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.

Eye-Catching Images for Facebook Posts

When you need an attention-getting mage to add to a Facebook post, consider checking the Librarian Memes group. It's a closed group, but from your Facebook account just click the +Join Group button in order to see memes, join the discussion, post, and comment.

I've been a member of the group for a while, and in my Facebook news feed on Saturday I loved seeing Berlin (WI) Public Library's post about their book sale, and scrolling down in my news feed I soon saw the same image posted only minutes before by a member of the Librarian Memes group!

Here's the description of the Librarian Memes group:

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH LIBERTARIAN MEMES This is a group for sharing all your library, school, and learning memes! Invite your friends!
Hey guys just a few rules!
1. If you like something try to comment a nice compliment
2. Keep it friendly (I know how heated us librarians can get)
3. Remember above all HAVE FUN

Share and enjoy!

Autumn & Halloween Book Display Ideas

Need ideas for autumn-themed book displays? Here are some sources of inspiration:

After all, you can’t spell book without BOO!

photo credit: Pumpkin Book Display by Brian Herzog via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Grant Funds Available for Serving Patrons on the Autism Spectrum

Applications are being accepted for the Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More" grant now through December 1, 2018.

Application deadline: December 1, 2018
Grant funding period: April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020
Winner(s) will be notified: March 1, 2019

Each year, a total of $5,000.00 will be awarded. Depending on the applications received, one grant for the full amount or multiple grants for smaller amounts totaling $5,000.00 may be awarded.
Any type of library in the United States or Canada can apply, and the proposal can fund projects and services for any age group.
Applicants may propose to ...
• initiate a new, creative program or service
• bring an already-existing, successful program or service to their library for the first time, or
• enhance a program or service they already offer
All programs or services proposed must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly.
Funds may be used to hire a trainer to present a workshop, to buy program materials, to pay for staff, etc.

Download the application and other grant documents:

In addition, you can see previous grant winners' projects and materials.

The "Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More" grant is sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We're Connected.

Logo source: Libraries and Autism: We're Connected

Star Wars Jedi Training

When “Star Wars Jedi Training” was offered at the Brewer Public Library (Richland Center, WI) Emily Zorea says, "it was a big hit!"

We offered this on Monday evening and again on Tuesday morning! One prep and set-up for two huge program days! And, only one clean up on Tuesday after the program was done! Horray!
The costs were incredibly low and families wanted to stay at the library playing with all the activity stations for about 90 minutes, significantly longer than many parents/kids usually have the patience for with a room filled with excited people! That alone was a great sign!

Participants could "learn how to use the force to wield lightsabers, discover their Star Wars name, design their own ship, shoot down Storm Troopers, assist in a mission to destroy the Death Star and build their own droid."

Emily generously shared details at her Sowing Seeds Librarian blog, where you can get ideas you can use:

  • learn what was offered and see photos of all 8 activity stations
  • see what each of the materials cost

If you're planning events for Star Wars Reads Day or want ideas for space-themed events for 2019 Summer Library Program activities, reading Emily's post is worth your time.

Source: Youth Services Shout-Out: YSS Blog
Image credit: The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek from Los Angeles, CA, USA (Star Wars Celebration V - Jedi Training Academy) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons


Fall Themed STEAM Activities for Kids

Take a look at Hands-on Fall STEAM Activities for Kids to find low-cost projects and stealth programs you can provide at your library this autumn.

Categories of activities include:

  • pumpkins
    • one example: Pumpkin Pie Spice Play Dough
  • leaves
    • one example: Leaf Rubbings
  • apples
    • one example: Why Do Apples Turn Brown?
  • Indian corn
    • one example: Pop Indian Corn right on the cob

Source: the Left Brain Craft Brain blog
Image credit: Providence Doucet on Unsplash


Fundraising & Grantseeking Resource

Looking for sources of grant funding for your library's programs and services? You can access the searchable grant and funder databases that are part of a Funding Information Network (FIN) location in Appleton.

Lawrence University has partnered with the Oshkosh Area United Way, Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, and United Way Fox Cities to bring a Funding Information Network location to northeast Wisconsin.

Funding Information Network resources are available free of charge to the public, but they're only on computers inside the Seeley G. Mudd Library on the Lawrence University campus, located at 113 S Lawe St, in Appleton.

If you want to learn how to use the Funding Information Network databases, you can sign up to attend this workshop:

Introduction to the Funding Information Network Workshop
date: October 19, 2018
time: 11am - 12:30pm
location: Seeley G Mudd Library at Lawrence University, 113 S Lawe St, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911
Registration is required to reserve your seat: register by emailing Svetlana Belova at 

The library is located on the southwest corner of College Avenue and Lawe Street just east of downtown Appleton. The closest parking is next to the Lawrence Memorial Chapel (across College Ave. from the library). This map should help you find it.

Databases available through the Funding Information Network:

  • Foundation Directory Online
    An unprecedented wealth of timely, comprehensive information on grantmakers and their grants. Included is a database of the entire universe of over 108,000 foundations, corporate giving programs, and grantmaking public charities in the U.S., plus a growing number of non-U.S. grantmakers from around the world; a database of over 4,000 sponsoring companies, offering a quick pathway to corporate funders; a database of over 3 million recently awarded grants; and a keyword-searchable database of over 1 million recently filed IRS Forms 990 and 990-PF.
  • Foundation Grants to Individuals
    The premier funding research tool for finding foundations that provide financial support for individual grantseekers. It describes giving for a variety of purposes, including scholarships, student loans, fellowships, program development, internships, professorships, arts and cultural projects, research, awards/grants by nomination only and general welfare. It is intended to be both a grantseeker's guide and a reference tool for those interested in foundation giving to individuals.
  • Foundation Maps
    The Foundation Center's premier data visualization tool and the easiest way to see who is funding what and where around the world. With millions of grants from 2006 to the present, innovative ways to visualize funding data, and the flexibility and precision to tailor research, helps funders and nonprofits access the knowledge they need to make strategic decisions and strengthen their impact.

• Seeley G Mudd Library at Lawrence University's event on Facebook
Funding Information Network page on the Mudd website


Free Marketing Materials for Library Card Sign-up Month

As honorary chairs of Library Card Sign-up Month, Disney Pixar's superhero family, the Incredibles, are using their superpowers to promote the value of a library card this September.

Library Card Sign-up Month artwork and media tools are free and can be downloaded from ALA's Library Card Sign-up Month webpage. The webpage also includes media tools for libraries to help remind the public of all the resources available with a library card.

The artwork includes:

  • social media graphics, including a Facebook cover image
  • posters
  • customizable library cards
  • billboards.

The media tools include:

  • sample press releases (English and Spanish)
  • proclamations (English and Spanish)
  • radio PSA scripts.(English and Spanish)
  • sample tweets

Posters, stickers and bookmarks "starring" the Incredibles are available for purchase through the ALA Store.

Library Card Sign-up Month is a time to bring attention to the supportive role libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and communities through education. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries join together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

“Incredibles 2” was released in theaters on June 15. Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together. This past May, the new picture book “Incredibles 2: Sweet Dreams: Jack-Jack” was released. It follows the youngest member of the Incredibles – Jack-Jack – as he makes mischief.

Source: Library Card Sign-up Month artwork starring the Incredibles now available

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