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 23, 2015

Providence Talks

Sharon Grover from the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville passed on information about a fascinating article in the New Yorker magazine about Providence Talks, a project in Providence, Rhode Island that attempts to address the word gap (based on the Hart and Risley study that indicated that children from low income families hear 30 million fewer words by the time they turn three).  Parents can track how many interactions they are having with their children, and coaches come into the home to talk about ways to incorporate reading, talking and singing into everyday life.

The article brings up some interesting critiques of the program and of the underlying research itself, but it also gives a fairly optimistic look at a project that is attempting to address an important problem.  I recommend reading it if you are interested.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Small Rant

Silly protest sign
Today I was getting on my winter duds to take my morning dog walk, listening to Wisconsin Public Radio, when I heard something that made me jut my chin and Make Proclamations at my good-humored husband.  This happens fairly often when I listen to the news, granted. There are many things to make a person outraged and this is undoubtedly a small bone of contention in the scheme of things.  But STILL!  I think you will join me in my indignation, so I'm posting here about it.

They were doing a Wisconsin Life piece, and an author was talking about reading with his children.  So far, so good!  How cool is that?  But then he went on to smugly say that he prefers to read "real stories" with them.  I thought, oh, they prefer nonfiction.  But no.  He meant books that are written for adults.  In fact, he meant Illustrated Classics versions of books that are written for adults.

Okay, well. I'm truly glad that this dad is reading to his kids and expanding on the experience by doing interesting things related to the books.  It's great they've found something that works for them.  But to declare that a "real story" means a book for adults, and therefore insinuate that books written for kids are somehow less worthy?  That gets my goat.  Especially when he's holding up the Illustrated Classics version of a book as more real than the hundreds of high-quality, amazing children's books that are out there.  I mean, my daughter used to read the Illustrated Classics version of The Three Musketeers her grandparents gave her with pen in hand to correct all the grammar and punctuation errors.

I'm sure you all agree with me that the field of children's literature is rich and broad.  Let's keep doing what we can to promote those real stories to the public!

Monday, January 19, 2015

STEAM Inspiration

An eager participant in last year's Science Fair at the Menomonie Public Library
I came across a terrific post in the Show Me Librarian Blog about the Skokie Public Library's new Boom Box Room--an area with interactive STEAM activities that rotate, kind of like a museum.  Wow!  I wonder if any of you will try something like this on a smaller scale?  Maybe if you do you will find it helpful to check out this resource that Becky from Prescott shared with me--a product for making your cardboard creations work better.