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 8, 2013

Costumes Make Everything More Fun

Thanks to Julie Belz from Ellsworth for sending in a few great photos of Halloween celebrations in Ellsworth!

Thursday storytime friends trick-or-treating around the library at the end of storytime.  

The Pumpkin Party in the Park in Ellsworth drew 350 kids and their families, and the librarians were there with games and crafts--and costumes.  Way to get out there in the community! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Terrific Collection Development Advice!

Wow!  I was all set to post some great Halloween photos sent in by a library, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see them. 

Marge Loch-Wouters has a great 2-part post about collection development, with a list of 12 ways you can be a bad selector.  Here's Part One, here's Part Two.  It's something I wish I'd had access to the first few years I was trying to figure out how to do this.  Look here for some practical advice and good explanations.  And the comments have even more suggestions to consider!

IFLS librarians--if you need help getting a handle on your collection (evaluating, getting a bunch weeded out and coming up with a plan for keeping on top of it, figuring out how to find gaps, etc.), please contact me!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Amazing Day

A friend of mine from college has published a board book!  Imagine my delight when the book was excellent, and I felt like I could recommend it to librarians...

My Amazing Day:  A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude by Karin Fisher-Golton, Lori A. Cheung and Elizabeth Iwamiya.  Pacific Dogwood Press, $8.99 (978-0-9896145-1-1)

Clear, simple words and beautiful, engaging photographs combine with clean design to make this a very appealing board book for young children and their caregivers to share.  We follow a charming toddler through her day, from waking up to birdsong to eating breakfast ("I ate squishy and sweet") to playing with parents and pets to bath time ("I made water jump, jump, jump.") to a snuggly bedtime ("Then I was warm, cozy, and just right").  The final pages include a small photo of the essence each experience with a thank you ("Thank you banana!").

According to the book's website, My Amazing Day is one of very few books that addresses gratitude for the 0-3 year-old age group in a way that does not rely on any particular spiritual path. Wonder and gratitude are fabulous things to nurture in children, but a book like this could easily become sentimental. I'm not a big fan of didactic books.  This book, however, has such engaging photos, clean design, and child-friendly words and concepts that it is wonder-ful, not maudlin. I think kids and families--and children's librarians--will love to get their hands on this!

I believe there may be some special library pricing.  To find out, send an email to info@pacificdogwoodpress.com.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Borrow an Amphibian

Cole and a young patron enjoy a frog together
St. Croix Falls Public Library is a great place to check out materials, create art, hear stories, use technology...and now, you can also check out amphibians for a week! Randy Korb (the Frog Guy, who many of you saw a few years ago at a Performer Showcase) lives in St. Croix Falls, and approached the library with this awesome idea!  Families can check out one of seven amphibians (3 species of salamanders; 3 species of frogs, and a toad) for a week.

How can the logistics of this possibly work??  Well, if you have a Frog Guy living in your area it is easy.  The animals live at his house.  When a family wants to borrow one, they make an appointment at the library to meet Randy to pick it up at the library.  There is usually a waiting period.  The amphibians come with excellent care instructions and proper food for a week, supplied by Randy.

Cole acknowledges that not many libraries have a Frog Guy.  But, she says, "I encourage anyone interested to think about local resources, parks, and naturalists who are passionate about animals and the immense learning that comes with (even a short period of) taking care of an animal."  The library plans to eventually offer other items for checkout that will encourage families to get outside and explore the natural environment. Check out the newspaper article about it!