Ideas to Make Your Library Shine

Sharing ideas from around the system & around the country, on programming, fundraising, grants, free stuff, and more.
Brought to you by the Winnefox Library System.

8 Success Stories You May Have Missed in January

ImageHere are great ideas and good news from around the Winnefox Library System:

⇒ Neenah Public Library is starting a "WonderWorks" program of early literacy STEM science activities for 3-5 year olds that begins in February. And their Parent Place series featured a "Choosing Good Apps for Kids" program.

⇒ Menasha Public Library teamed up with a local restaurant for a "Library Night at Luigi's" event and fundraiser. The Menasha Police Department's K-9 officer and his handler read children's books, and Luigi's donated a portion of the evening's dinner checks to the library's endowment fund.

⇒ Mill Pond Public Library in Kingston has partnered with Flower Power Fundraising for an online flower fundraiser. For every purchase made, the library receives 50% of the sale price which counts toward their fundraising goal.  I have my eye on the Double Freesia — they're so fragrant!

⇒ Princeton Public Library hosted a Downton Abbey & Tea event, inviting people to "enjoy high tea while watching the first two episodes of season 5 of Downton Abbey." Period dress was strongly encouraged, and the Friends of the Library provided tea & cakes.

⇒ Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake added Mango Languages to the online databases they offer, joining Berlin and Oshkosh PL in providing access to learning over 60 foreign languages.

⇒ Campbellsport Public Library did some "stealth" programming with a portable makerspace: for two Saturdays in January they provided a Craft Cart, loaded with supplies for anyone to be creative.

⇒ Winneconne Public Library is offering library events updates via SMS text messaging, with their VIP Text List service.

Novel Pairings is a new social event for book clubs & others who love to talk about books planned to begin in February at the Oshkosh Public Library:

ImageMix, mingle and dish about your favorite books while you learn about the services that Oshkosh Public Library offers to enhance your book club experience. Not in a book club? Get information about starting one or connect with a club that’s looking for new members.
Highlights will include:
• Book recommendations and resources to help you choose your next great read
• Creative ideas for book club meetings – wine & book pairings, theme dinners & more
• Tips for downloading free library eBooks & digital audio books
• Games & chances to win prize baskets
Complimentary wine included with ticket. Hors d’oeuvres provided by Evergreen; treats by Caramel Crisp & Café. Admission: $10 donation to the Friends of Oshkosh Public Library

image credits:
• Neenah Public Library's Facebook post
• Oshkosh Public Library's Facebook event post


Racy, Funny, Nerdy: Book Displays on the Edge

ImageRacy, funny, nerdy.  These are words I use to describe the edgy book displays created by Jesse Henning; clever ideas that appeal to customers, and increase circulation.

Okay, so you might not want to replicate some of these display ideas at your library, but look at the slideshow of makingithappen's favorite ones, and see if it inspires you to think even more creatively for your next display:

Jesse easily has some of the best display ideas in the game and posts pictures of them on his This is a Sentence tumblr. Heavily influenced by pop-culture, the displays brilliantly toe the line on controversial without going overboard. At least, he must have a great rapport at Westerville Public Library because he hasn’t been fired for any of them yet.

Go to This Guy Has the Best Books Displays Ever at The Librarian Culture Magazine to see the slideshow of some of Jesse's best display ideas.

Sources: The Librarian Culture Magazine
• Jesse Henning's This is a Sentence tumblr
• photo credit: never enough displays post at This is a Sentence tumblr

Big Talk From Small Libraries: Free 1-Day Online Conference

ImageBig Talk From Small Libraries 2015 is coming up; everyone is welcome to attend, regardless of how big or small the library, but if your library serves a few hundred or a few thousand, this is the day for you.

Friday February 27, 2015
8:45am - 5pm CST (attend one or all the sessions)
Register here; GoToWebinar login instructions will be e-mailed to registered attendees the day before the conference

This is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better. Each of the speakers will be from a small library or works directly with small libraries.

You may attend one or all of the sessions; topics include:

  • Helping Technology Make Sense to Seniors
  • Youth Programming: Art Against Bullying
  • Meeting the Needs of Your Community by Giving Up Control
  • The Little Library that Could (And Did!)
  • Reaching Out: Fighting Back Against a Bad Public Image
  • plus 7 more topics; get the full schedule here

This conference is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission, and is co-sponsored by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries.

Reference: Big Talk From Small Libraries website
Photo credit: previous building used by the Mill Pond Public Library in Kingston, WI

Free Webinars in February

ImagePlan to attend these free webinars; all you need is your computer & speakers or headphones (no microphone needed.) If you attend a live webinar, it may be counted as a Category B continuing education activity towards renewing librarian certification.

Webinars with a ★ are the ones I think you'll find most useful.


6 Success Stories You May Have Missed in December

ImageHere are great ideas and good news from around the Winnefox Library System:

⇒ Winneconne Public Library revised their winter preschool storytime format to turn it into stealth programming with "Make 'N' Take Storytime" — themed storybooks and coordinating crafts are available all day, and patrons can enjoy the books and crafts at their convenience. They also collaborated with the Winneconne HIgh School Student Council to host a Scholastic Book Fair to raise funds for the library's 2015 Summer Reading Program.

⇒ Princeton Public Library held a "homemade by locals, organized by the Friends" Cookie Walk Fundraiser, and the Mill Pond Library in Kingston raised $1246 from their 16th Annual Cookie Walk.

⇒ Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake promoted Giving Tuesday by encouraging people to "consider donating your time, talent, or treasure to a local group working to better your community. Whether you choose to give to the animal shelter or Downtown Renewal, the food pantry or the Opera House, the library, or the Angel Tree program is immaterial. Just give, if you can."  Giving Tuesday is observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and began in 2012 as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season.

⇒ The Fond du Lac Public Library partnered with Mountain Dog Media and Taco Bell of Fond du Lac to provide Christmas story radio broadcasts, as Sarah Newton (head of the Children’s and Teen Services Department) read aloud from the book When Santa Fell to Earth.  The 21-chapter story was read aloud on local radio stations K107.1-FM and KFIZ-AM each weekday at 7:15am, and was posted daily at where the whole broadcast can be heard.  "Newton said the radio broadcasts are a great opportunity for families and young readers to read along; several copies of When Santa Fell to Earth are available at the library for checkout."

⇒ Campbellsport Public Library created an Awesome Box that was soon overflowing with suggestions of good reads suggested by patrons. Here's how it works: "Anytime you read something particularly awesome, entertaining, inspirational or valuable when you return it to the library drop it in the Awesome Box on the counter. It lets other patrons know what Campbellsport readers are finding awesome, and those returned books are then available for checkout."  They also had a Pampered Chef fundraiser at which 20% of all proceeds from sales were donated to the library.

⇒ The "Oshkosh Today" television  program featured Oshkosh Public Library's High Hopes Early Literacy program with an interview with librarians Marie Boleman and Adeline Miller.  You can watch the 7-minute segment below:

photo credit: Winneconne Public LIbrary's Facebook album


Free Webinars in January

ImagePlan to attend these free webinars; all you need is your computer & speakers or headphones (no microphone needed.) If you attend a live webinar, it may be counted as a Category B continuing education activity towards renewing librarian certification.

Webinars with a ★ are the ones I think you'll find most useful.


Top 10 Best Practices for Raising the Visibility of Your Library

ImageLast fall WiLS collaborated with WLA to hold 6 regional meetings, to gather staff from all kinds of libraries and discuss how each works to raise the visibility of their library in the community.

Learn from the collective wisdom gathered at all 6 meetings by reading WiLS' distillation of the ideas at Best Practices for Raising Visibility for the Library to see what you can put into practice at your library.

WILS is a non-profit membership organization that facilitates collaborative projects and services to save their members time and money and to advance library service, primarily in the state of Wisconsin.

Photo credit: WiLS

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