Category Archives: Articles and Information

USPTO Intellectual Property Broadcast at WSL

The Rocky Mountain U.S. Patent and Trademark Office invites you to join us for the second session in a series of programming on Understanding Intellectual Property (IP). This interactive event will be broadcast live at the Wyoming State Library, 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. MDT on Friday, July 20.

Register now.

Part II in the series will give a more in-depth overview on design patents, as well as how and when an entrepreneur or business might consider applying for a design patent as opposed to, or in addition to, a utility patent.

For questions, contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at or call 303-297-4600.

Library News in Brief

OER Vision to Action Conference August 1-2
Open Educational Resources (OER) are of growing interest to academic and school librarians. The OER: From Vision to Action conference will be held on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver on August 1-2, 2018. There is now an updated program agenda on the conference website. Register by July 15.  The conference is open to anyone to attend and is sponsored by the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA).

Free Training at WebJunction
WebJunction is a collective online space of library-related courses and webinars. Does Making Space for Active Learning in Your Library sound interesting? Or maybe The Name of the Game: Playing Tabletop Games to Build 21st Century Skills is a topic that you want to learn more about. Accessing WebJunction is easy. All you need is an Internet connection, a device and time. Many courses are self-paced and webinars are recorded and archived to accommodate your busy schedule.

ALA Accepting Applications for 2019 Class of Emerging Leaders Until August 31
The American Library Association (ALA) is now accepting applications for the 2019 class of Emerging Leaders (EL). The deadline to apply is August 31, 2018. This program is a leadership development program that enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity.

MPLA Awards Nominations Open
The Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) has opened nominations for its awards honoring deserving individuals, groups, or organizations in the library field who should be recognized for their accomplishments? Some awards require nominees to be current or past MPLA members, and others require participation in the MPLA region; read the award descriptions carefully. All nominators must be MPLA members. Deadline is August 31, 2018.

Call for Library Marketer of the Year Award Nominations
Library Journal will honor one library staffer or a library team with its third annual Marketer of the Year award in its October 1, 2018, issue. The award, sponsored by Library Ideas, comes with a $2,000 cash prize. The award recognizes the importance of innovative approaches to marketing of library services, the role of marketing in building library engagement, and the value of quality marketing collateral to help build a vibrant sense of the library and define its relevance in the community. Nomination deadline is August 7, 2018.

‘Slow Chat’ Summer Learning With the AASL Standards
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) is easing into summer learning with an online book discussion of its newly released “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries.” Termed a slow chat, the discussion will take place via Twitter. School library professionals with Twitter accounts can follow the hashtags #AASLstandards and #AASLowchat to participate.

AASL 2018 Best Apps and Best Websites for Teaching & Learning
American Association of School Librarians 2018 list is out, honoring 25 apps and 25 websites that provide enhanced learning and curriculum development for school librarians and their teacher collaborators. These technology resources are chosen for their ability to foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration and for their support of AASL’s “National School Library Standards.”

Free STEM Outreach Toolkit  from Idaho Commission for Libraries
The ICFL’s newest toolkit filled with STEM activities is here. The 36-page booklet contains activities, supply lists, science vocabulary words, take home extension activity cards and more. The toolkit is geared for library staff working with children in kindergarten through second grade.

Intellectual Freedom Resources for Social Media, Controversial Programs
The ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee has published new guidelines and a Q&A for library workers. Social Media Guidelines for Public and Academic Libraries” provides a policy framework for public and academic libraries that use social media. The IFC also published “Responding to and Preparing for Controversial Programs and Speakers Q&A,” which offers strategies and resources for libraries to address community concerns and prepare for potentially controversial library-initiated events.

The Journal of Research on Libraries and Young Adults
JRLYA is an open-access, peer-reviewed online research journal published by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Its purpose is to enhance the development of theory, research, and practices to support young adult library services, as emphasized in YALSA’s National Research Agenda.

Teens, Social Media, & Technology 2018
The Pew Research Center just released a new report, Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018. If you are wondering how to reach teens, program for teens, and what teens are up to, this is a must read. If you just want to quickly view the highlights, check out David Lee King’s recent post about the report.

Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through Continuing Education
The Young Adult Library Services Association has released its new report, Transforming Library Services for and with Teens Through Continuing Education (CE). The recommended strategies included in this report provide guidance for various stakeholder groups on how to transform CE opportunities and create a culture of continual learning thus enabling library staff to put teens first.

Library of Congress Story Maps Explore History

The October 24, 1942 issue of the Heart Mountain Sentinel is featured in the Library of Congress’s “Behind Barbed Wire” Story Map.

The Library of Congress has launched Story Maps, interactive and immersive web applications that tell the incredible stories of the Library’s collections.

Story Maps combine text, images, multimedia, and interactive maps to create engaging online narrative experiences. They’ve been featured on the School Library Journal blog as a resource for school librarians and others.

They’re a fun way to explore different aspects of history — including Wyoming’s. “Behind Barbed Wire” is a great pairing with the Wyoming State Library’s Heart Mountain exhibit and newspapers from the camp in Wyoming Newspapers.

Under a program spearheaded by the Geography and Map Division, collection specialists from across the Library have produced Story Maps with content from the hidden and not-so-hidden collections of the library. Learn more from the Library of Congress.

United States Issues Patent Number 10,000,000

The USPTO unveiled a new design for the U.S. patent cover on March 11. The new design was issued today beginning with patent number 10,000,000. (Image source: USPTO)

From the United States Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today issued U.S. patent number 10 million. More than just a number, patent 10 million celebrates the rich history and strength of the American intellectual property system dating back to the first U.S. patent, signed 228 years ago by George Washington on July 31, 1790, and issued to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.

“Innovation has been the lifeblood of this country since its founding,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Our patent system’s importance to the daily lives of every American has never been greater. Given the rapid pace of change, we know that it will not take another 228 years to achieve the next 10-million-patent milestone.”

 Patent 10 million for “Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection” symbolizes the breadth of American invention, with applications in such varied fields as autonomous vehicles, medical imaging devices, military defense systems, and space and undersea exploration. It was invented by Joseph Marron and is owned by Raytheon Company. 

This milestone of human ingenuity perhaps exceeds even the Founding Fathers’ expectations when they called for a patent system in the Constitution to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” The USPTO’s online exhibit has a detailed, interactive timeline highlighting important moments, notable inventors, changing patent designs, and other interesting facts over more than two centuries of innovation in America, visit

Questions about patents? Visit the Wyoming State Library’s Patent & Trademark Resource Center.

The Great American Read Promotional Materials for Your Patrons

Fact sheet (Click for printable PDF)

Book checklist (Click for printable PDF)

Wyoming PBS has created graphics promoting — and explaining — The Great American Read. It’s one of the more complex initiatives PBS has embarked on and they’ve found that many people have questions.

These two double-sided flyers (co-branded with PBS) may be useful for libraries to have on hand at their circulation desks, included in their newsletters, etc., to help patrons understand what this initiative is all about. Click for the PDFs, and feel free to print them and distribute as you see fit.

From the PBS website:

The Great American Read is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.

The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.

Early Literacy Ranks as Most Important Topic in Survey

Reposted with permission from Library Research Service

The International Literacy Association regularly conducts a survey of literacy leaders to find out what topics in literacy are trending and which topics are the most important. The most recent survey was open from August to September 2017. It had 2,097 responses representing 91 countries and territories. Classroom teachers made up the largest portion of respondents (27%).

The survey asks respondents to rank 17 topics as a “hot” or trendy topic, and rank the same topics on importance. “Early literacy” and “strategies for differentiating instruction” were the only two topics ranked in the top five as both a hot topic and as an important topic. Eighty-seven percent of respondents ranked “early literacy” as very or extremely important and 85% of respondents ranked “strategies for differentiating instruction” as very or extremely important.

Two interesting findings about respondents were: 1) “K-12 educators are more likely than those in academia to say early literacy is extremely important” and 2) “International respondents are more likely than U.S. respondents to say that summative assessments are important.” Across all respondents, “summative assessment,” often a test at the end of a unit or year, was ranked the least important of all topics, but ranked third for trendiness.

Topics with high importance but low trendiness rankings are seen as areas that need more attention. “Access to books and content” ranked fifth in importance and eleventh as hot topic. “Digital literacy” ranked first in trendiness, but thirteenth in importance, indicating that respondents perceive it as a less important topic that is nonetheless receiving a lot of attention.

Libraries can use this information as partners in literacy with schools and communities. Since digital literacy ranked low in importance on this survey, libraries can engage in conversations about what digital literacy means in different contexts. The standout importance of early literacy in the survey is an excellent common ground for libraries to continue to build partnerships. Libraries can also continue to bring attention to the key issue of access to books and content, where they have expertise to offer.

The full report can be found here.

Note: This post is part of the Library Research Service’s series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, they highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Pew Report: Two in Five American Adults Did Not Read a Book in the Past Year

Reposted with permission from the Library Research Service (LRS)

Pew Research Center recently updated a report delving into the characteristics of the quarter of American adults who say that they haven’t read a book in the past year. This includes reading all or part of a book, in any format (print, electronic, or audiobook).

Education seems to impact how often American adults read books. About 2 in 5 (37%) adults with a high school degree or less reported that they did not read a book in the past year. This makes them about five times more likely to be a non-book reader than college graduates (7%). Similarly, only about 1 in 10 (13%) of the most affluent adults reported not reading books, while over a third (36%) of adults with an annual income of $30,000 or less said the same.

Age and ethnicity also correlated with non-book reading. Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) Hispanic adults reported not reading a book in the past twelve months, compared to 1 in 5 (20%) white adults. Older adults (over 50 years old) are somewhat more likely than their younger counterparts to be non-book readers (28% and 20%, respectively).

The traits that correlate to non-book reading match those of American adults who have never been to a library, as identified by a 2016 Pew Survey. In their responses to this survey, Hispanics, older adults, less affluent adults, and those who have a high school education or less were most likely to report that they had never visited a library.

The full post can be found here.

Note: This post is part of the LRS’s series, “The LRS Number.” In this series, they highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

USPTO to Mark 10 Millionth Patent this Summer

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will issue the 10 millionth U.S. utility patent during the summer of 2018. This is a tremendous milestone for both the USPTO and the history of American innovation. View the online exhibit.

A patent for an invention grants the inventor “the right to exclude others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling” the invention in the United States or “importing” the invention into the United States. Each patent represents trial and error, determination, and the persistence that one inventor or a team of inventors have invested into bringing an idea to fruition. Ten million patents worth of innovation represents trillions of dollars added to the global economy:

  • The first U.S. patent was issued on July 31, 1790, to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer. President George Washington signed the first patent.
  • Patent no. 1: The U.S. government had issued 9,957 patents before starting a numbering system on July 13, 1836. On that occasion, U.S. patent no. 1 was issued to John Ruggles for a traction wheel for steam locomotives.
  • Patent no. 1 million was issued on August 8, 1911, to Francis H. Holton, for a tubeless vehicle tire.
  • Patent no. 2 million was issued on April 30, 1935, to Joseph Ledwinka for a vehicle wheel to increase the safety and longevity of pneumatic tires.
  • Patent no. 3 million was issued September 12, 1961, to Kenneth Eldredge for an automated system that translated letters, numbers and symbols to data processing code.
  • Patent no. 4 million was issued on December 28, 1976, to Robert Mendenhall for a process for recycling asphalt aggregate compositions.
  • Patent no. 5 million was issued on March 19, 1991, to the University of Florida. Lonnie O. Ingram and others invented an innovative way to produce fuel ethanol.
  • Patent no. 6 million was issued on December 7, 1999, to 3Com Corporation’s Palm Computing. Jeffery Hawkins and others invented an extendible method and apparatus for synchronizing multiple files on two different computer systems.
  • Patent no. 7 million was issued on February 14, 2006, to E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company.
    John O’Brien invented a process for producing polysaccharide fibers.
  • Patent no. 8 million was issued on August 16, 2011, to Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. Robert Greenburg and others invented a visual prosthesis apparatus.
  • Patent no. 9 million was issued on April 7, 2015, to WiperFill Holdings LLC. Matthew Carroll invented a system of collecting rainwater to replenish a windshield wiper reservoir and windshield washer conditioner.

Have patent questions? Visit the Wyoming State Library’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center to learn more.


Resources for Armed Forces Day

From U.S. GPO

Armed Forces Day is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who serve the United States Armed Forces.  Armed Forces Day, which is celebrated on the third Saturday in May, is part of Armed Forces Week.

It was with the idea for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country that President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish this single holiday. The one-day celebration then stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

Many events across the United States take place on Armed Forces Day to honor Americans in uniform who served their country in times of war and peace. Those who are honored on this day include people who serve the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. National Guard and Reserve units may celebrate Armed Forces Day/Week over any period in May because of their unique training schedules.

The U.S. Government Bookstore offers hundreds of publications describing the honorable work of our nation’s military. To better understand the challenges facing our senior officers and civilians engaged in managing national security, here are a few examples to give everyday Americans a better appreciation.

Managing Military ReadinessUnderstanding the limits of the Nation’s ability to generate and deploy ready military forces is a basic element of national security. It is also the element most likely to be taken for granted or assumed away, despite ample historical evidence of the human and operational costs imposed by such an error. As budgets shrink and threats grow more diverse, national security leaders need a specific accounting of the readiness limits of the force and the consequences of those limits, as well as the insight to make timely and effective mitigation decisions.

The Armed Forces OfficerIn the second decade of the 21st century, our nation is confronted with a volatile and complex security environment, and addressing the challenges of our time place new demands on military leaders at all levels. Those in the Profession of Arms will continue to adapt training and education programs to provide our officers with the intellectual and practical tools necessary to succeed in this unpredictable and unstable world. This new edition of The Armed Forces Officer articulates the ethical and moral underpinnings at the core of the military profession. The special trust and confidence America places on our warriors to protect is built upon this foundation.

Visit the GPO post to learn how to obtain these and other resources about the U.S. military.

Toolkit Builds Collaboration Between Public and School Libraries

Both public and school libraries are community centers at heart, with the same goal: to provide a safe, welcoming environment for all patrons and access to information in a variety of formats. When public and school librarians and library workers engage in collaboration, community members reap the benefits.

One tool to help build those partnerships is the Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit, free to download or view online. It includes sections on:

  • Getting Started: How to Initiate the Collaborative Process
  • Why School-Public Library Partnerships Matter: Research to Support Your Collaborative Efforts
  • Successful School-Public Library Partnerships: Concrete Examples of Collaboration that Works
  • Continuing the Partnership: How to Keep the Collaboration Going
  • Templates & Additional Resources: Tools to Help Facilitate Collaboration

The Public Library & School Library Collaboration Toolkit was created by the Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation, a collaborative project of ALA’s youth-centered units: the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC), and the Young Adult Library Association (YALSA).