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.

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)]


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.


10 Success Stories You May Have Missed in April

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

⇒ The Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake has started Family History Fridays on every third Friday afternoon of the month. The library's genealogy enthusiast "will offer tips, advice, and her expertise in untangling those often complicated family ties. Census records, ship registries, online databases – Margie knows them all and can help you learn them, too. Whether you’re new to learning about your ancestors or have been tracing your family tree for years, she’s here to help you fill in the gaps."

⇒ The Oakfield Public Library collaborated with the the Bank of Oakfield to hold an evening of privacy education. "Laura Fay, Agency Liaison with the WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection’s Office of Privacy Protection will ... offer tips and resources about online safety and how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft. In addition to Fay’s presentation, the event will include secure document destruction for up to 2 boxes per person.  The Shred-It shredding service is provided courtesy of the Bank of Oakfield."

⇒ Berlin Public Library's patrons have grown a Communi-Tree: "When you stop by the library during the month of April, please write down why you enjoy the library or the community of Berlin on a paper leaf to add to our tree." By the end of April, the Communi-Tree had grown over 150 leaves — a sure sign of support for the library, and of spring!

⇒ On Thursdays in May, Menasha Public Library is providing English - Spanish Bilingual Storytimes for preschoolers.  "Come to listen, move, sing and share songs, stories and activities in both languages."  Niños de 0 a 6 años están invitados a escuchar, bailar, cantar y compartir historias y actividades en ambos idiomas.

⇒ The Endeavor Public Library began a book club for teens & tweens who are homeschooled: "... even if your child does not get to read it before the meeting, come anyway! There will still be ways to interact and enjoy the meeting, and we'll get you caught up for the next meeting."

⇒ Campbellsport Public Library held their first Seniors' Opportunity Fair, at which 28 exhibitors displayed information of value to senior citizens.

⇒ The Pine River Library of Leon & Saxeville has partnered with Waushara County Parks to develop a StoryWalk at Willow Creek County Park, to combine physical activity with literacy. "Watch a story unfold as you walk through the park! Follow the marked Trail and read the pages as you walk. Each story will be displayed for 30 days. Please come back often to read the next one."

⇒ The Poy Sippi Public Library is running four "Kindle Your Reading" Raffles as fundraisers. The prize given to the winner of each raffle is an Amazon Kindle Fire color screen tablet; tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.

⇒ Brandon Public Library is inviting readers to Book A Trip with their new year-round reading program: "We have logs with maps available for everyone, and all you have to do is read books. Fill in the book title of each state on your Book a Trip log as you read a book that either takes place in that state, is about that state, or is by an author who is from that state."  "We have a huge map of the United States here at the library, and when you check off a state on your reading log, you can come in and get a colored dot from one of our friendly staff, then go put it on the state you’ve just finished! We can all have fun watching as Brandon Library readers read their way across the USA!"

⇒ "On April 15, thanks to generous donations of $2,000 each from Ahern and Fond du Lac Firefighters Local 400 Charitable Fund, patrons of the Fond du Lac Public Library could “extinguish” their fines. Any overdue items turned in that day – no matter how late – were accepted and the fines wiped out. The Fire Dept. brought fire trucks to the library and allowed kids to climb inside."

Image credit: Berlin Public Library's post on Facebook


Self-Directed Program Ideas for a Busy Month of May

Because you're probably busy gearing up for summer library program activities, you might be in the mood for some stealth / passive / unprogramming / self-directed program ideas.

Here are suggestions for activities that kids and teens will enjoy, that don't require a lot of work on your part:

Photo credit: Becky Arenivar, Prescott Public Library


Free Webinars in May

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.


7 Success Stories You May Have Missed in March

Pretty Pallet Project silent auction fundraiserHere are great ideas and good news from around the Winnefox Library System:

⇒ The Friends of the Caestecker Library provided the funds to purchase a bird monitoring kit for groups to reserve & check out. "Green Lake County now has a bird monitoring kit available for groups to check out from the Caestecker Public Library. Developed by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, the kit contains 15 pairs of binoculars, a spotting scope and tripod, five copies of Birds of North America field guide by Kenn Kaufman, an educator’s guide with suggested activities, and other bird identification literature. The bird monitoring kit is suitable for use by scouts, 4-H, school, and adult groups, and will check out for up to one week. There is no charge for using the bird monitoring kit if everything is returned in good condition."

⇒ The Mill Pond Public Library in Kingston's next fundraiser is Pretty Pallet Projects. "Wood pallets have long been vital to shipping processes. Much more recently, they have become popular for home and outdoor projects. It's not hard to see why. Pallet wood is cheaper than regular wood, and using it is a form of recycling. Perhaps more important than that though, is a pallet's character. All wood is unique, but pallets  add to that a patina if you will. They are weathered. They are distressed. They are aged. They have served a purpose and are ready for more. And more is what the library is hoping for! You can stop in and take a pallet home today, to create a unique and rustic piece of furniture, or a fun piece of garden art, or maybe a great storage solution." Local business Dalton Lumber donated the large pallets to the library for the project. The library will hold a silent auction for pallet projects from April 25 - May 7; money raised from the project will go toward purchasing new shelving.

⇒ The Berlin Public Library Friends group began a fundraising effort by placing a donation board next to the book drop: "If you donate one of the amounts listed on the donation board by putting money in the owl bank at the circulation desk, you will get a white sticker to place over the amount you gave. Help us "white out" the board for more programs, activities, materials, and events at the library!"

⇒ The Winneconne Public Library held a Make & Take Fleece Dog Toy family program that benefitted the Neenah Animal Shelter. Participants were invited to make fleece tug toys for their pet, and also make toys that the library donated to the Shelter.

⇒ Brandon Public Library celebrated its 103 anniversary with a customer appreciation day, serving brats (donated by local business Brandon Meats) and cake.

⇒ Campbellsport Public Library hosted a painted board workshop, at which 25 participants created decorative wall hangings. "This workshop was so popular we scheduled a second one that will take place on Monday, April 18th."

⇒ The annual Easter egg hunt at Poy Sippi Public Library was well-attended: "57 kids, 1390 eggs, 30 raffle prizes and the eggs were all found in about 15 minutes." Local businesses & organizations Loyal 4H Club, Poy Sippi Auto Center, Country Rose, 1st National Bank and the Poy Sippi Lions Club donated prizes.

Image credit: Mill Pond Public Library's photo on Facebook

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