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Welcome to May, though if you look outside you’d swear it was December! This update is jam-packed with inclusive stuff you can use and CE to be had. I’ve attached two articles from the latest Children and Libraries journal. Since May is mental health month, I thought I would highlight the article ‘The Kids Are Not All Right,’ one of many articles that talks about how much representation in literature matters. Especially in today’s book-banning society, these books are more important than ever.  Each of us has an important role to play in supporting others and treating them with the compassion, respect, and understanding they deserve.

As always, let me know if I can help,



  •  Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race’ Webinars and Workshops This month, Wisconsin Libraries Talk About Race begins year two. Participants will learn about what it takes to be an active ally. All Wisconsin public library workers are invited to continue talking about and taking action toward racial equity in our workplaces, communities, and personal relationships. Register for one or all three webinars and save the date for an in-person workshop on June 15 and 16.

Continuing Education:

  • Using Book Connections at the Public Library, Tuesday, May 2, 12 pm : Learn about the Collection Analysis and Diverse Books Toolkits, ready-to-use resources for your book clubs and story times, homework help features, and more.

  • Library Services to Homeschoolers, Wednesday,  May 3, 1pm : Join Christina Giovannelli Caputo, author of Library Services to Homeschoolers: A Guide to learn how to engage homeschoolers in your community and welcome all learners into your library. Christina will dive into the history, methods, and growing diversity of home education, and will explore outreach opportunities and program inspirations to put into practice in your library.

  • Innovations in Accessible Comics for Blind & Low Vision Readers Symposium, Friday, May 5, 12-3 pm : Accessible Comics for the Blind is presenting their Innovations in Accessible Comics Zoom symposium from 12 – 3:30 p.m. on Friday May 5, 2023, where attendees can hear from the winners of their recent Accessible Comics Design Competition. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn from the blind access experts Thomas Reid, Joshua Miele, Walei Sabry, and Silvana Rainey as they provide their feedback for the prizewinners.

  • Homeless De-Escalation 501: Verbal Tools for Conflict, Thursday, May 11, 1pm : Contact Jamie at jmatczak@wvls.org for the registration link. The recording of the live training will be available for four weeks. This training will cover: Basic verbal tools for setting boundaries and enforcing rules; Advanced verbal tools for tougher situations (someone who is drunk/high, argumentative, etc.); How to deal with folks who want to monopolize your time

  • Read the Rainbow: Serving the LGBTQ+ Community in Your Library, Wednesday, May 17, 10am : LGBTQIA…BCDEFG? What do all those letters even mean, and why should you care? Join Lane for a primer on all things LGBTQ, and learn about how (and why) you can begin to build a more inclusive and welcoming library for both customers and staff and why it matters.

  • Disability Accommodations In Libraries Wednesday, May 17, 1pm : Join JJ Pionke to learn about the disability accommodation process in libraries. JJ will cover the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), how the accommodations process works, as well as issues surrounding the process. This general discussion will be useful for both people looking to request accommodations as well as administrators/supervisors/managers who are curious about the process.

  • Port in the Storm: How you can support LGBTQ+ youth, Thursday, May 18, 10am : Our LGBTQIA+ youth are increasingly under attack and subjected to constant bullying. Participants will learn how to easily identify themselves as an ally: a port in the storm. Participants will also receive resources and advice on how to navigate the troubled waters with these formative young people.

  • DEI and Your Board: Why Boards Need to Act Now! Tuesday, May 23, 11am : Does your board look like the community you serve? Attendees will learn why it is more important than ever to ensure that your board is diverse *and* inclusive. Learn tips and tricks on how to recruit more diverse board members, how to retain them, and how to position them for leadership roles in the future.

  • Building Community Relationships in a Different Language, Wednesday, May 24, 10am : How can you build community partnerships in a different language? Hear one library’s experience with outreach to their Spanish-speaking population. Learn how to build a relationship with an undeserved population so your library can add value to ALL of your community.

  • How to Build an Inclusive and Welcoming Brand, Thursday, May 25,10am : This webinar will guide participants through understanding inclusion in branding and embodying inclusive leadership styles; including things to incorporate to ensure their brand is welcoming to all people. Participants will be given worksheets to help them define core values and create inclusive, aligned brand statements to refer back to so they can get into the practice of honoring their core values and commitments to the communities and environments they work in.

  • Equitable Libraries: Designing Library Programs for All Learners, Thursday, May 25, 2023, 1 p.m. Join PBS Wisconsin Education’s Mouna Algahaithi and Wisconsin’s Library of the Year (‘22) Youth Services Director, Laci Sheldon, to learn about strategies for building communities with an anti-bias, anti-racist, and universal design for learning lens. Participants will learn about PBS KIDS intergenerational model for engaging with families, resources for deepening your own understanding around race and racism, and Sheldon’s Creating Community Beyond Biases: Library Resources programming.


Diverse Holidays in May

Mental Health Awareness Month: recognizes the impact of mental illness on families and communities, and raises awareness for those living with mental and behavioral issues.

Older Americans Month: celebrates the contributions of older Americans in the country.

Jewish American Heritage Month: honors the history of American Jews and their accomplishments.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: pays tribute to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their contributions to society.

5/1 – Beltane: (Pagan) festival held on the first day of May in Ireland and Scotland, celebrating the beginning of summer and open pasturing.

5/1 – International Workers Day: On 21 April 1856, Australian stonemasons in Victoria undertook a mass stoppage as part of the eight-hour workday movement. It became a yearly commemoration, inspiring American workers to have their first stoppage. May 1st was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago.

5/5 – Cinco de Mayo: commemorates Mexico’s defeat of the French army.

5/9 – Lag BaOmer: The holiday celebrates a break in a plague that is said to have occurred during the days of Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud states that the great teacher of Jewish mysticism Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai died on Lag B’Omer, and in modern times the holiday has come to symbolize the resilience of the Jewish spirit.

5/15 – The International Day of Families: This day provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to increase the knowledge of the social, economic, and demographic processes affecting families.

5/17 – International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia: this date honors the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classifications of Diseases of the WHO in 1990. On this day, 132 countries coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBT rights.

5/18 – Ascension Day: Celebrates the departure of Christ from Earth into the presence of God.

5/19 – Jerusalem Day: Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday that commemorates the “reunification” of East Jerusalem with West Jerusalem following the Six-Day War of 1967.

5/19 – Birthday of Malcolm X: Malcolm X was a Black Muslim minister, well known for his activism during the civil rights movement. He was assassinated in 1965.

5/21 – World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development: The day provides us with an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to advance the four goals of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on 20 October 2005: Support sustainable systems of governance for culture, Achieve a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals, Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks, Promote human rights and fundamental freedoms.

5/22 – Harvey Milk Day: Harvey Milk Day celebrates the life and political accomplishments of Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay elected official in the United States.

5/24 – Pansexual Visibility Day: Pan visibility day is an opportunity to raise awareness and improve inclusivity for pansexual people. The word pansexuality originally comes from Greek; pan meaning ‘all’. Pansexual people are attracted to people of all genders.

5/24 – Declaration of the Báb: This date marks the anniversary of the Báb’s announcement of his mission in 1844. The Báb is a prophet and is considered one of the founders of the Baha’i faith.

5/25-5/27 – Shavuot: Shavuot, the feast of weeks, is celebrated seven weeks after the second Passover seder. Although Shavuot began as an ancient grain harvest festival, the holiday has been identified since biblical times with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.

5/26 – Birthday of the Buddha (Buddhist): celebrates the spiritual leader who launched one of the world’s most popular religions. In most Japanese temples, Buddha’s birth is now celebrated on the Gregorian and buddhist calendar date April 8.

5/28 – Pentecost: It commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and other disciples following the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ.

5/29 – Ascension of Baha’u’lláh: It commemorates the anniversary of the death in 1892 of Baha’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’í faith.

5/29 – Memorial Day: Memorial Day is meant to honor all of the people who have died while serving in all of the U.S. military branches.


Sherry Machones (she/her)
Director – Northern Waters Library Service (NWLS)