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, January 24, 2019

Colfax Intergenerational Program Will Warm You Right Up!

a girl reads a picture book aloud while sitting at a table with 2 senior citizens, other reading groups are in the background
I've tried to forswear Facebook for my own happiness, but I can't quite give it up because sometimes I find something on Facebook that makes me feel better about the world.  And last week, I found some posts about a project youth services librarian Jolene Albricht is doing in Colfax that made me happy and excited.  I hope you are similarly inspired!

Jolene's daughter works at the assisted living/nursing home facility in Colfax, and she was talking to her mom about the lonely folks who don't get many visitors.  Jolene contacted the Activity Director and came up with a plan, then she found four kids (ages 8-11) who were interested in visiting the residence to read with seniors.

The library supplied the books and prepared the kids for what would happen, including preparing them for seniors who might doze off while being read to. The kids read with small groups of 3-5 residents.  Most read picture books, but the oldest child read several chapters of a fiction book.  Then the group shared a snack (prepared by the staff at the residence) and spent some time working on puzzles together.  Jolene treated the kids to pizza afterwards.

a young person reads to a table full of 5 seniors

As you can see, both kids and adults had a terrific time.  Jolene said she'd be hard-pressed to figure out which group was having a better time or got more out of it.  This is going to be a monthly activity in Colfax.  They're doing their program on Saturdays, when kids have time and the facility doesn't have quite as full of a slate of activities.

What could be better?  Giving kids and seniors a chance to make meaningful connections.  Allowing kids the chance to make a difference in their community in a real and definite way.  Giving kids practice in reading to an appreciative audience.  All the good things!!

an older woman and a young girl sitting at a table smile for the camera.  A book is on the table in front of them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Youth Media Awards!

YMA ALA Youth Media Awards logo

I was moderately interested this morning when the newscasters, with bated breath, announced the Academy Award nominations this year.  But give me some Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Schneider Family, Pura Belpre, and Printz Awards action (not to mention all the other amazing awards)?  I'm all over it! 

Why do I get so excited?  Partly because I know people who have served on committees, and I have some idea of the level of time, intention, commitment, consideration, thought, and deep discussion that have gone into the selection of the winners.  Partly because I know it draws attention to literature for young people in a way that is special and unusual.  Partly because it often celebrates books I've appreciated, but also lets me know about books I've somehow missed over the course of the past year.  All of this combines to a thrilling time when those announcements are made!

And thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the sponsorship of Baker and Taylor, you can watch a live webcast of the announcements!  Mark your calendar for Monday, January 28 at 10 am and tune in to be inspired about the books we get to promote and share with kids and families.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

a bronze statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image from Pixabay
Honoring the work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. should be something we do year-round, and not just on a particular day or month.  But since it is MLK, Jr. Day today, it seems important to think about some things we can do that continue his important and unfinished work.  Here are a few things I have been thinking about, and I'm interested to hear about other thoughts!

  • Looking at our collections, displays, and books we use for programming to make sure they reflect the diversity of the world around us, including books by and about people of color.  Even if you work in a predominantly or overwhelmingly white community, this is crucial!  
  • Learning and listening!  There is SO much to learn!  One organization that, as a white person, I have found useful lately is Showing Up for Racial Justice.  Lots of great resources and tips and things to think about!
  • Discussing race.  Modeling talking about it in storytime.  Discussing it with co-workers. Talking about it with kids and teachers and community members.  Knowing we'll mess up sometimes and talking about it anyway. 
  • Thinking about economic inequality, and what we can do to make our libraries more welcoming and relevant to people who are poor and working class.
  • Thinking about the voices we invite to serve on our committees and leadership positions, the people we ask for advice and guidance on how we serve the community.  Does it reflect the socio-economic diversity of our communities?  And how do we change the opportunities we have to make them ones that truly welcome and include people from diverse backgrounds?  Do we offer childcare?  Transportation assistance?  How do we conduct our meetings to make them truly welcoming and allowing for different communication styles?  I feel like I have a lot to learn in this area.  I'd love to hear from folks who are doing it well.