November 2014: Printz Award Contenders for 2015
by Matt Beinemann, Teen Librarian, Mead Public Library

I admit I am a sucker for a good award show. Put celebrities on a stage, give them a shiny statue, and add several hours of cheesy time filler and poorly choreographed dance numbers and I will sit and watch every second. The speculation on which nominee will win each award fuels huge amounts of online debate and proves to be a time sink for my internet browsing during award season. There is however one award show that is not like the others; the Youth Media Awards, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Conference.Continue Reading

October 2014: Facing my Fears with Grover
by Allyson Obermeier, Children’s Librarian, Plymouth Public Library

When I first began my position at Plymouth, I was fresh out of library school. I had very little hands-on experience, and had only led a few storytimes on my own during my practicum. I picked up on storytime quickly, but I was still nervous about it a lot of the time. I read great books, but I held back from being really interactive in my reading. As I learned and grew in my storytime talents, I became more comfortable reading with emotion, but I still hadn’t gotten over my greatest storytime fear: doing voices. Continue Reading

July 2014: Where is Tallman? How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Rhyme Cube
by Julie Gallo, Children’s Librarian, Oscar Grady Public Library

One Sunday afternoon in February of this year, I was working on my outline and materials for our library’s Toddler Storytime which was starting up soon. One aspect I wanted to add to my storytimes was a simple activity to fill time prior to the start of the session, as many of the children and their caregivers were showing up 10 -15 minutes early. I would ask the children questions about animals they saw today, favorite colors, or something of that nature. Continue Reading

May 2014: Free Little Libraries in Port Washington
by Cindy Beyer, Children’s Librarian, WJ Niederkorn Library

Early last year our director and our Mayor commented that it would be great to have some Free Little Libraries in Port Washington. This discussion was shared at a staff meeting and I volunteered to oversee the project. Since I am a member of our local chapter of Kiwanis, I thought that this would be a great project for collaboration. Continue Reading

April 2014: Exploring the Outdoors in Elkhart Lake
by Elizabeth McCartney, Director, Elkhart Lake Public Library

The Elkhart Lake Public Library was chosen to be part of the pilot project for the Outdoor Explorer Backpack from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. One library in each system was selected. This beautiful backpack is filled with all sorts of items. Continue Reading

March 2014: Child-Friendly Browsing
by Amanda Schmidt, Children’s Librarian, Cedarburg Public Library

Children’s librarians get asked many different kinds of questions every day. I found that my most common questions referred to types of books, such as princesses or trucks rather than specific book information. At the Cedarburg Public Library, our picture books are currently sorted by author’s last name; and there is nothing more frustrating than looking through nine hundred titles of princess books to find one that appeals to the child. So I tried to find a solution to this problem. Continue Reading

February 2014: We’re Growing Readers!
by Nancy Trimberger, Children’s Programing, Cedar Grove Public Library

Last November Nicole and I attended the Growing Wisconsin Readers Workshop at Mead Library, and ever since then our conversations seem to keep coming back to our youngest patrons.  It didn’t take us long to decide where to distribute our brochures and then we were on to the next tasks—developing early literacy programs and providing caregiver support and resources.  Continue Reading

January 2014: Social Media: Resources for Children’s Programming
Judy Jones and Karen Thatcher, U.S.S. Liberty Memorial Public Library, Grafton

Lately, it seems to me that Karen has been spending a lot of her time on the computer. “Hey, Karen, what are you looking at?” I ask. “Well, I’m planning storytime,” she replies. Of course, what else would she be doing! Gone are the days of perusing storytime manuals like I’m a Little Teapot by Jane Cobb or Storytime Crafts by Kathryn Totten or sifting through monthly magazines such as Mailbox, Bookbag, and Kidtivities. How many of you remember the Time for a Tale story time kits, available through the Eastern Shores Library System with manipulatives, props, puppets and books, books, books.  Continue Reading

December 2013: Best Children’s Books of 2013
Ashley Pike, Patron Services Librarian, Frank L. Weyenberg Library of Mequon/Thiensville
I love looking at the Best Books of… lists. I find it is a great opportunity to take a second look at some books, especially when trying to make some end-of-the-year purchases with any leftover money in our collection budget. It also helps to remind me about some books that I really enjoyed at the beginning of the year, but forgot about over the course of the summer.  Continue reading


November 2013: Using Movies in Programming
by Tina Meyer, Youth Services, Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library

Different types of library programs have been discussed several times in our SRP meetings.  Library programs are those programs that are organized by the staff and performed by the staff.  Library budgets don’t allow for an unlimited amount of money for programs.  Sometimes librarians need to be creative to make the money budgeted last the entire year. Some libraries have done programs that involve the library showing a movie.  I thought that we would give this a try at the Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library … Continue reading

October 2013: Monkey Business at the Library
by Trix Tahtinen, Director at Oostburg Public Library

There was a lot of monkey business going on at the Oostburg Public Library on Saturday, October 26 as a standing-room only crowd gathered to see–and take their picture with–a monkey … Continue reading

September 2013:  International Games Day @ Your Library
by Karin Menzer, Youth Services Manager at Mead Public Library

International Games Day @ your library will be on Saturday, November 16 this year, so there is still time to plan an event and join the more than 1000 libraries around the world showcasing gaming programs that day. Mead has been participating since the first event six years ago, and each year we’ve had a great response … Continue reading

August 2013:  Making Sense of Reading Levels
by Allyson Obermeier, Plymouth Public Library

Sometimes it’s hard to stifle a groan when parents come in with concerns about reading levels. Although I’ve been frustrated by some parents’ laser focus on their child’s reading level, I know part of that frustration stems from my own lack of knowledge about reading levels and how to guide parents and children with questions about them … Continue reading