Monday, April 20, 2015

52 Weeks: Week 7 Police Explorers

Brought to you by the Wisconsin Library Association Youth Services Section52 Weeks of YA Programming is a collection of teen programs submitted by YSS members across the state.

Week 10: Police Explorers Submitted by YSS Member Mehta Hess

Friday, April 17, 2015

How to Say No

People who know me know I love to think about how we work towards creating an atmosphere of "yes" in our work. Within the confines of work, this moving towards yes can mean great success in building better buy-in, teamwork and innovative change for your library and community.

But what about outside of work? What about the many things that are peripherally part of your librarianship but serve better to advance your reputation or resume than to serve your community or job. It is tempting to say yes to as many things as possible but it can encroach on your energy, enthusiasm and ideas for your own paid-time work.

How to balance?

Melissa over at Mel's Desk has written three posts walking readers through her process of learning to say no to outside-work professional commitments. They are a perfect thoughtful primer to help all of us work out our own yeses and nos.

What I've Learned About Saying No
How Do You Know When to Say No
Different Types of Saying No
In Defense of Yes

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Fail Earth Day Storytime

Those smarties over at Library Village held a highly successful Earth Day storytime.

And no wonder. It's packed full of perfect books and activities. April 22 will be here before we know it, here in it's founder's (Gaylord Nelson) home state. What a perfect way to celebrate the day!

What do you do on Earth Day?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Don't Minecraft if We Do!

Spring break often brings out the best in pre-summer programming ideas. We take advantage of the uptick in library use and try a few "wow-the-kids" programs.

In this post, Librarian is on the Loose blogger Awnali Mills shares her Minecraft party program as well as clever promotions for it!

Check out the results.

How about you? What have you done/did you do for your community kids over spring break?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Howdy Pardner! School Public Library Cooperation

Working with colleagues in public libraries or schools is a great way to serve our youth community better. It can seem daunting if you don't have a relationship started but once you do, the possibilities are limitless!

On Tuesday, March 24, YSS and WEMTA partnered to present a program at the WEMTA conference in the Dells called Cool Tools to Work with the Public Library. Presenters Sonja Ackerman, from Franklin School District in Wausau, a WEMTA and YSS member teamed up with YSS member Marge Loch-Wouters from La Crosse Public Library to explore the many ways we can work together across school and public library lines.

Some of the ideas that can work for both public and school librarians:

  • Anytime is the right time to start.
  • Get out there and meet your counterpart in the schools or public library(remember, phone calls can be challenging for both since our busy times and quiet times are exactly the opposite; use email).
  • If you are having a difficult time making the connection, get intro help from a board member or "connected" parent.
  • Offer "teacher cards" without fines for classroom materials or consider checking out deposit collections to classrooms or asking the public library for these.
  • Offer to drop into classrooms 2-3 times besides SLP visits to support literacy and reading (or invite the public librarian to do this).
  • Do collaborative shared programs - "Kids Read One Book", share author/illustrator visits; winter reading programs.
  • Send a quick email newsletter to teachers and visa versa. Sharing information makes a huge difference for both!
  • Visit the public library at least once a year/invite classes to library from the school annually.
  • Find out if the library is doing early literacy intiatives like 1000 Books Before K and support them by telling school families to get their preschoolers involved.
  • Libraries are very involved with SLP - encourage students to get involved.
  • Support library programs to students. Children have their school libraries for only 12 years. Their public library they can have for life. Your support of the public library and celebration of both school and public libraries strengthens you both.
If you are a WLA member, you can attend the WEMTA spring conference at WEMTA member registration costs. With a full schedule of exciting programs, it's a conference all youth librarians in public libraries should consider attending. Hope to see you next year!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Break Fun

Spring break may be over but it's always the right time to think about next year's - or even this summer's! - break time programming fun.

Ann at So Tomorrow blog shares her simple Minute to Win It idea here.

Sara debuts on the ALSC blog with her compendium of passive program ideas gleaned from colleagues around the country.

What do you do to make fun for the kids during your school breaks?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


Tom Lichtenheld

Ride the Rapids of Change to Wisconsin Rapids May 6-8 for the WAPL conference! The Wisconsin Association of Public Librarians along with a number of smaller sections in Wisconsin Library Association (including YSS) have a great conference in store May 6-8. Registration is a mere $75 for the jam-packed day and a half and early bird registration closes April 24. 

Check out some of the great YSS-sponsored youth library content. And of course that's not all the content. Stay tuned to this blog in coming days for more info on other programs to knock your socks off.

10:30 am  Putting the Fun in Fines!  To fine or not to fine?  That is the question!  Join staff from the Lester Public Library as they share several simple and easy ways to turn fines into marketing gems.  Black Friday Sales, Scratch Cards, Fables for Fines and more.  Your patrons will be begging to pay their fines off! (Terry Ehle, Lester Public Library, Two Rivers; Chris Hamburg, Lester Public Library, Two Rivers; Jeff Dawson, Lester Public Library, Two Rivers)
1:30 pm A Winning Combination: How Library Directors Can Support Youth Services and Vice Versa  A public library’s youngest patrons are often thought of as its future taxpayers and, by extension, library funders. However, the relationship goes deeper than circulation of children’s materials and growth of teen services.  Youth services matter to public libraries beyond the numbers. Jointly presented and facilitated by DPI and the Youth Services Section of WLA, a panel of directors and librarians will offer their unique insights on programming, professional development, and pleasing the library board. (Jeff Dawson, Lester Public Library, Two Rivers; Terry Ehle, Lester Public Library, Two Rivers; Dawn Wacek, Rice Lake Public Library; Tessa Michaelson Schmidt, Department of Public Instruction)
3:00 pm   Student Job Fair - Organize One for Your Community! Learn about success in planning the annual Wisconsin Rapids Student Job Fair. Started in 2012, the McMillan Memorial Library and the Boys & Girls Club collaborated in an effort to create a Student Job Fair for high school and college-age students. With an outstanding response from the community and support from local businesses, each year this event has grown immensely. Learn how you can collaborate with organizations in your community to create a similar and successful program. (Jennifer Bahnaman, Youth Services Librarian, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids; Robert Wefel, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Wisconsin Rapids Area)
5:00 pm  YSS Business Meeting   Afraid of boring, process junkie dry-as-dust info here? No worries. This is the beating heart of how we build success in our unit. It's a not-to-be-missed opportunity to network and learn!

8:30 am   High Hopes: Teaching Parents to do Early Literacy at Home  Integrating early literacy components into library storytimes is great, but helping parents incorporate early literacy activities into their daily routines at home is better! The Oshkosh Public Library will showcase their homegrown High Hopes Early Literacy Storytime program developed to educate, encourage and empower parents to grow their everyday interactions with their children into early literacy building activities. The discussion will include: tips for teaching parents, the outcome measurements process and ideas for community outreach. (Adeline Miller, Oshkosh Public Library; Marie Boleman, Oshkosh Public Library)

11:00 am Literary Mash Up - Writing Programs for the Elementary Age Need a new program for the elementary age that strongly supports literacy development, is research based, uses strategies and best practices? Experience a Literary Mash-Up—gain knowledge on writing research, gather resources and ideas, understand why inventive spelling is encouraged, learn peer critiquing with three pluses & a wish, and have a model in place to work from. If you don't like to write...all the more reason to attend! (Anne Kissinger, Wauwatosa Public Library)

11:45 am  Influences, Inspiration and Dumb Luck –Inside the Mind of a Children’s Book Creator
Author Luncheon –with Tom Lichtenheld, WLA Burr Worzalla Children’s Book Award winner

Monday, April 6, 2015

52 Weeks: Week 5 3D Paper Flowers

Brought to you by the Wisconsin Library Association Youth Services Section52 Weeks of YA Programming is a collection of teen programs submitted by YSS members across the state.

Week 5: 3D Paper Flowers Submitted by YSS Member Amanda Brueckner

Thursday, April 2, 2015

YSS Powerhouse Presents -Peek Behind the Curtain

You have probably read a few posts about YSS Powerhouse Presents webinars or seen them publicized...but what's the story behind them?

What is YSS Powerhouse Presents?
These webinars are an idea of the Youth Services Section (YSS) board of the WI Library Assocation. Our section has over 300 members who are experts on all things youth. The board reasoned, "Why not give our members a chance to shine and get an opportunity to present to peers across the state?" So each webinar is presented by YSS members (just like you) who have a passion for youth services and a yen to share successes.

Why webinars?
Many people cannot get to state level conferences. Webinars are a perfect bite of CE (an hour or so) that can happen right at a person's desk on a variety of topics. It extends the program work YSS does at conferences.

How does it all work?
Each webinar is planned by a YSS committee. The committee reaches out to members to get volunteers or encourage members to take the leap and learn a new skill -webinaring! Then the committee reaches out to WI library systems to find willing partners to schedule/host the webinars.

What are we hoping for?
We believe that YSS is in a perfect position to provide leadership in youth services continuing education. Along with the DPI, the CCBC and SLIS and SOIS, we can offer expertise on many aspects of youth services. Plus we want to provide value to our members!

How many have been done?
The first webinar: Programming 101 (link to the archived webinar) was presented in January and hosted by South Central Library System. The second at the end of March on Teen Services (link to the archived webinar) was hosted by Nicolet Federated Library System. The third is scheduled for April 27 on School Age Programming and presented by Outagamie Waupaca Library System (registration/information link)

Are there more coming?
You bet. We have 2-3 more in the works for fall.

How can I get involved?
Be a YSS member! Drop a line to one of the organizers with a topic you'd like to present or co-present on and we'll get you in the queue. Or volunteer to help be on the organizing committee. Contact:, or

Together we ARE stronger!