Monthly Archives: October 2019

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of October 21

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of October 21 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, Oct 21 (12-1 pm)
Check It Out! New Books for Ages 0-18 (State Library of Iowa)
Join us on the last Thursday of each month for a review of brand new titles published for ages 0-18. You’ll hear short booktalks of new titles (and new entries in ongoing series) from major and Indie publishers and get ideas on how to keep up with the endless tide of what’s new in kidlit and young adult literature.

Monday, Oct 21 (12:30-1:30 pm)
Girls Who Code at your Library (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
Interested in starting a coding club at your library but don’t know where to start? The Girls Who Code platform is the perfect fit public and school libraries that want to host coding programs without a lot of training. Learn more about the curriculum and how it could have a positive impact on your community during this Info2Go session.

Tuesday, Oct 22 (11-12 pm)
How to Turn Event Guests Into Donors (CharityHowTo)
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy-to-follow strategy that helped organizations engage event guests and turn them into donors? In this free 45-minute live webinar, event planning expert A.J. Steinberg will show you how to make guests feel the love at your event and turn that into long-term supporters.

Tuesday, Oct 22 (11-12 pm)
Integrating Online Communications into Your Fundraising Campaign (IdealWare)
Are you effectively incorporating email campaigns into your fundraising mix? What about social media, or peer-to-peer campaigns? We’ll walk through how to successfully use online communication tools to enhance your fundraising efforts in inexpensive and time-effective ways.

Tuesday, Oct 22 (1-2 pm)
Activate, Collaborate, and Educate: Health Outreach and Programming in Your Community (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
This one hour webinar will focus on health program ideas, guides, and resources for libraries and community/faith based organizations.

Wednesday, Oct 23 (8 am-2 pm)
National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair (U.S. National Archives)
Participate in our biggest genealogy event of the year! The National Archives will host a free, live, virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast on YouTube, offering advice on family history research for all skill levels on Federal records.

Wednesday, Oct 23 (12-1 pm)
Managing Difficult Volunteer Transitions (VolunteerMatch)
What do you do when it’s time to ask a volunteer to leave your organization? This webinar will give you the tools to address challenges around difficult volunteers, volunteers aging in place, and suggestions to minimize these situations in the future. Suggestions for determining when a volunteer should be terminated, and making it easier on you, other volunteers, and staff will be presented. The role that risk management plays in these decisions will also be included.

Wednesday, Oct 23 (1-2 pm)
Introduction to Website Accessibility (Infopeople)
In this one-hour webinar, you’ll gain an understanding of which guidelines are used to measure website accessibility in the United States, and how to begin to evaluate your own library’s site for potential issues. We’ll also discuss some common pitfalls and things to avoid.

Wednesday, Oct 23 (1-2 pm)
Top 5 PowerPoint Tips for Engaging Your Audience (Training Magazine Network)
Attend this webinar and get the latest techniques to grab and hold your audience’s attention. Get real-world examples and new ideas that make your job easier.

Wednesday, Oct 23 (3-4 pm)
Computer Science in Early Learning with LEGO® Education (edWeb)
Join this edWebinar for a learning experience with LEGO® Education to explore how to expose young students to computer science topics through incorporating creativity, inquiry, and collaboration in early childhood instruction to build important foundations for student learning.

Thursday, Oct 24 (9-10 am)
The Future in Your Face: Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality in Libraries (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
Join TSLAC’s library technology consultant Henry Stokes of ‘Henry’s High-tech Highlights’ as he takes you through the latest tech trends in Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) with a focus on libraries.  He’ll start with placing this emerging tech in context with other technologies throughout time, plot out for you the current AR/VR landscape, and describe various use cases he’s collected. He’ll also outline the important roles libraries can play in the coming Wizarding World, including free to low cost ways to get started.

Thursday, Oct 24 (10-11 am)
Motivating Your Staff: A Webinar for Managers (Utah State Library)
In this session, the presenter will give examples of the application of motivational theories in staff training, meetings, onboarding, and in the day-to-day interactions managers have with their employees. Attendees will walk away with new ideas for how to motivate their staff and with the start of a motivational plan.

Thursday, Oct 24 (12-1 pm)
Playing Well with Others – At Work (Colorado State Library)
We all know that children learn through play, but what about adults? Research shows that when humans, at any age, play, they learn and grow into healthy, happy, well-functioning individuals. Find out more about the research on play, identify your play style as well as others, and imagine ways to add more play into your work. Perhaps counter-intuitively, your habits of embedding playful work techniques into your day can lead to greater creativity, productivity, and resilience in you and your library. And knowing others’ play styles will help build better teams, collaborative work, and enjoyable work culture.

Thursday, Oct 24 (12-1:30 pm)
Pathways to Nature-Based Play: There Is One for You! (Early Childhood Investigations)
This webinar will explore ways to jump right into nature-based play, wherever you might want to begin by enhancing early childhood teacher’s ability to introduce children to nature-based play both indoors and out.

Friday, Oct 25 (12-1 pm)
Library-Created Games: A Showcase (Indiana State Library)
This presentation explores games developed by libraries to support information literacy and internal training. One benefit of creating games is being able to tailor experiences to the culture and needs of libraries and their communities. Some games covered in this session include the University of Tennessee Libraries’ interactive Breakout Game for first-year studies courses, Acquisitions Adventure (which is used for internal training of acquisitions staff), and the Pendergrass Clue board game (which supports one of our branch libraries). This session showcases games created by other libraries as well.

More Than 100,000 Sign Petition Against eBooks Embargo

You may have heard news lately about library ebook lending. Beginning November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers plans to restrict library access to ebooks. The publisher will limit libraries to purchasing only one copy of each new ebook title for the first eight weeks after its release. Additional copies will then be available for two years of access at library pricing, which is considerably more expensive than consumer pricing. Public Libraries Online recently posted an article that details the potential impacts to libraries.

Because this is a publisher-level restriction, it will affect any ebook or audiobook platform. For Wyoming libraries, this means patrons could experience long waits for the latest MacMillan titles in CloudLibrary, RBDigital, and OverDrive.

The latest press release from the American Library Association (ALA) notes that in just one month, their #eBooksForAll campaign has garnered more than 100,000 signatures from readers, authors, library staff and patrons from all 50 states to condemn Macmillan Publishers’ plan to restrict library access to eBooks.

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Every year, the National Archives hosts a free, virtual Genealogy Fair via live webcast on YouTube. The sessions offer family history research tools on Federal records for all skill levels. Join thousands of family historians participating during the live event. No reservations are needed.

Save the date for the live event on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. MDT. Scheduled sessions are:

  • 8:00 a.m. – Welcoming Remarks
  • 8:05 a.m. – Exploring History Hub for Genealogists and Researchers
  • 9:00 a.m. – Preserving Personal Collections
  • 10:00 a.m. – Immigrant Records: More than Just Ship Passenger Arrival lists
  • 11:00 a.m. – Using National Archives Records to Research World War I Naval and Marine Corps Records for Genealogical Research
  • 12:00 p.m. – Discovering and Researching Bureau of Indian Affairs School Records
  • 1:00 p.m. – The Homestead Act: Land Records of Your Ancestors
  • 2:00 p.m. – Closing Remarks

Learn more about the Genealogy Fair from the National Archives. Handouts for each presentation will be available just prior to the event on their site. You can also find presentations and materials from past Genealogy Fairs here.

Innovations for School Libraries

Found in the Big Deal Media K-12 Technology newsletter

Guide for Conversing with Parents About Learning with Technology
Your Edtech Conversation Guide, a free downloadable resource from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), is the definitive handbook for changing the conversation with parents about how students are learning with the use of technology.

Program Based on Real-World Writing
This school year, The New York Times is offering a free, flexible, seven-unit writing curriculum based on real-world genres found not just in The Times, but in all kinds of print and online sources. Woven into each unit are multiple opportunities for students to publish and have their writing read by authentic audiences.

SPOTLIGHT! On Coding for Children with Autism
Learning to code is about learning how to solve problems, work with others in creative ways, and think in a new language. Teaching children with autism employs the same skills—creating logical connections, breaking tasks into smaller parts and sequencing them—but it is also much more. Teaching children with autism to code is teaching them the thinking skills they need to address the challenges they face in their everyday lives—to frame their thoughts, to prompt them through routines, and more.

  • Autism Coding Academy: Coding Autism is building the first autism-specialized coding academy, pairing online coding education, community, and an autism-savvy support team to help transition autistic talent into the technology workforce.
  • Coding Guide for Children on the Spectrum: Coding for Kids with Autism: The Ultimate Guide for Parents and Educators offers answers to some of the most common questions the authors have encountered while operating a successful coding school serving hundreds of children on the autism spectrum.

People News

Megan Benfield joined the Central Wyoming College Library/Academic Resource Center on September 3 as Librarian – Resource Management. She graduated in 2017 from Adams State University with a BA in anthropology (dual emphasis in cultural anthropology and archaeology) and a minor in history. She will complete her Master’s in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives administration in December from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Megan is originally from Colorado Springs and just moved here from the Seattle metro area. Her hobbies mostly include spending time with her puppy and cake decorating.

Rhonda Everman is departing the Goshen County Library on October 25. She is an interlibrary loan specialist who has been working for the library for three-and-a-half years. “I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know the wonderful patrons I order items for, and also all the great staff members here,” Rhonda said

Karen Kitchens celebrated her 10-year anniversary with the Wyoming State Library. Karen is the WSL’s State Publications Librarian.

The Glenrock Branch Library is thrilled to announce that Jennifer Kofoed, formerly the Circulation Manager at the Douglas Library, has been hired as the new Branch Manager. Jenni brings her knowledge base of a degree in Education with an Endorsement in Library Science as well as years of working in libraries, from her hometown base of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the college library at Chadron State, to several years’ experience in Converse County Library in Douglas. In addition, in the past several months, they’ve increased their circulation team with the hire of Erin Wolfley (recovering cake-decorator), Cherish Nelson (information technology extraordinaire), and the newest addition, Brenda Huck. Also on staff since August is Young Adult Librarian Jenn Butler, who has relocated from Chadron, where she received her degree in Library Science, and worked at the Reta E. King Library at Chadron State College.

Lisa Evans has joined the staff of the Converse County Library as a Circulation Clerk. She’s lived in Douglas about 5 years and has been with the library for about 4 months “I love it!,” Lisa say. “I love everything about our library — the books, the people I work with, and our patrons.”

Barbara Wolter has retired from the Wyoming State Archives after almost 20 years. She began in 1999 as a senior microfilm technician, when the State Archives filmed not only all the state’s newspapers, but records from state and local government agencies. Five years ago, the Archives’ State Imaging Center ended its microfilming operation and became a digitization lab, and Barb learned a whole new technology for her work. In her years of service, she has transferred literally millions of paper documents onto film and digital format, and from film to digital form. Quite a legacy! Congratulations, Barb, and best wishes for the future.

Valencia Sherman is Carbon County Library System’s new Acquisitions Services Manager. Valencia was the Rawlins Library Manager for two-and-a-half years. She replaces Naomi Manley, who moved to California.

Leslie Tribble (left), Technical Services Manager at Park County Library in Cody is usually off adventuring somewhere in the area when she’s not at the library. After writing several articles on regional hiking for the local outdoor gear shop, she decided to put all that information to good use and published her Adventure Guide to Cody this past summer. The book gives readers a brief overview of the natural and human history of the region and provides information on where to hike, bike, kayak, and bird watch all within a short drive from downtown. Garrett Randolph (right), Assistant Children’s Librarian at Park County Library, is a singer-songwriter and musician. On August 30, 2019, Garrett released his debut full-length album titled “Badlands: Concerning Postcards and Portraits of the American Dream.” This album is a collection of 15 original songs Randolph started crafting in 2016. Garrett was raised in Cody and is known for his narrative storytelling and poetic lyrics.

Lindsay Hineman is now the Children’s Librarian at Converse County Library. Lindsay has lived in Douglas many years and worked as a daycare and preschool teacher for 10 years, then as a special education paraprofessional for eight. “Being the children’s librarian and programs manager has let me go back to my roots of working with young children and getting to watch their minds grow and shape into who they will become as teenagers and young adult,” Lindsay said. “I’m very excited to be a part of this amazing library family and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.”

Building a Better Book

7th & 8th grade students from UW’s Lab School Tactile Design Elective course building better books.

From UW News
By Shannon Smith, former University of Wyoming Library Specialist

Shannon Smith and Teresa Strube attending the Build a Better Book Workshop in Boulder, CO in March.

In January, University of Wyoming Libraries, in collaboration with the UW Lab School, was selected as a partner site for the Build a Better Book (BBB) project at the University of Colorado Boulder. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation, and partner sites range from school libraries to public libraries to academic libraries. The BBB project seeks to help empower school and library makerspaces to “engage youth in the design and fabrication of inclusive media, including picture books, games, and graphics.” This process focuses on the iterative nature of fabrication, testing, and refining designs.

Teresa Strube, UW Lab School Math & Science Teacher, and Shannon Smith, Library Specialist at the Learning Resource Center, joined other members from the 2019 cohort of partner sites to participate in an immersive training experience. Over the course of the training participants were asked to challenge their assumptions of accessibility, step outside of their comfort zones, and engage in conversations to enhance the work of Universal Design within their various maker communities.

The BBB 2019 cohort explored low to no-tech approaches for building tactile and immersive stories and games. Participants discussed in-depth how popular makerspace tools such as Makey Makeys, 3D pens and printers, laser printers, and conductive boards can enhance the goals of student designs as a way to add additional texture and sound to projects. The two-day workshop included tours of Sphero robotics, SparkFun Electronics, and the Boulder Public Library Makerspace (BLDG 61). The librarians and teachers shared their experiences from their maker-centered spaces, heard from researchers on their lessons learned with youth, and even spoke to youth in Boulder who had designed their own multi-lingual (braille, Spanish, and English) board game.

The power of these conversations centered on the possibilities for this work to help youth learn to think from a different point of view. This focus of the project seeks to build empathy among sight-abled youth to support the needs of other youth in their communities both near and far. BBB wants these youth to ask themselves who they are as makers and how they can support the needs of others through the implementation of tactile and audio features into hands-on projects. We are excited to begin our work as BBB partners with middle school students at the UW Lab School, especially as a way to increase conversations of diversity and inclusion. They particularly want to help students explore how design and making can help them become change-makers in the world.

Spread the Word! Letters About Literature Opens Soon

All ages

Grades 4-6

Grades 7-8

Grades 9-12

Wyoming students in grades 4-12 are invited to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) of a book that changed their lives. The 2020 Wyoming Letters About Literature reading and writing contest will open November 1. Postmark deadline for Wyoming entries will be January 11, 2020.

You can help spread the word — we’ve created the promotional posters above to help. Download and print the PDFs, or use the JPGs in your own presentations, emails, newsletters, social media, or any other way you can think of to inspire a teen or tween to enter.

Letters About Literature is a reading/writing promotion program. Entries will be judged at the state level in three age categories: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, and grades 9-12. At each age level, winners will receive an Amazon gift card worth $150 for first place, $100 for second, or $50 for third. Both individual and classroom entries are welcome.

Competition will be held at the state level only. The Library of Congress concluded its support of Letters About Literature with the 2019 contest.

Find more information and a teaching guide at Questions? Contact Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915.

Creepy Patents for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, so this month the Wyoming State Library dug deep into the final resting place for U.S. Patents — the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Database. Here we found some creepy and disturbing patents to help get you in the mood for this season of chilling goosebumps! (Click to see larger images… if you dare…)

Learn more about patents through the Wyoming State Library’s Patent & Trademark Resource Center.


(U.S. Patent No. 7,627,935. This patent was granted in 2009 to Deborah R. Ostrum.

This handy device keeps your loved ones close after passing on. This adorable urn even comes with a voice recorder/player for realistic sound!


(U.S. Patent No.748,284). Patented in 1908 by Joseph Karwowski. Never want to be without your departed loved one? Here is a method of preserving them forever. Simply enclose them in sodium silicate and glass!


(U.S. Patent No.9,610,207). Patented in 2017 by Marc A. Fort. Here is a more realistic way to display your loved one’s ashes. Simply place their ashes into this retainer bearing an image that resembles your loved one and hang on the wall.


(U.S. Patent 766,171). Patented in 1904 by Edwin S. Crosby and Ell Ray Henry. This handy device provides for the means to signal both audibly and visually that the departed are not truly departed. Good to have, just in case…


(U.S. Patent No.6,193,578). Patented in 2001 by Thomas Carl Weber. On a lighter note, here is a fun way to house your fish! House your fish in a unique home while impressing your guests with your “Mad Scientist” décor!

An Unexpected Little Library

By Karen Jean Funk
Washakie County Library Director

From time to time a librarian needs to take a day off from work. The need is there to use some vacation time, take personal time and just to attend to “stuff” that overwhelms us all at times. Sometimes the need is just to decompress from the duties and decisions we have to make day after day.

Today was the day, the ranch where I live is getting ready to brace for the first winter storm of the season. Some of the herds are still on the mountain and gates need to be opened. We had no idea what the conditions were, but I went along into the unknown, seeking adventure and a change of pace.

High in the Big Horn Mountains, close to 7800 ft,  the  “Slip” Road from Kaycee and the “Hazelton” Road meet. We get to our Bear Trap pasture and the cows are encrusted with snow and the wind is icy on our cheeks as we push into the wind. The herd looks thankfully at us as we get the gate open to let them migrate farther down the mountain. It’s time for them to go home and to lower ground where the feed is good and the water isn’t frozen. As we head back down the road I see what looks like a mailbox. Knowing there is no postal route in Johnson County up here, I curiously walk up to the mailbox.

I smile as I see it. And think, I can never get away from this! Written on the side of this mailbox, it says LIBRARY. I opened the door, instructions fell to me in black lettering inside the door. “Take a Book,” it said! A healthy selection of books, magazines, and even a CD awaited me. How wonderful,  I thought I as I looked at the titles! Holding tight to each one as the mountain wind and snow were revving up, I made a selection. What am I doing, I thought! I reminded myself that I was trying to disengage from the Library…and looked what happened?!

This re-affirms what people ask me every day. Are libraries going away? Are they dead? NO! The libraries will never die. This of all things must prove that!  There is a need to educate, entertain, and to share our passion with books. If you’re in the Big Horn Mountains sometime, just beyond the Slip, look for the mailbox. It is on the Hazelton Road, a dirt road, a stock drive. Take a book or two, and if you have a spare, share one.

It was a great day off!

National Friends of Libraries Week October 20-26

Friends of Libraries groups have their very own national week of celebration! United for Libraries will coordinate the 14th annual National Friends of Libraries Week from October 20-26, 2019. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends. Use the time to creatively promote your group in the community, to raise awareness, and to promote membership. This is also an excellent opportunity for your library and Board of Trustees to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.
Join the celebration:

More information, ideas, and promotional materials are available at