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, August 8, 2013

Farmer's Market Outreach in Rice Lake

Rice Lake is trying an interesting new outreach project:  having a presence at the local farmers market once a week.  Linda Mullin sets up a table, some blankets, some brochures and books at the Farmer's Market every Thursday afternoon, and has been enjoying interacting with kids and adults there.  Here are some of the things she's learned:

  • Have plastic bin and/ or pop-up tent for unexpected rain.
  • Find a way to be more visible:  signage, balloons or something to get attention and let people know the library is there.
  • Parents that are selling produce at the farmers market have shared that during the summer they do not have as much time to get to the library because of gardening, markets etc. so they appreciate the storytime. 
 Here's what she hopes to try before the end of the season:
  • Bring along another person going to share the reading and be available to talk with adults
  • Take along some books to give away
    Figure out some way to bring materials along and check them out
  • Create a power point about what's available at the library and bring along a computer to show, also use to help answer questions
Photo: Story time at the Country Lane Farmer's Market!
Linda reading to kids (with amazing levitating boy in background)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A MAIZE-ING Library Outreach

 Every year, Wisconsin's Farm Technology Days  draws tens of thousands of people (this year, the estimate was 35-40 thousand people).  The event moves around every year, and this year, it was held on a farm near Barron. The Barron Public Library teamed up with IFLS to staff a booth, which turned out to be a huge hit!  Here's what Patti Becker (AKA Miss Patti), the youth services librarian (and interim library director at the time this event was all arranged) had to say about the experience:
Kathy Setter from IFLS, and Susan Queiser, new Barron Library Director, staffing the booth

We had a great time in the Youth Tent at Farm Tech Days. About one month before Tech Days I did a big weeding in the children's area of the library and those books we gave away one of these books to each child who visited our booth and used their fingers to walk through our Corn Maze:
Corn maze is serious business when there is a free book at the end!

 Yes, they loved the funky pencils, magnets and directions on how to create a seed tape, but, the free books were the big winner! The parents enjoyed the opportunity of the free book and the information they received about our library system and the statewide library system. 

Throwing the booth together took about a week, but, the Tech Days staff contacted me last summer to join in the fun. They did ask for a signed agreement between myself and the Tech Days for participation. We also participated in the stage activities by performing a StoryTime that included 2 stories and a readers theater (crowd participation) story. 

Kathy, Miss Patti, and a volunteer work the crowd
Watch for this opportunity when it comes to a farm near your library!  With a minimum of expense, the library promoted amazing services, literacy, and fun to a LOT of people.