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, December 20, 2013

Wisconsin Author Comes Back Home!

Series opener!
Many of you know that I tend to get a little star-struck when I'm around authors I admire.  I think authors are amazing, and it is thrilling to have some real live authors in our midst.  One of those authors, Michael Norman, is an IFLS trustee and library advocate extraordinaire.  He passed on information about a former student of his who has moved back to our area of the state:  S.A. Bodeen, author of such wide-ranging works as The Compound (a novel for teens about an unbalanced father who moves his family into a fall-out shelter and has some ethically questionable scientific projects going on there) to A Small Brown Dog with a Wet, Pink Nose (a picture book). 

Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen is living in the IFLS-area and is interested in doing author appearances.  She is an award-winning author whose titles have plenty of kid-appeal.  She has a new series that is being billed as a combination between Swiss Family Robinson and Lost.  She'd be a draw!  Check out her blog for contact information and more.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Resources for Youth about Nelson Mandela

The African Studies Center at the Boston University has put together a set of resources aimed at young people who want to learn more about Nelson Mandela, South Africa, and the struggle against apartheid.  The list has a variety of resources:  books, video, music, youtube videos, and more.  If you have kids, families or teachers who want to commemorate Mandela after his death, or are looking for information about this amazing man and his work, please take a look.

In fact, the African Studies Center has a whole website for people who are teaching about Africa, with book lists and other great resources.  Take a look!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Expanding the Hour of Code

Many thanks to Cole Z. from St. Croix Falls for the nudge, here.  She says:

I watched a teacher at the local school do an "Hour of Code" with her after-school students! Code.org is SOOOO awesome! Short, really fun coding GAMES for kids and LIBRARIANS and very excellent, totally irrelevant celebrity endorsements! The site even has instructions for teachers and great video tutorials. A SUPER easy program idea-- have kids, adults, teens do an hour of code! 

I checked it out, and Cole is right!  There are so many resources available on the Hour of Code website, from short self-guided tutorials to ideas for a 20-session series of workshops.  There are videos, posters, how-to resources and more on this well-organized and easy-to-use site.  There is definitely a role for librarians, here!  For more coding resources, check this this list on TeachThought

Monday, December 16, 2013

High Energy Holidays in Rice Lake

Thanks to Katherine Elchert, the youth services manager at the Rice Lake Public Library for this guest post!

The Rice Lake Public Library hosts our annual holiday extravaganza on the first Saturday of December. Instead of our regular family storytime + crafts, the library goes all out with a fun performer, a visit from Santa, milk and cookies, and a free book to every child from our Friends of the Library group. 

This year we invited a Minneapolis-based band - Koo Koo Kanga Roo - to kick off the celebration. They were amazing.... Bryan and Neil put on a hilarious, hour-long show and then stayed to chat with their adoring fans. Koo Koo Kanga Roo has developed a bit of a cult following here in Rice Lake as many of the elementary schools use their lively music videos as dance breaks. When I was buying my prize books, I went through a Rice Lake elementary school teacher's Scholastic account. We were chatting when I mentioned the holiday party and how I hoped to book Koo Koo Kanga Roo..... she (enthusiastically!) explained how they all use Koo Koo dance videos in their classroom!  Even with that knowledge in mind, the RLPL staff was blown away to see over 400 patrons turn out for this event!
Everyone's excited to dance with Koo Koo Kangaroo

We were lucky because the Rice Lake Holiday Parade was the Thursday night before the event. The library stayed open late, gave out hot chocolate & cookies and handed out flyers (with candy canes) promoting the event. Several staff members walked in the parade, collected letters to Santa and handed out even more flyers! It was an easy and fun way to invite new patrons to a RLPL event.

There were craft projects and photo opportunities while kids waited to see Santa
After the Koo Koo Kanga Roo show, everyone was excited to share their Christmas wishes with Santa! Crowd control was a challenge, but patrons kept busy at different craft stations, snacking on milk & cookies and entering a Holiday Family Photo contest. Overall, it was a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays at the Rice Lake Public Library!

This wonderful event was sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library and the Rice Lake Area Mens Club. We can't thank them enough!