All posts in Libraries

  • Chapter 77- Doors Open Milwaukee (Volunteer Orientation)


    For the past few years, I’d hear about Doors Open Milwaukee as it was happening and wish I had coordinated my life so I could attend.  The idea of the event is to open up buildings in Milwaukee to the public, free of cost, for one weekend.  Check out their website for a list of over 150 buildings at which you could get a closer look.

    This year I decided to sign up to volunteer so I wouldn’t miss the weekend.  Volunteers hang out at one of the sites for a 4 hour shift and greet people entering the building.  And for just those 4 hours, you get to be a part of this cool event AND get a special volunteer badge which lets you enter some of the more popular sites through a separate “volunteer only” line.


    So this morning, after a night of food poisoning, I got myself together by stopping by Rocket Baby Bakery to grab a coffee and croissant, and then met up with other volunteers at the Central Library.

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    We met up in the Centennial Hall, and got a briefing on expectations and details.

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    Volunteer Coordinator Melinda Kallenberger gave us the run down, and also informed us that they’re still looking for over 100 volunteers for the event!  People, stop reading my blog right now and visit the site to get in touch with Melinda and let her know you’ll sign up for one 4 hour shift on Saturday September 20 or Sunday the 21st!


    Afterwards, we got our location assignments (I’ll be in the Milwaukee Public Museum’s Dome Theater), chatted with other volunteers, and fell in love with the new GLOW IN THE DARK t-shirts for sale:



    This is a family-friendly event, too.  A free kids’ passport is available to get your young ones involved in exploring their city.


    I’ll post more about the event after it happens, but I’m so excited to finally check this out.  I hope you can carve out 4 hours of your time to sit and greet people who are hoping to learn more about the city.  Stay tuned for my experience with the weekend, and I’d love to hear if you’ve volunteered or attended before.  Please share!

    A. Storm

  • Chapter 53- Discovery World’s Lawn, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Wauwatosa Public Library

    For the second time in my life, I was early for something.  We showed up to the Milwaukee Art Museum 30 minutes before they opened, so we parked and walked over to Discovery World’s lawn to hang out.


    We found our way to the dock and climbed on the wooded steps and talked about how deep Lake Michigan is and how many fish live in the water.


    At 10am, we headed to the museum, stood against some white walls for photos, then headed to the Play Date With Art.


    First, we made patchwork “quilts”, and talked with our friend Jim (who works at the entrance ushering people into the museum and shares his general light and energy with folks).



    Then we sat on colored squares and sang songs, played instruments, and played games.  Afterwards, my brother, who works a block away from the museum, met us in the cafe for a quick lunch.


    Then, because everyone was being super awesome and naps don’t happen every day these days, we headed to the Wauwatosa Public Library to check out some books.  We’re doing the 1001 books before kindergarten challenge, so expect to see a lot of library adventures this summer!


    Have a great weekend, all!

    A. Storm

  • Chapter Forty- Wauwatosa Library Story Time

    Three cheers for free drop-in story time!  The kids and I met my sister-in-law and her son at the Wauwatosa Public Library.  Story Time is in sessions at this library, so check the website before you head there.  There are a few different times and kinds, but we went to the 11:15am session and it’s way less crowded than the 9:30am one.  Good thing because we had five children with us!

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    Miss Annie led the group in songs and stories.  She’s charismatic and calm at the same time, if that can be true.  This is a really short story time, only 20 minutes or so.  Great for little ones with short attention spans, but our crew definitely didn’t want it to end.  The twins were a little hesitant to stand up and sing at first, but having a big sister to pave the way helped out.

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    We watched a puppet show, “The Soup Opera”.  All the kids were enthralled with the singing (played through the CD player).  Little A insisted on more well after the final applause.

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    The artwork takes you inside the world of books (duh), and it definitely reminds me of the public library I went to growing up.

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    In the main section of the Children’s Library, you’ll find books and puzzles to stay busy.

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    You used to have to check out the puzzles, but apparently you can just go behind the desk and get them yourself.

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    This trip was a success.  Kids socialized, sang songs and were entertained.  We left without any injuries or temper tantrums…not bad!  There isn’t a place that I know of in the library where you can have snack or lunch, so we headed home for mac ‘n cheese.  In the summer we could have had a picnic on the grass, though.

    Stay warm, folks!

    A. Storm

  • Chapter Thirty Four- Milwaukee Public Library, Central Branch

    For my inaugural trip with all four kids, I went to the Central Library for story time (with a babysitter…there’s no way I could have done this adventure on my own).

    We parked on 9th, and went in the back doors.  I’m not sure why I always use this entrance.  I think I parked near it once and assumed it was the best way.  However, upon using the front entrance since this trip, I’ve realized that I’ve been missing out on some amazing beauty and architecture.  So just use the front entrance…


    Anyway, we walked in and Little A proceeded to greet EVERYONE in the very very silent part of the library by shouting “Hi!!!!!!” to anyone whose gaze she met.  Or didn’t.

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    The children’s section of this library is huge and fun and has a lighthouse.  Do I really need to keep going?  I will…

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    A very nice lady met us and some stories, and even had the kids interact by choosing colors and putting them on the felt board when called upon.  We sang some songs and generally had a nice story time.  It was a pretty small crowd during the songs and stories.


    Afterwards, the kids all went to explore the train table, toys, puppets, puzzles and lighthouse.

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    I followed the girls up the lighthouse (a very tight squeeze for an adult!).  This is the view of the children’s section from the top of the lighthouse.  By this time, it was a really busy place!

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    We played some more, ate a snack (provided free of charge by the library), and did the hokey pokey.  Little A and Little T were champion dancers and never wanted it to end (“MO’ POKEY!  MO’ POKEY!”).


    And some of us just played with trains the entire time.


    Check out this library.  It’s beautiful and has some really amazing free offerings for kiddos.

    Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving…


    A. Storm