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New Year, New Read

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Whether you choose to make them or not, January is commonly associated with resolutions. Since resolutions often include improving your health, reconnecting with friends, and taking on new goals and challenges, January is also a great time of year to start a book club that embraces those same ideals - especially with temperatures in Wisconsin tempting us to stay inside, wrap up in a blanket, grab a hot chocolate, and open a book!

Book clubs can take on many forms with varying levels of commitment. They can be as simple as allowing students (or staff!) to come to the library during recess or lunch to read. Maybe there are some competitive spirits who want to try a Battle of the Books. Another option is to create a book club that includes parents. A recent article in Knowledge Quest, “Using Parent Book Clubs to Build a School-Wide Reading Community,” has great ideas, and you can find it in BadgerLink. Or, reach out even further by collaborating with your public library to create a community wide book club or reading event.

Book clubs can be an opportunity to try something new, experiment with technology, and embrace equity. Consider reading a chapter-a-day aloud to your classes, or have students record podcasts of chapters for listeners to enjoy anytime. Involve staff members in student groups, or invite them to form a group of their own. Experiment with clubs that read a wide variety of books with a connecting theme to include all ability levels. Use makerspace areas for students to create things inspired by what they are reading instead of having a discussion.

After deciding on your audience and format, you may need a list of books to read. The Cooperative Children's Book Center has multiple themed lists in addition to the lists and discussion questions for Read On Wisconsin. Although it is a bit late to begin the state competition, WEMTA's Battle of the Books provides fantastic book lists and resources. Be innovative with award winners and “best of…” lists, and use them as inspiration for students and staff to create their own lists to store in your online catalog.

Book clubs are not new to school libraries, yet they certainly support elements of the Future Ready Librarian framework. They are great opportunities to personalize student learning through empowering students as creators, cultivating community relationships, and possibly facilitating professional learning and collaboration, as well. Because there are many great book club ideas and formats to choose from, consider the needs of your students, teachers, community members, and library program as you take action on your new resolution. And, don’t forget the hot chocolate!



Diverse Books with

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A fantastic BadgerLink resource to help readers connect deeply with books is Their mission is to equitably give all readers insights and opportunities that deepen their understanding and joy of the books they are reading. Part of this mission is to provide educational digital resources for quality fiction and nonfiction books that bring culture and race to the forefront of literary conversations with authentic, primary source instructional materials. includes resources that represent diverse cultural experiences as reflected in quality fiction and nonfiction books.

For example you can:

Sample Resources include:


For more information about using BadgerLink to find diverse books, check out our blog from last month where we shared some strategies for using NoveList and NoveList K-8: Diverse Books and BadgerLink.

Written by:
Kara Ripley, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning


Researching Taxation in Wisconsin

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

It’s tax season and Wisconsin residents can stay informed and do research about taxation in Wisconsin by searching the Wisconsin Digital Archives.  As tax laws continue to change, access to information about how taxation impacts Wisconsin residents is important. The Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue does extensive reporting about how taxes in Wisconsin impact the economy. There are reports and statistics about topics such as sales tax, property tax, tax assessment, income tax, and the taxation of goods such as alcohol and beer, automobiles, and fuel just to name a few.

Click on this quick search link to access all publications in the Wisconsin Digital Archives published by the Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue. To learn more about searching by publisher and format, access the Search Tips guides online.

Post written by: Abby Swanton, Resources for Libraries and Lifelong Learning