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, November 2, 2012

What's All This About Common Core Standards?

Common Core State Standards...it's quite a buzz term.  Libraries are increasingly being asked to understand and support them.  But what does it all mean??

According to the mission statement of the Common Core State Standard Initiative:  "The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers."  

I'm not sure I fully understand what the standards are or how we are going to be called upon to support them, but help is on the way!

In response to questions posted to pubyac, Anastasia Suen (Booklist) shared some resources:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

YA for Adults Book Group

In chatting with Monica at River Falls, I found out about their YA for Adult Book Group.  It sounded like such fun, I had to ask a few questions of Monica and Heather, two staffers who work with this book group.

What made you decide to do a YA for Adult Book Group?
Nancy Miller, our director, was inspired by the way the publishing industry in YA has been so strong while nearly every other area or genre has faced slagging sales. She began promoting the idea as kind of a “what is all the fuss about” book group.  What we have been seeing, though is that a huge number of people who are reading “YA” books are adults – parents, teachers, and people who are connected to youth, yes, but also adults who are not at all connected to young people. My estimate is that nearly half of our circulation in this area comes from grown-ups.

How are you publicizing/promoting this group?
I have sent flyers about the group to all the schools in town to be either sent out to parents via email or handed out at conference or parent events. I have also tried to mention the group and talk it up to anyone who expresses an interest in YA books – which for me is a lot of parents.

What have you found to be especially worthwhile about this group?
 I LOVE this group. I enjoy the depth of thought and connections that I have never considered. I have brought in books that I have loved and after the discussion seen them in a whole new light – learned to love them completely differently. I am astounded sometimes at the parallels that adults can draw between what is happening in the book and the outside world, history, media, cultures, even psychology.

High interest book clubs like this create positive publicity for the library. They strengthen the position of the library as not only an institution of traditional print materials, but also as a place that can create social connections in a facility that can meet the needs of a diverse community population.

Who is coming to the discussions?
Right now, it is a fairly small group – probably about 8 or 9 people – but a diverse one. Age ranges from early 20s to mid 60s. We get a few more men than women, but have not yet had only one gender represented. We seem to draw everyone from die-hard romance fans to hard-core sci-fi nerds to general fiction readers.

What books are you discussing?  Which one has worked best so far?
The three staff running the group each take turns selecting the title for the month, and we try to choose books from a genre or sub-genre that we haven’t really talked about yet. We started with Hunger Games (dystopian), simply because of popularity, and then did Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver (paranormal), Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork (realistic fiction/issues book), then Cinder by Marissa Meyer (sci-fi/fantasy). This month we are reading The Fault in our Stars by John Green (another issues book, but I couldn’t help myself), and in November we are scheduled to read Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare as our nod to steampunk.


What else do you want to tell us?
Since we wanted to read popular books, we opted to purchase the titles, knowing that we would then own anywhere from 8 to 12 copies of a specific book when the club ended. We opted to take these copies and then convert them into Teen Book Club Kits – complete with the questions and any supplemental materials, such as read-alike lists or award lists. We hope to have the first of these kits put together and ready-to-circulate very soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After-school grant opportunity

I attended a rousing and inspiring session at the WLA Conference about collaborating effectively with schools.  I know this is an area that many of you are looking for help with, and you can look for a webinar and some other initiatives coming up in 2013.  In the meantime, I want to make sure you know about a grant opportunity, which I found in DPI-Connect-Ed.  This would be a great chance to work with schools and other agencies in you community to come up with something fabulous for after school!  See below for details, and if there is anything I can do to help, please let me know!

The DPI is accepting applications for 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grants. The 21st CCLC program supports high-quality academic support, recreation, youth development, and family programs during after school hours and summers.
Applicants must primarily serve students attending schools with 40 percent or more of enrolled students eligible for free or reduced lunch or equivalent economic need.
Public school districts, private schools, charter schools, and community-based organizations may apply, either individually or in a consortium including two or more.
Awards are made for five consecutive years, contingent upon satisfactory progress toward goals.
Applications will be available starting in November and are due on or before February 1, 2013.
The DPI is offering three grant workshops to help with the application process:
November 19: 90-minute Web-based workshop
November 20: Oconomowoc, WI - Olympia Resort and Conference Center
November 21: Rothschild, WI - Holiday Inn
Visit http://www.dpi.wi.gov/sspw/dpiclctrng.html for more information regarding the workshops.
Please contact Gary Sumnicht, 608-267-5078, or Alison Wineberg, 608-267-3751, with questions about the program and competition, and for assistance with

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reach Out and Read

 Reach Out and Read in action on a military base (part of the program is helping parents understand that it is normal development for babies to interact with books by mouthing them).

By now, many of you have heard about the Reach Out and Read initiative, and hopefully several of you have had the chance to hear Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, Wisconsin's Reach Out and Read's medical director.  He gave rousing presentations at both WAPL last May and the recent Wisconsin Library Association Conference.

 Reach Out and Read helps address the gap between kids who are exposed to language-rich environments from a young age and those who aren't--something that creates significant differences in their language development and later school success.  Since 90 percent of babies and toddlers get to well-child appointments (a higher proportion than make it to the library for storytime, or to organized, accredited daycare), Reach Out and Read capitalizes on the trust between doctors and parents by including early literacy tips, book distribution, and literacy-rich waiting rooms into every well-child appointment.

What an inspiring way to get the message out about the importance of reading, singing, talking, playing and writing with our young children!  And there is room for libraries to get a piece of the action, too.  Several clinics in the IFLS area already are participating in the program.  These are natural partners, folks!  And wouldn't it be exciting for every single clinic in our area to provide a program like this??  There are things we can do to encourage participation. 

I'm working on a way to help librarians build coalitions with other agencies to get involved in this early literacy initiative.  Watch for an invitation to get involved, and if you have ideas or you just can't wait, please contact me at langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us.  At the state level, our wonderful consultant Tessa Michaelson Schmidt is working on a resource for librarians, parents and caregivers called Growing Wisconsin Readers--look for more information about this soon-to-be-developed website!

And there's more!  Look for a storytime workshop extravaganza coming up in 2013.  We have so much talent and experience right here in IFLS-land, we'll be tapping into that, along with the new Every Child Ready to Read training, to provide a bang-up, inspiring workshop.  Watch for details, and contact me with suggestions or ideas you want to be sure we include!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pew Research Says Teens ARE Reading

Later this week, look for some insight gleaned from great sessions I attended at the Wisconsin Library Association Conference (it was great to see many of you there!).

For now, I want to draw your attention to some heartening news--and a wake-up call about teens.  According to a recently-published Pew Research Study, teens are more likely to have read a book and used the library in the past year than their older counterparts!  And they don't know they can check out e-content at their libraries, but would be interested, particularly in checking out pre-loaded e-readers.

See some great analysis by Paul Nelson here.

And if you still feel queasy about using e-readers and want some hands-on practice, sign up for one of three sessions coming up next week!

Tuesday, November 6, 12:30-3:30, IFLS office
Register here 

Thursday, November 8, 9:30-12:30, Ladysmith
Register here 

Friday, November 9, 9:30-12:30, Clear Lake
Register here