Monthly Archives: December 2017

Ten Quick Tips for Growing Your Friends and Foundation

Reposted with permission from Library Strategies

  1. Diversify activities beyond book sales, into such area as special events, advocacy, PR, etc.
  2. Get social — hold “friend-raising” events for different targeted age groups (i.e., the local brewpub)
  3. Activate professional development training for your board
  4. Increase the “ask” and expectations of your Friends and foundation
  5. Move beyond the Library and hold Friends/Foundation events out in the community
  6. Market, market, and market some more
  7. Is it time for a major fundraising event?
  8. Engage community leaders to help recruit new board members
  9. Develop a challenge that will make a difference in the community that your Friends/Foundation can support
  10. Evaluate and set goals for your boards

Learn Best Practices in Using Library Data at RIPL

The 2018 Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) is taking place from July 29 to August 1 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. RIPL is for public library leaders and others interested in public library data and evaluation. In this immersive, bootcamp-style event, participants learn practical, strategic methods of gathering, analyzing, and using data for planning, management, and communicating impact.

The event is limited to 110 participants and these seats fill up fast. If you are interested in attending, please contact Thomas Ivie at the Wyoming State Library by December 29 at or (307) 777-6330. The institute fee of $1,200 includes three nights lodging and most meals.

Funding for Wyoming library workers, trustees, and volunteers may be available through individual continuing education grants from the Carol McMurry Library Endowment. For questions about McMurry grants, contact Brian Greene at or (307) 777-6339.

Ivie on Newspaper Digitization Panel at ALA Midwinter

Thomas Ivie

Thomas Ivie, the Wyoming State Library’s Research and Statistics Librarian, has been selected as a panelist at a session of the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Denver in February. He’ll be on the Newspaper Digitization Panel that will be held from 9:15-10:30 a.m. on Friday, February 9. Also serving on the panel will be Michael Church, Kansas Historical Society; Leigh Jeremias, Colorado State Library; and Sarah Quimby, Minnesota Historical Society.

The event is part of the day-long RUSA Genealogy Institute sponsored by ProQuest that will explore diverse topics in genealogy and genealogy research. These will include highlighting local sources of archival and genealogical information; genealogy research training for non-genealogy librarians; new genealogical and historical databases and resources; new trends in genealogical research — including new technologies; using DNA testing to overcome genealogical roadblocks; and other hot topics in areas of genealogy, history and archives.

Thomas is the WSL’s coordinator for Wyoming Newspapers, a digitized collection of local newspapers dating back to 1849 with more than 340 titles and over 800,000 pages of content. Recently, he put together the content for the Heart Mountain Japanese-American Internment Camp digital exhibit.

Star Valley Branch Library Gets Future Ready

Abbie Lancaster

Abbie Lancaster, Young Adult Services Librarian at Star Valley Branch Library, part of Lincoln County Library System, has been selected as a participant in the second cohort of Future Ready with the Library. The project, funded by IMLS, develops college and career readiness services for middle school students.

“What I’m most excited about,” Abbie said, “is that we get to broaden kids’ horizons at such a young age. Those middle grades can be weird and confusing for a lot of them. We’re hoping to get them excited for the future and all its possibilities.”

She added, “We want them to dream BIG.”

Star Valley is one of 24 libraries selected to participate in the second cohort of Future Ready. As LCLS’s leader on this project, Abbie will participate in a two-day orientation at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Denver in February and take part in a virtual community of practice through the rest of the year. The project requires participating library staff to commit approximately 2-3 hours per week throughout 2018.

In the Future Ready program, local libraries work with a community partner, although the Star Valley branch has not chosen one yet. Abbie’s first planned step is to gain feedback through an easy-to-complete and thought-provoking survey for teachers, special-needs aides, church leaders, and interested community members who spend time with young teens.

“My hope is to find out what parents and teachers and community members and the youth themselves think is needed for ‘adulting,'” Abbie said. “Not just one option, not just one skill set, but really opening up the doors for them. And we want the community to know the library has an intense focus on the well-being of our new adolescents.”

In addition to support for Abbie’s attendance at the orientation at ALA Midwinter, the Star Valley Branch Library will receive funds to put toward college and career readiness activities such as programming, and will receive YALSA materials.

Six Biggest School Library Annoyances and How to Avoid Them

By Doug Johnson
Blue Skunk Blog

The website Lifehacker this week had an article titled: The Six Biggest Media Center Annoyances (and How to Fix Them) and I got excited thinking those smart people were going to help school media specialists become (even) more popular. The “media center” being written about, however, was the home amalgamation of TV, amplifier, speakers, and various tuners, DVRs, etc. – not school libraries.

But it is a great title that I have modified slightly for clarity to use for this post. I am putting on my library patron and parent/grandparent hat in writing this post…

Six biggest library annoyances and how to fix them

  1. Unfriendly/unhelpful librarian. I am always shocked when I see kids treated as an annoyance rather than as a reason for being by any library staff member. You fix this by firing the librarian with the negative attitude and replacing him/her with someone whose personal mission statement includes service to children. The librarian should be a primary reason for coming to the library – not the reason one avoids it.
  2. Book fines. Libraries with policies that seem to emphasis getting books back instead of getting books out, drive me nuts. Find positive ways of helping kids and teacher show respect for other library users by the timely return of stuff. A book sitting on a shelf is worthless.
  3. Computers “for school use only” policies. School libraries should encourage personal learning not just academic learning. OK, a library may have a limited number of terminals and priority should be given to school work, but there is absolutely NO reason for a library workstation to sit unused if there are students wanting to look for information of personal interest. This is a simple policy change. A computer sitting unused is worthless.
  4. Material checkout restricted by age or reading ability. It drives me insane to hear about my grandsons’ book checkout being restricted to the “easy” book section or set of preselected materials when they go to the library. At the very least, librarians should allow a child to check out one book of personal choice from anywhere in the library along with the required book.
  5. Poorly weeded collections. A badly weeded collection is not the sign of underfunding but of professional incompetence. If funding is a problem, collections should be getting smaller, not older. The only fix for old, cruddy collections is a dedication to weeding – and a information campaign to staff about why weeding is imperative.
  6. Excuses. There is no excuse for a library program that is not getting better. Problems with budget, staffing, facility, scheduling and administrative support are not good reasons for not providing kids and staff access to good reading materials, Internet access, and information literacy skills. It is our personal toward our programs, not our situations, that determines our efficacy. Get your head around it.

So what are your biggest annoyances and how would you fix them? Oh, feel free to create a similar list for your tech director or tech department. If you’re going to dish it out, you better be able to take it as well, my mother always warned me.

Reposted from the Blue Skunk Blog under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Holiday Facts From the U.S. Census Bureau

See more from the U.S. Census Bureau

This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift-giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

$22.7 billion: The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2016. A decrease of $1.0 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

19.7%: The estimated percentage for total sales in December 2016 for jewelry stores. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

18.9%: The December sales accounted for hobby, toy and game stores in 2016. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

$61.4 Billion: The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2016 — an increase of 9.8 percent from the previous year and the highest estimated total for any month last year. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

Where Toys Are Made

572: The number of locations nationwide that primarily produced dolls, toys and games in 2015, an increase of 12 locations from 2014 (560); they employed 6,394 workers in the pay period including March 12, an increase of 179 employees from 2014 (6,215). California led the nation with 90 establishments. (2015 County Business Patterns)

Holiday Names

Some names of places associated with the holiday season consist of a dozen places named Holly, including Mount Holly, N.C. (population 14,495), and Holly Springs, Miss. (7,682). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,764); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,463); North Pole, Alaska (2,232); Noel, Mo. (1,816); and — if you know about reindeer — Dasher, Ga. (979), and Rudolph, Wis. (430). There is also Unity, Ore. (68). (Vintage 2016 Population Estimates)

Holly Jolly Holiday Patents

Another holiday season is upon us! The air is filled with anticipation, merriment, and celebration. To add to your holiday festivities, the Wyoming State Library Patent and Trademark Resource Center has put together some of fun and interesting seasonal patents.

Patents that have a “D” in the patent number are Design Patents. A design patent protects the appearance of item, not the way it functions. The others are Utility Patents, which protect the function or process of the item.

For more information on patents, contact the Wyoming State Library at (307) 777-6333 or

Happy Holidays!

Patent No. USD477546, “Cactus Christmas Tree”

Traditional conifer Christmas tree? Boring! Here’s a Christmas tree sure to be a hit with friends and relatives – the Cactus Christmas tree, filed by Kay Lynn Como in 2002.

Patent No. USD487878, “Snowman Shaped Christmas Tree”

Or, here’s a snowman shaped Christmas tree. This was patented in 2004 by Robert J. and Judith I. Ostermann.

Patent No. 5455750, “Artificial Christmas Tree with Scent, Sound, and Visual Elements”

Get the full experience with this tree patented in 1995 by Lewis W. Davis and Francis A. Rogers. It has scent producing elements, as well as an illuminated tree-top ornament and a tree trunk that plays holiday music.

More Fun Tree Designs…

Patent D578,034 2008 by Tak Yuen Yip (L)

Patent D638,742 2011 by Virginia Beth M. Purcell (R)


 Looking for unique decorations? Check out these Santa Claus figurines: Patent No. D372,207 “Santa Claus Figure in a Tub” and Patent No. D385,588 “Santa in a Barrel Blowing Bubbles,” both patented by Seymour Cohen in 1996 and 1997.

Tired of waiting around by the mistletoe for that special someone? Take the Mistletoe with YOU with Patent No. 4,488, 316 by Ronald J. Mosca in 1983, “Mistletoe Supported Headband.”

Or, with Patent No. D407,189 by Shannon M. Turner in 1999.


ALSC Guide to Serving Diverse Communities

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has compiled a list of resources, “Serving Diverse Communities,” to help librarians support children and families of diverse backgrounds. This document includes book and media lists, resources for media literacy, resources for vulnerable communities, statements and position papers, online courses and webinars, organizing guides, and more.

ALSC’s Core Values include Responsiveness, Inclusiveness, Integrity, and Respect. When many are feeling vulnerable, disenfranchised, or wary of what the future holds, librarians and ALSC members stand resolute in their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. This list, in no way exhaustive, provides some places to start. It is a living document, currently authored by ALSC committee members and curated by the ALSC Public Awareness Committee. In addition to the resources in the PDF, more may be found in this public Google document.

Publications on Pearl Harbor at the State Library

On this Pearl Harbor Day, we remember those who were lost on December 7, 1941. Federal documents can be a valuable source for those doing historical research, and the Wyoming State Library’s collection includes many related to the military. We found these books on our shelves on the attack on Pearl Harbor, the events that led up to it, and its aftermath:

Wyoming residents can find Congressional documents related to Pearl Harbor in ProQuest Congressional. Access it at your local library, or from home with your library card and PIN. It’s one of the databases found on our GoWYLD Government Information page. You might also explore our History resources.

Need help finding the information you want in government documents? Ask at your local library, or contact our reference desk here at the WSL at or (307) 777-6333.