Category Archives: Articles and Information

Space Planning Guide for Libraries



Cover of "Library Space" planning guideThe Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) has released Library Space: A Planning Resource for Librarians, a guide to planning new or reconfigured public library spaces. This resource creates a formal set of best practices for designing library space that may be applied to libraries across the nation.

A Zoom session to explain the document and how it can be used will be held on December 10 from 11 a.m. to noon MST.

The guide gives librarians, administrators, space planners, and architects tools for the planning and design of public library buildings. It takes the user through the step by step process of determining what to consider when designing a new library for their community, and includes illustrations of different room types, adjacencies, shelving, and seating that can be considered for a building project.

Download the guide and plan to attend the Zoom session on December 10.

Health Resources from the NNLM



“Did you know?” female doctor cartoon illustrationThe Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) provides free access to a diverse collection of resources and services designed to equip your patrons with the reliable health and wellness information they need in their daily lives.

The network offers many tools for engaging communities, including:

  • Virtual Health Programming – Looking for ways to engage your patrons online? Instead of planning your own online programming, check out the programs on the NNLM Virtual Health Programming webpage. Each program has downloadable marketing materials you can use to promote the activity to your audience!
  • NNLM Reading Club is a selection of “ready-to-use” book titles along with free and downloadable materials designed to help libraries support the health information needs in their communities.
  • Digital health literacy resources can help people gain the skills needed to access and evaluate health information online.
  • Citizen science resources – NNLM is collaborating with SciStarter to offer opportunities to engage in meaningful, real-life scientific research, including a virtual introduction to citizen science, curated projects to jump into and more!
  • The Community Engagement Toolkit provides a curated collection of resources, examples and best practices you can use to gain the core skills and knowledge for successful community engagement.

All About The News Literacy Project



News Literacy Project logoFrom the Colorado Virtual Library blog
By Christine Schein, Digital Literacy Instructional Specialist at Colorado Department of Education

The News Literacy Project, (NLP), a nonpartisan national education nonprofit, provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.

By 2022, the News Literacy Project plans to build a community of 20,000 educators who, using NLP programs and resources, will teach news literacy skills to 3 million middle and high school students each year. NLP will also lead efforts to increase public awareness of news literacy and to equip people of all ages with the ability to discern fact from fiction.

News literacy is the ability to determine the credibility of news and other content, to identify different types of information, and to use the Can standards of authoritative, fact-based journalism to discern credible sources and content from misinformation and unreliable sources.

News Literacy Project

The News Literacy Project offers several resources and services for educators, including an online learning platform, a free weekly newsletter, professional development opportunities, a variety of classroom materials, and more.

See the Colorado Virtual Library’s blog post to learn all about what the News Literacy Project has to offer!

News in Brief



Big Talk from Small Libraries Call for Speakers Open
The call for speakers for the 10th annual Big Talk From Small Libraries is now open. This free one-day online conference is aimed at librarians from small libraries — the smaller the better! They are looking for speakers from small libraries or speakers who directly work with small libraries for seven 50-minute presentations and five 10-minute “lightning round” presentations.

Native American Treaties from the U.S. National Archives
Hundreds of Native American treaties have been scanned and are freely available online, for the first time, through the National Archives Catalog. Also, in partnership with The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC), these treaties and extensive additional historical and contextual information are available through Treaties Explorer.

REALM Project Toolkit Materials Available
The REALM (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) Project has made available the first in a series of materials to help support the interpretation and use of REALM project resources. These materials include REALM 101 (about COVID-19 and the project), a checklist for decision-making, and visual aids comparing all REALM test results thus far

REALM Webinar Recording: Caring for Your Resources During COVID-19
Amid COVID-19, many archives, libraries, and museums are reopening and expanding access to services in their communities. The challenges of reopening during a pandemic have led to many questions about the handling of materials as well as the management of building operations. From allowing the virus to die naturally, to using disinfectants, to applying UV light or heat treatment—there are many options to consider. This on-demand WebJunction webinar from the REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) project shares how some organizations are implementing policies and procedures around the use of these various treatments and considerations that could inform your own local decisions.

ACRL 2021 Conference Going Virtual Due to COVID-19
The Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Board of Directors announced today that the face-to-face portion of the ACRL 2021 Conference scheduled for April 14-17, 2021, in Seattle, Washington, has been canceled because of the serious health risks posed by COVID-19 but will continue as a virtual-only event. The virtual ACRL 2021 Conference will be held over approximately the same dates in April 2021. More details about the virtual conference are forthcoming.

Advocacy Survey for Public Library Archives and Special Collections Employees
Public Library Archives and Special Collections Employees are invited to participate in this national survey, created by the Public Library Archives and Special Collections (PLASC) Section of the Society of American Archivists. This survey is being re-released in an effort to reach a larger number of U.S. public libraries. After it closes on Friday, November 20, 2020, aggregated results will be made available on the PLASC website.

Bring Engineering and Engineers to Your Community (Virtually)
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is partnering with the STAR Library Network (STAR Net) and its Project BUILD engineering program to invite public libraries across the country to participate in an exciting virtual engineering experience this coming November called Dream – Build – Create, an introduction to engineers and engineering for people of all ages, especially families and children. Your patrons will travel the world to see engineering in action, from the Great Wall of China, to solar car races in Australia, and underwater robots in the USA.

K-5 Teaching Resources from the National Archives
Educators often think of the National Archives as a place with resources for teaching the secondary grades or even older students. But elementary age students can work with primary sources too! You can find downloadable worksheets and more to walk elementary students through the steps of analyzing various types of primary sources available online from the National Archives.

10 New DocsTeach Activities Focus on Famous Patent Records
Are you teaching about the Industrial Revolution? Thinking about integrating STEM topics? Or looking for a short document analysis activity that could work for even elementary students in a remote/hybrid learning environment? The National Archives recently published 10 new activities on DocsTeach that focus on some of the most famous patent records from their holdings. The National Archives holds millions of patent drawings from the very founding of our nation through the late 20th century.

2020 YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Titles Announced
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced the official titles of the 2020 Teens’ Top Ten. The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, where teens nominate and choose their favorite books of the previous year. Teens aged 12-18 can nominate their favorite titles to be considered as a 2021 Teens’ Top Ten nominee via the public nomination form by Dec. 31.

The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections
The potential of online collections, virtual tours, and social media campaigns have always been there, but now the opportunity for impact is incalculable. This list compiled and continually updated by MCN offers access to endless open content, educational resources for e-learning, and virtual retreats to art, culture, and history around the globe.

Mission US Immerses Young People in U.S. History
Mission US engages young people in the study of transformational moments in American history. Each mission consists of an interactive narrative game and curriculum materials aligned to national standards. The games immerse players in rich, historical settings and empower them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past.

New Toolkit to Help Youth Experiencing Financial Insecurity and Homelessness
The Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers (LSUCTC) committee is devoting the 2020-2021 calendar year to creating a vibrant, dynamic toolkit that provides ALSC members with up-to-date resources for working with marginalized populations.  Each toolkit page will provide professional and leisure reading recommendations, support for programming, and materials for families. October’s LSUCTC Toolkit focuses on youth and families experiencing homelessness and financial insecurity.

 

Veterans History Project Celebrates 20 Years



20th Anniversary of Veterans History Project flyerFrom the Library of Congress

From November 6-14, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project will host a series of musical performances and discussion panels to inspire conversations around the collection as both an archival resource and a diverse repository of veterans’ experiences — a mission it has met for the past 20 years. The events will premiere on the Veterans History Project’s Facebook page.

See the schedule of events.

Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000 to collect, preserve and make accessible the firsthand remembrances of United States war veterans from World War I through the more recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

 

The Logic Model: One Step at a Time



Reposted from Library Research Service

When your organization designs a program, service or experience, it’s helpful to think intentionally. What do you hope happens? How would you know if it did? Identifying outcomes is an important first step in planning and evaluating a program, service or experience. What do you need to do after you’ve identified outcomes? It’s helpful to have a model to guide you through your questions, what you hope will happen, how to best collect data, and how it all connects.

There are different types of guides for this process in the evaluation world. The logic model is the one most frequently used in nonprofits and libraries. The key to this process, no matter the model, is to think carefully about the outcomes you have specified, how those outcomes will be achieved, and how success will be measured.

The logic model outlines each component of a program, service, or experience. This article will discuss each component of the logic model using storytime programming as an example, which is shown below. Keep in mind that terminology and some of the components vary in different versions of the logic model, so what is shared here is not the definitive, one and only way to create a logic model. It’s one example.

Example of Logic Model

Inputs
Inputs are the resources that go into making programs, services, and experiences possible. Almost anything we do in libraries requires staff time, funding or supplies. Staff training or background research could also be inputs.

Activities
Activities include the events, services, or experiences that you hope will achieve the outcome. One of the most important steps of this process is making sure the activities could realistically lead to the outcome. For example, in this logic model the outcome is “Caregivers and children learn early literacy skills.” What activities would make it possible for this outcome to happen? The storytime would need to include instruction on early literacy skills for children and parents to be able to learn them. Logical, right?

Outputs
Outputs are the concrete results of the activities. They are usually things we can count, like the number of attendees at a storytime or circulation statistics.

Outcomes
Outcomes are how the participants are affected by their participation. Does something change for them? Do they know, believe or can they do something differently from before they participated? Many logic models distinguish between short-term, medium-term and long-term outcomes (also called impacts). In our example, a short-term outcome is the one shown in the diagram: caregivers and children learn early literacy skills. A medium-term outcome would be that caregivers and children enjoy reading together more. A long-term outcome or impact would be that children’s literacy skills improve. The outcomes build on each other over time.

Assumptions & External Factors
The programs, experiences, and services libraries provide exist within the complicated context that is our world. Assumptions and external factors are a place to capture some of that context. Assumptions are just that — the underlying ideas and values that come with us wherever we go. How do we think things work? We often share assumptions as a profession and questioning them can be uncomfortable. It is still important to explicitly discuss our assumptions because the project could go very differently than we planned due to a faulty assumption. External factors are those elements of the world that may play a big role in how the program, experience, or service works in real life. You can think of this as the environment where the project lives. In our case, right now the pandemic has an impact on all our projects.

Conclusion
Using a guide like the logic model can help you identify each component of the process and how it leads to the next step. Looking at everything sequentially helps you ensure that each piece works together to achieve your outcomes.

Further reading
Several sources informed this post. Refer you to them for more information:

Upcoming Webinar on Accessible Voting



Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR) is holding an Open Lab virtually on Wednesday, October 14, from 2 – 3 p.m. MDT to help those with disabilities learn about their voting rights. This free, online session will cover:

  • What accessible voting machines are available at your local polling place
  • What kinds of technology you can bring with you when you vote
  • Who can come with you to help you vote

From 3-4 p.m. feel free to stay on after the presentation ask questions of WATR staff about assistive technology WATR has available for short term loan to assist citizens at the voting booth.

Register here. Those who register prior to the session, will receive the link to join and handouts with resources related to accessible voting and voting rights for individuals with disabilities. Captioning will be provided.

Presenters will be Lori Regnier, Senior Program Administrator, and Robert Walters, Staff Attorney from Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc.

Contact WATR staff with any questions at (307) 766-6187 or watr@uwyo.edu.

October is Health Literacy Month



October is Health Literacy Month, a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. Your library is a great source for reliable, authoritative health information — here are some resources to help you spread the word.

  • The Public Library Association has compiled a list of items on how to observe Health Literacy Month, awareness and prevention for patrons, and professional development for library staff.
  • The Network of the National Library of Medicine has a webinar, program kit, ready-to-print promotional materials, social media graphics, and more on its National Health Observances page.
  • WebJunction has helpful information and an archived webinar, Health Literacy Begins at Your Library, with numerous related links and resources.

Do you know of other good Health Literacy Month resources? Please feel free to share in the comments.

News in Brief



Wyoming Game and Fish Department Offering Free Resources for Teachers
As schools come back in session this fall, whether that be in person or remotely, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is reorganizing their Expo at Home webpage to serve as a resource for educators. Expo at Home features a webpage packed with years of online stories, videos and activities from the Department and partner organizations for all ages to expand their knowledge and skills important to Wyoming’s outdoor resources

Living Through a Pandemic: The AHC’s COVID-19 Project
The American Heritage Center’s COVID-19 Collection Project began in April 2020 as an effort to collect stories, photographs, poems, and other creative works that show the impact coronavirus has had on Wyoming. On their blog, they review what has happened in the eight months they’ve been collecting materials.

United for Libraries to Coordinate 15th Annual National Friends of Libraries Week
Friends of the Library groups and libraries across the country will be celebrating the 15th annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 18-24, 2020. National Friends of Libraries Week offers a two-fold opportunity to celebrate Friends – promoting the group in the community, raising awareness and increasing membership, and giving libraries and boards of trustees the opportunity to recognize the Friends for their help and support of the library.

Resources for Teaching Westward Expansion
If you’re teaching about Westward Expansion this fall, the U.S. National Archives has a variety of primary sources and online teaching activities to add to your toolkit. You can find a variety of primary sources related to Westward Expansion before and after the Civil War on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents.

ALA Report on How Libraries Help the Formerly Incarcerated
The American Library Association (ALA) has released a new policy perspective report, Libraries & Reentry: The Importance of Public Spaces, Technologies, and Community to Formerly Incarcerated Patrons. The paper explores the role of libraries in the reentry process, focusing on how library services help reduce the probability of recidivism and ease some of the burdens associated with exiting prison or jail.

Celebrate International Games Week this November
Despite COVID-19, International Games Week (IGW) will take place from November 8-14, 2020.  Libraries of all stripes around the world are encouraged to sign up between now and October 24 to be eligible for a drawing for one of three special GameRT Loot Boxes.  This year will spotlight freely available print-and-play games and listing resources available for libraries to use to set up gaming events online.

Library of Congress Launches New Tool to Search Historical Newspaper Images
The public can now explore more than 1.5 million historical newspaper images online and free of charge. The latest machine learning experience from Library of Congress Labs, Newspaper Navigator allows users to search visual content in American newspapers dating  1789-1963.

Latinx KidLit Book Festival Online in December
The Latinx KidLit Book Festival is a virtual celebration of Latinx KidLit authors, illustrators, and books for all readers and educators. The festival will open its virtual doors from December 4-5, 2020, and present two free days of keynote sessions, Q&A events, and panels with your favorite Latinx authors and illustrators of picture books, middle grade, young adult, graphic novel, and poetry. The sessions are geared towards readers and educators everywhere.

Common Sense Media Offers Young Voters’ Guide to Social Media and News
Millions of young voters are gearing up to vote in November—many for the first time—but feeling overwhelmed by the constant barrage of information on social media. Commonsense Media has launched the Young Voter’s Guide to Social Media and the News: to help give all voters, and especially young voters, the resources and tools necessary to separate fact from fiction and make sense of election news and social media coverage.

Running a Virtual Event



Illustration: Couple meet up virtually by tablet to enjoy online partyReposted from Library Strategies
By Wendy Werdin

Somehow, it is the end of August. Somehow, I am still working in my spare room. I don’t even want to say “under normal circumstances” anymore, so I won’t. Fall is a busy season for The Friends and Library Strategies. At this point, I think it is understood that when I say: “we’re busy gearing up for our annual fundraising gala, Opus & Olives,” that what I mean is “We’re getting ready for another night of watching people present as the Roman-bust screen versions of themselves that we’ve all grown used to in the past six months.”

We’ve learned quite a bit about what it means to put together a virtual event, whether that event is an award ceremony for 900 or an intimate, moderated conversation between three authors that might have previously gathered 25-60 people in a library meeting room.

While we also continue to learn from our fellow nonprofit orgs as they roll out their own fundraising events –  things are changing all the time –  there are some things we’ve learned that I hope can be useful across the board.

DON’T try to replicate your in-person event.
We have found that shorter is better. Trying to contain the event to an hour seems to be a useful guidepost. To encourage this, we have found that some degree of pre-production is useful. That way, if you say five minutes for a speech, you can mean five minutes. Some spontaneity is lost, but the polish gained is worth it.

DO try to replicate the togetherness of your in-person event.
Togetherness can mean a lively (monitored) chat going at the same time, so everyone can react in the moment. We’ve found this to be a pretty incredible tool for audiences to feel as though they are all in the same space. Community can also be created with “value-added” items, like goodie bags given with ticket sales. Also encourage guests to post photos on social media. Your audience should see that they are “connected” with a group of other invested folks, especially in cases where people are rather familiar with each other. “Look at Emily wearing her I HEART the Library tee-shirt with a silly party hat on?! Isn’t it great?”

DO find a host or emcee with broadcast experience.
In another life, I did some voice-over work. Speaking into the void and reacting is bizarre. It is not at all like standing in front of a crowd and reading the room. Hiring someone who is used to broadcasting gets you the power of connection in a different way. Lean into the weirdness when it is appropriate. When we ran our Book Awards event last spring, we decided to just give in to the strangeness and “telethon” like atmosphere from time to time. It helped that our hosts were actors. (Trust me.)

And remember, when these virtual events go well, you have evergreen content that is an illustration of the kind of work your organization can do which should serve as outreach all on its own.

Good luck!