Poster Sessions

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Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Poster Abstracts

Celebrating Student Creativity through Activity Kits

Katelyn Sabelko, Stephanie Zalewski, Greta Zimmermann, Graduate Students at UW-Madison iSchool and Graduate Assistants at Edgewood College, Madison
Our poster will show how we created circulating activity kits for the students at Edgewood College’s Oscar Rennebohm Library. We will share how we collaborated with the campus community to gather items, created each kit to appeal to a different interest, and sought to connect students to each other, nature and new hobbies. With activities ranging from hiking to knitting to gaming, our activity kits encourage other academic libraries to think creatively about connecting students with new experiences. In our poster, we will share how our project came together, our marketing and promotion strategies, and how we continue to improve our kits. Additionally, we will provide resources for other libraries to adapt this project in similar low-cost, high-impact ways.

Chippewa Valley Technical College and Open RN

Vince Mussehl and Kim Ernstmeyer, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Eau Claire
In the spring of 2019, Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) was awarded a $2.5 million grant as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Open Textbooks Pilot grant program. The grant, Open Resources for Nursing, or Open RN, is allowing us to create a more affordable experience for students enrolled in nursing courses by developing open nursing textbooks and related virtual reality scenarios. Visit our poster to learn more about where we are at with our project, hear how the library has been supporting this project, and discover more about how we are making nursing education more innovative and affordable for students.

Curating Stories: Library Resources, Information Literacy, and Public Engagement

Laura Godden, Academic Librarian and Archivist, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) Murphy Library Special Collections and Area Research Center (ARC)
Orange-colored signs distributed throughout downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin, encourage people on the street to dial a toll-free number to listen to a first-person account from an everyday citizen about the very place they stand. Hear, Here is an outreach project that utilizes library resources to enable student learning and engage with the community through its local history materials. From the initiative's beginning, librarian/archivist Laura Godden has partnered with history professor Ariel Beaujot at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL). Godden enhances the project with specifically tailored information literacy instruction as well as through recommending and incorporating library resources.

Fostering an Extraordinary Opportunity to Share, Use, and Reuse knowledge at UW-Madison: The OER Working Group

Brooke Schenk, Campus Libraries Curricular Content Librarian; Carrie Nelson, Director of Scholarly Communication; Laura Schmidli, Instructional Technology Consultant, L&S Learning Support Services, UW-Madison
The OER Working Group at UW-Madison began as an informal community of people with an interest in open education and has now become a cross-campus working group. Our mission is to foster an environment at UW-Madison that encourages instructors to create, adapt, and adopt open course materials that facilitate learning and improve access to high quality, innovative learning resources. This poster provides information about Open Educational Resources, the UW-Madison working group, and highlights current projects and initiatives.

Hepatitis A: Front Lines at the Library (A Public Health Story)

Lea Lakes, Public Health Advisor, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Madison
Widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A are occurring throughout the United States, including in Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois. Librarians are on the front lines of serving communities who are at risk of contracting hepatitis A, such as those who are experiencing unstable housing, populations recently incarcerated or who have incarcerated loved ones, and people who struggle with drug use. The Wisconsin Department of Public Health (DPH) is asking for the help of librarians to prevent an outbreak of hepatitis A from occurring in Wisconsin. Please stop by for some free flyers to hang up at your libraries and learn how to help library patrons look up their personal vaccination history online through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR)! Spread the message: to prevent an outbreak of Hepatitis A VACCINATE!

The Information Specialist Internship Program: Increasing LIS Diversity through Undergraduate Engagement

Kelli Hughes, Public Services Librarian, College Library, UW-Madison; Carrie Kruse, Director of College Library, User Experience and Library Spaces, UW-Madison
The Information Specialist Internship Program (ISIP) aspires to increase diversity in the information professions by providing undergraduates from historically underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to gain professional work experience in a large academic library system. We recruit second and third-year undergraduate students with the primary goal of fostering interest in libraries and librarianship to create library advocates and future library leaders from diverse backgrounds. Over the course of two years, interns complete five modules in the areas of Collection Management, Information Technology, Public Services, and Special Libraries, providing a breadth of exposure to critical areas of the field. The internship concludes with a semester-long capstone project tailored to the intern’s personal interests and career goals. This poster presentation will provide an overview of the ISIP framework and an examination of our challenges, outcomes, and future opportunities.

Inter-generational Programming Made Easy - And Fun!

Becky Pfile, Director, Endeavor Public Library, Endeavor
The poster will highlight a holiday program (Endeavor's First Annual Old-Fashioned Christmas) held at Endeavor Public Library last year. The program which brought musical entertainment from a local youth brass band, cookies and hot chocolate, family photos by the tree, and the unveiling of a milk-jug “ice cave” reading nook was only made possible by the collaborative efforts of school-aged kids, the elderly, and adults in our community. All community members were invited to donate milk jugs and the kids built and decorated the shelter. Seniors in the community gathered after their weekly luncheon at the senior meal site and decorated cookies to serve at the program, while adults assisted in planning and set-up. And a local youth brass band, directed by a library board member, performed a set of a half-hour’s worth of holiday music as entertainment during the program.

Inviting Children and the Community into the Academic Library

Kati Schaller, Education & Instruction Librarian, UW-Eau Claire, and Kate Kramshuster, Interim Co-Director and Head of Public Services, UW-Stout, Menomonie
The Educational Materials Centers at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout are collections of children’s and YA books, textbooks, puppets, and hands-on learning kits designed to support curricular areas including education, counseling, and related programs focused on children and families. Both institutions not only support academic missions, but have also worked to invite children, families, and the community into the space through story-times, art programming, and increased marketing of the collections. By developing partnerships on-campus and off, the education librarians at each campus have seen an increase in programming, circulation, and space usage. This poster will provide an overview of programs offered at our libraries, and provide tips for making partnerships and marketing your unique collections both within and outside your institution.

Loose Parts Play in the Library 

Gretchen Swadley, Children's Librarian, Brown County Library Southwest Branch, Green Bay
“Loose parts” is a phrase used to describe any collection of natural or manmade objects that can be used to spark creativity in children. The term was created by Simon Nicholson who believed that loose parts are important to higher-order thinking. These materials provide open-ended play with no pre-determined use or function. We have gathered many different types of materials to create a Loose Parts Kit for our library system. At our program, children play together with the items however they choose and are limited only by their own imagination. These programs have inspired parents to look at what they can provide their children to play with at home. Opportunities to play freely are another great way to increase children’s literacy and socialization skills.

Making Makerspaces Accessible 

Katie Killian, Graduate Student, UW-Madison iSchool
Makerspaces are an exciting new addition to public libraries. They build community, boost confidence, and can help connect what students are learning in the classroom to tangible projects they can be proud of creating. However, makerspaces can also overwhelm new users and hold even more obstacles for others. Ensuring every patron has an equitable chance for exploration in the space requires attention to detail and effort by library staff. The good news is there are lots of small ways to extend accessibility to everyone - including wide aisles for patrons using wheelchairs, options for large fonts on monitors for those with visual impairments, visual instructions for English learners, and reaching out to local girls groups and GSA groups to welcome patrons who may not feel the space can be theirs, too. Making makerspaces more accessible helps everyone feel more welcome and free to explore in the space!

A New Approach to Library Programs

Erin Hoag, Learning Content Manager, DEMCO, Madison
Milton Public Library kicked off their summer program with a themed camp; Houston Public Library in Texas had 125 people participate in a STEM activity making simple circuits; kids at Homer Public Library in Alaska learned about media literacy and photo doctoring while making clay models. What do all of these have in common? Guided discovery learning and Wonderosity programs. This approach allows program participants to draw on their own knowledge, use research skills, and test and reiterate to complete activities. By not giving the participants the answers, librarians don’t have to be the experts in the subject matter but rather, can acknowledge when they don’t know the answer and work with participants to try and figure it out together. See how five libraries and one library system have tried this approach to learning, what worked well, and what they might do differently in the future.

On Being a Book Foster Family: Finding Temporary Homes for 8,000 Library Books

Erica Brewster, Director; Lyn Pietila, Assistant Director; Edward U. Demmer Memorial Library, Three Lakes
In 2018, the Demmer Library was faced with the daunting challenge of temporarily relocating our collection of 30,000 items during a major remodeling project that would last almost one year. We invited Demmer patrons to become “book foster families” and take home a collection of books of their choosing to love, care for, protect, and play with for that year. With the support of Wisconsin Valley Library Service system, Demmer Library staff helped more than 100 individuals and families check out nearly 8,000 books, or a quarter of our collection, significantly reducing the amount of temporary storage space and the amount of materials to be moved. The program engaged the community in directly contributing to the building effort and the excitement and pride in becoming a book foster family increased the sense of individual ownership in “their Demmer.”

The PBS KIDS Guide to Bridging STEM, Family Engagement, and Curiosity

Mouna Algahaithi, Education Engagement Specialist, Wisconsin Public Television Education, Madison
In this poster session, we will share free, accessible, activity plans with libraries, created by PBS KIDS and public media stations around the country, dedicated to ensuring children are ready to learn in any space they are in. Focusing on STEM, the Activities Guide is a collection of fun, hands-on activities that librarians can use. The activities integrate digital media literacy, books, and play into meaningful learning experiences that children will remember!

Preservation, Collaboration, and Visualization: How a Book Becomes an Experience

Morgan Witte, Graduate Project Assistant, UW-Madison
People of the Sturgeon is a tale of the cultural and scientific history of an iconic Wisconsin fish, the lake sturgeon. An ESRI Story Map, presented at WAAL in 2015, was the first project in what became a series inspired by the book. The Wisconsin Water Library preserved interviews with local figures, collected during the writing of the book, as oral histories in the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections open repository. Wisconsin Water Library and Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts collaborated on a unique exhibit of fine art, spearing equipment, decoys, and memorabilia that presents the sturgeon story in another medium. The Story Map has been revamped to incorporate oral histories and highlight the importance of visualization for place-based stories. The three components – oral history preservation, artistic collaboration, and Story Map visualization – reach distinct audiences and demonstrate the value of auditory, visual, and experiential learning in outreach and education.

Reading is Good for Your Health

Darlene Kaskie, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, University of Iowa
Public libraries provide a forum where readers come together to talk about books and their reading experience. Usually each group has a number of participants who read and talk about books on a specific topic. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is a supporting partner. In 2018, the NNLM Reading Club started offering free, downloadable discussion guides and health information in recognition of a consumer health topic. Three nonfiction, fiction, memoir, or graphic medicine titles are selected each month. Libraries also have the option to apply for a free, ready-to-use kit, compete with books and materials. Learn how 1,400 readers, and growing, have discussed health and wellness topics important to them and their loved ones through the fun and intimacy of the NNLM Reading Club and their local library.

Reading Reptiles 

Christina Makos, Youth Services, Spring Green Community Library and Verona Public Library
The Spring Green Community Library has partnered with the Madison Area Herpetological Society and the Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue to provide a lifelong learning experience by fostering reptiles in the library setting. The poster will provide the planning, implementation, and expected outcomes of this joint program to inform and encourage more libraries to foster and teach about reptiles and provide homes for those who need them most.

Trauma-Informed Readers Advisory for Adults

Bailey Anderson, Graduate Student, UW-Madison iSchool
For adults who are struggling with trauma such as violence, war, or sexual abuse, reading can be risky business. The content of novels may re-traumatize some readers, which makes reading inaccessible for many adult patrons. Librarians do not have adequate tools to confidently tell such patrons whether a book may re-traumatize them. This presenter is working on a controlled vocabulary and readers’ advisory tool for patrons and librarians that records content warnings. The hope is to create a more accessible and trauma-informed information environment, while understanding the current market and existing tools (and what works or does not work), the impact of labels, and privacy concerns.

Wisconsin State Law Library Services to Librarians

Carol Hassler, Web Services Librarian, Wisconsin State Law Library, Madison
The State Law Library works closely with other libraries to support the research needs of our community of users. The library offers research assistance and a practice-oriented legal collection to government employees, attorneys, librarians, and members of the public. We emphasize outstanding service to facilitate equal access to the law throughout Wisconsin. We offer training and outreach programs to government agencies, local bar associations, and public libraries. Ask us how we can help!

A Universe of Stories

Elizabeth M. Timmins, Library Director and Programmer, Muehl Public Library, Seymour
The summer reading program theme of UNIVERSE OF STORIES at our library was focused on astronomy. Now, for fall, we are morphing the theme into focusing on stories of patrons. This poster session will have three components: 1) We will show how we did a multigenerational summer reading program culminating in a reward field trip for readers to a local planetarium! 2) UNIVERSE OF STORIES is extending into fall with patron stories. On Sept 12, a patron did a talk about her summer vacation to Vietnam along with her mother and daughter. On Sept 15 and Oct 17, another patron did pop up grief groups. Her story is that she has learned from coping with the loss of her parents by helping others with their personal grief. 3) Bonus idea: a welcome packet about the library available to hand deliver to new leaders in the community. *We are always excited to tell our library story and we are always happy to hear the stories that our patrons have to share.

WVLS 2019-2020 Innovation & Collaboration Literacy Grant

Tammie Blomberg, Director, Rib Lake Public Library; Annette Miller, Children's Librarian, Tomahawk Public Library
The Rib Lake Public Library and Tomahawk Public Library are the recipients of the WVLS 2019-2020 Innovation and Collaboration Literacy Grant. This $20,000 grant is designed for two partnering WVLS libraries to each create a space where families can talk, read, sing, write and play together. Annette Miller, Children’s Librarian for the Tomahawk Public Library, and Krista Blomberg, Children’s Librarian for the Rib Lake Public Library, will each use the funds to update the design of an area in their library. Changes for Rib Lake include a thirteen-foot mural from a local artist, updating a reading cubby and play structure, and colorful hemp globe lights. Tomahawk will be adding sky colored paint, some clouds, a tree, and a log cabin. They will both be adding new signage and furniture, as well as interactive themes and purchased materials in their spaces. This poster highlights their ideas and progress.


Is your summer reading program surpassing all expectations? Are you implementing a new service model and seeking feedback? Would you like to share out a successful initiative but avoid public speaking?

Then the poster session at the WLA fall conference is for you! We’re seeking participants for this newly established event - another, more visual way, to “Celebrate Every Story.”

The WLA Conference Planning Committee is now accepting proposals for a poster session to be held during the fall conference at the Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells. The poster session is scheduled for Thursday, October 10, at 4:30 p.m.

Proposals are due by Friday, September 6, 2019.

Poster Sessions:
Poster session proposals are welcome from any person or organization who has ideas to present to Wisconsin's library community.

All poster presenters will be assigned a skirted table space. Presenters are responsible for providing their own way of mounting their poster on a table, whether it be a table easel or a mounting board for the poster. No other equipment will be provided. Wireless internet access will be available.

Awards will be given for Best Content and Best Visual Display in both the Professional and Student categories.

To submit a poster session proposal, please fill out this FORM.