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 27, 2012

Performer Rave Review

Pint-Size Polkas:  best so far this year in Eau Claire!

Shelly Collins Fuerbringer says: 
"I just had to drop you a note and tell you what FUN Pint-Size Polkas was last week for our Wednesday performance.  Mike was just so, so nice to work with and his show was an absolute hoot!  Fun for all ages and he did a great job of getting the kids up and moving.  Best show I've seen all summer."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Meet a Librarian--Patti Blount

Patti Blount is the director at the Durand Community Library, one of the few public/school combination libraries in the state.

How long have you been at the Durand Public Library?  What did you do before that?  I have been director of the Durand Public Library for 20 years as of this past January.   I found this job in my senior year at UW-Green Bay.   During my college years, I had a wide variety of jobs: research verifier for a professor who was working on his PhD, street cleaner at Six Flags Great America…

Can you tell us about one really memorable interaction you had with a young person?  My Dad would hire me to help him when I was in middle and high school to help him with his summer school classes.    During that time,  I learned the five finger method when picking out books—I still use it with kids today.  When picking out a book, start reading it, and each time you stumble on a word one finger goes down.  If you make it through the book without your fingers being closed, then you know you found a book that you can read.  If you see some of the fingers down then it shows how challenging the book is for you.

You go to the Midwest Booksellers Association conference every year—what do you like so much about it?  Why might a children’s librarian want to attend?  I enjoying going to the Midwest Booksellers conference because I learn so much from all of the bookstores/ booksellers.   I go to workshops for one day and we discuss upcoming trends in the industry, how to host author events, how to do displays.    I enjoy meeting all of the authors and illustrators at the convention that you read about but have never met.   
A children’s librarian would enjoy the conference to see what is available in the upcoming year and to be able to talk to authors on a one-to-one level. Another fun thing that happens each year when we go to convention is the authors that you have met there over the years will sometimes remember you by first name and will come up and say Hi– a great-feeling moment.

What is the best thing about sharing library space with the school?  Shared technology and extended hours to the public.

What is one thing about your job that is most challenging?   The most challenging part of the job is the office manager jobs that I have do behind the scenes – organize papers, file information, keep tabs or ahead on budget and deadlines.  Another challenging is facing change.  Everyone says that I’m very adaptable to technology as it changes..but most of the time it freaks me out for a while until I get use to it.

What’s a book you’ve read recently that you really loved, and why? Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson.   Being an avid movie buff, I always enjoy reading and/or listening to the audiobooks of stories that will be coming to movie theaters.   When I heard the movie: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln’s Killer was coming to theaters later this year, I really wanted to read the book.   Unfortunately the original book was always checked out, so I read the young adult version: Chasing Lincoln’s Killer.  It was very interesting to get into the mind of the people on the manhunt and hoping that they would catch up to John Wilkes Booth.   There was a lot of interesting information I learned about the time period and the area that they were chasing him.

Tell us about an especially wonderful program—give us enough detail that someone might be able to recreate it!   Our Make & Take program (ages 5-10) is a program that I proud of because it gives kids a chance to do something when they “graduate” out of our Storytime program (ages 3-5).   Children come and listen to stories, watch a movie and make a craft.   We always look at the Handy Craft and Guildcraft catalogs to see what simple craft can be done with the kids.   Also, I check out the craft kits at Michaels and JoAnn stores.   Most of the time we have our student workers conduct the crafts.   We have tried to do the Make & Take on school breaks but it doesn’t bring in the crowd like the summer.   The kids who have been to the program know and always come back almost every year just to participate.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Baby Storytime resources

Thanks to Marge Loch Wouters over at Tiny Tips for Library Fun for the suggestion of checking out Ten Favorite Baby Storytime Plans from Melissa Depper's Mel's Desk blog.  Mel's Desk has all sorts of other excellent posts about storytime for the younger set, including a recent series about using music!  Take a peek.

IFLS librarians: remember that we have a few kits that might help you with baby storytimes, too.  We have a few large motor skills kits, with things like beanbags, parachutes, instruments, and more.  In addition, I have purchased 10-copy board-book sets of 3 titles:  I Went Walking by Sue Williams and Julie Vivas; Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See by Bill Martin and Eric Carle.  To borrow these kits, contact me:  langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Congratulations to Jenna at Fall Creek for three wonderful feats: hosting an Autism Spectrum Night at her library, attracting two news channels to come and cover it, and speaking eloquently on tape!  Her welcoming message was FABULOUS!

Two families attended the program, and those who came were planning to spread the word to others.    They read some stories, sang a few songs, and then Jenna got out the playdough and parents had a chance to chat with Jenna and with each other.  She told me,  "Both families talked about how nice it is to have another opportunity for the 'families to stick together' and hang out. I plan to incorporate that message into future marketing. This seems to be a big draw, the idea of families being there for one another and having chances to be together."

The news channel caught Jenna on tape talking about how much she wants everyone to know they are welcome at the library, and how willing she is to work with people and make accommodations so that everyone can participate.  Very cool, indeed.

Colleen Crowley in Chippewa Falls has also been hosting a storytime especially designed to fit the needs of children on the autism spectrum.  Watch for more cool ideas and strategies, coming in later issues of the blog!

Monday, July 23, 2012

International Games Day @ Your Library

Registration is now open for International Games Day @ Your Library, which will take place Saturday, November 3.  International Games Day @ Your Library is a celebration of communities coming together to play at the library, and includes chances for libraries to receive board game donations, free access to online games from Gametable Online, and national video game tournaments--library vs. library!  Check it out for a free press kit and lots of other tools.