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, January 11, 2013

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

1000 Books Before Kindergarten--a catchy name, a great idea, and a project that is easy to tailor to your own community and replicate. Libraries across the country are catching on!

The goal of 1000 Books Before Kindergarten is to encourage early literacy development and young families reading together.  Because repetition is a great think for kids' developing brains, most libraries tell parents to count each time a book is read.  What does reading 1000 books look like?
  • One bedtime story every night for three years.  
  • Ten books a week for two years.  
  • Twenty books a week for one year (that's just 3 books a day).
The program has many variations:
  • Incentives. 
    • Most libraries have some sort of a display--a physical representation of the number of books being read by participants.  In Hammond, for every 100 books, kids get to put a leaf on a tree in the library (and for every 25 books, they get a sticker to put in their own record book).  In Altoona, they'll be using a train mural in the front of the circulation desk, with kids putting up stickers every 100 books.
Altoona's 1000-books train

    • Many libraries give books to kids when they've had a 1000 books read to them--and some libraries give a book at 250, 500 and 750 books read.  Some libraries give out nursery rhyme collections or music CDs, too.
    • Many libraries have some sort of special event (or events) to celebrate the program, including graduation parties--or just plain parties for all participants.
    • Michelle Johnson, director at the Hammond Public Library, says that the best and most exciting incentives are more intangible--parents and kids are enjoying spending more time reading together, and the both kids and parents are excited to watch their pre-reading skills grow as kids gear up for kindergarten.
  • Funding
    • Some libraries go all out and get sponsors for the program, enabling them to do lots of incentives and serve many kids.  Menomonie got a generous donation from an individual who saw a presentation about their soon-to-start program at a Lions Club meeting.  Others get their Friends groups involved.
    • Other libraries have this worked into their regular budget.  In Hammond, Michelle uses Scholastic Dollars from a book fair the library holds every year.  That way, members of the community are contributing to this program when they purchase things at the fair.
  • Getting participants
    • Ages:  some start with babies, others wait till the child will be most excited to add something to their library display (2 or 3 years old), others really put a push on for kids starting 4K.
    • Many libraries partner with preschools, Headstart, daycare centers, 4K programs, etc. to promote the program.
I got notes from several libraries in IFLS-land who are various stages of starting their own 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program.  How cool is that?  

If you want more information or need someone to brainstorm with, contact me (langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us) or check out this excellent summary by the Colorado State Library.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Project ENABLE

In a recent study, school librarians in the state of New York gave themselves very low marks on serving the needs of students with disabilities.  My guess is that most of us in public libraries are in the same boat--it is hard to know enough about various disabilities and possible accommodations to feel like we are truly serving everyone in the community.

I was delighted to discover (thank, School Library Journal!) a program called Project ENABLE (Expanding Nondiscriminatory Access by Librarians Everywhere), created by the Syracuse University's School of Library and Information Studies.  Project ENABLE offers online, free, self-paced learning modules, with videos, activities, and assessments.  The project is specifically designed for school librarians, but it is very relevant to public librarians, as well.  I'm excited to check out all the modules, but so far, so good!

I'd be interested to hear what others think!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sparks! Ignition Grants Info!

Let me know if you are thinking of applying for this and want a sparring partner to help you think about it, read drafts of applications, etc.  I plan to attend the webinar on January 9.

Sparks! Ignition Grants For Libraries And Museums

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is accepting applications in the following grant program:
Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums
Deadline: February 1, 2013
Grant Amount:     $10,000 to $25,000
Grant Period:        Up to one year

There will be two Web conferences to learn more about the program, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at 2:30 – 3:30 pm  OR
Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 2 – 3pm
To participate in the web conference, a few minutes before it is scheduled to begin, log into:
Then, using any touchtone phone, call 1-866-299-7945. When prompted to enter a passcode, enter 7434925#.
celebrations,fingers,holidays,photographs,sparklers,sparks,special occasions

Program Overview:
The Sparks! Ignition Grants for Libraries and Museums are a special funding opportunity within the IMLS National Leadership Grants program. These small grants encourage libraries, museums, and archives to test and evaluate specific innovations in the ways they operate and the services they provide. Sparks Grants support the deployment, testing, and evaluation of promising and groundbreaking new tools, products, services, or organizational practices. You may propose activities or approaches that involve risk, as long as the risk is balanced by significant potential for improvement in the ways libraries and museums serve their communities.

Successful proposals will address problems, challenges, or needs of broad relevance to libraries, museums, and/or archives. A proposed project should test a specific, innovative response to the identified problem and present a plan to make the findings widely and openly accessible.

Click here for more information about this funding opportunity,