Monthly Archives: January 2019

New Wyoming Collection in DPLA

Sculpture, Birdman. Easter Island. University of Wyoming Art Museum
Sculpture, Birdman. Easter Island. University of Wyoming Art Museum

The Plains to Peaks Collective – a partnership of the Wyoming State Library and the Colorado State Library – has added new Wyoming and Colorado historic collections to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The latest Wyoming additions are from the University of Wyoming Art Museum. The collections shared with the DPLA comprise items from their ethnographic art collection including a collection of 20th century sculptures, tools and other miscellaneous carvings from Easter Island. These first items shared with the DPLA are just a small sample of the Art Museum’s rich collection of 8,000 objects which they plan to share more of in the future.

New Colorado partners include:

  • The American Alpine Club
  • The University of Colorado, Art Museum
  • Colorado State University Libraries
  • Mountain Scholar
  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Strauss Health Sciences Library
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Kraemer Family Library

With the latest additions, the Plains to Peaks DPLA hub includes more than 180,000 items, including selections from the American Heritage Center and University of Wyoming. The State Library funds Wyoming’s participation in DPLA.

Free Library Continuing Education Events for February

site logoThe February 2019 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with with two online conferences, 95 webinars, and four recordings 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

A Native Superhero at the Laramie County Library

From Laramie County Library System
By Kasey Storey, Communications Coordinator

On January 15, a superhero visited the Laramie County Library. He didn’t have a cape, a mask, or flashy tights and he walked in through the front doors rather than flying through a window or crashing through a wall. He didn’t display any spidey senses, super-speed, or unworldly strength, but he did wear one indication of his superpowers: a beautifully beaded pendant hanging around his neck. The intricate array of vivid and delicate beads formed a bright superhero emblem that was part Superman symbol and part Flash sign. With his dark framed glasses and light brown blazer, Lee Francis IV appeared to be somewhat of a Clark Kent figure: subtle in appearance, but with an air that was undeniably super.

In fact, Lee Francis IV has many superpowers. He’s an educator with over 15 years’ experience in the classroom, a business owner who runs his own bookstore named Red Planet Books and Comics and printing press named Native Realities, a comic book creator, a founder of Indigenous Comic Con, an activist, a poet, a writer, and a speaker. As a member of the Laguna Pueblo Tribe, Lee Francis IV is also a powerful advocate for Indigenous peoples and their right to be represented accurately in pop culture.

His ability to tell stories, however, may be his strongest superpower. He weaves entrancing tales that enrapture audiences and change their perceptions of Native American representations in the past, present and future, and he came to the Laramie County Library to do just that.

On January 15, Lee Francis IV gave a presentation about storytelling, during which he outlined the historical representations of Native Americans. He fit them into four chronological categories: the noble savage, the vanishing Indian, the red devil, and the tragic chief or neo-noble savage. Utilizing examples from paintings, books, television shows, photographs, and movies, he illustrated how these essentialized representations of Native Americans were damaging to the psyches of individuals in the community. He said that many of these images “reinforced the idea that Native Americans were a historical relic,” and that because of these images, indigenous peoples were often “stripped of imagination of what they could be.”

After detailing the harmful representations of the past, Lee Francis IV moved into the future and changed the narrative, revealing his awe-inspiring superpowers in the process. Imbuing every claim with a resounding optimism, he talked about the next stage of Native American representations, calling it “Indigenous Futurisms.” He began to tell the crowd about all of the comic books, video games, movies, television shows, and artwork that present Native Americans as the dynamic, diverse, modern, and powerful heroes they are: heroes whose impact expand far beyond the reservation. He spoke about Navajo code talkers, empowered Native women, and Indigenous superheroes created by people like Jon Proudstar who realized that there was no contemporary hero saving children like his own on the reservations.

Lee Francis IV stated that the beautiful part about storytelling is its ability to create empathy, build bridges, and impact communities. He said that Native American tradition should not be left in the past, but rather carried into the future like a backpack, where it can be used in a contemporary context. He then asked the fixated audience if they were heroes and asked how they told their own stories. He implored them to think of the power stories have to change the world.

So, while he may not be able to travel back in time, he is able to look back and analyze the harmful misrepresentations of native people from the past. While he may not be able to jump over buildings in a single leap, he is able to make leaps in the way Native people are represented in the media. And while he may not be able to read minds, he is able to captivate an entire room of people and make them think differently about Native American stereotypes.

Like any superhero tale, he ended his presentation with hope, stating, “I hope that you’ve had fun, I hope I’ve sparked your imagination, and I hope I’ve unleashed your Indigenous Imagination.” The crowd stood and applauded him, and for a moment it seemed like he would don a cape and fly off the stage like the superhero he is.

Ebook Spending Rises, Print Declines, in Academic Libraries

Image credit: Ithaka S+R

From Library Research Service

Ithaka S+R recently published the results of their Library Acquisitions Patterns project, which examined purchasing trends in U.S. academic libraries. Their analysis focuses on print books, journals, and ebooks purchased at 124 participating academic institutions.

Total materials spending by the participating academic libraries rose by about 8% between 2014 and 2017 to over $313 million.  One-time resources (single books and ebooks) accounted for about 1 in 5 (16-21%) information materials purchased from 2014-2017, while ongoing materials like journals made up most of the remaining materials (70-76%). However, library spending is not rising as quickly as the prices for these materials – the average cost for an ongoing resource was well over a third (37%) higher in 2017 than in 2014.

Spending on print books declined by 12% during the four years tracked in this study, which was reflected to some extent in each disciplinary field. Spending on print books in STEM disciplines dropped by a quarter (25%), which was the most prominent reduction. Spending on print books in humanities and social sciences dropped by much less over the same period (7% and 8%, respectively).

Spending on ebooks rose by 9% from 2014-2017, although ebooks still only make up around 1% of total library materials spending. Ebook purchasing increased the most for social sciences materials (by 7%) and humanities materials (by 2%). Like with print book purchasing, ebook purchasing for STEM disciplines dropped by about 8% from 2014-2017.

GOBI Library Solutions was the largest vendor of print books and ebooks to the participating academic libraries during the time of the study, providing three-quarters (75%) of print books sales to the libraries by 2017. Amazon was the second largest vendor, hovering just below a tenth of libraries’ print book sales (8.2% in 2014 to 7.1% in 2017). GOBI was also the dominant vendor of ebooks to the libraries, providing 9 in 10 (90%) ebook sales. The next-largest ebook vendors to the participating libraries were Springer (1.8%) and ProQuest/Coutts (1.5%).

You can find the entire report here.

Note: This post is part of the series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, LRS highlighst statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Maybe Younger Library Users Aren’t so Different

By Doug Johnson
On the Blue Skunk Blog

The Pew report: Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations (shared by the State Library of North Carolina) did not surprise me in revealing that our kids and young adults want their libraries to be more tech-enhanced than we old goats. See the chart above.

What the report did make reflect upon is just how much our younger people still value many traditional library resources and services. As much as I have encouraged libraries and librarians to embrace new technologies (starting with The Virtual Librarian in 1993), we need to recognize, maintain, and even strengthen those traditional attributes of our libraries that are valued – even by our younger “techies.”

Those traditional areas that jumped out at me from this report include:

  • Reading print books
  • Wanting librarians who help locate resources
  • Valuing physical library spaces for reading, studying, and media consumption
  • Having availability of separate social spaces in libraries
  • Needing programs and classes
  • Providing job and career help

I am guilty of advocating for library evolution. I believe libraries must change to increase their odds of continued existence. But has this been at the cost of not recognizing and promoting those wonderful services and resources and spaces all generations love and value. In fact, it’s been those very things that have made me personally a vocal advocate for libraries.

Read the report. What are your take-aways?

Reposted under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Markus at ALA Midwinter

Left to Right: Teri DeVoe, Jamie Markus, Karen Mellor, and Holly Henley

Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus was at ALA Midwinter the last few days. On Saturday, he was on the panel for “Responding to Needs and Trends: State and National Vantage Points (IMLS).”

Panel description:
In recent years state libraries looked deeply at user needs and trends in library services, through Five-Year Evaluations and Plans submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Now that the 2018-22 plans for spending LSTA funds are underway, chief officers from the states will discuss the needs they anticipated, as well as emerging trends they might be seeing. IMLS will also share trends from its vantage point as a national funder. To help participants identify emerging trends, the session will cover tools to search across the more than 1,500 library projects that IMLS funds annually.

The other panelists were Teri DeVoe, Associate Deputy Director, Grants to States, Institute of Museum and Library Services; Karen Mellor, Chief of Library Services, Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services; and Holly Henley, State Librarian & Director of Library Services, Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.

Find information about Wyoming’s LSTA fund evaluations and plans on our website.

Free Continuing Education Events for January 28-31

Free, online, continuing education events for January 28-31 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 MST

Tuesday, Jan 29 (10-11 am)
Building and Maintaining a Graphic Novel and Comics Collection (Utah State Library)
Graphic Novels can be one of the most popular and highest circulating formats in your library collection, but often, staff are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with the format. In this webinar, graphic novel enthusiasts and longtime collection developer, Amanda Jacobs Foust, will share the secrets of purchasing, organizing and preserving graphic novels and comics in the library for all ages.

Tuesday, Jan 29 (12-1 pm)
3 Steps to Effective Storytelling to Grow Your Memberships (Wild Apricot)
Are you finding it a challenge to grow your membership? For many organizations, the culprit is not telling the right stories to motivate your target audience. If you want to learn how some of the most successful membership organizations use strategic storytelling to attract and engage members, please join our free webinar on January 29 with storytelling expert Vanessa Chase Lockshin.

Tuesday, Jan 29 (1-2 pm)
Footprint Foothold: Helping Students Manage Their Online Reputations (edWeb)
In this edWebinar, Sean Coffron, Ph.D. will present strategies and tools for introducing the topic of digital footprints to students and for preparing them to be thoughtful keepers of their online presences.

Wednesday, Jan 30 (5-6 pm)
Moving Diversity Forward: Using Embedded Diversity Practices to Enhance Learning Opportunities for Youth (American Association of School Librarians)
This session will introduce participants to best practices for implementing multicultural literature into curriculums. The goal of the session is to engage participants in a meaningful, reflective discussion about the importance of diversity and inclusion as a strategic imperative for creating a sense of equality for all students.

Thursday, Jan 31 (11-12 pm)
How to Use Facebook’s Free Fundraising Tools to Drive Donations (CharityHowTo)
In this free 45-minute webinar, you’ll learn how to successfully register your nonprofit to use Facebook’s powerful new Fundraising Tools, and a brief step-by-step guide to using these free tools to raise money using Facebook!

Thursday, Jan 31 (12-1 pm)
Understanding Soft Risk in Volunteer Engagement (VolunteerMatch)
We all worry about the hard risks that can have an impact on our volunteers and the work they do, but too often we don’t think about the soft risk. Soft risks are the attitudes, beliefs and actions that expose our organizations to risks. Those risks may include the actions of staff – both paid and volunteer, interactions on social media, lack of training for leaders and volunteers – leading to risky behavior, and how failing to screen for characteristics or “fit” can open volunteers and the organization up to risk. This webinar is designed to help attendees identify soft risks in their organization and give them the tools to make changes to processes and culture to minimize and address these risks.

Thursday, Jan 31 (2-3:30 pm)
Assistive Technology for Reading and Writing: An Overview of Innovative Tools for School, Work, and Home (PACER Center)
This workshop will introduce you to new tools that support reading and writing. Demonstrations will include devices from the STC lending library, mobile apps, Chrome extensions, and Microsoft learning tools.

WyoHistory Primary Source Digital Toolkits for Classrooms has created primary source-based digital toolkits for Wyoming classrooms. Each toolkit focuses on an important theme in Wyoming History all while answering an essential question related to that theme and time period. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in 2018, nine digital toolkits were created:

The U.S. During the First World War (1910s-1920s)

Aimed at secondary levels and above, these toolkits connect topics in Wyoming history with one of 12 overarching areas of U.S. history, from the Constitution through the Cold War to coal-rich Wyoming’s role in the nation’s future. Each one contains:

1. A background summary of the topic.
2. Links to relevant primary-source documents—maps, photos, letters, etc.
3. Links to more detailed articles on the topic.
4. Exercises encouraging students to write about or otherwise encounter the topic.
5. Bibliographies and links for further information and research.
6. Information on how each toolkit meets Wyoming State Social Studies Standards

See all toolkits

Other toolkit areas include the foundations and growth of the early United States, the Civil War and Reconstruction, westward expansion of the U.S., industrialization, the Great Depression, World War II, and the struggle for civil rights.

Big Talk from Small Libraries Registration Open

Registration for the 2019 Big Talk from Small Libraries conference is open. This free, online, one-day conference is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries. This free, online, one-day conference takes place on February 22, 2019, from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MST. You can also join in the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #BTSL2019.

Register here.

Big Talk from Small Libraries is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each of our speakers is from a library serving fewer than 10,000 people, or directly works with small libraries. Topics range from technology to programming to new roles for the library. This event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. But, if your library serves a few hundred to a few thousand people, this is the day for you.

BTSL is organized and hosted by the Nebraska Library Commission and is co-hosted by the Association for Rural and Small Libraries.