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 June

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

⇒ The Spillman Public Library in North Fond du Lac have Alice Tzakais and her art class for to thank for painting the windows of the library entrance with swimmers to go along with this year's SLP theme.

⇒ The Pine River Chicken BBQ & Library Pie Sale raised $500 for the Pine River Library of Leon-Saxeville. Community support for the event included volunteers donating home-baked pies, collaborating with Pine River Restoration to be part of their Chicken Barbeque Event, and Thrivent Financial having covered expenses.

⇒ A major landscaping project was completed at the Oshkosh Public Library, including new flowering trees and other plantings that will enhance the library grounds. "The city's Forestry Division removed dying and overgrown trees and shrubs that were winterdamaged and inappropriate for the site. The project was funded in part through a $10,000 grant from the Taking Root Fund and the Emil & Louise Marohn Family Memorial Fund of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Additional support came from the Trust Funds for Library Excellence, a collection of charitable endowments created with donations made by community benefactors."

⇒ For every child who signs up for Menasha Public Library's SLP, "the Friends of the Menasha Library will donate 10 cents to Wisconsin Special Olympics. Also, if your school has the most Summer Reading Program sign-ups, your school is entered onto a plaque and your school gets to display that plaque during the coming school year!"

⇒ Brandon Public Library received shelving from a library in Hartford that moved, and used Facebook to ask for volunteers to help unload a semi truck packed with the shelves. The next day, so many volunteers showed up that "with the help from these people, an 'all day event' only took 2 hours!!"

⇒ Both Wautoma Public Library and Campbellsport Public Library received money to help support their Summer Library Programs: Wautoma received a $250 donation from Hometown ShopKo, and Campbellsport received a $200 grant from ShopKo.

⇒ Princeton Public Library invites people to sit on the bench or picnic table and enjoy their back yard, where one can use the library's Wi-Fi amidst beautiful flowers and plants that are provided by the Princeton Garden Club.

⇒ 75 Wisconsin libraries participated in Bike to the Library week. including 2 in Winnefox: Fond du Lac invited people to "pick up a bookmark with information on how to enter a drawing for special bike-related prizes." And the Neenah Public Library invited community members to Bike to the Library during the week of June 19th: "Show your bike helmet, a photo of you and your bike at the library, and be entered into a drawing for great prizes."

Image credit: Spillman Public Library's photo on Facebook

Weird Programs That Were Surprisingly Successful

In the Programming Librarian Interest Group on Facebook there was a recent thread where librarians shared "bizarre programs that have been surprisingly successful."  Here are some examples that were shared; want to try any?

  • "I did a Zombie Tea Party for the release of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. (the movie) We ate jelly candies shaped like brains, vanilla bean jelly beans to represent maggots, drank gunpowder tea, put on zombie makeup, had a book signing by zombie Jane Austen, and learned about zombie etiquette. We all had a blast, and got a terrific sugar high from all the candy."
  • "... we had a beach party in February. We wore summer clothes had a limbo stick and other summer games and served sandwiches and made tie dye shirts."
  • "I've been doing a giant butterfly party every January for several years now. January is depressing." Program goals, supplies, and details at Butterfly Celebration.
  • "I recently had a cat party. It went very well despite how silly it sounds. We watched youtube videos, made cat ears to wear, cat toys, colored and i had goldfish, swedish fish and cat cookies. The kids were in heaven. I had about 15 or so. It was so silly that the newspaper felt the NEED to cover it." Newspaper coverage of Napa County Library’s Cat Party: Ain't No Party Like a Cat Party. "The cat ears and the bookmarks i found on pinterest and they were pretty easy and inexpensive! I got 3 packs of headbands at the dollar store, bought black, brown, grey felt sheets and glue guns!"
  • "I was thinking of running a YouTube film festival, complete with red carpet. There are some great animated shorts online that the kids may enjoy but not be aware of. These are some I put together wandering the Web: YouTube Film Festival."
  • "I taught arm knitting! Most were intrigued and some gave up quickly, but the ones that stuck with it came back and helped me teach another class. I had 35 people show up to the first one age 4-70! Just me and yarn."
  • "Crazy Cat party- made cat masks, watched cat videos, made toys for cats, had milk and goldfish crackers. It had a pretty good turn out! We even had them dress in their best cat lady costume for prizes."
  • "On a whim at storytime one day I added a few drops of food coloring to some shaving cream and let the kids go nuts playing in it. I think it was probably their most favorite storytime, ever."
  • "I host a Hobbit 2nd breakfast on Hobbit Day (Sept. 22, I believe) at my academic library. Not very bizarre, as I just do food and tea, but the students seem to enjoy it. You could definitely add activities."
  • "A few years ago I had some people donate non-working computers and the kids and I took them apart while an IT person was on hand to explain what we were finding inside! It was so much fun and the kids each got to take home a piece of computer."
  • "Celebrated National Chicken Dance Day with a chicken craft, pecking for candy corn, and of course a dance through the children's section. Staff wore feather boas and yellow rubber gloves on our feet which then looked a lot like actual chicken feet. Silly fun."

Photo credit: Rapid City Public Library via the Libraries and Librarians group on Flickr [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)]

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How to Handle Disruptive Teens

When teens in your library are behaving disruptively — anything from a group talking loudly or someone overtaking a program — are you at a loss for the best way to handle the situation?

Read Disruptive Teen Patrons: 7 Strategies to Regain Order, Authority, and Your Sanity, in which The 5 Minute Librarian shares tips that cover these situations:

  • Group too rowdy?
  • Teen breaking the rules?
  • Teens are ignoring you?
  • Issues between two teens?
  • Suspect it is a special needs issue?
  • Suggestions to avoid future behavioral problems
  • How to de-escalate any situation

Image credit: Enokson via the Libraries and Librarians group on Flickr [Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)]

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Free Webinars in July

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.

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7 Success Stories You May Have Missed in May

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

⇒ Dennis Callewaert donated over 138 hours of his time to construct and install new bookcases in the The Redgranite Public Library.  He also donated two children's tables that he built. The new bookcases will be used to house the more than $1,500 worth of new children and young adult books that will be purchased by the library's Friends group throughout 2016.

⇒ The Ethel Everhard Memorial Library in Westfield has added a new computer to their kids section that's dedicated solely to running TumbleBooks Unplugged, which provides access to 125 TumbleBooks (picture books with audio), 25 chapter books (with audio), and 20 TumbleGames. "TumbleBooksUNPLUGGED is an offline version of TumbleBookLibrary available exclusively for school and library subscribers."

⇒ The Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake is a demonstration site for raising purple loosestrife-eating Galenrucella beetles this summer. Krista Kamke of Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council — an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) specialist who is dedicated to teaching residents about the many AIS plants and animals degrading Green Lake and Marquette Counties —  gave a presentation at the library about purple loosestrife and the Galenrucella beetles, and she's "looking for individuals who want to help grow enough hungry bugs to put a dent in the loosestrife population. That pretty purple plant is taking over our wetlands, crowding out native vegetation, and leaving nothing for fish and other critters to eat. That's a big problem, but we may have a tiny solution - beetles that eat nothing but invasive purple loosestrife. We're growing them at the library this summer. And you can, too."

⇒ Both Wautoma Public Library and Campbellsport Public Library received money to help support their Summer Library Programs: Wautoma received a $250 donation from Hometown ShopKo, and Campbellsport received a $200 grant from ShopKo.

⇒ The Campbellsport Public Library has collected empty adult beverage bottles that they're inviting people to decorate for their Get in the Spirit fundraiser. Funds earned from this sale will be used to purchase books &  movies and to help support library programming.

⇒ The Spillman Public Library in North Fond du Lac is offering chances to win gift baskets as incentives to join the Library Friends Group.

⇒ The Friends of the Library threw a baby shower for Clairellyn, director of the Princeton Public Library.

Image credit: Princeton Public Library's photo album on Facebook

Sensory Boxes Full of STEM Goodness

The Dothan Houston County Library System in Alabama circulates sensory boxes they call Subjects in a Box, each of which includes a collection of multi-sensory items and resources on topics like insects, dinosaurs, microscopes, fractions, magic, and insects.

The boxes can be checked out from all branches of the library, and you can find them by using the search term SUBTINBOX in their catalog, where you'll find all 33 sensory boxes.  They're made possible through sponsorship by the Friends of the Library.

If you aren't sure what Sensory Boxes are, check out these pins on Pinterest to see examples of the kind of STEM and STEAM sensory boxes you could create at your library.

Hat tip to WebJunctions's May 10th post of Social Library, STEM Edition

Image credit: sunshineandbeyond (Betsy) via Flickr [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

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Free Webinars in June

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.

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