Monday, September 29, 2014

ASLC Great Websites for Kids

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has added more sites to Great Websites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children.

The newly added sites are:

 Classics for Kids -  

 Kids in the House -  

 Learn. Genetics -  

 Learn. Genetics en EspaƱol -  

 Nourish Interactive in Spanish -   

 Sparky the Fire Dog –

Friday, September 26, 2014

WLA Conference

Win a free stay at the Madison Marriott West Hotel (home of the 2015 WLA Conference). Register by the early bird date of October 13, 2014 for this year’s WLA Annual Conference, at the Kalahari in the Wisconsin Dells, on November 4-7. Check for updates about programs, exhibits, and events on the WLA blog, Facebook or Twitter.  Latest news is about the WLA Award Winners!

To register and win a chance for the free hotel stay at the Marriott West Hotel, click on 

Nita Burke, Conference Publicity Co-Chair

Melissa Rader, Conference Publicity Co-Chair

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

From Emily Townsend, Librarian of Cooperative Children's Book Center at School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison:

Just a reminder to everyone that tonight, September 23, at 8:00-8:30 pm is the Twitter Chat with Pat Zietlow Miller, Wisconsin author of Sophie's Squash.

Librarians, patrons, parents, grandparent, teachers, kids: anyone is welcome to join us and ask a question. Remember use #SophiesSquashWI. Or, just follow the conversation at #SophiesSquashWI.

Here is a link to Pat reading Sophie's Squash for Read On Wisconsin to share with librarians, parents, teachers, and children across the state of Wisconsin:

Also, if you're interested in picture books, check out CCBC-net this month. The discussion topic is Reading Pictures!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Candidate Questions for YSS Elections

YSS Chair Elect Candidates
Leah Langby
Tell us about yourself: what you do, where you do it and how long you’ve been doing it?
I have been the Library Development and Youth Services Coordinator at the Indianhead Federated Library System for almost 10 years (and it took the first 5 to learn the name of my title by heart).  I work with librarians in the 10 counties in west-central Wisconsin to connect them with resources to serve youth, people who are traditionally underserved, and I also coordinate the continuing education efforts for our system.
Why do you want to be chair of the YSS board?
I am so impressed with the dedication and creativity of the youth services librarians in this state, and YSS as an organization has been doing some really exciting things in the past few years to be more supportive and inclusive of its membership.  I have been involved in WLA in a variety of capacities for the past 10 years, including serving as the chair of the Outreach Services Round Table and the Children’s Book Award committee, a mentor in the WeLead program, a member of the WeLead Task force, and a member of the YSS Board. After serving on the board for a couple of years and watching the excellent leadership of past chairs from close-up, I think I am ready for the challenge of chairing this section.  I’d love to continue YSS’s current trajectory.  I envision increasing the ways members can get involved in the organization in meaningful ways, and providing leadership and support on advocacy, practical ideas, and developing a community of practice to encourage each other to tackle challenging and important issues in the field.
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Anything with chocolate, as long as there are no marshmallows.

Jenny Wegener
Tell us about yourself: what you do, where you do it and how long you’ve been doing it?
I have been a Children’s Librarian for over 15 years.  I began my career at the Oak Creek Public Library (Milwaukee County) and during that time I was a YSS Director at Large and helped out with the YSS Newsletter.  After taking a short break to stay home with my two kids, I returned to the library world at the Pewaukee Public Library (Waukesha County).  I am now the Youth Services Department Head at Pewaukee.  I have also been active on the Rochester Public Library board (Lakeshores) in my hometown.  I have many responsibilities but the most important thing I do in my job is forge connections with children and families.  I am so very lucky to have a career that allows me to help create readers! 
Why do you want to be chair of the YSS board?
I would like to be Chair because it will give me a chance to give back and help support other librarians.  Children’s services can be a lonely job, especially in small libraries, when there might be only one person in Youth Services.  YSS has a special obligation to its members because we can be the “coworkers” small town library staff may need for inspiration, to hear about new developments, and discover fun and easy programming ideas.   As someone who has been “in the trenches” for a while I can empathize with my fellow librarians, listen to their needs, and work to provide useful tools for them to use. 
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Hmm, this is almost as hard as choosing a favorite author.  So much depends on time, location, and stress level.  Favorites would include: homemade vanilla, Chocolate Factory darkest chocolate, Kopp’s Macadamia Nut, Culver’s Caramel Cashew, and Uncle Harry’s Lemon Ice. 

YSS Director-at-Large Candidates
Kent Barnard
Tell us about yourself: what do you do, where do you do it and how long have you been doing it?
I’m the director of the Patterson Memorial Library, a wonderful little gem of a library in the small village of Wild Rose.  This is my third year as director.  The best part of my week is hosting Mr. Kent’s Storytime every Wednesday morning.  I’m happy to say my storytimes have evolved greatly since my days as a bookseller for both Borders and Barnes & Noble.
I incorporate early literacy skills and we now sing, do fingerplays, tell stories with the felt board (I use felt, not flannel – I’m kind of a felt snob!), we always count something and have a letter of the day.  I also have a partner and we do puppetry.  I’ve just started using a  flip chart for some of the songs, so the children can see the words as we sing.
My biggest challenge is getting teens into our library.  In our area, once they hit the teenage years they are extremely busy with sports, music, theater, and work!  This is one of the reasons I support YSS – learning from each other!  I look forward to hearing more ideas for teens involvement.
Why do you want to be part of the YSS Board?
As a man serving children, I know that there are very few men in youth services, I think a male viewpoint would prove to be valuable.  In my opinion, early literacy is the greatest gift you can give a child, I’m proud to be a part of ‘my kids’ learning.  The YSS is an important part of WLA.  I have learned a lot attending sessions hosted by YSS, and would like to help the board keep its direction and focus for the future. 
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
My initial answer is tutti-frutti – just because it’s fun to say – the truth, however, is that I love a really good vanilla bean, the kind with real vanilla beans in it.  I’ve never even seen tutti-frutti!

Esther Burns
Tell us about yourself: what do you do, where do you do it and how long have you been doing it?
My name is Esther Burns, and I have been Children’s Librarian at Marion Public Library in Marion, Wisconsin for two years.  I am in charge of all children’s programming, as well as maintaining and ordering materials for the children’s section of the library.  I run two reading programs a year- Summer and Winter, as well as a year-round playgroup on Wednesday mornings, and a Monday evening storytime.  I’m also our resident techie- I am our webmaster for the website and work with our local newspaper in promotion and marketing the library.
Why do you want to be part of the YSS Board?
I am passionate about Youth Services!  I absolutely love working as a Children’s Librarian.  It’s not just a job to me—it’s a total way of life.  I feel very strongly about the importance of early reading for children, and keeping that connection through the young adult years.  Keeping Youth Services librarians connected through this board is something that I would love to do—we are all here to support and help each other and it would be an honor for me to do that!
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Yikes!  Now THAT’S a hard question.  It depends on what kind of ice cream.  I love Cold Stone Creamery—their sweet cream flavor is THE BEST.  If I were to go to Dairy Queen, I’d probably get either a Peanut Buster Parfait or a Birthday Cake Blizzard.  For plain old ice cream, I love a birthday cake or blueberry cheesecake flavor.  Mmmm.  Ice cream.

Katherine Elchert
Tell us about yourself: what do you do, where do you do it and how long have you been doing it?
I'm lucky enough to be the Youth Services Manager at the Rice Lake Public Library. That means I'm in charge of everything from birth to 18 at the RLPL - from administration to collection development to outreach. I'm still pretty fresh to librarianship, as I graduated from UW-Madison SLIS in May 2013. So I've been at the Rice Lake Public Library for a little over a year!
Why do you want to be part of the YSS Board?
Who wouldn't want an excuse to hang out with some hilarious Children's and YA Librarians? On top of that, I'm really interested in becoming more connected with Wisconsin librarianship. Sometimes I get so focused on the RLPL, it's like I have tunnel vision. I'd love to be a part of the YSS board to ensure I stay connected to & involved with all Wisconsin libraries (not just my own)! 
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Somehow this is the hardest question for me? Anything with cherries or chocolate!
Susan Menk
Tell us about yourself: what do you do, where do you do it and how long have you been doing it?
My name is Susie Menk (Miss Susie to the kids at storytime J) and I have been working in the public library field for the past six and one-half years .  I started out as an Adult Reference Associate and then began my career in Youth Services about three years ago.  I have a bachelor’s degree in teaching and have always loved working with children.  After having been in the library field for several years I decided to pursue my MLIS degree. I am excited to report that I graduated in August of 2014 from UW Milwaukee!
Why do you want to be part of the YSS Board?
I am interested in being a part of the YSS Board, because one of my favorite activities is sharing programs and ideas with other librarians that are as enthusiastic as I am about sharing a love of reading with children and parents.  I love learning about what others are reading, what kind of children’s programming and activities they have tried, what programs or activities were successful and which weren’t,  and how others incorporate new ideas and technology into their programming.  I have been most interested in outreach.   In the last few months, I have gotten the opportunity to present some parenting tips and read aloud tips to groups at the local CESA 7 and Lakeshore CAP sites.  I am also on the Community Partnerships for Children Task Force for Manitowoc County and have had a chance to connect with others in the community to promote early literacy programming and activities during community events.
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
My favorite flavor of ice cream is peanut butter chocolate mixers from Culvers!  Yum, yum!

Ashley Thiem-Menning
Tell us about yourself: what do you do, where do you do it and how long have you been doing it?
I’m currently the Programming Librarian at the Kaukauna Public Library.  As the Programming Librarian, I am in charge of developing, marketing and executing youth, teen and adult programs.  I’m also in charge of collection management and ordering for my library and I help run the Friends organization.   I’ve been with the Kaukauna Public Library for the last two years, but I’ve been working in libraries since 2003.  In 2009, I started the first exclusive storytime for children on the autism spectrum in the state. I embrace innovation, collaboration and new practices and will turn just about anything into a Library program. 
Why do you want to be part of the YSS Board?
I would like to be part of the YSS board so that I can help connect youth librarians with innovative practices and support. 
Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Chocolate ice cream, preferably containing more Oreos than actual ice cream.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nutritious Food for Children in Child Care

In case you missed Tess M. Schmidt's email on wispublib...

Dear Wisconsin Library staff:
Did you know that over 70% of Wisconsin’s families have children in child care?  At the same time, Wisconsin’s poverty rate is growing and creating financial stress – especially around food and its affordability.
With this in mind,  the parents you serve may want to know about a USDA Food Program that financially assists family child care providers in preparing healthy foods throughout the day. The program is offered at no cost to the parents or to the child care provider.
To learn more and download a flier go to:

Feel free to contact me with questions, or if you’d like hard-copy fliers sent to you.
Thank you for your support and interest,
Caroline A. Oldershaw
Director of Marketing and Development

Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA)

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Simple Storytime Favorite

The fall storytime session started this week at my library. I wanted to share a favorite. Our storytime kids love getting their hand stamped as they leave. Toddlers, especially, love getting a stamp. One time at the grocery store a storytime regular saw me and held out his hand for a stamp!

What is a simple storytime favorite at your library?

Friday, September 12, 2014

South Asia Book Award Ceremony in Madison

Join the South Asia National Outreach Consortium for the

The 2014 South Asia Book Award Ceremony
Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 3 pm
Central Library│Madison Public Library
in the Children’s Department Program Room
201 W Mifflin St., Madison, WI 53703
Presentations by:

2014 Award Winners
Elizabeth Suneby
Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education
(Kids Can Press, 2013)
Jennifer Bradbury
A Moment Comes
(Atheneum Book, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 2013)

2014 Honor Winner
Farhana Zia

The Garden of My Imaan
(Peachtree, 2013)

Join the South Asia Book Award committee to honor the 2014 SABA Award Book winners, and recognize the 2014 Honor and Highly Commended authors and books. After remarks from committee members and presentations by Ms. Suneby and Ms. Bradbury, the event will close with a book signing. Award books will be on sale at the event. For more information about the event, please contact award coordinator, Rachel Weiss (608) 262-9224, or visit:

 Held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Book Festival, this event is free and open to the public!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Take the Library on the Road!

Remember way back in the “olden days” when mothers would bring their children to the library? Remember when children would enjoy a trip to the public library for a field trip?  Well, these things still happen, but they are getting more and more infrequent as more mothers work outside the home, and as classrooms get busier trying to accomplish learning goals.
What if, instead of people coming to YOU at the library, you went to THEM, instead?  That’s just what I do as Children’s Librarian at Marion Public Library.
During the school year, I have scheduled visits to both of our daycares within Marion.  Every other week, I visit one or the other daycare.  I bring my week’s themed storytime along with me, along with Storytime handouts to send home with the children.  In addition, I also visit the school at least once a month, to bring my storytimes to the 4K, 5K, 1st and 2nd grade classrooms.
How do I accomplish this?  Easy!
  • I schedule storytimes when I know there are enough staff staying at the library.  Without my supportive staff members, I wouldn’t be able to travel.
  • My storytimes are only about a ½ hour long, so I’m not gone from the library for long when I do travel.
  • I have portable tools to bring with me—my portable flannel board, iPod and iPod speaker enable me to have the same storytime that I’d have at the library.
  • I have great relationships with the daycares and the school—not only do I bring them storytime, but I also request themed books for them.
Being willing to step out of the library is so important- it gets our library name out in the community.  Building community relationships is one of the most important aspects of a public library!  Also, I had greater participation in my Summer Reading Program this year, mainly because the kids and I had developed a relationship, and the kids begged their parents to keep seeing “Miss Esther” during the summer.  It’s fun for the kids to see me outside of the library setting- and it’s fun for me to see them!

Don’t be afraid to leave the walls of your library—get out there and build relationships!
From Esther Burns, YSS member and Marion Public Library children's librarian.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Library Card Sign-up Month

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Yesterday, the ASLC blog had a great post about how to work with schools to get more kids signed up for library cards. The ideas can be used anytime of the year.

Spring is a great time with summer around the corner and kids not having access to school libraries. In May and June, all first grade classes from the three elementary schools visit my library for a tour and stories. Weeks before the visit, the teachers pass out library card applications and return completed ones to me. When the classes visit, the kids get their new library cards.

Storytime at my library draws a young crowd (mostly 3s) who are fun. I love when the first graders visit because I can do longer stories with more sophisticated humor. My current favorite is Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teen Read Week™

Teen Read Week™ is October 12-18, 2014 with the theme "Turn Dreams into Reality". Through its website Teen Read Week™, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) offers free PR materials, programming webinars, and grant opportunities. You do not need to be a YALSA member to sign-up to get freebies.

Under the Planning tab, you will find Activity Ideas and a list of 50 ideas. Below are my favorites for a librarian who might not have too much time or money but wants to do something. That probably includes all of us!
  • Set up a Suggestion Box—then post suggestions with responses
  • Collect and post teen reviews [offer some instruction in review writing]
  • Ask an English professor or teacher to host a 'so you want to be a writer' program
  • Passive program: bookmark contest
  • Passive program: have teens create book spine poetry
  • Family Activity—teens read to younger kids at library
  • Passive program: which book would you save from a fire & why?
  • Offer book giveaways for teens who are 'caught reading'
  • Create a bulletin board filled with book title suggestions from teens
  • Write an email or letter to your favorite author