Category Archives: WLA

Wyoming at National Library Legislative Day

L to R: Ivan Gaetz, Sen. John Barrasso, Janice Grover-Roosa, and Jamie Markus

On May 1-2, representatives of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of the American Library Association’s 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day. Janice Grover-Roosa, Director of the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library, and Ivan Gaetz, Dean of the University of Wyoming Libraries, met with Wyoming’s Congressional delegation to discuss key library issues. Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus accompanied them to provide information on how federal money is used in Wyoming.

Wyoming’s representatives hand-delivered letters from public, academic, and school librarians. The Congressional delegation and staff were grateful to hear from directors around the state, and the letters cemented the message that Wyoming libraries use federal funds to collaborate to improve people’s lives. Grover-Roosa provided us with this report of NLLD happenings:

By Janice-Grover-Roosa
Director, Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library

The Wyoming crew with Senator Mike Enzi

National Library Legislative Day provides an ideal opportunity for librarians, library board members and other library users to meet with their members of congress to discuss the meaningful contributions libraries make around the country every day. Though coming from a state with such a small population can leave Wyoming residents at a disadvantage from time to time, this isn’t the case when it comes to engaging in meaningful dialogue with our congressional representatives. Wyoming’s “one big town” mentality translated into three rich conversations between Wyoming librarians and members of Congress and their staff last week as Wyoming librarians made the trip to help keep Washington well informed.

After President Trump released his preliminary budget, completely cutting the funds appropriated for the Institute of Museums and Library Services and the Library Services Technology Act, librarians across the state were tasked with explaining what such a hefty cut would mean in terms of future library services and materials to uneasy library users. Luckily for librarians, Wyoming congressional representatives have repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to Wyoming libraries, allowing these hard conversations to be straightforward and practical. Simply put, Wyoming representatives have a history of supporting the breadth of services and resources available to residents through Wyoming libraries, and though it may be necessary to absorb some budget cuts, there’s little reason to believe all federal funding for libraries will be cut.

Last week State Librarian Jamie Markus, University of Wyoming Dean of Libraries Ivan Gaetz, and I met with Senators Enzi and Barrasso as well as Congressman Cheney to talk to them in person about the value LSTA funding brings to libraries across Wyoming. This is to say, Wyoming libraries are able to provide access to robust collections of materials seamlessly from one county to the next because of a collective commitment to funding by county, state, and federal entities and, as librarians working in the state,  we are always eager to discuss the importance of information access to inquisitive Wyoming communities. By “we,” I mean librarians from across the state—we weren’t alone at our visits. We arrived in D.C. with letters written by library directors from around the state who shared firsthand accounts of the significance of library services to Wyoming residents. Our congressional delegation was happy to welcome us to Capitol Hill to be a part of this important discussion, and they were grateful for the information provided from their Wyoming librarians.

After a gracious welcome from Ms. Enzi, Senator Enzi and members of his affable staff welcomed our Wyoming librarian crew to sit down with him to discuss the importance of libraries to thriving Wyoming communities. As almost every wall of Senator Enzi’s office was filled with books, the librarians felt right at home. Senator Enzi took the time to explain that no matter the year or the administration, Congress takes the time to carefully examine the federal budget and appropriate funds accordingly. He went on to engage in conversation about the different materials, services, and opportunities available to Wyoming residents as a result of LSTA funds.

Senator Barrasso, who had clearly done his research prior to our arrival, echoed Senator Enzi’s comments about carefully examining the entire federal budget. The Senator asked us how we currently put LSTA funds to use and also asked more detailed questions about library users, materials, and services. We also talked with the senator about the beautiful Carnegie libraries all around the state and the lasting legacy of information those libraries have helped to cultivate in our state. Senator Barrasso and his staff were engaged, interested, and took notes!

When we arrived at Congressman Cheney’s office we were a little worried we might not get to meet with her as she was at the Capitol Building waiting to cast a vote. Rather than cancel our meeting, however, she asked that we meet with her during her short break at the Capitol.  We were escorted by her committed staff through security and tunnels until we found Congressman Cheney waiting to meet with us. Congressman Cheney had a lot of questions for us. She wanted to know if people prefer eBooks or print and had questions about accessing various materials through mobile apps. Congressman Cheney was also interested in hearing about the information needs of Wyoming residents. Like Senators Enzi and Barrasso, Congressman Cheney also asked questions about how LSTA funds are put to use in Wyoming.

Though our federal representatives have always supported Wyoming libraries, we really appreciated the opportunity to reengage them in a conversation about libraries today. Our representatives took us seriously and clearly wanted to be well informed on issues regarding libraries. The federal budget still has a long way to go before it’s final but we know we’ve been heard and our representatives know where to go when they need their library questions answered.

As for those of you reading this post, feel free to reach out to me at librarian@westernwyoming.edu or to Cameron Duff, chair of the Wyoming Library Association’s Legislative Committee, at cduff@sheridanwyolibrary.org if you have any questions about LSTA funding and Wyoming libraries. If we can’t answer your questions, we’ll know who can.

WLA Conference Registration Open

Registration is now open on the Wyoming Library Association website for the 2017 conference to be held Aug. 10-11 at Sheridan College. School librarians can also register for Information Power, which will be held on Aug. 9 in Sheridan in conjunction with the WLA conference.

Events will kick off with lunch on Thursday, Aug. 10 (vendors will open mid-morning), and conclude after lunch on Friday, Aug. 11. Low-cost lodging options in the Villas at Sheridan College and in the residence halls are available in addition to a room block at the Holiday Inn.

The annual conference is a great opportunity to gather, connect, and learn with your fellow members of the Wyoming library. On the agenda are the opening keynote luncheon, author and/or legislative luncheon, multiple breakout sessions, vendor booths, awards reception at the Sheridan Kooi Library, and the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute basket raffle.

Find more details and register on the WLA website. Conference registration will close on August 1; no late or no-site registration will be available.

Library Advocates Connect with Congress

Representatives of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) are traveling to Washington, D.C., in May to discuss key library issues with the state’s Congressional delegation as part of the American Library Association’s 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day on May 1-2.

Janice Grover-Roosa, Director of the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library, and Ivan Gaetz, Dean of the University of Wyoming Libraries, will meet with Representative Cheney and Senators Barrasso and Enzi on May 2 to discuss key library issues, including funding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

President Donald Trump’s proposed America First budget calls for the elimination of the IMLS and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program that the agency administers. Each year, the Wyoming State Library receives approximately $900,000 in LSTA funds that support library services throughout the state.

Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus will accompany Grover-Roosa and Gaetz to provide information on how federal money is used in Wyoming. The shared catalog (WYLDCAT) and online resources that include ebooks, research databases, career training, and genealogy are among the many services currently supported by the annual LSTA grant.

A fact sheet on the State Library’s website provides a detailed list of federally-funded services. Because Wyoming uses its LSTA funds for statewide projects, every patron or student at any of the state’s 23 county libraries, more than 250 school libraries, seven community colleges, and the University of Wyoming Libraries could feel the effects.

“Library directors from around the state have been fielding concerns from librarians about how a loss in national funding would impact local services around the state,” said Grover-Roosa. “We’re doing our best to answer questions based on what we know and not jump to any conclusions. Whatever the outcome may be, our residents can count on their librarians to help them access what they’re looking for.”

The WLA representatives will be among more than 500 library advocates registered to attend National Library Legislative Day — a record-breaking number this year, according to the American Library Association. Those who can’t travel to D.C. have the option of participating in Virtual Library Legislative Day and connect with their legislators by phone calls, emails, and social media platforms.

Library advocates who aren’t traveling to D.C. are invited to participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day to connect with Congress from home.

Register Now for WLA Youth Services Meeting

The Wyoming Library Association Youth Services Interest Group will hold its 2017 Spring Meeting, “Telling Our Library’s Story,” on May 5, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Fremont County Public Library in Lander. Speakers will be:

  • Kate Lutz, Storyteller: “Catching, Shaping, Growing Stories”
    • Learn the basics of oral storytelling, from developing the tale, to effective telling. Understand the basic stories of any organization. Consider story possibilities beyond the folktale. Explore storytelling tips and techniques. Practice your newly developed skills.
    • This keynote looks across the wide spectrum of storytelling as used by storytellers, speakers, writers, organizations and the community. With an emphasis on practical applications, we explore story structure and engagement techniques. The goal is telling compelling stories, whether traditional tales or personal and professional experiences.
  • Wyoming Storytellers’ Guild
    • Join Michelle King, Cathy Ringler, and other members of Wyoming’s newly-formed Storytellers’ Guild to build on the ideas from the morning workshop and discuss storytelling in Wyoming.

Learn more on the meeting flyer. Register for this event on the WLA website (link on bottom, center panel).

WLA Seeks Candidates for Two Offices

The Wyoming Library Association is seeking nominations for two positions to be elected in August:

  • Vice President/President-Elect – serves three years: one year as Vice President, one as President and one as Past President
  • Mountain Plains Library Association representative – serves a three-year term

To learn more about the requirements for each position, see the:

Deadline for nominations is June 30, 2017. You may nominate yourself or suggest names for the committee. Questions or nominations may go to Susan Mark at susan.mark@wyo.gov or (307) 777-5915, or Richard Landreth at rlandreth@ccsd.k12.wy.us or (307) 682-9809

Join the WLA Conference Thursday, Oct. 27

 

wlaresizedMake your plans to attend the Wyoming Library Association conference on Thursday, Oct. 27. This conference will use a combination of live and recorded sessions, both distance and on-site, at satellite locations throughout the state. Attendance is free. Local sites will be:

  • Campbell County Public Library
  • Casper College Library – University Union Bldg./Rm UU421 (parking in lot 32 near the library)
  • Crook County Public Library
  • Eastern Wyoming College Library – EWC T132 Tebbet Bldg.
  • Teton County Library – auditorium
  • University of Wyoming – Coe Library Room 506
  • Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library – WWCC Room 1309
  • Wyoming State Library – large meeting room

To attend, simply go to one of the satellite locations. You may want to check in with the host, in case they need a lunch count. If you need local contact information, email Chris Van Burgh at chris.vanburgh@wyo.gov, Karen Kitchens at karen.kitchens@wyo.gov, or Katrina Brown at kbrown@sheridan.edu.

Individual libraries may also log in for the conference and select from the conference program. Contact Chris Van Burgh for the GoToWebinar information.

Events will start before 9 a.m., with time to be announced. Coming to you live at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. will be morning and afternoon keynote speakers Bob Beck from Wyoming Public Radio and Gene Gagliano, Wyoming Poet Laureate. Individual sites will have the option of picking and choosing from a selection of pre-recorded programs. You’ll also hear from library vendors.

Conference programs are being recorded over the next two weeks. If you have a great idea for a program you’d like to do, there’s still time! Contact Chris, Karen, or Katrina with your proposal.

More information will be posted on the WLA website at  www.wyla.org as it becomes available. Hope to see you there!