Youth Services

Resources for library staff working with kids and their caregivers.
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Summer Library Program

Create, manage, and measure reading challenges for your patrons. Create summer, winter, 1000 Books Before Kindergarten and other challenges for kids, families, and adults. Beanstack is free for all Wisconsin Public Libraries to use for their patrons through 2023. Still need access? Email Cole for help getting your account set up!
-Beanstack Help Center

-BeanstackEDU Presents: Successfully Set Up and Deliver 1,000 Books at Your Library

Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP)

Each year the CSLP creates a manual based on a new slogan and artwork which includes an early literacy program, a children’s program, a teen program, and an adult program. Manual access is provided to all Wisconsin Public Libraries through the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

Movie Licensing USA | Swank Motion Pictures

Group licensing sign-up/renewals occur in May of each year. Contact Cole Zrostlik at for more information.A list of studios/movies covered by the license can be found here: is a link to Swank's 2022 programming calendar-- it's kind of fun if you're looking for movie programming ideas! 

Marketing materials:; The WRLS Group access number (login) is 196404-1 or you have your own access number on your license certificate (use either, it doesn't matter).

**2022 Swank Outdoor Movie Exception**
The outdoor exception will continue through 12/31/2022. Libraries can show select movies outdoors, on library property, for no cost. Here is the link to the outdoor exception information:

New to Storytime?

Here are resources to help you get started:

Jbrary’s blog series on choosing songs and rhymes, choosing storytime books, how to read books to a group, using felt stories, and using puppets is thorough and very useful for beginners!

Supercharged Storytimes is a FREE recorded course from WebJunction, taught by Early Literacy expert Saroj Ghoting. (Also, visit Saroj Ghoting’s website for great getting-started advice.)

Sensory storytime tips from The Youth Desk.

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)
Follow ALSC for news, ideas, and more. Read Children & Libraries, a publication of ALSC, for free in Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text in BadgerLink– find a shortcut on our Professional Development Collection page.

Media Mentorship

Carissa’s App Picks for Kids | Madison Public Library
High-quality apps you can feel good about.

#LookToLibraries is an initiative from the Association for Library Service to Children that focuses on advocating for the work of children’s librarians. 

Parent Resources & Online Safety Tips from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Working with School-Aged Kids

BadgerLink | NoveList K-8  Teach kids to independently find read-alikes, discussion guides, reading lists, and more.

Bay Area Discovery Museum
Find research-backed activities, lesson guides, and more resources designed specifically for educators in formal and informal settings.

BADM Activity Database

BADM Creative Summer Learning Experiences: A Practical Guide for Libraries

BADM Resources for Promoting Childhood Creativity through Libraries

Celebration Weeks & Promotional Events 
The American Library Association’s offices and divisions sponsor a variety of library promotions throughout the year that libraries of all types all across the country can get involved with to promote libraries and create awareness of library issues. The oldest of these events is National Library Week.

Programming Librarian is a website of the American Library Association Public Programs Office. With ideas, news, program models, and more.

Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit | American Library Association

Homeschool Resources

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction | Home-Based Private Education
Access to the State Form PI-1206 needed to register for Home-Based Private Instruction. Parents must complete the PI-1206 form every school year.

Homeschool World
Official website of “Practical Homeschooling” magazine. Articles, online shopping, and forums.

Wisconsin Christian Educator’s Home Association
Wisconsin CHEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving all home educators in the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Parents Association
A Wisconsin homeschooling non-profit organization with resources and support information.


Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
Follow YALSA for great book lists, program ideas, grant opportunities, and more. Read Young Adult Library Services, YALSA’s award-winning e-journal, for free in Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text in BadgerLink– or find a shortcut on our Professional Development Collection page.

Professional Tools | YALSA

Teen Librarian Toolbox | School Library Journal

Teen Services Underground

Book Clubs

Multi-copy Book Club Kits: Statewide List

Novelist has some great book club book suggestions and resources.

Teaching Books has discussion guides and author videos perfect for youth book discussions.

Collection Development & Reader's Advisory Resources (List)

AILA | American Indian Youth Literature Award

Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America.

APALA | Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association

APALA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing leadership opportunities through informed dialogue that addresses the needs of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander library workers and those who serve these communities.

ALSC | Children’s Notable Lists

Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children’s books, recordings, and digital media.

BadgerLink | Core Collections Complete

Interface search for Children’s, Middle & Junior High, and Senior High Core Collections that includes reliable guides for collection development and maintenance, curriculum support, readers’ advisory and general reference.

BadgerLink | NoveList K-8

Children’s fiction recommendation resource with read-alikes, discussion guides, reading lists, and more.

BCALA | Booklists

Booklists created by members of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association celebrating the Black experience and the Black community.


The best book reviews, readers’ advisory, and collection development guidance from the experts at the American Library Association.

PERMALINK to all issues and articles in BadgerLink.

The Booklist Reader is free to all, and often links to content on Booklist Online, a paid database of over 170,000+ reviews and feature articles.

CCBC | Awards and Best-of-the-Year Lists

Selected children’s and young adult literature awards and best-of-the-year lists from the Children’s Collaborative Book Center (CCBC) at UW-Madison. An excellent collection development resource.

Kirkus Reviews

The nation’s leading prepublication journal of book reviews.

PERMALINK to all issues and articles in BadgerLink.

NCTE | Children’s Book and Poetry Awards

The Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children, the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, and the Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children from the National Council of Teachers of English. 

Publishers Weekly ($)

Publishers Weekly is familiarly known in the book world as PW and “the bible of the book business.” 

PW’s Best Books Lists

Sign up for one or all of PW’s FREE e-newsletters.

School Library Journal (SLJ)

The most complete provider of news, information and reviews for librarians and media specialists who serve children and young adults in school and public libraries.

PERMALINK to all issues and articles in BadgerLink.

Starred Reviews

A project of the IFLS and Wisconsin Valley Library Systems, Starred Reviews provide an excerpt of the reviews that have been deemed worthy of stars by these publications:  Booklist (BL), Kirkus (KIR), Publishers Weekly (PW), and School Library Journal (SLJ).  There may be some duplication from month to month, as we don’t always catch which titles were featured in other, earlier publications.

We Need Diverse Books

We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.

Wisconsin First Nations: American Indian Studies in Wisconsin

An excellent resource for teachers and librarians in Wisconsin. Films, First Nations booklists by age, maps, games, timelines, and more.

WLA | Children’s Book Awards

The Children’s Book Award Committee of the Wisconsin Library Association’s Youth Services Section annually selects outstanding books for youth by Wisconsin-connected authors and awards the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, Outstanding Books of the Year, and Notable Wisconsin Authors/Illustrators.

YALSA | The Hub

The Hub is a teen collections blog for YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association. Learn more about the organization on the YALSA website.

Other Recommended Resources for Youth Services Staff

PBS Wisconsin Education Activating technology to serve learners and educators, because learning happens everywhere—the world is our classroom.

Programming Librarian is a website of the American Library Association Public Programs Office. With ideas, news, program models, and more.

TeachingBooks is a database of resources for children’s and young adult books and their authors and illustrators. Use TeachingBooks to search titles, authors and illustrators, and find resources to engage readers. The resource collection includes short movies, audio book readings, book discussion guides, and more.

WRLS Shared Kits | Media Conversion/STEM/Maker/Play 

Youth Services | Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Youth Services Shout-Out Blog
An up-to-date spot for library staff serving youth around Wisconsin to find relevant news, events, and resources. Any YSS member wishing to write posts, please e-mail Marge Loch-Wouters at

Reseach-Backed Child Development Resources

Harvard Center on the Developing Child 

Excellent source for information on brain development, including short videos, activity suggestions, and more.

Reach Out & Read

By engaging healthcare providers to model reading to a child and sending families home with new books, parents are two times more likely to continue to read at home with their child. 

Reach Out & Read in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Health Services– Developmental Milestones

Every child learns and grows at their own pace, but, according to WDHS, there are general milestones every child should meet as they develop how they play, learn, speak, act, and move. Here are some recommended tools that parents/educators can use to understand developmental milestones.

Birth to 3 Program: Child Development Resources

Every Child Ready to Read

The Every Child Ready to Read program encourages parents to interact with their children using the five practices of early literacy: singing, talking, reading, writing, and playing. Every Child Ready to Read has found that libraries hold a unique advantage in fostering parent education. Nearly every community has a library and their services are free. Finding partnership with other agencies has also helped expand their reach to parents and families who can most benefit from their services.

5 Practices Framework

More Resources

Search Institute

Search Institute is a nonprofit organization with a sixty-plus-year history of collaboration with partners to conduct and apply research that promotes positive youth development and advances equity.

Developmental Relationships Framework (Search Institute)

Developmental Assets Framework (Search Institute)

White Paper (Search Institute)–Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive


National Association for the Education of Young Children

Articles intentionally connecting play and learning, ideas to share with families, and the latest research about learning and play.

Talking Is Teaching

When you talk, read, and sing with your child—even before she can use words—you’re building her brain and helping to prepare her for success in school and in life. P.S. –TRS artwork and printables are awesome! 

Content Bundles

Other Resources

Bay Area Discovery Museum

In 2019, Wisconsin libraries partnered with BADM to create the Reimagining School Readiness Toolkit. The Toolkit’s resources—including implementation tips and strategies for librarians, and take-home activities for families—are based on research from Reimagining School Readiness, a position paper with key findings published by BADM’s in-house research department.