Monthly Archives: October 2017

Archived Webinar: Health Resources in GoWYLD

October is Health Literacy Month. In this webinar WSL Database Instruction Librarian Chris Van Burgh looks at the many resources under Health & Medicine, as well as Nursing & Allied Health. The new interface for Health & Wellness Resource Center is part of this exploration of sources in She also checks out a few places for materials and programming ideas.

Find upcoming training events in our calendar and view past events in our webinar archives.

Six Great Ideas for Library Partnerships

Reposted with permission from Library Strategies

Partnerships have great potential to expand your library’s capacity to offer more, reach broader audiences, and leverage your resources. As libraries continually seek new ways to stretch their budgets, partnering is a valuable option to consider.

There are several natural partnerships that many libraries have formed:

1) Literacy Partnerships. Partner with your local literacy organization – be it a children’s literacy program or adult program. These organizations are on the frontline, bringing critical services to your community. They are ripe for partnerships to reach a broad audience (including many non-users) with resources the library has to offer. This is a partnership that can have a huge impact on your community at minimal cost to either organization.

2) Nonprofit Partnerships. Does your community have local music or theater groups? Is there a genealogical society in your city? A food co-op? History society? Museum? A writer’s group? Human rights organization? These organizations can easily provide programs in your library that draw audiences of all ages and interests and stretch the resources of all partners (for specific examples of joint programming, visit:

3) Age-Appropriate Partners. Trivia groups are hotter than ever and so are targeted book groups. Consider co-sponsoring trivia nights or book clubs in a bar or restaurant to attract millennials to your library programs. (

4) Partners with a Purpose. Many individuals are finding new ways and new places to work. Partner with your local Small Business Association to offer classes on starting a new business, developing business skills, creating a business cooperative, and more.

5) Business/Corporate Partnerships. Local businesses or national corporations love partnerships. If you look for the win/win opportunity for your library and a potential business, it’s a great opportunity for a valuable partnership. For example, many libraries reach out to corporate sponsors to fund their bookmobiles, offering the opportunity to “wrap” the bookmobile with a business’ logo and branding.

6) DIY Workshops. Building on the idea of business partnerships, lots of libraries are offering Saturday DIY (Do It Yourself) classes on everything from growing seed gardens (sponsored by a local nursery) – to learning to knit (sponsored by a knitting supply store) to bicycle repair (provided by a bike shop). These classes offer practical skills and allow local businesses to strut their stuff while being good community partners.

These are just a few partnership ideas… the possibilities are pretty limitless. If you’d like to begin to build community partnerships, do some brainstorming with your library staff or your support organization (Friends and foundation) for potential capacity building and resource leveraging partnerships.

One side benefit to partnerships is that community foundations and other funders particularly like these relationships as they see that your library is being savvy and resourceful in working in the community and maximizing funding!

UW Colleges, Libraries to Open Cutting-Edge Innovation Center

Efforts to create and foster innovation are the main driver behind a new cutting-edge educational space opening soon for students and faculty at the University of Wyoming Coe Library.

The Coe Student Innovation Center (CSIC) is a joint venture among UW Libraries, UW Information Technology and the colleges of Engineering and Applied Science, Education, and Arts and Sciences. It will open its doors officially this month, and the center will be a resource available to all audiences on campus and for invited guests and groups from the community and region. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies, open to the public, take place Thursday, October 26, at 4 p.m., followed by an open house.

The CSIC, located on Level 2 of William Robertson Coe Library on the UW campus, was designed as a top-of-the-line “maker space” lab to foster imaginative, collaborative and innovative design projects. The center was designed to encourage and build upon project-based STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning at all levels, from K-12 through college.

Technology is a critical component of the CSIC. It features four 3-D printers, 3-D scanning equipment, 3-D modeling software, robotics kits, circuitry kits, design and drafting software, electrical test equipment, Lego building materials and much more.

“The CSIC represents a new mode of library services based on deep and meaningful collaboration with our campus partners,” Dean of Libraries Ivan Gaetz says. “We hope to develop this type of collaboration with other units on campus as we move into implementation of the university’s strategic plan.”


Bridging the Gap for Daycares and Preschools

Group of summer school kids receiving books for Group Summer Reading.

Melanie Hornbeck Esp

On September 7, Melanie Hornbeck Esp, Outreach Librarian at the Laramie County Library System (LCLS), presented “Bridging the Gap: Inclusive Summer Reading for Daycares and Preschools” at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) 2017 Conference in St. George, Utah. This workshop addressed the difficulties that daycares face when participating in summer reading and highlighted the successful Group Summer Reading program at LCLS.

Group Summer Reading was introduced at LCLS in the summer of 2015 as a way to help daycares, summer schools, and other groups of children participate in the summer reading program despite limited transportation. This new program allows daycares and schools to sign up as a group, complete summer reading together, and have books and other prizes delivered to them onsite. Due to the simplified registration and completion system, over 35 groups participated and more than 1,700 children received books.

Melanie performing storytime at a daycare.

LCLS provides many services to daycares and preschools throughout the year. Every month, storytellers from the Youth and Outreach Services (YOS) division, including Melanie, visit more than 40 daycares in Laramie County. With a traveling cart filled with books, puppets, and flannelboard stories, they perform storytime to more than 1,000 children each month. Whether it’s an in-home daycare, childcare center, church preschool, or government-funded facility like HeadStart, the children are always excited to hear the words, “The library’s here!”

While providing services to these children is incredibly valuable, it is just as important to reach their childcare providers. Each licensed daycare in Wyoming is required to complete a certain number of STARS (Statewide Training and Resource System) hours each year, and now they can receive continuing education credits at the Laramie County Library System. Melanie began teaching and coordinating childcare provider workshops in 2013 as a way to help these providers earn STARS hours. By building relationships with other STARS trainers and accredited professionals, the library has hosted workshops on everything from fire safety to SIDS awareness, sign language basics to early literacy tips. These workshops have become a lifeline for many childcare providers as they work to maintain their licenses.

For more details on daycare and preschool outreach in Laramie County, and what you can do to reach these groups, contact Melanie Hornbeck Esp at (307) 773-7229 or

GoWYLD Use on Just One Day

Wyoming libraries were serving more than just the patrons who walked through their doors on Snapshot Day. Statewide electronic resources make visiting the library as easy as firing up your laptop, tablet, or cell phone. offers articles, ebooks, scholarly sources, downloadable audiobooks, courses and tutorials, and much more. These are available to every Wyoming resident, 24 hours a day. On October 10, Wyoming Snapshot Day, there were:

  • 1,057 Encyclopedia Britannica sessions
  • 2,381 sessions using the Gale databases, with 1,353 full-text retrievals
  • 100 Mango Language sessions, accessing 150 courses
  • 274 ebooks and audiobooks downloaded from CloudLibrary
  • 341 RBDigital audiobook, ebook, and digital magazine downloads
  • 118 checkouts from TotalBoox

This is only a sampling — there are many more resources available. Find them all in

Wyoming Reads 2018 Books Announced

Photo from Natrona County Library

Wyoming Reads has announced the book selections for the coming year, and a great lineup it is! The program encourages literacy by providing a book to every first grade student in the state. In 2017 more than 7,500 children participated.

Each child gets to pick the one title they’d like to keep from six picture book choices. Sample kits are sent to schools in the months before the event so that students can familiarize themselves with the choices and decide which one they love most. This year’s books are:

  • Penguin Day:  A Family Story by Nic Bishop
  • Max and Bird by Ed Vere
  • Those Darn Squirrels and the Cat Next Door by Adam Rubin
  • The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson
  • Little Red Riding Sheep by Linda Ravin Lodding
  • Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Wyoming Reads is supported by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation with the help of generous donors, volunteers, and collaborative partners. Libraries across the state host their local Wyoming Reads celebrations. The Wyoming State Library’s Central Acquisitions Program acquires these books at discounts up to 40 percent, stretching donor dollars.

Assistive Technology Makes Library Resources Accessible to All

What is assistive technology (AT)? It’s more straightforward than it may sound. AT is any device, tool, or adaptation that supports a person when participating in everyday activities.

“We use assistive technology, but nobody knows that term,” says Tekla Slider, Wyoming State Library Federal Documents Librarian. “It can be something as simple as magnifiers or reading glasses.”

Assistive technology promotes greater independence by enabling people to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish or had great difficulty. AT supports independence, increases self-confidence, reading comprehension, and reading ability, and enhances access to library resources.

Tekla has been working on a collaborative project between the WSL and Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR) to increase awareness of assistive technology and its benefits throughout Wyoming. As the first step in this effort, the WSL funded a basic Assistive Technology toolkit for each of the 23 public library systems and seven academic libraries.

The project was also intended to highlight not just AT, but also the services provided by WATR, available to every Wyoming resident. The agency provides information and assistance, training, device demonstrations and “try before you buy” loans, help with acquiring AT, and access to low-interest loans for those purchases.

“Libraries disseminate information about resources,” Tekla said, “and this is a huge resource that is underutilized. Our partnership is to get their information into libraries who are seeing all walks of life. We don’t expect libraries to know all about assistive technology, but we want them to know about WATR.”

The kits were unveiled at this summer’s Wyoming Library Association conference where Tekla, along with Ryan Rausch and Felicia Arce from WATR, presented a program on “Supporting Patrons with Disabilities Access to Library Resources and Services.” The AT boxes contain a number of simple, low-tech devices that are intended to remain in the kits:

  • Bookmark magnifiers – Makes objects larger for reading and general viewing.
  • Jar opener grips – Textured, rubber grips assist in opening jar lids.
  • Pencil grips – Gently positions fingers in the proper, ergonomic position for writing.
  • Color overlay bookmarks – Reduce glare when placed on top of print text.
  • Raised lined paper – Slightly raised bumps at each line gives feedback to stay between ruled lines.
  • Masking aids – Isolate words and help readers focus on segments of text.
  • Large print keyboard stickers – Large, individual letters applied to a standard keyboard makes keys easier to see.
  • Picture communication book – Allows an individual to point to words, letters, or pictures to communicate.

“There was a lot of interest at WLA,” Tekla said, “When we were passing out kits, they’d immediately know someone who could use one of the tools. They recognized it in themselves, or they thought of someone in their lives who could benefit from it. So it did exactly what we wanted it to do.”

The kits came along with promotional materials to be distributed to the public, including information on WATR services and a rack card of helpful AT apps. Tekla said libraries could put them on display (as has been done at the WSL) and pass out the brochures and cards. They could be used for programming, such as a demonstration to seniors or homeschoolers. It all depends on what works best for the local library.

Every day, libraries help people with assistive tech. They provide mobile carts, wheelchairs, magnifying and reading glasses for use in their buildings; offer a variety of eBooks, audiobooks, large print materials, and electronic databases; assist users with computers, eBook devices, and more; and visit patrons in their homes, daycares, schools, and other institutions. The WSL has been working with the Talking Books program for those unable to read regular print material due to visual, physical, or reading disabilities.

“We’ve already tried to make libraries accessible to all, so here’s just another way to do that,” Tekla said.

The next step is training to address the many questions librarians had about implementing the kits. Plans include creating videos on Niche Academy. Tekla recommended a book from the WSL Professional Collection, Creating Inclusive Library Environments. TechSoup for Libraries has also compiled assistive technology resources that may be of interest.

Questions about AT in your library? Visit the Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources website or contact Tekla at or (307) 777-6955.

Improving Academic Library Impact

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to ResearchThis report investigates how libraries can increase student learning and success and effectively communicate their value to higher education stakeholders. You can learn more about the report in the video overview above.

Now more than ever, academic libraries are being asked to demonstrate value to their institutional stakeholders, funders, and governance boards. Academic Library Impact builds on ACRL’s 2010 Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and the results of the subsequent Assessment in Action program. It demonstrates how libraries are now measuring library contributions to student learning and success, and recommends where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector such as accreditation, student retention, and academic achievement.

The full report is freely available for download on the ACRL website.

Library Use on Snapshot Day

Niobrara County Library

There’s a reason for all those happy faces on Wyoming Snapshot Day, held this year on October 10. Every day, hardworking staff in Wyoming libraries serve their communities. On Snapshot Day alone, Wyoming’s public and community college libraries:

  • Circulated 12,170 items, including 5070 children’s items
  • Issued 102 new library cards
  • Added 745 items to their catalogs
  • Had over 3.62 million items available to Wyoming’s residents in their collections

From data collected annually by the Wyoming State Library, we estimate that on Tuesday, Oct. 10, there were:

  • 39,689 visits to public libraries
  • 2,324 people using a public library computer
  • 1,061 reference questions answered in public libraries
  • 850 children and teens who attended programs at their public libraries
  • 41 meeting room uses
  • 650 wireless internet sessions
  • 6,693 retrievals of information from WYLD databases

See photos, videos, and patron comments on the Wyoming Snapshot Day website.

For more library numbers, see the WSL’s Wyoming Library Statistics page on the website, or contact Thomas Ivie, Research & Statistic librarian, at or (307) 777-6330.