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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Friday, November 12, 2010

Parents and Caregivers

We had a lively discussion at today's youth services idea swap about parents and caregivers. Some things we discussed included:

  • Correcting children's behavior in front of parents--how to handle if it if parents are offended, what to do if parents continue to ignore the fact that their child is jumping from the bookshelves, etc. If a child's safety is concerned, this is easier ("I'm afraid you'll get hurt if you run down the hall like that")

  • Approaching caregivers whose children's behavior is disruptive or dangerous--how to explain what is expected of them as caregivers. Dealing with people who are working on the computers and aren't keeping an eye on their kids. (One small library staff talks to the kids, tries to redirect them, and then if parents still aren't supervising their children, staff encourages them to come back at a different time when they have someone else to supervise).

  • Many of these issues can be helped by a good Unattended Children Policy. I will be collecting policies to share. If you have one, please feel free to send it to me. If not, please watch for more on this issue or contact me for help. If you want to

  • How to encourage parents at storytimes to participate in the storytime instead of texting on their phones, using their laptops, or visiting with each other. We came up with a few things: 1. Say one or two sentences during your welcome each time to remind people that storytime is for connecting with their children. 2. Incorporate a "turn off your cell phones" verse into your hello song or fingerplay. 3. Hand out something at each storytime with the fingerplays and songs so parents have something to follow and keep them engaged.

  • How to handle varying expectations parents have for their children's behavior--how to respond to parents who are complaining about the behavior of other children. Great suggestion: remind people that there is a range of behavior that is acceptable in a library, and suggest other times they might come that are less busy.

  • How to keep kids safe from adults who might be, well, not-so-safe? First, don't be afraid to call the police if someone is in the library who shouldn't be there as a condition of their parole. Second, the consensus was that it is okay to approach people when you have concerns about how they are behaving around children.

Wow, lots to discuss! Anything you have to add?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gross Is the New Black

Two IFLS librarians are having fun with gross things, and so are the kids they serve!

Jenna Gilles, youth services librarian at the Fall Creek Public Library had a Grossology 101 program last month which was attended by 58 people. That's almost 5% of the entire population of Fall Creek, folks!

They made "snot soap" in small batches--Jenna had discovered in trials at home that small batches are the way to go. They also had smell challenges (items in film cannisters for kids to smell and guess what they were), taste challenges (fake blood and other disgusting-looking stuff), and touch challenges. Board games, a book display of gross and scary things, and Halloween Music with eerie sounds rounded out the mood.

Jenna used these books to prepare for the program:
The everything kids' gross puzzle & activity book : hours of disgusting fun! / Beth L. Blair & Jennifer A. Ericsson.
Gross me out! : 50 nasty projects to disgust your friends & repulse your family / [authors, Joe Rhatigan & Rain Newcomb] ; illustrated by Clay Meyer.
100% pure fake / Lyn Thomas ; with photographs by Cheryl Powers and illustrations by Boris Zaytsev.

On the other side of the system, Georgia Jones in New Richmond has had great luck with a Gross Book Club. Attended mainly by elementary age boys, many of whom are reluctant readers, this book club is showing them the treasures available in books at at the library! Last month, in honor of Halloween, they made fake blood.

This month, according to Georgia, they "explored the world of poop. The non-fiction books we shared had information on the history of toilets and sanitation as well as microscopic pictures of ......yup, poop. The craft of the day was decorating toiletpaper with stamps and ink. Rather festive, actually!"

Any gross stuff in your neck of the woods??

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Resources for Working with Teens

Teens at a 2008 special event at the New Richmond Public Library

New books in the IFLS collection--contact Leah if you want to borrow them (they aren't catalogued yet!):

Risky Business: Taking and Managing Risks in Library Services for Teens. By Linda W. Braun, Hillias J. Martin, and Connie Urquhart. ALA, 2010.
A collection of thoughtful essays about the various ways that being a teen librarian is inherently risky, and how embracing that risk can improve service to teens. Chapters on technology, collections, programs, and careers all have some philosophy and some concrete examples to help you think about things in new ways.

The Hipster Librarian's Guide to Teen Craft Projects. By Tina Coleman and Peggie Llanes. ALA, 2009.
A collection of craft projects that are low-cost and appealing to teens--particularly girls.

ALSO: Webjunction has a Young Adult Services area, with suggestions on programming, outreach, collection development, gaming, and more. There are links to articles, archived webinars, and much more. If you are looking for ideas about a particular topic, this is a good place to start.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mark Your Calendars--SLP Workshop

Clip art from this year's Collaborative Summer Library Program Manual

Mark your calendars, the Summer Library Program Workshop is coming on February 11 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Menomonie. If time is going as freakishly fast for you as it is for me, you'll want to get this in your calendar now!

Terry Ehle, the youth services librarian from Two Rivers Public Library, will be our main presenter. If you attended the IFLS webinar about creating dynamic displays (find it here) you know that Terry is a fabulous presenter full of terrific ideas to make the summer sparkle for kids, teens and families. We'll have time for an idea swap and a little information on the hows and whys of evaluating your program, too.

Flyers are coming, but in the meantime, be sure to clear the date. It will be an inspiring, fun, and active day.