Category Archives: Articles and Information

News in Brief

Nominations Open for School Librarian of the Year 2020
Administered by School Library Journal and sponsored by Scholastic Book Fairs and Scholastic Digital Solutions, the School Librarian of the Year award honors a K–12 library professional for outstanding achievement and the exemplary use of 21st-century tools and services to engage children and teens toward fostering multiple literacies. Nominations close November 18, 2019.

United for Libraries invites Trustees to become Library Census Champions
United for Libraries, the American Library Association (ALA) Public Policy and Advocacy office and the Census Counts campaign has launched Library Census Champions, a new network of state, local and tribal library Trustees helping their libraries and communities prepare for the 2020 Census.

Registration Open for PLA 2020
The Public Library Association will hold its 2020 Conference, February 25–29, in Nashville, Tennessee. The PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of public library professionals from across the country and around the world. This multi-day event offers over 100 top-quality education programs, inspiring speakers, networking events, author lunches, and a bustling exhibits hall featuring the latest in public library products and services. Wyoming library employees and volunteers are eligible to apply for Carol McMurry Library Endowment Grants for Continuing Education to support their attendance.

Supporting Youth Mental Health Through Library Services
Roughly 70 percent of mental health problems have their onset during adolescence (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health). On the YALSA blog, Ryan Moniz offers resources for teen mental health and writes, “When a group of young people walk into your library, take a moment to remind yourself that regardless of what you see on the outside, you have absolutely no idea what that individual is dealing with mentally or emotionally. With that in mind, we should take advantage of the time they spend in the library to build healthy relationships and remind them that the library is a safe and welcoming space for all.”

How to Recruit Volunteers from Start to Finish
Need volunteers? Most libraries wouldn’t turn down a few more sets of helping hands. This blog post from Wild Apricot offers detailed strategies for pre-recruitment planning, starting to recruit, targeting potential volunteers, and post-recruitment steps.

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.

NEA’s Read Across America Rebrands With New Mission
Student populations are ever-changing and evolving and every year there are new children’s books that reflect that diversity. That’s why the National Education Association’s Read Across America is rebranding with a new logo to appeal to students of all ages and backgrounds and a continued mission of “Celebrating a Nation of Diverse Readers.” The annual event has a new focus on books that tell children of color or of different gender identities that they belong in the world and that the world belongs to them.

TechSoup’s Disaster Recovery Guide: Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best
Whether it’s a major storm, a wildfire, an earthquake, or a human-caused calamity, disaster can strike at any time. TechSoup’s free Disaster Planning and Recovery Guide, produced in partnership with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, provides the guidance you need before and after a disaster.

Keep the Light on for #BannedBooksWeek

The Wyoming State Library can help you “Keep the Light On” during Banned Books Week and throughout the year with resources from the WSL’s professional library science collection, available at our location or through interlibrary loan. Visit our catalog and search for “intellectual freedom” or “banned books” for some good titles. If you need assistance finding items in the collection or finding other resources on intellectual freedom, contact the WSL’s Library Development Manager Brian Greene at or (307) 777-6339.

Is your library facing a book challenge? Janice Grover-Roosa, Director of the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library, is the Wyoming Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Advisor. She provides services to association members and all Wyoming libraries on questions of intellectual freedom. Contact her for help at or (307) 382-1701.

The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom has a wealth of resources on their site both to be ready if someone wants a book removed from your shelves and to respond if it happens.

Always remember: the best time to decide how to handle a book challenge is before it ever happens. Take advantage of the resources available to you and be ready to defend intellectual freedom in your library.

National History Day Resources from the National Archives

Reposted from the National Archives

Hundreds of primary sources and teaching activities are available on the new DocsTeach National History Day page devoted to the 2020 NHD theme: Breaking Barriers in History.

DocsTeach is the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. The NHD page is one of several Popular Topics pages.

You can use this special DocsTeach page to help your students prepare for this year’s National History Day contest. Choose teaching activities to get them thinking about breaking barriers. And share primary sources for possible NHD topics.

Primary Sources for Possible “Breaking Barriers” Topics

Teaching Activities

Access online teaching activities related to Breaking Barriers in History:

  • the space program
  • women’s suffrage
  • civil rights
  • integration
  • foreign relations
  • westward expansion

Find these and other topics on the DocsTeach NHD page!

Access even more resources for National History Day from the National Archives at

Images, from top to bottom:

The White House Lit in Rainbow Colors, 6/26/2015; Records of the White House Photo Office; Barack Obama Presidential Library. 

“Open for Business” by Clifford Berryman, 8/15/1914; Records of the U.S. Senate.

Mission Concept Diagram of Project Gemini, ca. 1962; Records of the U.S. Senate.

A West German Chips Off a Piece of the Berlin Wall, 11/14/1989; Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Jesse Owens at the 1936 Olympics, 1936; Records of the U.S. Information Agency.

ALA Launches Campaign Against E-book Embargo

From the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) and Public Library Association (PLA) announced a public campaign in response to recent efforts to limit library access to e-books. In a press conference held at the Nashville Public Library during the 2019 Digital Book World conference, ALA debuted an online petition at for members of the public to urge Macmillan Publishers CEO John Sargent to reverse the proposed embargo on e-books sold to libraries.

Macmillan’s proposed business model would affect the availability of their titles through the cloudLibrary and Overdrive platforms used by Wyoming libraries.

ALA has denounced Macmillan’s embargo and mobilized opposition to it using the social media hashtag #eBooksForAll since the publisher announced the embargo in July. Under Macmillan’s new pricing model, a library may purchase one copy upon release of a new title in e-book format, after which the publisher will impose an eight-week embargo on additional copies of that title sold to the library. The additional copies will then be available for two years of access.

Libraries ‘Keep the Light On’ During Banned Books Week

From the American Library Association

Don’t be left in the dark this Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019). The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) offers several resources and activities for libraries and readers that highlight the Banned Books Week 2019 theme “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark. Keep the Light On.”


The Dear Banned Author letter-writing campaign encourages readers to reach out to banned or challenged authors via letters, emails, and tweets. The program aims to raise awareness of books that are threatened with censorship and ignite discussions about the essential access to a variety of library materials. Authors have also shared fan letters as support when there’s a public challenge to their books.

Libraries are invited to host letter-writing programs. Printable postcards and author mailing addresses can be found on the Dear Banned Author webpage. Eligible tweets to or about banned and challenged authors with the hashtag #DearBannedAuthor will be entered into a drawing to win Banned Books Week materials. Learn more and read the Official Rules before entering.

Readers and libraries can also support the power of words onscreen. The annual Stand for the Banned Read-out invites readers to film themselves reading banned books or talking about censorship. Videos are highlighted on the Banned Books Week YouTube channel.


OIF staff will explore censorship themes with two free webinars designed for libraries and schools to stream as programs during Banned Books Week celebrations. Anyone is welcome to register and attend.

  • Ask Me Anything About Censorship”
    • Streaming: September 24 at 6 p.m. CST
    • OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll will briefly explore banned book and censorship history, along with ways readers can stay alert about censorship. Attendees are invited to ask questions during the second half of the discussion.
  • Banned Books 101
    • Streaming: September 25 at 1 p.m. CST
    • With a suggested audience of students grades 6-12 and young adults, the webinar will review recent challenges to titles, the ways a book can be censored, and stories of students who stood up for the freedom to read. The webinar is led by OIF Interim Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone and Pekoll.

Library workers are invited to join the free webinar “Three Ways Librarians Can Combat Censorship” on Monday, September 23, hosted by SAGE Publishing, Index on Censorship magazine, and OIF. During the webinar, librarians will share their experiences and tips with navigating censorship. The webinar will also highlight how contested books can engage readers in constructive conversations.

Promotional Materials

There are several places to find materials to celebrate Banned Books Week. Digital posters, glow-in-the-dark buttons, bookmarks, stickers, and more are available on the ALA Store. OIF’s Free Downloads webpage offers social media shareables, coloring sheets, and videos. In celebration of Banned Books Week, banned book T-shirts on the ALA Store will be marked down to $7 starting September 20.


The Celebrating Banned Books Week Facebook group offers a space for readers, library workers, educators, and booksellers to share programming, promotion, and display ideas. Members can also highlight how their community is celebrating the freedom to read. Facebook pages and Facebook users are invited to join the group by answering two questions.

Those celebrating Banned Books Week can also submit their program information to be displayed on Banned Books Week Coalition Events Calendar. The calendar allows readers to search for events in their local area.

About Banned Books Week

First celebrated in 1982, Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas. Every year, libraries, bookstores, universities and organizations host engaging programs and create eye-catching displays. The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted with removal or restricted in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship and the benefits of unrestricted reading. Learn more at

Democracy Class Voter Education for Youth

From the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA), a new partner of Democracy Class, encourages school and public libraries to deliver the one-hour program to teenage patrons in advance of National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 24, 2019. A premier partner of National Voter Registration Day, ALA is also urging libraries to observe the nonpartisan, unofficial holiday, which is celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September.

An initiative of the nonpartisan nonprofit Rock the Vote, Democracy Class is a free curriculum that educates high-school-aged students about the importance and history of voting and pre-registers and registers them to vote. The curriculum comes with a webinar about implementing the program, Voting and Voices: Engaging Students and Families in Democracy. The webinar covers state-specific guides for conducting registration drives, strategies to help combat polarization in the classroom, and tips for creating a culture that encourages civil discourse.

Participating libraries and educators will have access to additional lesson plans featuring:

  • the history and importance of voting,
  • modern-day voting rights,
  • the significance of local elections,
  • how voting impacts issues in communities, and
  • the 2020 Census.

Democracy Class is available anytime, free of charge, but organizers encourage using the curriculum during the week of September 16, the week preceding National Voter Registration Day 2019 on Tuesday, September 2019. To support libraries’ efforts to serve voters and promote civic engagement, the American Library Association (ALA) encourages libraries to advantage of opportunities to celebrate the day with free resources provided by Democracy Class and National Voter Registration Day.

News in Brief

United for Libraries Program Submissions for 2020 ALA Annual Conference Due September 10
For the next American Library Association Annual Conference (June 25-30, 2020 in Chicago) United for Libraries would like to provide programs for all member categories: Trustees, Foundations, and Friends. They are currently seeking program proposals for one-hour educational sessions on topics relevant to the library profession. Submissions are open to anyone, regardless of ALA membership status. The deadline for submissions is September 10. See the tip sheet on submitting programs. Questions may be directed to

September is National Service Dog Awareness Month
In the world of libraries, questions about service dogs are increasingly common. The growing popularity and visibility of support and companion animals has led to significant interest about how trained animals can help those living with disabilities. Luckily, the Association of Specialized Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA), a division of ALA, has a newly updated toolkit designed to help you create a more welcoming and accessible library environment for visitors with service dogs.

Save the Date for Big Talk from Small Libraries
The next Big Talk from Small Libraries 2020 will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020. This is a free, online conference focused on small libraries. The call for speakers will be announced soon.

Revised and New Intellectual Freedom Policies and Resources Available from ALA, IFC
In anticipation of a new edition of the Intellectual Freedom Manual, the Intellectual Freedom Committee (IFC) revised several existing interpretations and resources and created new policies, guidelines and resources to address emerging intellectual freedom issues for the profession. These resources were approved at the 2019 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. and are now available online.

Resources for Going Fine-Free
Is your library considering eliminating fines for materials returned late? Find supporting materials for eliminating fines and a ready-made infographic template to make the case from the Colorado State Library.

ALA Releases Findings from National Study of Library Public Programming
The American Library Association (ALA) has released a report outlining the findings of an intensive research study that explored the characteristics, audiences, outcomes and value of U.S. library programming, as well as the competencies required to succeed in the field.  The report, “National Impact of Library Public Programs Assessment: Phase 1: A White Paper on the Dimensions of Library Programs and the Skills and Training for Library Program Professionals,” is the result of a two-year project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Library professionals and others are invited to read and share feedback on the white paper at


Sign Up for National Voter Registration Day

From the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) encourages libraries to sign up to observe National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. This is a nonpartisan, unofficial holiday celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September. Across the country, libraries provide voter registration forms and information about voting, as well as offer computers, which citizens can use to register to vote, update their voter registration, or research information about voting.

Libraries that sign up by Thursday, September 12, will receive a toolkit of free promotional materials such as posters and stickers, and opportunities for training. While the toolkit deadline is September 12, libraries can register their participation in the event until Sept. 24.

The American Library Association (ALA) is a Premier Partner of National Voter Registration Day.

Library Cards Fuel Learning

From the American Library Association

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, when the American Library Association (ALA) joins libraries nationwide in reminding everyone that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic success and lifelong learning.

Across the nation, libraries are hosting events and giveaways to display the benefits of a library card and showcase library services.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month is celebrated each September to coincide with the onset of the school year. Librarians are literacy experts, offering everything from preschool story hours to summer reading clubs that sustain school-year learning.

Libraries are also a resource for people of any age to find what they need to transform their quality of life. Libraries are the centers of their communities, places where people of all ages and backgrounds can find and freely use a diversity of resources, all under the expert guidance of librarians.

Today’s libraries expand beyond their traditional roles, providing more opportunities for community engagement and delivering new services that connect closely with patrons’ needs.

Public programs revolve around issues that are relevant to patrons, such as finding reliable health information, acquiring skills needed to thrive in today’s digital economy, succeeding in school and life and purchasing affordable health insurance.

According to latest figures from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there are more than 171 million registered borrowers across public libraries in the U.S. Annually more than 1.3 billion visitors take advantage of free access to information and library services.

Libraries continue to transform to bring in new technologies to serve their users — including wireless Internet access, e-readers, library apps, 24/7 online reference help, e-books, video streaming and makerspaces.

This September Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” characters Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep and friends are joining the American Library Association on an adventure to promote the value of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chairs.

Additional information regarding Library Card Sign-up Month is available at

PLA Resources for Serving Homeless Patrons

Libraries are open and welcoming to all, including the most vulnerable in our society, leaving library staff sometimes doubling as social workers. The Public Library Association is actively working in this arena to provide resources to help libraries best serve homeless and other marginalized patrons.

In a series of interactive virtual forums, a rotating panel consisting of members of the PLA Social Worker Task Force will answer questions related to social work in public libraries. This is an opportunity to learn from the experts and engage with your peers on social service issues facing public libraries today. Attendees are encouraged to share their experiences and ask questions throughout the session.The next forum is scheduled for Tuesday, September 10, from 1-1:30 p.m. MDT. The event is free but you must register to get the call information. Register here.

There is a PLA Social Work Interest Group on ALA Connect. This is a space to help answer your questions, have important conversations, and provide resources that can help your library provide the best service to patrons. You do not need to be a PLA or American Library Association member to join the interest group. However, you will need a free ALA Connect login.

PLA also maintains a list of resources for serving persons experiencing homelessness.

Finally, the PLA Social Work Task Force is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, September 24. Participants will be charged a fee for this webinar, and registration is not yet open. Visit for registration updates and more information.