Monthly Archives: November 2018

STEAM Up Learning This Weekend

Fire up your computer Saturday morning and learn how to STEAM Up Learning with this series of sessions from Simple K-12. Find more free, online training events on our Wyoming State Library Training Calendar.

Saturday, Dec 1 (8-1:30 pm)
STEAM Up Learning with These Activities, Resources, and Experiments for Your Classroom (Simple K-12)
A variety of 30-minute presentations focused on STEAM activities and tools that you can use in your classroom or school library.

Free Library Continuing Education Events for December

site logoThe December 2018 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with with 82 live offerings and 3 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

Free Wyoming History Books

The Wyoming State Library has been the recipient of a generous donation of books published by the State Historic Preservation Office. There are over 3,400 books in total, ranging across 11 different titles, in need of new homes. Deadline to request copies is December 7, 2018.

Shipping is free to libraries, but individuals and other organizations may need to plan to pick up their copies at the WSL, 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. Inquire when you place your request with Jessica Dawkins at or (307) 777-6337. She’ll be glad to answer any questions.

Book cover images and brief descriptions below, or download our PDF for lengthier descriptions and to print.

Available books

Wyoming Will Be Your New Home…: Ranching, Farming, and Homesteading in Wyoming, 1860-1960 
by Michael Cassity

This is a study of the historic context of homesteading, farming, and ranching in Wyoming from pre-Territorial incursions to around 1960.

Lives Worth Living, History Worth Preserving: A Brief History of Wyoming Homesteading, Ranching, and Farming, 1860-1960 
by Michael Cassity

This booklet is drawn from the larger Wyoming Will Be Your New Home study, and in some ways represents a summary of the main historical narrative.

Building Up Wyoming: Depression-Era Federal Projects in Wyoming, 1929-1943
by Michael Cassity

A scholarly examination of the transformation of Wyoming by federal programs launched during the Depression to put people to work and to build up the state’s social, economic, and physical infrastructure.

The Wind Whispers Their Names: A Brief History of Depression-Era Federal Projects in Wyoming, 1929-1943
by Michael Cassity

This booklet addresses some of the core issues in the longer study, Building Up Wyoming, but also provides some shift in focus.

Negotiating the West: A History of Wyoming Trading Posts
by Greg Pierce

This booklet was created to share with the public the research done on Wyoming’s early fur trade and trading post eras.

On the Road to Preservation: Wyoming’s Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan 2007-2015

Wyoming’s Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan guided the actions and set the priorities for historic preservation activity over the years of this plan.

Historic Schools of Wyoming
by Rheba Massey, Mary M. Humstone, and Clayton B. Fraser. Edited by Judy K. Wolf

Explores the development of Wyoming’s public educational system and the state’s private, parochial, state and federal schools from 1850 to 1960.

Wind River Indian Reservation Interpretive Plan for the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapaho

This interpretive planning project was initiated through the desire of many to hear, sometimes for the first time, the history of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho people of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

A Guide to the Evaluation of Wyoming’s Ranching, Farming, and Homesteading Historic Resources
by Michael Cassity

Evaluates each of the historic resources associated with homesteading, ranching, and farming in Wyoming, placing them into their historic context.

Historic Preservation in the Cowboy State: Wyoming’s Comprehensive Statewide Historic Preservation Plan 2016-2026

This plan was developed with input from Wyoming SHPO’s preservation partners, stakeholders, and the public to guide actions and set priorities for historic preservation activity in Wyoming through 2026.

Managing and Evaluating Historic Resources of Depression-Era Federal Projects in Wyoming
by Michael Cassity

This guide is designed to assist cultural resource professionals and others in the determination of eligibility of these resources for the National Register of Historic Places and to provide guidance in their appropriate management.

Goshen County Using ‘Crowdgranting’ for Community Garden

The raised beds will go outside the activity center.

Goshen County Library is using “crowdgranting” through SeedMoney to create a community vegetable garden. If they meet their $600 goal in 30 days, they’ll be eligible for a $400 challenge grant.

“We want to feed our patrons’ souls, whether through knowledge, art, a peaceful setting, or new opportunities,” library director Joan Brinkley said. “Our goal is to build raised gardens in all of our open areas and invite our patrons, young and old, to grow vegetables, get their hands dirty, meet their neighbors, and to share in the bounty.”

Many have heard of and contributed to crowdfunding through sites like GoFundMe. Crowdgranting represents a new way for nonprofit causes to access funds for their work, combining crowdfunding with challenge grants. SeedMoney offers both traditional grants and crowdgranting to start and sustain food garden projects.

Goshen County’s main source of income is agricultural, and Joan said it’s home to many experienced gardeners who are excited to share their knowledge. “We hope to start small and grow over time. We’d like to help our gardeners to feel a sense of belonging in the community.”

Also, “We want to help fight food insecurities by doing what Goshen County does best: Growing food.”

The mantra with crowdfunding—or crowdgranting— is “every little bit counts.” Learn more about Goshen County Library’s effort on SeedMoney.

#GivingTuesday at Your Library

Remember your local library today on #GivingTuesday. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday kicks off the holiday’s charitable season.

Libraries serve all members of their communities, putting them in touch with the information, computer access, literacy and education programs, and entertainment they need. Local donations of time, talent, and treasure often make the difference between an adequate library and an excellent library. If you love your library, you can help by:

  • Volunteering — ask the library about opportunities.
  • Writing a letter to the editor in support of your library.
  • If you have one, joining the Friends of the Library group
  • Telling your friends about library services they might not know about, like ebooks and electronic resources
  • Advocating for library services with elected officials
  • Making a tax-exempt donation to the library, Friends group, or library foundation

Easiest of all — use your library! And don’t forget to bring your kids and grandkids to raise the next generation of avid readers and library supporters.

Laramie County’s Blockchain Video Now Online

Watch this video to learn how Wyoming is leading the way in applying blockchain to our resources and the way we work. State and international experts discuss how blockchain technology is currently enhancing agriculture, 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.

This event was held at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne on October 4, presented through partnerships with the Wyoming State Library, Wyoming Humanities, and Museum on Main Street.

Working With Deaf Patrons

The Gallaudet University Library has put together this helpful guide for librarians who work with deaf or hard of hearing patrons or with deaf-related collections that they’ve permitted us to repost here.

The first step in communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing in a library setting is to determine the need. Some individuals will identify themselves as deaf or hard of hearing immediately. In that case, let the individual tell you the means of communication that works best for him. Others may be reluctant to identify themselves as deaf or hard of hearing. If an individual tilts his head toward you when you are speaking, speaks more loudly than usual, or just doesn’t seem to understand you, she may not be able to hear you clearly.

Communication styles and preferences vary. Some individuals use sign language, some read lips, some use assistive listening devices, and still others prefer to communicate in writing. Some may use a combination of these methods. Patience and careful attention are the keys to communication, regardless of the preferred method.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing rely heavily on visual cues, regardless of the specific means of communication. If you suspect a user cannot hear you, try some of the strategies suggested below. The following tips apply to all face-to-face communication encounters.


  • Face and lips must be visible (hands, papers, etc. should not be directly in front of your face)
  • Choose a location that is well-lit
  • Avoid standing with your back to any light source
  • Look directly at the person with whom you are talking
  • Avoid distracting background noise (conversations, printers, etc.); move to another location if necessary


  • Call him by name or title (such as “sir”)
  • Tap her on the shoulder or arm
  • Wave your hand (but not frantically)
  • Make sure he is looking at you before you speak
  • Tap on the table or counter


  • Avoid eating, drinking, or chewing gum while talking
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth
  • Speak naturally — don’t exaggerate, shout, or speak too slowly
  • Use natural facial expressions
  • Use gestures


  • Watch for language and literacy differences
  • Repeat the question back to the user, in writing if necessary
  • Use short sentences
  • Use simple language and avoid unnecessary words
  • Minimize use of idioms and colloquialisms
  • Write important words as you speak and keep the paper in clear view
  • Follow up to make sure the question has been answered


  • Make sure the deaf or hard of hearing person is in the best location possible to satisfy communication needs (The best location may vary depending on the setting. Ask!)
  • Avoid pacing and other distracting movements
  • Make sure you face the deaf or hard of hearing person when you speak
  • Use visual aids
  • Allow the audience time to look at visual aids before speaking
  • Prepare written instructions and handouts
  • Repeat questions/comments from audience members
  • Use hands-on activities


  • Look and speak directly to the deaf or hard of hearing person and not to the interpreter
  • The interpreter will probably be a few words behind the speaker
  • The interpreter is not a participant in the conversation or program and should not be brought into discussion or asked questions
  • For a program or meeting
    • Be aware there are different types of interpreting and ask users what they need
    • Schedule interpreters well in advance (at least two weeks)
    • Provide interpreter with copies of handouts and with the names of program/meeting participants and spelling of any technical terms or jargon before the program begins
    • Make sure all arrangements (lighting, seating, interpreter preferences, client preferences, etc.) are worked out before the program/meeting begins
    • If the interpreter is working alone give adequate breaks


Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of November 26

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of November 26 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

Monday, Nov 26 (12-1 pm)
Addressing Latino Health and Wellness Disparities Through Virtual Community Health and Wellness Workshops (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
This session will provide attendees with background information about the Latino community both in the United States and in Minnesota. An overview of current demographics and health issues will be covered. The presenters will then describe how they designed, implemented, and evaluated the virtual health and wellness workshop series*, covering mental health and wellness topics, targeting the Latino community in rural Minnesota towns.

Monday, Nov 26 (12:30-1:30 pm)
Info2Go! EOR and E-rate – Are you ready for 2019? (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
Get ready for the next round of EOR and E-rate. What can you expect for 2019? What can you do to be prepared? Get all the details here.

Tuesday, Nov 27 (10-11 am)
Graphs, Charts, and Data Visualization – All Three in Your Next PowerPoint Presentation (Training Magazine Network)
PowerPoint graphs and charts are an excellent way to show information visually, allowing an audience to see the trend or result straight away. Graphs are a common component to most presentations, but they aren’t always used correctly. An effective graph can show a trend, support your message, explain a situation, and much more besides. Data visualization takes things further, to convey complex concepts in an elegant and relatable way. In this webinar we explain how to use and create PowerPoint graphs and charts effectively. We show the common mistakes people make and how to avoid them. Then teach you how to create live and non-live graphs, charts, and other data visualizations that will help engage your audience and get your message across.

Tuesday, Nov 27 (12-1:30 pm)
Looking at Plastics: An Introduction to Caring for Plastics (Connecting to Collections)
Plastics are everywhere – they are an inescapable part of our lives both at home and in our collections. Plastics present a deceptive promise of permanence yet we know from experience that their preservation is not an easy task. Learn how to monitor and mitigate problems that may arise from the deterioration of plastics in your collection.

Tuesday, Nov 27 (1-2 pm)
It’s Not Just About the Likes: Getting Strategic with Your Library’s Social Media (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
You know how to use social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but how do you get followers to go beyond liking posts to sharing or even showing up for the programs or resources you’re promoting? Being strategic with your posts is an important first step. In this webinar you’ll learn strategies for social media engagement for libraries of all sizes, but with a focus on libraries without dedicated communications staff.

Wednesday, Nov 28 (11-12 pm)
Understanding Grief After an Overdose Death (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
This webinar focuses on the dynamics of grief after a death caused by substance use. It also covers the stigma, stress, and trauma that can come with grief after a death from substance use — and it considers issues that begin to influence survivors’ experience of grief and loss long before a death occurs, such as struggling with a loved one’s addiction and the demands of caring for a chronically ill person.

Wednesday, Nov 28 (12-1:30 pm)
Relationships in Early Education: It’s Basic! (Early Childhood Investigations)
This powerful webinar, by Luis Hernandez will offer insights and strategies to help early childhood educators build and enrich their relationships with the children, parents, and other staff members in their organizations.

Wednesday, Nov 28 (1-2 pm)
How to Write More Effective Email and Web Content (InfoPeople)
In this webinar, we’ll offer specific guidelines that will help you communicate more effectively in an age where people read most of your content on a screen. We’ll look at before and after examples, and attendees will get a list of resources for learning more.

Thursday, Nov 29 (11-12 pm)
10 Strategies for Success with Digital Fundraising (GrantSpace)
In this webinar, we will learn  how to make your website donor-ready, improve your donation pages, choose the right donor platform, create powerful email fundraising campaigns, promote monthly giving, use social media techniques to grow your email list, and invest in digital advertising to raise money online. We will also address organizational readiness and capacity as a factor in your success.

Thursday, Nov 29 (12-1 pm) Your One-Stop Resource to Help People Recover from Identity Theft (Federal Depository Library Program)
Come learn more about, the Federal Government’s free, one-stop resource to help people fix problems caused by identity theft.

Thursday, Nov 29 (1-2 pm)
Librarian Evolution: Libraries Thrive When We Change (WebJunction)
Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” It has never been a better time to be a librarian—especially when we recognize and act on our power to help people in our communities build better lives through learning and literacy. To do that, our identity, our education, our organizations, and our work is changing. Learn how library staff are becoming change agents to help Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, the 2016 Gale/LJ Library of the Year, become an essential asset in its community.

Online Resources Every Library Should Consult

Reposted with permission from Library Strategies

As any library director or system administrator will tell you, keeping a public library running entails a bewildering number of day-to-day responsibilities. With so much to do, and so little time left over for “big picture thinking,” it’s quite common to lose sight of what is going on in Libraryworld beyond your own service area.

For example: What major trends are emerging in library service? What new challenges are coming down the pike? How does your library stack up against peer systems in your state, and nationally?

Gaining a baseline understanding on important questions like these doesn’t need to take days – if you know where to look for information. We recommend that you bookmark these four free and authoritative online resources.

Public Libraries Survey (PLS) Data

Every year, more than 17,000 public libraries report in to the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and share a handful of key statistics. These include budget basics, annual visitor figures, circulation statistics, collection size, hours of operation, and staffing levels. IMLS aggregates this wealth of data for its annual Public Libraries Survey and Report – to be used by policymakers, lobbyists, journalists, and of course library practitioners.

IMLS has been collecting and sharing this information since 1988, but it’s still something of an open secret to many library staff. This data is not only available, but searchable. You can easily benchmark your library against peer systems based on criteria of your choosing. As an added bonus, filtering is user intuitive and searches are downloadable!

NOTE: The Wyoming State Library has statistical resources and assistance specifically for Wyoming libraries of all types. 

Pew Research Center Studies

If you read newspapers (or their e- equivalents) with any regularity, you’ve probably heard of the Pew Research Center. It’s a nonpartisan “fact tank” – versus think tank – subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trust. It conducts public opinion polling and media content analysis on a host of topics, and is perhaps best known for its studies on American politics and religion.

It may surprise you to learn that Pew Research Center also polls the public regularly and extensively about library usage and perceptions.

Questionnaire topics run the gamut from library visiting habits, to personal reading habits more generally, to internet and computer usage and beyond. Critically, Pew also collects extensive demographic data on those polled (age, ethnic and economic background, etc.) This allows Pew teams to extrapolate and draw different conclusions for diverse subsets of your library’s service area.

Center for the Future of Libraries

While Pew studies offer a snapshot of how things stand now, and IMLS/PLS survey data gives a longitudinal view of where libraries have been, the American Library Association’s (ALA’s) Center for the Future of Libraries is forward thinking. You probably gleaned as much from the name!

ALA’s library futurists (yes, that’s a job title!) have thoroughly researched and prepared position statements and forecasts around 34 trends likely to impact library service in the coming decade. Everything from anonymity concerns, to increased urbanization, to an aging population and infrastructure, to drones are covered on the Center for the Future of Libraries website. Forecasts for each are thoughtfully divided into “How It’s Developing” and “Why It Matters” sections, the latter of which drives home the trend’s implications for libraries. Each is an easy read, but bolstered by a long bibliography for further reading.

American Libraries ‘Library Systems Report’

Bibliocommons. Biblionix. Bywater. Book Systems Atriuum. Confused yet?

Technology is by far and away the most baffling facet of library service. Cataloging, resource sharing, and automation platforms bring with them an innate learning curve, to be sure. However, that’s only part of the challenge.

Compounding matters, there are also a dizzying number of vendors competing in this arena by offering a host of tools and software solutions – some interchangeable, some not. Industry leaders change with regularity, thanks to evolving library needs, new products brought to market every year, and a long track record of corporate acquisitions.

Unless you are a full-time digital librarian – and maybe even if you are – keeping track of this rapidly changing landscape is impossible without mediation. Fortunately, American Libraries produces an annual Library Systems Report. It is the best available point of departure for library leaders looking to reevaluate and reinvest in their tech infrastructure.

State Publications and the Wind River Reservation

The relationship between the State of Wyoming and the Wind River Reservation has a long and complex history. While the Arapahoe and Shoshone Nations maintain federally recognized Tribal Sovereignty, the Reservation intersects with many state agencies. Having adjacent jurisdictions, coordination between Wyoming state government agencies and the Reservation is essential.

This cooperation can be seen in a number of state publications found in the State Publications Database. One example is the Wyoming Gray Wolf Monitoring and Management 2017 Annual Report. For this report, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department worked in cooperation with The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribal Fish and Game Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lander Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office.  For more information on State Publications, contact Karen Kitchens, (307) 777-7281,