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, May 26, 2015

Summer Reading List

A group of librarians and authors who care about diversity put together an Inclusive Summer Reading List.  Aimed at including diverse voices and experiences in the books recommended for children and teens, the list includes a wide range of books.  According to one of the authors, Debbie Reese, the list includes "contemporary and historical fiction. There's speculative fiction and nonfiction as well. Some are new, and some are older. The list includes a graphic novel, too. Some titles are from major publishers, some are from small publishers, and some are self-published. And, some are available as audiobooks or e-books."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Getting Feedback from School-Age Kids

Readers' Theater in Bloomer
I read an article in American Libraries about Tween Advisory Boards this week and it had some good ideas for engaging 9-12 year olds a little more in library programming and decision-making.  I know many of you have Teen Advisory Boards, and sometimes it can be tricky for some of those teens to find time to participate.  9-12 year olds have a little more disposable time, so it might be something to consider.

One library found that the number of programs (and well-attended programs, at that) for this age group grew significantly once they had an advisory board in place.  Another library re-thought their ideas for new furniture and space use after hearing from kids about what they were looking for in the library.  We learn it over and over, that the best way to provide services that are popular and well-received is to ask what services people want.  This is one more example of that.

What are you doing to engage with school-age kids?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Creating Safe Spaces for GLBTQ+ Youth

I attended a training session today sponsored by the AIDS Resource Center entitled Creating Safe Spaces for GLBTQ+ Youth in the Chippewa Valley.  GLBTQ stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender and Questioning/Queer.  The room was full of people from around the area, including several librarians (yay, librarians!).  It was a useful training, and I would have happily stayed for longer than the two hours allotted.

I think it is our responsibility as librarians who work with teens to try to get up to speed on what issues GLBTQ youth are facing and how we can create safer spaces for them in our libraries.  Health disparities for GLB youth in Wisconsin are stark, according to the WI Department of Health Services.  They are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide or get injured in a fight.  Four times greater odds of having sex before the age of 13.  Three times more likely to skip school because they feel unsafe.  And half as likely to feel they belong in school.  Source.

The trainers shared some tips for people who work with GLBTQ youth (and if you work with youth, you work with GLBTQ youth).  Take a look here and here.  And June is ALA's GLBT Book Month (Thanks to my colleague Pam Gardow for sharing that information).

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Invitation Is For YOU!

Here's another reminder that the invitation really is meant for YOU.  You can apply for the Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute here, by May 29!

Two years ago, I was lucky enough to be involved with the Wisconsin Youth Services Development Institute, 3.5 days of intense learning and connecting for a group of 25 rural librarians who serve youth.  The participants learned about a whole variety of topics related to youth services, and I believe that every single one of them left feeling energized, empowered, and better connected to the wider world of librarians. And in the years since, the group is still communicating with and supporting each other.  Pretty amazing.  Here's one telling comment from a past participant:

In the beginning of last year, I was struggling with stepping up and speaking out. I can tell you that I now have the ability to confidently share my ideas and concerns with my library board. I have learned to organize my thoughts and bring supporting reasons for them.

More comments available here.  And did I mention the price for this Institute?  FREE!  I highly encourage you all to apply!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Media Mentors White Paper

The Association for Library Service to Children just released a white paper entitled Media Mentorship in Libraries Serving Youth.  It has some helpful background, and a strong argument that libraries are uniquely positioned to act as Media Mentors for the families in our communities.  It's worth reading if you have the time.

Either way, be sure to mark your calendars for 2 workshops that will help you develop your skills as a Media Mentor:  New Media Training with Carissa Christner at WITC in Rice Lake on September 18 and Media Mentor Training with Erin Walsh and Chip Donohue on October 6 at the Florian Gardens in Eau Claire.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Read-Aloud Awards

Winners of the MSUM Read Aloud Awards selected by over 21,000 regional children.

The children have spoken and for the eleventh year have chosen the best books that were read out loud to them in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Read Aloud program. 

The 2015 winner of the Wanda Gág ReadAloud Book Award for the preschool to eight-year-old category is Sam & Dave Dig a Hole written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen and published by Candlewick Press. The Wanda Gág honor book for 2015 is A Perfectly Messed-Up Story written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell.

The 2015 winner of the Comstock ReadAloud Book Award for the 9 to 12-year-old category is What to Do When You’re Sent to Your Room written by Ann Stott, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin and published by Candlewick Press. The Comstock honor books for 2015 are The Bambino and Me written by Zachary Hyman and illustrated by Zachary Pullen; Gifts from the Enemy written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Craig Orback; and Rags: Hero Dog of WWI: A True Story written by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Petra Brown.

The winners and honor books are determined after the Read Aloud Committee examines feedback from readers, which includes responses from children to each of the books. Each book in the competition is read aloud to various groups of children numerous times.   The intent of the program is to increase literacy and promote reading aloud to children and to recognize outstanding authors and illustrators each year.  

The awards program is administered by the staff of the MSUM Livingston Lord Library’s Curriculum Materials Center (CMC), which holds a large collection of children’s books and resource materials for in-service teachers. The book award project is partially funded by the Solomon G. Comstock Memorial Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation and the Wanda Gág Book Award Fund of the MSUM Alumni Foundation.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

More Transitional Chapter Books

I got a note from Jill Patchin from Eau Claire today, saying if she'd known I would accept books in series for last month's reading goals, she would have had lots to recommend.  Jill runs My First Book Club, for kids just starting to read chapter books, and has had great luck with almost all of these titles (except Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater), especially these series:  Lulu (by Hilary McKay), Moongobble (by Bruce Coville) and Milo and Jazz Mysteries (by Lewis B. Montgomery).

Jill calls these books Bridge Books.

·         A to Z Mysteries: Absent author                                                                    by Rob Roy
·         Down Girl and Sit:   Home on the range                                                       by Lucy Nolan
·         Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures: The Mt. Rushmore Calamity            by Sara Pennypacker
·         Franny K Stein Mad Scientist: Lunch Walks Among Us                               by Jim Benton
·         Doyle and Fossey Science Detectives: The Case of the Gasping Garbage   by Michele Torrey
·         Lulu and the Duck in the Park                                                                       by Hilary McKay
·         Marvin Redpost: Kidnapped at Birth?                                                           by Louis Sachar
·         Mercy Watson to the Rescue                                                                          by Kate DiCamillo
·         Milo and Jazz Mysteries: The Case of the Stinky Socks                                 by Lewis B. Montgomery
·         Moongobble and Me: The Dragon of Doom                                                   by Bruce Coville
·         My Weird School Daze: Mrs Dole Is Out of Control                                      by Dan Gutman
·         Mrs Noodlekugel                                                                                              by Daniel Pinkwater
·         Roscoe Riley Rules: Never Glue your Friends to Chairs                                by Katherine Applegate
·         The Littles                                                                                                         by John Peterson

·         Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery                                                    by Doreen Cronin