Monthly Archives: September 2018

Free Library Continuing Education Events for October

site logoThe October 2018 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with with 76 live offerings and four to watch “At Your Leisure.” 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

Archived Webinar: School Library Resources at the WSL

September 2018; 13 minutes

Download the slides.

Join Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant at the Wyoming State Library, on an updated tour of the resources that are freely available to all K-12 librarians and staff in Wyoming. This is a chance to see what the Wyoming State Library has available in terms of professional learning communities, tools for program support, free money for you and your library, and more!

Questions about school library issues? Contact Paige at or (307) 777-6331.

The Way We’ll Work: Blockchain

Have you heard about blockchain? Learn all about it at “The Way We’ll Work: Blockchain.”

See the event on Facebook.

On Thursday, October 4, from 6:30-8pm in the Cottonwood Room, the Laramie County Library in conjunction with the Wyoming State Library will host international and state experts for a panel on blockchain technology in Wyoming. The panelists will present on how blockchain technology is currently enhancing agriculture, on how it could be applied to the energy industry, and how the impacts of recent blockchain legislation could affect Wyoming businesses. The event is a launch-pad for future educational programs on blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. It will be recorded and made available online within a month of the event for future use by Wyoming libraries, educational groups, and the general public.

The expert panelists will explain how Wyoming is leading the way in applying blockchain technology to the state’s natural resources and economy. The panelists will be moderated by Dennis Ellis of Microsoft, and will include, Phil Schlump of, David Pope from the 2018 Wyoming Blockchain Task Force, Dave Murry an international blockchain advisor, Representative Jared Olsen from House District 11, Dr. James Caldwell of UW College of Engineering & Applied Science and department head of UW Computer Science, and Philip Treick of UW College of Business’s Energy Finance and Portfolio Management. The panelists will participate in a discussion about issues surrounding blockchain technology followed by a Q&A session.

The purpose of the event is to allow leading experts in the field to educate the Wyoming community at large on blockchain technology: what it really is, how it can be applied, and what it will bring to Wyoming.

The Way We’ll Work: Blockchain event is part of the traveling exhibit The Way We Worked, which is currently on display at the Laramie County Library. The exhibit engages viewers with a history of work, an aspect of American society that has had an impact on all of us — past, present, and future. The exhibition will appear throughout the main library and includes complementary local exhibits and programs at all branches.

For a calendar of related programs at the Cheyenne, Pine Bluffs and Burns branches, visit

The event is free to the public.  The Way We Worked has been made possible in Laramie County by Wyoming Humanities. The Way We Worked, an exhibition created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Contact Kasey Storey at (307) 773-7225 or for more information.

Libraries Create Community Connections

By Mary J. Soucie, North Dakota State Librarian
Adapted with permission from the August 2018, NDSL Flickertale

Libraries are so much more than book repositories these days. Libraries are still about books but we’re about so much more than books. Libraries, more than ever before, are the centers of their community. The role of the library is to help our patrons individually as well as our community as a whole make connections with information, people and resources in many different formats.

Moms and dads that come to story time with their infants and then toddlers often form lasting friendships with each other as their children grow up. People that meet in book clubs share a love of reading and discussion that can lead to more meaningful relationships outside of book club. I always love when I hear a story of a couple that met through the library or that gets engaged or married at the library because it’s such an important part of their story.

Libraries help people connect to information when they are facing an illness or loss, but also when they are celebrating the next chapter in their lives. Books expand people’s lives in many ways, just as a library does. We introduce people to new ideas, new technologies, and new people.

Librarians make connections with their patrons. I love when we watch kids grow up in the library. We might be the only person that someone talks to when they come in to check out books. We are honored to be part of our patron’s stories in so many ways. My predecessor at my last public library believed that librarians are like bartenders because people trust us with their secrets.

Think about the ways that your library connects people with what they need. It is a vital role that libraries play and an important role to embrace.

PBS Learning Media Storyboards for Classrooms

PBS Learning Media offers storyboards as an instructional tool for educators and students 13 and up. Storyboards are a way to illustrate a concept or topic through a collection of videos, text and images. Just save your storyboard to access a URL to share with your class.

With Storyboards you can create dynamic presentations by incorporating PBS videos, graphics, and text. There are two options for using Storyboards in your classroom:

  • Create a Class Storyboard — Create a media-rich Storyboard to share with your class that introduces a topic.
  • Assign a Student Storyboard — Assign a project for your students to produce and illustrate concepts that they have learned with their own Storyboard.

Learn more and Create a Storyboard with PBS Media.

Tips for Novice Grant Writers

From Colorado Virtual Library
By Amy Hitchner, Colorado State Library Statewide Collaborative Programming Coordinator

Is your library considering writing a grant proposal in the near future? Many libraries rely on grants to fund projects of all sizes, yet few of us have professional grant writers on staff. If you’re new to grants you probably have lots of questions, starting with the fundamentals and the overall process.

To explore some of these questions, I attended a two-day Strategic Grant Writing Workshop from the Institute for Strategic Funding Development in June 2018. The attendees came from higher education, nonprofits, and government, and all were new to grant writing. During the course we learned how to construct strategy-based grant proposals using tips that have been helpful in securing millions of dollars in funding. Here is the information that resonated with me and that I felt would be useful to a wider audience.

Know your funding sources

Grant-makers fall into one of three categories: federal, foundation, or state. Knowing how they differ can help you find a grant that aligns with the goals of your project and your organization.

Federal funding

Approximately 52 billion dollars in federal grant funding is available annually. The awards are often large and the application process is rigorous and competitive. Novice grant writers may want to start with other types of grants before moving on to federal grants. That being said, our instructor gave us some tips for improving our chances of securing a federal grant:

  • Look for grants before the funding announcements go live. You can do this by researching past grants to get a sense of what will be offered again, and when. Then you will have more time to prepare your grant application.
  • The main website for federal grants is You should also check Assistance Listings (formerly Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance or CFDA) during your preliminary planning to see comprehensive information about funding options.
  • Consider contacting the program officer for the grant that interests you; most are willing to chat with you about your proposal. Keep in mind that summer is a busy time for the grant cycle, so you will have more success contacting program officers during the winter months.

Foundation funding

Foundations offer approximately 54 billion dollars in annual grant funding. Their application guidelines vary but are usually easier and less competitive than federal grants. This is a good place to start if you are new to grant writing. When applying for a grant from a national foundation, look at where the foundation is headquartered — this is a good indicator of where they will fund.

Corporate foundations usually make larger grants with competitive, complex applications. They have websites with detailed information about their grants, which is not always the case with other types of foundations.

Community foundations usually make larger grants with competitive, complex applications. They also have websites with detailed grant application instructions. Unlike corporate foundations, their funding comes from many sources instead of just one.

Independent foundations are numerous and usually offer smaller, less competitive grants. However, it is much more difficult to find comprehensive information about these types of grants because many independent foundations don’t have websites or accept unsolicited applications.

To look for independent grant-making foundations, search the Foundation Directory Online, a fee-based database that is available at many libraries*. The Foundation Center has another resource, Visualizing Funding for Libraries, that is free and available to anyone. It provides information on potential funders and what library proposals they are funding. You can also trying searching The Grantsmanship Center.

Hot tip: Many independent foundation grant processes require a letter of proposal rather than a lengthy application. If you are applying for multiple grants, create a customizable proposal template that you can reuse.

Tips on Writing Proposals

Keep the following advice in mind when preparing and composing your proposal.

  • It pays to write a good proposal — literally! A well-written proposal is less work for the grant funding officer to evaluate, which they will appreciate. Attention to detail may be the difference between you and the funding you seek.
  • Use the funder’s evaluation criteria as a framework for building your proposal.
  • Funders want to see the impact of their dollars, so focus more on outcomes than on details.
  • Embed the “why” in every part of your application.
  • Attitude counts! Don’t act like a supplicant begging for money. Foundations are required to spend money to keep their charitable status, so make your proposal an opportunity for them.
  • Cite similarities to other grants the funders have accepted. This not only shows that your goals are aligned with theirs, but that you’ve done your homework.

I hope you’ve found some of this information useful during your grant writing process. Though I’m a novice myself I would be happy to answer your questions about my experience in the workshop.

Contact Amy Hitchner at Adapted with edits; reposted with permission.

*The Foundation Directory Online is available at these Wyoming public libraries:

  • Campbell County Public Library System Gillette,
  • Park County Public Library Cody
  • Teton County Library Jackson
  • Laramie County Library System, Cheyenne

Wyoming libraries and staff are encouraged to apply for Carol McMurry Library Endowment grants for both library projects and continuing education.

Today is Banned Websites Awareness Day

From the American Association of School Librarians

To raise awareness of the overly restrictive blocking of legitimate educational websites and academically useful social networking tools in schools and school libraries, The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has designated one day during Banned Books Week as Banned Websites Awareness Day. On Wednesday, September 26, AASL asks school librarians and other educators to promote an awareness of how overly restrictive filtering affects student learning.

Usually the public thinks of censorship in relation to books, however there is a growing censorship issue in schools and school libraries – overly restrictive filtering of educational websites reaching far beyond the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Students, teachers, and school librarians in many schools are frustrated daily when they discover legitimate educational websites blocked by filtering software installed by their school.

Learn more, and find activities and resources from AASL.

200+ Fundraising Ideas from Wild Apricot

Donations through your friends or foundation gives you the resources to enhance your basic library services. Wild Apricot has put together more than 200 fundraising ideas for you — everything from art auctions to cow pie bingo. They’ve rated them by complexity, cost, and expected return, and organized them by category:

  • Contest Fundraising Ideas
  • Ongoing Fundraising Ideas
  • Event Fundraising Ideas
  • Fundraising Ideas For Kids
  • Mega Fundraising Ideas
  • Online Fundraising Ideas
  • Quick Fundraising Ideas
  • Raffle Fundraising Ideas
  • Fundraising Sale Ideas
  • Unique Fundraising Ideas

If you’re brainstorming ways to find more money for your library, read Wild Apricot’s full blog post for some new ideas.

Library of Congress Launches New Set of Educational Apps

From the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with educational organizations, has launched two new web- and mobile-based applications related to Congress and civics for use in K-12 classrooms.

Students can investigate complex questions through both applications, as well as three apps that launched in 2016. These applications transport students through primary sources to some of the most dramatic turning points in U.S. history and immerse them in the related debates. Each project takes a different approach to the subjects, but at the core of each are the rich historical primary sources that the Library makes freely available at

The two new civics interactives are:

  • DBQuest, developed by iCivics. DBQuest teaches history and civics through the use of primary source documents and evidence-based learning. It offers a platform, accessible on mobile devices, that reinforces evidence-based reasoning and document-based questioning by teaching students to identify and evaluate evidence, contextualize information and write sound supporting arguments.
  • Case Maker, developed by Bean Creative. Case Maker is a customizable system for inquiry-based learning for K-12 students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Modeled after the “observe, reflect, question” framework, developed under the Teaching with Primary Sources program, Case Maker guides students to challenge a question, collect evidence and make a case.

For more than a decade, the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program has provided extensive professional development opportunities for educators and enabled the development and dissemination of teaching materials focused on using the Library’s digitized primary sources. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world –  both on-site and online.

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of September 24

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

All times MDT

Monday, Sep 24 (12-1 pm)
No Fear Coding: How to Start a Coding Club and Why It Matters (School Library Journal)
Librarian Allyssa Loya shares her story of failures and successes in launching a coding club in her elementary school. This webinar will boost your confidence, arm you with the basics of coding, and give you resources for teaching computational thinking without even needing to touch a computer!

Tuesday, Sep 25 (10-11 am)
Bozarthzone! Better Than Bullet Points (InSync Training)
Effective e-learning involves much more than just putting PowerPoint shows on the Web. In this session, we’ll explore solid ideas for transforming bullet-based content into compelling, engaging, interactive online learning programs.

Tuesday, Sep 25 (11-12 pm)
Fundraising 101: Fundraising Metrics – How Do You Measure Up? (Charity How To)
The measurement of key performance indicators in fundraising has become a best practice, and you don’t want your organization to fall behind. Be a data-driven organization, know your fundraising health, and measure the work you do every day. If you have a spreadsheet and can do simple math, you can use fundraising metrics to improve your operations and help your organization grow.

Tuesday, Sep 25 (11-12 pm)
7 Steps to a Written Fundraising Plan (Firespring)
In this session, you’ll learn how to follow 7 simple steps to put together a written plan for raising the money you need in the coming year without constantly selling something or begging online. We’ll cover goal setting, action plans and ways to keep your plan on track, plus you’ll get some worksheets and checklists that will make the process easy.

Tuesday, Sep 25 (12-1 pm)
Leadership Skills Toolkit-Tips, Techniques, & Resources for Library and Information Professionals (Indiana State Library)
What skills do you need to be a leader in your organization?  Based on the highly successful webinar series, The Day in the Life of a Leader, and decades of experience in teaching, consulting and leading. Drs. Cheryl Stenstrom and Sue Alman will discuss the leadership traits most in demand for library and information professionals.  Among other issues they will address the need to be an effective communicator, strategist, and risk-taker.  Join us for a lively interactive discussion

Tuesday, Sep 25 (1-2 pm)
Managing Your Digital Archive (Texas State Library & Archives Commission)
This webinar empowers the audience to care for their personal digital archives, specifically photos, by giving them best practices, tools, and resources that assist with selection, organization, and preservation of digital files.

Tuesday, Sep 25 (5-6 pm)
Accessible Makerspaces (American Association of School Librarians)
As makerspaces continue to grow in popularity in library settings are we as librarians ensuring accessibility for all students and library patrons? Do we look at our spaces, activities, outcomes and consider inclusion of all students? Join Heather Moorefield-Lang for a rich discussion in makerspaces, accessibility, and inclusion.

Tuesday, Sep 25 (5-6:30 pm)
Social Media Literacy: Purposeful Practice in Every Classroom (TeachersFirst)
Develop social media savvy digital citizens with simple, carefully-crafted and focused activities that support all content areas in grades 2-12.Participants will recognize the cycle of information gathering, processing, and posting; followed by vetting ideas and voice amplification as both a professional use of social media and an experience that learners should have.

Wednesday, Sep 26 (9-10 am)
Service Enterprise Initiative: Helping A Thousand Points of Light Shine Even Brighter (VolunteerMatch)
Join us as we reveal what Points of Light has learned over nearly ten years of implementing the Service Enterprise Initiative to help organizations develop the systems and cultures needed to strategically integrate volunteers throughout their operations and effectively engage volunteers.

Wednesday, Sep 26 (12-1 pm)
Introduction to Proposal Writing (GrantSpace)
This class will provide you with an overview of how to write a standard project proposal to a foundation.

Wednesday, Sep 26 (12-1:30 pm)
Wonder-Filled Early Childhood Environments: Engaging All Children in Learning (Early Childhood Investigations)
In this webinar we’ll discuss both the basics of high quality early childhood environments-what is essential in any setting for a given age group–and the hula hoops­ the things that make the setting just right for the children, and teachers, who live and learn in it.

Wednesday, Sep 26 (1-2 pm)
Accessibility in Mobile Devices: Updates from the Field (ablenet)
In this session, participants will be provided with a short refresher on accessibility features offered on iOS12, Google Chrome, and Android-based devices. The majority of the session will focus on application: Participants will be provided with scenarios for applying accessibility tools for a variety of purposes including personal and professional productivity.

Wednesday, Sep 26 (1-2 pm) (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
The purpose of this NNLM Resource Picks presentation is to familiarize participants with, a National of Library of Medicine database that provides patients, their family members, health care professionals, researchers, and the public with easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies on a wide range of diseases and conditions. This presentation will help you learn how to navigate the site and understand the nuances and limitations of information available on

Wednesday, Sep 26 (3-4 pm)
Get Real! Augmented, Virtual, and Other Realities in the Classroom (edWeb)
Join this webinar for a discussion about how to integrate augmented, virtual and mixed reality into any classroom. Immersive technology does not have to be complicated or expensive, and it can be used across grade levels and disciplines. Please join the conversation featuring replicable lessons, assessment ideas, and strategies to enlist support from learning community stakeholders.

Thursday, Sep 27 (12-1:30 pm)
No Money, No Mission: Cost Control in the Childcare Business (Early Childhood Investigations)
Join HINGE Founder and financial guru Kathy Ligon for an interactive webinar discussing healthy spending tactics for your childcare business. Kathy will cover current trends and challenges within the childcare industry as well as share her coveted benchmarking tool—demonstrating what the average financially healthy school looks like in numbers.

Thursday, Sep 27 (1-2 pm)
Literacy and Community-Building for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities (WebJunction)
You will learn how Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) helps libraries build community and promote literacy while supporting the educational and social growth of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. NCBC emphasizes inclusion and the joy of reading aloud with friends and is flexible enough to be adapted to the needs and budget of nearly any library. With more than 300 chapters, NCBC is the largest community book club of its kind in the world. Find out how your library can reach out to connect with an underserved population, promoting community inclusion, independence, and productivity for individuals with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Friday, Sep 28 (12-12:45 pm)
I’m Charged: How to Become a Student-Centered Learning Ambassador (Alliance for Excellent Education/Future Ready Schools)
In this webinar, representatives from Meriden School District will share how they are using the “I’m Charged” initiative to support personalized professional learning for teachers while also leading a digital transition to meaningfully integrate technology into the classroom.

Friday, Sep 28 (12-1 pm)
People – Difficult or Different? (Effectiveness Institute)
In this interactive and engaging Webinar, you will discover why “different” does not have to mean “difficult.” Then you will learn the magic of making slight adjustments in your awareness and behavior that will have a significant impact on your ability to “click” with customers and co-workers.