Monthly Archives: July 2017

Apply Now for Libraries Ready to Code Grants

The American Library Association (ALA) has opened the application period for grants to develop public and school library programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth. The grant opportunity, announced last month, is the latest phase of the Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) initiative of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), sponsored by Google.

Through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) process, a cohort of 25-50 libraries will be selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 to design and implement youth coding programs that incorporate Ready to Code concepts. Through these programs, the library cohort will collaboratively develop, pilot and rapidly iterate a “Ready to Code” toolkit containing a selection of CS resources for libraries and an implementation guide.

The Ready to Code project team will host an informational webinar on Tuesday, August 1, to supplement the detailed RFP and provide additional guidance to applicants. Interested applicants can RSVP to participate in the webinar at the RtC website. Proposals will be accepted through August 31, 2017, and selected libraries will be announced in October.

For detailed information about the RtC grants, including the RFP and FAQs related to the program, visit http://www.ala.org/tools/readytocode.

Operation Gratitude at the Lander Library

 

The Pieracini family in front of the Operation Gratitude collection area in the Lander Library.

The Lander Library decided to “Build a Better World” this summer with an Operation Gratitude drive. Operation Gratitude is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that sends care packages and letters of support to individual military service members deployed in harm’s way, to their children, and to first responders, veterans, new recruits, military families, and wounded heroes and their caregivers.

“It was an easy decision to do something for the men and women who serve our country,” said Tasha Reeves, Library Assistant and event coordinator. “After all, that’s what they are out there doing every day, trying to build a better world. Operation Gratitude is a great way to honor them.”

The Lander Library set up a collection drive asking for wish list items for these groups. Items on the list included toiletries, stationary, clothing, gift cards, electronics and thank you letters, as well as yarn or knitted or crocheted hats or scarves.

At the end of the drive, the library had collected hundreds of greeting cards, 13 stuffed animals, eight hand-knit scarves, and one big box of hand and body warmers, along with an assortment of sweatpants, socks, stationery, and toiletries. Monetary donations totaled $252. All donations were sent to Operation Gratitude headquarters in California to be packaged and distributed as needed.

“Supporting the men and women who work on a daily basis to preserve our freedoms and to help in times of crisis is our privilege and obligation,” said Anita Marple, Lander Library Manager. “This project is a great example of how the library brings the community together.”

Free Library Continuing Education Events for August

The August 2017 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available. Every training opportunity on this list is free and offered online. Topics include advocacy, planning, careers, children and teens, collection development, communication, databases, managing change, fundraising, legal, management, outreach and partnerships, programming, readers’ advisory, reference, school libraries, technology, training and instruction, and volunteers. View, download, or subscribe to the calendar at library.wyo.gov/services/training/calendar.

And the Oldest Book in a Wyoming Library Is…

“The Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes” by John Gerard, published in 1636 and found in the Wyoming Room at the Sheridan Fulmer Library. Old, but not the oldest.

Shortly after we posted about the oldest book in WYLDCAT, Sheridan County Public Library System Director Cameron Duff emailed us to let us know they have a copy of The Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes by John Gerard, published in 1636. It’s kept in the Wyoming Room in a locked display case, as it’s rather fragile. Cameron was not sure how the library ended up with the book, but the the display case indicates it was donated about 1971.

His email inspired us to pose the question: What, exactly, is the oldest book held in a Wyoming library? Not just in WYLDCAT, but in any library building?

First, it depends on how you define “book.” Albany County Public Library owns about a dozen cuneiform tablets — the one in the photo is dated circa 2350 BCE, making it about 4,367 years old. This one turns out to be a bill from a butcher. Nathan Bender, ACPL’s Technical Services Librarian, told us these were purchased in 1936 from Edgar J. Banks, advertised as Babylonian, which he had acquired in Baghdad. The library still has the original acquisitions paperwork.

If we limit it to a more typical book, a sheaf of pages bound together, the American Heritage Center is the clear winner with the Toppan Library rare book collections. Some of the very old material at the AHC has been cataloged with ambiguous dates in the 1400s. These include both illuminated manuscripts and incunabula (printed books from before 1500). Their oldest tome cataloged with a definite date is the