Thursday, January 26, 2023

Virtual Variety: Video Games to Try! Part 2

Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay 

Lindy Liedl from the Rice Lake Public Library returns with her monthly column on all things virtual to help you connect with your teen patrons!

We started last month with a list of the multiplayer games--that I’m aware of--that would be playable in a library group setting, or virtually, over platforms like Zoom and Discord. I’m certain there are many more out there, so keep digging if you have any age group who are interested in gaming together!

This month we'll look at games that can be played in-person at the library.

In-Person Games:

These are games that could be played virtually over a chatting platform like Zoom, but it would be a rare chance that everyone would own the game on the same console and be able to play together. So a library program would likely require in-person gaming.

Overcooked is an adorable game where you play as tiny chefs completing orders and adding to your restaurant. View the trailer here. This game can be played on computers (purchased on Steam), Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X & S.

Super Mario Party is pretty straight-forward. A party of Mario characters competing in mini-games. This can be played on Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch Sports is the newer version of the good old Wii Sports. Players can compete in bowling, volleyball, and other sports. The trailer can be seen here.

Super Smash Bros. is a 2-4 player battle. Players can compete as a classic Nintendo character of their choice–Each has its own special ability. This game is only for Nintendo Switch, and older Nintendo consoles. The trailer is here.

Rocket League is a soccer game but…players compete as vehicles in a giant soccer arena. This game is for computer (purchase on Steam), PlayStation 4-5, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. View the trailer here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Chair's Corner - January 2023 YSS Board Updates

oday's January YSS board meeting update is from Alison Loewen, YSS 2023 Chair and
Youth Services Librarian, Mead Public Library, Sheboygan

Can it be, it's 2023?  I feel like I took a nap, and woke up 1 year later- because we just had our first YSS board meeting of the year, and what can I say?  This year is going to be great! I am thrilled to be working alongside a group of creative and passionate individuals whose minds are filled with ideas on how we can inspire and collaborate with youth services staff across the state.  I am looking forward to a fantastic year ahead.

Some exciting projects are on the horizon.  New this year is a WLA organized Performers Showcase! Building off of the SEWI Performers showcase that you may be familiar with from years past, WLA will be working diligently to organize a virtual event to showcase performers for your library.  The event is planned for November 2023, so keep an eye out for more information.

And if you haven’t already heard, WLA is offering the Leadership Development Institute again this year- but as a bi-monthly, virtual program.  Watch your inboxes for more information as it becomes available. 

The YSS Board has a lot in store for you this year as well.  Our first webinar of the season is the highly anticipated “Social Emotional Learning Kits at your Library” originally planned for December, but rescheduled for March 2.  Register here:

And while details about upcoming webinars, meet-ups, and socials for the year are still being ironed out, I can say that our members have spoken- and we have listened!  Feedback collected at our 2022 WLA Booth has been taken into consideration, and I think many of you will be happy with what we have in mind.

A reminder to everyone that one thing that makes YSS so amazing is the enthusiasm that all of our members bring.  If you have an idea for a blog post, send it in.  If you have an interest in getting more involved, volunteer to help at our conference booth, or attend a social, or meet-up.  Do you have a space you want to show-off, programs you want to highlight, or just love sharing what your library is up to?  Contact us, and we will consider your library as a host for a meet-up.  Or join the Connecting Wisconsin Libraries group and brainstorm ways for public and school libraries to work together.  

If you have questions about any of these opportunities, feel welcome to reach out.  I am looking forward to connecting with many of you throughout the year!

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Making "Book Menus"

It's always a pleasure when a blogger like Lindsey Krabbenhoft of Jbrary pops back up in the blogging world. We hope her return is full of great posts like the one she recently shared on her experience creating Book Menus.

Lindsey writes: "I first got the idea to try something like this from Teen Librarian Toolbox. I liked it immediately. A visual reader’s advisory tool to help families discover all our collection has to offer? Yes please!

I thought it would work at my library because we have a community of voracious kid readers. We get asked all the time for reading recommendations, often by kids who have read all the popular titles. I also know caregivers here use our website and app and will often place holds by themselves. I wanted something that would empower our readers to use our collection in a self-sufficient way, while also promoting the library as a place where they can get amazing recommendations."

To read this how-to post filled with hints, tips and multiple examples of the book menus she created, please stop here.

Welcome back Lindsey!

Monday, January 23, 2023

Badgerland Remake Learning Days

Participate in Badgerland Remake Learning Days festival during National Library Week

remake learning dates, Badgerland logo & website linkWisconsin libraries are invited to participate in the 2023 Badgerland Remake Learning Days festival, April 21-29. (National Library Week is also April 23-29). Consider offering (and registering) events focused around different learning themes such as: Arts, Maker, Outdoor Learning, Science, Technology and Youth Voice. 

CriteriaYour event should be located in Wisconsin or intended for Wisconsin youth, family or educator audiences.

  1. The event or program offering should take place or be available during the Badgerland Festival dates of April 21-29, 2023.
  2. Remake Learning Days events should emphasize at least one of the following Learning Themes:  Arts, Science, Outdoors, Technology, Youth Voice or Maker.
  3. We encourage your events to be hands-on or designed to celebrate the joy of learning together!
  4. Festival events can be free, low cost or for a fee.  You can designate this information on your event submission form.
  5. As the event host, you are accountable for all aspects of your event(s) including organization, content and staffing.
  6. We expect you to promote the event as part of the “Remake Learning Days” Festival using the simple guidelines and hashtags we will provide.
Get more details at

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Meg Medina - New LOC Ambassador for Young People's Literature

On January 18, children's author Meg Medina was named by the Library of Congress as the New 2023-2024 Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

The National Ambassador is chosen for their contributions to young people’s literature, the ability to relate to children and teens, and dedication to fostering children’s literacy. The selection, made by the Librarian, is based on nominations from a diverse pool of distinguished professionals in children’s publishing and from an independent selection committee comprising educators, librarians, booksellers and children’s literature experts.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will inaugurate Medina into the role on Jan. 24 at 10:30 a.m., in a ceremony at the Library. Former Ambassador Jason Reynolds will be on stage as well. Local school groups will be in attendance, too. The event will be livestreamed on the Library’s YouTube page

Please stop here for more information on Medina and the Ambassadorship.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Once or twice a month 
on weekends, YSS posts round-ups of ads that are sent to us or that we come across. If you have a position opening up and would like to see it on the YSS blog, please forward the job ad link/descriptions to the YSS blog at the email address listed in the header above the day's blog post.

Here is our mid-January listing:

Black River Creek Village Library   

Youth Programming Specialist/Library Services Clerk (part-time)

The Black Creek Village Library is currently seeking a Library Services Clerk and Youth Programming Specialist. The position is approximately 25-28 hours per week with a starting wage of $14.50. 

The Library Services Clerk and Youth Programming Specialist is responsible for frontline customer service to patrons in a fast-paced library environment, including reference and circulation activities, while working to complete routine duties as assigned. In addition, the specialist plans, implements, and promotes library programs for youth. 


The position description and application are available on the Black Creek Village Library website  and the Village of Black Creek website  

Interested applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and completed application no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.

Black Creek Village Library is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


Rachel Hitt
Library Director, Black Creek Village Library
507 S. Maple Street, Black Creek, WI  54106    920-984-3094

Algoma Public Library  
Children's Librarian (part-time)

The Algoma Public Library is seeking an innovative, self-motivated, technology-savvy librarian to work with the Children (ages birth to 13) in our community and support the library. The ideal candidate enjoys working with children; readily adapts to constant change; is comfortable both with current technologies and learning new ones; projects a helpful, welcoming personality, and is well organized. Coursework or experience in children's services is a plus. This position is 35 hours a week (including some evenings) with an additional 85 hours on Saturdays throughout the year.

This position pays $17.56/hour and includes benefits. Applications are due February 7, 2023.
Get more details and apply at

Shawano Public Library   
Children's Library Assistant (part-time)

The Shawano County Library seeks to fill two part-time positions [one of which is in youth services.Ed] in its main library in Shawano, Wisconsin. These jobs were posted on January 12, 2023:

Library - Children's Library Assistant: Performs circulation and customer service functions. Answers directional questions and refers customers to appropriate materials. Assists Librarian with programming for children and is comfortable carrying out the program. Part-time, 20 hours/week, $12.23 to $12.93/hour.

Get more details and apply online at

Friday, January 20, 2023

YSS December 2022 Board Meeting Notes

Youth Services Section Board Meeting

December 13, 2022


Present: Claire Parrish, Taylor Wilcox, Caitlin Schaffer, Marge Loch-Wouters, Alison Loewen, Jeni Schomber, Murray Johnson, Linda Jerome 

Approve December Agenda: Motioned by Taylor W., seconded by Caitlin S. 

Approve November Minutes: Motioned by Alison L., seconded by Taylor W. 


Old Business:

  • DPI Updates -Jeni  

    • Sent out a survey for Beanstack to the youth services consultants. Beanstack is funded through the end of 2023. Survey is to get a feel about how much it is being used throughout the state. December 23 is the final day to fill it out. 

      • There is a specific survey for public libraries and another one for school libraries. 

    • Jeni is meeting with all youth services consultants and liaisons throughout the state so she can meet everyone and see what they are doing in their system, what they’re excited about, and to learn more about what she and DPI can do to support. 

  • Blog - Marge 

    • Just under 71,000 hits for the year! 

    • Encourages the Board to think about posts on things we’re working on, the background information about what we’re doing, etc. because it can be a great recruiting tool. 

    • Reminder to the secretary to send Marge the minutes directly after their approval, especially if she doesn’t make it to the meeting at which they were approved. 

  • Webinar Check In - Claire/Alison

    • Thursday, December 15 @ 2pm

    • Social Emotional Learning Kits 

      • Milton Public Library’s Healing Library Kits

      • Chippewa Falls - Put together kits with grant funds 

    • Will be recorded! 

    • Got some great feedback from WLA on topics both of interest in learning about and presenting on for both webinars and blog posts. 

  • WLA Update - Linda 

    • Last Board meeting coming up on Friday

      • Board has voted to create an Intellectual Freedom Task Force 

      • Supporting members that are facing challenges, and working to get ahead of challenges; proactive vs. reactive 

    • Conference meeting feedback discussion

      • Still waiting for final financial reports, but all seems well!

      • Conference survey feedback was very positive 

  • Children’s Book Award - Claire

    • New members announcement 

      • 7-8 submitted applications to join. Claire looked at if they had been involved before, prior involvement in WLA and YSS, what they are doing at their libraries, etc. 

      • Recommended four candidates to Briony Zlomke, the committee chair, who will be emailing all of them to officially invite them to join the committee. 

      • Once those four have accepted, Claire will email the others to thank them and encourage them to be blog contributors. 

New Business:

  • January 2023 Board Retreat and Meet-up

    • Date and Location

      • Looking into January 19 or 26 at Everett Roehl Marshfield Public Library 

        • Tentatively starting with breakfast at 9, meeting at 9:30, lunch together, and regional meetup in the afternoon 

      • Claire and Alison will work to get a poll sent out, including the option of attending virtually to see who all would be interested. 

  • Connecting WI Libraries - Marge 

    • Created in 2018 to bring WLA and WEMTA members together and to foster and support collaborations between school and public libraries. More information:

    • Wanting to share more stories and links about successful programs and partnerships. 

    • Marge will be stepping off of committee after serving for four years. YSS chair, YSS Board liaison and chair-elect are usually present so the Board has some responsibility for the group and are active in it. She encourages us to reach out to people within our system to share their stories and be more involved in the group. 

Motion to Adjourn: Linda J., seconded by Caitlin S.  

Minutes recorded by Caitlin Schaffer, secretary.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Throw-It Thursday: It’s an Audio World

Ashley Borman, Technical Services Librarian at the Clintonville (WI) Public Library and YSS board member, is back with her monthly column. She shares the value of local history material in your collection development decisions.

Happy 2023! In all of the time I have been creating Throw-It Thursday posts, I don’t think I’ve talked about audiobooks yet. And let me tell you...some of our audiobooks have been hanging around for a loooooooong time! Cracked or broken discs aside, how do you know when it’s time to say buh-bye to those books on CD (or tape if you still have those!)? 

I swapped nice cases from discarded items to give some of our popular titles cases that were not broken and crumbling. These are some of the items that were discarded.

The obvious part of that answer is low/no circulation. If it doesn’t go out, get rid of it! Pick a timeline (mine is 3 years of no circs) and stick to it! Especially if you are low on space or trying to expand another audio collection (Playaways anyone?!). If it doesn’t go out with patrons, Throw-It! Into the discard pile it goes!

Other than broken pieces and low circ’s, my other main criteria are age of the item and high circs. I look at how old an item is and check the overall condition of the discs and case (Cases can be easily replaced, especially with cases from items you are weeding that are still in good shape!). If the discs are scratched horribly and don’t clean up well, Throw-It! Chances are patrons are checking it out and not reporting playback issues. I also look at items with high circs (anything over 100 for audio) to check their condition. We all know heavy use can deteriorate discs and interfere with playback. Again, if discs are in poor condition, toss them in the discard pile.

Happy weeding!

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Call for Proposals - Play Make Learn Conference


PLACE 1120 taller

PML header light teal


July 20-21, 2023 | Madison, WI 

Call for Proposals

Deadline for submissions: March 12, 2023

Notifications: April 2023

You are invited to submit a proposal to present at the 2023 Play Make Learn Conference (PML). PML is a gathering of researchers, game designers, makers, artists, and educators. The conference is a place for collaboration and discovery in the design, research and practice of playful learning, games for learning and positive social impact, making and makerspaces, STEAM education, and arts integration in education.


PML creates an inspirational space for PreK-12 students, educators, designers, developers, innovators, librarians, museum curators, makers, and researchers to tinker together, share knowledge, and celebrate one another’s work.


Interested in attending, but not presenting? Save the date for registration opening in April!


Session Themes

Submissions are encouraged in the following strands, but new ideas are also welcome and encouraged. You will be asked to select all themes that apply to your work.

  • Playful learning
  • Games for learning and positive social impact
  • Making and makerspaces
  • STEAM education
  • Arts integration in formal and informal spaces
  • Research/practitioner partnerships


Session Formats

You will be asked to select the session format.

  • Workshop (90 minutes): Workshops should actively engage participants, showcasing your work or methods you use inside or outside the classroom. Workshops may include physical making, playing a game or something else all together. Submitters will be asked for 2-3 learning goals or takeaways they have for participants in the session.
  • Panel Presentations (60 minutes): Panel presentations should have two or more presenters from different projects or organizations exploring a common theme. The panel will develop its own format (facilitated panel discussion, structured poster session, demo stations, etc.). Submitters will be asked for 2-3 learning goals or takeaways they have for participants in the session.
  • Individual Presentation (20 minutes): Highlight innovative ideas or summarize recent research. The planning committee will group individual presentations into themed 90-minute sessions with a moderator.
  • Poster: Poster presentations provide the opportunity to present innovative classroom practices, ongoing research projects, or classroom projects in an informal setting. Posters will have a dedicated session time to share with conference attendees.
  • Arcade Playtest or Demo: This interactive, open-ended session is a chance to show off a game, ed tech tool, or other innovation. The demos will take place in the conference arcade during a dedicated time.
  • Break the Mold Session: Have an idea that doesn’t quite fit into the formats listed above? Samples include sessions lasting days or weeks asynchronously, sessions within games, and so on. What if a session took place in Minecraft? What if participants met outside to explore? What if participants worked collaboratively over the conference to produce a play? And so on. Be as creative as you dare for these sessions. 

Note: If you are a for-profit company interested in showcasing your product to the PML audience, please reach out to for sponsorship opportunities.