All posts by Susan

Digital Resources for Student Collaboration



Reposted from Colorado Virtual Library
By Christine Schein, Digital Literacy Instructional Specialist at Colorado Department of Education

“Collaboration is essential in our classrooms because it is inherent in the nature of how work is accomplished in our civic and workforce lives. Fifty years ago, much work was accomplished by individuals working alone, but not today. Much of all significant work is accomplished in teams, and in many cases, global teams.” The National Education Association, An Educator’s Guide to the “Four C’s “

Here are some educational technology tools to use with students allowing them to collaborate and think about the power of collaboration.

Book Creator – “Book Creator is a simple tool for creating awesome digital books. Create your own teaching resources or have your students take the reins.” Have students collaborate in creating a digital book – for the class, with a partner, or with a group.

Breakout EDU – Breakout EDU is an immersive learning game platform that brings the challenges of an escape room to the classroom promoting critical thinking and collaboration skills.

Breakout EDU Free Games – Learn how to sign up to access free games

Breakout EDU Digital SandBox – online breakout games developed by fellow educators for free!

FlipGrid – Every student has a voice, so let’s amplify! Students record short, authentic videos and can reply to each other’s videos. Educators are 100% in control with video moderation, access controls, and much more. “Flipgrid is jam-packed with features you’ll love like video downloads, stickers & drawings, custom assessment rubrics, video feedbackMixTapes,

Topic invites, private share linksVibes, and more! The entire #FlipgridFever community is here to support you!” – FlipGrid

GridPals  – Take your classroom global and connect with another educator to set up a #GridPals collaboration. Check out this amazing GridPals guide created by the first ever GridPal, Bonnie McClelland!

Google Apps for Education – “The Google Drive apps enable students and teachers to collaborate more effectively on papers, spreadsheets, and presentations. The beauty of the Google Suite for Education is: several people can contribute simultaneously, so it’s truly designed for collaboration.”

Kahoot – makes it easy to create, share and play fun learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes. 

“Boost collaboration through encouraging students to be the leaders and “quiz-makers”: to research, create, and present their own quizzes to the class.” (GoGuardian)

NowComment  – Online comment application –  Teachers can control when comments can be made on a document and when students can see each others’ comments, thus creating a period of time when students can share opinions without seeing what others say. Teachers can also have students upload their own documents for group projects or peer-reviewed activities.

Skype – Skype in the Classroom is a free community that offers live transformative educational experiences for students including Virtual Field Trips, talks from Guest Speakers, classroom to classroom connections, and live collaboration projects.

Padlet – Padlet is a “virtual wall” which promotes collaboration, communication, creativity and more because of its versatility. Students can write a response to a discussion question, add resources for a collaborative class project, work in small groups, use it for brainstorming or connect with other students and classrooms.

Teachers can create special brainstorm sessions where they invite students to discuss some topics, all with excellent opportunities provided by Padlet, such as sharing Internet findings, ideas, and visual aids.


Visit CommonSense Media at Find an EdTech Tool for more ideas and reviews of tech tools for your classroom. EdShelf will also provide ideas, reviews, and recommendations for education tech tools.

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of June 24



Free, online, continuing education events for the week of June 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 library.wyo.gov/services/training/calendar.

All times MDT

Tuesday, June 25 (8-9 am)
Libraries and the 2020 Census (Indiana State Library)
Civic engagement matters! As librarians, our role in the 2020 Census is amplified this time around. In March of 2020, U.S. residents will not only receive traditional paper forms from the Census Bureau, but they will also have the option of online response. Patrons can fill out the census using their home computers, their smartphones, or by stopping by the local library and using a public computer. How can we properly prepare our library communities for this new option? Librarians can learn and review the basic facts about the census; we can provide informed outreach to our library communities; and we can know where to go for assistance outside of our libraries. Tune in to this webinar to find out more!

Tuesday, June 25 (9:30-10:30 am)
Summer — Time to ILL and Chill (Wyoming State Library)
Summertime for school librarians is not just time off. It’s also time to reflect on the past school year and prepare for the upcoming year. Join Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant for the Wyoming State Library, as she shares resources from the WSL that you can use when developing your plan for next year. She will also talk about how to use the statewide Interlibrary loan system that lets you access books from any library in Wyoming, including the Librarian’s Professional Collection at the WSL.

Tuesday, June 25 (11-12 pm)
Funding Information Network (FIN) Information Session (GrantSpace)
Join Brian Schultz, manager of the Funding Information Network at Foundation Center by Candid, to learn how the Funding Information Network program can help your nonprofit resource center, community foundation, or library support your local nonprofit and small business economy. You’ll learn about the key components of the program package, including Foundation Directory Online, grantseeking training guides, and our upcoming certification modules.

Tuesday, June 25 (12:30-1:30 pm)
Tools Every Nonprofit Needs to Simplify Their Life (Firespring)
Every day you learn about a new mobile app or piece of software that will “change your life.” There’s so much coming at you, it sometimes feels like you’re drinking through a fire hose. In this session, we will help you make technology your friend.

Tuesday, June 25 (1-2 pm)
5 Weirdly Easy “Life Hacks” That Will Make Your Fundraising Work MUCH Better (CharityHowTo)
How many times have you learned something new about improving your fundraising, and then suddenly realized, “This is going to take a lot more time than I have!” Here’s some much-needed relief from “Fundraising Is Hard and It Keeps Getting Harder” Syndrome:  5 “tricks” that will make your fundraising tasks just a bit easier and less time-consuming … and more effective. Collected from a 30-year career of hands-on fundraising, these hacks are practical, easy, and they work! They’ll help you start your projects on the right foot, align your thinking and strategy with donor motivations, write stronger copy, stay on target — and raise more money.

Wednesday, June 26 (12-1 pm)
DAP Learning Series: Agency Analytics Governance (Digital Gov)
In this webinar, we’ll talk to members of various agencies to find out how analytics programs and tools are governed at that agency. Each agency has its own way of determining which tools are used, methods of implementation, which personnel get access, how deployment and support are handled, and where responsibilities lie.

Wednesday, June 26 (12-1 pm)
How to Have Critical Conversations (GovLoop)
It’s impossible to avoid difficult conversations at work. How many times have you run into a conflict with a colleague? In a one-on-one meeting with your supervisor? Working as a team with your peers? Or even publicly questioned? Join this webinar to learn from our expert how to have these sometimes-painful conversations.

Thursday, June 27, (1-2 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.

Thursday, June 27 (1-2 pm)
Success with Multicultural Newcomers and English Learners (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)
Through their longitudinal studies and work with hundreds of schools, Margarita Calderón and Shawn Slakk, authors of the book Success with Multicultural Newcomers and English Learners: Proven Practices for School Leadership Teams, have found the best way to teach vocabulary, discourse, basic reading comprehension, and text-based writing integrated with content areas and texts. The authors will share how not only ESL teachers, but also all core content teachers in a school can easily integrate vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing into every subject. Establishing a whole-school climate for Newcomers and all students entails training all teachers, counselors, coaches, staff and administrators in the school.

Linnea Rounds, 1944-2019



Photo of Linn (seated) with (L to R, standing) Brenda McGinnis and Chris Van Burgh in the September/October 2002 Outrider. Click for larger image.

We are saddened to hear of the death of Linnea “Linn” Rounds. She passed away at the age of 75 on June 19, 2019.

Linn worked many years at the Wyoming State Library and managed the Publications, Public Programs, and Marketing Office. She retired in 2003 after 26 years with the WSL. You can read her words on her retirement and the words of Jerry Krois, who was Deputy State Librarian at the time, in this clip from the May-June 2003 Outrider.

At her retirement party, the State Library staff congratulated her by joining in a rousing chant of “Linn! Linn! Wonderful Linn!” (That’s an “i” not a “y” when you spell it, my friend!) She was well-loved by her co-workers and the many people in the Wyoming library community who worked with her over the years.

A funeral for Linn will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral on June 24 at 11 a.m. Memorials may be made to the Davis Hospice Center and Community Action of Laramie County. Condolences may be offered at www.bohlenderfuneralchapel.com.

Her obituary may be found in the Wyoming Tribune-Eagle.

June 2019 Outrider Now Available



Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the June 2019 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.

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

National Summer Learning Week July 8-13



National Summer Learning Week is a celebration dedicated to advocacy and awareness around elevating the importance of keeping kids learning, safe, and healthy every summer, and ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year.

During this year’s celebration from July 8-13, each day will focus on a new theme:
• Share Your Story – “Kick-Off Day”
• STEM – “Discovery Day”
• Arts – “Masterpiece Day”
• College & Career Readiness – “Future Leaders Day”
• Literacy – “Bookworm Day”
• Nutrition and Wellness – “Winning at Wellness Day”

Check out the program toolkit, including these downloadable tip/activity sheets:

News in Brief



News dispatch, women’s suffrage amendment adopted

New Online: The AP Washington Bureau, 1915-1930
The Associated Press Washington Bureau News Dispatches between the tumultuous years between 1915 and 1930 are now online at the Library of Congress. The collection of news dispatches of the Washington, D.C., Bureau of the Associated Press spans the period 1915-1930 and consists of 375 volumes (387,082 images), housed in 254 boxes, the contents of which provide an unbroken chronology of world and national events as reported by the news agency.

NNLM Resources for June Health Observances
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has released easy-to-use content to support health observances in June, including LGBT+ Pride and Men’s Health. Content includes slides for electronic displays, handouts for patrons and staff, and social media tools.

In One Year, People Visited Public Libraries More Than a Billion Times
The Public Libraries Survey report, released recently by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provides an annual snapshot of public library use, financial health, staffing, and resources in FY 2016. “Community needs are changing rapidly in today’s world, and public libraries are responding accordingly,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Libraries are offering more programs ranging from early childhood to workforce development. Community participation also continues to increase — it’s clear that people are using their libraries.”

PBS Announces ‘Summer of Space’ Lineup
PBS has announced a celestial programming spectacle sure to excite any space enthusiast. A SUMMER OF SPACE multiplatform experience, anchored by the highly anticipated AMERICAN EXPERIENCE six-hour film “Chasing the Moon,” and including new science and history programs, will begin in July timed to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

YALSA’s Best of the Best – Free Marketing Materials
YALSA’s 2019 Best of the Best marketing materials include free downloadable bookmarks, logos, and more. Librarians are encouraged to use these free resources to help promote the year’s best young adult literature, including award winning (Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, Printz) and selected list titles.

New MedlinePlus Videos Explore Health Topics
MedlinePlus has created a new series of videos in both English and Spanish to explain topics in health and medicine and to answer frequently asked questions about diseases, health conditions, and wellness issues. Each video page includes links to MedlinePlus health topic pages, where you can find more information about the subject, including symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.

How to Write a Sponsorship Letter
Unlike a standard fundraising letter that asks for donations, contributions, volunteer time, auction items or other gifts, a sponsorship letter has a slightly longer reach. It focuses on building a relationship with a potential donor and approaches them like a partner, including offering an incentive for their support. In this post, the Wild Apricot blog offers a how-to on writing a sponsorship letter, including two templates.

Teamwork: The Perfect Place to Practice Your Soft Skills
How much do soft skills contribute to the effectiveness of a team. The answer: soft skills contribute tremendously to the smooth performance of a team. Library Worklife, a blog of the American Library Association Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) offers this article on evaluating and developing soft skills in the workplace.

Aging at the Library: Working With Older Patrons
From the fundamentals of helping someone use a computer and talking with them about privacy, to accessibility and troubleshooting, Jessamyn West covers how to work with older patrons on technology issues. Explore the Keynote, PDF with notes, and PowerPoint from her “Aging at the Library” session at the 2019 New Hampshire Library Association conference for valuable information.

Self-Paced, Online Collection Development Training from WebJunction
Check out this sequence of four, self-paced courses from the Idaho Commission for Libraries, which cover everything from collection development basics to creating policies to maintaining and building your collection. The ABLE (Alternate Basic Library Education) courses can help you build your skills!

Crowdsourcing Alternatives to “There Are No Stupid Questions”
When you say, “’There are no stupid questions,” it can reinforce the word “stupid.” Is there a better, more positive way to let people know they can ask anything? Brianna Hoffman, WebJunction Project Coordinator, put a request for a better way to communicate to her network of library colleagues. Check out the crowdsourced suggestions and contribute your own.

ACRL and Gale Launch Libraries Transform Toolkit
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Gale, a Cengage company, have collaborated to create the ACRL Libraries Transform Toolkit. This free new toolkit provides academic and research libraries with easy-to-use tools and resources to develop effective marketing and outreach strategies to promote their services and impact to students, faculty and administrators.

What’s Early Literacy for Kids Who Can’t See?
“How do you translate training the eye to training the fingers? How do you address the different cognitive practices and activities needed by young children with low or no vision as they get ready for a life of independent access to information?” Check out this article on the ALSC Blog to learn how.

Upcoming Webinar: Summer ILL and Chill



This event has been canceled.

In the meantime, we’d like to recommend you take a look at this video of School Library Resources — you’ll find much of the same information that had been planned for the June 25 webinar. You can download the slides here.


Summertime for school librarians is not just time off. It’s also time to reflect on the past school year and prepare for the upcoming year. Join Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant for the Wyoming State Library, for her free webinar “Summer: Time to ILL and Chill,” on Tuesday, June 25, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. MDT.

Paige will share resources from the WSL that you can use when developing your plan for next year. She’ll also talk about how to use the statewide interlibrary loan system that lets you access books from any library in Wyoming, including the librarian’s professional collection at the State Library.

This event will be recorded and posted to the Wyoming State Library’s webinars index for later viewing.

Have questions in your school library? The WSL can help. Contact Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant, at paige.bredenkamp@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6331.

Innovations for School Libraries



Found in the Big Deal Media K-12 Technology newsletter.

Google Earth Quiz Blending History and Geography
Tucked inside Google Earth is a geography quiz created in partnership with Atlas Obscura. The Natural Wonders Quiz is a multiple-choice challenge that asks students to identify special locations around the world.

Comic Books Raising Awareness of Basic Economic Principles
The New York Federal Reserve Bank’s Educational Comic Book Series teaches students about basic economic principles and the Federal Reserve’s role in the financial system.

Game Stimulating Productive Dialogue About Race and Ethnicity
Developed by a cultural anthropologist, the two-player Who Am I? Race Awareness Game is designed to stimulate a productive dialogue between adults/educators and children regarding the complex and sensitive issues of race and ethnicity in a multicultural world.

Author Ron Franscell to Speak at WLA



Ron Franscell

Ron Franscell

USA Today bestselling crime writer, novelist, and journalist Ron Franscell will be the featured luncheon speaker at the 2019 Wyoming Library Association conference on Friday, August 9.

Ron is a Wyoming native, author of 17 fiction and nonfiction books, and long-time journalist. His chilling true crime story of rape and murder in Casper — released in hardcover as Fall and in paperback as The Darkest Night — is still in print after more than 12 years. In 2001, Ron was awarded the SIRS/WLA Intellectual Freedom Freedom Award.

He returns to Wyoming in his new book, Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story which covers (and uncovers) the disturbing secrets of two murderers who evaded justice for almost 40 years.

Ron’s books will be available for purchase at the conference through Casper’s Wind City Books. Plan on getting your copies signed after the luncheon and during the Friday vendor break.

The full conference runs August 8-9, with pre-conference sessions taking place August 7. Learn more and register.

Archived Webinar: Summer of Space



Summer of Space
June 2019; 19 minutes

Our latest archived webinar explores resources from Gale, Novelist, NASA, StarNet , and PBS Books to support your summer reading programming. Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian takes you on a tour of vendor-produced content from Gale and EBSCO, along with resources from organizations such as NASA and PBS that have created sites and sources for 2019’s Summer of Space.