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, November 14, 2014

Teen Librarian Toolbox

I had heard about the Teen Librarian Toolbox blog/resource before, but hadn't really spent much time exploring it until I had the chance to see Karen Jensen at this year's Wisconsin Library Association YSS Luncheon.

If you haven't taken time to look, I highly encourage you to take a gander.  Here are some of the treasures:

  • Real-life issues like sexual violence and consent, and ideas about how to use literature to open up important discussions about these topics
  • Suggestions for working with middle-grade/tween audiences (3rd-7th graders)
  • Teen Services 101, with everything from suggestions for booktalking to creating teen service plans to a whole bunch of other relevant stuff
  • A plethora of teen programming ideas

And a whole bunch more.  Take a peek, you'll be astonished and pleased that there is such a fabulous resource out there FOR YOU!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Stealthy in More Ways than One!

Fun in the stacks with Riddle Me Readers Stealth Program
Thanks to Alisha Green from LEPMPL for this guest post, talking about the stealthy ways she and her colleagues are teaching kids to use the catalog!

I was first approached last year by our Friends coordinator who wanted to sponsor a program for kids during National Friends of Libraries Week that would encourage kids to use the computer catalog and get them into areas of the stacks that they may not normally visit (we offer more than just Pok√©mon and Disney princess books!).  We came up with the Riddle Me Readers program and have done it the last two years, both with great results. 

Offered each day of the week was a different riddle that led to a children's book.  We used riddles from the book Spotthe Plot: a riddle book of book riddles by Patrick Lewis.  If participants solved the riddle and located the item in the stacks they would find there an envelope with a prize drawing form.  Each finisher received either a piece of candy or a sticker and one winner was drawn each day to win an amazing prize (such as an art or science kit or a Razor scooter!) purchased by the Friends...though prizes obviously wouldn't be needed. 

It was a simple program that brought great opportunities to help kids learn how to use the catalog and locate materials in a fun way.  Parents loved it too!  It was good practice in catalog searching whether they knew the title but not the author or when they knew what the book was but they couldn’t remember the exact title.  It also gave staff several opportunities to walk kids through a catalog search and show them how to search for an item with only limited information about it, and we got that info by taking key words directly from the riddle.  Several of the titles were available as a book, audiobook and movie which meant they had to search (and learn about) more areas of the library until they found it…hehehe.    

It's even more fun to solve riddles with a friend!
Several families made it a point to come to the library several times that week just to solve the new riddle of the day.  There was one family for sure that visited the library every day that week for the new riddle.  The mom of this family wrote on our Facebook riddle post: “Our kids are having so much fun with these riddles!”  

I think some kids try to steer clear of having to use the catalog, but this was a great way to show them how to use it and what a great tool it can be. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Awesome SLP/Library Promotion Idea

I attended a Lead the Change pre-conference at this year's Wisconsin Library Association Conference, and was pleased to see a bunch of IFLS librarians there.  Yay, IFLS!

One of the great ideas that was shared at this workshop was related to Summer Library Programs.  Kids who register for the SLP in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana get a Library Champion yard sign.  Then parents are encouraged to send in a digital photo of their children for the library to post on their website and social media sites.  Not only is this a cool thing for kids, neighborhoods, and library visibility, it also draws lots of traffic to the website and social media sites, as proud parents and caregivers share links to the adorable photos of their children being champions.  Several other libraries across the country do this, too.

What a cool idea!  Are you going to try it?