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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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reasons to Attend the WLA Conference

Okay, here are a few reasons I am extra-excited to attend this year:

1.  It's in LaCrosse!  That's about as close as it gets for most of us on the western side of the state.  Not so many hours in the car, and prices for hotels and meals are reasonable.

2.  There's a free pre-conference that is a 3-hour extravaganza of Youth Services Information Exchange.  Our fabulous new state consultant for youth services, Tessa Michaelson, will be there, and I know this will be worthwhile, interesting, and entertaining:  "This mega-session will offer attendees the opportunity to share, show, talk, meet, and connect. Discussion topics might include collaborations with school libraries or local agencies, grant opportunities and success stories, program sharing within systems, and professional development on a budget."

3.  A chance to see two amazing children's authors:  Joyce Sidman, acclaimed poet and author of Swirl by Swirl:  Spirals in Nature and This Is Just to Say; and Pat Schmatz, the winner of the 2012 Burr/Worzalla Wisconsin Children's Book Award for her excellent book Bluefish.

4.  The Children's Cooperative Book Center is always there with a huge selection of books published in 2012--what a great chance to look at the books before you buy, find some treasures you might not have known about.

5.  A gazillion great sessions for youth services folks!  Wow!  Everything from book-related programs to creating partnerships with schools to developing quality programming that appeals to boys--and that is just a few, and doesn't include all the terrific programs that will appeal to everyone, youth services or not!

6.  This year, the WLA Foundation fundraiser looks like a blast!  Storytelling by some great tellers, Battledecks (where speakers are given a Power Point and must improvise a presentation based on the slides), and lots of chances to meet and mingle with your colleagues.

If you are considering going and want to cut costs by sharing rooms or rides, send a note to the youth services list serv:  youthservices @ lists(dot)iflsweb(dot)org.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Fall is in the air--I love the crisp days and the smell of leaves and the change in routine.  It's the time librarians everywhere start up storytime with a new crop of pre-schoolers and say hello to their old friends (4-year olds love being called old!).

Hopefully you are feeling as inspired about storytime as Georgia in New Richmond--her recent blog post about still getting excited about the start of storytime season is beautiful.

If you are not as excited about the start of the new season, maybe you need some inspiration?

A new blog I've been following, No Time for Flashcards, is written by a mom who has a lot of child development knowledge.  She regularly posts ideas for activities, games, art projects, and books that would fly just as well in storytime as they would in a home environment, like this terrific gross motor alphabet jumping and dancing game!

 Another IFLS blogger, Jenna Gilles from the Fall Creek Public Library, often puts up her storytime plans for parents to look at after the fact, including this one about a National Chicken Month storytime.  This is a great idea, it encourages families to follow up on favorite stories and music, among other things.  And it gives other librarians more ideas!

I hear about a lot of librarians who use Pinterest as an inspiration for many different kinds of programs, including storytime.  And thanks to Jill in Eau Claire for filling me in that you no longer need a Facebook account or an invitation to participate in Pinterest, so if that has been holding you back, it doesn't need to any longer!

Last idea for now:  We will be having an idea-swap in St. Croix Falls on Thursday, September 27 from 8:30-10.  The topic?  Multi-age storytimes.  Bring your ideas for how you manage family storytimes, or the two year old brother in your preschool storytime, or whatever else you are doing with wide age ranges.  Sign up here.  Save time for a meeting afterwards (10-11) to talk about Reach Out and Read --a program to bring early literacy efforts to pediatricians' offices.