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 18, 2016

SLP, Part One: Record-Keeping

At the SLP/Youth Services workshop we had last week, our presenter Holly Storck Post had participants list things they hate about the summer library program.  I noticed some interesting themes in this mix.  I'm going to address them in a series of blog posts.  Along with the usual frustration about inadequate staff, space, and money, guess what people report is the most frustrating element of the summer library program?  Record-keeping.

I'm guessing that means coming up with, producing, and monitoring the amount of reading kids are doing.  Maybe it is time to look at all that record-keeping and think about ways to simplify or even eliminate it.  Is that possible?  Does it fly in the face of everything you've ever thought about summer library programs?  Can you still encourage reading if you don't do record-keeping?  Will some kids miss it?  Will you still be able to count kids for statistics and reports?  How will you measure if your program had some sort of effect if you don't have kids fill out records?

It is time to think about these things.  If you hate the paperwork and it makes you dread summer, chances are that there are families and kids who also hate it.  Are there ways to encourage and track reading that put less pressure on everyone?  Here are some resources that might  help you think about alternatives:

Here's a blog post about one library's process.  A couple of years ago, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Tessa Michaelson Schmidt put together a research-based resource of 10 Tips for Librarians related to the library reading programs.  Prescriptions about specific kinds of record-keeping are not included--but there are several things to think about that may help guide you as you make decisions about what to do.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Summer Library Program and Youth Services Workshop Follow-up

Last week more than 50 librarians from around the IFLS region gathered for a workshop to prepare for the Summer Library Program, but also so much more.  We had an inspiring keynote talk from Holly Storck Post about planning and evaluating programs, reaching hard-to-reach populations, making changes, and advocating for youth services.  She did some great exercises that have provided me with blog and professional development fodder for several weeks, so watch for more about that!

The second part of the day included breakout sessions from IFLS librarians about topics ranging from teen programming to developmentally appropriate practice to music in storytime to sharing/promoting SLP internally and outside to self-care and managing change to a big old idea swap.  Wow, do we ever work with some fabulous folks!

If you didn't have a chance to come to the workshop, check here for resources from the workshop.  If you have questions, let me know!