Youth Services Resources

SWLS Youth Resources

SWLS StoryWalk® Guide — Information from SWLS librarians about creating your own StoryWalk®, along with links to additional related resources. (The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vermont, and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.)

SWLS Youth Pinterest Page — archived links from the SWLS YS newsletter curated by SWLS Youth Services Consultant Marge Loch-Wouters.

AccuCut Die Cut-outs — A set of Accu-Cut dies owned by SWLS are housed at the Brewer Public Library in Richland Center. These can be used to make paper cut-outs of a selection of shapes and images. Available shapes can be seen along with their die numbers on the linked PDFs below.

Interested? Contact Brewer Public Library by email at, or phone 608-647-6444. Please include:

  • contact information 
  • which die(s) you’d like
  • number of cut outs
  • how soon the project needs to be completed
  • any specific instructions/requests if they exist

Once your request is complete, make sure you send the paper you’d like to use to Brewer Public Library in delivery! Your order will be sent back to you in delivery once it’s finished. 

Wisconsin Resources

Cooperative Childrens Book Center (CCBC) — offers assistance with reference, book challenges, and book recommendations related to literature for youth. Specializes in diverse literature.

YSS (Youth Services Section) — resources and advocacy for Wisconsin library staff who serve youth, their families, caregivers, and teachers. YSS blog with new content 3-4 times weekly. YSS is a unit of the Wisconsin Library Association.

Youth Services – DPI, Library Services Team — resources and links. Contact Jeni Schomber, Public Library Consultant for questions! 

Summer Library Program Resources

National CSLP (Collaborative Summer Library Program) website

2020 Summer Performer Sharing Document — want to see if another library will share a program with you? Check this Google doc and fill in the blanks. We did this in 2019 to great success!

SWLS Summer Reading and Programming Facebook Page — a spot to share ideas, news, resources and excitement among SWLSers about our upcoming SLPs. Head to Facebook, ask to join and share! Thanks to PdC’s Caitlin Bittner for original set-up & admin.

SRP Facebook Page — With more than 1,600 members from across the nation, this page is jam-packed with ideas, pictures, and resources. Head to Facebook and ask to join. The page updates annually to the new CSLP theme.

Basic Guide to SLPs — briefly explores options you have to design a program that fits your community, including examples and pictures from both SWLS and other Wisconsin librarians to help you plan.

Making Summer Library Program Easier — blog post by Abby Johnson has great ideas to stay balanced.

Past Performers — Click to download an Excel file of past performers (2006-2013) at SWLS libraries.

Storytimes and Early Literacy

Virtual Storytime Services Guide — created by ALSC and CLEL during the COVID pandemic; useful anytime.

What Makes a Good Storytime? practical blog post with great tips.

Storytime Katie and Verona Storytime blogs — storytime plans with books, props, songs, and reviews on topics.

On Taking Breaks Leah Langby advises breaks in storytime and not 46-52 weeks year-round.

Jbrary blog — learn songs and fingerplay via their YouTube channel and find multiple storytime resources.

Growing Wisconsin Readers — resources for caregivers and librarians on early literacy. Wisconsin Dept. of Public Instruction.

Saroj Ghoting, Early Childhood Literacy Consultant — resources and info on Every Child Ready to Read, early literacy, storytimes and more.

Storytime Underground Facebook page — more than 10,000 library staff serving preschoolers share tips, hints, and problem solving.

Reading Is Fundamental — nonprofit literacy organization delivers free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most.

Growing Providers — a free downloadable toolkit for libraries to help you provide great service to child care providers.

Programming Information

All the Ideas: Youth Program Power SWLS Workshop April 15, 2016 — overview of types of programs and program ideas (including many from SWLS libraries).

ALSC Blog (ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children) — provides resources and tips, ideas for programs and displays, and discussions of larger youth services topics.

The Buckeye Librarian blog — infrequent but VERY clever budget-friendly programs for all ages.

Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit — outstanding source with easy to do ideas for collaborating with school colleagues.

Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit for Libraries — easily implemented suggestions that support a growth mindset in children ages 0-8 in library programming.

DPI Annual Report YS Data — short video by WVLS on how to gather and count statistics for youth programs.

Family Reading Partnership Resources — booklists, bookmarks, read-aloud tips, activities and more.

Pubyac listserv — hosted at U of Illinois iSchool, this is a crowd-sourced listserv where tips are shared; problems solved on issues of public libraries serving kids.


Authors and Illustrators on the Web — Canadian site providing links to personal and fan websites of popular authors of children’s and young adult books.

Teaching Books — a resource for authors/illustrators with information, discussion guides, name pronunciation and more. Access through Badgerlink.

Children’s Book Council — Site includes reading lists, author/Illustrator websites, articles on children’s literature, information about getting a children’s book published and more.

CCBC Book Discussion Guidelines — offers nine general rules for leading a book discussion.

ALA Youth Awards — links to Caldecott, Newberry, Sibert, Coretta Scott King, and other major literature and media awards given by the American Library Association. Current year winners and lists of all winners as well as other links.

Wisconsin Youth AwardsElizabeth Burr / Worzalla Award (WLA) and Golden Archer Awards (WEMTA).

Teen Resources

Teen Services 101 — Teen Librarian Toolbox series of blog posts with guidance on Getting Started in Teen Services; Understanding Teens; Serving Teens, Challenges and Rewards; What Keeps Teens Coming Back to the Library?; and So You Want to Do Teen Programming, but What About the Books?

Teen Services Underground blog — resources, program ideas, books, displays and more.

Young Adult Library Association — YALSA, a division of the American Library Association.

52 Weeks of YA Programming — descriptions, budgets, details on successful teen programs from the Youth Services Section (YSS) of WLA.

Programming Inspiration — from Teen Services Underground (TSU).

Passive Program Ideas — from Teen Services Underground and Kelly Jensen & Jackie Parker.

Collection Development

Selection and Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School and Academic Libraries. American Library Association. 2018. Tips, information and samples create update your weeding and selection policies.

Book ReviewsBooklist, School Library Journal, and Kirkus are free available through BadgerLink. This Badger Bulletin blog post has the scoop and an easily followed video on how to access them.

Collection Connection — “Tips for Building a Well-Rounded Collection for Youth” webinar, sponsored by WLA’s YSS (Youth Services Section).

Why We Weed — resources to help support weeding your collections from Awful Library Books blog.

Juvenile Series and Sequels — Mid-Continent (MO) Public Library’s website locates books by series name, title or author.

Locating Magazines — how-to videos for using Badgerlink to locate articles and magazines for youth.

Diversity Audits to Help Make Your Collection Inclusive — great practical how-to and why-to article.


CCBC Diversity Resources Page — many vital links to a variety of resources for purchasing diverse books.

Where to Find Diverse Books — provides a wide variety of ethnic, religious, gender and cultural resources including award lists at the We Need Diverse Books website.

Summer Reading Lists — featuring diverse #ownvoices authors from the We Are Kid Lit Collective.

Tiered Purchasing Plan for Supporting WI Act 31 in Your Classroom or Library — booklist for American Indian materials for youth.

Diversity and Cultural Literacy ToolkitSchool Library Journal 2018.

Evaluating Muslims in KidLit: A Guide for Librarians, Educators, and ReviewersHijabi Librarians blog.

Teaching Books Diverse Books Toolkit — an interactive resource to help you find diverse books by multiple means at their website. To help you navigate, stop by this blog post for a brief training video from Badgerlink.

Spanish Children’s Books Sources — helpful resource to locate books in other languages.

The importance of diversity in library programs and material collections for children — ALSC White Paper. Naidoo, Jamie Campbell (April 5, 2014).

Talk Story — tool kit to share American Indian culture in books and library programs. A database of family literacy storytime ideas includes book suggestions and ideas for songs, crafts or other activities.

Grant Sources

Dollar General has grants around Family Literacy, Summer Reading and Youth Literacy. Applications are accepted beginning in January of each year.

Ezra Jack Keats Mini Grants — up to $500 given annually by Ezra Jack Keats Foundation to libraries/schools for creative, innovative program that serves children from preschool to grade 12. Grant applications are closed on March 31 each year.

Book Prizes

Scholastic Warehouse Book Sales — periodic sales twice annually (Dec/May) around Wisconsin.

Friends of the CCBC Book Sales — held annually in spring and fall at the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in Madison.

Books4School warehouse in Madison; catalog for online ordering or you can walk in. Prices start at $1.65; they can handle tax-exempt purchases.

Scholastic Partnerships Literacy Partners — inexpensive books that had been remaindered from Scholastic book fairs – pre-selected boxes of book with bonus free books at certain spending levels.

Child and Adolescent Development

Developmental Milestones — Birth-Age 5

Common Characteristics of 6-8 Year Olds

Common Characteristics of 9-11 Year Olds

Common Characteristics of 12-14 Year Olds

Teen Brain Science 101 and The Developing Teen

Behavior Management

Wakanheza Project — developed to help staff create a welcoming environment for families under stress.

ACEs: Adverse Childhood Experiences — childhood experiences, both positive and negative, have a tremendous impact on future violence, victimization, and perpetration, as well as lifelong health and opportunity. A project of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Child Management. With an Iron Fist — practical approaches to successfully dealing with behavior by a front-line librarian and former teacher. Part 2 is here.

Undoing Harm: Applying restorative justice approaches to teen behavior in the library (Nov. 1, 2017. Linda Braun. American Libraries).

Recommended General Blogs

Youth Services Shout-Out: YSS Blog — Wisconsin Library Association YSS section. 3-4 posts weekly.

ALSC Blog — ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children. 5-6 posts weekly.

Teen Services Underground blog — independent group. 2-3 posts weekly.

Teen Librarian ToolboxSchool Library Journal. 2-4 posts weekly.

Library Associations

The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) — division of the American Library Association specializing in library services for children. ALSC Blog with new content daily.

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) — division of American Library Association specializing in library services for teens. YALSA Blog and The Hub: Your Connection to Teen Collections blog.

Wisconsin Library Association (WLA) — serving all types of libraries in Wisconsin. YSS is a unit of WLA.