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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Engagement Is the Key!

I attended the Growing Wisconsin Readers Symposium last week in Stevens Point.  I was pleased to see so many folks from IFLS-land there (and to see a fabulous display by our colleague Julie Belz from Ellsworth!).  I left with my brain FULL of ideas and conversations and plans, and I hope the rest of you had a similar experience.  I'm going to be reflecting (and acting) on this symposium for a long time.  Watch for that to crop up in my blog posts, CE offerings, conversations and collaborations in the future.

My main take-home message:  no matter how we encourage it, with technology or early literacy playgrounds or special programs or collaboration with other agencies or book-promotion--engagement and relationships are the key to child development.  The challenge for us as librarians is how to learn to do support this.  Watch for some great ideas coming up at upcoming IFLS workshops about this topic!   Also--lots more thinking and discussion about the use of technology with young children and the opportunities and challenges it presents--coming soon to a blog near you.

For now, I want to draw your attention to the excellent reflections on the Symposium posted on the Growing Wisconsin Readers blog, written by librarians who attended the conference:

Early Literacy Innovation Panel

Dipesh Navsaria's Presentation:  Screens:  Success or Sabotage for Schools? (written by our own Arlene Mabie from Hawkins!)

Rebecca Katzenmeyer:  Early Literacy Spaces

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Taking a Break Won't Break Your Storytime

I have discussed this before, and I know it will come up again.  Marge Loch-Wouters over at Tiny Tips for Library Fun has a great post about the importance and viability of taking breaks from storytime.  Take a look for some convincing suggestions that answer concerns you might have about taking breaks. 

One of people's biggest concerns in taking breaks from storytime is that you might lose your audience, or that it is confusing to the patrons.  Marge counters that with this:

If storytimes are to entertain, then fear of losing the audience might be real. If storytimes are to model and help provide parents with the early lit support they need to be their child's first teacher, it seems that breaks are easily incorporated since parents have the tools that you provided to keep modeling awesome early lit work with their kids!

She also suggests adding a transition activity (preschool dance party, creating some book bundles for families to check out, changing out felt board materials and other early literacy activities on the floor more frequently, etc.) to help ease people into a short do-it-yourself time.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Arbuthnot Lecture Lands Nearby!

This information is from a post to an ALSC listserv.  The Arbuthnot Lecture is a big deal, and it would be fun to have a group of IFLS-area librarians make the trek to visit.  There is already a possibility of taking a van from Eau Claire in the works--let me know if you'd like to participate!
Andrea Davis PinkneyAssociation for Library Service to Children and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Children's Literature Research Collections (CLRC) announced that tickets for the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Andrea Davis Pinkney are now available.

The lecture, entitled “Rejoice the Legacy!,” will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Willey Hall on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. A reception and signing will follow the event. Required tickets are free for the lecture and must be obtained through the University of Minnesota website. To learn more about acquiring tickets, please visit the 2014 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture website.

Andrea Davis Pinkney is a New York Times best-selling writer of more than 20 books for children and young adults including picture books, novels and nonfiction. During the course of her career, Pinkney has launched many high-profile publishing and entertainment entities, including Hyperion Books for Children/Disney Publishing’s Jump at the Sun imprint, the first African American children’s book imprint at a major publishing company.

Get your free tickets to the 2014 Arbuthnot Lecture featuring Andrea Davis Pinkney

Willey Hall“Andrea is an acclaimed writer of informational text for children with a focus on social equality and civil rights,” said Lisa Von Drasek, curator for the CLRC. “We’re just so pleased that we’re able to provide this opportunity to K-12 educators, writers, students, professors – anyone who is interested in how we communicate information to children. We hope to shine a spotlight on Minnesota as a place to come for children's literature.”

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture is sponsored by ALSC. The lecture title honors May Hill Arbuthnot, distinguished writer, editor and children’s literature scholar. Each year, an author, artist, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature is selected to prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sprouting Readers in Durand

Ever-hopeful in Durand!  At the first Springtime Storytime for children ages 3-5 years old, June and Lori thought it would be interesting to plant tomato seeds in pots in celebration of the First Day of Spring.    Hard to imagine it ever being warm enough to grow tomatoes, but nothing beats planting seeds to make you feel hopeful about spring arriving some day!

The kids are coloring the name tags that they placed in the pot.