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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, September 13, 2017

Writing Workshop for Kids in Eau Claire

colored pencils
As part of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, local writers  will be holding  wonderful sounding workshops for young writers at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire.  Jessi Peterson is one of the presenters for the workshop for 3-5 graders.  Jessi is not only a poet of some renown (and she built her own cordwood house with a round hobbit door), she is also the Children's Librarian at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, so we know she knows how to work with kids!  She asked me to put this on the blog, since folks from quite a distance attended last year.

Here's the information to pass on to your young writers:

Let's Write!  Grades 3-5 10:30am-12pm . Chippewa Room
Join local writers Sara Bryan and Jessi Peterson for a morning of inventing, writing, and sharing. We’ll bring the paper, pencils, and a passel of tips, tricks, and treats! With Special Guest Appearance by The Cabinet of Curiosities, guaranteed to Ignite Your Imagination.  Attendees are encouraged to submit their work to the Young Writers Showcase.


Stories Save.  Grades 6-8 10:30 am- 12:00 pm, Eau Claire Room.
Join local writers Andrew Patrie and Derick Black for an exploration of how our experiences can be the most fertile soil for growing stories and relationships. Paper, pencils, and prompts will be provided to get you writing and sharing.

Register for either program online at ecpubliclibrary.info/kids or call 715-839-5007.

For more information about the presenters, check out the Chippewa Valley Book Festival site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

WLA Conference Cool Stuff!

WLA logoSorry for the absence of blog posts, I've been out of the office more than in for the past few weeks, taking part in some terrific opportunities (the Youth Services Institute, Prepare Training to learn how to defuse challenging situations, and dropping my youngest kid off at college, to name a few).  Then, when I finally had a chance to write a post, I posted in the YSS Blog by accident (blushing, here).  If you haven't checked out the YSS Blog, I highly recommend this excellent, frequently-updated resource.

Now I'm back, and thinking about another chance to get away from the regular day-to-day work and explore some new things and hang around with some inspiring folks!  The Wisconsin Library Association Conference comes early this year (October 17-20), and there are several things I think you should know about this year's conference.  This is only a partial list of the things I am excited for at this conference:


  • Tuesday, October 17:  Pre-conference:  Representation, Authenticity, and Being Real:  Diversity in Youth Services with Anna Haase Krueger and Tami Lee will take a deep dive into collection development and library programming, with ideas and hands-on book examination.
  • Wednesday, October 18:  Andrea Davis Pinkney, author, publisher, and extraordinary speaker, will be the YSS Luncheon speaker.  Get ready to be inspired!
  • Thursday, October 19:  Linda Liukas will give the keynote address.  Linda is a programmer, storyteller, and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland.  Check out her TED talk!
  • Friday, October 20:  My very own cousin, Ehryn Barthelme, will be teaming up with a public librarian from Rochester, MN to discuss the reality of what teens and young adults are thinking about, dealing with and experiencing related to sexual health, sexuality, and gender expression.
  • Througout the conference, you will be able to see librarians from the IFLS region presenting, including Jerissa Koenig, Rebekah Palmer, Martha Kaempffer, Jennifer Cook, Susan DeBolt, Cole Zrostlik, Katherine Elchert, and yours truly, plus you'll have a chance to see John Thompson and other contributors to the PLSR process talk about the system re-design process. 
I hope you will consider joining us for an amazing time.  Please let me know if you need some help advocating for yourself for a chance to attend!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Early Childhood Development--Understanding Numbers

toddler holding up 3 fingers

Even though it is on a commercial site, this is a great explanation of the way kids learn to understand numbers (being able to count to 10 does not mean that children understand the concept behind the numbers).  It gives some simple suggestions of activities to do to help children develop the skills of understanding what numbers mean, and other concepts that make up the foundation of understanding mathematics.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Read On Wisconsin

The booklists and other resources have been released for 2017-2018 Read On Wisconsin books.  If you don't already know about it, Read On Wisconsin provides book discussion resources and carefully selected books for several age groups each month.  If you were considering promoting Gene Luen Yang's Reading Without Walls Challenge, these booklists might be a great starting place--a wonderful variety of books, formats, styles, and subjects!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Teens' Top Ten Voting Open!


Teens' Top Ten, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, allows teens from across the country to vote for their top three favorite recent books from a list created by other teens.  This is a great way to encourage teens in your area to make their opinions heard!  YALSA has created some great resources, and this is just in:


Voting for the 2017 Teens' Top Ten is now open! Check out and share the video announcing the nominees here and encourage teens to vote for their top three titles now through Oct. 14.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Resources for Talking about Charlottesville with Kids

We have to keep talking, providing resources, shining a light where it is needed, and helping kids, teens, and families cope with some of the tough things in our world.  The recent events in Charlottesville and the increasing rise of white supremacy and other hate groups is one.  There are some good resources, pulled together by Teen Librarian Toolbox.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Barron's Rearrangement Pays Off!

If you get two creative people together who are interested in thinking outside the box about ways to meet community needs, you just never know where you'll end up.  Patti Becker and Sue Queiser at Barron have been looking at the way the community uses the space, programs, and collections of the children's area for the past few years.  Attendance at regular storytime programs was down, as was attendance at programs for the summer library program.  Throughout this time, Patti and Sue have been thinking about ways to accommodate the needs of the community better.

This included offering more passive programming (a new one each day the library was open during the summer of 2016!), one-on-one storytime, and more.  They noticed that kids and families really enjoyed hanging around together and working on projects.  As a result, they undertook a large transformation--weeding heavily, rearranging their collections, purchasing new furniture that encouraged lingering, and creating much more open space for creation and imagination.
kids do line art at a table
Line art at the table that fits nicely!


Last week, Patti sent me some photos, labeled, THIS IS WHY WE DID IT!  I thought you might like to see, too!
kids make things out of cardboard tubes
Kids make things out of cardboard tubes--look at all that floor space!