Friday, May 9, 2014

Wonderful WAPL!

The Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries conference in Sheboygan is over. What a powerful conference for youth services librarians!

Our keynote speaker was Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician-librarian and director of Wisconsin's Reach Out and Read program which puts books in the hands of children at well-baby visits. His powerful presentation to librarians who serve all ages brought home the importance of reading to children early and often - and also showed the devastating effects that adverse events early in children's lives have decades later on their health. It was great to hear more than youth services librarians hearing his powerful messages.

Magic School Bus at the Bookworm Gardens
There were opportunities to network and reconnect with youth colleagues and adult services peers from around the state as well as outstanding programming. Youth Services-sponsored presentations included discussion  on creating age appropriate storytimes, stealthy programming power, our Book Worm garden tour, teens writing a summer reading blog for the library and incorporating international holidays into family programming. There were also a number of other great programs including discussions on fine-free libraries, networking power, Library as Incubator's Books as Art Programs; dealing with reluctant employees, navigating the new state stats (which include drop-in programs, passive programs and reading programs beyond SLP - squeeeeeeeeeeee!)

The Youth Services Section board met and discussed a number of issues including upcoming board elections, plans for WLA in WI Dells in November, how to have a more inclusive board at the WLA board level and more (minutes will be available soon!). It was great to see so many members at the board meeting and we are excited to move forward.

If you couldn't come this year, we hope you can next year. This is a small (270 attendees ) conference that packs a big punch of information and networking goodness!

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