Missing Storytime Underground on Facebook?

Youth Services Shout Out -

After Storyime Underground shut down this past year, it left a hole in alot of our work lives. The sharing, answers to questions, deep dive into thorny issues, peer-to-peer connectivity and cool ideas are greatly missed.  

But all is not lost. Kim Niesing, Youth and Inclusive Library Consultant for Monarch Library System, recently shared a discovery she made. She writes in her weekly system youth services email: "Missing the Facebook group, Storytime Underground, which was retired a few months ago? I found a comparable Facebook group. It is much smaller in membership, but it is a very active group. It is called Storytime Solidarity." The page was created by a longtime member of SU who wanted to share storytime and early literacy tips. It's worth a look.

Volunteer Opportunities at WLA 2021!

Youth Services Shout Out -


Looking for a way to get involved with YSS at the WLA conference?
We have two volunteer opportunities for you:
YSS BoothTime: Throughout WLA

Hang out at the YSS booth, greet those who stop by, answer questions, encourage membership and volunteering opportunities and meet great people! The YSS booth is located in the exhibit hall.

Link to: YSS Booth Sign Up 

Room MonitorTime: Throughout WLAYou get to the breakout a little bit early and find the room monitor form for your brief directions. You have two responsibilities: Introduce the program if needed and take a headcount.
Link to:   Room Monitor Sign Up   

If you are attending WLA, are a YSS member AND would like to help out please sign up for a spot!  

Questions? Email Claire Parrish at

Innovative Solutions for Connecting with Kids During COVID

Youth Services Shout Out -

Photo by Liz PurdyTwo recent posts in the ALSC blog reflect on lessons learned and creative solutions to connection with our kids and families.
The first, a post by Liz Purdy, shared two fun innovations they adapted during the pandemic to sparkle up their programs and make them more meaningful.  Liz writes: "Our library pulled a lot of our fun toys and manipulatives from our children’s section with the advent of the pandemic. Of course, books and our outdoor programs are still a major draw for families to come to our library, but we’ve been trying to come up with other ways to engage families while they visit the library. Our staff has come up with some terrific innovations!" Check out the fun here!
The second post by Briana Brockett-Richmond reflects on how to make virtual programming more meaningful and connected.  She writes, "After a year of virtual programming, I am here to say that you truly can build deep and meaningful connections through virtual programs. I have grown to know many of the kids and their families. I know what they like and what they don’t. I hear silly jokes and know all about their pets. I see their excitement as they share discoveries they have made and work they have done. Even when we cannot be physically present with one another, it is possible to communicate with deep presence."  Stop here to read her tips on making virtual programs more meaningful.

Virtual & Offline Programming YSS blog COVID-19 series:

YSS Board Meeting Notes October 2021

Youth Services Shout Out -

Youth Services Section Board Meeting 

Friday, October 22, 2021 

Present: Katherine Schoofs, Claire Parrish, Florence LaBeau, Jenny Wegener, Linda Jerome, Monica Treptow (DPI), Taylor Wilcox, Susie Menk 


Begin meeting:  Florence, 2nd Katherine 


Approve Agenda: Move Monica to beginning, approved Linda motioned, 2nd Claire 

Approve Minutes from Last meeting: Motion Florence, 2nd  Katherine 




Old Business:   

Election and Candidates.  Need to write “thank you’s” to candidates and invite all to the business meeting at WLA -  Wednesday, November 17.  4:15 pm.  *The time was pushed back due to the timing of other events.   

  • Results available next week.  

  • We had multiple candidates for each position 

  • We have a growth mindset culture 

  • As Chair-Elect, Claire will contact newly elected people 

  • Jenny will contact those not elected and offer other ways to volunteer/help out 


New Business 

Business Meeting at Conference:  Wednesday, November 17 at 4:15 

No room assigned yet, will keep us updated--check the conference app 


Committee Reports 

Marketing Committee - Katherine, Melissa, Sarah 

  • YSS Virtual tour--event on Facebook  

  • YSS Social --event on Facebook  

  • Blog--YSS events at WLA 

  • Email blasts to members about YSS events/YSS Social/YSS Luncheon/YSS Business meeting 


Conference Committee 

  • Fall Conference Author Luncheon  (How is the sponsor thanked, etc?) 

  • Jenny speak at luncheon--thank sponsor/images on screen/ YSS statement on intent/promo YSS 

  • Katherine--introduce Cathy Camper  

  • Book signing--after luncheon and after presentation  

  • YSS Social:  Wednesday, 8:30 pm 

  • Flo--crayons, coloring sheets, legos, shells, large post-it notes, 

  • Jenny--sand, sushi dishes 

  • YSS table 

  • Button makers-Claire 

  • Button designs--Claire/Jenny 

  • Buttons for board members--Susie/Claire 

  • Take & Make Raffle 

  • Candy 

  • Sign up to work table 

  • Room Monitors 

  • Include link to WLA form  

  • Room capacity 

  • YSS statement 

  • Trivia 

  • Register? 

  • Who wants to play? 

  • Tuesday of Conference 

  • Welcome session at Brown County Library--Claire, Florence, Linda  

  • Awards & Honor Ceremony 

  • $5.00 charge 

  • Thursday, November 18th  

  • Dessert reception/cash bar 


Children’s Book Award Committee 

  • Cathy Camper--presentation on work “Ten Ways to Hear Snow” (not same as luncheon) 

  • Story based on family she has in Green Bay 

  • Pat Zietlow attending  

  • People volunteering for open slot on committee 


YSS Blog--Marge not here, nothing to report--collaborating with Katherine to not overlap with blog 



YSS Virtual Meet Ups--Florence 

  • Last virtual meet up on Thursday, October 21st 

  • Good cooperation from various libraries 

  • Great way to share ideas/see library set-ups 

  • Attendance varies--but mostly good 

  • Continue virtually or go to in-person?? 


WLA Liaison report--Linda Jerome  

  • Board meeting October 22nd 

  • Working through revenue--membership and non-membership options for businesses or organizations 

  • Beef up social media presence--especially for conference 

  • Come to annual membership meeting--Thursday, November 18th  4:30-5:00 pm 


DPI - Monica Treptow 

  • Beanstack update 

  • Getting into schools-12 districts up & running, @ 100 in process 

  • Look for message from Becky  

  • Project READY on hold til more staff available 

Meeting dates 

  • WLA Conference  - Wednesday, November 17th @ 4:15 pm 

  • December 10th @ 1:30 pm 

  • Board retreat--start thinking about 

Adjourn: Motion-Claire, 2nd Linda   

Respectfully submitted, 

Susie Menk 

YSS Secretary 

October 22, 2021 

Virtual Teen Escape Room Book Club

Youth Services Shout Out -

Photo by Spivack/FerraroTwo creative teen librarians at the Loudon County (VA) Public Library recently shared their experience and ideas in connecting with teens during COVID in SLJ's Teen Librarian Toolbox blog..  They write: "In late 2020 when our library system was soft-launching virtual book clubs, we spent a closing shift on a dreary, wintery Friday evening frustrated. With specialties in Makerspace and Teen Services respectively, we didn’t see how book clubs were going to let us reconnect with the patrons we were used to seeing in the comfortable chaos of our library spaces. As we were talking through the challenges, it occurred to us that even without a pandemic, there’s a lot about a standard book club that makes it inaccessible to teens, especially teens with learning disabilities (including ADHD). One thing led to another and soon we had permission to run a virtual teen book club, which has since transitioned to a successful monthly in-person meeting. The thing that makes it work? The book club is an escape room."

Stop here to read how they developed the program!

Throw-It Thursday - What's in a Series?

Youth Services Shout Out -

Ashley Borman, Technical Services Librarian at the Clintonville (WI) Public Library is back with her monthly column and has some great advice on making sure your collections are updated.

Are you always asking yourself how to weed series? Do you wait until it is no longer popular and then get rid of the whole set, even if a few of them still circ? Are you afraid to get rid of even one book in a series because you think someone will come in wanting that one book in the series? NEWSFLASH-It will happen whether you try to prevent it or not. Things get damaged or lost or go missing all the time, and we can’t catch ever book that falls through the cracks. We are not perfect (even if we are superheroes).

In several weeding seminars I have attended, they talked about the importance of weeding series (and popular authors). It seems like each person has their own ideas of the best way to do this. And that’s okay. can’t let series take over your entire collection. It is okay to weed part of a series and leave the other books that still go out. Most of us are part of a library system and can request books from other libraries. And those of us that aren’t still have the option of inter-library loaning through WISCAT (or whatever system your state might have if you have stumbled across this from somewhere else).


         These crusty series titles were still in our collection, gathering dust. Time to say buh-bye!

I am going to share the two most popular ways of weeding series. First is, if there are books in a series that don’t circulate, keep the first one or two and most recent couple of books in the series. Also keep the books that still circulate. Anything else can get weeded. If you want, you can check if other libraries in your system still have copies of the ones you are weeding, to make sure patrons can still get them in a timelier manner than if you had to go outside of your system to get the items. Be careful with this method don’t want to keep your shelves full of items no one wants and not have room for new materials.

The other method (and my personal choice) is to be vigorous and weed everything that doesn’t circ, regardless of whether it is the first book in the series. If someone wants to start a series, you can still get the first book from another library. Yes, they may have to wait a day or two, but our shelf space is limited! We need to make room for all of the new stuff we get every month.

I hope this helps you with any reservations you have about weeding series. Remember, if it’s not being used, it’s not worth the shelf space. Throw it in the discard pile!

Reminder - Next YSS Meet-up Thurs Oct 21 2:30!

Youth Services Shout Out -

Join YSS for our last virtual tours of 2021!

Krista Blomberg from Rib Lake and Annette Miller from Tomahawk will showcasing their library spaces and sharing program ideas - - trust us, you don't want to miss this!After the tours, we'll have a chance to chat! Feel free to ask about summer programs, COVID regulations or other topics of interest to you. Some of us have been around awhile and love to answer questions!Join in the fun on October 21st via Zoom: 

ICYMI: OverDrive has announced the acquisition of TeachingBooks!

Youth Services Shout Out -

On October 7, OverDrive, the digital reading platform for libraries and schools, announced the acquisition of, a long-standing and Wisconsin-founded resource provided statewide through BadgerLink.

This acquisition will not impact the access, setup, support, or content that TeachingBooks or its public library interface is providing Wisconsin through BadgerLink.
Want to know more?  Check out the recent PR Newswire article by clicking HERE.

Extend Your Partnerships with Dual Association Membership

Youth Services Shout Out -

Image by Anemone 23 from PixabayBelonging to professional organizations creates opportunities for growth, avenues for networking, and expands our community of practice. Belonging to TWO organizations can double your opportunities without doubling your financial investment! The Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) and the Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology Association (WEMTA) are both rich with value for their members, and they offer discounts to members who join both.

WLA/YSS Highlights

WLA offers professional support and opportunities through committee work, mentorship opportunities and four conferences a year: the 3 ½ day fall annual conference; a 1 day support staff day; a 3 day public library-focused conference and a 3 day academic library focused conference. In addition, WLA’s very active Youth Services Section offers webinars and opportunities to meet-up virtually; supports the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Children’s Book Award and produces Youth Services Shout-Out blog, an active blog with events, information and opinion pieces on all things in library youth services.

WEMTA Highlights

WEMTA offers support to empower educators to provide learning experiences that prepare students to flourish in an information-rich world. WEMTA hosts regular webinars and sends out a Digital Dispatch newsletter with updates on what the organization is working on. There is an annual 3 day conference held in the spring each year focusing on books, technology and other library related topics. One of the most active committees works closely with members in Madison on Legislation and Advocacy for students, libraries and librarians.

Want to be part of these strong networking communities to continue school and public library partnerships? Here’s how to join:

WEMTA Membership: WLA members can join WEMTA for the reduced rate of $25 annually

WLA Membership. WEMTA members can join WLA for the reduced rate of $50 annually.

This message brought to you through the collaboration of Wisconsin Educational Media & Technology Association (WEMTA), Wisconsin Library Association (WLA), and DPI School and Public Libraries. If you are interested in working on future tidbits or have other suggestions for collaborations, please contact Marge Loch-Wouters (WLA) or Raquel Rand (WEMTA) .

Friday Frolics - Youth Content at WLA!

Youth Services Shout Out -

Are you planning to attend WLA in Green Bay, our first in-person conference in almost two years? Early bird registration continues through Monday Oct 25. Mask up and join the fun. If you're not sure, check out all the youth program and event content to help you decide! This is our final day of sharing youth-related bounty during the next few days!

Fri 10:00-10:45 am

Transitioning to a Bookstore Model:  See Ya Dewey! - The presenters will discuss the planning and implementation of transitioning a standard public library organization, with Dewey numbers and author names, into a bookstore model of organization. The Little Chute Public Library began transitioning all library materials to common language and gentrification with the goal of modeling the library after a bookstore. Once completed, all fiction items will be identified by genre and sub-genre and nonfiction items will be identified by topic, using common language, without the use of Dewey numbers. Katherine Freund, Little Chute Public Library; Aubrey Laux, Little Chute Public Library; Ashley Borman, Clintonville Public Library

Teens & Tech – What the Heck! A Guide to Collaborative Teen Programming - Staff from libraries of varying sizes will discuss how they formed a virtual YA programming collaboration to provide monthly programs for teens. Find out how and why the group was formed, and learn about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them. Discover tips and tools that helped with the planning process and develop ideas for starting and sustaining a collaboration with other libraries. The group will share stories, provide suggestions, and talk about how it adapted for summer programming as well as plans for the future of the collaboration. Caroline Herfindahl, Ellsworth Public Library; Valerie Spooner, Rusk County Community Library, Ladysmith; Stacey Brown, Augusta Public Library; Jenna Gilles, Chippewa Falls Public Library

Fri  11:00-11:45 am

Educating the Educators: Libraries as Partners in Quality Wisconsin Early Child Care - Libraries are perfectly positioned to improve outcomes for early care and education providers and children they serve. Presenters will demonstrate the need for cost-free continuing education opportunities that help providers advance their professions and improve quality of care. Participants will learn how to work with various Wisconsin agencies that ensure quality of programs. Presenters will illustrate how the “Every Child Ready to Read” initiative and experience in youth services programming provide the foundation for high-demand workshop content. Shawn Wolf, Erin Mendoza, Kenosha Public Library

We Will Always Be Here: Teen Engagement with Wisconsin's LGBTQ+ History - Authors Jenny Kalvaitis and Kristen Whitson will share their experiences engaging teen participants while writing We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin. Writing for teens and relying on teen feedback – but written during a pandemic in which schools were closed and in-person workshops were impossible – taught the presenters valuable lessons about reaching teens where they are. Librarians Linda Jerome and Jenny DeRocher will share lessons learned in engaging with teen readers in discussions about We Will Always Be HereKristen Whitson, Author; Jenny Kalvaitis, Author; Jenny DeRocher, La Crosse Public Library; Linda Jerome, LaCrosse Public Library

Plus a keynote and luncheon speaker, provocative program content on a variety of topics! Register today!

Thoughtful Thursday - Youth Content at WLA!

Youth Services Shout Out -

Are you planning to attend WLA in Green Bay, our first in-person conference in almost two years? Early bird registration continues through Monday Oct 25. Mask up and join the fun. If you're not sure, check out all the youth program and event content to help you decide! We'll be sharing each day's youth-related bounty during the next few days!

Thurs  10:30-11:15 am

Intergenerational Storytime 101 - What do you do when handed a bowl of lemons? You make a batch of lemonade, of course. While the Hedberg Public Library was undergoing a renovation, their storytime room was unavailable for eight months. Staff needed to think outside of the box to find a way to serve their youngest patrons. This obstacle sparked the presenters to foster a new community partnership and develop an intergenerational storytime for their patrons and the residents at Oak Park Place senior living community. Learn about the benefits of intergenerational programming and hear the details of how the program was developed and implemented. Mary Westness, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville; Shannon Murphy-Tollefsrud, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville

Deepening Community Engagement through PBS KIDS: A Cohort Story - Through an exciting new initiative called the PBS KIDS Community Learning Cohort, PBS Wisconsin worked with 15 libraries around the state to empower and elevate family and community learning engagement. Participants created a community of practice, received training through five, 1.5-hour-long play-based webinars on PBS KIDS digital media resources, and received a $1,000 stipend to implement their own PBS KIDS program during Summer 2021. Come hear stories of value and impact from participating libraries and learn how to integrate playful, educational PBS KIDS resources into your youth programming to create new, innovative programs for your library. Mouna Algahaithi, PBS Wisconsin Education; Elizabeth Timmins, Muehl Public Library, Seymour; Sheva Abeles-Allison, Ashland High School; Katie Guzek, Brown County Library, Green Bay

                                Thurs  11:30 am-12:15 pm

Diversity Audit: How and Why to Make It Happen With Your Collections - Diversity audits for collections are a great way to get insight into how diverse a collection is and are especially helpful identifying the gaps. Audits can also be incredibly daunting and time consuming, easily put on the backburner. Join three youth services librarians to learn how they successfully applied/created and implemented different diversity audits to their picture book, juvenile, and young adult collections. They’ll share how to get things started, the importance of making it happen, what to do with the compiled data, including ideas for handling bad representations, and tips and tricks learned along the way. Claire Parrish, Rice Lake Public Library; Jenna Gilles-Turner, Chippewa Falls Public Library; Laura Turpin, St. Croix Falls Public Library

                               Thurs  2:00 am-2:45 pm

Sustainable Programming: Taking Good Care of Ourselves, Our Organizations, and Our Earth - Community members connect with ideas, one another, and library staff through programs offered by their public library. Whether it’s connecting children through storytimes, teens through hands-on activities, or adults through book clubs, library programs provide opportunities for community members to meet and engage with each other. Library programs support communities, but how do they provide sustenance for library professionals, our organizations, and our beautiful planet? In this session, the speakers will present new ideas for sustainable program planning as well as concrete and original examples of eco-friendly activities that support and celebrate sustainable actions and ideas. Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison; Rhonda Gould, Walla Walla County Rural Library District, WA

Transitioning From Summer to 365 With Reading Challenges - The presenter will discuss how libraries using Beanstack can easily transition to doing year-round or “365” programming through Beanstack. Participants will discuss how this type of consistent promotion can help drive patron use and engagement. They will also learn how this approach can help increase participation year-round while also increasing participation in flagship programs such as Summer Reading and 1000 Books Before Kindergarten. Librarians currently using Beanstack will be invited to share how they are using the platform. All attendees will gain access to Beanstack’s calendar of content and tips on how they can utilize reading challenge content provided to them as part of their membership. Rebekah Garrety, Zoobean Inc.

2021 Elizabeth Burr / Worzalla Award Winner Cathy Camper - Cathy Camper, the 2021 Elizabeth Burr / Worzalla award winner, will discuss her award-winning book, Ten Ways to Hear Snow, and share stories and inspiration from her life. Cathy Camper, Author

Thurs  3:30-4:15 pm

Social Justice Programming in the Children's Department - The presenter will discuss three social justice programs she has successfully presented at the library – Tender Topics, a program for adults about using picture books to discuss sensitive topics; Social Justice Family Story Time, a family story time focused on important social issues; and Social Justice Book Club, a book club for 4th grade and up focused on topics similar to Social Justice Family Story Time. Attendees will leave knowing the reasons for having such programs, with advice for planning similar programs and suggestions for handling negative responses. Are you ready to share your passion for social justice with your patrons? Here’s your chance!  Maria Schmitt, Wauwatosa Public Library

                                      Thurs  7:00-8:30 pm

Awards and Honors Dessert Reception  - Celebrate Aram Public Library's Katherine Schoofs for her Innovative Program Award! This is your opportunity to personally thank and interact with our award winners! Cash bar available.

Plus many more programs and events of interest including a morning keynote, luncheon speaker, WLA membership meeting and yoga. Wowser! Register today!

Just Wondering - How Do We Balance Technology?

Youth Services Shout Out -

This post by Manitowoc (WI) Public Library Youth Librarian and YSS Board Member Susie Menk explores questions about how we weed during a pandemic. And she's wondering....what do you think? 

Technology is so much a part of our society today that sometimes we don’t realize how often we depend on it.  We have smart phones, tablets, laptops and PCs.  We use computers to check out books, buy groceries, buy items online and keep ourselves entertained.  In the last year and a half, not only has our society looked to technology for keeping in contact but children are learning to use electronic devices on a much larger scale than ever before.  Classrooms flipped from in-person to virtual.  Libraries offer stations with iPads and AWE computers.  We have Launchpads (tablets with pre-loaded apps) and video games for checkout now.  

But is all this technology helping children or harming them?  Are these devices and apps getting them to read or expanding the titles that they have access to? Or is it stopping them from reading and making them have screen burnout?  Should libraries be offering all these options for technology or should we stick to the basics of printed books?

I am not bashing technology by any means.  I use technology every day and am so very grateful for Zoom and Google Duo during this pandemic.  My devices allowed me to keep in contact with my friends and family during the recent isolations due to the pandemic.  Libby is my most used app because I love the ability to store my books on my devices and it allows me to read with a large font (which my kids always tease me about!)

I have done storytimes using apps.  My favorite book related app is “Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App!”.  I love going into school classrooms and showing students how to do research using our digital resources like BadgerLink and NoveList.  We offer robotics and coding classes to area Scout groups.  Believe me, I see many benefits to technology and equal access for all.  I just wonder if the devices are good for kids.  When we look at child development, we talk about kids needing experience and interaction with the world around them.  Does technology allow them those experiences and interactions or does it give kids a distorted view?  

Are we, as libraries, offering a good balance between technology and the printed word?  What does your library offer?  Are you happy with what you offer?  Would you change it if you could?