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, September 30, 2011

Impromptu Shows at Hudson

A puppet stage made out of a refrigerator box for the summer program is still engaging the imaginations of kids in Hudson--and entertaining their audiences, too!

The famous Hudson storytime mascot Baby Bear got his own garden this year, too. Storytime kids planted flowers and master gardeners tended it.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Summer Library Program Event

I know, I know! You are still in recovery from this year's Summer Library Program! But if you have plans to attend the Wisconsin Library Association Conference in Milwaukee in November, you have the chance to get energized about the theme (NIGHT TIME) and inspired by colleagues from the southern part of the state:

Summer reading program aficionados from around the state are invited to attend the 2012 Dream Big – Read! SRP workshop at the Milwaukee Public Museum Planetarium and IMAX Theatre on Tuesday, November 1! Six systems in southeastern Wisconsin (Eastern Shores, Lakeshores, Mid-Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, Waukesha County and Winnefox) have collaborated to bring this session to youth services librarians and anyone with an interest in next year’s summer reading program theme.The fun begins at 1:00 PM and will end at 4:00, just in time for those of you going to WLA to get there in time for the vendor reception! Registration fee is $10.00, which can be paid at the door or in advance (checks payable to Lakeshores Library System). Check here for more information. If you have any questions, please contact Rhonda Puntney at rpuntney@lakeshores.lib.wi.us.

For those of you staying closer to home, remember to mark your calendar for our own IFLS Summer Library Program workshop on February 2 (February 3 is our snow date)! More details coming later...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Laptops on the Loose in Rice Lake!

A wide variety of ages are drawn to work with Laptops on the Loose!

Many of you attended the workshop last week about using technology in programs for kids and teens and got to try using Scratch and some other fun technology projects. If you didn't go and want to see the handouts, take a peek!

Ashley Bieber, the youth services manager at Rice Lake, sent information about an even easier-to-replicate program she is doing called "Laptops on the Loose." This program "incorporates a lot of the activities and tools that we talked about with Scratch, but much more simplified. I found this great article in School Library Journal with a big list of free,web-based animation, comic and story creators...Last month we used a comic creator program and about 13 kids showed up to create their own comics. Since we can't connect the laptops to our printer, I had the kids email me their comic and I then printed them out so they could take it home. "

Ashley is using the laptop kits purchased through a broadband grant. Kits are housed in Rice Lake, River Falls, Eau Claire and St. Croix Falls. IFLS libraries: if you want to borrow a kit, your library director should know about how to reserve them. If not, contact Gus Falkenberg--falkenberg @ ifls.lib.wi.us (except without the space).

Let us know what you come up with!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wow! Flannel Boards!

*Image from Roving Fiddlehead Kidlit Blog

Everyone knows that a good, old-fashioned flannel board story, or aAdd Image story with some props, will never, ever, ever go out of style in the storytime circuit. Even if you aren't that comfortable with telling stories without their books, flannel stories are a terrific way to expand your offerings and keep your audience engaged.

So, how exciting to discover that there is a group called Flannel Friday, that allows youth services librarians to share their super-cool, creative, beautiful ideas for flannel boards. You might want to get right in there and share, or you might want to check it out for an extra burst of inspiration every Friday! Take a peek.

As I was tracing the path of Flannel Friday, I also came across a tool called Pinterest, a great way to organize the ideas you find online. Flannel Fridays has a page, and they are linked to one of our own--Jessi Peterson of the public library in Eau Claire. Jessi graciously filled me in a bit more about how Pinterest works. It's like a virtual pinboard, where you can pin photos that you find on the web and also upload your own photos. It's a great way to keep track of ideas you find. Cool tool!

She says:

It's nice because if I'm at home and see a flannel I think would be fun or something I think we ought to have at work I don't have to mess with an e-mail and a link, I just pin it to my board. Then I can find it again easily to show people at work...It's way nicer than bookmarking
something...often I get lost in the list because I can't quite remember what the bookmark was called, plus I can't get to them at work. I can troll through other people's pinboards for inspiration and sometimes a pin will lead back to a blog I want to follow or a website that has stuff I want. And some boards are collaborative where several people can post things to them...it might be a good tool for a department or a library system to share ideas visually amongst their members.

Oooh! Great idea! I'm not sure we should do this as a system, or if you should all just do this individually and share with each other informally, but it sure seems like it has some terrific potential. What do you think??