Category Archives: Articles and Information

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).

ALA Celebrates National Women’s History Month

During the entire month of March, the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) will recognize and celebrate women’s achievements with National Women’s History Month.

National Women’s History Month traces its origins back to March 8, 1857, when women from New York City factories staged a protest over working conditions. International Women’s Day was later observed in 1909. In 1981, the U.S. Congress designated the second week of March National Women’s History Week, and in 1987 Congress expanded it to a month-long observance.

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, women make up over 84 percent of the library profession. Over the years, the ALA women’s groups have helped to develop evaluative tools, guidelines and programs to enhance the opportunities and the image of women in the library profession.

Here are some resources that are available:

For additional resources and information on how to celebrate National Women’s History Month, please visit:  the National Women’s History Month Resources page.

The ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) serves as the liaison to the ALA Committee on the Status of Women (COSWL).

To Be Bilingual; Benefits of Knowing Two Languages

By Pamela Mejia de Rodriguez
Reposted with permission from Colorado Virtual Library

In this country that I’m living now or being more specific, the state that I am now living, Colorado, I have developed a new hobby thanks to my husband. I am talking about skiing! Even though I have only gone skiing two times, I already consider myself a “ski addict.”

The second time we went to ski, I saw a couple with their two-year-old child. The husband was American and the wife was Argentinian. I noticed that the mom was talking to her child in Spanish and the Dad in English. It was marvelous to see how the kid was making the switch and answering them both in every language.

At just two years old, this kid was able to identify the language and able to quickly answer adequately. This was a living proof of the famous “brain plasticity” that we have heard so much about.

New articles on the neuroscience field (the science that studies the brain), show us that “a newborn baby is able to discriminate between sounds of any language and learn it. When he is a year old, however, small monolinguals lose this ability and specialize only in the sounds of their native language. However, those who are raised as bilingual, often because their father and mother are of different origins and speak to them in their respective languages since birth, still show a cerebral response to sounds of these languages.

To me, this was not a surprise. I have had kids in my past classrooms that their parents are Italians/French/Swedish/Japanese. They talk to their child in their native language and their child responds to them. Living in a Spanish-speaking county, they naturally learn the language in order to communicate with community and friends. And at the same time, receive a formal education in English school where classes are in English.

With all this going on, kids were able to make the switch of language, depending on who they were talking to. Bilinguals have a different brain structure, and they have a better capacity when it comes to concentration. Being bilingual helps you to make faster and more accurate decisions.

And there is a reason for these. When little, bilinguals need to separate both languages to avoid any interference when talking or listening. This process uses the same nerve cells that the brain uses to make quick decisions.

Benefits of bilingual education
• Ability to communicate with more people (family or work)
• Read and write in two language

• More creative
• Greater capacity to concentrate
• Bette attention spam, memory, and problem solving skills
• Greater resilience against cognitive deterioration caused by age or brain injury.

• Ability to adapt to different situations
• They appreciate multiculturalism.
• Greater ability to put oneself in the position of other people (tolerance and respect for human beings)
• Greater security (self-esteem)
• Greater resilience to environmental changes

• Advantage to get a job and receive more economic remuneration.

Being bilingual has its perks; don’t limit your child with only one language. Even if you live in a country where the native language is English, always keep the family native language present, not only for customs and cultural pride, but more for all the advantages that your child can have with the domain of both languages.


Even if you do not live in or did not grow up in a bilingual household, it’s never too late to learn a second language. Check out’s language learning resources, including the self-paced courses in Mango Languages. If English is your second language, Mango has courses for those learning English, as well, and Learning Express Library has a learning center for Spanish speakers. All these resources are free to Wyoming residents with a library card and PIN. If you need help logging in, contact your local library.

Guidance from YALSA on Teen Services Competencies

In 2017, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) released its Teen Services Competencies for Library Staff. In recent weeks, they’ve been delving into these competencies and how to implement them effectively in libraries on the YALSA blog. If you’re looking to learn more to better serve your young adult patrons, you might explore these articles:

Look on the YALSA blog for more. If you are planning on attending ALA Midwinter in Denver, YALSA is hosting two News You Can Use sessions on the Competencies.

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week

We rightfully pride ourselves in being warm people in Wyoming. Random Acts of Kindness will make us all better as individuals, our communities better, and our state better.

-Wyoming Governor Matt Mead

February 11-17, 2018, is Random Acts of Kindness Week. Celebrate this happy event with Kindness Wyoming, and join with schools, businesses, communities, and other libraries in Wyoming as we live out kindness.

How can you get involved?

  1. Choose a goal for your library for Random Acts of Kindness week.
  2. Track Random Acts of Kindness through posters, hashtags, whiteboards, bulletin boards, or anything else you can imagine.
  3. Celebrate success by sharing stories, photos, and videos using #kindnesswyoming, emailing Kindness Wyoming, or sharing to their Facebook page.

For more information, contact Kindness Wyoming at or (307) 349-6710, or visit their website at

The 5 Early Literacy Practices: Sing

Pamela Mejia de Rodriguez
Regional Early Literacy Specialist at Colorado State Library

Reposted from Colorado Virtual Library

“Gallina=chicken, puerta=door, ventana=window y pluma=pen”

Those are words of a traditional rhyme back in my country. Even though I didn’t know English when I learned that song, I was probably around 3 years old, I knew the letters of that song to perfection.

Music is recognized as a universal feature of human cognition: every healthy human is born with the ability to appreciate it.

Spoken language is introduced to the child as a vocal performance, and children attend to its musical features first. Without the ability to hear musically, it would be impossible to learn to speak.

Songs are a natural way to learn about language. They develop listening skills and slow down language so children can hear the different sounds in words, a key decoding skill.

Songs have repetitions and repletion is key when it comes to language development. It helps them to learn new words and information, strengthens their memory and attention.

How does singing with children help them get ready to read? (Extracted from Every Child Ready to Read)

Print Motivation
Children love singing.  A great option to encourage not only reading, but also singing, is to read books that can be sung.  These can include nursery rhymes, books that promote singing, or books that can be sung to a specific tune.

Print Awareness
A foundational early literacy skill is understanding that print has meaning. To help children make this connection, print out lyrics to favorite songs or read books that can be sung.

Letter Knowledge
Letter knowledge is, at its base, a shape recognition skill, so any rhyme or song that talks about how things are the same and different can help build skills children will need to identify letters. Of course, the ABC Song helps them learn letter names and alphabetical order!

Just like books, songs have great vocabulary words, such as “tuffet” or “In a cavern, in a canyon.” Hearing new words in context helps children build their vocabularies.  In addition, songs have a long tradition of being used as memory boosters! I’m sure many of you can still recite all 50 states because of a song you learned.

Phonological Awareness
Listening to and singing songs is one of the best ways for children to build their phonological awareness because often each syllable of a word connects to a note.  In addition, many songs and rhymes have rhyming words.  Both pieces help children hear the individual parts of each word.

Narrative Skills
Many Mother Goose and other childhood songs are little stories, and listening to them helps children learn about story structure and sequencing. Even silly songs like “Little Bunny Foo Foo” have a beginning, a problem in the middle, and a resolution at the end. When children sing these songs, they become storytellers.

Singing activities to do with your child (Extracted from Earlier is Easier)

Birth-8 month

  • Sing while changing your baby’s diapers.
  • Sing in the car! Hearing songs and stories will help baby learn how to communicate and soon they’ll respond!
  • Move, gently bounce, or hold your baby’s hand as you dance together to music.
  • Rhyming and bouncing songs help babies hear and feel words and sounds so they can begin to repeat them.
  • Put your baby on your lap or on a blanket on the floor and look into their eyes as you sing. Tap their hands together to the beat.
  • Sing a quiet, calming song before your baby goes to sleep. How about “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Hush Little Baby?”

9-18 Month

  • Young children love to sing, so sing everywhere – in the car, in the bathtub, at the store and at the table.
  • Make music with things you have in the house – pots, pans, spoons, boxes, cups. Crawl around on the floor with your child to the beat of the music.
  • Songs have a note for each part of a word, so when you sing you’re helping your child hear that words have smaller parts. Clap or tap along to better hear these smaller parts.
  • Sing the same quiet song at bedtime. Repetition and routine is good for young children and they will know it’s time for sleep.
  • Sing a song you remember learning as a child. A song that was special to you can become special to your child too!

19-36 Month

  • The tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is great for singing about your daily activities. “This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth. This is the way we brush our teeth so early in the morning.” (Don’t know the tune? Listen here.)
  • Sing the ABC song!
  • Take a song you know and change the words to something silly. Include your child’s name.
  • Sing a familiar song faster…and then faster…and then slower…and slower.
  • Visit your local library and borrow some kids’ music cds to sing along with in the car.

Consumer Financial Tips and Resources

Have patrons with questions on financial topics? We picked up these resources and ideas from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

Money Smart Week (MSW) is April 21 to April 28, 2018. Free financial education classes and materials are available to help your patrons get smart about money management. The CFPB offers resources and materials that are available all year to help your patrons make informed financial decisions.

Tax Time materials: The CFPB has created tools and publications to help your patrons get ready for the upcoming tax season.  Print or order copies of these free resources like the checklist to prepare for an appointment with a tax preparer, a flyer about options for saving from a tax refunds, posters, postcards, table tents, worksheets, and more.  These materials are also available in Spanish.

Debt Boot Camp (email): Help your patrons get their finances in shape with CFPB’s email Debt Boot Camp. This 21-day course helps with financial goal setting, handling money emergencies, debt pay down, and creating and following a budget. Participants receive two to three emails each week with tips, tools and activities to help them manage their debt and finances.

Visit the CFPB Library page to learn about more financial education resources. You can also order free publications and materials about financial education topics for your patrons.

Call for Submissions 2018 PR Xchange Awards Competition

Libraries everywhere are creating exciting promotional materials:  newsletters, program announcements, annual reports, advocacy materials, fundraising messages, reading celebrations, and much more. Now is the time to receive recognition for your library’s amazing work. The call for submissions for the 2018 PR Xchange Awards competition is now live!

Deadline is March 20, 2018. Submission instructions are on the FAQ.

The 2018 PR Xchange Awards Competition recognizes the very best promotional materials produced by libraries in the past year. This year’s competition will recognize original materials produced during the 2017 calendar year.  Entries will be evaluated based on content, originality, and design by a team of experts in marketing, public relations, graphic design, and communications, who select the winner(s) in each category.

Winners will be notified in early May 2018. Winning entries will be on display during the PR Xchange Event during the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Learn more about the PR Xchange Awards.

Webinars and More to Plan for Successful Summer Reading

Want to get the most out of your Collaborative Summer Library Program online manual? First, take a look at this brief video for some ideas.

Then, explore the newly updated Summer Reading: 2018 LibGuide from the Wyoming State Library for tips and resources.

Now, mark your calendar: on January 10, the CSLP will present two summer reading webinars. Get started planning your 2018 Summer Library Program from the comfort of your library by attending this Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 “Libraries Rock!” themed webinar. You will be introduced to the theme, the artwork, and the manual based on the CSLP 2018 theme, “Libraries Rock!”

  • Early Literacy/School Age – 8 a.m. MST
  • Teen/Adult 12 p.m. MST

Check the WSL training calendar for links to register.

Questions about summer reading resources? Contact Chris Van Burgh, WSL Database Instruction Librarian, at or (307) 777-3642.

‘Jumanji’ Public Service Announcements Capture the Adventure Found at the Library

From the American Library Association

Let’s face it. It’s an information jungle out there and librarians and library staff lead countless quests to transform lives through education and lifelong learning. In conjunction with the anticipated release of “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” on December 20, 2017, the American Library Association (ALA) and Sony Pictures are offering free action-packed audio, social media, and video public service announcements (PSAs). Available for download until February 28, the library-themed announcements feature Jack Black and promote transformative resources libraries and library staff offer.

Library supporters are welcome to download, share and post PSAs to library web pages and social media channels. Broadcast quality PSAs also are available for radio and television organizations.“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” PSAs are made possible by Sony Pictures and Libraries Transform, a national initiative of the ALA that increases public awareness of the value, impact, and services provided by libraries and library professionals.  Library supporters are welcome to join the campaign to access free resources and tools to promote the value of our nation’s libraries.