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.

Free Webinars in March

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.


19 Webinars in 3 Days: Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference

The 5th annual Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is full of great stuff, and you don't need to drive anywhere to attend it — participate from your office, home, or on the go.

19 one-hour sessions are scheduled over three days: Tuesday, January 24 through Thursday January 26, 2017. In addition to keynotes and a closing session, there are concurrent sessions in 5 tracks:

  • small but mighty — 3 webinars geared toward staff who work in small and rural libraries
  • staff empowerment — 3 webinars geared toward staff who want to feel self-empowered with patrons and employees
  • tech trends — 4 webinars on the topics of trends, tools, makerspaces, and coding
  • library leadership  — 3 webinars geared toward library managers or directors
  • youth services — 3 webinars geared toward those who work with children, tweens and teens

Attend as many sessions as you'd like; they'll all be recorded so you can watch any that you might miss. Here's the schedule:

Tuesday, January 24:    
Sustainable Thinking For the Future of Libraries (keynote) 1 - 2pm register
Wednesday, January 25:    
Staying Well @ Your Library 9 - 10am register
Web Trends to Watch in 2017 9 - 10am register
Teaching Patrons to be Successful in the Library 10:30 - 11:30am register
Absolutely Free (and Practically Unknown) Online Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed 10:30 - 11:30am register
Dream Big, Learn Code 1 - 2pm register
Talking to Teens About Books 1 - 2pm register
The Idea Studio: More Than Just a Makerspace 2:30 - 3:30pm register
Planning & Evaluating Programs & Services for Youth 2:30 - 3:30pm register
People Have the Power 4 - 5pm register
How the Boston Public Library Designed Their New Children's Library to Provide Modern-Day Services for Kids 4 - 5pm register
Thursday, January 26:    
How to Do the Extra Mile (When You’re Running on Empty) 9 - 10am register
Implementing Core Competencies for Your Library Staff 10:30 - 11:30am register
Library Maintenance DIY 10:30 - 11:30am register
On My Honor: Creating an Ethical Work Environment 1 - 2pm register
The Myth of a Work-Life Balance for a Small Library Director 1 - 2pm register
You Can Do It: Coaching and Disciplining Library Employees 2:30 - 3:30pm register
Dealing with Challenging Patrons: Safety and Security in Our Libraries 2:30 - 3:30pm register
Trigger Decks: 5 mini-presentations by 5 presenters 4 - 5pm register

Contact hours for continuing education toward public librarian re-certification: 1 per webinar; some sessions may qualify as technology-related activities.  All sessions will be recorded, and will be available for viewing here soon after each session.

To participate: all you need for the visual is either...
• an internet-connected computer; you can test your computer & connection ahead of time, or
• an iPhone®, iPad® or Android® device; just download the free GoToWebinar app ahead of time
For the audio, either...
• headphones, earbuds, or speakers connected to your computer, or
• use a telephone or speakerphone to call in (long distance rates apply)

New to webinars? 
• Download the Attendee Guide so you'll know what to expect. 
•  As soon as you register for a webinar, a confirmation email will be sent to you that contains a link to join the webinar at the appointed date and time.
• You'll receive an email reminder prior to each webinar, which will have a link which reads, "Click here to join" — this is the link you'll click to connect to a session.
• Before joining a webinar session, please turn off any other software or processes on your computer that would compete with your Internet bandwidth. (Programs like automatic updates, instant messaging, email, etc., if running during the webinar, may degrade the quality of the webinar's audio and video.)

The Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference is a state-wide virtual conference developed by the Nicolet Federated Library System and supported by 15 other library systems and the DPI in Wisconsin. Because of this collaboration, all sessions are available to you at no cost.


Getting Ready for Teen Tech Week, March 5th-11th

Teen Tech Week™ is March 5–11, 2017 and the theme is "Be the Source of Change".

Use these free tools to make Teen Tech Week a success at your library:

Teen Tech Week is a national initiative sponsored by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (a division of the American Library Association) that's aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of Teen Tech Week is to ensure that teens are competent and ethical users of digital media, especially the nonprint resources offered through libraries, such as e-books, e-readers, databases, audiobooks, and social media.

Millions of teens do not have access to a home computer and, were it not for libraries, would miss opportunities to gain important digital literacy skills.  Libraries offer a bridge across the digital divide.Libraries also recognize that digital media plays an important part in a teens’ life.  That is why more libraries than ever are helping teens build critical digital literacy skills, which they will use to obtain scholarships, secure jobs, effectively manage their online identity and more. 

Image credit for Teen Tech™ week logo: YALSA


Fine Forgiveness Week Idea: Wipe Out Your Fines

For your library's next "fine forgiveness" week, instead of a "food for fines" exchange, consider doing a "wipe out your fines" program to collect donations for your community's food pantry or homeless shelter.

The idea comes from a post on the ALA Think Tank Facebook group, where Michele said ...

We had a "Wipe Out Your Fines" program last week. We collected 583 rolls of toilet paper to pay for $380 in fines. The toilet paper is going to our local rescue mission.

Ask your local food pantry, homeless shelter, or Red Cross office what items they need most.  Unlike food donations, paper products don't have an expiration date, and (as long as the items are "new in package"), there's no question about what does and what doesn't qualify as a valid donation to "wipe out" a person's fines.

Photo credit: Domas via Morguefile


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.


8 Success Stories You May Have Missed in November

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

Renovations to the lower level of the Caestecker Public Library in Green Lake are underway: improvements include a larger program/meeting room with a screen & projector, a hearing loop, restrooms, and an upgrade to the book sale area. The Caestecker Library Foundation is paying for the bulk of the renovations, and the Friends of the Library and the Library Board have also contributed funds.  Because this renovated space will need furniture (90 chairs and 25 tables), they set up a donaton page at Crowdwise and kicked off a "Save a Seat For Me!" fundraising campaign they hope will raise $25,000 by the end of 2016; it must be working, because in just 2 weeks they reached 18% ($4500) of their $25,000 goal.

⇒ In honor of No-Shave November and the gun deer hunting season, Winneconne Public Library partnered with the Winneconne Mens Club to host a Beard & Moustache Contest. Local celebrity judges chose winners in the categories of beard artistry, moustache artistry, "Santa, Is that You?", "Go Big or Go Home", celebrity lookalike, and people's choice award. The library also partnered with Bare Bones Brewery to provide a "Beer Barrel Little Free Library that will be located in the brewery. Library Staff member Tracy Aerts' husband Dave graciously agreed to craft book shelving inside a large barrel from Bare Bones Brewery." After the Beard & Moustache Contest judging on November 19th, the completed Beer Barrel Little Free Library was officially placed in the brewery.

⇒ Pillar & Vine, a foster care agency in Brandon, donated 2 laptop computers to the Brandon Public Library. "One of the two donated laptops will be used by staff for workshops, projects and mobile work, while the other will be added to the public stations." Pillar & Vine has been a supporter of the library since the foster care agency was establishment in 2014. In addition, the library received a grant through the Fond du Lac Area Foundation in a partnership through Marian University to purchase two more laptops for public use.

⇒ The Endeavor Library hosted a book talk and signing for local author Kristin Oakley. She's writing a series of novels set in a fictional rural town of Endeavor, which is is loosely based on the real Endeavor, "and there are some references to Endeavor that you will recognize" as you read her latest book.

⇒ The first time the Carter Memorial Library in Omro hosted "The Story of the Foote Mansion" presentation by local historian & former Eureka resident Dan Butkiewicz, it was standing room only in the library's meeting room. Back by popular demand, the library's encore presentation was again filled to capacity with attendees!

⇒ As part of fundraising for Princeton Public Library's expansion project, they've set up a GoFundMe page to collect donations online. To spread the word, they will forgive up to $10 in fines for those who share the link on Facebook.

Bilingual storytimes and crafts at the Wautoma Public Library are "accessible to patrons who speak Spanish, English, or a little of both."  The Elisha D. Smith Public Library in Menasha is offering bilingual storytimes as well.

⇒ Oshkosh Public Library is conducting a 3-month social media hashtag campaign called #myOshkoshLibrary, which encourages library users to post photos of themselves using the library in the building, at home, work or anywhere in the community. People are invited to 1) take a photo that shows how the library fits into your life; 2) like OPL's Facebook page or follow OPL on Twitter; 3) upload to Twitter with the #myOshkoshLibrary hashtag; 4) or post photos to OPL's Facebook page with #myOshkoshLibrary and @oshkoshlibrary. The goals for the campaign include "increasing engagement with the public via Twitter and Facebook, highlighting the different ways that people use the library (supporting our vision: A Library in Every Life), and fostering a feeling of ownership

Image credit: Wautoma Public Library's Harry Potter Party photo album on Facebook

Free Paper Snowflake Patterns: Star Wars, Frozen, and Guardians of the Galaxy

Because nothing says Christmas quite like R2D2, BB8, and Chewbacca, you can download free snowflake patterns as a craft your tweens and teens can make.

Each snowflake portrays a different character or spaceship from "Star Wars", "Frozen", or "Guardians of the Galaxy". You can download a set of patterns as one zip file, or get just the PDFs you want.

Here's where to get them:

Anthony provides a How To Fold and Cut the Snowflakes video tutorial you and your crafting patrons can watch.  Supplies needed: paper, scissors, a sharp X-ACTO knife, a good cutting surface, and patience.

You can share your tweens' and teens' snowflake creations on your library's Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter accounts using the hashtag #starwarssnowflakes.

These designs are provided FREE to everyone to use to make themselves snowflakes. You may NOT use any of these designs for resale purposes, including producing other types of products using these designs.

Hat tip: DIY ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Paper Snowflake Patterns for the 2016 Christmas Season at Laughing Squid

BB8 snowflake image from Star Wars Snowflakes 2015

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