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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Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Wider World Comes to IFLS-Land!

How cool is this??

Youth Services Section Regional Meet Up - North West Area
Friday, April 13 | 12:30-4:00 PM
Cost: $0

Starts at:     Rice Lake Public Library, 2 E Marshall St, Rice Lake, WI 54868

Ends at:     GE Bleskacek Family Memorial Bloomer Public Library,
(The drive between libraries is approximately 35 minutes.)
12:30 pm     Welcome and Introductions at Rice Lake Public Library
12:30 pm     Program Swap, Space Issues and Solutions Discussion, and RLPL Tour
2:15pm        Drive to Bloomer Public Library
3:00 pm       Bloomer Library Tour, wrap-up discussion, and snacks

At Rice Lake Public Library, we'll start with a brief welcome activity before the program swap and library space discussion commences. Then YSS Member Claire Parrish will give a brief tour of the library's children's area.

Afterwards, we'll head over to the Bloomer Public Library where YSS member Florence LaBeau will give us a library tour, provide snacks, and allow time for a short wrap-up discussion.

Please join us with a successful or future summer program to share. Bring a friend or colleague that isn't a YSS member yet and let them see the benefits YSS membership has to offer.

Questions? Email Claire Parrish at claireparrish@ricelakegov.org

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

More Resources for Helping Parents Navigate Screen Time

Cynthia Marie Hoffman, flickr
Thanks to Jenna Gilles-Turner for sharing this information with me about an upcoming webinar, sponsored by the Children's Screen Time Action Network--webinar will be coming up tomorrow at 2 pm: 

Face-to-Face: Empowering Families to Live Mindfully in our Digital World
How do we make sure that the values we want our children to learn stand out from the digital noise and commercialism of today’s times? Dr. Kathy Masarie and co-author Kathy Keller Jones, M.A. will offer mindful life choices that professionals can use to support families in an overwhelmingly electronic world. Their seven parenting “touchstones” empower parents to help children meet their potential and avoid the pitfalls digital device overuse. Their webinar will focus on gradual introduction of devices as children grow into teens; digital-free times and zones, and how to make these practices sustainable in family life. Register here.

This reminded me that I attended a webinar with Wisconsin's very own pediatrician/librarian, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.  The webinar is titled Screen Time:  Not a Luxury Issue, a webinar for professionals who work with parents across the socioeconomic spectrum, and a recording is available here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Being There for Each Other

heart made out of many colored stones, on a sandy beach
Photo credit:  Pixabay
I have been presenting a few self-care workshops in the past several months, and at one of them, someone pointed out how hard it can be to find someone to truly listen to you when you need to talk/reflect/process something challenging in your life.  She was responding to a quote from Brene  Brown, suggesting that we let go of exhaustion as a status symbol, and saying that often when people talk about the challenges they are facing, it becomes a game of one-upping.  Example: 

"How are you?"

"Oh,  I'm tired because I've been pretty stressed at work and the baby is teething."

"Oh, you think you're tired?  I'm so tired!  I've been working 65 hour weeks to get a project done, and the kids are running me ragged with all their activities.  I don't know when I last had a quiet evening at home.  I bet you get a lot of those with the baby."

Like that. 

Turns out, it isn't that helpful to enter into a contest about who has the most stress or difficulty in their life.  Sometimes others just need us to listen compassionately, not try to solve their problem, and not let them know that we have it even worse.  I've been thinking about how we can create that kind of culture for each other as colleagues.  I see and hear all sorts of lovely things happening between librarians, and observe people developing supportive networks and friendships.  If there's anything I can do to help facilitate this, please let me know!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons Storytelling Prop

Many thanks to Valerie Spooner from Ladysmith for this fun guest post!

My storytime regulars LOVE Pete the Cat and I love easy to make props for retelling stories. After spending way too much time on Pinterest and not seeing anything I loved (anyone else hate toilet paper tubes??) I had a burst on inspiration and made this guy:

Pete the Cat book and prop, made with a cup, Pete the Cat picture, and removable buttons

It’s affordable enough that the kids can make their own to take home, too!
  • Yellow paper cups (Dollar Tree is great for these, or you can get them at Walmart)
  • Velcro
  • Buttons (I just used buttons I had on hand - I'm regretting not buying colorful buttons like in the story)
  • Pete the cat coloring page, available at http://www.petethecatbooks.com/activities/rock-color-pete-cat/ (I just used his head and upper body and cut the rest off)
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Tape (to attach Pete’s head to the cup)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

More Dyslexia Resources

chalkboard with thought bubble drawn in chalk, surrounding an incandescent lightbulb
Photo credit:  Pixabay
As promised, this post will list the books about dyslexia that Tonya Klem recommends for libraries.  Even better, Tonya is so committed to getting information out to parents and caregivers about this issue, she is offering to provide a 2-hour workshop in libraries in the IFLS-region this summer.   Here's a description: 

Understanding Dyslexia Workshop

Dyslexia is the most prevalent and most researched of all learning disabilities. It also is one of the most misunderstood. This workshop will uncover the myths of dyslexia and help participants understand the origins, signs and symptoms, effective interventions and accommodations for dyslexia.  It will also touch on how dyslexia is diagnosed and how to get support within the school system with time for questions and answers at the end.
If you are interested in having Tonya come to your library to do this workshop (for free!), please get in touch with her via her website:  www.k12services.net 
And here is the promised booklist:
Specifically About Dyslexia
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan by Ben Foss
Dyslexia Advocate! by Kelli Sandman-Hurley
Parenting a Struggling Reader by Susan L. Hall & Louisa C. Moats, Ed.D.
Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf

Specifically About Reading/Teaching Reading
Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers by Louis Moats
Unlocking Literacy: Effective Decoding & Spelling Instruction by Marcia HenryLanguage at the Speed of Sight: How We Read, Why So Many Can’t, and What Can Be Done About It by Mark Seidenberg

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Dyslexia Resources

scrabble tiles, most face-down, with LEARN facing up.
Photo credit:  Pexels
Thanks to a referral from a librarian (thanks Joleen at Menomonie!), I had a great conversation yesterday with Tonya Klem, a school psychologist who has a specific interest in dyslexia.  She sees many students and families who are falling through the cracks at school and are desperately seeking information and resources to help.  

I am sure that some of you are seeing this in your libraries, as well.  Families come in looking for books that their children can read, looking for resources and suggestions and ideas.  Kids who maybe don't like to participate in the Summer Library Program the way it is set up because reading is such a struggle for them (look for another blog post later this week about that topic).  

Tonya shared a list of online and book resources that are helpful for parents/caregivers who are trying to navigate this challenging world of learning disabilities.  Here's the list of websites, look for books later this week.


Dyslexia Handbook from the International Dyslexia Association, this handbook describes characteristics of dyslexia as well as information on assessments, effective teaching approaches, self-advocacy ideas, and more.

Reading Rockets, a multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources about how kids read, and why so many struggle.  This is a page of FAQs about dyslexia

Learning Ally: Provides digital audio books to people with dyslexia and other print disablities

Understood is a project of 15 nonprofit organizations to provide resources and support to students affected by learning and attention differences.

University of Michigan-Dyslexia Help offers a wealth of resources, information support, success stories, and other information about dyslexia.  

Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity  research and science, resources, success stories, and more.

LD OnLine is "an educator's guide to learning disabilities and ADHD."

Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities includes information, support and practical advice, and a community of support with other parents of kids with learning disabilities.

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) a nonprofit organization with information and resources about a variety of learning disabilities.

Bright Young Dyslexics is an organization founded by two Green Bay students with dyslexia to support Wisconsin K-12 students who have dyslexia.

Children’s Dyslexia Centers: http://childrensdyslexiacenters.org/

Monday, March 5, 2018

Wisconsin Reads The Round House (and the Birchbark House)

Thanks to Claire Parrish from the Rice Lake Public Library for this exciting guest post!
cover of The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Rice Lake Public Library is working on a Big Read grant with several community and regional partners. We have lots of exciting events coming up that I wanted to share with you!  To find out all the details about the project, check out the website: http://wisconsinreads.org/  
Kickoff Event
Thursday, March 10, 2018
     12:30pm: Film showing and discussion of Wind River at Rice Lake Public Library
     3:00-4:00 pm: Sign Making
     4:00 pm: “A March to End Sexual Assault” from Rice Lake Library to Badger Brew Coffee (4 PM),
     4:30 pm: Big Read Kickoff at Badger Brew and Red Scarves Fundraiser for End Domestic Abuse Barron County and Lac Courte Oreilles Oakwood Haven Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Shelter and Outreach

Author Visits
Thursday. March 8, 2018
     12:00-12:50 pm: Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories, and Recipes from the Upper Midwest with Heid Erdrich Thursday at the U, UW Barron County
     5:30-7:00 pm: Heid Erdrich will give the same presentation at RLPL in the lower level of the library

Saturday, April 28, 2018
     2:00-4:00 pm: A Native American Literary Feast and Festival at LCO-OCC, with readings by b:william bearhart, Kim Blaeser, Heid Erdrich, and Roberta Hill
     4:00-4:30 pm: drumming (4-4:30),
     4:30-6:00 pm: Prayer and Feast
     6:00-7:00 pm: Reading by Louise Erdrich
*Please attend early readings to ensure getting a ticket (free-of-charge) for later events.

Book and Film Discussions
Thursday, March 15, 2018
     5:30-7:30 pm: Native American Film Night: Reel Injun, UW-Barron County Library

Thursday, March 29, 2018
      5:30-7:00 pm: The Round House Book Discussion Part I, Rice Lake Public Library

Thursday, April 5, 2018
     5:30-7:30 pm: Native American Film Night: Lessons from Indigenous Law: John Borrow, UW-Barron County Library

Thursday, April 12, 2018
     5:30-7:00 pm: The Round House Book Discussion Part II, Rice Lake Public Library

Thursday, April 19, 2018
     5:30- 7:00 pm: Native American Film Night: 6 Generations, UW-Barron County Library

Thursday,  April 26, 2018
      5:30-7:00 pm: The Round House Book Discussion Part III, Rice Lake Public Library

Art Exhibit
Monday, April 2-Thursday, May 10,2018
     “Contemporary Indigenous”, a Native American Art Exhibit at Joel Salter Gallery UW Barron County with artists Louis Still Smoking, and others

Cover of the book The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich

Birchbark House Kits
Along with the many activities that will accompany Big Read book discussions for Louise Erdrich’s novel The Round House, Wisconsin Reads has developed a kit that librarians and patrons can use to carry out youth programming for Erdrich’s novel The Birchbark House.

Each kit will include 6 copies of The Birchbark House, craft projects, a map of tribal lands, a card game for learning some Ojibwe language, a foods project, as well as journaling and discussion questions.  A majority of the supplies are provided, but some crafts require extra supplies.  Wisconsin Reads The Round House can also provide a poster to help you advertise your events to the public.

 Many of the kit activities are hands-on, helping youth explore characters and themes in The Birchbark House. Set in the 1800’s, the novel describes an Ojibwe family living on the Island of the Golden-Breasted Woodpecker (Madeline Island) in Lake Superior. In addition to seasons, hardship, and family and community bonds, the book traces the childhood of Omakayas, who is destined to follow in the footsteps of her Grandmother Nokomis, a healer.

The kit allows for an exploration of Ojibwe culture, and includes extensive bibliographies for librarians and information about helping to promote more awareness of American Indian resources through Act 31.

RLPL is using the kits with our Boys and Girls Club book club students, who are all in 3rd and 4th grade. We’ve made it a few chapters in so far, and they are really enjoying the story and learning more about the Native tribes who live in our area.

Rice Lake, Lac Courte Oreille, Baraboo, and Marshfield each have six kits available for checkout. If you are interested, you can request them through MORE or WISCAT, and we send them through courier, similar to the board book kits from IFLS.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about how we partners with UW Colleges or if you want more detail about the project.

715-234-4861 ext. 117