Thursday, January 16, 2020

Throw-It Thursday: Braille Books

January is Braille Literacy month. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss the evolution of Braille and how we can keep our collections up to date.

Louis Braille invented the Braille tactile code in 1829. Over the years, Braille has evolved in different parts of the world into local “dialects”. In the 1990s it was realized that a drastic overhaul of the Braille code was needed to create a code that was universally serviceable. After years of adapting the code and translating materials into the new singular code, the Unified English Braille Code was finalized in 2007. This code makes it much easier to produce, translate, teach and learn Braille.

Some people may see Braille as outdated, especially in the age of technology, where a computer can read aloud to us and transcribe our thoughts as we talk out loud. But for the people who actively use Braille, it serves as a form of independence and heightens their quality of life. For these people, Braille is the foundation to literacy and can only aid in their growth and how they communicate with others.

While we don’t have any Braille users at our library specifically, there is one library in our system that houses books in Braille, so we do have access should we ever need it. There is also the Talking Books Library  from the DPI should we ever have someone who wants to use this service. But we also have an ugly gem that we have yet to get rid of. We are the only library in our system that owns Roly Goes Exploring by Philip Newth from 1981. While it is not necessary to keep this book for our patrons, it does still get used regularly and it has been rebound and is in good physical condition.  This unique book is a teaching tool for both blind and sighted children. Each spread has a page with text on the top half and Braille on the bottom. The other page of the spread is a green cardstock page with basic shapes cut out so the visual children can see a story and the visually impaired can feel the story.  Sometimes, it is better to hold onto something (GASP! I know you are all shocked I would ever admit such a thing), especially if there is no newer copy or better alternative title. And since this book is out of print and people still like to use it, AND because it is such a unique title, we hang on to it.

 There are also some great books available that show children how people with vision impairments see the world. The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin (2008) is one such book, using tactile learning with descriptions of colors based on imagery.  And then there are the educational books about Braille. This copy of All About Braille by Laura Jeffrey is from 2004. That is 15 years old. Changes have come and gone in those 15 years. Braille, like any code or language, has evolved. Therefore, these educational books should be updated, if you can find new books on the subject.

Happy Weeding! (or not, as the case may be)

Sources
Snellings, Meredith. The Evolution of Braille. 2019. https://www.cviga.org/sightseeing/evolution_of_braille/
Photos from Amazon.com and littlespark.in

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tracking down the history of the library cake

Corin Balkovek writes: “Chances are, if you work in a library or have a bookish lifestyle and spend any time on social media, you’ve seen it: The Library Cake. With shelves packed to the brim, a table and chairs beset with reading materials and lamps, even miniature potted plants sitting outside the ‘front door,’ the intricate edible decorations take baked goods to the next level. But where did the Library Cake come from? Why was it created?"

Find out the history of the library cake HERE

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Imagine Your Story Webinar, Courtesy of Our Michigan Neighbors!

The Library of Michigan’s Youth Services Advisory Council did an Imagine Your Story Webinar with ideas for early lit-teens last week and you can find it here: https://youtu.be/WrHglCmfszI.

[Recorded 1/7/2020]

Programming ideas and tips for the Collaborative Summer Library Program’s 2020 summer reading program, “Imagine Your Story,” are shared from your peers in the field.

This program is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Cathy Lancaster
Youth Services Coordinator
Library of Michigan
702 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48915

Meet the Newest Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature!

This just in!  Jason Reynolds, rockstar author and poet extraordinaire, has been named the newest Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People's Literature!
Click HERE to see the official press release and HERE to see the brief video segment aired on CBS This Morning.


Monday, January 13, 2020

Call for Conference Proposals - Lake Superior Library Symposium

The Lake Superior Library Symposium is an amazing small, multi-type library conference. It has been held in Duluth each June for the past eight years. The passionate planning team invites library staff from northern WI  & MN to share great content that appeals to everyone working in libraries. Many of us from throughout WI have attended this one-day gem of a conference and it is a marvelous learning opportunity.

This year's conference  will be held Friday June 5 at UW-M's Kathryn A. Martin Library in Duluth. If you are coming from a distance, plan for a few extra days before or after to stay and play along MN's rugged North Shore of Lake Superior! Fobazi Ettarh has just been announced as conference keynoter and June 4 preconference speaker!! Watch for registration information and a full schedule in April.

In their proposal call, LSLS folks write: "Be a presenter at LSLS20! This year's theme is "Mapping Our Identity." At this year's conference we will ask, and hopefully start to answer, the questions of “Who are we?,” “Who do we want to become?,” and “How are we getting there?” For more information or to submit your proposal, visit our website. Please submit your proposals by March 29.

Possibilities for presentation topics include:
Redefining Boundaries - How have we, as individuals or organizations, broken barriers to create a new sense of who we are? How do we balance our work with our personal lives? What do we do – and just as importantly, what don’t we do – to reinvigorate and advance our missions?
Expanding Our Reach - What partnerships have we been involved in, and how have they changed how we position ourselves? How can interdisciplinary approaches positively shift who we are and what we do? What types of programming, marketing campaigns, tools, or services have we implemented to reach farther than we used to?
Defining Ourselves - How do our personal identities intertwine with the identity of being a library worker? What happens when we shift jobs or professions partway through our careers? How does learning about our past influence who we are and who we’re becoming?
Protecting Our Identity - How do we ensure the security of the data we collect, the information and resources we steward, and the systems we use? How do we help our patrons protect their identities? How do we show that we value and advocate for the diverse identities of our communities?
Perceiving Libraries - How are libraries perceived, by library workers and by our communities? What do we find helpful about how library workers are perceived, and what might we like to change? How do we capitalize on the positive perceptions? How do we address what’s misunderstood?"

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Reminder - YSS Meet-up Ahead!


YSS Regional Meet Up - Upper MidEast Region 

Friday, January 24 | 1:30-4:00 PM

Cost: $0

Manitowoc Public Library

707 Quay St, Manitowoc, WI 54220


Agenda:
1:30 pm     Welcome and Introductions 
  • Share one idea you have for SRP/SLP! Big or small, we want to hear them all!
2:15 pm   Manitowoc Public Library Tour 
3:00 pm      Tech Toy Playtime
  • Explore all the new (and old) tech toys in Manitowoc’s Idea Box!  
4:00 pm       Wrap up 
 
Bring a friend or colleague that isn't a YSS member yet and let them see the benefits YSS membership has to offer!
 
Please RSVP here.

 
Questions? Email Katherine Schoofs at aramkids@aramlibrary.org

Thursday, January 9, 2020

C.A.L.L.: Conference About Libraries & Learning

C.A.L.L.: Conference About Libraries & Learning
Monday, April 6, 2020

 Accessibility: Breaking Barriers
It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Conference About Libraries & Learning (C.A.L.L.). The conference is a collaboration between UW-La Crosse Murphy Library, the School District of La Crosse & La Crosse Public Library and will take place on the UW-La Crosse campus on Monday, April 6, 2020. Librarians from all types of libraries (school, public, academic, special, etc.) are encouraged to attend. 
Now in its fourth year, C.A.L.L. has chosen Accessibility: Breaking Barriers as its 2020 theme. Libraries are often considered the last democratic institution. But in fact, there are still lasting barriers that prevent patrons from accessing all of the resources that the library has to offer. We are now accepting presentation proposals on the topic of accessibility including and not limited to: 
  • Political climates
  • Physical means and spaces 
  • Intentional collection development 
  • Equitable access 
  • Comprehensive programming 
  • Ingrained barriers in libraries 
  • Literacy (information, digital, media, reading, etc.)
  • Outreach and engagement
  • High speed internet access
  • Socially excluded users
  • Perceptions of librarians as unwelcoming
  • Lack of professional staff or trained staff

Submission Details
To submit a conference proposal, please use the submission form.  Presentation sessions are 30 minutes each with 15 minutes scheduled for questions/discussion. Collaborative and interactive presentations are encouraged and panel presentations are also accepted. The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, February 10, 2020 and notification of acceptance will be Monday, February 17, 2020.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact Liz Humrickhouse at ehumrickhouse@uwlax.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at the Conference About Libraries and Learning!

Cindy Halter, School District of La Crosse
Teri Holford, UW-La Crosse Murphy Library
Liz Humrickhouse, UW-La Crosse Murphy Library
Linda Jerome, La Crosse Public Library

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Moment of Reflection

Although New Year activities are traditionally reserved for looking forward, looking backward can be an opportunity to reflect on growth, success, and even moments of struggle that resulted in great things happening later.

Take a moment to think of three good things that happened in your professional library practice in 2019. Keep reading when you are done. 

Now, think of three good things that happened in your personal life in 2019. Keep reading when you are done.

Building on strengths is a powerful strategy to make our choices more effective. What is working well at the library? What collections are being checked out frequently? What programs are well received? What is strong in your library that you can highlight in advocacy conversations and then tell stakeholders you are building and expanding on?

Now think of your personal life. What is going well? What can you continue to invest in that is already blooming?

Thank you for everything you do that keeps our libraries strong. I wish you the best in 2020.
-Emily



Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

ALSC Blog Post - Best of the Decade: Children's Librarianship

It is time to look at the best of the decade in children’s librarianship and literature, because what a decade it has been! There’s been highs and lows from drama in publishing to people holding one another accountable for better books, better representation, better [programming and better everything. Let’s take some time to celebrate the good that has happened. And strive to do even better in the decade to come!
These awards are solely my own opinion, not the opinions of ALSC and are completely for fun!

Best Newbery Award Winner: I’m very partial to Merci Suarez Changes Gears (the last and best Newbery winner of the decade!) but have to admit that I’m of course biased because that was my year on the committee. From Rebecca Stead starting the decade strong with When You Reach Me, to a sports book in verse winning with The Crossover by Kwame Alexander in 2015- I have to give the cake to the picture book Newbery Medal Winner of Last Stop on Market Street Matt de la Peña: a book that truly exemplifies all six of the Newbery criteria in a very short word count!

Best Caldecott Medalist: This category was a tough one. I loved the wordless art in the 2010 winner, The Lion & the Mouse,and who can not appreciate the dark humor in This is Not my Hat, or the beauty and creativity in The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend.Since I am making the rules for these “awards” on my own, I’m declaring a draw for this winner and asking for people’s votes in the comments. Because I can! Help me make a decision please!

Best Programming Trend: From learning a digital language in coding programs, to finding the inner zen with yoga, to cuddling away with therapy dogs, to making it out of the library in escape rooms, to a surge of makerspaces and sensory programming… the list goes on and on and on!  I am going to call Makerspaces the trend of the decade, they have been booming and evolving in nearly every library from big to small!

Most Unique Circulating Items: Circulating Technology, Library of Extraordinary Things, the name changes depending on the library but libraries aren’t just for books anymore. You can get laptops, iPads, phone chargers, umbrellas, cupcake tins- but my favorite item would be how you can get a borrowed stroller with a baby doll from the Elmhurst Public Library. So. Awesome.

Best Change Made: With a new decade, comes changes in the field, and this decade was one for the books. From the new Early Learning Digital Media Award, to lifelong donations from the ,1876 Club, I think a most momentous change is ALSC’s noteworthy decision to rename the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. Will this pave the way for award name changes in the future? Only time will tell.

Best “serial” Series: We’ve seen Magic Treehouse, rebrand and renumber with Merlin Missions, we’ve watched Scholastic’s Branches make great strides in fun beginning chapter book series, we’ve seen the Princess in Black band together with her allies, we’ve watched Geronimo and his clan take over the universe and our dear Wimpy Kid have awkward exploit after awkward exploit. But I have to give it to Dav Pilkey’s latest creation: DOG MAN!!!!!!! A series where truly every book gets better than the last!

Most Exciting Substance: Is glitter a thing of the past? Is slime the new silliest item? Are rubber band balls making a comeback? Do ukuleles count as a material? With an increase in books, programming, and fun- I give the most exciting substance to SLIME! Because who doesn’t want to have a slimey time in the library?

KidLit Adaptation: There’s nothing new about movies being made from children’s books, but TV shows and now Netflix shows have taken a new rush. Netflix has gone on a spree buying rights to children’s books . To All the Boys I Loved Before, Dumplin, Series of Unfortunate Events, the controversial 13 Reasons Why series, I have to give it to Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf and A Series of Unfortunate Events. Such a well done series, that actually sticks to the booms surprisingly well. I need to watch this again. And read them all again.

Best library “buzz words”: New trends, new phrases, new hashtags take over the world: computational thinking, racial equity, social innovation, big body play, digital divide. I’m not sure if #weneeddiversebooks counts, but it’s my winner- keep those #ownvoices coming!

Best interactive picture book: In 2011, Herve Tullet published “Press Here,” a book with an engaging and fun concept that kids could be involved in the story. The book had huge success and was later published in big books and more formats. Tullet has written several others and started a trend of interactive picture books from Christie Mathesons, Tap the Magic TreePlant the Tiny Seed, and Touch the Brightest Star.  Jessica Young’s Play This Book and Shake the Tree by Chiara Bignocchi, and Get Out of My Bath! by Britta Tecktentrup! There’s the Dinosaur Vs. Series, and It’s a Tiger! and Don’t Push the Button and Olaf 1-2-3! My winner is Tap the Magic Tree, because it can be timely in all four seasons- pretty impressive! Can this come out in big book format yet?

This post has been fun, but the decade was definitely a lot to cover- thanks for an amazing decade in children’s literature and librarianship.  Let me know more nominations and more best ofs. We could recap 2010 for the whole new decade, but  I cannot wait to see what’s to come!
These awards were solely my own opinion, not the opinions of ALSC and are completely for fun!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Call for Proposals - CALL Conference, La Crosse

C.A.L.L.: Conference About Libraries & Learning
Monday, April 6, 2020

 Accessibility: Breaking Barriers
It is our distinct pleasure to invite you to the Conference About Libraries & Learning (C.A.L.L.). The conference is a collaboration between UW-La Crosse Murphy Library, the School District of La Crosse & La Crosse Public Library and will take place on the UW-La Crosse campus on Monday, April 6, 2020. Librarians from all types of libraries (school, public, academic, special, etc.) are encouraged to attend. 

Now in its fourth year, C.A.L.L. has chosen Accessibility: Breaking Barriers as its 2020 theme. Libraries are often considered the last democratic institution. But in fact, there are still lasting barriers that prevent patrons from accessing all of the resources that the library has to offer. We are now accepting presentation proposals on the topic of accessibility including and not limited to: 

  • Political climates
  • Physical means and spaces 
  • Intentional collection development 
  • Equitable access 
  • Comprehensive programming 
  • Ingrained barriers in libraries 
  • Literacy (information, digital, media, reading, etc.)
  • Outreach and engagement
  • High speed internet access
  • Socially excluded users
  • Perceptions of librarians as unwelcoming
  • Lack of professional staff or trained staff

Submission Details
To submit a conference proposal, please use the submission form.  Presentation sessions are 30 minutes each with 15 minutes scheduled for questions/discussion. Collaborative and interactive presentations are encouraged and panel presentations are also accepted. The deadline to submit proposals is Monday, February 10, 2020 and notification of acceptance will be Monday, February 17, 2020.

If you have any questions or need clarification, please contact Liz Humrickhouse at ehumrickhouse@uwlax.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at the Conference About Libraries and Learning!

Cindy Halter, School District of La Crosse
Teri Holford, UW-La Crosse Murphy Library
Liz Humrickhouse, UW-La Crosse Murphy Library

Linda Jerome, La Crosse Public Library