Category Archives: Articles and Information

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 kindnesswyoming@gmail.com or (307) 349-6710, or visit their website at www.kindnesswyoming.org.

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!

Vocabulary
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 chris.vanburgh@wyo.gov 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.

Holiday Facts From the U.S. Census Bureau

See more from the U.S. Census Bureau

This festive season, or simply the holidays, is a time for gathering and celebrating with family and friends, gift-giving, reflection and thanks. To commemorate this time of year, the U.S. Census Bureau presents the following holiday-related facts and figures from its collection of statistics.

Shop ‘Til You Drop

$22.7 billion: The estimated retail sales by the nation’s department stores (including leased departments) in December 2016. A decrease of $1.0 billion in retail sales from December of the previous year. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

19.7%: The estimated percentage for total sales in December 2016 for jewelry stores. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

18.9%: The December sales accounted for hobby, toy and game stores in 2016. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

$61.4 Billion: The estimated value of retail sales by electronic shopping and mail-order houses in December 2016 — an increase of 9.8 percent from the previous year and the highest estimated total for any month last year. (Monthly Retail Trade Survey)

Where Toys Are Made

572: The number of locations nationwide that primarily produced dolls, toys and games in 2015, an increase of 12 locations from 2014 (560); they employed 6,394 workers in the pay period including March 12, an increase of 179 employees from 2014 (6,215). California led the nation with 90 establishments. (2015 County Business Patterns)

Holiday Names

Some names of places associated with the holiday season consist of a dozen places named Holly, including Mount Holly, N.C. (population 14,495), and Holly Springs, Miss. (7,682). There is Snowflake, Ariz. (5,764); Santa Claus, Ind. (2,463); North Pole, Alaska (2,232); Noel, Mo. (1,816); and — if you know about reindeer — Dasher, Ga. (979), and Rudolph, Wis. (430). There is also Unity, Ore. (68). (Vintage 2016 Population Estimates)

ALSC Guide to Serving Diverse Communities

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has compiled a list of resources, “Serving Diverse Communities,” to help librarians support children and families of diverse backgrounds. This document includes book and media lists, resources for media literacy, resources for vulnerable communities, statements and position papers, online courses and webinars, organizing guides, and more.

ALSC’s Core Values include Responsiveness, Inclusiveness, Integrity, and Respect. When many are feeling vulnerable, disenfranchised, or wary of what the future holds, librarians and ALSC members stand resolute in their commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion. This list, in no way exhaustive, provides some places to start. It is a living document, currently authored by ALSC committee members and curated by the ALSC Public Awareness Committee. In addition to the resources in the PDF, more may be found in this public Google document.

Pre-K Home Learning Environment Impacts Later Academic Performance

Reposted with permission from Library Research Service

A study recently published in Applied Developmental Science measured the connection between children’s home environments before kindergarten and children’s academic skills during their 5th grade year. The study found that “early home learning environments related to children’s academic skills up to 10 years later across all subgroups studied–White, Black, Hispanic, English-speaking, Hispanic Spanish-speaking” (13).

Children’s early learning environments predicted their academic skills the summer before they began kindergarten, and their academic skills at that time predicted their academic skills in 5th grade (12). The researchers concluded that “experiences parents provide their infants as early as the first year of life may solidify into patterns of engagement that will either continue to support or impede children’s emerging skills over time” (12).

The study included 2,204 mothers and their children from low-income and ethnically diverse backgrounds. Children’s home environments and their academic skills were assessed the summer before they began kindergarten and again during 5th grade. Home learning environments were measured based on “children’s participation in learning activities, the quality of mothers’ engagement with children, and the availability of learning materials in the home across children’s first five years of life” (3).

Children’s academic skills were measured using assessments of their vocabulary, literacy skills, math skills, and cognitive ability. In their analysis, the researchers controlled for other characteristics of families, like the mother’s education background, gender and firstborn status of the child in the study, race/ethnicity of the family, mother’s employment status, and if there was father figure living in the home.

Libraries are well-positioned to work with families in those critical years before their child enters kindergarten.  Libraries can support positive early home learning environments by sharing ideas for learning activities, modeling and supporting positive caregiver-child interactions, and providing free learning materials.

For more information, the full article can be found here.

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