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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 10, 2014

A Child's Work

I've been thinking a lot about early literacy skills lately, thinking about ways to get the message across that it is important to give young kids opportunities to explore and develop without being squelched by worksheets or flashcards.  I found a reference to Vivian Gussin Paley's book A Child's Work:  The Importance of Fantasy Play several months ago when perusing The Storytime Underground site.  No one in our system owned it, so I had to interloan the copy (Thanks UW River Falls!).  I finally got around to reading it this month.

Paley is a kindergarten and early childhood teacher who makes a passionate argument for the power and importance of free fantasy play in the lives of young children.  She's interested in the development of children as learners and as human beings, and cites examples of children's conversations during play, and their storytelling and acting out of those stories to demonstrate that free, uninhibited play can enhance that development.  Children can make sense of their worlds, sort through philosophical questions, practice ways to be flexible and inclusive with each other, and at the same time develop their symbolic thinking and narrative skills. 

With the demands and expectations of kindergarten, and even pre-kindergarten, increasing, there is less and less time for children to engage in free fantasy play together.  I think it is worth it for librarians to think about how we can support their developmental need for fantasy play in our spaces and programs, and in the way we talk to their parents and caregivers.

What do you think?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Warming Up Winter


As a response to a recent question on our youth services staff listserv, we got a few great ideas:

"At Rice Lake Public Library we have a Mid-Winter reading Challenge.   During the month of January children can pick up a reading log.   If they read 25 books, chapters, or articles during the month of January they can bring the log back for a free book choice (we stocked up on Scholastic books at the warehouse sale).   Each child who completes the log also gets to put their name in a drawing for one of three Family Fun Packs.    Our family fun packs have things like a DVD, game, craft supplies, snacks, etc." (From Heidi W.)



"The Hawkins Library has a "Take the Chill Out with a Good Book" promotion which runs the entire month of January. After checking out books, children preschool-16, may pick a scarf, hat or mittens from our snowflake tree, they also receive a pack of hot chocolate mix. They may receive one item per week.
 Adults are entered into a drawing for a warm & fuzzy basket awarded at the end of the month.
Everyone has a lot of fun with this and all items are donated, many are beautiful  handmade items." (From Arlene M.)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

CSLP Teen Video Challenge



 Last year, teens from our region created the winning video.  It was incredible, and the winners were very excited to have their work recognized.  Take a few minutes and pass this information on to film clubs and media classes at the local high school!

This is the second year that Wisconsin will participate in the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) Teen Video Challenge. Information about the contest, including entry and release forms, can be found at http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_ys-sn.

For the contest, teens should create a video promoting Summer Reading at the public library, including an interpretation of the 2014 CSLP teen slogan "Spark a Reaction," to win $275 and a $125 award for the library. Any teen, aged 13 -18, can enter the CSLP 2014 Teen Video Challenge in the state where they reside. Videos can be created individually or as a team. Each participating CSLP member state will select one winner. Additional information, including promotional resources and video creation resources, can be found at http://cslpreads.org/challenge-overview.html.

The deadline for entries is Friday, February 14, 2014. The state winner will be selected in March 2014 and national selections will be announced in April 2014.

Curious about what teens might make? Take a look at the 2013 winners for inspiration, including the winning submission from the L. E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire: http://cslpreads.org/programs/young-adult-program/teen-video-challenge/2013-teen-video-winners.html.

Contact Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, the Department of Public Instruction’s Youth and Special Services Consultant, with questions: tessa.schmidt@dpi.wi.gov.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Summer Library Program Workshop!

CSLP Proprietary Image
Don't forget to register for this year's Summer Library Program Workshop, February 13 at the Menomonie Alliance Church (502 21st. Street North).  This is one of my favorite workshops of the year, because the energy and enthusiasm and laughter-per-minute is always at the highest level for any other workshop.  Why is that?  Because of who is attending!  Add yourself to the mix and join us for this great experience.

This year, I'm especially excited.  First, we'll welcome Sara Bryce from the LaCrosse Public Library.  She's got an important, thought-provoking, funny and irreverent blog, and tons of great ideas about programs, managing behavior in the children's room, and promotion and outreach.  Then we have 3 of our own stars, Julie Belz (Ellsworth); Georgia Jones (New Richmond) and Kathy Larson (Bloomer) who will be describing the ways they integrate STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) concepts and exploration into preschool programs.  After lunch, one more fabulous IFLS presenter, Colleen Zertler (Menomonie), will talk about the fabulous science and technology projects she's done with teens, and then we'll hear from Laurie Bartz from the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville about working with teens in the summer (and other times of year, too).

Sounds like too fun to miss, doesn't it?  Register by February 6 and get ready to Fizz and Boom!