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.

After-Hours Programs for All Ages

The Corvallis-Benton County (Oregon) Public Library (CBCPL) has been hosting after-hours events for all ages called "Takeovers", and three of their staff have provided information you can use on...

  • the origin of the idea for CBCPL’s Takeovers
  • how these events are planned and coordinated
  • tips for any library interested in hosting their own Takeovers, and
  • the ways in which these events tie into the CBCPL mission

The libary's Takeovers involve crafts, video games, Nerf games, and more — all while the library is closed.
Each Takeover event is tailored to a specifc age group (either tweens, teens, or adults) and people from outside that age group are not permitted in the library during the event.

The events enrich participants’ lives through social interaction and play.
The events are intrinsically exciting and they give the specifc age group targeted a sense of ownership of the library space.
The events encourage exploration by bringing many brand new people to the library and introducing them to a range of activities available in our space.
Though these events can feel chaotic, the excitement and energy of everyone involved in Takeovers is uplifting, thrilling, and completely different from what we typically see at library events.

Ripon Public Library has been hosting Nerf Battles since March 2016, and they have both Teens Only (ages12-17) and Adults-only (ages 18+) events on the calendar for this summer.

• Brzozowski, B., Johnson, E., & Kemper Hodge, K. (2018). Library Takeovers: After Hours Nerf Games and More at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. OLA Quarterly, 23(4), 35-39.
• Upcoming Nerf Battles at Ripon Public Library: Teens Only (ages12-17) and Adults-only (ages 18+)

Photo credit: Family Nerf night fosters advocacy


Teen Reading & Discussion Program: Great Stories Club Grant

The American Library Association (ALA) is accepting applications for the Great Stories Club, a grant program in which library workers lead reading and discussion programs with underserved teens in their communities.

Application and guidelines:
Deadline: July 9, 2018

Grantees will receive:

  • 11 paperback copies of up to four book selections (10 to gift to participants; one for discussion leader/library collection)
  • Travel and accommodation expenses paid for one staff member to attend a 1½-day project orientation workshop in Chicago
  • Programming materials, including discussion guides, related reading lists and promotional resources

Watch this webinar recording to get...

  • An overview of the Great Stories Club program and application process
  • A review of the grant requirements
  • Instructions for the online application process, including the option to apply for two Great Stories Club grants at once and select 3-4 books from a longer reading list
  • Strategies for establishing or stengthening a community outreach partnership

Working with small groups of approximately 10 teens, grantees will host reading and discussion programs for up to four thematically related books. The titles — selected in consultation with librarian advisors and humanities scholars — are chosen to resonate with reluctant readers struggling with complex issues like academic probation, detention, incarceration, violence and poverty.

All types of libraries are eligible, as long as they work in partnership with, or are located within, organizations that serve under-resourced youth, such as alternative high schools, juvenile justice organizations, homeless shelters, foster care agencies, teen parenting programs, residential treatment facilities and other nonprofit and community agencies. Libraries located in high-poverty communities are also eligible to apply, though outreach partnerships with youth-focused organizations are still encouraged.

Apply now for the Great Stories Club, a reading and discussion programs for underserved teens
Great Stories Club website
webinar recording

Photo credit: Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, KS via Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0); photo was modified by cropping and resizing image

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.


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.


Let Patrons Create a Poet-Tree

How do you share a love for words, poetry, and expression with patrons who think poetry is boring?  A "Poet Tree" is part "stealth programming" and part National Poetry Month display, that can appeal to all ages.

The idea of the poet-tree is to create a space where patrons of all ages can celebrate poetry by writing and sharing it.
Encourage members to write original poems or copy them from your library's poetry collection onto index cards or die-cut leaves.
As people walk by, they can add to the poetry or simply read the poems that others have shared.

Your tree can be made of construction paper posted on a bulletin board, or "a small potted tree, a fake tree that you buy, or a makeshift tree you cobble together. Feel free to use your library's Christmas tree or a shrubbery of some sort. The tree needs to be able to stand alone and provide branches on which to hang things." Get more tree ideas from Lindsey Dunn here.

You can download free printable leaves from FirstPalette for a variety of shapes and sizes that include maple leaves, oak leaves, oval-shaped leaves, heart-shaped leaves, and star-shaped leaves. And download a free ready-to-display poster from the NoveList Book Squad you can use to encourage patrons to "leaf" the tree.

Lindsey says, "In short, having a poet-tree can encourage participation, increase circulation numbers of the poetry collection, create material for participation in library programs, and stimulate conversations between staff members and library patrons. It's a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month!"

Source: Steal this idea: Read and share a poem on the poet-tree, by Lindsey Dunn at the NoveList blog
Image credit: NoveList Book Squad (PDF)


Bite-Size Learning Videos

Take 20 minutes to view one of the bite-sized training videos in the new Digital Bytes series, created by the Wisconsin Valley Library Service.

Each topic is broken into short lessons, meant to be practical and applicable to any size of library. Each one consists of a video, a Digital Byte Training Guide, and links to Further Reading that supplement the recording.

The series so far includes these three topics:

  1. Customer Service: The Role of Body Language
    "This byte focuses on customer service in the library, and more specifically, how body language and facial expressions can have an impact on the service we provide."
  2. Customer Service: The Role of Positive Language
    "This byte focuses on how using positive language can improve library service. What phrases should we be using regularly? Which ones should we avoid?"
  3. Customer Service, Phone and Email Tips
    "This byte focuses on customer service in the library, and more specifically, how we can best communicate with patrons and colleagues over the phone and via email."

The trainings are meant to be viewed as bite-sized pieces, and at least two are planned to be released each month.

Source: Digital Bytes: Bite-Sized Training Coming Next Week

CCBC Spring Book Sale This Saturday, April 7

Drive to Madison this Saturday for bargains on new & gently-used books at the Friends of the CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center) Spring Book Sale.

Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018
   8–9am: Friends of the CCBC members only (but anyone can join at door)
   9am–1pm: everyone welcome
Location: Room 401 Teacher Education Building (CCBC Conference Room), 225 N. Mills St. on the UW-Madison Campus (map and parking information)

$4 hardcover picture books and non-fiction ($3 Friends members)
$2 paperbacks  ($1 Friends members)
$2 hardcover fiction and board books (everyone)
Noon  -  1 p.m.  All books $1!

We will be restocking the sale at least once on Saturday, so don't worry if you can't get there right away!

What payment methods are accepted?
Cash, check, or institutional purchase order (you must have your institution or district’s tax exempt number, if applicable. Your institution will then be billed).
No credit cards accepted.

This sale features hundreds of new and gently-used children's and young adult books.
The sale will include hardcover trade, formula nonfiction, and paperback reprints.

All proceeds benefit the Friends of the CCBC, Inc., which supports the work of the Cooperative Children's Book Center, a library serving pre-service and practicing librarians and teachers across Wisconsin.

Source: Friends of the CCBC
Image credit: Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons

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