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, April 29, 2011

Using Social Media Idea Swap

We had an interesting idea swap today in Bloomer, complete with a guest appearance via Skype (from London!) by Dr. Rebekah Willett. Dr. Willett, soon to be a professor at the School for Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison, has research interest in children and media culture, and had some illuminating perspectives to share--though unfortunately the technology didn't allow for her full participation, but the meeting was a success nonetheless.

Participants at the meeting had more questions than answers about their use of Facebook and other social media, including questions about how best to set up a page, how to feed to facebook and not have to enter things 3 or 4 times (twitter, facebook, blog, website), and whether or how to control negative comments.

If you are new to Facebook or have some basic how-to questions, take a look at the Northern Waters Library Service archived webinar called Creating and Maintaining a Facebook Page, presented by Teresa Schmidt, director of the Mercer Public Library.

If you are looking for a way to integrate your whole online presence, take a look at http://hootsuite.com/ for help with that.

The libraries that do have a significant social media presence suggested that it works best if you make it as interactive as possible, taking advantage of the medium and meeting expectations for people's experience with Web 2.0 tools.

Even if you have a Facebook page (or other social media tools), it doesn't mean that people will use it, or that it will draw new people to the library--how to determine if this is the best use of staff time was definitely a discussion point. How to get teens interested in your Facebook page? Dr. Willett pointed out that teens are really good at segregating the groups of people they interact with online. Using your Teen Advisory Board to advise you on ways to use the technology effectively to communicate with them and their peers, and to be "online ambassadors" is a good way to start figuring out how to communicate more effectively with new technologies. Heidi from Rice Lake advocated using teen volunteers themselves to post updates.

Social networking sites for younger kids, like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters, are being used in some libraries, but some folks weren't aware of these sites. According to Dr. Willett, these sites are very likely to be used by many kids who aren't old enough for Facebook so it would be good to know about them!

Brendan McCarty, our host, did some excellent research about using social media, and put together a list of resources. Take a peek--they are posted on our website!

Please comment below on what you are doing!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Even More SLP-Related Titles

I keep finding titles that are related to this year's theme--maybe you can figure out a way to use them in your programs this summer!

Storytime choices:

Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds. By Linda Sue Park and Julia Durango, illustrated by Sue Rama. Charlesbridge, 2005. This book is just what it sounds like--each spread shows several kids with expressive faces saying a word in a variety of languages. It is fun to guess what they might be saying. When you open up the fold-out pages, you get the word in English. The inside illustrations tell a wordless story that explains why the children are saying the things they are (Yikes! when the spice cart tips over; "Achoo!" when clouds of spices fill the air; "Yuck!" when the clouds contaminate the ice cream cones everyone is eating). I think this would be a fun one to use in storytime for a variety of ages.

Mung-mung: A Foldout Book of Animal Sounds. By Linda Sue Park, Illustrated by Diane Bigda. Charlesbridge, 2004. Following the same basic format of Yum! Yuck!, this book asks kids to guess what animal is on the inside of the flap, and then gives the sound it makes in several languages, including English. This title would work even better with younger children.

For Older Kids:

Going to School in India. By Lisa Heydlauff. Charlesbridge, 2005. This book is a companion to the film mentioned last week. It is engaging to look at, and a little chaotic. It hammers home the point that school is not a given for many children in India, and explains why there is such a variety. It might work to read a section aloud in a program about kids or schools around the world, and it would certainly be a good discussion book.

Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects. By Peter Menzel and Faith D'Alusio. Ten Speed Press, 1998. If you didn't find this book a few years ago during the 2008 Catch the Reading Bug SLP, it is time to take a look at it. It includes some important analysis about diet and culture and our own assumptions, but the fascinating photographs of people hunting, raising, preparing and enjoying bugs are what will draw your audience.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Review--Queen of Water

I was going to give you another list of books to consider using for your summer library program, but I started in on the Queen of Water and realized it needed its very own post.

Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango. Delacorte, 2011.

(grades 6-adult) Based on the true life story of Maria Virginia Farinango, this novel follows Virginia from her early childhood in an indigenous village in the mountains of Ecuador to her experiences from the ages of 7 to 12, working for an abusive mestizo family for no pay. She secretly teaches herself to read, does science experiments and writes poetry on the sly, swipes lip gloss and listens to the stereo in between cleaning, cooking, childcare, and laundry. We see her back home in the village, which doesn't feel like home anymore, and on to follow her dreams, dealing with internalized and overt racism to learning to accept herself and her whole identity.

Virginia is a sparkling young woman, and has been recognized as lively and spunky since her early childhood. Though her story pulls no punches in the description of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, it is funny and hopeful, too, as Virginia struggles to make sense of her world in a terrible situation. She is inspired by singers on television, but even more so by secret agent MacGyver, and even uses some of his strategies to thwart the advances of the man of the house. As the book progresses and she follows her dream of attending high school, she discards her indigenous heritage, and the story of her finding a way to integrate all the strands in her life is compelling and moving.

I spent several months in Ecuador, probably at about the time this story was happening. I really liked getting another perspective on race and class issues, which were always evident but not frequently discussed by the locals. My ninth-grade daughter galloped through the book before I read it, and now I'm reading it with my sixth-grader. It opens lots of doors to discuss power, race, oppression, self-image and problem-solving, to name a few things. I think this would make a terrific discussion book, though some boys might be reluctant to read it. And I'm pretty sure you (whoever you are) would like it!

For more information about the book, see author Laura Resau's website.