, and made me remember how anxious it can make you to be the caregiver of a young child.  Taking away this element of stress is such a terrific idea!  And makes it seem like a normal, not-so-shameful occurrence, if the library is prepared to help everyone with it.

When I talked to Janine at the children's desk about it, she says they pretty much stock the Happy Diaper Bag with donations--parents bring in the left-over diapers at the end of the pack when their kid graduates to the next size, or bring in a few outgrown pairs of pants.  An easy way to make the library more welcoming (and better smelling!).