Category Archives: Articles and Information

Apply Now for Inclusive Internship Initiative



The Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative (III) offers paid, summer-long internships to high school students at their local public library. Over the course of the summer, each intern works with a library mentor on a community-based learning project. Through III, students from diverse backgrounds are introduced to careers in librarianship, library mentors practice leadership skills, and host libraries grow new audiences through outreach and programming.

Any public library in the US is welcome to apply. Small, rural, tribal, and pueblo libraries are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the 2020 Inclusive Internship Initiative opened January 6, and will close on Monday, February 3, 2020. Libraries will go through a competitive application process to be selected as a host site. Once selected, the library is responsible for recruiting an intern from a background representing the diversity of their local community.

Create Impact Through Smart Storytelling



From the Colorado Virtual Library blog, by Sandy Irwin (Durango Public Library), and Katherine Weadley (Colorado Library Consortium)

It was a dark and stormy night…

Stories from patrons on Wyoming Snapshot Day 2019.

We all love a good story. The tension! The excitement! Good vs. evil, right vs. wrong, dogs and cats living together…. When you hear a good story, you are engaged in its outcome. How many times have you not been able to put down a good book because you want to know what happens?

Working in or supporting libraries is an important part of our lives. We believe in libraries and the work that we accomplish. We need to learn to convey the library story to others who do not share our passion (yet). We can do this effectively through stories. This was the topic of our presentation at the 2019 Colorado Association of Libraries Conference (CALCON), where we reviewed the 13 P’s of Storytelling Power.

These tips are designed to help you share the story of your library — its successes, its failures, why support is needed and more. By incorporating stories into our presentations and reports (and in conversations with strangers at the dentist office!), you reinforce the importance of libraries and the valuable job that we do in and for our communities. If you tell an engaging story, you can influence what people care about and what they are willing to do about an issue.

Infographics are a great way to capture the power of numbers. Contact the Wyoming State Library if you need assistance with library statistics.

Prove it! That’s the unofficial 14th “P” of storytelling that we added. It is essential to have data as a tool to support what it is you want to convey. Numbers also tell stories but in a different way. Some of your audience may be very analytical so it is important to make sure that numbers are always included. Janine Kurnoff, founder of The Presentation Company, told Forbes: “Today’s expectations of data visualization are always about the numbers telling stories.”

Numeracy, which is defined as the ability to understand probabilistic and mathematical concepts, varies dramatically from person to person and is separate from basic intelligence or level of education. Some people are more numerate than others, and it is a skill that is learnable. According to Dr. Ellen Peters of the University of Oregon “Results from the National Adult Literacy Survey indicate that about half of Americans lack the minimal skills necessary to use numbers embedded in common printed materials.” (Beyond Comprehension: The Role of Numeracy in Judgments and Decisions, Current Directions in Psychological Science, January 31 2012)

Therefore, it is important to make data as easy as possible for your audience to understand. First, decide what is you want your data to convey. Then reduce your visual clutter. Just because you can make a fancy chart doesn’t mean you should. The data used can be very simple and can take the form of any kind of visualization including pie charts, scatter plots, word clouds, or maps. Even simple data can be impactful.

Note: If you need assistance with library data in Wyoming, contact Thomas Ivie, Research and Statistics Librarian, here at the State Library at thomas.ivie@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6330.

However, when you tell your story, don’t lose sight of your library’s mission, vision and values. Make sure you can tie your story back to them. As shared in the 13 P’s article, avoid the perils of pandering, patronizing, and being pedantic.  Just be yourself and share what is important to you, why, and the impact you and the library have on people’s lives. If you want them to do something for the library don’t forget a call to action. And share it all through a great story!

For more information:

News in Brief



ALSC Releases Championing Children’s Services Toolkit
The Association for Library Service to Children recently released the Championing Children’s Services Toolkit.  The toolkit encompasses a variety of easy to use advocacy resources to empower children’s staff to engage their communities to build healthy successful futures for children.

Registration Open for 2020 National Library Legislative Day
The American Library Association (ALA) has opened registration for the 45th annual National Library Legislative Day, to be held May 4-5, 2020, in Washington, D.C. The deadline to register is March 31, 2020. Participation in the event is capped at 400 people, with registrations processed on a first-come, first-served basis. National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) is a two-day event bringing together library advocates from across the country. Attendees will experience a full day of advocacy training. The following day, they will meet with their congressional leaders.

Primary Source Teaching Ideas from the Library of Congress
The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog can help you discover and discuss the most effective techniques for using Library of Congress primary sources in the classroom. Teaching strategies, outstanding primary sources, lesson plans, teacher resources, and current thinking on effective classroom practice are all open for discussion. The Library of Congress has millions of primary sources available for free online. Teaching with primary sources is powerful way to help students engage with content, build their critical thinking skills, and construct knowledge.

Resources to Make Sure Kids Count in 2020 Census
We Count Census Book and Toolkit WE COUNT! is an early childhood 2020 Census campaign intended to support families’ participation in the US Census, especially in hard-to-count communities. The centerpiece is a children’s counting book featuring illustrations of diverse American families by different artists, each representing their own cultural heritage. The book introduces civic engagement and explains how Census 2020 data is used, and how families benefit from being counted. A sample of the book is available on the WE COUNT! project website, along with information on planning a community event, and other ways to support family participation in the 2020 Census:

Application Period Open for 2020 ALA Leadership Institute
The application period for the 2020 “Leading to the Future” ALA Leadership Institute (August 2-6, 2020) is now open, with applications accepted through March 9, 2020. ALA Past-President Maureen Sullivan and Library and Leadership Consultant Kathryn Deiss will return to facilitate a four-day immersive leadership development program for mid-career librarians. Now in its eighth year, the Institute has earned a reputation as a transformative program for leadership development in the library community.

ALA Live Webcast to Reveal Next Classics in Children’s and YA Literature
On Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, at 6 a.m. MT, the American Library Association (ALA) will announce its Youth Media Awards. Libraries, schools and book lovers from around the globe can follow the action live by visiting ala.unikron.com, Facebook Live, or following hashtag #alayma20. The ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth.

New Video from the U.S. Copyright Office
The US Copyright Office has a new video in the Learning Engine series called “Copyright on the Internet.” The video offers a list of the steps people should take to obtain permission before using someone else’s work. The video also discusses some of the common mistakes people make when trying to avoid infringement. In addition, viewers also get access to tools they can use to discover who holds a specific copyright.

Roxane Gay to serve as 2020 Preservation Week® Honorary Chair
Bestselling author, educator and cultural critic Roxane Gay is teaming up with the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), to share her years of experience as a writer, storyteller and social commentator during Preservation Week, April 26 – May 2, 2020. This year’s Preservation Week theme is “Preserving Oral History”, and participating libraries will celebrate by offering special programs and services to connect library users with preservation tools, promote the importance of preservation and strive to enhance knowledge of preservation issues among the general public.

Federal FY2020 Budget Includes IMLS Increase



Congress has provided the largest increase for Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding in 12 years. The House- and Senate-approved final FY 2020 spending bills included $252 million for IMLS, a $10 million increase for an agency originally marked for elimination by President Trump. Of the overall increase, $6.2 million was dedicated to the LSTA program. The budget was signed by the President on Friday, December 20.

The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA; Public Law 108-81), administered by IMLS, provides federal funds to the Wyoming State Library to support library services and projects across the state.

New Website Details Wyoming State Budget



Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has announced the launch of Wyoming Sense, a budget transparency website that offers the public an easy way to access information about his recommended state budget.

Site visitors can dive into the allocation of dollars to all state agencies and gain an understanding of the different funding streams that each utilizes. The Governor sees the website as a valuable tool for taxpayers, allowing them to better understand how public funds are used.

Wyoming Sense will provide Wyoming citizens insight and clarity to our budgeting process, which can sometimes be confusing,” Governor Gordon said. “This initiative continues my efforts to increase transparency of our state government. It makes sense for Wyoming’s citizens to know and understand who provides Wyoming’s income, and how taxpayer dollars are being spent.”

Wyoming Sense provides a picture of Governor Gordon’s proposed budget for the 2021-22 biennium, breaking down spending by General, Federal and Other funds. This breakdown is available for each agency budget and is accompanied by a narrative that includes an overview of the agency’s structure as well as the services each provides to Wyoming citizens.

Once the Legislature approves any changes to the Governor’s budget proposal, Wyoming Sense will be updated to reflect those changes. The 2020 Legislative Session is scheduled to run from February 10 to March 12.

Wyoming Sense can be accessed at www.wyomingsense.gov as well as through a link at the top of the Governor’s website, governor.wyo.gov.

IFLA Call for Survey Responses



The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) section on Library Services to People with Special Needs is calling for responses to a survey on library services to refugees, immigrants, migrants, and asylum seekers. Libraries are encouraged to respond, particularly public and school libraries who may have the most contact with the target audience. Next spring IFLA will be conducting in-depth interviews and is hoping to choose some US libraries for these interviews. The libraries chosen for the interviews will be chosen from the survey respondents.

To do this they are launching the Global Survey about library services to refugees, immigrants, migrants and asylum seekers. This survey aims to gather examples of services now being delivered worldwide by libraries to this target audience, how they are developed, staff responses, and what cooperative alliances exist to deliver these services.

The deadline for the survey is December 22, 2019.

After that date, the survey will close.

The survey should only take approximately 10-15 minutes. It is in English, but responders are encouraged to submit answers in any language most comfortable.

News in Brief



ALA Seeks Applicants for National Policy Corps
The American Library Association (ALA) invites library advocates to apply online to join the ALA Policy Corps before December 11. The Corps’ goals include developing policy experts available to the library community, ALA and the Public Policy and Advocacy Office, creating longevity in expertise and engagement in early to mid-career library and information professionals, and positively impacting national public policy in areas key to ALA’s strategic goals. Deadline to apply is December 11.

AASL Publishes Open Educational Resources (OER) Toolkit
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has released a new toolkit to help position school librarians in efforts to create and curate open educational resources (OER) that will extend their role as leaders within their schools. The OER Toolkit is freely available for download at www.ala.org/aasl/toolkits. The toolkit was developed to help school librarians who are grappling with how to translate the OER movement to K–12 educational settings.

Newly Digitized Veterans History Project Collection Showcasing Veteran Artists
Researchers, veterans and their families now have access to “Veterans and the Arts,” an online “Experiencing War” website feature highlighting the stories of veterans who pursued the arts during their post-military lives. This new feature includes nine digitized collections from the Library of Congress Veterans History Project (VHP) archive, each of which holds the first-person narrative of a veteran who used artistic endeavors — such as music, creative writing, sculpture, ceramic arts and even the culinary arts — to assist in the transition to civilian life after serving.

New Report: Public Libraries: A Community’s Connection for Career Services
Local public libraries serve an important role in the national workforce development system. Public libraries offer a range of career services, including résumé and cover letter support, job application assistance, interview preparation, training, and referrals to American Job Centers/other support services. A recent study from the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development chronicles the extent to which public libraries across the United States are providing these career services.

Research Confirms Value of School Librarians
The New York State Library has released a new Informational Brief, Roles of the School Librarian: Empowering Student Learning and Success. This compilation of research studies shows that the school librarian’s contributions are consistently shown to be of positive value to students, teachers, and the wider school community.

Share Your Censorship Story with the Office for Intellectual Freedom
The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) encourages library workers to report censorship incidents and challenges to library or school materials and services that occurred in 2019 using an online form by December 31, 2019. Every submitted report provides crucial information that helps the office raise awareness and respond to censorship threats by creating resources for libraries. OIF is seeking information on challenges and removals of books, online resources, displays and DVDs. It is also seeking information on canceled or challenged programs, and the vandalizing of library materials. All personal and institutional information submitted through the online form is kept confidential.

Love Letters for Computers
Love Letters for Computers is a free, 10-part YouTube series intended for primary school educators, covering the basics of computer science with accompanying classroom materials. The videos cover things like hardware, I/O systems, networks, machine learning, as well as diversity & equity. The website includes 28 classroom worksheets, a teacher journal with prompts to reflect upon learning, and other resources to support professional development.

Free Online Programs on the Presidency Begin January 16
The National Archives and Presidential Libraries, National Park Service, Internet2 community, and cultural and historic organizations nationwide are offering the annual Presidential Primary Sources Project, a series of free, standards-aligned, 45-minute interactive videoconferencing programs aimed at students in grades 4-12. The series will run from January through March 2020. In addition to the interactive video component, each program will also be live-streamed and recorded for on-demand viewing. Free registration is now open.

Library Funding Depends on Census



new analysis released November 18 reveals that more than $1 billion in federal funding for libraries will be allocated to states based on the 2020 Census. Published by Professor Andrew Reamer of the George Washington Institute of Public Policy at George Washington University, the study pinpoints the financial impact the census will have on libraries.

ALA President Wanda Brown said, “This study demonstrates why a complete count in the 2020 Census is so important to libraries. A fair, inclusive and complete count in the 2020 Census means that libraries in each state will receive their fair share of federal funding.”

The population count in the decennial census determines the level of funding allotted to each state through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The legislation’s Grants to States program provides federal funding to state library agencies to support libraries in their state. The program is one of more than 300 federal programs that allocates funding to local communities based on data derives from the Census.

In fiscal year 2019, Congress provided more than $160 million for LSTA Grants to States. Thus, if Congress provides level or increased funding each year over the next decade, the results of the 2020 Census will determine the allocation of more than $1 billion in funding for libraries.

For information on the impact of federal funds in Wyoming libraries, click here.

The American Library Association (ALA) has been preparing libraries for the impact the decennial census will have on local library resources and staff and is encouraging libraries to partner with community organizations to achieve an accurate count. ALA will hold a free webinar, “Library Programs and Partnerships in the 2020 Census,”on December 16, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. MST.

For more information on ALA efforts to support a fair, inclusive and complete count in the 2020 Census, visit www.ala.org/census. Along with ALA’s Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census, the site includes links to webinars and tip sheets on specific topics related to libraries’ role in the census, such as outreach to historically undercounted groups and partnering with state and local Complete Count Committees.

To connect on social media, follow @ALALibrary#CountOnLibraries#2020Census.

Govinfo Tutorials and Handouts



From govinfo

Two of the many useful resources available on the govinfo help pages are tutorials and handouts.

The video tutorials offer guidance in navigating GPO’s govinfo for both novice and advanced users. Learn how to perform various types of searches, narrow search results, browse, and more. Recordings are brief—most under 10 minutes in length. Suggest a tutorial or handout!

Many other useful resources are available in the help section of the site, including a resource list, search tips, using search operators, URL structure, and detailed information on each collection.

ALA Launches Community Engagement Initiative



From the American Library Association

Community engagement — the process of working collaboratively with community members — provides a roadmap to creating sustainable, resilient organizations and communities. Small, rural libraries are nimble, responsive organizations that can work with their communities to create powerful community-led change.

Specially designed for the needs of small and rural libraries, Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, a new learning series from the American Library Association (ALA), will help library workers develop facilitation skills to engage with their communities.

Through Libraries Transforming Communities: Facilitation Skills for Small and Rural Libraries, ALA and its project partners will release a suite of facilitation resources in 2020, including:

  • A five-part asynchronous online course, open to all library workers, free of charge. Sign up to be notified when each course module is available.
  • In-person training at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago with follow-up coaching support; space is limited. Registration and travel stipends will be granted through a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. Apply now.
  • A step-by-step facilitation guide.

The online course, in-person workshop and coaching support are open to library employees who work in small/rural communities — i.e., communities outside of U.S. Census-defined urban areas that have a legal service area population of 25,000 or less, in accordance with the Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS) definitions.

All library types (e.g., public, college/academic, K-12) are welcome, and no facilitation or community engagement experience is required.