Monthly Archives: February 2017

Apply for Eclipse Glasses and Receive an Eclipse Education Kit

On August 21, 2017, a spectacular total eclipse of the Sun will be visible across the width of the continental U.S. for the first time since 1918.  Every state will have at least 60% of the Sun covered by the Moon, and lucky people on a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will see the stunning beauty of totality. STAR_Net’s NASA @ My Library initiative with support from NASA, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Research Corporation, and Google, is distributing over 2 million solar viewing glasses and an Eclipse Education Kit to public libraries.

Apply for Eclipse Glasses & Education Kit!

The application will ask you to respond to the following:

  • Describe (in a paragraph) what public events your library plans to do in the months and weeks leading up to the eclipse and on eclipse day.
  • Provide a direct web link to your library’s homepage, library’s events calendar, a newspaper article, or other website that demonstrates that your eclipse events are being publicly promoted.
  • Upload publicity materials that STAR_Net may feature on (optional)
  • Support from the Moore Foundation, Research Corporation, and Google allows libraries to choose to receive either 200 or 1,000 pairs of glasses (both will be accompanied by an Eclipse Guide and other education materials). It is our intention to provide glasses on a first come/first accepted basis until our supply runs out. Please specify your preference on the number of glasses. 200 or 1000?
  • Community Type: City, City/Suburb, Suburb, Suburb/Rural, Rural, Other

Free Library Continuing Education Events for March

The March 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

Roadmap to STEM LAMP Grant

The University of Wyoming Science Initiative’s Learning Actively Mentoring Program (LAMP) will fund travel, lodging, and conference fees for 20 K-16 educators to attend the Roadmap to STEM Conference in Gilette Aug. 2-4. Educators will be selected through a competitive process.

Applications are due on April 1. Recipients will be notified by May 1.

Any K-16 Educator in the State of Wyoming who wants to attend the 2017 Roadmap to STEM Conference and return in 2018 to facilitate or co-facilitate a session at the conference is encouraged to apply. Preference will be given to

  1. Educators representing underfunded or disadvantaged school districts.
  2. Educators hoping to implement active and inclusive learning (problem-based and action learning) curriculum.

Apply here. Questions may be  directed to Rachel Watson at

LAMP is a comprehensive, sustained mentoring and professional development program with an emphasis on how to best adopt active learning strategies in large-scale active learning classrooms at UW. Learn more about LAMP on their website.

Library of Congress Requesting Feedback From K-12 Educators

From the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog

If you follow the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog, you’re most likely familiar with the Library’s web site for K-12 educators, (If you don’t  follow it, you might check it out for the great resources.)

The Library is proud of the classroom materials, professional development, and other resources offered on the site. However, they know that there’s always room for improvement and that those improvements start with your input.

As they consider adjusting our site to better support the Library’s K-12 educator audience, they are asking for your help. Visit the blog post, and in the comments, please share any insights based on your experience with using the site.

  • What do you find invaluable about
  • What functionality or content could be added?
  • What could be safely removed?
  • How else could they improve our online teacher resources?

The Library of Congress would love to know what they’re doing right, what they could do more of or do better, and what they could retire.They look forward to the conversation.

UW Libraries’ 2017 Guest Author Timothy Egan to Speak April 18

Writer Timothy Egan is the University of Wyoming Libraries’ 2017 guest author. Egan is an acclaimed writer and veteran chronicler of the West whose interest range wide across the American landscape and American history.

Egan will deliver a free public talk on April 18 at 1:30 PM in the Wyoming Union Ballroom. He will also speak later that evening at an event at the UW Conference Center & Hilton Garden Inn. For more information call 307-766-3279 or visit the website. Reservations are required for the evening event; respond by April 11 to attend.

Look Back, Move Forward: Librarians Combating Misinformation

Reposted with permission from ALA District Dispatch
Originally posted by Emily Wagner

Librarians across the field have always been dedicated to combating misinformation. #TBT to 1987, when the American Library Association (ALA) Council passed the “Resolution on Misinformation to Citizens” on July 1 in San Francisco, California.

In response to the recent dialogue on fake news and news literacy, the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee crafted the “Resolution on Access to Accurate Information,” adopted by Council on January 24.

Librarians have always helped people sort reliable sources from unreliable ones. Here are a few resources to explore:

  • IFLA’s post on “Alternative Facts and Fake News – Verifiability in the Information Society”
  • Indiana University East Campus Library’s LibGuide, “Fake News: Resources”
  • Drexel University Libraries’ LibGuide, “Fake News: Source Evaluation”
  • Harvard Library’s LibGuide, “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda”
  • ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom’s “Intellectual Freedom News,” a free biweekly compilation of news related to (among other things!) privacy, internet filtering and censorship.
  • This Texas Standard article on the “CRAAP” (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy & Purpose) test.

If you are working on or have encountered notable “fake news” LibGuides, please share links in the comments.

Survey Finds Gap in How Librarians and Faculty Perceive Academic Libraries

Reposted with permission from Library Research Service

Image credit: McGraw-Hill

McGraw-Hill recently published a white paper presenting the results of a survey of more than 1,000 librarians and faculty members to learn more about how each group views the importance of academic libraries. The results reveal a gap between what librarians and faculty view as the most valuable functions of their university library.

In the survey, faculty respondents were asked to report their perceptions of how the library is used and those numbers were compared to actual usage statistics reported by librarians. This revealed some large gaps in the way that faculty think the library is being used compared to the librarians’ reality. For example, faculty respondents believed that reference requests occur twice as often as reported by librarians. Conversely, librarians reported twice as many technology requests and double the interest in library programs than perceived by faculty. Librarians also reported 28% more requests for access to materials (e-books, journals, databases, and other resources) than faculty expected.

There is also a gap between what library staff and faculty view as the most important need that libraries fulfill on campus. While nearly 9 in 10 (88%) faculty respondents felt that the library’s most important role was offering access to information (online databases, journals, etc.), less than half (43%) of librarians felt the same. About a third (34%) of librarians responded that access to technology was the biggest need addressed by librarians, while only 1 in 5 (20%) faculty felt the same way. Librarians and faculty did feel similarly about some roles of the academic library: about a quarter of librarians (27%) and faculty (25%) felt that services and programs were among the library’s most important functions, and about 1 in 10 (10% of librarians and 11% of faculty) felt that providing research opportunities was the library’s most important function.

The entire report and corresponding infographic contain a wealth of information about the perceptions of academic libraries. This information can help librarians determine what makes their libraries valuable to other groups on campus, which is useful when negotiating a budget and planning for the future of the library.

Note: This post is part of the series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, the LRS highlights statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Teton County Library Strategic Plan Provides Powerful Decision-Making Tool

By Rebecca Huntington, Communications Manager
Teton County Library

No doubt about it. Change is occurring at a fast and furious pace in public libraries, especially in Wyoming.  Pressure to change comes from a mash-up of directions: the economy (local and national), population ebbs and flows, space needs, community needs, budgets, staffing challenges, and technology. How do public libraries effectively, efficiently, and transparently embrace change?

Teton County Library tackled change by developing a community-driven and action-oriented strategic plan. The 2017-2021 Teton County Library Strategic Plan provides a blueprint for the future.

Shortly after the Teton County Library Board welcomed new Library Director Valerie Maginnis at the end of 2015, the Board set an ambitious schedule to complete a strategic plan. The Board set the critical requirement of having a new plan in place by the end of 2016 so that it would inform annual budget planning, which begins in January.

The Teton County Library Foundation Board provided critical financial support, allowing planning to begin, in earnest, in May 2016. Foundation funding allowed the library to hire consultant Susan Eriksen-Meier, who is adept in strategic planning and has in-depth knowledge of the community and stakeholders.

The Library Board set a goal that planning be: community driven, transparent, inclusive, and data driven. To fulfill this charge, a Technical Advisory Group (TAG) formed to provide oversight and act as a conduit for input from the community, staff, stakeholders, and county elected officials. TAG members included the library staff, Library Board, Library Foundation and Library Friends.

Community & Data Driven
Not your average process, the TAG, library staff, the Library Board, the consultant, and community partners worked diligently through the summer to glean information and insights through:

  • Community Survey with 1,088 Responses, 228 in Spanish
  • Internal Staff Housing Survey with 44 Responses
  • Youth Services Survey with 70 Responses
  • 3 Community Engagement Events
  • 2 Community Partner Meetings
  • 2 All-Staff Planning Sessions
  • 30 Responses to Internal Poll, Providing Feedback on Draft Statements
  • 20+ Hours of TAG Meetings
  • Three Assessments: Library Industry Trends, Local Demographics and Teton County Library Data

Transparent & Inclusive
Community partners emphasized that the library provides essential services to struggling community members, who rely on the library in a variety of ways. County residents asked for more access to the main and Alta Branch libraries. The community expressed a deep love of books and other non-digital materials, running counter to a downward trend nationally in circulation of these materials.

To keep the process transparent, survey results and assessments were made available to the public via the library’s strategic planning website. Community-wide input, combined with local and national data, provided the basis for developing strategic plan goals and objectives and staff-driven action items. Teton County’s approach placed staff in the driver’s seat to develop and design essential projects, initiatives, and activities to move forward as a proactive and responsive 21st-century library.  

The process allowed library staff to:

  • Define and affirm the importance and relevance of the library’s core/essential services
  • Assign library-wide action item priorities
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Develop a tool to evaluate the library’s progress

As a 21st-century library, Teton County Library affirms its role as a community center; its responsibility to provide expanded support for all types of literacy so that citizens are able to fully participate in their community; its responsibility to provide equal access to content in all formats; and a commitment to serve as an open forum for all points of view.

Becoming a 21st-Century Library
The profound level of change occurring in Teton County, combined with the library’s unique ability to serve its residents, drove the planning process. Through strategic planning, library staff and leadership chose to support community members’ ability to thrive, rather than define exactly what “thriving” looks like.

Library staff found that writing new vision and mission statements is hard work and the statements must be short. During one interactive, all-staff session, library staff discovered how lists and complicated language can compromise the effectiveness of mission and vision statements. Ultimately, the Library Board approved these new statements:

  • Vision: Your essential place to thrive in a changing world.
  • Mission: We connect you with resources, people and learning.

What the library’s new vision and mission convey to the community:

  • The library is here for you.
  • We know we are much more than a building filled with books and spaces to meet. We embrace this.
  • The library will track and respond to our community’s evolving needs.
  • Our space is a critical aspect of who we are and what we do.
  • We are an essential member of the Teton County team.

Working with an experienced and committed consultant and a supportive Library Board, Foundation and Friends made it possible to complete strategic planning on a tightly scheduled deadline. In December 2016, the Library Board approved the new plan and then immediately began implementation by voting on a strategic action item to expand operating hours at the Alta Branch Library by 25 percent. Talk about responsive!

“We are thrilled to continue to concentrate our efforts and passion in providing the best possible 21st-century library service to the residents of Teton County,” said Library Director Valerie Maginnis.

Find the Strategic Plan website and plan here.

Contact Valerie Maginnis,, for more information and to see planning and evaluation documents.