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 16, 2012

Helping Ease College Application Anxiety

One of the sessions I attended at the WLA Conference this fall was all about resources available to help public libraries make the college application and financial aid maze easier for students.  While many of the resources are specifically designed to help students who are the first in their families to make this leap, they are useful to everyone!

Next Stop College Wisconsin provides presentations that "provide support at critical steps on the path to college."  Workshops include finding the right college, exploring majors, acing the admissions process, financial aid, scholarship opportunities, and more.  They also provide one-on-one help, so you could have people sign up for appointments with an expert for help with applications, scholarship searches, and college planning.  You can also order free print materials.

What is not to like?  Libraries seem like a perfect host to such activities--and what a great opportunity to work with schools!

Another group, the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program, sponsored by the Department of Public Instruction, sponsors events like College Goal Wisconsin, an event in February that provides assistance for filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  The goal is for people to finish filling out the FAFSA in one session.  The Hedberg Library in Janesville hosts College Goal Wisconsin, so libraries can do it!  And right now, in the IFLS territory, there are College Goal Wisconsin events in Eau Claire and Rice Lake, but that's it!  There is definitely room for more.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thinking About Children's Spaces

 Early literacy panels in Rice Lake

How do you make your children's room inviting to kids of all ages and their family members?   A few weeks back, I attended a webinar put together by DEMCO, presented by Kimberly Bolan Cullin Zoning In On Children's Spaces:  Engaging Your Youngest Visitors.  I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of advertising of DEMCO products, and very interested in the information.  Bolan Cullin recommends zoning your space for kids--making sure there are spaces that are engaging to various ages, so there is something for everyone.  The webinar is available as a recording (scroll down), if you want to check it out.  If you just want to see the follow-up materials/slides, I'd be happy to forward them to you--just let me know (langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us)

And then:  A recent ALSC blog post had a terrific idea about putting in a "whisper tube" made with PVC pipe into the children's room.  There are some delightful photos of the whisper tube in use.  Looks fun and quiet!

What are you doing in your room?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Digging for SLP Ideas? Check This Out!

Now that the weather's turning chilly, it's a good time to start thinking about summer!  Hmmm...let's see, frolicking at the beach, spending time in the garden, camping and barbecues.  And--oh yeah--fabulous library programming with gobs and gobs of kids! 

To help you prepare, we are planning a terrific Summer Library Program workshop for you on February 7 in Eau Claire. Teen programming ideas from Penny Johnson at the Baraboo Public Library in the morning, and then we'll let loose with lots of creative energy and ideas from Anne Horjus--he's from Baraboo, too, and is a major contributor for this year's CSLP manual.  I'm looking for a few librarians to share a 10-20 minute segment, too, so please contact me if you are interested!  Registration info coming soon.

Even before that, you can get some inspiration about this year's Dig Into Reading Theme with a 1/2 hour webinar from the Nicolet Federated Library System featuring Cindy Tuschy (AKA Super Cindy), Gillett Public Library--Thursday, December 6 1:00-1:30 pm  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Youth Services Idea Swap Coming Up

Youth Services Idea Swap:

Friday, December 7, 8:30-10 am
Fall Creek Public Library
Fundraising, Grants, Making Money Stretch
It’s going to take more than a jar of coins to do everything you want to in your library.  How do you raise funds?  How do you get a deal?  Come share your best tips, and find out some ideas from your colleagues.  Laughter, coffee, and breakfast treats will be in plentiful supply!
Please register by December 3  here:  http://tinyurl.com/9wv3su8. 
If you have questions or need accommodations to attend, please let contact Leah:  langby@ifls.lib.wi.us or 800-321-5427 ext. 114.
This workshop supplies 1.5 contact hours for certification. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ladysmith Storytime Success

Kris reports from Ladysmith that moving her storytime out of the small area they had available up in the children's area into a roomy meeting room (along with her charming and magnetic personality, which she humbly didn't mention) has resulted in storytime attendance doubling in size!  And they have room to do some larger motor activities, which is not only tons of fun, but also great for kids' brains!

Riding on this success, Kris also offered Ladysmith's first evening storytime.  It was a special event, and she took the idea of a Stuffed Animal Sleepover and ran with it!  Kids had a great time, and it looks like the stuffed animals did, too!