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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Autism Welcome Here Grants Available

Announcing a NEW library grant opportunity!
AUTISM WELCOME HERE: Library Programs, Services and More Grant

Applications are now being accepted online. Submission deadline is December 1, 2015.  For more information and details about this unique grant opportunity please see: www.librariesandautism.org/grant

Each year, a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded. Depending on the applications received, one grant for the full amount or multiple grants for smaller amounts may be awarded.  Any type of library can apply, and the proposal can fund projects and services for any age group. Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service, bring an already existing, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or enhance a program or service they already offer. All programs or services proposed must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly. Funds may be used to hire a trainer to present a workshop, to buy program materials, to pay for staff, etc.

Please direct any questions to Barbara Klipper: barbaraklipper.librarian@gmail.com.

Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected is honored and excited to be sponsoring this new grant opportunity that honors the groundbreaking work of Libraries and Autism co-founder Meg Kolaya for her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries and the autism community, and bringing awareness of the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families to the library community.


This grant is an outcome of the Illinois State Library’s broad and ambitious project, Targeting Autism: A National Forum on Serving Library Patrons on the Spectrum. The grant is funded by Barbara Klipper, retired librarian, consultant and trainer, and the author of two important books, Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ALA Editions, 2014) and The Secret Rules of Social Networking (AAPC Publishing, 2015).

Friday, August 21, 2015

Word Group Game in Pepin

Thanks to Christy in Pepin for this blog post!

What do you do with those flimsy DVD cases that we are not to circulate?  Do they just pile up in a store room or cabinet?  What about the discs from movies or books that are not salvageable or no longer needed?  Looking to re-use both of these items?  Here's one idea that Pepin is putting together to make available for the beginning readers. 

Take a word group, such as words that end in "ap".  Create a label or two with those letters on and place inside the DVD case.  Then place letters onto a label for the disc.  The disc can then be turned to create words from the letters on the disc and the case.  
CD with letters word game
Have available some paper that the reader can then write the words they create.  Place a pencil inside the case and a spiffy cover for the outside and viola!  A quick tool for readers to see and make words.  This activity will help readers to rhyme, spell, write and enrich their literacy skills.  We are putting together several of these cases with word groups and will make them available for use in the library.
place for writing words created

We are also thinking of creating "Scrabble" like tiles from these cases also. Younger readers can create their own words or just place the tiles in order. Older readers can make their own cross-stick puzzles and challenge each other to keep adding words.  The tiles can have capital letters on one side and lower case letters on the other side.  Just some paper and printer toner and a little time should give those old DVD cases new life.
snazzy cover

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Developing Self-Regulation in Children

toddler watching television
Photo credit:  Lou Bueno flickr
My public health colleague Karen sent me a link to this article about a recent study about significant media use and self-regulation issues for young children.  Being able to self-regulate is a crucial life skill that allows kids to be more resilient in the face of challenges and is a strong predictor of school success.  One thing the researchers were trying to determine was whether infants and toddlers who watch a lot of television and videos were doing so as a result of being fussy or more challenging (because watching a screen calmed them down and possibly gave stressed parents a break from crying), or whether the media consumption led to the self-regulation issues.  They found that media use of more than 2 hours per day did result in a small, but statistically significant, increase in self-regulation problems.

One of the recommendations of the study was helping parents come up with more developmentally supportive strategies for helping an infant or toddler who is irritable, fussy, or extremely demanding. The study, being from a medical establishment, recommends pediatricians communicate this information, but it seems like there is a role for librarians here, too.  How can we intentionally model and share scaffolding strategies for helping the youngest children learn to self-regulate?

What do you do?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Get the Mayor Involved in Summer Reading!

Thanks to Kim Hennings at New Richmond for this guest blog post about a great addition to their Summer Library Program:

This year, in addition to weekly reading goals for SLP participants, we added "Mayor Fred's Summer Reading Challenge."

We had a high school student draw a cartoon of the Mayor and we used that as artwork in our Summer Reading Program booklet.  The instructions stated:

"This year we are very excited that one of New Richmond's own heroes, Mayor Fred Horne, has a reading challenge for the children of New Richmond.  

Dear Reader,

I want to give you an extra challenge this summer.  Using the list below read the eight different types of books throughout the summer reading program.  If you complete all eight, you will be presented a special award at the city council meeting on August 10th.

I can't wait to see how many New Richmond kids are reading this summer!  All summer readers are superheroes in my book! - Mayor Fred"

The categories were
-A book where at least one character is an animal
-A funny or humorous book
-A non-fiction book (true story)
-A book that won a national award (caldecott or newberry)
-Re-read a favorite book
-A fairy or folktake
-Listen to a book, eaudio, book on CD or book & CD
-A graphic novel, comic, or wordless picture book

All the children who completed the challenge got a special invitation to the council meeting via email.  50 kids completed the challenge and 30 kids plus parents/siblings came to the meeting.  The council had to bring in extra seating to accommodate everyone.  During the meeting, I called the kids up one at a time and the Mayor shook their hand and presented them with a certificate. (certificates were filled out ahead of time and we checked kids in before the meeting. We also had blank certificates to fill out for last minute additions)  Afterwards we took a group photo and the kids were invited to the basement for cake and punch.  Although it certainly wasn't our highest attended program, several council members as well as parents expressed their enthusiasm and appreciation.  It's a great introduction to local politics and what the city council does. 

It's one thing for me to tell the council how many kids participated in summer reading (which I do), and it is another for them to see how proud those children were as they were accepting their awards.  I also made sure to tell all the children the City Council meetings are televised, which they were very excited about.

We're already brainstorming ways we can tweak the program to make it more successful next year.   The program took virtually no additional work besides filling out the certificates and ordering a cake and helped us build a better relationship with our Mayor and City Council.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Media Mentor Twitter Chat

child and woman laughing with tablet
Photo credit:  Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon
Join ALSC members and anyone interested in participating in a monthly Twitter chat. On Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 8 pm Central, ALSC will be hosting a one-hour chat on the topic of media mentorship. What are you doing already? What do you have planned for the future? Bring your ideas and suggestions to this hour-long chat.

You can follow the chat by using the hashtag #alscchat. The event will be moderated by the ALSC Children & Technology Committee. This event is free and open to anyone including those without a Twitter account. You can follow along at: http://twubs.com/alscchat

Are you following ALSC on Twitter? You can find ALSC at http://www.twitter.com/alscblog   

Interested in learning more about #alscchat or want a transcript of a previous chat? Check out the Children & Technology Interest Group on ALA Connect: http://connect.ala.org/node/86805

On the topic of media mentors, don't forget about two upcoming in-person workshops:

September 18, Rice Lake WITC Conference Center, 9-4:  New Media, Early Literacy, & Libraries with Carissa Christner, talking about finding and evaluating good apps and the whys and ways to incorporate new media into your services and/or programming at the library.  Register.

October 6, Florian Gardens in Eau Claire, 9:15-3:30:  Media Mentors with Erin Walsh and Chip Donohue, talking about child development, media use, and providing resources for parents and caregivers who are trying to manage conflicting information.  Register.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Many thanks to Becky Arenivar of Prescott for this guest post.  NOTE:  If you haven't yet sent in kit requests for fall 2015, please send them to me via email at langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us.  Full list of kits.

Maybe you don’t need the time-saving convenience of IFLS Storytime Kits.  Maybe your Storytimes are all planned months in advance.  Maybe you’re a seasoned Storytime veteran, who knows all the good read-aloud books, songs, fingerplays and movement activities for more than 100 Storytime themes by heart.

Maybe, just maybe, you are missing out on some little-known, but amazing, advantages of using Storytime Kits.  

I was one of those Storytime librarians - I only used Storytime Kits to save time, when I was overwhelmed by (choose all that apply) SLP, outreach, increased desk hours, new tasks and responsibilities, etc. and still had to plan and present Storytimes.  I was unaware of the transformative power of Storytime Kits!  Confession time - I’m also one of those rogue Storytime librarians who don’t do puppets.  Not at all.  Let’s save that discussion for another time, though.

Spring 2015: I realize I might be on leave during June and July.  Panic ensues, “what will happen to SLP, to summer Storytimes?”  After a fruitful and calming discussion with my Library Director, I ordered a Storytime Kit for each summer Storytime.  If I was here, I’d do Storytime; if I wasn’t here, another staff member could do it.  

Turns out, I did not go on leave after all, and it was convenient and time-saving to have a Storytime Kit arrive each week.  But one week, magic happened.  Inside the Families Storytime Kit was the Monkey Face Flannel story, a fun, engaging and heartwarming story.  But, seriously, 5 puppets plus flannel board pieces!

You know the end of this story, don’t you?  I practiced and practiced, presented the Monkey Face flannel story and it was fun and the kids loved it.  I used puppets and flannel board pieces and read from a script - all at the same time!  Were fireworks bursting and lightbulbs going on?  Yes.  Will I become the most awesome puppeteer in the kingdom?  Probably not, but I will work on bringing puppets into my Storytimes.  And, I definitely will order Storytime Kits, even when I don’t need the convenience, probably one or two each session.  Because I know that Storytime Kits not only save time, but will help me expand skills, overcome timidity and create magic.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Crowd-Sourced List

The Crowd-Sourced Readers' Advisory List continues, even though everyone is so busy!  Thanks to the contributors, and please consider participating in August, when the topic is books in a series.  Read a book in a series for any age group (PreS-high school) and fill out this simple form and help us crowd-source another list!

Here's the list for July:  Readers' Choice.

 Readers’ Choice Crowd-Sourced Reading Lists for August 2015

Preschool/Primary Grades
I Don't Want to Be a Frog cover

Besel, Jen.  Sweet Tooth:  No-Bake Desserts to Make and Devour.  2015.
Nora at New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this book of easy recipes for sweets, with great pictures and step-by-step instructions to adults and families, preschoolers and kids in primary grades.
Butchart, Pamela.  Never Tickle a Tiger.  Illus. by Marc Boutvant.  2015.
Nora from New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this silly book about a girl who can’t sit still.  She says adults and families, preschoolers and primary grades would all enjoy.
Caple, Kathy.  A Night at the Zoo. 2015.
Nora from New Richmond might recommend this one for preschool or primary grades, especially if they like zoo animals.
Emberley, Barbara.  The Story of Paul Bunyan. Illus. by Ed Emberley. 1994. 
Nora from New Richmond recommends this title for anyone looking for more about Paul Bunyan.  The illustrations are great, the story is simple but interesting.
Kemp, Anna.  Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes.  Illus. by Sara Ogilvie.  2015 (US)
Nora from New Richmond recommends this one for preschoolers and primary grade kids who like silly stories.
Matheson, Christie.  Touch the Brightest Star.  2015.
Nora from New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this beautifully illustrated, interactive story, suited especially well for one-on-one or very small group sharing.
Petty, Dev.  I Don’t Want to Be a Frog.  Illus. by Mike Boldt.  2015.
Samantha from LEPMPL recommends this one enthusiastically for librarians doing storytime!
Shea, Bob.  Ballet Cat and the Totally Secret Secret. 2015.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this one for preschool and primary grades.  It would be a fun one for storytime or for newly independent readers.  Very funny, great sentiment, too.
Verdick, Elizabeth.  Teeth Are Not for Biting.  Illus. by Marieka Heinlen.  2003.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this for preschoolers who need to learn not to bite—it was great for her 2-year-old nephew.  There is a whole series to help address a variety of issues (tail-pulling, hitting, etc.)
Watson, Stephanie.  Behold a Baby.  Illus. by Joy Ang.  2015.
Nora from New Richmond recommends this one for adults/families to read together with preschoolers and primary grade kids to get used to the idea of a new sibling—it is super-cute, she says!

Middle Grade Elementary
Galaxy's Most Wanted cover

Baskin, Nora.  Ruby on the Outside.   2015.
Alisha from LEPMPL recommends this title for middle grade and middle school.  It is a “sensitively written story about a young girl’s thoughts and feelings about her incarcerated mother.”
Bradley, Kim Brubaker. The War that Saved My Life. 2015.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this one for WWII history buffs, people who like tales of triumphing over adversity.  About the home front in England, this book was quite moving, but not bleak.  Older kids may also enjoy it.
Kloepfer, John.  Galaxy’s Most Wanted.  Illus. by Nick Edwards.
Nora from New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this one—her nine-year-old son loves them, and it helps to have just a few pictures to stir the imagination of young readers.
McKay, Hillary.  Binny for Short.  Illus. by Micah Player.  2013.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this title for people who liked books about the Penderwicks, or people who really like quirky characters in their books.  First in a series.
Tarshis, Lauren.  Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (2008) and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love (2009)
Monica from River Falls fell in love with Emma-Jean and her friend Colleen.  She has suggested it to everyone from elementary school to middle and high school students, all the way to adults, it has appealed to a wide age range.  She has given it to both boys and girls with success.  Emma-Jean has autism and her (dis)abilities are handled with respect and care.

Middle School
The Story of Owen cover

Johnston, E.K.  The Story of Owen:  Dragon Slayer of Trondheim.  2014.
Monica from River Falls recommends this for high school and adults/families, too.  It is like nothing she’s ever read—takes place in alternate universe where dragons consume fossil fuel and dragon-slayers are like rock stars.
Moss, Marissa.  The Pharaoh’s Secret.  2009.
Jenny from Hudson enthusiastically recommends this one, especially for kids who like Percy Jackson.  The 6-8 graders in her book group really loved it.  Mystery, myth and adventure.
Thor, Annika.  A Faraway Island.  Tr. from Swedish by Linda Schenck.  2009.
Lynne from Centuria enthusiastically recommends this one to middle and high schoolers.  It is two young Jewish girls sent to live with foster families in Sweden at the beginning of WWII.

High School
The Naturals cover

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn.  The Naturals.  2013.
Samantha from LEPMPL enthusiastically recommends this one to people who love mysteries and thrillers.
Cummings, Lindsay.   The Murder Complex.  2014.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this for its alternating viewpoint, strong female character, and fast pace.
Estep, Jennifer.  Cold Burn of Magic.   2015.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this first book in a series:  magic, assassins, and a strong female character.
Fisher, Catherine.  Incarceron. 2011.
Deanna from Milltown might recommend this to fantasy fans.  She’s not a big fantasy reader, and it took a while to get into it, but by the end she was hooked, and feels she needs to read the second book to find out what happens next!
Yancey, Rick.  The 5th Wave. 2013.
Tiffany from Ellsworth recommends this one—in fact, she chose it for the Morning Book Club discussion at the Senior Center and is looking forward to hearing what people from that generation think of it.