Monthly Archives: February 2020

Free Library Continuing Education Events for March

site logoThe March 2020 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 62 live webinars, three online conferences, and five 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

Book Awards Deadline Nears

An important deadline is fast approaching. Three book awards for K-12 children and teens, sponsored by the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association, are taking nominations for 2021 titles, but the deadline is looming!

Nominations are due to the committees by March 1. Nominations come from students and their teacher or librarian inputs them on the form.

See the criteria and submit your nominations at

The awards are selected by age group: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. This is a great opportunity for the children and teens you work with to engage with reading and weigh in on the new titles they love best.

Turning the Page: Advocacy Training

Reposted from the ALSC Blog

Does your library need help with advocacy training? Has your library used the Turning the Page training developed by the Public Library Association (PLA)? Read on to see if your library would benefit from this comprehensive advocacy training curriculum.

Advocacy is critical to building public support and demonstrating the many ways libraries improve lives and connect communities. Library leaders need to have a seat at the table where important funding and policy decisions are made. Turning the Page: Supporting Libraries, Strengthening Communities is a resource for improving the advocacy knowledge and skills of public library staff and partners.

Turning the Page is broken down into three parts: the Implementation Guide, Curriculum, and Advocacy Action Plan Workbook. The curriculum has 15 sessions. Five of these sessions provide core information, deemed critical for any advocacy training, according to the Implementation Guide.

  1. Introduction
  2. Value of the Public Library (core)
  3. Defining Advocacy (core)
  4. Developing Your Advocacy Goal (core)
  5. Identifying Target Audiences (core)
  6. Using Library Perception Information and Impact Data
  7. Creating Library Advocacy Messages (core)
  8. Creating a Library Story
  9. Telling Your Library Story
  10. Effective Presentations
  11. Media Planning and Outreach
  12. Social Media and Advocacy
  13. Making a Library Funding or Policy Request
  14. Building and Sustaining Library Partnerships
  15. Putting Advocacy Plans into Practice

Each session includes trainer notes with talking points, a PowerPoint presentation, and a set of handouts and worksheets. The curriculum content is customizable. Sessions are written to be broadly applicable and reflective of your community and library needs. Adding examples, stories, and case studies increases understanding and motivates participants. The curriculum is designed to be flexible, too, and can be adapted for in-person, online or a blended training experience. As written, the 15 training sessions comprise more than 20 hours of training. However, if you lack time or resources to deliver all the sessions, Turning the Page recommends starting with the five core sessions. Completing the included pre-training assessment will help you put together your advocacy training plan.

Jackie Cassidy, Assistant Manager of the Abingdon Branch of Harford County Public Library, contributed this article as a member of ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee.

Can Libraries Cure Loneliness?

Reposted from Library Research Service

Libraries are not traditionally thought of as social spaces. Stereotypes of older women glaring over thick-rimmed glasses to shush talkative individuals pervade our pop-culture references. However, studies show that public libraries foster social support and decrease isolation. At a time when loneliness is being deemed a public health crisis in the United States, libraries are uniquely positioned to offer up a cure.

Cigna, the global health service company, reported epidemic levels of loneliness in 2019 that continue to intensify. After surveying 10,500 adults, they found that three in five (61%) classify as lonely, a seven percentage-point increase from 2018. The results are based on a 20-item questionnaire developed to assess self-reported, subjective feelings of loneliness or social isolation. A score of 43 or higher indicates loneliness. The report’s findings show a national average of 45.7 out of a possible 80.

Loneliness is affecting people of all ages, all demographics, and across socio-economic divides. Gen Z (18-22) is the loneliest age bracket, with levels decreasing as people get older. Additionally, entry-level employees and executives are the two most likely groups to report always or sometimes feeling there is no one they can turn to, not feeling close to anyone, and that no one really knows them well. Hispanic and African American workers agree in higher numbers that they feel abandoned by coworkers when under pressure at work. So how do we reach such a wide-ranging cross-section of American society to address this epidemic? Open the door to a public library.

Libraries’ extensive population reach, their access to diverse sectors of the U.S. population, the public trust they command, and their diverse geographic coverage favorably position them as a multi-sectoral strategy to advance public health. Ninety-five percent of the U.S. population live within a public library service area and as Donald Barclay writes, “Public libraries are perhaps the last remaining indoor public spaces where an individual can remain from opening until closing without needing any reason to be there and without having to spend any money.”

Research published in the Journal of Community Health shows that libraries can address social exclusion among structurally vulnerable groups, from homeless individuals to new parents. In Denver, a Community Technology Center team regularly visits the local day shelter to give participants bus tokens, a tour of the main library, and library cards. In New Jersey, a new parents’ support group meets weekly at the local library. LGBTQ youth who may not feel safe at home or on the streets can turn to a library as a designated safe space. Library programs such as Drag Queen Story Hour also reduce social exclusion by increasing acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Additionally, libraries decrease social isolation by offering programs that build community and foster relationships. The Lifetime Arts’ program operates across 13 states and 80 public libraries, providing writing, painting, choir, and dancing classes for older adults. For newcomers such as refugees and immigrants, libraries serve as critical spaces to foster social integration. In Hartford, Connecticut, the public library provided services to promote immigrant civic engagement, including a core group of volunteer immigrants to help newly arrived individuals with tasks such as accessing community and legal services.

The 21st century library is an intersection of people and purposes. As national health data highlights a critical need for connection, the social role of libraries should not be overlooked. However, additional research is needed to evaluate the impact libraries have on the overall social well-being of patrons and the untapped potential for the wider — lonelier — public.

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

Online Conference: Big Talk from Small Libraries

Attend Big Talk From Small Libraries 2020, and hear how the Copper Queen Library in Bisbee, Arizona, earned the Library Journal 2019 Best Small Library in America award! The Nebraska Library Commission is providing this free one-day online conference aimed at small libraries on Friday, February 28 via GoToWebinar from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. MST.

Library Manager Jason Macoviak will be joining us to share how the library takes strategic advantage of being a low-income community that is also full of educated, professional retirees to deliver innovative library service where it’s most needed.

Big Talk from Small Libraries is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better. Register now.

(All times MST)

  • 7:45-8:00 a.m. Welcome to the Conference & Introductions
  • 8:00-8:50 a.m. Partnering with Local Organizations to Benefit Youth
  • 9:00-9:50a.m. You Can Dance If You Want To: Academic Library Programming
  • 10:00-10:50 a.m. Wizards and Jedi and Gamers, Oh My!: Library Con on a Limited Budget
  • 11:00-11:50 a.m. Lightning Round!
    • Can a New Library Webpage Overcome Small Library Challenges?
    • Growth Mindset and Staff Development
    • Prom Dress Giveaway!
    • Surviving Science Liaison Work as a Non-Scientist
    • Community Connections: Working with Schools, Libraries, and Local Partners to Make Big Things Happen
  • 12:00-12:50 p.m. Fitness, Food, & Fun with Seniors (citizens that is)!
  • 1:00-1:50 p.m. Thriving Together – Copper Queen Library: Best Small Library in America 2019
  • 2:00-2:50 p.m. Libraries: Spaces to Unite and Empower Communities
  • 3:00-3:50 p.m. How to Create a Textbook Donation Program to Build Course Reserve

See the full details for all sessions and meet the speakers! Please note: their site lists all times in Central Time, not Mountain.

Free Facilitation Skills Training Materials From ALA

From the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) has released a set of free professional development materials to help library workers in small and rural communities develop the facilitation skills they need to thrive in the 21st-century library.

Offered through Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, the materials are designed to help library workers prepare for and lead discussions and overcome common challenges that arise when people gather to speak in groups.

Available materials include:

Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant number RE-17-19-0041-19.

The initiative is offered by ALA’s Public Programs Office in collaboration with the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), the Association of Small and Rural Libraries (ARSL), and the Chief Officers of State Library Associations (COSLA).

Job Opening: Park County Library Director

Park County Library System
County Library Director
Job Announcement

Park County (Wyoming) Library System is seeking an energetic, service-oriented Director with excellent communication skills and the vision necessary to lead this three library system into the future.

Currently the system has a budget of $1,761,372.00 to provide a wide range of services to a population of 29,189 county residents as well as summer visitors. The three libraries – located in Cody, Powell and Meeteetse – have a current staff of 43. All of the libraries participate in the statewide WYLD network and consortium for automation and licensed databases. Additional information about this position, the Park County Library System and Park County is available at

The ideal candidate must have a Master’s Degree in Library/Information Science from an ALA accredited program, five years’ professional library experience and a minimum of two years’ administrative experience. Additional desirable qualifications would include experience in public libraries, governmental and human relations, budget preparation and management, planning, and an interest in and knowledge of rural libraries.

Salary range for the position is $63,000.00 to $79,000.00 depending on experience. A standard benefits package is provided in addition to the salary. Out of state applicants should be aware that Wyoming does not tax personal income.

Please submit a cover letter expressing your interest, a personal/professional resume and three professional references to:

Ms. Lisa Heimer
Park County Library System
1500 Heart Mountain Street
Cody, Wyoming 82414

Applications received on or before March 20, 2020 will be given first consideration.


The library system’s administrative office is located in the Park County Public Library in Cody, Wyoming (population 9,689). Cody was established by William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody and a group of investors in 1896. It is situated on the western edge of the Big Horn Basin 52 miles from the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park and 80 miles west of the Big Horn Mountains. The Shoshone River flows through Cody and provides excellent opportunities for rafting, kayaking and fishing. Cody is home to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a large complex of five museums (the Draper Natural History Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum and the Buffalo Bill Museum) dedicated to the presentation and interpretation of the history, art and natural history of the American West. During the summer months the Cody Nite Rodeo performs nightly. Opportunities for winter sports include downhill and cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of February 24

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of February 24 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

Monday, Feb 24 (12-1 pm)
National Library of Medicine Resources for Citizen Scientists (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
In this class, participants will learn how to support citizen science in their communities and ways that libraries can participate. Participants will learn about citizen science library program models, free National Library of Medicine resources to incorporate into citizen science library programs, and sources of funding to explore for buying testing kits or supporting community research efforts. Citizen science library programs are perfect for all ages, and all types of libraries.

Tuesday, Feb 25 (11-11:45 am)
How to Create an Effective Event Budget (CharityHowTo)
It is time to breathe a big sigh of relief, because this FREE webinar will help you ace your event budget! In this free 45-minute live webinar, event planning expert A.J. Steinberg of Queen Bee Fundraising will show you step-by-step how to create an effective event budget.

Tuesday, Feb 25 (11:15-12 pm) from the staff side:  From Stats to Widgets (Wyoming State Library)
Webinar ID 159-031-667
Where to find database statistics and announcements, FAQ’s about access, database product information and marketing tools, guides and handouts, and much more! The State Library has created and compiled information just for you.

Tuesday, Feb 25 (1-2 pm)
Marketing Magic Tricks for Training Strategy (insynctraining)
This session introduces fresh ideas sourced from the field of consumer marketing and shows you how to apply them to your training strategy. Using the lens of learner as consumer, we reveal the secrets behind some of the simplest and most engaging marketing strategies to motivate people to engage in training programs.

Wednesday, Feb 26 (8-9 am)
Finding and Serving Hidden Patrons (Indiana State Library)
How do you serve people in your community who are unable get in to your library?  How do you find those people? What kind of programs or services could be offered to them? These questions plague libraries everywhere. Learn how we identified our target patron groups, partnered with community agencies to identify patrons, young and not so young, who would benefit from outreach programming, and how we used materials and staff on hand to add outreach to our service repertoire.

Wednesday, Feb 26 (9-10 am)
Pretty Sweet Tech (Nebraska Library Commission)
Special monthly episodes of NCompass Live! Join the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Amanda Sweet, as she guides us through the world of library-related Pretty Sweet Tech.

Wednesday, Feb 26 (11-12 pm)
What’s My Role as a Nonprofit Board Member? (propel nonprofits)
You’re at the table – now what? Learn to participate in board meetings and other engagements with more confidence and knowledge about your role as a board member. We’ll cover board responsibilities and how you can be a strong resource for a nonprofit organization. A recording of this webinar and a pdf of the slides will be shared with those registered after the session in a follow-up email.

Wednesday, Feb 26 (12-1 pm)
Traveling with a Disability / Health Condition (Federal Depository Library Program)
This webinar will provide mainly government information regarding national and international travel, including accessible travel by airplane, bus, and train. The webinar will also cover accessibility information for places such as national parks and museums.

Wednesday, Feb 26 (12-1 pm)
Connecting Out-of-School-Time (OST) Activities and Student Interest in STEM (National Girls Collaborative Project)
Join us on February 26th to find out which types of programs and which attributes of these programs are the most successful in increasing STEM interest and the most common reasons students do not participate in these programs.

Wednesday, Feb 26 (1-2 pm)
A Framework for Digital Citizenship Implementation (
Join this edWebinar to learn more about contributing factors that need to be considered when implementing digital citizenship in your school or district. Common Sense Education’s Digital Citizenship Implementation Guide provides a path for a phased framework to help you plan, implement, and evaluate your digital citizenship program. From how to get buy-in, assessing your motivation and needs, instructional plans, educating families, to how to become a Common Sense Recognized School or District, we will discuss different models for digital citizenship implementation.

Thursday, Feb 27 (9-10 am)
Don’t Fence Me In: Rethinking Western Reader’s Advisory (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
RESCHEDULED FROM JANUARY 23. We’ve all been there. The patron who has read EVERY. SINGLE. LOUIS. L’AMOUR title in your collection. The Elmer Kelton fan who has to resort to ILL. Laura Jean, one of the Reader’s Advisory Librarians at the Talking Book Program, has some possible solutions for you. She’s going to suggest different ways of approaching westerns that will have your patrons looking at this beloved genre in a whole new way.

Thursday, Feb 27 (10-11 am)
Taking Care of Us: Inreach for Library Staff (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
Join library director, yoga teacher, and physical literacy researcher, Jenn Carson, as she teaches you how to de-stress at your desk, maintain proper posture, avoid injury, and regulate your emotions through breathing, stretching, and other techniques. Participants will learn an easy self-care routine that will help to reduce stress at work and leave you feeling recharged instead of drained. Participants will leave with digital downloads to help them remember what they learned and share with their colleagues.

Thursday, Feb 27 (11-12 pm)
Hiring Help For Nonprofit Managers (Charity Village)
It’s important to find the right person for the role in a manner that is fair, consistent and free from bias. But recruiting doesn’t have to be difficult! Using a combination of best practices and lived experience, this webinar will walk you through the key steps to a successful selection of your next hire.

Thursday, Feb 27 (12-1 pm)
Finding Your Social Media Sweet Spot (Productive Fundraising)
Join fundraising master trainer, Chad Barger, CFRE, for a workshop focused on utilizing social media to boost nonprofit fundraising.  Chad will provide tips to center your messaging with a focus on telling the right stories, in the right format, on the right channel.

Thursday, Feb 27 (12:30-1:30 pm)
Survey Translation and the Inclusion of End Users in the Process: Experiences from the U.S. Census Bureau (DigitalGov)
We will review the intricacies of multilingual survey design, give an overview of the literature on survey translation, and we will discuss how to include the end users of our products in the development through pretesting. This talk will also include tips for monolingual speakers of English who manage the translation and pre testing process.

Thursday, Feb 27 (3-4 pm)
Is it Time to Scrap the C.R.A.A.P. Test? Using Formative Assessment to Improve Students’ Resource Selection Skills (
Distinguishing truth from disinformation is only a small part of a larger problem. Students frequently rely on shallow reference materials as core sources for research, treat 2-minute news clips as in-depth journalism, and fail to distinguish between reportage and opinion articles. Lecturing students about these shortcomings rarely helps, but providing meaningful feedback on research checkpoints (e.g., research questions, works cited lists, and thesis statements) can be instructionally effective. Join Michelle Luhtala as she shares replicable lessons and instructional materials to help learners improve their inquiry skills.

This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! All of our speakers are from small libraries – public, university, and health. 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!

Saturday, Feb 29 (10-11 am)
Using Others’ Work in Our Own Creations (Copyright & Creativity)
Part 2 of a 2-part series. Help students successfully navigate copyright in their own roles as creators: Fair use for students; How to find creative work that is free to use–Creative Commons and public domain; Resources for teaching these concepts to students.

How Much is Your Library Worth?

ROI with woman in a thoughtful pose in a chair

Reposted from Library Research Service

We can all agree that libraries are valuable to our communities, but exactly how much are they worth? Libraries are under increasing pressure to translate qualitative services into quantifiable impact. One approach is to determine the Return on Investment (ROI) a library provides to community members. Doing so communicates the value of public libraries in terms of dollars and cents.

Traditionally a business metric, ROI measures a business’s profitability. Simply put, it compares costs to profits and expresses it as a ratio or percentage. For a public institution like a library, ROI demonstrates how much “value” is realized by the community for each dollar spent on services and materials. This includes:

  • The cost to use alternatives: the estimated amount of money that would have been spent to use an alternative if the library did not exist;
  • Lost use: for patrons who indicated they would not have tried to meet their needs with another source or would not have known where else to go, the estimated value of the direct benefit that they would not have received if the library didn’t exist;
  • Direct local expenditures: dollar figures for expenditures on goods and services within the library’s legal service area;
  • Compensation for library staff: the amount of annual compensation that staff members would not have received if the library didn’t exist; and
  • Halo spending: purchases made by library patrons from vendors and businesses that are located close to the library.

Some ROI methodologies also apply a dollar amount to patrons’ time and take the amount saved seeking materials or services elsewhere into account.

Two approaches are commonly used to calculate a library’s ROI: contingent valuation or market valuation, both of which have their strengths and weaknesses. Contingent valuation bases dollar values on subjective perceptions of responding library users. However, within those subjective perceptions, patrons may include a more holistic experience that takes into account the value of having various needs being met in one place. This method acknowledges that the value of a library is likely greater than the sum of the value of its individual resources and services. In contrast, market valuation bases dollar values on objective, “real world” values such as the use of electronic resources, material and book circulation, program attendance, reference services, and meeting room use. Perhaps the greatest advantage of this approach is that it can be pursued using readily available data, as opposed to contingent valuation that relies on patron surveys and interviews.

meta-analysis of findings from 38 previous library ROI studies found that, on average, the return value for public libraries is 4 to 5 times the amount invested. A study conducted by Library Research Service in 2009 found similar results in Colorado using a contingent valuation methodology. Although valuation findings should not necessarily be extrapolated out to a state or national level, overall they can (and do) show decision makers, patrons, and the public that libraries are a wise investment.

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