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, June 29, 2012

Meet a Librarian

Meet Leah Langby, Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator at the Indianhead Federated Library System since 2004, and the administrator of this blog.

What do you love most about your job?  
I love learning new things every day (or at least every week).  I love making connections with librarians and helping them with whatever they need help with.  I enjoy feeling like some of the things I do have a ripple effect. I am happy to be inspired by so many terrific people in our system and state (and world) who are doing great things in their communities through libraries.

What do you miss most about working in a real, live, library?
Interacting with the public!  I love it when I'm helping weed in a library and someone asks me for help.  I know if I was in a library now, I would do so many things differently than I did--but a highlight would still be making connections with kids and families and helping them find what they need (in whatever medium, be it program, information, just the right book, or human contact!).

A book you've read recently that you especially loved?
Book:  Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex.  Hilarious.  And my 13-year-old loved it so much she read it several times herself, then made each person in the family read it and watched while they did!
Audiobook:  Just finished listening to The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  I enjoyed the way she created such a compelling setting, and the plot had me engrossed enough I didn't notice I'd taken a wrong turn (on a trip) till 15 minutes later.  Hmmmm...maybe not such a good thing to admit...

What are some of your current passions?

  • Working on a grant about Autism and libraries has been fabulously eye-opening for me--I'm learning so much about autism and my own assumptions.  I can't stop thinking about the movie Wretches and Jabberers and its stars.
  • My family continues to be a time-consuming and delightful part of my life. I have 2 amazing teenage daughters (13 and 15), and a multi-talented and loving husband. We eat well, we live on a hard-scrabble, run-down place in the country, we make music together (we have a family band), we laugh a lot, last year we all acted in a Shakespeare play together, we work a lot...
What do you wish?
I wish civil discourse and finding common ground was easier and more common-place and we could see more progress on some of the intractable problems we face as a world.  I wish I had more time to read and even more time to write (I have a few kids' books percolating around in my brain). I wish libraries had all the funding they needed to continue to bring communities together and keep folks informed and educated.   Also, I wish I had a sheltie puppy.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Great Web Sites

The 2012 Great Web Sites Committee announces the Spring 2012 selections

Great Web Sites for Kids are those considered the best web sites for children ages birth to 14, outstanding in both content and conception.  Selection criteria is available here.

Spring 2012 Great Web Sites
Make learning fun with a variety of educational computer games for kids. Learn new skills and improve old ones in areas such as math, language arts, and typing. 

All About Birds
Learn all about birds in this website created by the Cornell Lab of Orinthology. Bird names, species, location and history are all featured. Also included are bird songs and videos.

CIA for Kids-Games     
Find out what the CIA is all about, play games, and solve puzzles. Resources for various audiences including parents and teachers.

Common Sense Media     
Common Sense Media helps parents make decisions about media and technology for their families. Information and advice is provided in a variety of formats including reviews, videos, and even lesson plans.

Generation on Youth Advisory Council     
Whether you are looking for something to do after school or to fulfill a service requirement, you'll find inspiration to change the world around you here. This interactive website has a volunteer position search, blogs full of personal stories, and offers project tips from young people like you!

Judy Schachner   
Fun, festive, and full of fantastic resources, this author webpage includes interactive stories, games, print-outs, and educator resources.

PBS Kids Raising Readers Kids Island
Helps children develop and practice basic reading skills through online games and activities with their parent, teacher or caregiver.

Created by Jeff Kinney of "Wimpy Kid" fame, this virtual world invites young gamers to create a character and to undertake age-appropriate quests on over a dozen "islands" based on themes from history, nature, and human culture.

Seymour Simon    
Called by the New York Times "the dean of [children's science] writers," Simon offers information about himself and his books (over 250 and counting!) on his official site, along with study guides, science news and videos, a science dictionary and more.

The New York Times Learning Network
The New York Times Learning Network provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on NYT content. It includes lesson plans and resources for teachers as well as quizzes and activities for students 13 and older.

We Give Books    
We Give Books enables children to read a book online and after doing so, a physical book will be donated to a child in need through literacy programs around the world.  Created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation, it combines the promotion of literacy, both to the child reading online and the giving of books, and the concept of giving.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Picture Book Review

Book review by Raechel Schink, recent intern at IFLS.  Thanks Raechel!

Fogliano, Julie. and then it’s spring. Illus. Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook Press. (978-159-643-6244) Ages 4 and up.

The perfect book choice to teach children about spring. and then it’s spring is very sweet and the illustrations are a great addition to the storytelling. Readers follow a young boy, a dog, a bird, a rabbit, and a bird as they discover spring.

The story is a poem broken into sections spread out on different pages. Fogliano writes about being out in nature and discovering spring and the life that comes with it. All together the poem is endearing, making even an adult want to go out and rediscover what the world looks like in the spring. There are, unfortunately, parts that are a bit awkward to read, since the poem has been broken up into chunks. Other than a few little stumbles, the story reads smoothly through.

The drawings are adorable. Stead keeps her use of color choice to a minimum in the beginning, mostly browns and dulls. Brown helps show how the land looks deserted and barren. Then slowly as spring comes to life, more color is brought into the story. The first picture in the book is of the little boy, still wearing winter apparel, and his animal friends standing in a brown empty area. Then slowly the boy and his friends plant seeds and get ready for spring to appear. The last illustration of the story is of the little boy and his friends enjoying all the green life around them since spring finally arrived.

Note:  Write a review of a book, movie, audiobook, website, game, or other resource!  We love to hear what you think!  Send submissions to langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us