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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, May 22, 2015

Getting Feedback from School-Age Kids

Readers' Theater in Bloomer
I read an article in American Libraries about Tween Advisory Boards this week and it had some good ideas for engaging 9-12 year olds a little more in library programming and decision-making.  I know many of you have Teen Advisory Boards, and sometimes it can be tricky for some of those teens to find time to participate.  9-12 year olds have a little more disposable time, so it might be something to consider.

One library found that the number of programs (and well-attended programs, at that) for this age group grew significantly once they had an advisory board in place.  Another library re-thought their ideas for new furniture and space use after hearing from kids about what they were looking for in the library.  We learn it over and over, that the best way to provide services that are popular and well-received is to ask what services people want.  This is one more example of that.

What are you doing to engage with school-age kids?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Creating Safe Spaces for GLBTQ+ Youth

I attended a training session today sponsored by the AIDS Resource Center entitled Creating Safe Spaces for GLBTQ+ Youth in the Chippewa Valley.  GLBTQ stands for Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender and Questioning/Queer.  The room was full of people from around the area, including several librarians (yay, librarians!).  It was a useful training, and I would have happily stayed for longer than the two hours allotted.

I think it is our responsibility as librarians who work with teens to try to get up to speed on what issues GLBTQ youth are facing and how we can create safer spaces for them in our libraries.  Health disparities for GLB youth in Wisconsin are stark, according to the WI Department of Health Services.  They are 5 times more likely to attempt suicide or get injured in a fight.  Four times greater odds of having sex before the age of 13.  Three times more likely to skip school because they feel unsafe.  And half as likely to feel they belong in school.  Source.

The trainers shared some tips for people who work with GLBTQ youth (and if you work with youth, you work with GLBTQ youth).  Take a look here and here.  And June is ALA's GLBT Book Month (Thanks to my colleague Pam Gardow for sharing that information).