Monday, July 25, 2016

I Wanna Serve on a Book Award Committee!

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You're not alone!

Many youth librarians dream of being on a state or national committee that selects the best book, media or digital content annually for kids 0-18. Many also wonder how do I get there?

1. Read (listen) widely and deeply in youth literature.

2. Join the professional organization that sponsors the award (WLA, ALA, NCTE, USBBY, etc)

3. Be active in that organization; don't just push to get on the award committees.

4. Volunteer to review books for SLJ or VOYA. It's good practice to develop your critical eye.

5. Own and take to heart KT Horning's excellent From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books.

6. Practice discussing books (and remember discussion is as much about listening as talking). Attend book discussions like the CCBC's monthly book discussions one Wednesday of the month 3:30-5:30 pm (the next one is Wed August 24). Click on this link to read about and get the booklist.

7. Attend the WLA Conference program: Librarian Dreaming - Serving on a Book Award Committee on Thursday Oct 27 1:45-2:30 in Milwaukee to learn more. Conference registration opens soon!
Sue Abrahamson, Waupaca Area Public Library, Waupaca; Karli Pederson, Milwaukee Public Library; Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison
Ever wonder what it's like to serve on a youth book award committee?  This panel will feature Wisconsin librarians currently serving on state and national youth book award committees who will share their experiences and offer information on how to be selected for an award committee, how to prepare for serving and what the process is like. Q and A to follow.

What other suggestions do you have? Please share!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Simple Pokémon Programs

Pokémon Go is still trending. Here are program ideas shared by YSS members from the Mid-Wisconsin Federated Library System:

From Hannah Kane, West Bend Community Memorial Library

We're a gym here in West Bend! While working on some passive programming, I put up a sign at a popular nearby Pokéstop listing some of the amenities the library offers that might be useful to players.

I also plugged those services on the West Bend Pokémon GO Facebook group. Word on the street is eventually we'll be able to host meetups and stuff for players to battle and trade Pokémon, but in the meantime I think we're stuck with displays and passive programming.

The biggest hotspot in WB is Regner Park (15-20 minute walk from the library), so I might look into having a group meet at the library and walk to the park to check in at the Pokéstops, visit the gyms, and generally hunt for a bigger variety of Pokémon.

If I can find the supplies in our basement, I'd like to have clear containers where people can "vote" for their team to see if we have more red, blue, or yellow around (last I checked, yellow controls our gym). 

From Cary Perzan, Jack Russell Memorial Library, Hartford, WI

Hartford is a gym (which I am currently co-owning with some other awesome Team Red folks )and I did a Pokémon craft earlier this summer before I knew what a thing Go would turn out to be.

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The craft is super simple - you just need the flimsiest paper plates (we used the small size, but any size would work).  Use two plates per project.  One you cut in half, the other one is the back of the POKÉBALL!! Punch holes in all the pieces, and then use brad to allow the ball to "open"  Then I had the kids pick a Pokémon to capture and has a picture (see attached for all) so they could color their Pokéball of choice.
Now many of the Pokémon on the sheets, which I just found online aren't in Go (yet) since it's only GEN1 Pokémon so far, but I'm sure finding compatible pictures wouldn't be that hard. 

Also design your own card. Just because.

Friday, July 22, 2016

2016 Burr Worzolla Award Winners Announced

John Coy is honored for his children's book, Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game.  The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s (WLA) Youth Services Section annually presents the Burr/Worzalla to the most distinguished work in literature written and/or illustrated by a Wisconsin book creator. John Coy grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and currently resides in Minnesota.

Through riveting and illustrative prose, John Coy chronicles the fascinating true story of the secret basketball game played in Durham, North Carolina in 1944 between the all-white Duke University Medical School team and the all-black team from the North Carolina College of Negroes, led by legendary coach John McLendon. Set during a time of segregation, Coy movingly tells of this daring match-up and deftly depicts the courage and sportsmanship of players and coaches alike as they confronted a social taboo through a simple game of basketball. This seemingly small but daring step toward integration and equality provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of this beloved game.

The Children’s Book Award Committee also named Dori Chaconas Notable Author for her contribution to the world of children’s literature. Seven noteworthy titles have also been selected for Outstanding Achievement in children’s literature, written and/or illustrated by Wisconsin Book creators:

  • Archie the Daredevil Penguin by Andy Rash
  • Bee Dance by Rick Chrustowski
  • Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
  • Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein; illustrated by James E. Ransome
  • In Mary's Garden by Tina & Carson Kügler
  • Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
  • Waiting by Kevin Henkes

The Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award is made possible by the Worzalla Publishing Company, Stevens Point, through a grant to the WLA Foundation.

For more information about the Children’s Book Awards Committee, visit  WLA is a professional organization representing all types of libraries – school, public, academic and special. Its membership comprises 1,500 librarians and support staff, library trustees, friends of libraries, and business vendors who advocate and work for the improvement of library services for all Wisconsin citizens.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Life-Size Hungry Hungry Hippos

If you're like me you love anything life size, whether it be Giant Jenga or enormous outdoor checkers.  So, when I discovered Life-Sized Hungry Hungry Hippos, I was a little bit excited.  It involves three major components: buckets/baskets, plastic balls, and scooters.  And also, SPACE.  This is a large game (life-sized!) and thus needs a fairly large amount of space.  Life-Sized Hungry Hungry Hippos is a great tween event, with or without competitive elements/prizes.  It is also an awesome way to incorporate movement and activity in the library.  For more info on Life-Sized Hungry Hungry Hippos, click HERE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

More Pokemon!!!11!!

No Tech Pokemon Go
Last week, Aimee gave the lowdown on Pokemon Go and offered tips for libraries.  At my Library we have already used some of the simple passive program ideas from the ALSC article to great success.  Another popular passive Pokemon program was our I SPY aquarium.  For my tween half lock-in on Friday, I'm going to adapt a Pokemon Scavenger Hunt from the blog Karissa in the Library.

I have never hosted a Pokemon special event, but I'm now planning one for this November.  Nintendo is releasing two new 3DS games, Pokémon Sun and Moon, on November 18th.  I'm not worried that November is too late or it's overkill because Pokemon has been popular for ages at my Library.

Pinterest has thousands of ideas but I want to hear from WI librarians.  What were your most popular Pokemon activities and crafts?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Collection Development Webinar Today

From Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Public Library Youth and Inclusive Services Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Dear Library Staff Serving Youth,

Please considering registering for this FREE webinar today hosted by the Association of Library Service to Children. All public collections for youth in our state could benefit from a refreshed consideration of Native American authenticity. Spots in this webinar are limited; however, anyone who registers will get a link to the archived session.

Description: Are you worried that your collection of books by/about Native peoples is in need of a 21st century update so that it accurately reflects Native peoples of the past and present? Are you concerned that your collection has too many biased depictions of them? In this webinar, Dr. Debbie Reese will offer tips and ideas to think about as you select and weed your collections.

For more information, visit:

Monday, July 18, 2016

Being a Good Boss

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Whether we have "manager", "coordinator" or "director" in our title or not, we all manage. Non-managers often manage shelving staff, volunteers, patrons and others who come into - or work  - at the library. This includes co-workers and our managers!

So it's good to consider how to be more thoughtful in how we think about management and being a "boss." In this recent Letters to a Young Librarian post, Baharak Yousefi goes beyond the very practical advice to "be a decent human being" and breaks down what everyone can do to be the boss of boss.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Redialand in SLJ

“Readialand.” is an environment in which interactive technology is harnessed to improve children’s access to learning opportunities and potentially reduce gaps in literacy skills between children from lower- and higher-income families.
The quiz below may help families better assess their media usage.  Link to SLJ to read more about how other libraries are addressing building digital technology skills.  

Do you leave the screen on when no one’s watching? If the answer is yes, it’s time to reflect on the media environment your children or students are experiencing and what you can do to improve it. Take this quiz from the Tap, Click, Read site to find out how you can become more mindful in using digital technology with young children.
Is your child watching media or playing games that are violent, scary, or troubling to him/her? -2
Are the characters modeling positive social skills? +1
Are the media designed to promote conversation or help build language skills? +1
Do media stimulate off-screen comments or questions? Off-screen play? Creation, imagination, exploration? +2
Do media feature some of the same traits you are looking for in a teacher or classroom? +1
Your “Content” score ______
Are you leaving the screen or TV on even when no one’s watching? -2
Are media replacing calming routines that could help during bedtime? -1
Do you have moments in which you are jointly watching or playing with your child? +2
After your child watches or plays, are there chances to talk about what was seen or played? +1
Are screen media used during meal times in a way that impedes conversation? -1
Do you talk to your child about your use of TV, video, tablets, or e-readers and what you find valuable about them? +1
Do you tune out and miss cues from your child when using your devices or screen media? -2
Your “Context” score ______
Do you see particular media experiences assisting your child as he/she progresses in motor skills, social skills, or language development? +1
Have you started to differentiate between media experiences that are not helping your child’s development and those that are? +1
If you find that your child gets upset when watching certain types of content, do you watch with him/her or find ways to avoid that media? +1
Are you paying attention or asking enough questions to tell whether your child is engaged by what is on screen? Does he or she act on or talk about what he or she sees or plays with? +1
Your “Your Child” score ______
Check out a wealth of tips and insight on other topics, from using media to support children’s home language to identifying high-quality apps, on the Tap, Click, Read site. This material is also available from First Book Marketplace, a site offering discounts on books and educational materials for schools and programs serving children from low-income families.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pokemon Go and The Library

So what is Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go is a free app that has players walking around their communities to find Pokemon in the real world.  The game enables Augmented Reality which means the Pokemon can appear in “real life”.  The more Pokemon you catch, the more you can level up and earn experience points all of which can help you battle for gym domination.

Why should libraries care about Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go is a great social game and getting people out and moving!  In order to find Pokemon, you have to walk around and visit various places in your community.  You also need to stock up on supplies, which you can do at Pokestops, which many libraries are.  Some libraries are even lucky enough to be a gym, which means even more people coming through your doors as these are places everyone is after!  This is where you can battle Pokemon and gain more points.  Libraries are already doing some great publicity and capitalizing on the games success.

Check out more about Pokemon Go HERE and more about how it can be impactful at your library HERE.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

UGH! I Can't Use Any of Them!

Photo Fail
I've said that many a time after I looked at the photos I took during a program. Too blurry, too dark, too not right! In this age of Facebook and other social media, a good event picture gets lots of likes and gets the word out about neat stuff at the Library.

A DSLR camera would greatly help, but I only have an old digital camera and iPad at my disposal. The 5 Minute Librarian offers 8 simple photography tips on how to take better photos even if you don't have the budget for a DSLR camera. The productivity blog Lifehacker also has great tips for using a smartphone to take photos.

Don't forget about getting permission to use those fabulous photos. DPI has guidelines: