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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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Inclusive Services Guide and Assessment Tool Ready for Beta Testing!

illustration of tool box with wrenches and pliers and a socket set
After many months of hard work, the Inclusive Services Institute has created an Inclusive Services Assessment Tool for libraries!  The Inclusive Services Institute is a group of librarians, with representation from every system in our state and leadership from the Wisconsin Public Library Development Team, that was tasked with creating a tool for public libraries in Wisconsin to use to help assess where they are, and what they have left to do, in creating inclusive, welcoming, and accessible spaces and services for everyone.

The tool is ready to be looked at, tried out, and evaluated by libraries of all sizes.  I hope you will consider taking a look at it and providing some feedback to the ISI so that the tool can be made more useful to everyone!

To find it:  Go to this page and scroll down to the Inclusive Services section.  The tool is available as a Word document, and you can download it there!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Three Inclusive Nuggets from the WLA Conference

pyramid of multi-colored plastic cups
Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash
Attending the WLA Conference is always a treat--seeing old friends, meeting new folks, and getting lots and lots and lots of amazing ideas.  More to follow over the next few weeks, but here's a quick starter.

I want to leave you with three small nuggets that we could use to make our libraries more inclusive:

  • Aimee Schreiber from the Sparta Public Library recommends cutting up the stretchy therapy bands to give to kids to stretch and work with, especially  kids who need more sensory input in order to concentrate during storytime.  
  • Our own Jenna Gilles Turner from the Chippewa Falls Public Library talked about doing fingerplays that use pronouns (5 Little Monkeys, for instance), and switching out pronouns to use he, she, AND they to help get kids used to this as an option for a personal pronoun.
  • Dr. Alexandra Hall talked about bathrooms for non-binary people and how difficult it can be to figure out which bathroom would be safest to use.  Many libraries have a single stall restroom they can make gender-neutral, but some libraries don't have that option in their building.  Dr. Hall suggested a sign on the door "Private restroom available, please ask at the desk" as a possible work-around--allowing people to use the staff bathroom if necessary.