Monthly Archives: November 2017

Courses in Budgeting, Using Mobile Devices Added to, the Public Library Association’s (PLA) website designed to help community members increase their digital literacy skills, has added two new beginner-level courses to its collection of tutorials. The learning modules are video-based with narration at a fourth-grade reading level. Each course takes between six and 22 minutes to complete. The lessons were designed to be taken independently, anywhere and anytime, by learners, but are also used by libraries and other community groups for one-on-one instruction and classroom teaching.

One new course was designed for first-time users of mobile devices running the Android operating system. The five-part learning module includes a basic overview of mobile devices and instruction on connecting devices to a network, using and adding apps, and maintaining data privacy and security. The second new course, Creating a Basic Budget with Microsoft Excel, guides learners through core budgeting concepts in the Excel software program such as creating a budget template, formatting data cells, and using formulas and functions. is just one tool PLA offers to help its members make their libraries digital literacy learning centers. The Association also offers continuing education on digital literacy training and a variety of professional tools for public librarians. For more information, please click here.

Advocate for Your Library With YALSA Toolkit

Want to be a more effective advocate  for your library? The Young Adult Library Services Association has created the YALSA Advocacy Toolkit to help. Although tailored for YA and school librarians, much of the content is applicable to any advocacy effort. Topics included in the table of contents are:

  • What is advocacy? (And how does it differ from lobbying?)
  • Everyday advocacy
  • Developing and delivering your message
  • Using web tools for advocacy
  • Building partnerships
  • Basics of national legislative advocacy
  • Meeting with elected officials
  • Talking points
  • Advocacy resources

Whether you are new to advocacy and need a place to start or are a practiced hand wanting to brush up on your skills, this toolkit can be a valuable resource. Download the free PDF.

Grant Opportunities

STARnet Discover Exoplanets Traveling Exhibit
DEADLINE: January 5, 2018
Pre-application webinar December 6, 2017
The National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute (SSI) is seeking eight library and museum partner sites to host the inaugural national tour of the interactive traveling exhibition Discover Exoplanets: the Search for Alien Earths.  Public libraries and small museum partners in rural areas and those serving rural populations and underrepresented groups are especially invited to apply. Travel costs will be covered for two staff members to attend a two-day orientation and program planning workshop in Boulder Colorado.

Loleta D. Fyan Grant
DEADLINE: January 12, 2018
Up to $5,000 total for one or more projects for the development and improvement of public libraries and the services they provide. Projects must have the potential for broader impact and application beyond meeting a specific local need; should be designed to effect changes in public library services that are innovative and responsive to the future; and should be capable of completion within one year.

United for Libraries Friend Conference Grant
DEADLINE: January 15, 2018
Enables one member of a Friends of the Library group at a public library to attend the ALA Annual Conference. The winner will receive a grant of $850, plus full ALA Annual Conference registration. The applicant must be a member of a Friends of the Library group in a public library, and a first-time attendee of any ALA conference (Midwinter or Annual).

Coretta Scott King Book Awards Donation Grant
DEADLINE: January 31, 2018
Underfunded libraries, schools, and non-traditional organizations that provide educational services to children are invited to apply to receive one of three Coretta Scott King Book Donation Grants. The grant program provides books submitted for consideration for the Coretta Scott King Book Awards to libraries and other organizations to expand their collections.

Bank of the West’s Charitable Investments Program
Bank of the West supports nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life, particularly of low- and moderate-income individuals and communities. Public nonprofit organizations in most Wyoming counties are eligible (check for yours). Grants are awarded for education and job training as well as for community and economic development.

Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation supports non-profit organizations and programs that offer scholarships, school drop-out prevention projects, access to educational programming and other educational initiatives, and also those that strengthen and enrich communities, including through education, youth development, and other community and civic initiatives. Note that they do not support local elementary, middle, or high schools.

10 Tips for a Great Annual Fund

Reposted with permission from Library Strategies

There is one type of fundraising that virtually every Friends or Library Foundation should be doing: it’s called the Annual Fund and it is truly the cornerstone of all fundraising activities. The concept is simple. The Annual Fund is a letter writing appeal to your members and donors (individuals; not corporations) requesting a contribution to your organization. While an Annual Fund can be done anytime during your fiscal year, it is most frequently conducted in November and December when donors are most likely to be thinking about the tax deductibility of their donation. The letter you send should be one page if possible. While the letter emphasizes all of the great things happening at the Library and within your Friends or Library Foundation, the request is for an unrestricted contribution which can be used wherever the need is greatest.

Here are ten simple tips for a successful Annual Fund appeal:

1) Response Card. Include a response form and envelope so the donor doesn’t have to address their own return envelope. You’ve got to make it easy to give.

2) Personalize. Personalize the letters as much as possible. There are a number of ways to accomplish this. For starters have your salutation be Dear Bob and Jane instead of saying Dear Friend of the Library. Instead of having one person sign all letters going out, segment the list and have people who know some of your donors sign their letter. You may have as many as 20-30 volunteers signing letters. Have the letter signer add a personal note at the bottom of the page like this: “Bob and Jane-I hope you will join me in supporting the Library this year. I am very actively involved in the Library’s Foundation and I know how extensively our library is used by everyone in our community.” Hand address the envelope. Use a first class stamp. Have the signer add his or her name to the return address on the outside of the envelope so the donor knows the letter is from someone they know and respect. When possible have the letter signer make a follow-up phone call to the prospective donor.

3) Create a List. If you have a limited donor database, ask all of the members of the Library’s Board of Trustees and the Board of the Friends or Library Foundation to provide you with the names of 5-10 people they know who can receive the Annual Fund request. Of course they should sign the letters of the people they suggest.

4) Show Impact. More and more, donors want to know what the impact of their contribution will be. If possible, include a story in your letter about someone who’s life was hugely impacted by the Library.

5) Accept Credit Cards. Be sure to have the capacity to accept credit card contributions in addition to checks.

6) Allow Online Gifts. Have the capability to accept contributions online through your website and let donors know about that in your letter.

7) Use Social Media. Most of the older traditional library donors will choose to write a check or provide credit card information. But don’t forget to use social media to attract a new generation of donors. If you have a few younger Board members, ask them to launch a challenge gift campaign through social media in which the total giving from dozens or hundreds of individuals is pooled to create a very large gift.

8) Offer Matching Gifts. Consider offering a match to contributions. Ask your Board members or a generous donor to put up a match for new or increased gifts to the Annual Fund. A one-to-one match is usually most effective. Donors love the idea that their gift has twice the value because of the match.

9) Push Monthly Giving. Ask your potential donors to consider making a sustaining gift which is a monthly recurring donation through a credit card or checking account withdrawal.

10) Time it Right. The Annual Fund is very different than a membership campaign. If you conduct a membership campaign, you should also ask those same members to make an Annual Fund gift. Just be sure to separate the two efforts as much as possible. Conduct membership campaigns in spring and early summer and the Annual Fund in November and December. Members who give you $25 in the membership campaign will give multiples of that in an Annual Fund because it has a more philanthropic feel than membership does.


Some Friends groups and Library Foundations have end of year letter signing parties. Ask for volunteer letter signers to identify the people for whom they could sign a letter and add a personal note. Have those letters printed and ready for their signature on a given date. Meet in the late afternoon and provide wine and snacks for the signers. Those signers who can’t attend, can be mailed their group of letters. Doing this can turn what might be considered a chore into an enjoyable social gathering. These letter signing parties grow in popularity each year.

The Annual Fund is an easy place for newly created Friends and Library Foundations to begin their fundraising. But it is also the cornerstone of all fundraising in that donors to the Annual Fund can become major donors and eventually planned giving donors, leaving you a deferred gift in their will or estate plan.

Free Library Continuing Education Events for December

The December 2017 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 60 great offerings. 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

Three New Educational Apps From the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with various educational organizations, has launched three web- and mobile-based applications related to Congress and civic participation for use in K-12 classrooms. From stepping behind the camera with photographers who fought against child labor to building a timeline that traces African Americans’ journey towards freedom, students are able to do all these things and more using the set of new free educational interactives. Each project takes a different approach to the subjects, and each is based on the rich historical primary-source items that the Library makes freely available at

Eagle Eye Citizen, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Eagle Eye Citizen engages middle and high school students in solving and creating interactive challenges on American history, civics and government with Library of Congress primary sources in order to develop their civic understanding and historical thinking skills.

Engaging Congress, developed by Indiana University Center on Representative Government, is a series of game-based learning activities that explores the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges it faces in contemporary society. Primary-source documents are used to examine the history and evolution of issues that confront Congress today.

KidCitizen, developed by Muzzy Lane Software. KidCitizen introduces a new way for young students (K-5) to engage with history through primary sources. In KidCitizen’s nine interactive episodes, children explore civics and government concepts by investigating primary-source photographs from the Library of Congress. They also connect what they find with their daily lives. KidCitizen includes cloud software tools that let educators create their own episodes and share them with students.

Getting Started With the AASL Standards

School Library Journal has compiled a list of essential resources for getting started with the new American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Standards, beginning with the three-minute introductory video above. Go read the article for all of them.

Then, be sure join us tomorrow, November 28, at 3:30 p.m. MST for our webinar, Talking About the New AASL Standards. Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant at the Wyoming State Library and Jennisen Lucas, Wyoming’s AASL Affiliate and Library Media Specialist for Park County School District 1, will lead the discussion. Come with your questions and ideas!

Quilts Benefit Johnson County Library Children’s Department

The Johnson County library is auctioning a beautiful quilt collection to raise supplemental funds for its children’s department.

Charlie Ellis was a long-time library friend and supporter of reading who passed away in 2014. A US Navy veteran, Mr. Ellis taught special education in Wyoming for 24 years before his retirement brought him to Buffalo. He continued to work with children by volunteering with numerous organizations around town. After his death, his estate went to the local Masonic chapter in Buffalo. They offered the quilts for a silent auction and specified the money be used for children, a perfect way to honor a man who loved serving and educating children.

His estate continues to support Johnson County with the collection of 22 quilts donated by his estate to the library. Many were created in the 1920s and 1930s, with at least one dating back to the 1880s. The proceeds from this auction will benefit a yet-to-be determined project in the children’s area. The auction ends in mid-December.

More are pictured below, but the full gallery is accessible on Johnson County Library’s Facebook page.

Free Continuing Education Events for November 27-30

Free, online, continuing education events for this week from the Wyoming State Library Training Calendar. You can subscribe and view the events in your calendar software, or you can find all the events at

Tuesday, Nov 28 (1-1:30 pm)
Our Big Beautiful Brains: What Every Educator Should Know (Simple K12)
Join Naomi Harm for this brain-based teaching and learning session, as she provides a roadmap of how you can infuse brain-based teaching practices throughout your school’s environment. She will share how to optimize physical learning spaces and experiences so that each and every child can discover their student-driven passion and personalized learning potential.
For more information and to register, visit:

Tuesday, Nov 28 (3:30-4:30 pm)
Talking About the New AASL Standards (Wyoming State Library)
Join Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant at Wyoming State Library and Jennisen Lucas, Wyoming’s AASL Affiliate and school librarian, for a discussion about the newly released AASL Standards for school libraries. Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm. Come with your questions and ideas!
For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Nov 29 (8-9 am)
Geekspotting 2.0: Building a Popular and Diverse Collection for Your Library (Indiana State Library)
Diversity has been a major issue in pop culture lately.  The demand to include traditionally marginalized voices in comics, movies, TV, and gaming has led to an explosion of material in the past few years.  Join two fellow librarians (who also happen to be geeks) as they explore this issue and help you navigate all the content available with collection development recommendations that can work in your local library.
For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Nov 29 (10-11 am)
Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian presents … Government in the Sunshine State: Where and How to Dig for State Information in Florida (North Carolina Library Association)
The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us increase our familiarity with government information. All are welcome because government information wants to be free. This session will cover some of the key dates that impact access to Florida government information (e.g., statehood in 1845, codification of Florida Statutes in 1941, state depository program in 1967, privatization of Dept of Commerce activities in 1996), bibliographies and finding tools, scattered locations of digitized collections, and a few highlights of unique and interesting content.
For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Nov 29 (12-1 pm)
Update on the RDA 3R Project (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services)
The RDA Toolkit Restructure and Redesign (3R) Project is a year-long effort to improve the RDA Toolkit in several different ways. Restructuring includes generalizing existing instructions where possible, implementing the four-fold path (unstructured description, structured description, identifiers, and actionable links) wherever applicable, and incorporating new elements from the IFLA Library Reference Model. Redesign includes greater flexibility in the display of instructions, improved user interaction with the Toolkit, and better tracking of revision history. Kathy Glennan, ALA Representative to the RDA Steering Committee, will bring attendees up-to-date about the planned changes to the Toolkit, which will be rolled out in April 2018.
For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Nov 29 (12-1 pm)
An Introduction to the Biodiversity Heritage Library (Federal Depository Library Program)
The Biodiversity Heritage Library is the world’s largest open access digital library dedicated to biodiversity literature. Headquartered at Smithsonian Libraries and operating as a worldwide partnership of natural history and botanical libraries, BHL provides free access to 50+ million pages of literature spanning the 15th-21st centuries. This webinar will provide an overview of the Library, offer tips for searching the collection, and highlight tools and services available to support librarians and their patrons.
For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Nov 29 (12-1 pm)
Using Data to Understand Your Community & Measure Impact (Public Library Association)
In this interactive webinar, participants will use a hypothetical case study to analyze data, identify community needs, prioritize outcomes, and measure impact. Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences and ask questions.
For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Nov 30 (11-12 pm)
Procrastinators Unite! Last-Minute Strategies for Year-End Giving (Bloomerang)
It’s the end of November…so what are you doing for year end giving? If you’re in a panic because you neglected to plan for the next 31 days, it’s not too late! We’ll talk about key things to maximize your fundraising that you can still do now.
For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Nov 30 (11-12 pm)
Data Maturity: How to Keep Improving Your Approach to Data (IdealWare)
Join us for a free webinar that will help you see your potential with data. We’ll introduce our data maturity model—the five stages for developing a successful approach to data—and help you identify where your nonprofit is currently on the data spectrum and how to move up to the next level. We’ll also discuss the importance of a data-driven culture and how you can nurture data champions across your organization.
For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Nov 30 (12-1 pm)
Overview of the Statistics in Schools Program (Federal Depository Library Program)
The purpose of the webinar is to introduce participants to the Statistics in Schools (SIS) program, a product of the U.S. Census Bureau. SIS is a FREE program that offers classroom activities and resources for K-12 teachers and other educational personnel. The webinar will cover key information about the program, its benefits, and will include a tour of the SIS website, where all activities and resources reside for easy access by teachers.
For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Nov 30 (1-2 pm)
Social Media Analytics: What to Measure and Why (WebJunction)
Now that you are using social media to engage with your community, how do you know if it’s working? If you don’t know where to start when planning your social media metrics, join us to learn the best methods to measure your library’s social media outcomes. During this event, you will learn how to establish measurable goals, identify key performance indicators (KPIs), and evaluate your social media results.
For more information and to register, visit:

YALSA Releases Teen Services Competencies

From the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)

YALSA’s Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff, which replaces Competencies for Librarians Serving Youth, is the latest resource developed to help graduate schools, library administrators, and library staff guarantee that all teens receive high quality service from their public and school libraries, regardless of whether the library has the capacity to dedicate a full-time position to serving teens. It is intended to set a foundation for the education and professional development of all library staff, regardless of job title, and to provide guidance for determining practitioner skills and knowledge. It is also meant to provide a framework to enable those within and outside the field to understand the unique role library staff can play in helping teens prepare for college, careers and life, and to communicate that role to others.

The 10 competencies are listed below.  Download the complete document for free.

  1. Teen Growth and Development
  2. Interactions with Teens
  3. Learning Environments (formal & informal)
  4. Learning Experiences (formal & informal)
  5. Youth Engagement and Leadership
  6. Community and Family Engagement
  7. Cultural Competency and Responsiveness
  8. Equity of Access
  9. Outcomes and Assessment
  10. Continuous Learning