All posts by Susan

Students Still Have Time to Enter Wyoming Letters About Literature

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. Sponsored by Wyoming Humanities, the 2022 Wyoming Letters About Literature Contest is now open.

Submissions must be received by February 18.

Complete details including the submission form and teaching guide can be found here. Other inquiries may be directed to Lucas Fralick at or 307.721.9243.

This contest is presented as part of the Wyoming Center for the Book, now housed with Wyoming Humanities.

Shelfie Day is a Great Time for Book Promotion with GoWYLD!

Closeup of woman holding open book over lower half of her face while standing in front of bookshelves.
From Library Shelfie Day 2019 at Laramie County Library System.

Selfie + (Book)Shelves = Shelfie! The fourth Wednesday in January is Library Shelfie Day, a great day to take a self-portrait with your favorite row of books. Then, post it on social media using the hashtag #LibraryShelfie.

On this Shelfie Day we would like to highlight another feature in Book Connections and TeachingBooks: ShelfTalkers. After selecting a title, booklist, or resource you’ll be able to print (and translate to 100+ languages) bookmarks, flyers, labels, or shelf talkers that offer immediate digital connections to these books and materials.

Find Book Connections and TeachingBooks under Recommended Reading in Wyoming users will automatically be signed in via geo-ip authentication.

Select For Professionals (in Book Connections) or For Educators (in TeachingBooks) and then select Book Promotion. Here you will find QR Codes for ShelfTalkers for your Bookshelves.

Print shelf cards that take readers directly to audio or video resources about a book or author. Select a book trailer, book reading, or other video resource, then a book. Below each book jacket you will see a blue arrow to Share This Book. By clicking on the arrow, you will have the option to share the url to any platform or share QR Code printables.

Screenshot of book promotion interface.
(Click for larger image.)

For more information, about the databases, training, or marketing materials, please contact Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian,

Free Library Continuing Education Events for February

site logoThe February 2022 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 61 live webinars, an online conference,  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

January 2022 Outrider Now Available

Front page of newsletterFind a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the January 2022 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month. You can also see past issues.

Do you know any library colleagues, trustees, advocates, or volunteers who might be interested in the Outrider? Please share the news with them and encourage them to sign up for our monthly email.

Have news you’d like included? Contact Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of January 24

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of  January 24 from the Wyoming State Library Training Calendar. Descriptions and links are below. You can subscribe and view the events in your calendar software, or you can find all the events at

List of calendar events

All times MST

Tuesday, Jan 25 (10-11 am)
Pinpointing Your Brand and Target Market (Wyoming Small Business Development Center Network)
Do you want to get more sales from the marketing you do? Learn the fundamental rules of perfecting your brand and defining your target markets so you can maximize your marketing. You will find this discussion helpful to create consistency in your presence that will help you build your audience instead of confuse them. This workshop is perfect for business owners who want to put the right message in front of the right audience to build their customer base and convert more sales. If you are new to business, early on in business, considering a rebrand, trying to navigate a pivot, or haven’t worked on your brand messaging before, you’ll find this material especially helpful!

Tuesday, Jan 25 (12-1 pm)
Social and Emotional Learning Support in Gale In Context (Gale)
Social and emotional learning (SEL) has never been more important. Educators recognize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ emotional health and are taking action to help them find support and build the resilience they need to navigate uncertainty. Gale In Context resources can help! Topics related to SEL have been added to our Elementary, Middle School, and High School databases; in this session we’ll share how you can find this content and share it with your students to support their emotional intelligence.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (8-9 am)
Be the Hero! Tween and Teen Live Action Roleplaying (LARPing) Games (Indiana State Library)
Secure big numbers of tweens or teens with a real-life video game where they are the heroes! Live Action Roleplaying (LARPing) games allow for a unique opportunity that youth can’t get anywhere else. Get an in-depth look at this revolutionary event type and even create a mini version of the game on the spot.

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

Wednesday, Jan 26 (10-11 am)
Annual Reports: Simplifying the Process for Maximum Donor Engagement (Productive Fundraising)
Join fundraising master trainer, Chad Barger, CFRE, for a workshop focused on simplifying the process of creating a nonprofit annual report.  Chad will review the evolution of annual reports over the last 20+ years and provide multiple real life examples of what is working today.  The focus of the session is on designing an annual report that donors actually want to read.  Participants will leave the workshop with templates and samples to make implementing the best practices a breeze at their nonprofit organization.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (11-12 pm)
Info2Go! Connecting Patrons to Local Support Services (Idaho Commission for Libraries)
Together with the Idaho Health Data Exchange, United Way of Treasure Valley is bringing to your community to make your work easier and more effective, while getting clients the resources they need. With just a zip code, patrons can find food assistance, help paying bills and other free, or reduced cost programs in their local area. Join us for this live webinar to learn all about this tool and how libraries can easily connect patrons to the resources they need. Anne Wolverton from United Way Treasure Valley will present.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (12-1 pm)
Engaging Online Community Members (Montana State Library)
Virtual programming is here to stay. For individuals who are homebound, have caregiving responsibilities, or uncertain transportation, online engagement with the library is a good option. It allows them to learn, grow, and connect without the burden of visiting a physical location. As librarians, we should be intentional about our work with these community members and focus energy on finding new ways to engage with them.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (12-1:30 pm)
Even Superheroes Need Support: The Power of Emotional Intelligence for Early Childhood Educators (Early Childhood Investigations)
In this timely and empowering webinar Dr. Donna Housman and early childhood educator and trainer Emily Stone, discuss how imperative it is that we focus on emotional well-being in this moment and as a foundation for every early childhood learning environment. We will explore why this is so critical not only for your mental health and emotional well-being, but also for the children with whom you work.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (12-1 pm)
Small Scale ESL Programs for Your Library (Niche Academy)
Getting started with an English as a Second Language (ESL) program at your library does not have to be an intimidating commitment. You may offer conversation group sessions with minimal investment of time and resources. Not only do these classes benefit the English language learning community, they also offer a window into the needs of this population. Beginning your journey with a conversation group will allow you to get to know your second language patrons. As your English language program grows, you can offer other group classes and/or one-on-one lessons. However, it is not necessary to start with a complete range of offerings. In this webinar, Claudia Ratay will share her experience and insights into establishing a solid foundation for what can become a very successful ESL program.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (2-3 pm)
Deeper Dive into Citizen Science Kits Webinar – Professional Development for Libraries Series (SciStarter)
This webinar will dive deeper into citizen science projects and how to build kits for your community.

Wednesday, Jan 26 (2-3 pm)
Fostering Creativity Through Collaborative STEAM Learning (
Join this edWebinar to gain confidence in implementing STEAM with K-8 students. We will focus on pedagogy, the reasoning behind STEAM, and how integrating it into education can build a critical-thinking foundation and problem-solving skills for younger students.

Thursday, Jan 27 (11-12 pm)
Win Back Your Lapsed Donors (Bloomerang)
Get ready for easy, practical, and actionable steps to help you win back your lapsed donors. From learning how to identify, qualify, and communicate with them – we will help you put together the right plan to win your donors back. Don’t leave money on the table, join us and learn how to re-engage these valuable donors.

Thursday, Jan 27 (11-12 pm)
Examples & Blueprints to Sell Out Your Next Fundraising Event (Charity Village)
Not every organization is going to have success using the same strategies–which is why we don’t preach that we have the be-all, end-all of event marketing advice. Instead, we will provide you with tactics and guides to improve your current strategies and results, and show you how to determine what is working for your specific donors, your specific event, and your specific organization.

Thursday, Jan 27 (12-1 pm)
Creating a Culture of Volunteer Engagement (VolunteerMatch)
It’s important to create a culture of inclusion and engagement of volunteers within your organization. But, it can be hard to recognize what your current culture says to volunteers, or identify how to make changes to help volunteers feel more welcome. This webinar will help you identify how your organization’s current culture is shaping or limiting what volunteers do, and provide steps you can take to start to create more understanding, respect, and appreciation for engaging volunteers.

Thursday, Jan 27 (12-1:30 pm)
Create a Vision-Focused Action Plan as a Program Leader (Early Childhood Investigations)
Now’s the time to refresh the vision for your program. Moving beyond the stress and challenges of the past year requires early childhood leaders like you to renew your enthusiasm and refresh your optimistic focus. Now is the time to be intentional and focused on all that is possible. This motivational presentation by author and founder of Inspiring New Perspectives, Susan MacDonald, will help you create a vision-focused action plan for effectively managing your time.

Thursday, Jan 27 (1-2 pm)
Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications (WebJunction)
Good signage in the library helps to create clarity and build awareness, while bad signage can lead to frustration and confusion. Has your library had to implement COVID-related signage? Has there been a review of other temporary and permanent signage? This session will look at recommended types of library signs and address aspects of library signage within crisis communications. We will also address how to conduct a signage audit, the importance of library branding and using templates, and internal communications as they relate to signage. Online resources will be shared and there will be opportunities for Q&A and discussion.

This Day in History in GoWYLD: Elizabeth Blackwell’s Medical Degree

"Who Says Women Can't be Doctors" book cover (children's book)On January 23, 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in America to earn a medical degree — graduating first in her class! Two resources in, TeachingBooks and Book Connections, offer resources for children’s and young adult books on topics such as Blackwell’s accomplishments.

Teaching Books and Book Connections provide thousands of multimedia resources for children’s and young adult books that can be integrated into reading, library activities, and K-12 curriculum. These are perfect for lesson planning, exploring authors, and professional development.

Library programming

One of the tools is a Literary Calendar. Here you will find links to authors and their books. To get to the calendar in Teaching Books, click on For Educators, top right and in Book Connections, click on For Professionals. Then select Library Programming.

Under Library Programming you’ll find a variety of resources to help promote books: book clubs, book talks, story time, STEAM, and of course the literary calendar!

Blackwell’s story

On January 23, the calendar lists the Anniversary of Elizabeth Blackwell’s Medical Degree and the book, Who Says Women can’t be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell. By going to the record for the book, you’ll find a description of her inspiring story of a strong-willed woman who opened the doors for all the female doctors to come.

There’s a meet-the-author recording, book guides, lessons and activities, and video book reading clips. To help with reader’s advisory, it includes text complexity measures. You can also get the code to embed the literary calendar on your library pages.

Find the resources

TeachingBooks and Book Connections provide a book promotion toolkit, diverse books toolkit, and sharing tools. Check out this robust resource and share it with your patrons, students, and staff. Find both in under the Recommended Reading subject area or use Browse Databases by Title. Wyoming users will automatically be signed in by GeoIP authentication.

For more information, about the databases, training, or marketing materials, contact Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian,

WLA Open Conversations on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Stack of wooden blocks read, "Equity, Diversity, Inclusion"The Wyoming Library Association’s EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee has restarted its Open Conversation series to discuss issues and topics that affect library workers and the patrons they serve. Each month, short reading prompts are sent out prior to the virtual event to give context for the Conversation.

January’s conversation focused on microaggressions. These resources were shared at the event:

Upcoming events are scheduled for February 15 to discuss Critical Race Theory and March 15 to discuss pronoun use. Contact Conrrado Saldivar at for registration information if you would like to attend.

Jeff Collins Accepts Library Director Position in Iowa

Jeff Collins standing between library shelves
Jeff Collins

Jeff Collins, Deputy Director of Public Service at Laramie County Library System since July 2016, has accepted the Library Director position at Davenport Public Library (Iowa) starting February 14, 2022.

During his time at Laramie County Library System, Jeff was an integral part of the organization. He spearheaded a team to create a universal training program for all new library employees. He participated on the administrative team and leadership team and led teams on strategic planning, summer reading, and library events, among others. Jeff helped with the process to eliminate fines on youth materials, assisted with implementing maker technologies, led teams that applied for and managed multiple grants, created new statistical spreadsheets and dashboards, and helped to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeff served in the Laramie County community as a board member with the Laramie County Community Partnership and Raising Readers in Wyoming. Jeff was a graduate of Leadership Cheyenne, and was one of a handful of community leaders nominated to serve as an Honorary Commander at F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

Jeff was active in the library profession in Wyoming. He served on several WYLD committees and Wyoming Library Association committees, and he was elected as the Association’s President in 2020. He also participated in the Public Library Association’s Leadership Academy.

Jeff was a valuable asset to Laramie County Library System, and his innovation, work ethic, and leadership will be greatly missed. The organization wishes him the very best in his future endeavors and is confident that he will make an exceptional library director.

Wyoming Book Award Nomination Forms Open

Elementary school girl reading book sitting on the floor of a library in bookshelf aisle reading book.The Wyoming Book Awards committees are now accepting nominations for books to include on the 2022-2023 book lists.

Nominations are due by March 1, 2022, and librarians are encouraged to begin submitting titles as soon as possible so that committees can begin reading. Nominees must be published within the past five years (2017 or later).

Visit the Wyoming Library Association’s webpages for each award, or use these links to submit nominations from your students or patrons:

One of the unique aspects of the Wyoming Book Awards is that they are truly kid-driven. The committees hope to solicit as many ideas for next year’s book lists as possible, from all corners of the state.

New on the Wyoming Library Job Board

Graphic reads "Wyoming State Library Job Board with figure holding up papersThe Wyoming State Library maintains a job board for library positions around the state. These are the latest opportunities that have been posted. See more on the board.

Laramie County Community College Ludden Library
Cheyenne, WY
Starting date March 1, 2022; for full consideration apply by February 11, 2022

Graphic Design & Website Specialist
Laramie County Library System
Cheyenne, WY
Closes January 31, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Library IT Technician
Teton County Library
Jackson, WY
Open until filled

Library Specialist-Electronic Resources
University of Wyoming Libraries
Laramie, WY
Open until filled

Library Director
Carbon County Library System
Rawlins, WY
Open until filled

Have a job opportunity you’d like us to post? Contact Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915.