Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bullet Journal for Book Lovers

Bullet Journals are the new thing in trying to organizing your life. There was even a session at WLA 2016 about it.  The blog Lifehacker offers a good summary of them for the uninitiated. 

People usually use the bullet journal system for to-do list, but BookRiot illustrates how book lovers can organize their reading lists.  I like the rating system shown in the post.  I see using it as a way to track of books I want to booktalk during summer library program promotion.

Have you used a bullet journal?  How?  Have you created a modified system?   Post in comments!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lego Club Challenge Ideas

Lego Clubs are popular programs for all ages. Interactive Lego walls are being added to Teen areas. Lego fits into the upcoming SLP theme "Build a Better World" and integrates well with STEAM programming. Below are a few resources for your Lego programming. If you have others to suggest, please submit them or add them in the comments. Your fellow librarians will appreciate it!

Try these challenges you can print on cardstock:

Printable Lego Challenge Cards

Try a Lego Maze Challenge - with or without robotics

Try any of the 51 different challenges from the Lego Quest Blog

Teen Services Underground posted about Teen Lego Programs in March of 2016

Or a Lego Pop-up Makerspace for Teens

Monday, December 5, 2016

Beyond Storytime YSS Webinar

Hope you had a chance to attend this insightful look at service to preschoolers beyond storytime right before Thanksgiving. YSS members Kymberley Pelky, Ann Cooksey, Kristi Heitcamp and Katie Kiekhafer presented a ton of ideas at this "YSS Powerhouse Presents..." session in collaboration with the South Central Library System.

You can access the webinar and slides at SCLS's website.

You can also access all our YSS sponsored webinars from 2015 and 2016 on our YSS Resource page on the WLA website.

We will be planning next year's webinar offerings soon. If you are a YSS member and would like to volunteer to present on a topic or put together a panel on a topic, we'd love to hear from you! Please contact Leah Langby,

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Women in Comics: Cooking Comics

Comics and cooking?  YES!  Carli Spina over at YALSA's The HUB has compiled a genius list of women-authored comics, graphic novels, and manga that focus on cooking.  Titles include:

    • Kitchen Princess by Natsumi Ando and Miyuki Kobayash 
    • Space Battle Lunchtime Volume 1: Lights, Camera, Snacktion! by Natalie Reiss 
    • Cook Korean! A Comic Book With Recipes by Robin Ha 
    • Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Many of the listed comics include recipes to try!  Check out the entire tasty list HERE.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fake or Real?

We've all heard the comment, "Why do we need libraries? We have Google."  Librarians know that not everything on the Internet is true.  And librarians are trained to help people sort fact from fiction. (Plus, libraries provided Internet access!) School Library Journal highlights the problem of people not equipped with the skills to evaluate sources in the article "Teaching Information Literacy Now." 

For public librarians, the opportunities for information literacy are brief moments at the reference desk or at the computers.  Public library patrons do not have to attend  a class on assessing sources.  They don't even have to use the sources we found for them.

How can we support information literacy?  Right after I read the School Library Journal article on Facebook, I saw a clever way to get teens thinking about their information sources.  Librarian Alanna Graves posted on Teen Services Underground's Facebook page her display "Fake or Real".  She printed out news stories and teens decided which were real and which were fake.  You could also create a bookmark listing debunking websites, like, and highlighting evaluation methods, like CARS or IMVAIN.

What are you doing at you library?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tech, Talk, and A Round-up of Children's Coding Apps

If you were at the YSS Pre-Conference in October, you heard Caitlin Schaffer from the Oconomowoc Public Library talk about using technology and coding in School Age Programming. If you weren't able to make it, you can still check out the slides HERE. Caitlin's session was called Tech Tac Toe.

Or maybe you want to learn more about merging apps with your storytime programs. Then you'd want to listen to the recorded webinar Toddlers and Tablets in Storytime presented by Cathy Kolbeck of the Algoma Public Library presented by the Nicolet Federated Library System and archived HERE.

If you'd like to read reviews of some top apps for introducing children of various ages to coding, programming and robotics, then the recent post in Children's Technology Review has you covered. From free apps to some pricier ones, there are a tremendous variety described in that article HERE.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Ringing Out the Old Year

YSS brings down the curtain on 2016 with our last month of activities for preschoolers for 2016. This month, calendar co-coordinator Katherine Elchert of the Rice Lake Library shares her tips for great early literacy activities.

You can download this final 2016 month here at the YSS Resources page for free! And watch for the 2017 calendar in that same space - coming soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Free Webinar - Intro to Proposal Writing

Folks!  Summer reading planning is in full swing, and as always, the budget is smaller than my summer dreams.  On the bright side, there are some solid grants out there to help you with everything from summer reading to gaming in the library to collection enhancement.  AND GrantSpace is offering a timely webinar, Introduction to Proposal Writing, that could help you get started on a proposal or polish up a proposal you are looking to submit.  The webinar will cover
  • The basic elements of a proposal
  • The “do’s” and “don’ts” of writing and submitting a proposal
  • How to follow up whether the answer is yes or no
The webinar is hosted Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 1:00 - 2:00pm (CT) and is FREE.  Click HERE for more information and to register.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Not Your Usual Snowflakes

Winter is here.  I'm not the biggest fan of cold weather but I love making and decorating with snowflakes.  Once Thanksgiving is done and the turkeys need to go, I get out my scissors and start cutting.

Here are some ideas for winter decor or maybe to use in a program:

LEGO snowflakes from Pink Stripey Socks
Star Wars Snowflakes from Anthony Herrera Designs (I heard there might be a new movie in December.)
Six Pointed 3D Snowflake from Totally Love It 
Lots of Patterns from First Palette
Doctor Who whoflakes patterns from Oddly Crafting
Red Snowflakes from How About Orange

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Library of Congress Book Festival, 52 Great Reads and Other Book Lists

Library of Congress - pixabay
The Library of Congress holds the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. each September since 2001. This annual literary event is a librarian's dream bringing together authors, readers, and book fans for all kinds activities, including family-friendly ones. To learn more about the festival, click HERE. To find out how to host your own book festival, click HERE.

One of the resources put together and distributed at the festival is 52 Great Reads, a list of books representing the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. Links for the 2016 book list and others going back to 2012 are available HERE.

When looking for award winners, one can never have enough places to find comprehensive lists of all of them. Well, the Library of Congress has put one together for us to which even includes a database covering the criteria of the awards, when they are announced and other helpful information. You can find all of those links HERE.