Thursday, February 22, 2018

Webinar on Marketing Library Programs

Marketing Library Programs for Increased Impact (webinar)
Tuesday, February 27
1:00 - 2:00pm

Presented by: Sam Helmick, Public Service Librarian
Burlington Public Library; Burlington, IA

Increase your library’s impact by empowering patrons to contribute to the library marketing conversation. This session will give participants a hands-on look at how teens communicate with each other on social media and how to use social media to promote events.  Learn how to collect patron-driven content for more meaningful dialogue, how to better represent the diversity of your service population in marketing media and how to craft vibrant, engaging campaigns designed to move beyond the brick-and-mortar boundaries of your Library Space.   From traditional paper flyers to the newest social media tricks, we’ll help you level up your library’s marketing game. Platforms covered will include Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Programs Inside the Box, Vol. 2: Giant Angry Birds

Looking for a fun STEM program for those warm weather months?  
Why not give Giant Angry Birds a shot? *ba-dum-tssss*

What you'll need:

  • Boxes, boxes, and more boxes!  What's nice about this particular box program is that any size box will do and having a variety of sizes and shapes will make the game more interesting!
  • Balls, balloons, or stuffed animals to act as both your piggies and your Angry Birds.  If you opt for balls or balloons, consider adding faces!
  • Your choice of sling shot/projectile device.  When we held this program, we did so outside, allowing us to put sign posts into the ground and wrap bungee cords around them.  Our basket?  A section of pants leg, cut off a pair of jeans that no longer fit.  Another option that doesn't involve poking things into the ground?  Use a towel or blanket and encourage the kids to work together to launch the birds.

Before beginning, discuss with the kids the physics involved with the game.  This is also a great opportunity to show off some of the fabulous books in your collection!

Now, it's time to play!  You can come up with rules and points, if you like, or embrace a free-form, we-all-work-together approach.  Go with whatever works best for you and your patrons!

Fair warning: some folks might become frustrated.  It's not as simple as pulling your finger across the screen and letting go.  There will definitely be some trial-and-error involved.  BUT!  Once they have it, they'll be off and running and having a blast!

One concern you may have--I know I did!--is likely this: How many times will I have to reset this wall o' piggies?!  Chances are, you won't have to, excluding the initial program set up!  The kids had a blast running back and forth, creating new obstacles and layouts, then demolishing them with playground balls.  (Plus, more STEM fun...building!  Woo!)

Monday, February 19, 2018

ALA Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit

Look at our colleagues at ALA - so many helpful resources shared with us!

Just out is the joint ALSC/YALSA/AASL Toolkit focusing on best practices for initiating and engaging in public and school library collaborations. This uber helpful toolkit can be downloaded or linked to and contains:

  • information on how to start and continue a school-public library collaboration
  • research that supports that collaboration
  • examples of successful collaborations
  • useful templates
Stop here to read and/or downlaod your free copy!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

STEAM in Youth Services Workshop: April 3

Calling all librarians serving youth, teens and families! Mark your calendars for a STEAM-y workshop set for April 3rd at the Marathon County Public Library, Wausau location from 9-3:30pm.
The WVLS STEAM in Youth Services workshop will cover creating high-interest STEAM programs on a low-to-no budget, local STEAM grant writing, successful STEAM program plans, virtual/augmented reality, the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten App, passive coding activities, AND attendees will be guided through the Hour of Code!

Emily Zorea, Youth Services Librarian of the Brewer Public Library in Richland Center, will kick-off the day with “Engaging Families, Youth, and Teens around STEAM and Thematic Programming.” Julie Kinney, Teen Librarian for Marathon County Public Library, and Tammie Blomberg, Director of the Rib Lake Public Library, will lead the group through the Hour of Code and talk about bringing coding concepts to teen and adult library users.
Find more from Emily at her Sowing Seeds Librarian blog.

Attendees will be able to participate in passive coding activities and leave with inspiration and coding lesson plans in hand! Activities and lesson plans courtesy of Linda Liukas, author of the Hello Ruby book series. The Hello Ruby series written for children is a “whimsical way to learn about technology, computing and coding.”

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shining Moments from the YSS Regional Meet-up in Waupaca

So many wonderful things came out of our afternoon in Waupaca: networking, engaging in discussion, and even a favorite cheese list that I'm working on for another blog post. These meetups are intended to be fun, professionally invigorating, sparking engagement and ideas, as well as connecting us and our work with our colleagues serving youth.

Katie Kiekhafer, Chair-elect, came prepared with our second activity of the day called "Shining Moments." This small group activity asked participants to reflect on shining moments that motivate us in our work, such as an accomplishment or achievement that we are proud of, and then asks us to share this moment. As the small groups listened to each other, we recorded our moments and then identified common themes. Next we reported back to the larger group and Katie recorded our responses and themes. This was an incredibly powerful exercise that affirmed the great work we are doing and the underlying themes common to every library staffer in the room.

After reading through this list of common themes and identities elicited from our responses see if they resonate with you, inspire you, or reflect your ideals and self:

  • Innovative thinkers
  • Change embracers
  • Empowerment - of the people we serve which then returns to us in a circle of empowerment
  • Validation - that the work, even the unsung work, we do is meaningful and effective
  • Connection - with our communities, their needs, and discovering unmet needs through this engagement
  • Becoming visible in the community
  • Collaborators
  • Boundary stretchers
  • Seizing opportunity
  • Following and setting trends
  • Inclusiveness
  • Embracing technology

Learn how to implement this activity with your staff or library system by reading the full activity directions HERE.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Programs Inside the Box, Vol. 1: Cardboard Box Drive-In

Cardboard, there, EVERYWHERE.  Regardless of the size of your library, you likely find yourself inundated with oodles of boxes at some point or another.  Of course, you could always recycle them, but why not re-purpose them for programs first? 

One idea: you could host a Cardboard Box Drive-In!  
Each attendee gets a box and some fun craft materials to transform into their own sweet ride!  Then, once the vehicles are completed, they can sit in their respective cars, watching a short film and eating delicious drive-in snacks.

As you might imagine, things like paper, scissors, duct tape, and markers are always well-utilized.  Here are a few other materials to consider having available:

  *craft sticks - great for license plate covers!
  *pipe cleaners - antennas and windshield wipers, galore!
  *paper plates - tires and steering wheels!
  *cupcake wrappers + bracelet-sized glowsticks = super sweet  headlights!

Given that cardboard boxes can be rather bulky and take up quite a bit of space, you can always consider having registration and ask folks to secure their parking space ahead of time.

What's great about this program is that it can be relatively low-cost, provided you plan ahead: most of the materials necessary can be found on your craft shelves or--in terms of boxes--saved as orders come in.

This program has been quite popular here at my library and is something that I've revisited often.  To add a bit of extra excitement for our next installment, I've been in contact with our fire station to see if they'd be interested in hosting a firehouse tour and Cardboard Box Drive-In at the station for SRP 2018 - - we'll transform our boxes into firetrucks and other emergency vehicles and have the chance to watch a movie with real live firefighters!

Ladies and gentlemen, let's all go to the drive-in!

Monday, February 12, 2018

ALA’s Youth Media Awards Announced!

Today was the big day for literature loving supporters of excellence in reading and viewing for children and teens. But don’t just listen to me. Stop here to view a list of awardees and honorees and to access a tape of the award announcements.

CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy Announced

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is happy to announce the 2018 CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards for Early Literacy!

The five winning books consist of one title in each of five categories selected from a shortlist of 25 titles. Each category represents an early literacy practice: Read, Write, Sing, Talk, and Play. The books, in their content, theme, or design, support caregivers’ interaction with their children through these five early literacy practices. Research has shown that engaging children in these practices builds language skills and prepares children to become successful readers.

READ: The Library Book by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark; illustrated by Chuck Goenink
A rainy day entices a girl to the library.  Sitting in her favorite chair, she is soon surrounded by literary friends including Winnie the Pooh, Madeline, Pinnocchio, and more. After a fun visit to the library, she checks out her favorite book to take home and read.  This book models a child’s love of reading and how it can be enhanced by a trip to the library.

WRITE: Little Plane Learns to Write by Stephen Savage
Little Plane loves flight school where he and the other planes are learning to write in the sky. His arcs and dives are excellent, but he can’t seem to get the hang of loopity-loops. Finally, tracing the round shape of the moon inspires Little Plane to write the perfect loopity-loops. Drawing circles, arcs, and lines helps children learn to form letters, just like Little Plane.

TALK: Say Zoop! by Herve Tullet
Say Zoop! encourages children and caregivers to interact with the pages of the book by inviting them to place their fingers on different colored dots and make the sounds that the book describes for each dot. Making noises helps children practice the different sounds in words which will help them in acquiring language.

SING: Motor Goose by Rebecca Colby, illustrated by Jef Kaminsky
Motor Goose is a compilation of classic nursery rhymes that have been rewritten with a transportation theme. Each page is a song centered on a different vehicle and set to familiar tunes such as Mary Had a Little Lamb or Itsy-Bitsy Spider. This book supports singing with children, whether it be classic nursery rhymes or modern children’s classics.

PLAY: Things to Do with Dad by Sam Zuppardi
A boy and his dad start the day making pancakes together, but dad’s looming to-do list puts a damper on their shared fun. The boy alters the list, inventing imaginative ways he and his dad can complete the chores together. This book models a variety of ways that adults and kids can playfully interact during their daily routine.

For more information and for a free activity sheet for each winning title, please visit the award website.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Best Podcast Apps For Your Smartphone

A couple weeks ago, over at Review Geek, Jennifer Allen discussed the best podcast apps for your smartphone.  If you are a neanderthal like me you know about Apple Podcasts and maybe Google Play Music if you are an Android user.  (What can I say, I drive a car from the early 2000s and am stuck still rocking burned CDs.)

BUT, as Allen points out:
If you’re not enjoying the wealth of podcasts out there, you’re really missing out. Podcasts provide you with the experience of a radio show—ranging from in-depth information on a wide variety of subjects to light hearted comedy—but are available whenever and where ever you want to listen, if you have a good app to manage them that is.
So, check out her fabulous list and maybe recommend a few to teens or grown-ups at your library!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Anne Pellowski Film Premiers!

Ginny Moore Kruse just got information today about a brand new film about Anne Pellowski (one of our Wisconsin Notable Authors) having its debut this very weekend. If you are near Winona, this is a great chance to hear about a great storyteller and humanitarian!

The Frozen River Film Festival will premier Mary Farrell's film "Anne Pellowski: Storyteller to the World" on Sunday, February 11 @ 3:30pm in the Harriet Johnson Auditorium, Somsen Hall, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota.  The film lasts almost 30 minutes, and it's second of three films on the program.  The public is welcome. 

Anne Pellowski was raised by a farm family of Polish heritage in Trempealeau County, WI and was a voracious reader of books about other countries and believed she would someday travel to all those countries. She discovered her life’s vocation through her studies in languages and library science which led her to New York City where she pursued her career, first as the children’s librarian at the NYC Public Library, and later as founding director of the Information Center on Children's Cultures for the United States committee at UNICEF. Through her work at UNICEF and other international agencies, she traveled to over 120 countries, assuring children had access to books in their native language by conducting workshops on cloth bookmaking and storytelling.  She has also authored 20 books including the Polish American girl series. Since her retirement, she has lived in Winona, Minnesota and travels several times a year to places around the world leading workshops. Filmmaker Mary Farrell traveled with Pellowski to Kenya in 2014 and filmed her workshop and decided to share Pellowski’s story of courage and determination as an ambassador for cultural and international understanding.