All posts by Susan

Another Successful WLA Conference

Attendance was up at this year’s Wyoming Library Association conference that was held August 7-9 with 141 attendees and 24 vendors. In addition to the pre-conference sessions, fabulous keynote with P.C. Sweeney, and Ron Franscell’s author luncheon, there were 35 breakout sessions conducted by 59 presenters.

Jacob Mickelsen, Carbon County Library System Executive Director, was elected Vice President of WLA. Outgoing President Kate Mutch, Natrona County Library Assistant Director, passed the gavel to Abby Beaver, who will lead the organization as President for the 2019-20 term. Abby is the Information Services Manager at the Wyoming State Library

Many were in attendance Thursday night for the Awards Reception honoring Dolleen Grobe as WLA’s Outstanding Heroine, Crest Hill Elementary Librarian Devin Hodgins as Outstanding Librarian, and the Laramie County Community College Ludden Library & Learning Commons as this year’s Outstanding Library. Grobe was honored locally at a reception at the Ten Sleep Library last month. Plans are in the works to visit LCCC and Crest Hill Elementary to make local presentations there.

Generous WLA members donated 20 gift baskets to the annual Wyoming Library Leadership Institute raffle – everything from pet toys to Wyoming Whiskey. The raffle raised $1,742 for WLLI.

See more conference photos and news on WLA’s Facebook page. Also, keep in touch with WLA throughout the year by signing up for its email lists. Encourage your friends and co-workers to join the lists, too – you don’t have to be a member to subscribe. Learn more about WLA at

Hodgins is WLA’s ‘2019 Outstanding Librarian’

Devin Hodgins

Devin Hodgins has been honored by the Wyoming Library Association as its “2019 Outstanding Librarian.” Devin is a Library Media Tech at Crest Hill Elementary in Natrona County School District 1. The award, presented to him on Thursday, August 8, at the WLA conference in Cheyenne, recognizes the significant and outstanding accomplishments of a library employee in the past year, including service to the public and/or library community. It is also meant to reflect the goals of WLA and the library profession as a whole.

Devin is clearly passionate about incorporating reading into the lives of his students and about building support for the school library his students so need. He was honored for finding an innovative way to bring his community together in support of his school library — so important in these days when school library programs are often threatened.

Inspired by what he learned when he attended the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute in 2018, Devin had his fifth graders create two Little Free Libraries — a robot and a dragon — that they auctioned and raffled to raise more than $400 for their Parent-Teacher Organization. As part of the project, the students investigated libraries and their impact on their communities. Each class had to work as a team to design and complete their libraries, through the school library’s makerspace.

He obtained a Carol McMurry Library Endowment grant through the Wyoming Community Foundation to purchase tools, paint, and supplies, as well as a handful of computers for students to use in the library for research. He rounded up additional supplies from local businesses including paint, shop supplies, and the old newspaper racks that would be filled with books once the Little Free Libraries were completed and out in the community.

What stood out about Devin was the way he fostered community involvement, bringing together the entire school, its stakeholders, and the wider community. For these reasons, the Wyoming Library Association named him this year’s Outstanding Librarian.

Grow With Google Comes to Wyoming

Libraries Lead with Digital Skills is an initiative of the American Library Association and the Public Library Association, sponsored by Grow with Google, that provides libraries with funding, training, and tools to assist job seekers in preparing for and finding work, and empower small businesses to grow online.

As part of this initiative, the Grow with Google Training Tour is coming to Wyoming. Library staff are invited to attend training sessions in Cheyenne or Casper:

Casper: Monday, August 26, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Natrona County Library
307 East 2nd Street
Casper, WY 82601

Cheyenne: Wednesday, August 28 from 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Laramie County Library
2200 Pioneer Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001


Library staff may find the first session of the day of particular interest. If additional training opportunities are added specifically for librarians and library workers, the WSL will announce it here on the blog.

Grow with Google workshops are free, one-day events that will help people learn valuable digital skills like how to use the internet to help their small business grow and how to use online tools to organize a job search.

Grant Opportunities

Carol McMurry Library Endowment Individual Grants for Continuing Education
DEADLINE: September 30, 2019
Want to attend a conference or workshop to build your library skills? Take an online course? Start working toward that library media specialist endorsement or master’s degree in library science? Funds are available to those working or volunteering in Wyoming libraries through the Carol McMurry Library Endowment Individual Grants for Continuing Education. Applications are accepted six times during the year. The next deadline is September 30 for continuing education events starting no earlier than November 1, 2019.

Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood
Funds promising research and development projects that appear likely to improve the welfare of young children, from infancy through 7 years, in the United States. Welfare is broadly defined to include physical and mental health, safety, nutrition, education, play, familial support, acculturation, societal integration and childcare.

The Pilcrow Foundation Children’s Book Project
DEADLINE: October 1, 2019
The Pilcrow Foundation provides new, quality, hardcover children’s books to rural public libraries across the United States. A library’s local sponsors can contribute from $200 to $400, which the Foundation matches on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1,200 worth of children’s books. The Foundation provides a list of over 500 quality hardcover children’s books from which grant recipients can select books best suited for their communities. Application deadlines are April 1 and October 1, annually.

Wyoming Humanities Cross-Pollination Grants
DEADLINE: November 1, 2019
Grants up to $15,000, will support ambitious, innovative public humanities-related projects featuring interdisciplinary work. Proposals should feature interdisciplinary programs that integrate perspectives, information, and/or concepts from multiple disciplines to help their audience explore and engage with topic(s)/issue(s) from different perspectives and come to a new or deeper understanding of the topic/issue. These disciplines should work together collaboratively to help the program’s audience understand and engage with the subject matter.

Grant Award Promotes Computer Science in Wyoming

From UW News

The National Science Foundation recently awarded nearly $1 million to support the inclusion of computer science education in Wyoming schools and libraries.

The grant, sponsored by the University of Wyoming, will be branded as Wyoming’s Schools and Libraries Integrating Computer Science Education (WySLICE) and will prepare 150 K-8 teachers and Wyoming librarians from all disciplines to integrate computer science into their curricula. The grant award lasts through July 2022.

The Wyoming State Library is a community partner on the project. The WSL will help coordinate any programs and trainings in local public and community college libraries that are scheduled in addition to the ones planned in the schools. State Librarian Jamie Markus is a member of the WySLICE Community Engagement Advisory Board.

The Wyoming Legislature recently mandated that computer science instruction be provided in K-12 schools by 2022. The grant application was backed with letters of support from former Gov. Matt Mead, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow, and 17 other partners.

UW College of Engineering and Applied Science Assistant Professor Mike Borowczak led the grant application and will oversee research throughout the project.

“Computer science is rapidly becoming a need-to-know competency for all,” Borowczak says. “WySLICE will study how to enable our students and communities to be exposed to fundamental computer science concepts in an integrated fashion that goes beyond just programming.”

Learn more from UW News.

WLA a ‘Friend of Community Development’

(Left to right) Abby Beaver, 2019-2020 Wyoming Library Association President, and Kate Mutch, WLA Past President, receiving theWyoming Association of Community Development Extension Professionals “Friend of Community Development Award” from Juliet Daniels, Community Development Educator, University of Wyoming Extension.

Last week at the Wyoming Library Association conference, the Wyoming Association of Community Development Extension Professionals presented WLA with its “Friend of Community Development” award. The award was presented by Juliet Daniels, Community Development Educator, University of Wyoming Extension

Daniels and Kimberly Chapman wrote in their nomination letter:

“We are nominating the Wyoming Library Association, on behalf of their members throughout the state, in recognition of the work that their members do in the area of community development. The Wyoming Library Association provides leadership and serves as a collective voice and advocate for the advancement of Wyoming libraries.

“Wyoming libraries play a key role in our communities and provide a number of valuable services that enhance community development. At the most basic level, we appreciate Wyoming libraries for providing the community development team and the rest of our Extension colleagues a space where we can teach our programs. We also appreciate their commitment to lifelong learning and recognize how the educational programs they provide contributes to our collective quality of life.

“Our libraries serve as a vital community hub; a welcoming place for community members to gather and engage with one another, which supports democratic practices. Oftentimes during election season, libraries provide space and/or host candidate forums and contribute to citizen’s ability to learn about the issues and better engage in the election process.

“Additionally, community libraries provide a variety of services that are otherwise not available for vulnerable populations in our community. Libraries typically provide free computer, internet, and other technology-related services to all patrons; some of the biggest beneficiaries of this service are economically-disadvantaged members of our communities. They serve home-bound audiences through book delivery, bookmobiles, and e-book lending. Libraries also support literacy and school-readiness programs for pre-kindergarten youth.

“These are some of the many reasons that we value our libraries and the work that the Wyoming Library Association does to support its membership. Libraries are an integral part of a healthy community and deserve to be recognized as such.”

Librarian of Congress to Visit Wyoming

Wyoming library staff are invited to a reception with Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, on Friday, September 6, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in the Cottonwood Room of the Laramie County Library, located at 2200 Pioneer Ave. in Cheyenne. Hayden will offer her remarks at 5:30 p.m.

The Librarian of Congress was invited  to visit Wyoming by U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, who will also be at the reception.

Dr. Hayden will meet with Wyoming library directors earlier in the day during the annual Directors’ Work Session, which will also be held at the Laramie County Library.

From the Library of Congress website:

“Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13.

“Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed to that post by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Hayden was library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the young adult services coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a library associate and children’s librarian from 1973 to 1979.

“Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.”

Library Programs and New Americans

From the American Library Association

Over 43 million immigrants live in the United States, making up about 13 percent of the nation’s population. More than 55 percent of new Americans use their public library at least once a week, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to access English language learning classes, citizenship and civic educational programs, and a vital support network.

To help libraries better serve these populations, the American Library Association (ALA) has released a white paper exploring how U.S. public libraries can provide the services new Americans need to thrive. “Library Programs and New Americans: A White Paper,” is the result of a six-month research project conducted by ALA’s Public Programs Office and a team of public library workers and partner organizations.

Recommendations for public library staff include:

  1. Assess community needs
  2. Foster partnerships with community organizations
  3. Offer professional development opportunities for staff and volunteers
  4. Include new Americans in decision-making and implementation
  5. Use terms that resonate with your specific community
  6. Develop multilingual resources
  7. Foster connections between new Americans and existing residents
  8. Create more intergenerational programming
  9. Build sustainable services

Download the white paper at

The New Americans Library Project was funded by a grant from The JPB Foundation.

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of August 12

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of August 12 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, Aug 12 (12:30-1:30 pm)
Info2Go! Learning with Idaho Public Television (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
From Sesame Street and Daniel Tiger to Idaho history units and NOVA, Idaho Public Television and PBS have tons of high-quality resources available for educators. Let Kari and Cindy show you some of the amazing free resources that you can use in your library. Seems adaptable to other states.

Tuesday, Aug 13 (11-12 pm)
Storytelling 101: Empower Students Through Multimedia Storytelling (edWeb)
Unlock the power of storytelling to support your students to thrive and express themselves, while learning fundamental 21st century skills. Join children’s media and storytelling expert, Kim Wilson, for this edWebinar on how to engage and empower students through media and their own narratives.

Tuesday, Aug 13 (1-2 pm)
Federal Crowdsourcing Webinar Series, Episode 5: By the People (DigitalGov)
Join us for a talk with Lauren Algee, senior innovation specialist with the Library of Congress Labs, to learn how virtual volunteers are helping transcribe, review, and tag digitized historical texts from the Library’s collection as part of its By the People public crowdsourcing initiative.

Wednesday, Aug 14 (11-12 pm)
How To Set Your Nonprofit Up for Social Media Fundraising Success (Charity How To)
In this 45-minute webinar, social media marketing expert Julia Campbell will show how you can effectively leverage social media for fundraising and new donor acquisition for your nonprofit. You will also hear about best practices in the sector and specific tips on measuring the ROI of social media for your nonprofit.

Wednesday, Aug 14 (11-12 pm)
NCompass Live: Pretty Sweet Tech (Nebraska Library Commission)
New 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, Aug 14 (11-12 pm)
How the Workforce Learns: 2019 (Training Industry)
The shift from relying on L&D to self-directed learning has left many organizations wondering about the role of L&D in a worker-driven world. Does L&D curate learning? Design learning? Or let learners control it all? The best place to start is by understanding how employees learn so you can better enable their skill development. Join us for this complimentary Training Industry webinar.

Wednesday, Aug 14 (12-1 pm)
Censorship Beyond Books: Library Resources and Services Under Fire (Georgia Library Association)
Learn about the wide variety of challenges libraries have faced this past year and how to prepare for them. While the profession is well-versed in protecting the right to read books, many libraries lack policies and experience in protecting the right to access information and services beyond books, often in the form of content created by their staff. You may be surprised at what other types of censoring happens in libraries that don’t include books.

Wednesday, Aug 14 (12-1 pm)
Collection Management for Healthy Communities (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
This 1-hour webinar provides library staff with support in identifying appropriate health and wellness resources for both the reference and circulating collections and maintaining the public library’s health-related resources so that they offer your community the highest quality resources they need.

Wednesday, Aug 14 (12-1 pm)
Introduction to Project Budgets (GrantSpace)
Are you ready to start fundraising for your project or idea, but don’t know what and how much to ask for? If preparing a budget for your foundation grant is holding you back, come learn the basic elements of how to draft a project budget with confidence.

Wednesday, Aug 14 (1-2 pm)
Why Wikipedia Matters for Health and Medical Information (WebJunction)
Join the webinar to learn about WikiProject Medicine, an organization of volunteers dedicated to developing, maintaining, and promoting accurate medical information on Wikipedia, and how the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) supports strengthening the ability of public libraries nationwide to find reliable and authoritative medical and health information online for information seekers. Learn about the upcoming online course Wikipedia + Libraries: Health and Medical Information that will empower you to confidently guide your patrons to reliable resources on the internet.

Thursday, Aug 15 (9-10:30 am)
Introduction to Copyright & Fair Use (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
This webinar is an introduction to US copyright law for library staff. Participants will learn the basics, including what copyright means, what can be copyrighted, and how long a copyright lasts. The presenters will also provide a very brief introduction to fair use and share their favorite copyright resources online.

Thursday, Aug 15 (12-1 pm)
Managing an Aging Volunteer Corps (VolunteerMatch)
If your volunteers are aging, this session can help. Learn strategies for identifying the signs of aging in place – volunteers who continue to do the same work even though their capabilities have changes – and how to start a conversation about that change. Managing the transition as well as creating new options for aging volunteers will be covered, and we’ll discuss what to do when the situation can’t be solved amicably. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss challenges.

Thursday, Aug 15 (12-1 pm)
Primary Sources Beyond History—Promoting Use Across the Disciplines (Association of College & Research Libraries)
Digital collections of primary sources offer tremendous value for your campus, but are they being utilized to their fullest? Their relevance for historians seems obvious, but they can robustly support instruction and student success across the disciplines. This webinar will offer librarians insight into how primary sources can be used in multiple disciplinary contexts, for teaching qualitative and quantitative research methods, and for diverse projects and research outputs.

Thursday, Aug 15 (12-1 pm)
IT Modernization Success: Workforce, Security and Procurement (Gov Loop)
Join us on Thursday, August 15th at 2pm ET/11am PT to learn how to securely deliver applications from on-premise, in the cloud, or both – all while providing scalability and offering enhanced user experience.

Thursday, Aug 15 (12-1:30 pm)
How to Create Experiences WITH Young Children Rather Than Planning Activities FOR Them (Early Childhood Investigations)
In the field of early childhood education, the focus has often been on planning an activity FOR children that is focused on coming up with a product. This session, presented by author, consultant, and DAP expert, Jacky Howell, will help you and your staff members experience a shift in thinking about classroom experiences.

Thursday, Aug 15 (1-2 pm)
To Encourage Productive and Enjoyable Harmony Between Man and His Environment: Environmental Impact Statements at Northwestern University’s Transportation Library (Federal Depository Library Program)
This webinar will cover processing, storage, and access related to EISs for Northwestern University’s print and digital collections.

News in Brief

Registration Open for NMLA/MPLA Joint Conference
Registration is now open for the New Mexico Library Association/Mountain Plains Library Association joint conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 30 to November 1. The Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) is a twelve state association of librarians, library paraprofessionals and friends of libraries in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Its purpose is to promote the development of librarians and libraries by providing significant educational and networking opportunities.

Celebrate National Immunization Awareness Month with New Library Program Kit
August is National Immunization Awareness Month. Libraries can access a free and ready-to-use program kit for this observance from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. The program kit includes helpful guides, activity plans, promotional materials, and health information resources your library can use to promote awareness on the importance of immunization in your community.

Project READY: Free Online Racial Equity Curriculum
The Project READY curriculum is a series of free, online, self-paced professional development modules for school and public youth services librarians, library administrators, and others. Project READY is for anyone interested in improving their knowledge about race, racism, and racial equity, and interested in improving relationships with, services to, and resources for youth of color and Native youth through inclusive environments and programs.

ALA urges LinkedIn Learning to Reconsider Changes to Terms of Service
LinkedIn Learning — formerly, a platform used by libraries to provide online learning opportunities to library users — plans to make substantial changes to its terms of service that would significantly impair library users’ privacy rights. Under LinkedIn Learning’s new terms of service, a library cardholder will need to create a LinkedIn profile in order to access LinkedIn Learning. ALA’s Library Bill of Rights and its interpretations maintain that all library users have the right to access library resources without disclosing their personally identifiable information (PII) to third parties.

Confronting White Nationalism in Schools Toolkit
This toolkit, published by the Western States Center in Portland, Oregon, shares strategies to counter white nationalist organizing through sample scenarios that schools frequently encounter. Whether a student has been found passing out white nationalist flyers or buttons on school property, or more actively advocating for a “white pride” student group, the toolkit offers advice for parents, students, teachers, school administrators, and the wider community.

Keep up With the Latest Privacy News
The freedom to read and receive ideas anonymously is at the heart of individual liberty in a democracy. Librarians defend that freedom every day. The American Library Association encourages you to “Choose Privacy Every Day” and provides a blog with the latest links and articles.