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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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beyond Screen Time

There is a lot of debate out there about the use of apps, technology, and screens of any kind with young children.  Librarians like the ones at Little ELit are embracing the thoughtful use of technology in programs, and advocating the importance for librarians to know enough about apps to be able to recommend high quality ones to parents.  Others point out research that shows the importance of human interaction for young children, and the American Academy of Pediatrics statements on screen time being detrimental for children.

I'm not sure where I stand on this debate, but I think it is incredibly important.  I am in the information-gathering phase of it all, I find intelligent and thoughtful people on both sides, making compelling points.   I'm thinking that maybe the argument doesn't need to be as polarized as it has become.  There is no doubt that we all understand that engagement with caregivers is crucial.  The question is whether screens can be used as a tool for engagement, and if so, how to ensure that parents, librarians, teachers, caregivers all have the information they need to select and use the tool effectively.

There is a lot to learn and think about, which is why I haven't taken a strong position right now.  I have inclinations, but I'm trying to be open and learn.  Watch for more posts as I take in more information (and please send your opinions and resources my way!).  I highly encourage all of you to take advantage of the conversations going on around us and learn as much as you can about the topic.  It's something we all need to delve into!

On that note, I found information about a forum called Beyond Screentime, sponsored by The New America Foundation.  It is a live presentation with all sorts of fascinating speakers and exhibits, and there will be a free screencast of the event on March 26.  No need to register for the screencast, and since most of us won't be in Washington, DC that day, you just need to remember to check it out!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Want Some Help with Planning? Thinking of Applying for a Grant?

Then here's a webinar for you!  Tomorrow!

Using WISEdash to Understand Young Patrons as Students
Customize your library’s programs and services for children, teens, and families by discovering what’s happening in the district, grade levels, and schools in your area. Explore data related to academic performance in reading and math as well as enrollment groups such as economic, disability, ELL, and migrant status.  Find out how to capture data for use on applications and reports that require identification of library demographics. 

Youth services librarians and public library directors are encouraged to attend this informative and instructive webinar about WISEdash Public Portal.  WISEdash is a data portal that uses "dashboards," or visual collections of graphs and tables, to provide multi-year education data about Wisconsin schools.  As a public reporting tool, WISEdash is used by districts, schools, parents, researchers, media, and other community members to view data published by Department of Public Instruction. Webinar participants will participate in a guided exploration to gain an overview of WISEdash as well as examine search techniques. 

Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:00-1:00pm
Presenters: DPI Division of Libraries & Technology staff Melissa Straw, Manager, Data Warehouse and Decision Support Team; Melanie McCalmont, Business Analyst, Data Warehouse and Decision Support Team; and Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Youth and Special Services Consultant, Public Library Development Team. 

For more information about WISEdash, visit http://wisedash.dpi.wi.gov/

The webinar will be recorded and posted online under “Professional Development” on the DPI Youth Services page: http://pld.dpi.wi.gov/pld_ys-sn#prof-dev

No registration is required; simply join the Blackboard Collaborate session.  Note--Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for this platform (Java required). 
Blackboard Collaborate session: http://tinyurl.com/pqn7svo
  • Attendees who need telephone audio (versus VoIP) should use the conference number:
     1-877-820-7831 and enter participant passcode:  697156.
  • Test your system beforehand 
  • Blackboard Collaborate overview video
  • Blackboard Collaborate online support or phone (877) 382-2293

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wisconsin Science Festival

Menomonie Public Library's Science Festival, held in partnership with UW Stout last fall

Planning is underway for the fourth annual Wisconsin Science Festival (WSF), to be held October 16–19, 2014, in Madison, around the state and perhaps in your library. The festival will welcome people of all ages to look, listen, feel, touch, taste, discover and unleash their curiosity. Through interactive exhibits, hands-on workshops, lectures, demonstrations and conversations with leading researchers and creative thinkers, festival-goers will experience the wonders of the sciences, arts, food, sports and more like never before.

The 2013 festival brought more than 32,000 people from all corners of Wisconsin and 16 different states to experience over 190 events in more than 50 venues in Madison and around the state, including MENOMONIE.

Become part of the 2014 Wisconsin Science Festival and consider presenting new or already existing activities that explore new ways of thinking, learning, communicating and more by showcasing a science-related film, highlighting books/authors, DIY science experiments or any of many other activities that connect with science. This is a perfect opportunity to highlight your innovative programs and activities.
For more information on how you can participate, visit the science festival website at www.wisconsinsciencefest.org or feel free to contact the festival organizers directly at 608.316.4382.