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Friday, October 10, 2014

Heartland Fall Forum

Patti (background) and her pals Annis and Pam (from Eau Claire Memorial High School) enjoy listening to Judith Viorst
Patti Blount from Durand has been attending the Heartland Fall Forum (used to be Upper Midwest Booksellers Association) for 15 years!  It must be good to get her back every year, and this is waht she says about it: 

Heartland Fall Forum , a regional trade show that supports independent booksellers, is worth attending for librarians!  It was held this year in Minneapolis at the Depot Center on September 30-October 2.  As a veteran to the show, I have seen the changes throughout the 15 years that I have attended, but it continues to be an excellent value for me to go.

This year was very interesting and informative.   Each year, I always learn a lot of great tips and information at each of the educational sessions.   Also, I meet a lot of great authors.  It’s a great event for any librarian to enjoy.  Many years ago, the Amery Public Library recommended I attend this conference, and now I’m recommending it.

Unfortunately since it shares the event with the Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association, next year’s conference will be in the Chicago area.  It will be coming back to the Twin Cities every other year – so the next one will be: October 5-7, 2016 at the Depot in Minneapolis.

June Baker, also from Durand, attended for the first year this year, and here's what she had to say:

I was like a kid in a candy store! I met authors that I have read and met many that I will have to read through the adult buzz feed.  The Children's buzz feed showed me books that would be useful for storytimes.  The meals were wonderful and you never were hungry.  All in all it was very informative and entertaining.  Can't wait to go again.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Polk County Collaboration for the Win!

License-plate etching and awesome collaborative library outreach!
Thanks to Kelly McBride of Osceola for this blog post about some terrific collaborative efforts between the public libraries in Osceola, Dresser and St. Croix Falls.  Thanks to her library partners, Tiffany Meyer at Dresser and Cole Zrostlik at St. Croix Falls.  

Wheels& Wings: Osceola had an upwards of 12,000 people at the event this year. The director of the chamber asked the library to participate and come up with ideas for a Kid's Zone. I asked Cole and Tiff for help so we pooled our resources and came up with some fun ideas.  We had crafts- 1) planes made from clothes pins, 2) license plate etching, 3) Painting with cars. Kids dipped a car in paint and "drove" to the three libraries on a map Cole created. 
Giant Jenga!

We had games- giant Jenga and another where you flew airplanes through hoops. The Chamber donated hot wheels to give out for prizes.  We provided relaxation- perhaps most appreciated was a chill-out space we created for families to kick back on blankets with some books (car/plane related), play in a sensory box, or play at the train table. We received great feedback from parents who appreciated having a shady spot to get their kids out of the stroller and let them play.  

Taking a break at Wheels and Wings at the sensory box

Second Annual All Library Sports Night: We put on this collaborative party to celebrate the end of the summer reading program. This year we served hot dogs and accompaniments donated by Marketplace Foods and grilled by the Osceola Lion's Club. Soda was donated by Bernick's. We had a multiple things going on: lots of hula hooping, games,music and dancing, baseball instruction, and a visit from the Osceola pageant court.  The Dresser Town Hall is not only a great central location but also has volleyball nets, baseball courts, and a playground the kids get to use.  Makes for a great Sports Night! 

Coming up! The Big, Fun Playdate. We have one scheduled in October in Dresser, November in St. Croix Falls, and Jan. in Osceola.