Monday, September 23, 2013

10 Great Moments in UW Parents' Weekend

On Friday, September, 20th the Wisconsin Alumni Association kicked off its annual Parents' Weekend. 

UW Sea Grant Institute, committed to informing citizens about everything from invasive species to hypothermia, hosted the Hypothermia Challenge at the Parents' Weekend Exploration Stations event. 

The premise of the challenge is for participants to hold their hand in a cooler of 38-degree Fahrenheit water for 45 seconds; the participant is then given 10 seconds to try to pick up as many dimes at the bottom of the cooler as possible. The purpose of this activity is demonstrate how quickly a person loses dexterity in cold water.

Librarians from The Water Library were on hand to capture the 10 Greatest Moments from the event:

10. When this girl's parents were delighted by how much she hated the cold water. 

9. When the parents got too wild with our scoreboard. You rascals. 

8. When this guy rued the day he ever decided to visit his son at college.

7. This parent's surprised face at the first touch of ice water. 

6. When this mother-daughter team prevailed in the face of adversity!

5. When this gentleman's son claimed his dad only succeeded at the challenge because of his, "Ginormous competitive spirit and sausage fingers."

4. When this woman laughed at her husband's pain.

3. Also, this woman's willingness to volunteer her husband for the challenge--all in the name of science!

2. Jim "Ice Cube" Madsen demonstrating his patented scooping technique.

1. Meeting Badger Families from all over! (Aw, so sweet)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Madison Public Library: Central Branch Sneak Preview!

On Monday, September 9th librarians from Wisconsin's Water Library joined other members of University of Wisconsin-Madison's librarian community, for a special tour of the newly refurbished Central branch of Madison Public Library (MPL).

Although the new library has a sleek, modern design, patrons will still feel at home relaxing with a book or a newspaper (in print or electronic format).

Swarms of UW librarians descend on the Central branch of MPL. 
The tour started in the former basement of the old Central building. This basement has come to life as the new children's area. Some of the features of the children's area include wall prints done by local artist Derrick Buish, scaled-down modern furniture, and colorful flooring.

Edward Berge's Wildflower is ready to delight future patrons.
Librarian Anne Moser test drove a rocking chair in the children's area--she gave it two thumbs up.
The first and second floors of the new branch of the library feature more open space and 325 available seats--a 148% increase over the seating available in the old building.

Part of the new teen area. This space offers an open design with added privacy.
These floors also boast lovely wall prints done by Sofia Arnold, a cafe from Chocolaterian, and an area just for young adult patrons.

The third floor of the Central Library features an art gallery and community room. The art gallery is currently featuring an exhibit called 'Q & A' which invites onlookers to investigate and speculate about question and answer themes found in each piece of artwork.

Adjacent to the gallery space is a beautiful patio area that overlooks Madison. Featured on the patio is a statue titled Heiroglyph by the artist V. Shaffer. Tables and chairs make the patio an ideal area for reading, relaxing, and sipping coffee.

The partially-green roof will collect storm water and contribute to cooling and insulating the building.
From the children's area to the partial green roof-- the refurbished Central branch of MPL is the perfect marriage of modern, industrial, design and comfortable library ambiance.

Wisconsin's Water Library is looking forward to enjoying all the fun of the Central branch's Stacked event on September 19th and its grand opening on September 21st.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Army of Attack Packs

What's made of canvas and full of sea lamprey?

Attack Packs are ready to be sent out into your community. 

If you guessed University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute Attack Packs then you are correct.

You may be wondering, what's an 'Attack Pack'?

The Aquatic Invaders Attack Pack is a waxed canvas rucksack filled with books, pamphlets, examples of invasive species preserved in acrylic blocks, and a totally real sea lamprey. The purpose of the packs is to help educators teach about invasive species in Wisconsin's bodies of water: how invasive species spread, how they hurt the environment, and how to prevent/stop the problem.

Classroom guides, information about aquatic invasive species, and other educational materials are included.

The Attack Packs can be used in conjunction with the "Nab The Aquatic Invaders" website, hosted by the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant.

And, just in time for the new school year, the Water Library's new Project Assistant was able to stuff about 65 packs full of invasive-species fun. And, yes, she handled 65 real (but dead) sea lamprey during the process!

The graduate Project Assistant holds up a lamprey for the camera.
So, how do educators get their hands on this resource?

It is easy. Just request an Attack Pack through University of Wisconsin's Water Library.

From there, the pack will be delivered to your local public library through the Library Delivery Network of Wisconsin.