Welcome!

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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Monday, October 16, 2017

STEM Inspiration Conference

image of dna
I love hearing from colleagues who have flown the coop, so to speak, and are working in libraries outside of our system.  First of all, I love to hear from them because I like them, and love to hear what they are up to and what they are thinking about.  Second, they often share cool tidbits with me that I can pass on to everyone else!

This past week I got an email from Ashley Bieber, who used to be the teen librarian in Eau Claire (also former Youth Services Section Chair).  She is now working for the Hennepin County Library, and told me about a STEM conference she is planning to attend at the end of November, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension called Capturing Imaginations:  Building Skills.  This looks like a pretty exciting conference, and a great way to perk up the Oncoming Winter Blues.  Look here for registration information.

Bonus:  if you go, you'll get to see Ashley!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Making Justice in Madison

watercolor paint box with multiple colors
There are some public libraries that are doing great work with kids involved with the juvenile justice system.  At ALA last summer, I attended a program about a library that lines up volunteer bedtime readers and author visits at the local juvenile detention center.  And in our own state, there are libraries doing some great work with kids who are incarcerated or who are at risk of detention.  This morning, Wisconsin Public Radio highlighted a program run by the Madison Public Library's  Bubbler called Making Justice, that works with teens and volunteer artists to create art together.  I highly recommend taking a listen--it is great to hear about such an exciting program, and fun to hear libraries make the news for such a positive reason!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Collection Development Resource

cats and mice playing around stacks of books
The blog has been a victim of the triage that becomes necessary during especially busy times, which August, September, and October seem to be.  BUT.  I have it on my calendar to do a blog entry several times in the upcoming weeks, so look for more content.  And remember to send content my way if you have something to share!!

YESTERDAY, I went off to do new library director visits, and in the course of talking about our monthly Starred Reviews publication, I found out about another pretty remarkable resource from Debbie in Prescott, who has been using it for quite a while.  Jen J.'s Booksheets is a publication that tracks things like awards, and the number of starred reviews an item is getting.  It might be a useful resource for keeping track of items that are getting a LOT of buzz.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Readers Advisory Tips and Training from Novelist








Thanks to Maureen Welch for passing on these tips from the NoveList newsletter!  They are specific to helping kids and teens find books using NoveList. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.



Did you know?
Appeals terms describe the mood or feel of books (think: funny, sad, inspiring), and they are a great tool for talking about books. Kids instinctively understand the terms and they provide a common framework for talking about what each reader enjoys. Learn more about appeal.


5-minute learning activity
Help that teen who enjoyed the movie Wonder Woman find books with strong female characters. Type AP strong female characters into the NoveList search bar, then limit your results by audience to teens. This search strategy has step-by-step instructions for finding books in other ways, too.

Power play
Combine the search for AP strong female characters with Lexile levels and/or Accelerated Reader Interest Levels to get books at just the right reading level. In NoveList, this is possible by using the limiters found on the left side of the page. Watch this 2-minute tutorial on searching by reading levels.



 
If you have more time
Here's a fun activity to do with a group. First, hand out copies of The Secret Language of Books. Then, use the appeal mixer in NoveList to build a reading list for each of these fictional readers:
·         A third-grader who loves thrilling, true-life adventure stories
·         A teen who prefers stories a little on the snarky side
·         A listener who loves audiobooks with different voices and/or accents
·         A kid looking for books with characters from multiple racial and cultural backgrounds
Use this appeal scavenger hunt for more ideas.

Bonus
A special tip for those libraries that have NoveList Select in their catalog: As kids search in your library's catalog, show them how to click on the appeal term links they're interested in to find more books. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Writing Workshop for Kids in Eau Claire

colored pencils
As part of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, local writers  will be holding  wonderful sounding workshops for young writers at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire.  Jessi Peterson is one of the presenters for the workshop for 3-5 graders.  Jessi is not only a poet of some renown (and she built her own cordwood house with a round hobbit door), she is also the Children's Librarian at the Chippewa Falls Public Library, so we know she knows how to work with kids!  She asked me to put this on the blog, since folks from quite a distance attended last year.

Here's the information to pass on to your young writers:

Let's Write!  Grades 3-5 10:30am-12pm . Chippewa Room
Join local writers Sara Bryan and Jessi Peterson for a morning of inventing, writing, and sharing. We’ll bring the paper, pencils, and a passel of tips, tricks, and treats! With Special Guest Appearance by The Cabinet of Curiosities, guaranteed to Ignite Your Imagination.  Attendees are encouraged to submit their work to the Young Writers Showcase.


Stories Save.  Grades 6-8 10:30 am- 12:00 pm, Eau Claire Room.
Join local writers Andrew Patrie and Derick Black for an exploration of how our experiences can be the most fertile soil for growing stories and relationships. Paper, pencils, and prompts will be provided to get you writing and sharing.

Register for either program online at ecpubliclibrary.info/kids or call 715-839-5007.

For more information about the presenters, check out the Chippewa Valley Book Festival site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

WLA Conference Cool Stuff!

WLA logoSorry for the absence of blog posts, I've been out of the office more than in for the past few weeks, taking part in some terrific opportunities (the Youth Services Institute, Prepare Training to learn how to defuse challenging situations, and dropping my youngest kid off at college, to name a few).  Then, when I finally had a chance to write a post, I posted in the YSS Blog by accident (blushing, here).  If you haven't checked out the YSS Blog, I highly recommend this excellent, frequently-updated resource.

Now I'm back, and thinking about another chance to get away from the regular day-to-day work and explore some new things and hang around with some inspiring folks!  The Wisconsin Library Association Conference comes early this year (October 17-20), and there are several things I think you should know about this year's conference.  This is only a partial list of the things I am excited for at this conference:


  • Tuesday, October 17:  Pre-conference:  Representation, Authenticity, and Being Real:  Diversity in Youth Services with Anna Haase Krueger and Tami Lee will take a deep dive into collection development and library programming, with ideas and hands-on book examination.
  • Wednesday, October 18:  Andrea Davis Pinkney, author, publisher, and extraordinary speaker, will be the YSS Luncheon speaker.  Get ready to be inspired!
  • Thursday, October 19:  Linda Liukas will give the keynote address.  Linda is a programmer, storyteller, and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland.  Check out her TED talk!
  • Friday, October 20:  My very own cousin, Ehryn Barthelme, will be teaming up with a public librarian from Rochester, MN to discuss the reality of what teens and young adults are thinking about, dealing with and experiencing related to sexual health, sexuality, and gender expression.
  • Througout the conference, you will be able to see librarians from the IFLS region presenting, including Jerissa Koenig, Rebekah Palmer, Martha Kaempffer, Jennifer Cook, Susan DeBolt, Cole Zrostlik, Katherine Elchert, and yours truly, plus you'll have a chance to see John Thompson and other contributors to the PLSR process talk about the system re-design process. 
I hope you will consider joining us for an amazing time.  Please let me know if you need some help advocating for yourself for a chance to attend!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Early Childhood Development--Understanding Numbers

toddler holding up 3 fingers

Even though it is on a commercial site, this is a great explanation of the way kids learn to understand numbers (being able to count to 10 does not mean that children understand the concept behind the numbers).  It gives some simple suggestions of activities to do to help children develop the skills of understanding what numbers mean, and other concepts that make up the foundation of understanding mathematics.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Read On Wisconsin

The booklists and other resources have been released for 2017-2018 Read On Wisconsin books.  If you don't already know about it, Read On Wisconsin provides book discussion resources and carefully selected books for several age groups each month.  If you were considering promoting Gene Luen Yang's Reading Without Walls Challenge, these booklists might be a great starting place--a wonderful variety of books, formats, styles, and subjects!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Teens' Top Ten Voting Open!


Teens' Top Ten, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, allows teens from across the country to vote for their top three favorite recent books from a list created by other teens.  This is a great way to encourage teens in your area to make their opinions heard!  YALSA has created some great resources, and this is just in:


Voting for the 2017 Teens' Top Ten is now open! Check out and share the video announcing the nominees here and encourage teens to vote for their top three titles now through Oct. 14.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Resources for Talking about Charlottesville with Kids

We have to keep talking, providing resources, shining a light where it is needed, and helping kids, teens, and families cope with some of the tough things in our world.  The recent events in Charlottesville and the increasing rise of white supremacy and other hate groups is one.  There are some good resources, pulled together by Teen Librarian Toolbox.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Barron's Rearrangement Pays Off!

If you get two creative people together who are interested in thinking outside the box about ways to meet community needs, you just never know where you'll end up.  Patti Becker and Sue Queiser at Barron have been looking at the way the community uses the space, programs, and collections of the children's area for the past few years.  Attendance at regular storytime programs was down, as was attendance at programs for the summer library program.  Throughout this time, Patti and Sue have been thinking about ways to accommodate the needs of the community better.

This included offering more passive programming (a new one each day the library was open during the summer of 2016!), one-on-one storytime, and more.  They noticed that kids and families really enjoyed hanging around together and working on projects.  As a result, they undertook a large transformation--weeding heavily, rearranging their collections, purchasing new furniture that encouraged lingering, and creating much more open space for creation and imagination.
kids do line art at a table
Line art at the table that fits nicely!


Last week, Patti sent me some photos, labeled, THIS IS WHY WE DID IT!  I thought you might like to see, too!
kids make things out of cardboard tubes
Kids make things out of cardboard tubes--look at all that floor space!



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Easy Interactive Teen Displays in Menomonie

I heard from a reliable source (my own teen) that the interactive teen displays in Menomonie are the bomb.  Abby Seymour, the teen librarian, shared some of her recent displays:


display that says First Impressions Matter
The first display takes the intriguing first line of a YA book was on the front, with a tab to lift to see what the book it came from is.  I recognized some, and found the others absolutely tantalizing!

first lines of books display

The next display allows people to vote on whether the book or movie cover is better:

book and movie covers display, with voting options

Paired with a display of book jackets that will soon be movies, this made for a simple and fun display:

book jackets of books being made into movies, "Because Hollywood is running out of ideas."


Monday, July 31, 2017

Many thanks to Julia Reid of LEPMPL for this guest post!

Inspiration, it is said, can come from the unlikeliest places. For the YS staff at LE Phillips Memorial Public Library, inspiration this summer came from the toilet. According to Weird but True! Gross: 200 slimy, sticky, and smelly facts, “95 percent of people don’t wash their hands long enough to kill infectious germs after using the toilet—and 10 percent don’t wash their hands at all” (145). Who wouldn’t want to drum up some programming from a fact like that?

So this summer, stirred by the National Geographic World of Weird but True books, we transformed the Youth Services area into a STEAM fest, with eight activities, experiments, or craft projects, each paired with fun facts from the series. For example, the “Build a Bridge” station was motivated by these three facts:
  • It is said that Vikings collapsed a bridge in medieval London and inspired the song “London Bridge is Falling Down” (Weird but True! 300 Outrageous Facts from History, page 87).
  • A rooster was one of the very first car passengers to cross New York’s Brooklyn Bridge (Weird but True! 300 Outrageous Facts from History, page 128).
  • The London Bridge that kept falling down is now in Arizona, in the United States (Weird but True! 2: 300 Outrageous Facts, page 18).

Participants were challenged to create a bridge that could 1) span two tables spaced one foot apart and 2) hold the weight of books. Each participant was given 100 popsicle sticks, Elmer’s glue, and binder clips for clamps, and tested how many books their bridges could hold before breaking.

For stations like the bridge station, we prepped our (super, amazing) high school volunteer team with questions that they could ask participants to deepen the experiment:
a.        What shapes are you using? What other shapes can you try? What shapes do you see most often on bridges that you cross over?
b.      Where is your bridge the strongest? Where is your bridge the weakest? Can one part hold a greater load than the other? If so, why?
c.       Are you using patterns in your bridge? Are the sides symmetrical? Why or why not?
d.      Do you have left-over sticks? Where will they help the most?

After coming up with a few activities, we assessed whether we were satisfactorily reaching all age ranges, interests, and abilities.

Some activities were easy (and budget-friendly) to put together, like the measuring station, which tested whether there was truth behind the claim that “the length of your arms stretched out is about equal to your height” (2, p32). This station just called for butcher paper, tape measures and yardsticks, and pencils.


Others were more complicated, like the germ station, where young scientists tested how many drops of plain and soapy water a penny could hold to learn about surface tension and the benefit of adding soap to wash away germs.



One of my favorite was inspired by chameleon and camouflage facts. Crafty participants chose a habit background and a white die-cut chameleon. Using markers, participants colored the chameleons so they blended into the scene.  Younger participants could instead learn about the benefits of camouflage with our bean table game. We filled a bean table with brown pinto beans and plastic toy animals; participants were challenged to see whether it was easier to find a camouflaged (brown) animal or non-camouflaged (colorful) animal. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Downloadable Posters and More from 15 Minutes a Day




Read Aloud banner and logo

Read Aloud 15 Minutes is devoted to encouraging parents and caregivers to read at least 15 minutes a day with children.  They have some fun infographics, posters, and other resources that are free to download, and in addition, they are sponsoring a challenge in October--encouraging people to read aloud for 15 minutes each day for 21 days in a row, making it part of the daily routine.

Thanks to Jenna from Chippewa Falls for passing this on to me!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Does Coding Seem Like the Scary Monster Under Your Bed?

monster illustration


Many thanks to Kathy Larson from Bloomer for this terrific guest post!

I’ve gone to many workshops over the past few years where I’ve heard librarians say, “Setting up a coding club is so easy” but they can’t really explain how they started it. I thought there was some trick to it, or some deep knowledge I was missing that would make me look like a complete idiot in front of the kids and their parents. I just wanted someone to tell me how to do it.

Now that I have a coding club at our library, I finally understand why it is so hard to explain. It’s so simple! Lucky for me there is an AMAZING resource for coding club! I have no idea where I heard about this website, but Prenda will walk you through all the steps. All you have to do is get some computers and some kids and promote your program. It is really that easy. Okay, there is a bit more, but not a whole lot.

Through their website, I was furnished with a packet that is essentially the curriculum for running your coding club. It outlines what to do week by week with websites and challenges for kids to complete. The first week we watched a video recommended by Prenda on some of the perks of being able to code. Then we went to code.org and had them play around on Hour of Code. The next week you set up coding accounts on code.org and have them pick a track for their coding adventure and they are off. That is it.

Even when they need help, you can guide them with questions so they can come up with the answers themselves, so you really don’t need to have any prior coding skills.
In hindsight, I would have set up accounts for the kids before they started because it tracks all of their progress and it has been amazing watching the speed at which some of these kids catch on. In five weeks the kids at our program, ranging from 6-11 years old, have written more than 2,000 lines of code! How do you do that? Prior to the first session, visit Code.org and set up a teacher account so that you can add students as they walk through the door. You definitely do not have to have ANY knowledge about coding, you just have to be able to log onto a computer, access websites and create some accounts.


So that monster that is coding is really just a simple teddy bear.
teddy bear

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Strong Girls School at ALA

group of girls facing away from the camera, holding hands and jumping
One of the programs I attended at ALA this year was called Strong Girls School.  Nancy Evans, from the public library in Levittown, New York discussed a program that she developed after teen girls in a library writing group clamored for it.  As a writing sample for the kids, she brought in a blog post by Maureen Johnson about photo-shopping.  Turns out the girls were more interested in talking about the content of the blog post than in the writing style.  Turns out the girls had a LOT to talk about related to body image, gender expectations, sexism, rape culture, and more.

Combining this interest and desire for information and conversation about important topics with sobering statistics about gender inequality, prevalence of sexual assault, and other depressing topics, Nancy decided that there was a need for a program.  She describes it, and some of the resources, in this Programming Librarian blog post.  She talked, both in the program and in the blog post, about her nervousness about having a gender-specific program, but also discussed her reasons for finding it to be worthwhile, despite being exclusive.  It would be ideal, she agreed, to also have a series of sessions about what it is like to grow up male, with all the challenges and societal expectations that this includes.

The girls who attend the 6-8 week sessions are very engaged and want to continue the series as a discussion group indefinitely.  She offers it once a year, but has enough interest that she could run it more often.  Wonderful collaborations for additional free programming have grown from this program.  Hmmm...it seems pretty interesting--I'm wondering if anyone around here is interested in doing it.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Reading without Walls Challenge

I know I have posted about National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Gene Luen Yang's Reading Without Walls Challenge before.  But I just heard Gene Yang at ALA, and he inspired me to remind you.  He told a great story about his next book, which is about basketball, even though until fairly recently he was not even remotely interested in basketball (partly due to their tendency to hit him in the head).  He discussed how reading a book outside his walls led to breaking down all sorts of other walls for him, and it was thrilling to hear about the challenge put to work.

In fact, I'm thinking of putting together a challenge for librarians to do this fall--wouldn't that be fun?  Folks could commit to reading a book outside their regular comfort zone and then share a review or a conversation about it...Still thinking about the details, here, so if you have any ideas of how you'd like this to play out, let me know.

In the meantime, as you select your books to help you relax and unwind from a frenetic-paced summer, consider the challenge, and choose one book that fits these criteria:

1. Read a book about a character who doesn’t look like you or live like you.
2. Read a book about a topic you don’t know much about.
3. Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read for fun. This might be a chapter book, a graphic novel, a book in verse, a picture book, or a hybrid book.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Art's Power

hands in the dirt CD coverThe Lines we Cross book cover
A couple weekends ago, I discovered a new favorite band (The Resonant Rogues--check them out!).  As I sat in the concert, I was missing a beloved, departed family member and wishing I could share the music with her, so I wasn't surprised to spring a leak when I heard the song Can't Come In.  But in the past week and a half, I have listened to the CD approximately 10 times, like you do.  And almost every time, I tear up when I hear the song.  Aside from the very real possibility that there is such a thing as tear duct muscle memory, I think that the song, which is a plea to be humane and welcoming to refugees, is just plain moving.

At the same time I've been listening to the Resonant Rogues, I have also been reading The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah.  The book, set in Australia but completely relevant for the U.S.,  is told from two perspectives.  Michael is a teen who has a close and loving family, attends private school, and is trying to figure out how to tell his parents he doesn't want to follow his father's footsteps and become and architect.  His parents are the founders of an anti-immigrant political party called Aussie Values.  He has grown up not questioning their beliefs.  Mina is a new scholarship student whose family has moved across Sydney so she can attend a posh private school.  She's a refugee from Afghanistan, where she and her mother lost her father and uncle to the Taliban, and her little brother to hunger and sickness.  Her stepfather is opening a new Afghani restaurant in their new neighborhood, and they are all working to make the adjustment.  When Mina and Michael meet, Michael is challenged to begin looking at his assumptions and beliefs, and is in the uncomfortable position of questioning everything he has grown up thinking he understood.  The alternating perspectives--a tactic that I sometimes feel is overused in teen lit--work brilliantly here.  I love the mixture of a light touch with serious subjects that Abdel-Fattah manages.  This is an important book, and fun to read.  Both Michael and Mina have believable growth, and secondary characters are interesting and well-rounded--even the jerk bully has some redeeming qualities.

The juxtaposition of the book, the song, and the regular news reports I've been hearing about the plight of refugees stuck in camps in Greece and people trapped in war-torn areas--it's been a powerful combination.  I recommend taking a listen and a look!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WLA Awards--Make a Nomination!

Do you have a terrific and innovative program at your library you are proud of?  Is your whole darn library incredible and amazing?  Do you work with someone who you think is inspiring, smart, and effective?  Maybe it is time to consider nominating yourself or someone else for a WLA Award.

These awards mean a lot to the recipients, from what I can tell.  They are a way of recognizing and honoring remarkable people in our profession.  And apparently the nomination process has been streamlined!  Nominations are due September 1.

Please consider it--when people issue invitations like this, they really do mean YOU!

drawing of an invitation being delivered by an animal, and received by another animal
Public domain illustration by Sir John Tenniel

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

SLJ Teen Live Virtual Conference is FREE

Authors will speak on topics including immigration, gender, and reluctant readers.
Click here to register for the 6th annual SLJTeen Live!


SLJTeen Live
Join us on August 9, 2017, from 10 AM - 5 PM ET, for the 6th annual SLJTeen Live! This free, entirely virtual conference will feature more than 20 YA author panelists and keynote speakers, plus two hours of panels on innovative and creative approaches to teen services and programming.

Authors will speak on topics including immigration, gender, and reluctant readers, while your fellow librarians share how they work with special populations, small budgets, and other challenges to create outstanding teen programs.
This year's keynote speakers:
  • Benjamin Alire Sáenz, The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
  • Barry Lyga, Bang
  • Reshma Saujani, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World


"Who isn't down with a conference that packs great authors, real-live librarians, free stuff, and high-interest topics for the low-low price of ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL?!"
Elizabeth N.
Commerce Township Community Library (MI)

2016 SLJTeen Live! Attendee



During your breaks, network with others or visit digital publisher booths to learn more about upcoming titles you’ll want to purchase for your collections. Special treats, swag, and materials will be available at the booths.

Want to go to two panels at the same time? All sessions will be recorded so that you can re-watch or catch what you missed at a later time.
Register today! No teen librarian will want to miss this.

REGISTER FOR FREE

Don't be greedy : )
Forward this invite to a friend or colleague.





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Monday, June 12, 2017

Cumberland Scavenger Hunt

illustration of a treasure map
Building off a successful program from years' past, the library in Cumberland is sponsoring a scavenger hunt for Pete the Cat, who is hiding in the windows of different downtown businesses each week this summer.  When kids find Pete, they let the library know where they found him, and then they are entered into a drawing for a special prize of the week.  This gets kids walking, families visiting the downtown, and plus, Pete the Cat and the library both get some well-deserved publicity.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Last Day of School Celebration in Phillips

When my daughter was a toddler, she discovered the wonders of Popsicles, and entertained her older cousins to no end by declaring regularly, "I want a need a pop-the-weasel!"

Lucky for the kids in Phillips, the librarians there understand the experience of wanting and needing a pop-the-weasel...err...popsicle.  They encouraged kids to celebrate the last day of school with a visit to the LIBRARY, and gave everyone a celebratory ice pop.
kids of all ages enjoy ice pops in front of the library
It must be summer in Phillips!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Making and Doing in Ogema


Over the past year, a group of tween girls have been spending Wednesday afternoons at the library in Ogema.  To engage these kids in some projects, the library put together a series for them this spring.  Activities included:

  • Making May Baskets to give to folks spending time in the adjoining Senior Center
  • Learning to crochet and knit from local volunteers
  • Planting kale, lettuce and cabbage in library planters (also writing a spring poem together, and playing games with the seeds)
Low tech and super fun for the participants, including the library staff overseeing (so much fun they didn't have a chance to take photos!)


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

River Falls Hosts Little Golden Book Show

raccoon drawing from Baby Animals book
From Baby Animals, illustrated by Garth Williams, used by permission, copyright 1952 Penguin Random House
This summer, the River Falls Public Library Gallery will feature an extensive collection of original illustration art from one of American publishing’s best-loved and most consequential picture book lines, Little Golden Books. Not-so-coincidentally, the exhibition also falls on the 75th anniversary of the essential series, which was published in Racine, WI, until 2001.
From June 10 – August 12, 2017, the River Falls Public Library Gallery will display sixty masterpieces of original illustration art by familiar artists and children’s book illustrators. Each featured work was chosen from a vast Random House archive; this exhibit will include pieces from such picture-book classics as The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, Home for a Bunny, The Color Kittens, I Can Fly, and more. The exhibit was curated by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, Texas.
Illustration of baby holding a doll and looking at a cardinal singing
From Baby Listens, illustration by Esther Wilkins, used by permission, copyright 1960 Penguin Random House

            Launched in 1942—the first full year of America’s involvement in the Second World War—Little Golden Books made high quality illustrated books available at affordable prices for the first time to millions of young children and their parents. Among the artists who contributed to the ambitious series were greats of the European émigré community (including Garth Williams, Feodor Rojankovsky, and Tibor Gergely) who had gathered in New York as the European situation worsened; alumni of the Walt Disney Studios (including Gustaf Tenggren, Martin Provensen, J. P. Miller, and Mary Blair); and such American originals as Leonard Weisgard, Eloise Wilkin, Elizabeth Orton Jones, Richard Scarry, and Hilary Knight.
            Golden Books and Random House Children’s Books are also celebrating the anniversary with the re-release of the complete retrospective history of the beloved line:  GOLDEN LEGACY: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way by Leonard S. Marcus.  Golden Legacy is the untold history of the company, its line of books, and the groundbreaking writers and artists who created them. 
Illustration of a young girl holding a doll and a young boy getting ready to put a bandage on it
From Doctor Dan the Bandage Man, illustration by Corinne Malvern, used by permission, copyright 1950 Penguin Random House

            The Golden Books exhibit at the River Falls Public Library Gallery is open to the public and always free-of-charge beginning June 10. The gallery, located in the lower level of the River Falls Public Library at 140 Union Street in River Falls, Wisconsin, is open Monday through Thursday from 10AM to 8PM, Fridays from 10AM to 6PM, and Saturdays from 10AM to 4PM.  
            Through this exhibition, the River Falls Public Library Gallery strives to educate children and families about illustrated literature and celebrate the best original art published in children’s books. Join gallery staff and community partners for a series of related events for young children to seniors throughout the summer. For more information on the River Falls Public Library Gallery and free summer events, stop in to the River Falls Public Library, visit http://www.riverfallspubliclibrary.org/in-the-gallery or call 715-426-3496. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Pyramid Model Goes to the Library

Thanks to Jessi from the Chippewa Falls Public Library for this blog post!

Pyramid model graphic

Have you heard about the Pyramid Model?  The Pyramid Model provides a visual way to think about intentionally supporting the mental health needs of young children as a matter of public health. Children who grow up in supportive, nurturing environments are more likely to be on track developmentally in other areas, be socially aware and competent, and do well in school.

In the same way that many libraries have been focusing on building awareness of early literacy, public health and early childhood agencies in Wisconsin have been focusing on building awareness of and providing training on the importance of supporting mental health from birth onwards, both to parents and caregivers and to other agencies that work with young children. Like …libraries!  
Not surprisingly, supporting early literacy and social-emotional wellness can go hand in hand.  Reading together already supports parent/child bonding, but parents can take things a step further by highlighting emotions in what they are reading.  Stories are a great tool for helping children recognize, understand and manage their own emotions.

 With support from the Children’s Legacy Luncheon Fund of the Eau Claire Community Foundation, MORE system libraries now have available to their patrons kits to help facilitate that social-emotional learning.  The kits are called Power Packs and live at the Chippewa Falls Public Library.  They come in a clear children’s backpack which contains 2-3 books, a toy/game/hands-on activity, a parent resource guide and feelings magnet sets that patrons may keep! 

Available themes include: Everybody Needs a Friend, I’ve Got the Power (problem solving and making good choices), I Was So Mad! , I Can Do It! , I’m Not Scared!, My Many Moods , I Feel Good!, Growing Up is Hard Work and Sometimes I’m Sad.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Paw Patrol Party in Chippewa Falls

dog peeking out from behind a fence
Image from Pixabay

Thanks to Jenna from Chippewa Falls for this guest post!

Chippewa Falls Public Library hosted a Paw Patrol Party, where over 150 children and adults participated in activities inspired by the hit TV show. It was a barktacular time and proved that CFPL staff really know how to put their best paw forward. Evening programs are often attended less than day programs, but the popularity of the TV show brought families out of their doghouses and to the library. The program began with a short storytime followed by different stations. Stations included:
-Make your own Paw Patrol badge
-Adopt-a-dog (color in a picture of a dog and name it)
-Make and fly Skye's helicopter (helicopter made out of paper and an egg carton - helicopters could then be launched from the stairs down to a helipad)
-Feed the dogs (toss printed dog bones into food dishes)
-a photo booth complete with masks of the Paw Patrol characters and dog stuffed animals and puppets
-Help Marshall put out a fire (toss blue bean bags through the "windows")

Staff had to be quick on their feet and not let it be a fur-raising experience. Families kept showing up and showing up, largely surpassing the expected attendance. It sure pays off to plan ahead and to keep extra supplies on hand just in case the unexpected happens. New-to-the-library families came, got library cards, and plan to attend future programs. Jenna even witnessed old friends reconnecting and introducing their children to one another, proving once again the power of the library space.


"Whenever you're in trouble, yelp for help"...or go to the library!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Let the Wild Rumpus Start: Play Webinar

child and parent playing with toy store
Child-led play in Hawkins
As a huge proponent of play and the MANY benefits of it, I'm really excited to watch this webinar with Carissa Christner (who many of you will remember as a popular workshop presenter a few years ago).  The webinar is sponsored by the UW-Madison iSchool, and is FREE.    Yay, Play!
June 6 at 12:00 p.m. CST 
Let the Wild Rumpus Start! Child-lead play in public library programming
Carissa Christner (’12), Youth Services Librarian, Madison Public Library – Alicia Ashman Neighborhood Library
Have you ever wondered if there’s a better way to spend your summer programming hours than hiring magicians and jugglers?  Do you struggle with ways to incorporate truly authentic play (the kind YOU engaged in as a kid, not the kind directed by adults) into your library offerings?  Not sure how much guidance to provide in open-exploration sessions for toddlers? Are you looking for more ways to encourage literacy skills and parent education?  This webinar will introduce you to a radical new library program idea being pioneered in Madison, Wisconsin, based on a groundbreaking new educational philosophy called Anji Play. Learn how Carissa has adapted this approach, originally developed for schools, into a library-friendly format that both kids and parents love.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Inclusive Services Statement

hands reaching for each other, with words like unite, connect, attune,include
Photo from Pixabay
The Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Technology just released a new statement on Inclusive Services:  What Does It Mean to Be Inclusive?

It's a great explanation of what we mean when we talk about making library services more inclusive.   You can check out the WI Libraries for Everyone blog post Tessa Michaelson Schmitt wrote about it, or you can just read the statement, it is short and sweet and inspiring!

Some of my favorite sentences:

The practice of providing inclusive services requires continuous reflection and ongoing dialog with and betweenlibrary administration, staff, and members of the community, with particular emphasis on including the voices of those who are underserved, underrepresented, and underrecognized within the community.

On a concrete level, inclusive services should be visibly incorporated into all library services. The concept that libraries are for everyone should be evident through every point of access or interaction with the library.

When libraries honor the full diversity of their communities, communities thrive.

I'm looking forward to using this statement as a guidepost as I try to help libraries with these efforts.  Please let me know if you'd like to talk more about it or any of the ideas this statement gives you!