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 April

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 Graphics for Displays & Posters: Libraries Are For Everyone

Rebecca McCorkindale (assistant director at Gretna Public Library in Nebraska) has designed a set of "Libraries Are For Everyone" images that she invites us to download and use freely! 

You can use them to create displays of books on empathy & being a good neighbor, print posters, and post on Facebook & your website to spread the word that your library is an inclusive place.

The images have been translated into 47 languages, including Spanish, Hmong, and even Klingon!

Libraries are the heart of a community, for anyone and everyone that lives there, regardless of their background

The images are under a Creative Commons Attribute/Share Alike license, and Rebecca says, "... I both want and encourage everyone to download, share, modify, and have fun with my work!"

Libraries Are For Everyone
Libraries Are For Everyone: An Epic Correction
Libraries Are For Everyone: Epic Rainbow
Why these librarians are protesting Trump’s executive orders, PBS Newshour: Art Beat

Construction Zone Sensory Bin for Preschoolers

Here's an idea for creating a simple construction zone sensory bin that provides "stealth programming" to fit this year's SLP theme of "Build A Better World," and helps preschool children develop fine motor skills:

Display tip: place construction-themed books near the bin, like Pete The Cat Construction Destruction and Roadwork.

To set up the construction zone sensory bin, Nicole used these low-cost supplies:

  • plastic construction vehicles
  • large plastic bin
  • pebble rocks
  • alphabet rocks

Boulders and pebble rocks were loaded into the dump trucks.
Rocks were pushed and lifted and moved.
Ramps were built with the boulders to help the trucks get where they needed to go.
Imaginative conversation was occurring too. Vehicles were chatting. Pretend workers were arguing over the work that needed to be accomplished.

Source & image credit: Simple Construction Zone Sensory Bin, Modern Preschool blog

7 Grants You Can Apply for this Spring

Here are grants for which your library can apply; they're arranged by the soonest application deadlines first:

NASA@ My Library STEM Initiative

75 public libraries will be selected to become NASA@ My Library Partners and participate in the 18-month project, with the opportunity to extend for an additional two-year period.
"Public libraries serving rural and geographically isolated communities, as well as those conducting outreach to other groups underrepresented in STEM fields, are especially encouraged to apply."
Award: two NASA STEM Facilitation Kits (total value: $750); a tablet computer; a $500 programming stipend; a $800 stipend for travel costs for the orientation workshop
Deadline for applying: March 22, 2017
Overview, Guidelines, and Application form

► Ezra Jack Keats Foundation Mini-Grant

Grants are awarded to libraries and public schools to implement a proposed program that bridges disciplines and grade levels from preschool to 12th.
Award amount: up to $500
Deadline for applying: 10:59pm CST on March 31, 2017
Guidelines and Application form

► Literacy Grants for Libraries

Better World Books is looking for libraries with “game changing” ideas which help advance a compelling literacy project.
Award amount: up to $15,000
Deadline for applying: 3pm CST on March 31, 2017
Grant details
Application form

► Activating Community Opportunities Using Libraries/Museums as Assets

“This special initiative responds to the readiness of many libraries, archives, and museums to develop models for co-creating, deepening, and sustaining broad-based efforts to engage and serve a local community."
Award amounts: $25,000 to $150,000
Deadline for applying: April 3, 2017
Details and recorded webinars

► EBSCO Solar

EBSCO will fund two $100,000 grants to libraries looking to transition to solar power.
Award amounts: two $100,000 grants
Deadline for applying: April 28, 2017
Details and Application form

Rural Public Library Grant: Children’s Book Project Program

To qualify for the grant, libraries must be located in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, have an active children’s department, and raise $200-$400 through a local sponsor. Libraries with total operating budgets of less than $50,000 will receive funding priority. A rural community is typically more than 25 miles from an urban area (population over 50,000) and not a part of a metropolitan area.
A librarian from the library awarded a grant through the Children’s Book Project Program will receive a booklist from which to select books for the library. The booklist is divided into two groups based on recommended age and grade levels. Books in Group 1 are for emergent and beginning readers (birth to age 7; preschool to grade 2). Books in Group 2 are for middle and intermediate readers (ages 7 to 12; grades 2 to 6).
Award amount: up to $1200 worth (at retail value) of new, quality, hardcover children’s books
Deadline for applying, May 1, 2017
Application form: choose the fillable Adobe Acrobat PDF or the Microsoft Word document.

Baker & Taylor Awards for Friends Groups and Library Foundations

The Baker & Taylor Awards recognize Friends groups and library Foundations for outstanding efforts to support their library.
Award amount: $1000
Deadline for applying: May 1, 2017.
Details and Application form


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

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