Claire's Corner - September 2022 YSS Board Updates

Youth Services Shout Out -

Today's September YSS board meeting update is from Claire Parrish, YSS 2022 Chair and Public Services Director at Rice Lake Public Library.

Fall is here! It’s my favorite time of year, and not just because there are so many important WLA things happening! One of those exciting things is the WLA Election of Officers, and YSS is so happy with our slate of candidates. A big thank you to everyone who volunteered to run, we appreciate your commitment to continuing the work of YSS. Please know that even if you are not elected this year, there are opportunities every year to run. Also, if candidates, or ANYONE, wants to be involved right this minute, we always welcome contributors to this blog that you’re reading right now. It takes a lot of rock star libraries serving youth to make this awesome resource continue to be of value!

The next big thing coming up is the WLA Annual Conference taking place November 1-4th at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa. There’s an endless slate of amazing professional development opportunities, as well as Jason Reynolds and Kevin Henkes – two top notch youth authors! Kevin Henkes will be the YSS Luncheon Speaker so be sure to check that box when registering for the conference.

You can also spend more quality time with your YSS folks at the Dungeons and Dragons event taking place on Wednesday evening from 6-8pm in the foyer. Experienced D&Ders will be showing the basics of the game to novice players, as well as welcoming sage Dungeon Masters to share their knowledge, making this a great time for all levels of experience. Come for the adventure, stay for the bar.

Following up our Wednesday night of fun will be an early morning business meeting for anyone who can peel themselves out of the sure-to-be luscious resort beds. Join the board in the conference center Board Room from 7-8am for the annual YSS Business meeting. This is a chance for any members to sit in and offer input on the work the section is doing as we look to create goals for the upcoming year.

Here’s the link to the conference website, where you can register for the conference and reserve your room.

Lastly, YSS has some irons in the fire to pull together a few more webinars before the year ends, so keep checking the blog for upcoming details!

And just for fun, some of Claire’s favorite fall things: apples, carving pumpkins, Oktoberfest brews, flannel, Sunday driving fall color tours, oversize hoodies, eating Halloween candy from September-December.

Friday Nov. 4 WLA Conference Programs for YS'ers

Youth Services Shout Out -

It's conference time! Registration is here (early bird rate until Oct 10). And remember, the cost of Wed-Fri breakfasts, Wed and Thurs lunches and snacks (including any author lunches) and are included in the cost of your registration this year).

Today (and the past 2 days, we focus on program content perfect for youth services staffers. We hope we see you at conference!


8:30-9:30 am  Firsties: Connecting Families in Your District Through First Graders - This presenter will tell how the Pauline Haass Public Library has teamed up with school librarians, as well as teachers, to do monthly outreach to first graders throughout the district through videos filmed at the library then shown to kids during school library time. This program consists of monthly videos and school outreaches, as well as rewarding kids for visiting the public library monthly. Through this program the public library aims to makes contact with families who frequent the library as well as families who are new to the library and its services.

9:45-11:15 am  Ready, Set, Challenge: Materials Challenge Readiness  - Are you and others at your library prepared to respond to a materials challenge? Have you reviewed your policies and procedures? Thought about how to engage with an upset patron? What essential messaging and communication does a public attack, materials concern or challenge demand with both internal and external audiences? This session will provide participants with the opportunity to respond to a challenge scenario from patron complaint through the reconsideration process, and provide resources for conducting a materials challenge stress test in their own institutions. It will also emphasize the need for ongoing education and advocacy.

10-11:00am  Representation Matters: Storytime and Collection Diversity - While weeding their youth collection, Manitowoc Public Library staff became aware of a distinct lack of diversity in their picture book collection. Staff began taking webinars and actively seeking more diverse titles - but that wasn't enough! Looking to diversify storytime, MPL staff began a year-long audit. Come learn about their findings, the process, and the tools they used to increase representation in the library.

Wednesday, Nov 2 WLA Conference Youth Programs

Thursday Nov 3 WLA Conference Youth Programs

Thursday Nov 3 WLA Conference Programs for YS'ers

Youth Services Shout Out -

It's conference time! Registration is here (early bird rate until Oct 10). And remember, the cost of Wed-Fri breakfasts, Wed and Thurs lunches and snacks (including any author lunches) and are included in the cost of your registration this year).

Yesterday, today and tomorrow, we'll focus on program content perfect for youth services staffers. We hope we see you at conference!


7-8:00 am   YSS Annual Meeting - Join the Board in the conference Board Room This is a chance for any members to sit in and offer input on the work the section is doing as we look to create goals for the upcoming year

8-10:00 am   Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice: Library Values in Conflict keynote

10-11:00 am   Building Diverse Collections with TeachingBooks & Book Connections - Create collections that best serve your communities with TeachingBooks and Book Connections – provided to all Wisconsin schools, public libraries, universities and residents through BadgerLink, a service of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Join the presenters to learn how to use the Collection Analysis Toolkit to generate reports that provide insights into the genre, cultural, and curricular classifications represented in your booklists and collections. Leave this session with strategies for identifying award-winning diverse books to augment your collections and promoting those books to your communities.

10-11:00 am   WLA Mentorship Program: Partnerships and Perspectives - Librarians rise to the challenges they face in an evolving profession on a daily basis. The WLA Mentorship Program pairs mentors and mentees from across the state and in all branches of librarianship. The program is free for WLA members and is designed to provide encouragement, support, and guidance to library staff seeking professional growth through connections with experienced colleagues within a structured mentoring program. The panelists will discuss their experiences being part of the WLA Mentorship program.

10-11:00 AM  Ready to Learn with PBS Kids - Join us as we share PBS Kids Ready to Learn resources. Learn how to use these fun (and educational!) activities in your youth programming. Two programs developed at the Beloit Public Library will be highlighted with tips on how to replicate these programs. When I Grow Up is a series where children are invited to learn about the exciting world of work through hands-on learning. Play and Learn Science is a series where participating families are introduced to activities to help activate science inquiry through hands-on exploration. Both series of programs are a collaborative effort among the library, PBS Kids and community partners.

1:30-2:30pm  The Librarians Are Not Okay: Emotional Intelligence at Work - The presenters will introduce the basics of emotional intelligence as well as explore ways to address the mental and emotion strain that we face in our jobs. They will explore some of the factors contributing to stress and unhappiness at work, and consider practical ways to increase our own emotional intelligence as well as understand the emotional intelligence of those around us.

1:30-2:30pm  Community Networking: Small Library, Big Impact - Is your library deeply connected within the community it serves? Who are your library advocates? Learn how the McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua went through a significant transformation to become a cornerstone resource for the greater Viroqua area. Library Director Trina Erickson and Youth Services Director Laci Sheldon will talk about the multi-year commitment the staff and board made to rebrand the library image. During the presentation Erickson and Sheldon will share stories, tips, and timelines on how to elevate the image and usage of your public library.

3-4:00 pm The Time is Now: Welcoming and Affirming Queer Teens at Your Library - The evidence is clear: LGBTQIA+ teens are at a much higher risk than their peers for being bullied, poor mental health, and suicide. So how do libraries help this historically underserved population? What can we do to make our libraries a safe, welcoming, and affirming space for queer teens? This session will not only cover the "why" of it all, but also the "how": How we are perfectly situated to provide critical services to queer teens, whatever your community's political affiliation. Both presenters will cover what they do at their own libraries, one in a "blue" county and one in "red," and will also share what they learned through participating in valuable safe space and ally trainings.

3-4:00 pm Livestream Your Programs with Streamyard - Streamyard is the Canva of streaming. Learn how to use Streamyard to stream your programs to your Facebook Live, YouTube channel, or other platform, using in-person, virtual only, or hybrid configurations. The presenters will show you what equipment you'll need and how to produce impressive streaming programs. This will be a hands-on session with opportunities to try it yourself!

4:30-5:30 pm  2022 Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award - Join members of the children's book award committee to hear about the best books for children and teens by Wisconsin authors!

4:30-5:30 pm  Community Engagement with Beanstack - In this session, participants will learn about the Beanstack "Tandems" feature which allows them to connect their library's Beanstack with school Beanstacks throughout their community. We'll discuss the benefits of these partnerships, the work required to get it setup, and review some examples of Tandems in action across Wisconsin. We'll also discuss ongoing content and programming available through Beanstack as well as introduce new features and general product updates!

6:30-8:30pm  Awards and Honors Reception

Wednesday Nov 2 WLA Conference Youth Programs

Friday November 4 WLA Conference Youth Programs

Wednesday Nov 2 WLA Conference Programs for YS'ers

Youth Services Shout Out -

It's conference time! Registration is here (early bird rate until Oct 10). And remember, the cost of Wed-Fri breakfasts, Wed and Thurs lunches and snacks (including any author lunches) and are included in the cost of your registration this year).

Today and for the following 2 days we'll focus on program content perfect for youth services staffers. We hope we see you at conference!


8-10 am  Jason Reynolds keynote

10-11am  Digital Rooms and Digital Resources - In this session, the presenter will show how to create a digital space and room that can be shared out to attract the attention of the library users. At the moment, the world is very visual-heavy and how can libraries harness this to their advantage. The presenter comes from a school library background and will share how during the virtual time and on libraries have utilized digital rooms to give students access to programs. 

10-11 am   Connecting Beyond the School Library - Participants will learn how school librarians in the School District of La Crosse have developed partnerships with the La Crosse Public Library (LPL), the La Crosse Public Education Foundation (LPEF), and UW-La Crosse (UWL) that offer learning opportunities and celebrations for both students and librarians, as well as built a professional learning community with a cross section of professional librarians in the community. Participants will learn about the “Sneakers” and “Stars” programs at the LPL for elementary students, author visits supported through grants from the LPEF, and Battle of the Books competitions, and professional conferences offered in partnership with UWL.

11:30am -1pm - Kevin Henkes, author

1:30-2:30 pm  Bored? Not When You Have Board Games - Learn how Brown County Library brought gaming from the library into the home with circulating board games, role playing games (RPGs), and puzzles. Presenters will share information about their partnership with a local game store and creative suggestions for funding games collections. They will also discuss circulation, including how games are prepared to go out and what happens upon return. Discover how the collections are used for programming, plus how one branch uses volunteers to maintain their puzzles. Presenters will answer your questions and give practical advice on how you can make it work for your library – big or small!

3-4:00pm    Beyond the Gaming Table - Storytelling is a major part of table top games like Dungeons and Dragons, but stories that are one-sided are boring! Presenters explore the concept of collaborative storytelling through the use of roleplaying and how it can be used as a tool to engage and connect with patrons of all ages, encourage conversations and advocacy, and further your library's presence in the community.

3-4:00 pm  Getting in the Subscription Game: How You Can Create Book Subscriptions for Kids - Learn how to create your own book subscription service for any age using library books and increase your circulation exponentially. The service highlights books that normally get passed over, exposes patrons to genres outside their comfort zones, creates an easy way to handout librarian recommended books, and kids get a snack to go with it!

4:30-5:30 pm  Leadership Talks: Lessons from WLA Members - Membership in Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) can be made all the more valuable through involvement in the divisions, sections, special interest groups and committees of WLA. In this panel presentation, active members of WLA will share their experiences and provide guidance for emerging leaders who are interested in becoming involved with the association. Panelists will share stories about their professional development through WLA volunteer work. Information on available volunteer opportunities will be provided. Audience members will be invited to engage with the panelists throughout the presentation and during a question-and-answer session.

4:30-5:30  Exploring Connections for WI Libraries - In May 2018, a small group representing different libraries and varying roles came together to form Connecting Wisconsin Libraries, a group with a purpose of fostering collaboration, providing information, and sharing practice ideas between school and public libraries on a statewide level. Through the last four years we have experienced inspiration, success, and pandemic survival. Find out what this group has done and where it could go. Contribute ideas for its future at this interactive discussion session featuring a panel of group members and a hunger for your feedback!

7-9:00 pm   Dungeons and Dragons Tabletop Role Playing Game - Have you ever been curious about Dungeons and Dragons but didn't know where to start?  Get acquainted with the help of library colleagues with this fun and fascinating tool for collaborative storytelling and engagement.  Register or drop in and see what all the buzz is about! Free and open to participants at all levels.

8-10:00 pm  WLA Foundation Trivia Night Fundraiser $25.00 ($30.00 at the door)  Join us for the WLA Foundation Fundraiser Trivia Contest hosted by WLA Vice President Kris Turner. Here’s your chance to show off your knowledge and enjoy a fun evening of random and obscure facts! Come as a team or play by yourself and compete for fun prizes. Light snacks, plus a charitable contribution to the Foundation! Snacks available. 

Thursday Nov 3 WLA Conference Youth Programs

Friday November 4 WLA Conference Youth Programs

Meet Your 2023 YSS Board Candidates - Directors-at-Large

Youth Services Shout Out -

WLA elections are coming up and YSS has a strong slate of wonderful candidate-members for our YSS board. Today we introduce our candidates for the two year position of Director-at-Large. There are six candidates for two open positions. Watch for your ballot in the next month or so. And don't forget to vote!!

Andrea Bisordi, Head of Youth Services, Delafield Public Library

Hi everyone, I’m Andrea. I have worked in libraries for four years now, currently as the Head of Youth Services at the Delafield Public Library. I shifted from the world of education into the world of information professionals a few years back and have taught various subjects in several different environments. While I bring a lot of knowledge from my time teaching, I’ve been supported and helped in the transition to library land by all the amazing librarians in Wisconsin who are willing to share their experiences and expertise. Having a strong state organization is important, and I would like to give back and be a part of keeping it successful.

Brittany Fahrenkamp (she/her), Youth Services/Programming, Hazel Mackin Community Library, Roberts WI

My name is Brittany Fahrenkamp and I have served as the youth services librarian at the Roberts Public Library since 2015. I have a masters in library and information science and a bachelor’s in elementary education. I have experience sitting on organization boards from my time in my local county’s 4-H program and my time as an Interim 4-H program coordinator for Blue Earth County in Minnesota.  I’m excited about the opportunity to get to know members of our YSS community better and to be more involved in YSS projects.  

Jenna Gilles, Chippewa Falls Public Library


I have worked in Youth Services since 2009.The keys to my programming philosophy include community and relationship building, positive connections with the self, others, and our surroundings, and helping youth and families develop a positive sense of self-worth and growth. While presenting on panels during webinars and WLA, I have had opportunities to chat with library staff from around the state. I am inspired by the opportunities that library staff offer to engage and transform communities. In addition to the communities in which we work, our community of librarians has given so much to me as well (thanks for letting me steal/adapt all those ideas!). At a time when a growing number of loud groups and individuals want to dictate the resources and services we can provide for our communities, I encourage us to be louder and stronger. YSS serves as a resource to strengthen ourselves as well as offering supports to reflect, rest, and enrich the silliness in our lives. If elected, I look forward to brainstorming ways to support library staff who are often unable to meet in person. I value the collaboration that is already strong in our profession. I want to look for ways to transform and enliven professional development and how we advocate for ourselves. There is much to learn and I am here for it. In addition to libraries, I also love my cats (Sandwich and Chamomile), my teenager, Star Wars, Stranger Things, and fantasy/SciFi. When not at the library, I venture out for live music, the North Shore, Asian dumplings, and the many green or rocky spaces around Wisconsin.   

Michelle Johnson, Library Director, Hammond Community Library

Hello, my name is Michelle Johnson, a new member to WLA as of 2022.  I have been a library director for the past 25 + years and love my job at the Hammond Community Library located in Hammond, WI.  Hammond is a small rural town located about 20 minutes from some larger communities.  The Hammond Community Library is part of a shared library consortium (MORE) and part of the IFLS library system.  I have become more involved, at our system level, and expanding my involvement outside of our system as well.  By being more involved it helps me become a better leader/director at our library and for our community.  It broadens my knowledge and strengthens my commitment to building a better library for years to come.  As Director at Large it would be wonderful to be a part of the Youth Services and to network with others and work to build learning opportunities in youth services. 

Jeanette Rydberg, Youth & Adult Services  Thomas St. Angelo Public Library, Cumberland

After forty years in education, I retired and joined the staff at the Thomas St. Angelo Public Library of Cumberland. I have worked there for five years in adult and youth services.  I have been able to utilize my background in child development and higher education to provide programs for infants through adults at the library. I am most proud of upgrading our collections of adult fiction and non-fiction, large print, youth, and audio books.  I have also worked with our director to create new opportunities for our patrons such as a Countryside Delivery program, installation of an Everbright light board, designed a Maker Space area, and installed a Native Plant garden.  I value collaboration and connecting with others.  I would be honored to be a member of the Youth Services Section board.

Valerie Spooner, Youth Services Librarian, Ladysmith Public Library 

I'm Valerie Spooner and I have been the Youth Services Librarian at the Rusk County Community Library in Ladysmith since 2014. I am a department of one and I do everything from collection development to programming and everything in between. The past few years have taught me how important it is to collaborate and communicate with fellow librarians. My favorite thing to do at the library is bring special guests (usually an animal) to storytime. My favorite thing to do not in the library is enjoy all of the outdoor activities Wisconsin has to offer, but I have to admit that you will usually find me reading and eating something yummy in my down time. Thank you for your consideration.

Meet Your 2023 YSS Board Candidates - Chair-Elect

Youth Services Shout Out -

WLA elections are coming up and YSS has a strong slate of wonderful candidate-members. Today we introduce our candidates for the three year position of Chair (Chair-elect, Chair and Past-Chair). Watch for your ballot in the next month or so. And don't forget to vote!!

Susie Menk

Youth Librarian, Manitowoc Public Library

Hi!  My name is Susie Menk and I am a youth librarian at Manitowoc Public Library in beautiful Manitowoc, WI on the shores of Lake Michigan.  I have worked in Manitowoc for over 10 years and have been part of the YSS group for over 5 years.  I previously served on the YSS board as a Director-at-Large (two different terms) and am currently serving as secretary.  I love being a part of YSS!  Librarians love to share and YSS is an excellent example of that.  There are many times that I have seen or heard an idea through YSS and used it in my library work.  Our YSS group does so many great things for librarians and I am excited to continue serving in whatever capacity I can. 

Cathy Pescinski

Teen Librarian, Shawano City-County Library

I am Cathy Pescinski. I have been the teen librarian at Shawano County Library for 11 years. I am in charge of purchasing and processing young adult fiction and graphic novels for the main library and three branches. I also plan and administer the teen summer reading program for all libraries in the county. I develop and run all teen programming, weeding, displays, and outreach at the main branch.  I have a BS in park administration and have been a Jill of all trades for most of my career, mostly in service-oriented positions. I began my library career by volunteering at my daughter's school library and fell in love with it. I then took my position as a teen librarian when my family moved to Shawano. Since I came to the library world later in my career, I don't have an MLS but have taken advantage of many continuing education opportunities through the WI DPI, ALA, and the UW-Madison Information School among others. These have included Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth, Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race, ALA's Ask Listen Empower book discussion series on community outreach, and courses on children's literature and teen librarianship. I also have presented a session on programming for teens at WAPL, as well as co-facilitating a Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race session, and will be presenting the programming session at the upcoming Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference. 


I would like to be part of the YSS board to help the board continue to offer networking and resource-sharing opportunities for youth librarians around the state. I believe that we are each other's best resource for ideas, information, and inspiration and I would like to be part of helping share that around the state! I would appreciate your vote for the Chair-Elect position on the YSS board.

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Youth Services Shout Out -

Pixabay Image
Once or twice a month on weekends, YSS posts round-ups of ads that are sent to us or that we come across.   If you have a position opening up and would like to see it on the YSS blog, please forward the job ad link/descriptions to the YSS blog at the email address listed in the header above the day's blog post.

Here is a late September listing:

Belleville Public LibraryLibrary Assistant – Youth Services (part time)

Belleville Public Library seeks a friendly, energetic, organized person who enjoys working with children of all ages to coordinate our youth services program in our new library. The ability to provide high quality early literacy learning experiences for preschoolers and caregivers is a must for our growing community. 
This 25 hour per week position will be responsible for:
  • Youth Services – Delivering programming for children, teens, and families. Assisting in collection development. Building partnerships within our community.
  • Makerspace –Using your tech skills to develop STEAM-based programming.
  • Circulation – Helping our patrons make best use of our library by providing circulation, readers’ advisory, and tech help at our circulation desk.
More information can be found at

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled with preference given to those received by October 7, 2022.

Bronna Lehmann, Director
Belleville Public Library
20 S. Park Street, P.O. Box 140
Belleville, WI  53508608-424-1812

YSS August 2022 Board Meeting Notes

Youth Services Shout Out -


Wisconsin Library Association

Youth Services Section Board Meeting

August 16, 2022


Present: Caitlin Schaffer, Alison Loewen, Jenny Wegener, Ashley Borman, Murray Johnson, Marge Loch-Wouters, Claire Parrish, Linda Jerome, Melissa Carolla, Monica Treptow (guest)

Approve August Agenda: Motion by Ashley B.,  seconded by Murray J. 

Approve May Minutes: Motion by Murray J, seconded by Alison L. 


Summer reading stories to share! 

  • Murray had over 600 patrons show up for Harry Potter week

Old Business:

  • DPI Updates -Monica 

    • Website redesign - 

      • Open to feedback if anyone has looked through it

    • Consultant update

      • New consultants starting in September

      • Official announcements to come Sept 12, 2022

    • Beanstack update - procurement in process

      • Hoping to continue to grow school and public library collaborations through Beanstack use 

    • Badgerlink surveys and consulting

      • Strengthening school and library partnerships is a big takeaway 

  • WLA Update - Linda 

    • Conference updates: 

      • Kevin Henkes is YSS Luncheon speaker (finalizing contract - no official announcement yet) 

      • Goal is to open registration in September 

    • Linda is on sub-committee to redo the WLA organization manual 

      • Hoping to streamline/standardize everyone’s policies and procedures

      • She is specifically in charge of looking through the YSS stuff

        • Latest update is from 2009 and is dated

        • Will be sending out a Google doc of our part of the manual out for everyone to look over and give our thoughts and feedback

        • Have a better idea for what we want to do as a section before next sub-committee meeting

  • Blog Check-in - Marge 

    • Policy re: updating links in old posts

      • Official statement that we aren’t going back beyond a year to fix links because it would take too much of someone’s time. 

      • If we get a request, the best response would be to make a new post with updated information and resources

      • Wording:

        • “Links should be correct at the time of publication. If a link is incorrect, please contact the blog administrator within a month of publication. Links on older posts may have changed.” 

        • Motion to approve: Ashley B., seconded by Jenny W. 

  • Regional Meet-Ups - Murray 

    • Eau Claire - Thursday, September 15 at L.E. Phillips Library from 1-3, hosted by Andrea Rice (young adult librarian) 

      • Still in the process of moving, so doesn’t have pictures quite yet. 

      • Murray will give pictures to Alison and Marge once he has them. 

      • First hour will be tour of departments, second is meet & greet plus program and idea sharing for the fall 

      • Fully in person - Alison will send an updated save the date graphic for Marge to post on the blog so people can get it on their schedule.  

  • Webinar Check In - Claire 

    • Nothing new so far, but working on it

  • Children’s Book Award - Committee Members

    • Official announcement of winner: Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee 

    • Looking for new committee members - all appointments made by the members of YSS, not by the committee 

      • Make a blog post/send email blast to members asking for volunteers to fill out the application 

      • Make something with qr code to have at table during WLA 

  • Marketing Committee 

    • Melissa will Alison send a Canva template previously used to promote volunteering for the book award committee 

New Business:

  • WLA Conference Planning 

    • Social - Melissa/Murray

      • Claire checking with Linda and Cindy to see if we needed to send in an official program request or if we’re good to go 

      • Brainstorm some ideas, keeping in mind that we should keep it relatively low cost. 

    • Business meeting - Aiming to do the same day and time as last year 

    • CCBC Booth Sponsorship - Claire 

      • Did not attend last year, but committed to being there this year. 

      • Slightly different setup 

        • This year they want a single booth space with two tables featuring the three dimensions they offer libraries

          • Preview of 2023 Choices

          • Freedom of Information resources

          • CCBC book search 

      • Previous years WLA funds covered the cost of the booth - will not be this year and not looking likely that they will give the booth free of charge

        • Claire is discussing with Tessa and Laura about how to cover cost 

        • Looking to get a line item for the YSS Board back in the WLA budget?

    • Luncheon - Jenny 

      • Kevin Henkes! 

  • Candidate Recruitment - Jenny 

    • Three names so far, but would like at least three more to have two people on the ballot for each position

    • Did a blog post, but Jenny isn’t sure if the YSS email blast was successful. Checking with Laura to see why it didn’t go out. 

    • Jenny recommends contacting system people to do email blasts

  • Updating YSS Policies - Claire/Linda 

    • Take a look and offer feedback once Linda shares the Google Doc 

    • Officially approving updates at the next meeting 

Next Meeting: September 20

Motion to adjourn: Jenny W., seconded by Ashley B. 

Virtual Variety: From Online to In-Person!

Youth Services Shout Out -

Lindy Liedl from the Rice Lake Public Library returns with her monthly column on all things virtual to help you connect with your teen patrons!

Our screen + snacks set up. Over the summer months, we successfully transitioned our virtual Teen Game Nights to in-person gatherings as programming opened back up. Our virtual game nights during the school year are pretty simple: we meet over Zoom and play a different video game each week together. But, in person, we could provide snacks and tabletop games as an option as well! 

Before starting in person, I asked our teens to suggest tabletop games over Discord for us to have available. They loved Taco Goat Cheese Pizza and Spot It! especially. Other options were Giant Uno, Apples to Apples, Guess Who, Stratego, and Battleship. Next year I want them to try Giant Jenga.


Teen playing Taco Goat Cheese Pizza.
(Teens censored for their privacy).Snacks are always appreciated of course. We had fruit cups, capri suns, cheese sticks, chips, and apples. One hiccup was a couple of kids having fructose intolerance, but once they let me know what snacks they could have, we were able to provide them.


Our videogame of the week was projected from a staff computer onto a large screen, and teens brought their own devices to play along to Jackbox, Among Us, and Minecraft. We do have some library laptops in case they forget their phone or tablet though. When we didn’t have enough players for Among Us or Jackbox, they laughed a LOT playing Gartic Phone instead. A bonus with this game is that one player, unable to attend in person, was able to take part in Gartic without having to hear everyone over a virtual call. I just shared our Gartic session link with him over Discord. 

We even gained a couple of newcomers by meeting in person! Hopefully, as we transition back into virtual game nights for the school season, we’ll bring those new kids along so that they can keep hanging out and playing games with others their age all year ‘round.


Adapted Books and Sign Language

Youth Services Shout Out -

Kristine Millard is working on her MLIS at UW-Madison as well as managing a lab that studies early language development in toddlers with autism. Periodically, she shares resources relating to developmental disabilities that you might find useful.

In September, the hosts various events to build awareness and acceptance. Like me, you may occasionally insert sign language into fingerplays, and other elements of storytime while wanting to know more about this language and how to truly communicate with it. If your library subscribes to Transparent Language, you already have a tool at your fingertips to help with this. 

While you work toward fluency, you can still share Sign Language in your storytimes. My favorite book to use with signing is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? By Bill Martin, Jr. and illustrated by Eric Carle. 

I printed these notes and made an adapted book with the signs taped right on the pages. Do remember you will need multiple copies so you can repeat each animal. To save myself from having to fit the refrains, “What do you see?,” and “I see a …,” into each page, I made fold-out flaps attached to the front and back covers of my book.

For those of you who are advanced signers, or want more authenticity, I suggest using this video from the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf.

Tuesday Tips - Fun and Free Online Activity

Youth Services Shout Out -

Sam Jones is the Youth Services Librarian at the Beaver Dam Public Library. She shares tips to make your job easier in her Tuesday posts.

Image by No-longer-here from PixabayRecently, StickTogether, a company that sells mosaic puzzle posters, announced that their virtual stickerboards will now be completely free to anyone who wants to use them. A week or two ago, my library put a physical stickerboard up, and there was a lot of excitement about it- especially from teens. 

When they announced that the virtual boards were now free, I jumped at the chance to use them. The first board I posted got finished within five hours of posting the link! 

If you're interested in them, here is a link to the company's blog post with instructions on how to create one. Basically, you just have to make a free account and then you can share the link to the design you want. 

Part of the excitement is that users do not know what the design is until the board is done. We will see if they remain popular, but in the meantime, I will continue to make them because they are free, super easy to make, and fun. 

Resiliency Kits

Youth Services Shout Out -

In a recent ALSC blog post, former Wisconsin librarian Katie Clausen shared her library's Resiliency Kit project. She writes: "Well, what are children’s librarians experts in? Books. Research. Play. What emerged was a new collection called Resiliency Kits. What are they? Themed kits that contain books for both adults and children, hands-on activities, and information to help families navigate traumatic experiences and to build skills for healing. Using the 7 C’s model developed by pediatrician Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, the primary goal of these kits is to help children and families develop resiliency skills"

To read about the kits, please stop here. [Resiliency Kits: A Collection for Building a Self-Healing Community. Clausen, Katie. ALSC blog. August 26, 2022.]