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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Science Festival Fabulosity

Thanks to Colleen Zertler from Menomonie, who organized and hosted a Wisconsin Science Festival event last month, and then sent me some information about it!  Double-bonus points!   Here's what she said:

We had 62 people attend our Wisconsin Science Festival event.  Three different groups from the University of Wisconsin-Stout were there doing hands-on activities:  the Materials ResearchSociety was making elephant toothpaste, crystals, and had a high powered microscope the kids to use;  the Environmental Science school was there with a demonstration about watersheds and water quality demonstration (kids got to see how salt in parking lots and manure in farm fields makes its way into streams); and the Apparel Design Development school was there showing various fabrics and talking about how they design and make material. 

The library hosted a deconstruction zone where kids tore about various electronics including computers and dvd players, and we had an indoor rocket launch where kids could test what angle would result in the furthest flight. Unfortunately, we could not have our outdoor rocket launch because of the rain.

Let's hear it for an awesome collaborative program!  Colleen says they don't really have room to host this again next year, so she is hoping to work with UW-Stout on a program to be held on campus.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Here's a Good Reason to Drive to Eau Claire!

One of my favorite authors is coming to Eau Claire in a couple of weeks as part of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival!  Gene Luen Yang is a graphic novelist, and author of Printz Award-winning  American Born Chinese, a funny, thought-provoking, important and totally engaging book that includes elements of magical realism and mythology.  I've heard from reliable sources (other librarians!) that he is a terrific presenter, too.  And he's coming to Eau Claire, people!  There is nothing quite so inspiring as seeing a brilliant author, and chances to do so are few and far between.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 19, 1:00 pm at the Dakota Room at the UWEC Davies Center.

If you are thinking of driving over/up/down--let me know!  Maybe we can all get together for lunch beforehand!  There are other terrific authors presenting at libraries and other venues around the Chippewa Valley all week--take a peek at the whole schedule and be amazed.

Goblin Secrets, by William Alexander

P.S.  I just finished reading Gene Luen Yang's latest book, Boxers this weekend.  It's a disturbing, fascinating, harrowing, and completely engaging look at the Boxer Rebellion in China, told from the point of view of a young man who ends up as a leader of the rebellion after he sees his village (and his own father) destroyed by European immigrants and Christian missionaries.  I'm looking forward to reading the companion graphic novel, Saints, told from the perspective of a young Chinese girl during the same time period who has suffered neglect and abuse, and finds her calling as a nun. Both books are on the long list for the National Book Award this year.

Monday, October 7, 2013

LEGOs Plus Families Plus Book-Inspiration = Awesome Program!

Heidi Weber from Rice Lake Public Library had great things to say about their LEGO Family Challenge last month: 

We had families work together to create a Lego structure that represented their favorite book.   We had 15 teams with about 50 participants.   We got the most amazing Harry Potter, Iron Giant and Hunger Games creations!
An Artemis Fowl-inspired sculpture

  I made Lego cookies and we had guess how many Lego blocks are in the jar for a prize (a two year old won).   It was really awesome to see families interacting together for about an hour. 

  We had lots of Lego books on display and many were checked out.  Each family got a Lego platform and a extra large Ziploc bag full of random LEGOS to make their book-inspired creations.