Monthly Archives: May 2017

May 2017 Outrider Now Available


Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the May 2017 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month.

Have news you’d like included? Contact Susan Mark, WSL publications specialist, at or (307) 777-5915. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

ALSC Releases 2017 Summer Reading Lists

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) has released its 2017 Summer Reading Lists. With titles organized into four age ranges, young booklovers are sure to find some great reads to beat the heat. Each list is available to download for free; birth-preschool, K-2nd grade, 3rd – 5th grade, and 6th– 8th grade.

The four 2017 Summer Reading brochures can be customized to include library information. Libraries are encouraged to include contact information, summer hours and details about summer reading and learning programs for children on each brochure before making copies available to patrons, students and neighborhood partners.

Titles on the 2017 Summer Reading List were compiled and annotated by ALSC’s Quicklists Consulting Committee.

Forget Snow — Think Summer Reading!

Might be hard to believe when the snow is falling and the Wyoming highways are closed in late May, but summer reading is almost here! We loved this great promotional video from the Livonia Public Library where the kids tell us how they will “Build a Better World.”

Stop by your local public library to sign up and make your commitment to read something new during the warmer months. It’s not just for kids — many Wyoming public libraries have adult summer reading. Also, library staff might want to take a look at our Summer Reading 2017 LibGuide for resources and ideas.


Art Books for Libraries in Underserved Communities

School is nearly out for summer! Before the end of the year, don’t forget to place your institution’s annual order of free art books through A.R.T.’s Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program.

The D.U.C. provides public schools, libraries, and prisons with free books on contemporary art and culture. All public institutions who self-define as underserved are encouraged to create an account and place an order through the website.

Both new and returning participants are asked to share their experience with the D.U.C. by responding to their brief online survey. Even more appreciated are letters describing the D.U.C.’s impact, which support their program development and fundraising efforts.

Getting Websites Unblocked at Your School

By Doug Johnson, from Chapter 10 of The Indispensable Librarian, 2nd ed.
Reposted from the Blue Skunk Blog under a Creative Commons license

There are few situations more frustrating for a librarian than learning of an Internet resource or tool that would be of value to students but finding it blocked by the district. Here are some strategies for dealing with this problem:

  1. Know and be able to articulate the educational value of the blocked site.
  2. Be able to share examples of how librarians and teachers in other districts are using the resource.
  3. Ask to have the resource provided on a limited basis—for a certain period of time or on specific computers. Report at the end of the test period if any problems were encountered and what uses students made of the resource.
  4. Speak as a member of a group that wants the resource unblocked.
  5. Know exactly who makes the filtering decisions in your district and if there is a formal process for getting a site unblocked.
  6. Understand the abilities of your webfilter, knowing what categories, whitelists, blacklists, and groups are and how they impact the precision with which filtering can be done.
  7. Know local, state, and federal laws pertaining to filtering and student Internet access to avoid “hyper-compliance” by your district.
  8. Communicate in writing your requests and responses when seeking to get a site unblocked. Always copy the supervisor of the decision-maker on all communications.
  9. Seek to establish a formal review process for unblocking Internet resources or seek to have the reconsider policy in your district revised to cover online resources.
  10. File a challenge on the resource to start the due-diligence process on school materials. (Yes, you can do this as a staff member.)
  11. Don’t give up after the first denied request. Come back with other uses, examples, and partners. Sometime the squeaky wheel gets some grease.

Want to read more? The Indispensable Librarian is one of many great titles available in the Wyoming State Library collection. Search our catalog to check out our professional library science materials, or contact Paige Bredenkamp, or (307) 777-6331, for assistance. 

A Letters About Literature Reading List

The Letters About Literature contest invites each student in grades 4-12 to write to an author—living or dead—whose work influenced the student’s life. It’s not a formal report where someone picks a book the child or teen “should” read. Instead, the students themselves pick the books that touched their hearts. If a fourth grader found inspiration in War and Peace, so be it. If a high school senior turned his or her life around after reading Captain Underpants, we welcome their letter. What matters most is that a connection was made.

With that in mind, we thought it would be fun this year to compile a reading list of  all the titles our Wyoming Letters About Literature participants chose. Some are newer, some are classics, some might be surprises, but all touched the lives of at least one young reader. Enjoy.

Level 1 (grades 4-6)

  • Who Was Alexander the Great? by Kathryn Waterfield and Robin Waterfield
  • The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  • Lincoln’s Last Days by Bill O’Reilly and Dwight Jon Zimmerman
  • Dancing in the Wings by Debbie Allen
  • Long Haul (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series) by Jeff Kenney
  • Angela’s Wings by Eric Jon Nones
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Level 2

  • Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Frozen by Robin Wasserman
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Inheritance Cycle (series) by Christopher Paolini
  • Letters for Emily by Camron Wright
  • The Shining by Stephen King

Level 3

  • Yassmin’s Story by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
  • Skate by Michael Harmon
  • Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
  • Michael Vey (series) by Richard Paul Evans
  • I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Booked by Kwame Alexander
  • Mark of the Grizzly by Scott McMillion
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer
  • Tyrell by Coe Booth
  • One Summer by David Baldacci
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • 70 x 7 and Beyond by Monty Christensen
  • Solitary by Travis Thrasher
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • Writing My Wrongs by Shaka Senghor
  • Black and White by Paul Volponi
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Letters About Literature is a program of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, with support from the Dollar General Foundation.

Happy Faces at Wyoming Reads

Wow, what a day! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we collected a few from today’s Wyoming Reads celebration.

Kudos to the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation for making this event possible with the help of library staff, volunteers, and donors from across Wyoming. Their work and generosity put a picture book to keep in the hands of every first grader in the state today.

Laughter and learning at Natrona County Library in Casper.

Students at the Casper Wyoming Reads outside on a sunny day.

Happy student at the Casper Wyoming Reads celebration.

Getting ready for the day at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne. Left to right: Tekla Slider, Abby Beaver, and Angie Wolff, all from the State Library, and Robin Papaleka from Laramie County Library.

The cast of Good Queen Sue for Wyoming Reads at East High School in Cheyenne.

The State Library’s WYLD Office Manager Desiree Saunders in action, reading to a rapt crowd.

WSL Collections Technician Angie Wolff reading “Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library” to students from Trinity Lutheran School.

Cheyenne Mayor Marion Orr reading at Laramie County Library.

Happiness is getting a book to take home! At Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

Sheridan County Fulmer Library children’s librarian Michelle Havenga reads to a crowd. The library hosted nearly 380 first graders.

Happy crowd at the Sheridan County Fulmer Library.

Reading at Carbon County Library in Rawlins.

Green River High School students helped out in some of the skits at Sweetwater County Library System’s Wyoming Reads event.





Come to Information Power 2017

InfoPower 17 Pre-Conference

Come for Information Power in Sheridan on August 9, then stay for the Wyoming Library Association conference! Information Power is a great learning and networking opportunity for school librarians, and this year, it’s offered as a WLA pre-conference. One trip, two fantastic events. Learn more and register on the WLA website.

A Short History of Wyoming Reads

Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Queens Jonna Brown and Rylee Anderson reading together at Laramie County Library during the 2016 Wyoming Reads celebration.

Tomorrow, first graders will gather at locations across the state to celebrate reading and take home their very own book to keep. It’s all part of the annual Wyoming Reads event, a program of the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. Ever wonder how this fantastic project got started? We took a look at the Wyoming Reads website for the story:

John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and the “Casper Cares, Casper Reads” celebration to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy and books.

She was always very dedicated to children and to literacy. She believed that until someone can read, they can’t really do anything else.

– John Jorgensen

The Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation was created in 1996 to benefit libraries and advance the cause of childhood literacy in Wyoming. After making a significant contribution of books to the library of her children’s elementary school, the foundation learned of a community that held an annual drive to raise enough money to give every first grade child a book to encourage early enthusiasm for reading. With the support of local teachers, administrators, and parents, the “Casper Cares, Casper Reads” project was born.

Students checking out their “We Read” sunglasses at Wyoming Reads 2016.

A steering committee was formed in January 1999. Six hardback books of varying reading levels were selected to be distributed to each first grade classroom in the school district. Each student then had the opportunity to select the book of their choice. Orders were compiled and placed through an independent local bookstore. In June 1999, all of the Natrona County School District first graders gathered on the campus of Casper College for the very first CC/CR festival.

In 2006, the Casper Cares, Casper Reads program was taken to a new level, expanding statewide for the first time as “Wyoming Reads.” The program has since grown to include celebrations in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties, distributing books to over 8,000 first graders in 2016. Each year since 2006, the Governor has issued a proclamation declaring Wyoming Literacy Day to fall in conjunction with this valuable statewide celebration.