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, June 11, 2019

Summer Library Program: How Are You Managing?

Photo of three rocks with arms and legs drawn on paper behind them to make it look like one is lifting weights, one is lifting up arms in triumph, and one is running
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 
I came across an article from the Harvard Business Review about How to Get Through an Extremely Busy Time at Work and thought immediately of all you wonderful peeps out there in the thick of kicking off your summer programming. 

I'm guessing none of you have time to read a blog right now, but I'm posting this anyway in case you have a short moment to catch up on some reading.  I highly recommend the article, it is very short and practical.  Of course, we need to think about and build in sustainability to our work, but sometimes there is a crunch, when there is more to do than we have time to do it.  A few of the tips include:

  • Intersperse the harder, more taxing things with things that are a little easier on your brain or body.  If doing a program for 75 kids wears you out, follow it up with something you need to get done but that takes less energy or is kind of a treat for you--like some collection development tasks or catching up on some professional reading.  That way you are still being productive, but you are giving your body and brain a chance to rest a little bit.
  • Try to segment things.  When you are not at work, try hard not to worry about work.  Be present with your family, friends, or cats.  Let yourself forget about your to-do list from work when you are at home, and vice versa!

There are a bunch more, I recommend reading!

And if you still have a little time, check out the ALA-APA website about wellness.  It talks about emotional, physical, spiritual, environmental, social, occupational, financial, and intellectual wellness, and there are several resources suggested for each section.  Good stuff!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Cool Stuff Round-Up!

A few weeks back, I put out a call for cool SLP promotion/ideas.  I heard from 4 libraries with great info about their SLP (and beyond!).  If you have stuff to share, I'd love to hear about it!

Barron is having a Summer Reading Program Launch on June 21st!  We have signs, facebook posts, website updates, and we are in the paper to promote our programs.  We have several different programs available all summer long!  Lisa Kuebli.

Some of you know we are fortunate to have a little stage in the Boyceville library and kids love it! We get the entire elementary school to walk over here one grade at a time and help us perform a skit to promote the summer reading program. Laurie did a really fun job of decorating this year, see  alien spaceship below with fun twinkle lights. The kids love being on stage, we get them to read a line or two and they get really excited about signing up.    
umbrella painted silver with additional elements to make it look like an alien spaceship or a satellite
Boyceville decorations
4 people standing on stage, 2 with green alien masks, one with an astronaut helmet, and one librarian wearing a Universe of Stories t-shirt.
Kids on stage in Boyceville

In Durand,  we recently set up a box of free discarded children’s and regular library books to use at the Laundromat.  We got permission by the owner to place the box in there.   We set up with the idea in case they are bored at the laundromat and they are discarded so we won’t worry if they take them. 

Bruce Area Library is partnering with the Bruce Public School this year, in a way. We have at least three teachers from the school helping to make our program a success. The Board of Directors chose Sarah Solberg, a Title 1 teacher, to head the program for the summer and she created the flier that I shared with you. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Healing Library Kit Resources

Orange logo, 3 interlocking circles with a heart in one circle and text in the other 2 circleswith text that says:  The Healing Library:  Children's Books, Conversation, Community, Caring.
Healing Library is a company that creates kits for purchase to help families process a traumatic event or situation.  They have made resources (activity sheets, discussion points, booklists, and more) available for free so that libraries can create and customize their own kits.  They worked with a licensed clinical social worker and a librarian to create these kits--and you can access them for your own use, either for creating kits or for readers' advisory on challenging issues.  The topics available for free include:

Death of a Loved One
Death of a Pet
Alzheimer's and Your Family

Monday, June 3, 2019

Teens and Parents Weigh In on Screen Time

Two young teenagers who present as white boys sit on a brick curb.  One is leaning over looking at his phone, the other is sitting up, looking at his phone.  A person with long hair sits on a bench in the background, also looking at a phone.
Image from Pexels

Pew Research Center has a new survey report out about the way teens and parents view screen time.  I read the overview , and here are a few things I thought were interesting:

  • More than half of parents feel like teens are distracted from in-person conversations by their phone.  But guess what?  More than half of teens feel like parents are distracted from in-person conversations by their phone, too.
  • Just over half of teens feel like they spend too much time on their phones, while 36% of parents do.  At the same time, teens are less likely to be distracted at school by their phones than parents are to be distracted at work.
  • Nearly 90 percent of teens report that excessive time online is a problem facing people their age.
  • Forty-nine percent of girls and 38 of boys report feeling anxious when they don't have their phones with them, but more than half report cutting back on screen use.
  • Fifty-seven percent of parents place limits on teen use of screens, and 86 percent of parents feel very confident in knowing the amount of screen time that is good for their children.

Does this fit with what you've observed of teens and parents in the library?  Do you hear a lot about concerns related to screen time for teens?  And who do you hear it from?  Parents?  Teachers?  Grandparents?  Teens themselves?  

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Taking Care of Yourself When Your Library Is a Second Responder

Orange tabby cat sleeps with its head in its paws
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay 
I read a short piece in the Atlantic about how public libraries often act as Second Responders.  Like when there is a natural disaster, and the library provides resources to help folks figure out where to look for help, or goes to a shelter to provide storytimes or activities for kids and families to do to help ease stress and boredom.  Or when a kid's home is not particularly pleasant or safe, or when they don't have a home, and the library provides an excellent place for them to be.  So many, many examples.

I love seeing this role of libraries getting some attention.  It is what many of us are doing every day, and I'm glad others are paying attention and singing our praises.  I love it when we get good press for doing our jobs.

I'm also aware that this second-responder business can be exhausting, and can leave librarians with some symptoms of Secondary Trauma.  Remember to take time to pay attention to your own health and well-being.  Look for moments to breathe deeply.  Look for chances to reflect and act with intention when you plan your services, and remember that being Second Responders takes time and energy and resource, and you need to figure out a way to track that so you can let folks know what you are doing.

Let me know if you have any thoughts about this!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Spoilers! Game

Yellow triangle warning sign with large exclamation point, underneath it says:  Warning:  Spoilers Ahead

I found out about this game, Spoilers!, from an ALSC listserv.  It was developed by Kendra Wright, formerly at the Sno-Isle Library System in the state of Washington.  Though this game requires library staff to commit to reading a lot of middle-grade books, it sure seems like a great way to develop relationships around reading.  It might be a really fun way to work with kids who struggle with reading, or who need more encouragement to read during the summer (or any time).  You could offer it specifically to a smaller group of kids, or try it out on an individual basis with a kid who spends time at the library already, but who might need a little extra nudge to read enthusiastically.

The basic gist of it is that a child chooses a book they haven't read before, the librarian gets a copy of it, and reads to the halfway mark.  Then the child comes back after reading the whole book and tells the librarian two endings:  one true, one that they made up.  The librarian tries to choose which one is real--kids love trying to trick adults!  Read about the whole idea here.

I love the idea because it engages kids in a one-on-one relationship about reading, with plenty of individuated support and validation for reading, which the research supports as being a really excellent motivator.  Plus it give kids a chance to be creative and sneaky, which is a great combination when put to the right kind of application!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Laundromat Storytimes and Services

a wall of washing machines in a laundromat
Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay 

Do you advertise your library programs and services in the laundromat?  It's a place where people, often families, spend a fair amount of time waiting.  If you aren't already advertising your services there, you might want to consider doing so.  You might even want to see if you can put up a free little library there, or some conversation starters for families.  You can find some fun free graphics at Talking Is Teaching.

Some libraries actually do storytimes at the laundromat during times that they've found a peak number of families there. They have actually found that families adjust their laundry day so that they can be there when the library is there!   If you are trying to reach new audiences, this is a pretty great place to do it.