Category Archives: Articles and Information

News in Brief

A ‘Lonely Planet’ for Libraries
Library Planet is a guide to the world of libraries. Think of it as a crowdsourced Lonely Planet for libraries of the world meant to inspire library travelers to open the awesome book that is our world of libraries, cities and countries. Take a tour of library buildings worldwide, and contribute stories about the libraries you love. Library Planet is founded and edited by Christian Lauersen of Roskilde Libraries and Marie Engberg Eiriksson of Gladsaxe Libraries, Denmark.

Introducing the new FDLP Academy Training Repository
GPO is pleased to bring you the new FDLP Academy Training Repository. Features include subject and agency tags to find training by subject or presentations by Federal agencies, recordings in MP4 format so they no longer require a plugin to view, sorting options by date and title, a search box, and conference recordings and webinar recordings in one location

PLA Symposium on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice to be Held in Denver
The Public Library Association (PLA) will hold a symposium on equity, diversity, inclusion and social justice (EDISJ). Social Justice and Public Libraries: Equity Starts with Us will be offered three times in 2019, including in Denver, Colorado. The Denver event will be held at the Denver Public Library on February 25-26. Participants will hear from libraries putting equity into practice, developing regional connections, and creating local action plans to advance equity and social justice in their organizations and communities.

RIPL Regional Event in SLC March 6-7
The next Research Institute for Public Libraries (RIPL) Regional event will occur March 6-7, 2019, in Salt Lake City, Utah. What is a RIPL Regional? It’s a scaled-down version of the national data boot camp – 2 days, 4 instructors, and up to 70 public library participants from Utah and beyond – that provides the training necessary to begin using data and evaluation for managing, planning, and communicating impact. Registration will open Tuesday, January 15, 2019at 10:00 AM Mountain at

Become a National Entrepreneurship Week 2019 Library
EveryLibrary invites you to be a local library partner in National Entrepreneurship Week, February 18 – 22, 2019, the annual Congressionally-chartered week dedicated to showcasing and supporting entrepreneurship throughout the United States. If your library supports entrepreneurs, starters, co-working, and the ecosystem of small businesses in your community, join hundreds of other libraries as a #NatlEshipWeek 2019 site.

Application Period Open for Library Freedom Institute
Library Freedom Institute (LFI) is a privacy-focused six-month program for librarians to teach them the skills necessary to thrive as privacy advocates; from educating community members to influencing public policy.

2019 YA Services Symposium Program Proposals Open
YALSA has opened the program proposals for its 2019 Young Adult Services Symposium. The theme of the symposium is “Show Up and Advocate: Supporting Teens in the Face of Adversity,” and is to be held November 1-3, 2019, in Memphis, Tennessee. Submit a program proposal by February 1.

Digital Civics Toolkit for Educators
The Digital Civics Toolkit is a collection of resources for educators to support youth to explore, recognize, and take seriously the civic potentials of digital life. The Toolkit draws on the research and work of the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics (YPP).  The Toolkit explores a range of civic opportunities and dilemmas via 5 modules focused on: Exploring Community Issues, Investigation, Dialogue, Voice, and Action.

Library of Congress Summer Institutes and Library Media Specialist Workshop
Apply to participate in a Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute or Library Media Specialist Multi-Day Workshop if you want to learn effective strategies to incorporate primary sources into your teaching; develop an activity plan using primary sources from the Library of Congress; explore the Library’s rich collections and work with experts from around the institution; and meet the LOC’s education specialists. These professional development opportunities are free but participants must pay for travel to Washington, D.C., and for lodging and food while attending the workshop or institute.

Patently Festive

Via the National Archives Catalog

Looking for vintage seasonal decor? Are winter activities and holiday baking on your to-do list this season? Take inspiration from these unique patent drawings that are sure to get you in a festive mood (and might even save you time in the kitchen!).

Christmas Tree Ornament, 4/1/1890. National Archives Identifier 55302502

Patent Drawing for G. Fletcher’s Skate, 1/7/1908. National Archives Identifier 5928302

Patent Drawing for W. Dean’s Hockey Stick, 6/18/1901. National Archives Identifier 5928299

Patent Drawing for L. Hirschfeld’s Bonbon Dipping Machine, 7/30/1895. National Archives Identifier 12007664.  

Have patent questions? The Wyoming State Library can help. Learn more from our Patent & Trademark Resource Center.

News in Brief

Big Talk from Small Libraries Call for Speakers
This free one-day online conference aimed at librarians from small libraries is looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries. Small libraries of all types—public, academic, school, museum, special, etc.—are encouraged to submit a proposal. by January 18, 2019 for the February 22 online conference. Big Talk From Small Libraries gives you the opportunity to share what you’ve done, while learning what your colleagues in other small libraries are doing.

OIF Seeks Censorship Information from 2018
The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is seeking information on challenges and censorship incidents that occurred in 2018 in libraries, schools and universities. Library workers, educators and community members are encouraged to submit reports to OIF by Dec. 31, 2018. Reports will help OIF identify censorship trends, craft resources, and provide updated information for the annually published Top 10 Most Challenged Books data.

Teens’ Social Media Habits and Experiences
Amid growing concern over social media’s impact and influence on today’s youth, a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. teens finds that many young people acknowledge the unique challenges – and benefits – of growing up in the digital age. Teens credit social media for helping to build stronger friendships and exposing them to a more diverse world, but they express concern that these sites lead to drama and social pressure

Digital Privacy & Security in the Library
This new resource offers tools, tactics, and resources to prepare and inspire public library staff  to provide information on data privacy and online security to their patrons. Seven online training modules feature core concepts: Digital safety in the library context; How information travels across the internet, and how it can be intercepted; The entities that have vested interest in intercepting your information; Securing accounts and devices; Connecting to the internet securely; Preventing tracking; Avoiding spam and malware; and Minimizing your digital footprint.

More Smart Spaces Coming Soon
OCLC has received a supplemental IMLS grant that will allow the next iteration of the WebJunction program Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces. The original program led 15 small and rural public libraries from across the country to reimagine and reconfigure their libraries. The supplemental funding provides the same opportunity to 15 more libraries. The application process will open in January 2019.

New Year, New You from the NIH
Did you know the National Institutes of Health has a variety of online wellness toolkits? As you think ahead to the new year, use these tools to find ways to improve your well-being in any area you’d like. Explore your emotional health, your stress adaptability, your physical health, your relationships, and how to protect yourself from disease.

Opioid Resources from the Centers for Disease Control
Through its Emergency Partners Information Connection (EPIC) Program, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has supplied educational resources for public libraries to use. This collection of printable posters, handouts, and graphics is intended to help libraries raise awareness about opioids with members of the community.

7 Tips for Making Your Principal Your Ally

By Doug Johnson
Via the Blue Skunk Blog

Librarians, you cannot afford to have an adversarial relationship with your principal. You cannot even afford a principal who is an “agent of benevolent neglect.” You need an administrator who actively supports you and your program.

Your principal needs you as well—as a cheer-leader and co-conspirator for change efforts. As a staff development resource for new programs. As an educator who can positively affect the learning environment of the whole school. As a researcher for best practices information. How exactly does your principal rely on you? Are you important enough to be listened to?

Principals and librarians need to be firm allies in helping their schools change in positive ways.

And it will be up to you, not your principal, to create this alliance. Here are some concrete ways you can do so…

1.    Report regularly and formally. We should all be sending out a written (emailed) quarterly principal’s report and a monthly faculty bulletin. These should be upbeat, useful, and short. Every newsletter that goes to parents needs a library column. Including digital photos of happy library-using kids. Administrators HATE surprises – good and bad.

2.    Know your principal’s goals and interests. Can you rattle off right now the three or four things your principal considers important in your school? Test scores? Climate? Meaningful technology use? For what is your principal being held accountable by her boss? Where do your services and your principal’s goals overlap?

3.    Be seen outside the library. If your principal sees you on committees, attending school events and even in the teacher’s lounge, not only can you chat informally about library matters, but you send a powerful non-verbal message as well: I am full member of the school staff.

4.    Disagree with your principal – when necessary. You may think that some ideas of your principal may not be in the best interests of your students or staff. If that’s the case, you have an ethical duty to give your reasons to your principal. But this is important: do so in private. Always voice your support in public; always voice your differences in private.

5.    Do not whine. What is whining and how does it differ from constructive communication efforts? Robert Moran in his book Never Confuse a Memo with Reality says it best: “Never go to your boss with a problem without a solution. You are paid to think, not to whine.” I know it feels good to just let it all out sometimes about things that really can’t be changed. But listening to that sort of venting is what your spouse, your mom, or your cat is there for.

6.    Do NOT advocate for yourself or your library. Advocate for your library users. Advocating for libraries sounds, and usually is, self-serving. When you talk to your principal whether proposing a plan, asking for funds, telling what’s happening in the library, or suggesting a solution to a problem, make sure it clear the underlying reason is “It’s a change that will be good for our kids and staff.”

7.    Be a leader as well as a follower. Our communication efforts can and should not just inform, but persuade others, guide the directions of our organization, and improve our effectiveness. If we don’t create the positive changes in our schools that improve kids lives, just who the heck will? Clear articulation of our values and beliefs helps create strong relationships.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Making Library Budget Presentations

Reposted from the Vermont Department of Libraries December 2018 newsletter

The American Library Association (ALA) offers a great article with tips on how to prepare for, give, and follow up after a budget presentation. Tips include information on:

  • Identifying community priorities
  • Ideas for ways to use your Friends group
  • Leveraging strategic partners
  • Qualities of a successful budget proposal
  • Do’s and Don’ts for the presentation itself
  • Links to graph tools to help you create visuals with impact
  • And more!

While many of the tips are geared towards larger libraries, several are customizable to smaller libraries. The page also includes things you can do year-round to prepare for budget season and to help solidify your relationships with stakeholders in your community.

Read the full article from ALA.

Also, the Wyoming State Library has information on the budgeting process in its Public Library Directors’ Handbook and in its Library Board Members’ Handbook.

Host a Fallen Warrior Kiosk at Your Library

From Wyoming Military Department Museums

Wyoming has a proud legacy of service in our Armed Forces, sometimes that service comes at a great cost. Since the start of the Global War on Terror, Wyoming has lost sons and daughters as they protected our freedom and liberty. To honor their memory and legacy of service, the Wyoming Veterans Commission created several Fallen Warrior Kiosks. Each kiosk contains biographies, pictures, and stories about these fallen heroes. For the last several years, they have been traveling throughout Wyoming.

The Wyoming Military Department is scheduling host locations for their Fallen Warrior Kiosks for 2019-2021. There is no cost for hosting. Each venue will host the kiosk for three months. The units have a small footprint, requiring only 10 square feet of space with access to an electrical outlet. The Wyoming Veterans Commission will assist with moving kiosks between venues, provide operational training, and provide media resources to help advertise the kiosk.

To host one of the Fallen Warrior Kiosks fill out the form in the application packet and send it to Wyoming Military Department Museums, 3740 Jourgensen Ave., Casper, WY 82604. The deadline is January 25, 2019. Questions may go to John Woodward at or (307) 473-3489.

#GivingTuesday at Your Library

Remember your local library today on #GivingTuesday. Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday kicks off the holiday’s charitable season.

Libraries serve all members of their communities, putting them in touch with the information, computer access, literacy and education programs, and entertainment they need. Local donations of time, talent, and treasure often make the difference between an adequate library and an excellent library. If you love your library, you can help by:

  • Volunteering — ask the library about opportunities.
  • Writing a letter to the editor in support of your library.
  • If you have one, joining the Friends of the Library group
  • Telling your friends about library services they might not know about, like ebooks and electronic resources
  • Advocating for library services with elected officials
  • Making a tax-exempt donation to the library, Friends group, or library foundation

Easiest of all — use your library! And don’t forget to bring your kids and grandkids to raise the next generation of avid readers and library supporters.

Working With Deaf Patrons

The Gallaudet University Library has put together this helpful guide for librarians who work with deaf or hard of hearing patrons or with deaf-related collections that they’ve permitted us to repost here.

The first step in communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing in a library setting is to determine the need. Some individuals will identify themselves as deaf or hard of hearing immediately. In that case, let the individual tell you the means of communication that works best for him. Others may be reluctant to identify themselves as deaf or hard of hearing. If an individual tilts his head toward you when you are speaking, speaks more loudly than usual, or just doesn’t seem to understand you, she may not be able to hear you clearly.

Communication styles and preferences vary. Some individuals use sign language, some read lips, some use assistive listening devices, and still others prefer to communicate in writing. Some may use a combination of these methods. Patience and careful attention are the keys to communication, regardless of the preferred method.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing rely heavily on visual cues, regardless of the specific means of communication. If you suspect a user cannot hear you, try some of the strategies suggested below. The following tips apply to all face-to-face communication encounters.


  • Face and lips must be visible (hands, papers, etc. should not be directly in front of your face)
  • Choose a location that is well-lit
  • Avoid standing with your back to any light source
  • Look directly at the person with whom you are talking
  • Avoid distracting background noise (conversations, printers, etc.); move to another location if necessary


  • Call him by name or title (such as “sir”)
  • Tap her on the shoulder or arm
  • Wave your hand (but not frantically)
  • Make sure he is looking at you before you speak
  • Tap on the table or counter


  • Avoid eating, drinking, or chewing gum while talking
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth
  • Speak naturally — don’t exaggerate, shout, or speak too slowly
  • Use natural facial expressions
  • Use gestures


  • Watch for language and literacy differences
  • Repeat the question back to the user, in writing if necessary
  • Use short sentences
  • Use simple language and avoid unnecessary words
  • Minimize use of idioms and colloquialisms
  • Write important words as you speak and keep the paper in clear view
  • Follow up to make sure the question has been answered


  • Make sure the deaf or hard of hearing person is in the best location possible to satisfy communication needs (The best location may vary depending on the setting. Ask!)
  • Avoid pacing and other distracting movements
  • Make sure you face the deaf or hard of hearing person when you speak
  • Use visual aids
  • Allow the audience time to look at visual aids before speaking
  • Prepare written instructions and handouts
  • Repeat questions/comments from audience members
  • Use hands-on activities


  • Look and speak directly to the deaf or hard of hearing person and not to the interpreter
  • The interpreter will probably be a few words behind the speaker
  • The interpreter is not a participant in the conversation or program and should not be brought into discussion or asked questions
  • For a program or meeting
    • Be aware there are different types of interpreting and ask users what they need
    • Schedule interpreters well in advance (at least two weeks)
    • Provide interpreter with copies of handouts and with the names of program/meeting participants and spelling of any technical terms or jargon before the program begins
    • Make sure all arrangements (lighting, seating, interpreter preferences, client preferences, etc.) are worked out before the program/meeting begins
    • If the interpreter is working alone give adequate breaks


Online Resources Every Library Should Consult

Reposted with permission from Library Strategies

As any library director or system administrator will tell you, keeping a public library running entails a bewildering number of day-to-day responsibilities. With so much to do, and so little time left over for “big picture thinking,” it’s quite common to lose sight of what is going on in Libraryworld beyond your own service area.

For example: What major trends are emerging in library service? What new challenges are coming down the pike? How does your library stack up against peer systems in your state, and nationally?

Gaining a baseline understanding on important questions like these doesn’t need to take days – if you know where to look for information. We recommend that you bookmark these four free and authoritative online resources.

Public Libraries Survey (PLS) Data

Every year, more than 17,000 public libraries report in to the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and share a handful of key statistics. These include budget basics, annual visitor figures, circulation statistics, collection size, hours of operation, and staffing levels. IMLS aggregates this wealth of data for its annual Public Libraries Survey and Report – to be used by policymakers, lobbyists, journalists, and of course library practitioners.

IMLS has been collecting and sharing this information since 1988, but it’s still something of an open secret to many library staff. This data is not only available, but searchable. You can easily benchmark your library against peer systems based on criteria of your choosing. As an added bonus, filtering is user intuitive and searches are downloadable!

NOTE: The Wyoming State Library has statistical resources and assistance specifically for Wyoming libraries of all types. 

Pew Research Center Studies

If you read newspapers (or their e- equivalents) with any regularity, you’ve probably heard of the Pew Research Center. It’s a nonpartisan “fact tank” – versus think tank – subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trust. It conducts public opinion polling and media content analysis on a host of topics, and is perhaps best known for its studies on American politics and religion.

It may surprise you to learn that Pew Research Center also polls the public regularly and extensively about library usage and perceptions.

Questionnaire topics run the gamut from library visiting habits, to personal reading habits more generally, to internet and computer usage and beyond. Critically, Pew also collects extensive demographic data on those polled (age, ethnic and economic background, etc.) This allows Pew teams to extrapolate and draw different conclusions for diverse subsets of your library’s service area.

Center for the Future of Libraries

While Pew studies offer a snapshot of how things stand now, and IMLS/PLS survey data gives a longitudinal view of where libraries have been, the American Library Association’s (ALA’s) Center for the Future of Libraries is forward thinking. You probably gleaned as much from the name!

ALA’s library futurists (yes, that’s a job title!) have thoroughly researched and prepared position statements and forecasts around 34 trends likely to impact library service in the coming decade. Everything from anonymity concerns, to increased urbanization, to an aging population and infrastructure, to drones are covered on the Center for the Future of Libraries website. Forecasts for each are thoughtfully divided into “How It’s Developing” and “Why It Matters” sections, the latter of which drives home the trend’s implications for libraries. Each is an easy read, but bolstered by a long bibliography for further reading.

American Libraries ‘Library Systems Report’

Bibliocommons. Biblionix. Bywater. Book Systems Atriuum. Confused yet?

Technology is by far and away the most baffling facet of library service. Cataloging, resource sharing, and automation platforms bring with them an innate learning curve, to be sure. However, that’s only part of the challenge.

Compounding matters, there are also a dizzying number of vendors competing in this arena by offering a host of tools and software solutions – some interchangeable, some not. Industry leaders change with regularity, thanks to evolving library needs, new products brought to market every year, and a long track record of corporate acquisitions.

Unless you are a full-time digital librarian – and maybe even if you are – keeping track of this rapidly changing landscape is impossible without mediation. Fortunately, American Libraries produces an annual Library Systems Report. It is the best available point of departure for library leaders looking to reevaluate and reinvest in their tech infrastructure.

Toward Gigabit Libraries Toolkit Available

The free Toward Gigabit Libraries toolkit is an open-source technology learning, diagnostic and advocacy tool designed for public and tribal libraries in the US. The toolkit will guide you through a series of questions about your technology environment — and provide you with all the information you need to answer the questions.

The toolkit is an excellent way to diagnose and fix library technology problems. Some libraries have found it especially useful in preparing for E-rate requests, budget cycles, and even in helping open up lines of communication between library staff and tech workers. Best of all, you do not need to be a “techie” to use the toolkit.

The Toward Gigabit Libraries toolkit is free and open source, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. As well as being a stand-alone resource, you are free to use anything from the toolkit and mix it into other documents.

This resource is designed to empower practitioners to become more savvy and effective consumers, advocates, and providers of high-quality Internet access and digital services to their communities. Funded by an Institute of Museum and Libary Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant, the toolkit is designed to scale nationally to all libraries, regardless of size or geographic location.