The Library Connection
Volume 24 Number 8 November 2004
In This Issue:
|Kohler Public Library Ranked Among State's Best||Grafton Launches Concept Café|
|Workshop Topics Survey||Disc Repair Service for Libraries|
|Programming for School Aged Children||Here Comes the Polar Express|
|CCBC Announces New Web Site||Project To Post Historical Newspapers Online|
|Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ)||New Spanish-Language Resources|
|December Holidays||It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Super-Librarian|
|Birthday Books||WLA Follow-up|
|The Muse Prize for Poets||New Shakespeare Guidebooks|
The Kohler Public Library ranked third-best in the state by Hennen's American Public Library Ratings Index (HAPLR). The index measures 15 categories, including how much the community spends on library resources, staffing levels, library visits, circulation per capita, and the number of materials available. It uses the libraries' annual reports to compile this information for libraries throughout the country. The Kohler Public Library is one of only a few libraries in the state that is a joint public/school library. The village and the school district maintain their own library staffs and budgets, but the materials are pooled so everyone can use them.
The USS Liberty Memorial Public Library in Grafton is offering an opportunity for residents to attend relaxed, informal gatherings where they can discuss various concepts and ideas. Organized by a local resident Kurt Sindelar, the Concept Café is meant to be a free-form think tank, with discussions on everything from social evolution to production systems to paranormal phenomena.
The group started meeting in October and plans to meet monthly. Library Director John Hanson reports that attendance at the first two sessions was very good, as were the discussions. The subjects to be discussed are group-driven. The point of discussion is a subject rather than a book, although books and magazine articles could be a good starting point.
The Concept Café sessions are modeled after other discussion groups around the country often called Socrates Cafes. Creative thinking and creative listening will be highly honored with no ultimate conclusions to be drawn.
Twenty-six ESLS staff (nine directors, seven department heads, and ten library staff members) responded to the survey about workshop topics for 2005. Under Public Services and Collection Development, the most popular suggestions were Developing Archives in a Small Library--Collecting and Organizing Local History Materials, Readers Advisory Services & Skills (General/Online), and Readers Advisory--Specific Genres. Creating and Managing a Web Site and New Technologies, What's Coming Next were the suggestions in the Automation, Technology, and Technical Services category.
The Management category showed Records Retention--What to Keep and for How Long as the most popular. Grant Writing (LSTA, Humanities, Other Grant Opportunities) was suggested most often in General Issues. Tuesdays and Thursdays continue to be the best day for workshops, with a half day in the morning suggested most often. Most of the responders indicated that they would be able to attend workshops outside of ESLS--Manitowoc and Cleveland (LTC) were the cities they would want to travel to.
ESLS staff will use the suggestions and comments from the survey to schedule training opportunities and workshops for 2005.
Dr. Disc Company www.drdisccompany.com is now offering its disc repair services to libraries. You can use the Catalog Maintenance Program to restore your CDs and DVDs for as little as $20 per month. This fee would allow you to have 10 discs repaired each month. They provide the mailers--you pay the shipping to Dr. Disc but not the postage back to your library. Caution: If you don't use your contract amount each month, you cannot carry it over to the next month.
Like many children’s librarians I struggle with programming for school aged children. They are just so busy with sports, music lessons, scouts, as well as commitments that I can’t even imagine. It seems to me that programming for this (large and varied) age group is a gamble. What works in one community may not in another.
One, fairly obvious, thing I’ve realized in programming for school aged kids is that tying a program to a subject that they’re currently studying in school is a big draw. Last winter I had “An Evening in Egypt” just as local third graders were beginning to study this very topic in school. I, of course, scheduled this way on purpose, and even recruited local school librarians in advertising this event. I expected, maybe, 20 kids or so to come to the program – this would have been a great turnout for me. Ultimately, I had around 40+ kids attend the program. A couple of kids came prepared to take notes, though after a brief intro about ancient Egypt, it was all fun and games. We made kids into mummies with toilet paper, and stamped out our names in hieroglyphics. The kids had a blast!
Another strategy that I’ve had luck with is to sign up for the party/event. Though this isn’t something I like to do too often, because it excludes infrequent library users. Last spring we had an American Girl tea party, actually we had two because the first one filled up in less than a week, and it was a rousing success. I planned a Victorian themed tea party, and used the Samantha doll as our host. Aside from the popularity of the American Girl dolls, one thing that drew attention to this party was a display I was able to create with several library staff’s own American Girl dolls. Girls and their moms were excited about this event weeks before it happened and many came dressed up for the party. We created Victorian era crafts and then had our tea party – complete with petit fours and jelly biscuits, but no actual tea (we had lemonade instead). Next spring, girls will get to vote on which doll the party will center around – I hope to make this party an annual event.
This fall I had a super hero party – in part to balance out the girls' event (the tea party) and also because super heroes are fun! As with the tea party, we had games – a meteor throwing contest as well as testing our super breath – and snacks. Each of the events was at capacity – I had set a limit of 30 partygoers due to space restraints – and nearly everyone who signed up came to the library for the party. I decided to have children sign up for these events because I anticipated a large turnout and because supply costs were higher than many other events that I plan.Who knows what my next program will hold – and how many people will attend. One conclusion that I’ve recently come to is that weeknights may not be the best time for programs. Beginning after the first of the year, I am planning to do all of my programs for school age children on Saturday afternoons. Of course, this will compete with some sports and family time, but I anticipate better response. I love the programs that I plan, and it is such fun to see kids get excited about events; I just hope that more children will be excited about what the library has to offer.
Click the picture of the Polar Express cake for baking directions.
For a printable mini poster for a display: http://polarexpressmovie.warnerbros.com/downloads_poster.html
Other Polar Express sites:
From Highsmith's "Library Sparks" online article by Rob Reid http://www.highsmith.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Production/LSP/pages/lsp_nov_storytime.pdf
A Polar Express party kit:
Host a Polar Express pajama reading:
The URL for the website for the Cooperative Children's Book Center (www.education.wisc.edu/ccbc/) has not changed, but any internal links you may have bookmarked will have changed. New and exciting to the site is an online CCBC Directory of Wisconsin Children's Book Creators. (Click "What's New" and then follow the links to see the directory) The directory features contact and program information from more than 60 authors and illustrators living in Wisconsin and willing to make appearances at schools and libraries.
For more information about using therapy dogs to aid those with learning disabilities and reading difficulties in library literacy programs, go to the READ website: http://www.therapyanimals.org/read/index.php
Colorin Colorado - http://www.colorincolorado.org/homepage.php - can be viewed in either Spanish or English. There are lots of good hints about what parents can do at home to help their child succeed at school. A particularly good list is called "Visit your local library." There are also good lists of Spanish and bilingual books, as well as books on Hispanic culture.
Reading is Fundamental - http://www.rif.org/leer/index_flash.mspx?flash=true - "A brilliant future begins in a book" is also available in both languages. There are numerous tips for reading aloud with all ages from babies to teens.
Guide for English Language Learners - http://pbskids.org/buster/parents/lessons.html#guide - includes strategies and learning activities for the teacher. Many reproducibles are included.
Maya and Miguel - http://pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel/flash.html - is for the student and includes crafts, recipes, and coloring pages.
Barahone Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents - (also bilingual) www.csusm.edu/csb - has a frequently-updated database of recommended titles in Spanish. You can search by author, title, publisher, or grade/age.
Other helpful links for librarians who are working with Hispanic customers can be found on the ESLS website
The History Channel has a good explanation of the three December holidays (Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa). You can learn about the history and traditions of each holiday. If you visit the website you can learn about the greatest number of simultaneously spinning dreidels, take a toys and games trivia test, or learn the meanings of the seven symbols of Kwanzaa. Go to: http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/holidays/main.html
Noah Wyle has signed on to play the title role in the dramatic action-adventure original film THE LIBRARIAN. THE LIBRARIAN is set to premiere on TNT in fourth quarter 2004. THE LIBRARIAN tells the story of a repository for humanity's greatest secrets, all hidden beneath the monolithic Metropolitan Public Library. From the Golden Fleece to the Ark of the Covenant, every enigma and artifact from every known and unknown civilization is protected from the forces of evil who, if given the chance, would use the priceless treasures for their nefarious plans. Only one man can keep them safe: The Librarian.
The school library at Head O' Meadow Elementary School, Newtown, Conn., has a way of funding additions to the collection and get children involved in the library at the same time. Once a month, parents of children who have a birthday that month send $15 to the school, then the kids get to choose which books will be donated to the library in their names. Each donated book gets a "Donated by" label with the name, age, birth date, and photo of the child who picked it. They were aware that as soon as this "birthday book" was selected and labeled, it became part of the school library. There's also a birthday "party" with Dunkin Donut holes served. There are parents who buy books to honor teachers."
In the 2003-2004 school year, the Birthday Book Club donated 153 books to the library. So far this year, 160 books have been paid for.
If you were unable to attend WLA (or could not fit all of the great sessions that were offered into your schedule), you can view or print the presentations or handouts on this website: http://www.wla.lib.wi.us/conferences/2004/postconf/index.htm
The Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets (www.wfop.org) has announced its annual contest to recognize and reward Wisconsin poets. The deadline is February 1, 2005. There are three monetary prizes. The WFOP has been around since 1950--its members either write poetry, are interested in poetry, or want to promote the enjoyment of poetry.
Bermond Press is issuing a new series of illustrated guides to Shakespeare's plays. The Hour Guidebooks offer graphics and illustrations, detailed character representations, illustrated scene summaries, maps, and charts. Each guide also includes a two-CD recording of actors performing the entire play, with added commentary. The web site--http://www.bermondpress.com--has great graphics and includes Shakespeare-oriented games and a question of the week about the author and the characters in his plays.