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.

STEM Programs on a Tiny Budget

Emily Zorea's "STEM Programming on a Budget: Planning High Interest Programs to Engage Families and Youth" presentation at the 2017 WAPL Conference was great! Not only does Emily have tons of good ideas, but those who were in the audience shared lots of creative ideas too.

...  I try to plan all programs for $.30 a child, and usually less.
We offer STEM each month on the 2nd and 4th Mondays since September of 2016. This consistency has helped our numbers and brought new families into the library.
I think the main reason why our STEM programs are successful is because they always feature an introduction (10-15 minutes) where I & a guest speak about our topic for that workshop. Then, for the rest of the time (30-45 minutes) the kids and families are able to participate in highly hands-on activities to experiment with the topic!

Go straight to Emily's Kids' Stem Workshops post on her Sowing Seeds Librarian blog to find how you can do these programs:

  • Bridge Engineering with Newspaper
  • Float or Won’t: Boat Building
  • Marble Maze (Push and Pull Physics)
  • Marshmallow Igloos
  • Straw Towers
  • Toilet Paper Mummies
  • Bats in flight
  • Binary Code
  • KEVA Brain Builders
  • Bridge Engineering with Legos and Engino Pieces
  • Computer Coding with Scratch
  • Catapults
  • Engino Simple Machines

You can see Emily's WAPL presentation slides, too.

And go to Program Handouts to get handouts from these other WAPL Conference presentations as well:

  • It's Not Just the Facts, Ma'am?: Creating and Marketing a Dynamite Youth Non-Fiction Collection
  • The Myth of Work-Life Balance for Library Leaders
  • This is a No Hit Zone: Promoting Healthy Kids and Safer Communities at Your Library
  • Talk It Up! Non-Fiction!
  • Teach and Be Taught: Teens in Your Library
  • Care and Feeding of the Entrepreneur
  • Sound Learning: Read-Alongs Enhancing Literacy Development
  • Genre Fiction Roundup
  • Do You Have a Grief Section? Readers Advisory to the Bereaved and in Crisis

photo credit: Straw Tower Tennis Ball Challenge by Wesley Fryer, Creative Commons license Attribution 2.0 Generic

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Old Book Drops: How to Upcycle

Andrea shared this tip for a great way to upcycle a library's book drop:

Montello Public Library recently donated their old outdoor book drop to the local American Legion Post 351. A helpful volunteer cleaned it up, made minor repairs and painted it to become a drop box for used flags!  What a great repurposing project! And... the library didn't have to pay to dispose of the box. This is a great reminder that collaboration with other organizations helps everyone.

Thank you, Andrea!

Are you like Andrea, and have something you want to share with other libraries? Use this form to contribute tips, send photos, or suggest ideas for posts!

Sources:
Updated photo of the flag drop, with decals! on Montello Public Library's Facebook page
Look at this! on Montello Public Library's Facebook page
Updated photo of the flag drop, with decals! on Montello American Legion Post 351's Facebook page

Two Grants to Apply For This Month

Here are two grant opportunities which you can apply for in May:

Youth Literacy Grants from Dollar General
Grant amount: $4000 maximum
Deadline: May 18, 2017
"... to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas: implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs; purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives; and purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs."
Application form

Best Buy Foundation Community Grants
Grant amount: $4000 - $6000
Deadline: May 19, 2017
Eligible nonprofits include libraries that "provide teens with places and opportunities to develop 21st century technology skills that will inspire future education and career choices. Examples of program activities include: computer programming, digital imaging (photography, graphic design, and videography), music production, robotics, and gaming and mobile app development." Libraries located within 25 miles of a Best Buy store, distribution center, or service center may apply.
Details and Eligibility Quiz

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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.

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Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation Grant Awards $1000 Every Month

Each month, Library Pipeline’s Innovation Committee will give $1000 to a project that suggests creative solutions, proposes a new way of thinking about library services, and supports underserved and diverse communities.

The Innovation in Libraries Awesome Foundation chapter accepts grant proposals for both technical and non-technical library innovations that embody the principles of diversity, inclusivity, creativity, and risk-taking. For more information, visit the Awesome Foundation website or check out our funding criteria. To apply, submit your application on the Awesome Foundation website.

Grant applications are due by the 15th of each month, with awardees announced by the 1st of the following month.

If you have an awesome library project that fits within their criteria, they want your application!

"Award recipients will be asked to report back publicly on what worked, what didn’t, and what they learned – as well as to make the results of their efforts openly available to others to reuse in communities across the world."

sources:
Library Pipeline launches grassroots funding effort to support innovation in libraries
Innovation in Libraries Grant
Innovation in Libraries

hat tip: Merrilee Proffitt's tweet

photo credit: Kevin Jarrett via Flickr (Creative Commons licence Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic)

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SLP Activities Ideas

The Collaborative Summer Library Program has three Pinterest boards full of ideas for your library's early literacy, children's, teen, and adult summer reading program activities on the theme of Build a Better World.

  • Children's and Early Literacy
    • you'll find ideas like a LEGO Duplo and Pool Noodle Marble Run; how to Design a Paper Plate Marble Maze; and Five Engineering Challenges with Clothespins, Binder Clips, and Craft Sticks
  • Teens and Tweens
    • you'll find ideas like Simple Stained Glass for Beginners; a No Sew Tie Fleece Quilt Blanket; and how to Turn a T-Shirt into a Tote Bag Without Sewing
  • Adults
    • you'll find ideas like Police Officer Appreciation bags; Paper Flower Bouquets; and Art in a Jar

And Marge Loch-Wouters has a Pinterest board with some more great SLP 2017 ideas, too.

Photo credit: Washington State Library via Flickr (Creative Commons licence Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic)

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Collection Development Webinars This Spring & Fall

Take an hour or two to learn about improving your library's collection, weeding materials, making the most of your book budget by choosing wisely, and letting others know how great your collection is by attending any or all of the webinars in this 5-part Collection Development webinar series.

Register for one, all five, or anything in between!  You can attend these webinars from your library, home, or on the go. If you aren't available to participate in a live webinar, each session will be archived and available for viewing afterwards.

Making a Collection Count
April 19, 10 - 11 am
We will discuss collection development policies that balance popular with well-rounded content, reflect diversity and inclusion, and provide methods for dealing with (and avoiding) challenges. This session talks about how to measure a collection's quality. This includes the benefits and methods of taking a physical inventory, analyzing collection procedures and workflows, and the life cycle of a collection. Our holistic approach to collection management will help all types and sizes of libraries to keep pace with the demands and expectations of their communities. 
Presenters: Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly
Continuing education contact hours: 1
Register here

Adult Selection Tools
May 12, 1 - 2 pm
Learn some tips and tools for keeping on top of selection, including a focus on nonfiction, non-traditional resources, and how to make things work in a small library. 
Presenters: Sarah Statz Cords, Michael Nitz, and Elizabeth Timmins
Continuing education contact hours: 1
Register here

Tips for Building a Well-Rounded Collection for Youth
September 7, 1 -2 pm
How do you keep on top of the avalanche of materials being produced for kids and teens? How can you make sure you are finding the best materials for your collection and your community? Collection budgets are rarely as big as we want them to be, so how can you make the best use of resources? And what about the salespeople? Join Shelly and Sue for a lively discussion of the tips and tools they recommend. 
Presenters: Sue Abrahamson and Shelly Collins Fuerbringer
Continuing education contact hours: 1
Register here

Data-Informed Collection Development
October 26, 10 - 11 am
Do you like language and stories far more than numbers and statistics? Do your feel like data is dull and uninspiring? Get ready to change your thinking and begin uncovering the clues that data can reveal for you! Join us for an exploration of Data-Informed Collection Development. (It is so much more exciting than it sounds…) It’s NOT about fancy data collection tools, it IS about using the basic data you have access to help you make informed decisions when developing and maintaining your collection. It’s about interpreting your data, rather than just blindly following the numbers. It’s about discovering correlations and connections that drive planning and decision-making.
Presenter: Shanneon Grant
Continuing education contact hours: 1
Register here

Promoting Your Collection:  Merchandising and More
November 3, 10 – 11:30 am
Collections are the mainstays of libraries. After spending lots of money and time curating, processing, and making them available, you may think the work is done. But there’s one more vital step — promoting them! This final webinar of our series will help you go beyond basic book displays and posters. You’ll hear about using book talks and shelf-talkers, and will learn ways to publicize your collections outside of your buildings. This webinar will focus most on merchandising — what it really is, and how to do it effectively enough to boost your circulation. It will feature many colorful photos of great signage and merchandising from libraries around the world to get your creative ideas flowing. 
Presenter: Kathy Dempsey
Continuing education contact hours: 1.5
Register here

This webinar series is sponsored by Indianhead Federated Library System, Lakeshores Library System, Manitowoc-Calumet Library System, Nicolet Federated Library System, Northern Waters Library Service, Outagamie Waupaca Library System, South Central Library System, Southwest Wisconsin Library System, Winding Rivers Library System, Wisconsin Valley Library Service, and Winnefox Library System.

photo credit: Curtis Cronn via Flickr, Creative Commons license Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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