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Love of Literacy and Learning: Celebrating School Library Month

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Literature, poetry, coding, robotics, and solar eclipses are just some of the learning topics covered across school libraries in Wisconsin. During School Library Month, DPI’s Assistant State Superintendent for the Division for Libraries and Technology Dr. Darrell Williams traveled approximately 1500 miles in April to visit school and public libraries across the state to celebrate and honor our library media specialists who are helping our young people with a love of literacy and learning.

Dr. Williams started his visits in the Madison area at the dual-language charter school, Nuestro Mundo Community School and the Dr. Virginia Henderson Elementary School whose library media specialists make sure their libraries reflect the students both in the books on the shelves and the programming.

Elementary students in their school library class
Horizon Elementary
Kindergarteners Learning Coding

In the Sun Prairie School District, Dr. Williams learned some coding techniques from Horizon Elementary School’s kindergarteners and practiced his on-air voice in the Sun Prairie West High School’s recording studio.

During National Library Week, April 7 – 13, Dr. Williams visited both school and public libraries to learn more about the work they are doing to help foster literacy in students of all ages. He visited Kohler Public Library, which is also the area’s school library for students 4K-12. On that day, the students pulled out their special glasses to view the solar eclipse they learned about in earlier library programming.

Bus mobileA short drive later Dr. Williams stopped in several Sheboygan area libraries including Mead Public Library whose teen center was bustling with activity including study areas and the community room. He also checked out the Monarch Library System’s bus mobile helping bring books and other resources to those unable to make it to their local library.

Students and Staff posting for a photo
Portage High School
students and staff

Portage High School showcased the collaboration between library media specialists and other teachers including areas of IT, Science, and English Literature.

Story time at library
Dr. Underly and Dr. Williams
attending story time 

At Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Library in Baraboo and Rock Springs Library, State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly joined Dr. Williams to see first-hand the programming centered on helping early literacy as well as the work focused on the libraries’ community members.

Dr. Williams visited Clinton Public Library to hear about their children’s story time before witnessing the buzzing energy from Beloit Public Library the host of Book Quest. This reading competition is comprised of 4th and 5th graders from area schools who spend all year reading a list of 25 books to prepare for the spring competition. This year’s winner was team “Todd Timberwolves.”  

To finish off the month, Dr. Williams drove to River Valley High School in Spring Green and spoke with their library media specialist about the work to improve the library resources as well as helping students develop their research skills.

Children outdoors learning about foraging for foodDr. Williams headed outdoors with help from McIntosh Memorial Library librarians for the Ridges and Rivers Book Festival. School was out for the day, but many students stopped by Eckhart Park in Viroqua, Wisconsin to follow author Annika Mersmann for a storytelling tour through an imaginary day of living like a hunter-gather and learn about shelter building, foraging for food, hands-on-crafts, and more.

The final stop took Dr. Williams to Prairie du Chien school district to hear about their youth programming and robotics partnership with 3M.Robotics room

Dr. Williams would like to thank the libraries for the opportunity to visit their amazing spaces. He also would like to thank all Wisconsin's library media specialists, staff, and volunteers for their unwavering dedication to fostering a love for reading and learning among students. Your tireless commitment to providing access to information and cultivating curiosity enriches the lives of countless individuals every day. Thank you for all that you do!

For questions about this information, contact Beth Tomev (608) 266-7410

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