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 31, 2014

Book Trailers for the Win

Book Trailers are a fun way to promote books.  Colleen from Menomonie often uses them as part of the mix when she is booktalking to teens.  Some libraries feature them prominently on websites. 

This seems like a cool project for a teen advisory board, or younger kids, too.  Pam Gardow, Memorial High School librarian, works with students to create trailers like this one.  Her students use Animoto as a platform--a simple tool that allows them to create eye-catching trailers.  It might be worth spending some time checking it out!  There are more great ideas and resources on the Read On Wisconsin website.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Be a Mentor or a Mentee!

This means you, you awesome librarians of IFLS-Land!

ALSC mentoring program applications now open for Spring 2014

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) announced the opening of spring 2014 applications for the ALSC mentoring program. The program is intended to help build a new collection of leaders in the field of library service to children. Applications are now open for both mentors and mentees. The application process ends on Friday, February 28, 2014.

The program lasts one year. Mentee applicants do not need to be ALSC or ALA members. The only requirement is that mentees have some connection to children’s library service. Mentees may be students, early career professionals, individuals returning to the profession, or those who would like to refine their skills, make connections, and learn more about children’s librarianship as a career.

ALSC is making a special call for mentor applications. In the fall 2013, mentee applications outnumbered mentor applications by nearly four to one. Mentor applicants must be ALSC members and should have experience working in the field of children’s librarianship or children’s literature.

Mentors and mentees who apply to the program will be matched by members of the ALSC Membership and Managing Children’s Services Committees. The mentoring program was developed through the hard work of these two committees. ALSC cannot guarantee that every applicant will be matched.

For more information on the ALSC Mentoring Program or to apply, please visit http://www.ala.org/alsc/mentoring.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Inspiring Even When Gone

Yesterday, Pete Seeger, a folksinger, activist and storyteller who had a profound effect on the world, died at the age of 94.  I just found out, and I'm sitting here at work, weeping.  When I think about the important influences of my life, Pete Seeger ranks up there right after family members.  I grew up listening to his records, singing his songs and laughing at his stories, attending his concerts and always being invited to sing along.  My desire to make the world a better, more inclusive place has its roots in Pete Seeger's inspiration.

Pete Seeger, inviting people to sing along

Pete said, "Be wary of great leaders.  Hope that there are many, many small leaders."  I think of the ripple effect he's had, of all the people in the world who are doing their small parts to try to work for justice or environmental causes partly because Pete Seeger said they could.  I'm imagining the incredibly powerful experience of singing together and the hope and strength that can come from it.  I'm deeply grateful to have been exposed to his work and his humor and his determination to speak truth to power, and I hope that something of his inclusive, joyful spirit can live on in my work in the library world.

A display of books and music by Pete Seeger would be a lovely tribute this week...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Finding the Right Niche for Serving Homeschoolers in Bloomer

Many thanks to Kathy Larson from Bloomer for this terrific guest post!

I started the Homeschool Club with the thought that I would like to reach a new group in the community. Bloomer has a local homeschool group that meets twice a month. I talked to several of the moms and we agreed that the kids might need some experiences with public speaking and working in groups that I could potentially provide them with at the library. I agreed to host the Homeschool Club the second Friday of the month. We typically get 20-25 kids with the local group. I put it in our monthly newsletter and on our website calendar each month. I’ve had one family join who does not participate in the local homeschool group, but I haven’t actively looked for other homeschool families.

Each month I plan a different activity for the kids.  The first several months, we worked on public speaking--
 the kids brought an All About Me poster to present in front of the group, next they brought in something they loved, collected or were passionate about and they talked about that in front of the group, which went even better, once they got rolling with questions for each other.  After some research about teaching public speaking, in November, I had kids come prepared to answer the question "Would you rather live in a library, zoo or museum for the rest of your life?".  They worked in groups to make posters. After the posters were finished, each member of the group presented their reasoning to the rest of the kids (this worked out awesomely).

In December we did reader’s theater skits of The Three Little Pigs and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. We practiced each skit once, made three houses for a backdrop in groups, and then they performed the two skits for their parents.
Three Little Pigs dramatized

In January, I had them work on a STEAM activity in a group. I initially had them line up by age, they had to do this themselves with no adult help (until the end). Then they counted off by fours so there would be a variety of ages in each group. 
winning group--18.5 inches!

We went over expectations for group work, and then they were told the plan. “You are going to get a bunch of marshmallows, small & large, and some spaghetti noodles. Your job, AS A GROUP, is to make the tallest tower you can make in 20 minutes. I saw this idea on a few different Pinterest pages. The first thing I gave them was colored pencils and paper. They were instructed to draw out their plans. After they all had individual plans I had them talk as a group about what ideas they were going to use in their group plan. After they had their plans, I gave them the materials they would need for the project. After 10 minutes of construction, I reminded them that it was a group project. Many of them were working by themselves. When there was five minutes left, I told them that they MUST remember it is a GROUP effort.

At the end of the 20 minutes I used a yard stick to measure their structures. The group with the tallest structure (which had exhibited the best teamwork, perhaps coincidentally) talked about their structure and process. I asked them questions from the group cooperation sheet. I also had them say what they liked about the other group member’s ideas. I had each group talk about their structures with similar questions. 


Award Books Announced!

I must admit that I was distracted by a busy weekend and thoughts of surviving cold and drifting snow and I forgot all about the ALA Book and Media Award announcements that happened this morning.

In case you are in a similar situation, take a peek at this year's award winners.  How many do you own?  How many have you read?  Did any favorites win?  Be prepared for questions about these titles, many of which will get some press attention this week!  I was happy to see a few Wisconsin authors on the list, including Amy Timberlake, who received a Newbery Honor for her historical novel set in Wisconsin, One Came Home.

2014 Caldecott Winner