Monthly Archives: August 2017

LRCC Fall Literacy Conference Planned at UW

The Literacy Research Center and Clinic (LRCC) is hosting its annual Fall Literacy Conference for teachers around the state on September 22-23, 2017, at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The Wyoming School-University Partnership has been a co-planner.

This year’s theme is “Sharpening our Focus: Comprehension Across Disciplines and Grade Levels.” Conference goals are to bring together pre-K, elementary, and secondary level teachers, librarians, and school administrators to examine current issues and trends in comprehension teaching, instruction, and research for preK-12 student.

Registration is $35. Travel and lodging are the responsibility of the participant or their employer, but a limited number of travel scholarships are available; to be considered, apply on the registration form.

Learn more and register. You can also view past conference archives.

Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) renewal credit will be available to Wyoming certified teachers as well as UW’s EDCI 5959 credit for only $50.00.

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.

Free Library Continuing Education Events for September

The September 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

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.

Hiking the Camino de Santiago

On the trail on the Camino de Santiago

Thousands of travelers, from Medieval pilgrims to modern-day seekers, have walked the Camino de Santiago. On Thursday, August 31, Natrona County Library is hosting two who made the journey — former library director Bill Nelson and his wife Beth — for a special program where they’ll share their amazing experience. The program will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Crawford Room.

The Camino is a historical path leading to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. It is believed that the bones of St. James the Great, one of the 12 Apostles, lie under its altar. According to Bill, St. James spread the Gospel in the Iberian peninsula before returning to Jerusalem where he was martyred. His body was returned to Spain and rediscovered about the year 800.

The Nelsons walked its most popular route, the Camino Frances, in 2014 and 2016. “We loved our experience the first time so much that we swore to each other we’d do it again,” Beth said. They could only do part of it in 2014, as Bill was still working and could only spare two weeks. In 2016, over 34 days, they walked the full 480 miles from France, up over the Pyrenees and across Spain to the cathedral.

Beth Nelson

“It was just magical,” Beth said. “It was a time warp — a time out from life the way we usually live it. Everything we needed was on our backs.” Not only, they never knew where they’d eat or sleep when they set out each day.

“We had no idea some days where we’d stop for the night, but we always found a place,” Bill said. “That’s the beauty, because you just kind of roll with the punches, and you just live life. You’re just living, you don’t have everything planned.”

People still walk the Camino as a spiritual pilgrimage, but it can also be a cultural or international experience. It was physically demanding as well. Beth said their training on Casper Mountain made it doable on the first, toughest day when they hiked 20 miles in the Pyrenees, up 4,500 feet and down 2,500, over an 8-hour period. On that day, and those that followed, they were treated to stunning scenery — first mountainous, then flat plains, then rolling hills, as the trail wended its way through farmland and cities.

“Families” of travelers merge, split, and meet again along the trail. “You meet people from all over the world,” Bill said. “You might meet someone from Bolivia on Tuesday, have a coffee with them, and separate for whatever reason. Three days later you run into them again, and it’s like old friends. ‘Buen Camino’ is the saying — have a good walk.”

Among the fellow travelers they met were a German engineer and a South Korean woman who taught mathematics for the gifted. An 80-year-old retired lawyer from Britain who did mountain climbing outpaced them all.

“It’s kind of like a traveling community,” Beth said, “a city that’s always moving.”

For the Nelsons, the Camino was a transformative experience. “You learn that life is really simple, and you really don’t need much to be extraordinarily happy,” Bill said. “Being with other people, sharing it with others is remarkable. By day 30, you have a whole different outlook on life”

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.

“Search for Jack” Story Time Giveaway

Many Wyoming libraries have been enjoying “The Search for Jack” storybook kits both for programs and to circulate. For the month of September, WY Quality Counts is hosting a giveaway to families that participate in a Chuck and Pepper themed story time at your library. Materials included in these kits enhance library story time with puppets, activity cards, games, and more. Storytellers and families can find something new each time they use these kits.

How can your patrons be entered into a drawing for one of the kits?

  1. Tell WY Quality Counts the day and time you are planning to host a Chuck & Pepper story time (email They’ll share it on their social media channels.
  2. Let families know during the story time that they can win one of their very own kits. All they have to do to be entered into the drawing is post on one of the WY Quality Counts social media pages sharing that they’re at the event, or post it on their own social media account and tag WY Quality Counts, or share a photo from story time. They can find WY Quality Counts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About WY Quality Counts

WY Quality Counts helps Wyoming families and child care providers identify and create quality learning experiences today, which helps ensure a bright, innovative and viable workforce for the future. They promote quality education opportunities, preparing children for success by using developmentally-appropriate teaching methods and materials to develop cognitive, language, social/emotional and motor skills. WY Quality Counts also provides funding for professionals in early childhood education.

One Man’s Wyoming Libraries Road Trip

Kelly Leichtnam’s map of Wyoming is sprouting push pins — each one a library in the state he’s visited. He’s hoping to snag them all.

Four years ago, Kelly moved from Sheridan, where he was born and raised, to take a job in Cheyenne as a Retirement Educator for the State of Wyoming. He’s on the road 20 weeks a year, covering about 25,000 miles a year going to different communities to make presentations to state employees and others enrolled in the Wyoming Retirement System.

To pass the hours on the road (and the evenings in hotels with terrible television reception), he was always buying the audiobooks he loved on CD. That was until Park County Library Director Frances Clymer let him know that with the WYLD consortium, he could check out materials from any public library in the state and return them anywhere as well.

At first, it solved a practical problem for him. Then, he said “It became fun.” He began putting a pin in a Wyoming road map marking every library where he’d both checked something in and checked something out. When we interviewed him, he was up to 24, and he had also visited additional libraries, since they’re an excellent place to hold meetings. “They always have the rooms and the technology available.”

When the car he’s driving now dies, he’s looking forward to getting a new one where he can use the downloadable audio in GoWYLD. “That’s an even greater benefit because you don’t even have to go to the library. You can download it from the website.”

Kelly lived on the East Coast for four years when he served in the U.S. Army. “I realized early on I would always come back to Wyoming, and that’s where I wanted to live the rest of my life.” He loves the Equality State and collects tourism stickers in his travels along with library checkouts.

“I’m just amazed at where libraries have come from when I was a little kid,” he said.