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, July 6, 2012

Grant Writing for Libraries Serving Children

Free Webjunction Webinar:

Grant funding is one way to find resources to support innovative programming and services for children. In this webinar, learn about finding, writing, and submitting grant opportunities. Presenters Dr.
Sue C. Kimmel, Assistant Professor, and Dr. Gail K. Dickinson, Associate Professor, at the School Libraries/Darden College of Education Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), will share information about specific grants that focus on diversity, literacy and libraries, and are relevant for school and public libraries. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share related experiences.

More information and registration »

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beyond Beanbags

From YALSA:  YALSA (Young Adult Library Service Association) has  new National Teen Space Guidelines for Public Libraries.  Download them for free at:  http://www.ala.org/yalsa/guidelines/teenspaces.

 This is a tool for evaluating a public library's overall level of success in providing physical and virtual space dedicated to teens, aged 12-18. Potential users of these national guidelines include library administrators, library trustees, teen services librarians, community members and job-seekers hoping to assess a library's commitment to teen services.

Not every element of the guidelines may apply to every public library situation, but the guidelines can serve as a place to begin the conversation about what constitutes excellent public library space for teens. Take a peek and let me know what you think.  

Note from Leah:  Remember IFLS libraries:  if you need help brainstorming about your teen area or services, please contact me!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Meet a Librarian

Jodi Bird is the youth services manager at the Menomonie Public Library.  If you've been to a summer library program workshop, you've probably seen her generously sharing some great ideas for anything from storytimes to decorations.  Thanks to Jodi for being game to answer a bunch of questions!

How long have you been the children’s librarian in Menomonie, and what have been a few of the biggest changes since you started?
I have been the children’s librarian for 13 years.  Some of the biggest changes since I stared are making it through a minor renovation which included moving every item in the library, new carpet, putting together new shelves and putting back every item.  I have also worked with four different directors during this time.
What are your favorite parts of the job?
My favorite parts are the little things:   seeing story time kids at a graduation party, grocery store, or bike race and getting a big hug; having a little person asking me if I know his number (he had just turned 3); giving a ratty old puppet that was being withdrawn to a patron who was so excited she had to give me a hug; watching a brother and sister who have gone through all our story time groups still come in and volunteer to help us with programs.  So many little things like this make this the best job to have.
Have you had experience with a terrible program in Menomonie that you would contribute to a Gallery of Terrible Programs?
I would say we have had 2 terrible programs.  One was with the Bug Guy a couple of years ago.  I’m sure many people have had him, but he did not do well with the large number of kids we had that day.  The other was just this summer.  We had Bob the Beachcomber who was an incredibly overpriced karaoke singer.  Not the greatest performer we’ve ever had.
What’s a program or service you have been especially proud to provide?
The program I am most proud to provide is story times.  When I first started as children’s librarian we had a working relationship with children’s literature classes from UW-Stout.  They would provide students from their class to do story times.  Sometimes we’d get really great students who knew what they were doing, but often times it was someone who thought children’s literature would be an easy class to take.  Numbers were low during this time.  It was really hard to break this connection that had been going on long before I started, but definitely worth it.  Our story time numbers increased once we started providing quality, consistent story times.  We continue to get new people every day.  I don’t have much to do with preschool story times any more as I have great staff that take care of it for me, but this programs evolution is one I’m especially proud of.
Tell us about a book you have read recently that you really enjoyed.  What made it so good?
It is always so hard to pick one.  I’m going to go with Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  This is a story of struggle and acceptance.   And although it wraps up a little neatly I’d still like to believe that  kids can accept someone despite their physical appearance.
When you aren’t working at the library, what do you like to do?
When I’m not working I like to read, jog, watch football, spend time with my family.
Please share a book or activity you’ve used recently at story time that went over really well.
We like to use something we call “The Shaking Sheet”.  Basically it is a twin flat sheet that we use for parachute type games.  Sometimes we put cotton balls on it and shake snowflakes, paper raindrops to make it rain, etc.  The kids love it.