Category Archives: National Library News

IMLS Releases Public Library FY15 Statistics and FY14 Report

The State Library has many more data sources for public, school, and academic libraries on our statistics page, including more recent data for Wyoming public libraries. Questions? Contact Thomas Ivie, WSL Research and Statistics Librarian, at or (307) 777-6331.

From the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today released two key information products: the latest data from its annual Public Libraries Survey and a new report on the previous year’s data. The Public Libraries Survey examines key indicators of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources. Explore the FY 2015 data and the FY 2014 report.

Each year since 1988, the Public Libraries of the United States Survey has provided a national census of America’s public libraries. The data are collected from approximately 9,000 public library systems comprised of over 17,000 individual main libraries, library branches, and bookmobiles in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

The FY 2014 report provides a national overview of trends and a snapshot of a variety of indicators for the year. In particular, it demonstrates how public libraries are faring financially since the last recession (December 2007 to June 2009) and how public library services and resources have evolved over the decade. Key findings include:

  • From 2013 to 2014, there were slight increases in the indicators for financial health and staffing of public libraries, however, they remain below 2009 levels. Per capita operating revenue was $39 ($12 billion in total revenue), an increase of 2 percent compared to 2013 and the first revenue increase since 2009.
  • Public libraries’ collections are adapting to changing technology. The majority of the total collections (66 percent) were still print materials, but e-books (18 percent), physical and downloadable audio materials (10 percent), and physical and downloadable video materials (6 percent) made up the remainder of our nation’s library collections. The number of e-books per 1,000 people also increased 2,140 percent between 2005 and 2014.
  • Although there is a decline in the use of traditional library services, attendance at public programs is increasing. Program attendance reached a high of 332 attendees per 1,000 people in 2014, representing a 10-year increase of 34 percent and a 5-year increase of 14 percent.
  • In response to the interest, public libraries offered 4.5 million programs, a 1-year increase of 5 percent and a 10-year increase of 68 percent.
  • Over the past 10 years, public-access internet computers increased 55 percent.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Learn how Wyoming uses IMLS funding.

Library Card Sign-Up Month: What’s Your #LibrarySuperpower?

As summer slips away, the upcoming school year summons parents to start scrounging once again for school supplies. The most valuable school supply of all, however, and one that doesn’t cost a single penny or even require any shopping, is as close as your local library.

During September, the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country will celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month, encouraging the public to obtain a free library card that will save them money, while reaping rich rewards in academic achievement and lifelong learning.

This September marks the 30th anniversary of Library Card Sign up Month. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year.

Throughout the school year, public librarians and library staff will assist parents and caregivers with saving hundreds of dollars on educational resources and services for students. From free access to STEAM programs/activities, educational apps, in-person and virtual homework help, technology workshops to the expertise of librarians, a library card is one of the most cost effective back to school supplies available.

A library card provides free access not only to books, but also to eBooks, CDs, DVD and video games, as well as makerspaces that spur creativity and computers that contain valuable research tools such as databases and archives of magazines and newspapers. For those who do not have computer access at home, a library is essential resource.

In honor of the 2017 Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chairs, DC’s Teen Titans, you can also share your library superpower. What special talents, skills, and interests have you developed thanks to the library? Share them on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #LibrarySuperpower. Entries can also be posted directly to the I Love Libraries Facebook page.  One randomly selected winner will receive a VISA gift card worth $100.00 USD.

Need a prop? Download these printable PDFs: My Library Superpower Speech Bubble (PDF) | My Library Superpower Starburst (PDF)  Promotion begins Friday, September 1 at 11 a.m. MDT and ends Thursday, September 22 at 11 a.m. MDT.

Librarians and the general public are encouraged to participate. Join in the fun and tell the world about your #LibrarySuperpower.

Helping Texas Libraries Respond to Hurricane Harvey

From the Texas Library Association

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Library Association and Texas State Library and Archives Commission are working together to coordinate a response to damage caused to libraries and archives across the Houston and gulf coast region. We share a deep concern for the condition of facilities and collections, and for the wellbeing of staffs of libraries and archives in the area. We are also very appreciative of the many offers of help that are coming in from across the state and nation.

Learn more about the situation in Texas and how to help.

The American Library Association is encouraging librarians to assist their colleagues in Texas with recovery efforts by by donating online to the TLA Disaster Relief Fund purchasing the TLA Coloring Book benefiting the Disaster Relief Fund. The ALA offers a list of resources for dealing with natural disasters at Libraries Respond.

ALA Resources in Wake of Library Shooting

From the American Library Association

American Library Association (ALA) President Jim Neal released the following member statement regarding a mass shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in New Mexico,

“We are shocked and saddened by the shooting at the Clovis-Carver Public Library in New Mexico,” said Neal. “We mourn those who were killed, and we offer our thoughts and prayers for the wounded, the families of the victims, library staff, and the community. ALA offers its full support to Clovis-Carver Public Library, the New Mexico Library Association, and the New Mexico State Library as they deal with this senseless violence.

“Unfortunately, we must all be prepared for violence in public places. The ALA encourages its members to work closely with local law enforcement and officials to prepare and train for violence prevention and response. The ALA also provides resources to assist with this issue.”

Librarians are encouraged to visit ALA resources and best practices regarding violence prevention, emergency preparedness, and other valuable resources at:

ALA’s Libraries Respond website also offers additional resources.

For Banned Books Week, Join #RebelReader Twitter Tournament

Join the celebration of “Words Have Power” at your library. The American Library Association (ALA) is celebrating Banned Books Week (September 24-30) with a national Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament. The Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament challenges readers to tweet action items that spotlight library resources, First Amendment rights and the harms of censorship using the hashtag #RebelReader.

Libraries (public, school, academic, special) and qualifying nonprofits with 501(c)(3) designation are eligible to become partners of the ALA Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament. Read the Official Rules here.

In addition to participating and promoting the national tournament with their own social media channels, Rebel Reader Twitter Tournament partners are encouraged to tailor the program to their communities, drawing attention to the freedom to read and highlighting their own resources.

Audio Description to Allow Blind To “See” Eclipse

Reposted from the American Council of the Blind

The Audio Description Project announces an opportunity for blind people world-wide to experience the upcoming total eclipse of the sun.

On Monday, August 21, the sun will disappear from view for many in the U.S., and the sky will go completely dark. Through the use of succinct, imaginative and vivid language — audio description — the event will be accessible to the millions of people who are blind or have low vision, or anyone who wishes to experience a verbal version of the visual.

Between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm (MDT) on August 21, Dr. Joel Snyder will host “A Total Eclipse—Audio Described!” on ACB Radio. Snyder, the director of ACB’s Audio Description Project, will present an hour of songs (“Ain’t Got No Sunshine,” “Here Comes The Sun,” “Blinded by the Light,” “When The Sun Goes Down,” etc.) interviews and special guests—with the main event being described live from the Tennessee School for the Blind between 12:15 pm and 12:45 pm (MDT).

Trained audio describer, Nashville-based Julia Cawthon will describe the eclipse as it happens and provide a vivid “translation” of the visual event into words for the benefit of anyone who tunes in.

“Audio Description uses the spoken word to provide access to visual images that would otherwise not be accessible to people who are blind or have low vision,” stated Kim Charlson, president of the American Council of the Blind. “Audio describers help make so many aspects of our culture accessible. We’re delighted to sponsor this program on August 21 and help people experience this important event.”

To access the broadcast, go to and select “Click Here to Play.” Then be sure to select the link that opens the player that you use to listen to music or stream internet radio stations.

You can also listen on any telephone by dialing 605-475-8130 and select option 4. If you are using an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone, install “ACB Link”; open the app, select the radio tab and then tap on the menu button. Select “live streams” and “ACB Radio Interactive”, select the play button and the stream will launch.

The Audio Description Project is an initiative of the American Council of the Blind (ACB), along with the Mid-Tennessee Council of the Blind, the Tennessee School for the Blind and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Additional information about ACB’s Audio Description Project is available at


Library Card Sign-up Month Art Features DC’s Teen Titans

As honorary chairs of Library Card Sign-up Month, crimefighting DC Super Heroes, the Teen Titans, are appearing in print and digital Public Service Announcements (PSAs) to help promote the value of a library card. DC is also providing Teen Titans artwork for customizable library cards, billboards and social media graphics.

The PSAs and artwork featuring the Teen Titans are free and can be downloaded at the Library Card Sign-up Month webpage. The webpage also includes media tools to help remind the public of all the resources available with a library card. Tools include a sample press release, proclamation and radio PSA scripts. The PSAs, artwork and tools are available in both English and Spanish.

Library Card Sign-up Month is a time to bring attention to the supportive role libraries and librarians play in transforming lives and communities through education. Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries join together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

Community College Libraries and Student Success

A three-year study in North Carolina, Community College Libraries & Librarians and Student Success, found that students, faculty, and librarians agree that community college library services contribute to student success.  Specifically, the practice of embedded librarianship with faculty, the teaching of information literacy to students, library resources (print, non-print), individual and group study spaces, research databases and WiFi access support learning.

Students, faculty, and librarians also agreed that libraries benefit a wide range of student cohorts including students who need to catch up with their peers (i.e., basic skills, high school equivalency, English/reading skills) as well as those who need to keep up with their peers (i.e., first year progress, progress in chosen program of study, licensure/certification, and college transfer).

The project web page includes links to the full study report, a four-page infographic summarizing the study’s findings, the archived webinar coinciding with the study report’s public release, and the PowerPoint slides used in the webinar.

This study was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It was conducted by the RSL Research Group, based in Louisville, Colorado. The report was co-authored by consulting principal investigator Keith Curry Lance, RSL vice-president and general manager Bill Schwarz, and RSL president Marcia J. Rodney.

Social Media and Libraries Survey

Reposted from WebJunction

WebJunction and TechSoup for Libraries are collaborating on a series of free webinars focused on “Libraries and Social Media.” They’d like to understand more about how your library uses social media and your learning needs on this topic as they plan these fall 2017 sessions. Registration will open soon, and they will share information from the survey in the webinars and in a final report.

This brief survey will help them understand:

  • The social media platforms your library uses, and how often you post
  • How you use the platforms
  • Who manages your library’s social media and how much time it takes
  • The reach of your social media presence
  • The biggest challenges to managing social media
  • Any social media policies you have in place

Complete the survey:

Guidelines to Plan Teen Read Week Programs

Teen Read Week is set for October 8-14 this year. Find tips to kick your TRW programs up a notch with  Teen Programming Guidelines, free from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

These guidelines are intended to guide library staff who design, host, and evaluate library programs with and for teens. Librarians are in a unique position to serve as connectors, bringing teens together with resources that inform and expand their interests. Effective teen programs foster peer-to-peer learning and positive developmental relationships, leverage community resources, and enable the acquisition of twenty-first century workforce skills.

Teen Programming Guidelines was created in 2014 -2015 by a task force of the YALSA with feedback from the library community. They were developed in alignment with YALSA’s report, The Future of Library Services For and With Teens: a Call to Action.