Category Archives: National Library News

Federal Shutdown’s Impact on Wyoming Libraries

The big news this week has been the Federal Government shutdown. As with prior shutdowns, there can be some impacts to Wyoming libraries.

Please note that Wyoming State Library federally funded resources and projects are not impacted at this time.

What may be affected is the availability of federal government information. The U.S. Government Publishing Office has issued a statement that access to their websites will be available, but they will not be updated, web inquiries will not be answered, and bookstore orders will not be fulfilled. The Library of Congress also issued a statement that their website will be available, but not updated, and web inquiries will not be answered.

Availability of information from other Federal Government agencies will depend on each agency’s furlough plan. In prior shutdowns, the Wyoming State Library reference staff found that some resources were unavailable.

If you are having difficulty accessing government information during the shutdown, please contact the WSL at or (307) 777-6333.

OIF Seeks Information on 2017 Censorship Incidents

From the American Library Association

The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) is seeking information on censorship challenges that occured between January 1 to December 31, 2017. Librarians are encouraged to complete this brief online reporting form by January 31, 2018.

All online reports are compiled into the office’s database, which has tracked censorship incidents since 1990. The reports alert OIF if a librarian or educator is in need of assistance. The data gathered from the reports is also used to draw attention to the harms of censorship; it’s calculated into the annual list of the Top Ten Challenged Books, as well as infographics, and committee reports.

OIF estimates that 82-97% of challenges remain unreported. This is an obstacle the office is determined to tackle, says OIF Assistant Director Kristin Pekoll, who provides follow-up support to educators during challenge crises.

“Reporting censorship not only allows the office to provide better support for educators,” said Pekoll, “it also ignites worldwide conversations on the benefits of equitable access.”

A “challenge” is a direct request to a library, school or university to remove or restrict material or services due to content or appropriateness. OIF tracks challenges to materials (books, movies, magazines), databases, displays, filtering, meeting rooms, programs and author visits.

Anyone can report censorship incidents; reporters do not have to be ALA members or even librarians. The reporter can mark the challenge confidential or public, since some educators fear losing their jobs or facing repercussions for publicizing challenges. Whether marked confidential or public, OIF will not reveal who contacts the office without the individual’s permission. Learn more about the difference between confidential and public reports in “Why Should You Report Censorship? OIF Answers a Few Questions.”

Registration Open for National Library Legislative Day 2018

Registration is now open for National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) on May 7-8, 2018. NLLD is a two-day educational event that brings hundreds of librarians, trustees, library supporters and patrons to Washington, D.C. Registration fee is $75.

Attendees spend one-day learning effective advocacy tactics and being briefed about pressing federal legislative issues that are impacting libraries. On the second day, they join other attendees from their state to meet with their members of Congress and rally support for library issues and policies. Open to the public, the event also offers attendees the opportunity to attend a reception on Capitol Hill.

(L to R) Ivan Gaetz, Sen. John Barrasso, Janice Gover-Roosa, and Jamie Markus at NLLD 2017.

Back in May, University of Wyoming Dean of Libraries Ivan Gaetz and Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library Director Janice Grover-Roosa, accompanied by Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus, traveled to D.C. for NLLD 2017 and met with our Congressional Delegation. You can read about their experience here.

A limited number of travel grants are available. Want to participate, but can’t make the trip? Sign up for Virtual Library Legislative Day at no cost and advocate for your library from home.

Ideas for Libraries to Participate in National Day of Racial Healing

The second annual National Day of Racial Healing (NDORH) will take place on January 16, 2018, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It’s an opportunity for people, organizations, and communities to call for racial healing, bring people together in their shared humanity and take action together to create a more just and equitable world.

Want to know how your library can get involved? WebJunction has put together a list of specific ideas and resources to encourage community participation in the National Day of Racial Healing.

NDORH is a part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation effort, a national- and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. The day was established in 2017 by more than 550 U.S. leaders who wanted to set aside a day to take action together and:

  1. Find ways to reinforce and honor our common humanity and create space to celebrate the distinct differences that make our communities vibrant.
  2. Acknowledge that there are still deep racial divisions in America that must be overcome and healed.
  3. Commit to engaging people from all racial, ethnic, religious and identity groups in genuine efforts to increase understanding, communication, caring and respect for one another.

2018 Teen Tech Week™ Site Now Live

The Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) 2018 Teen Tech Week website is now live. The celebration will take place March 4-10, 2018 with the theme “Libraries are for Creating.”

The 2018 theme encourages teens to take advantage of all the great digital tools offered through the library to become content creators, and to leverage library resources to share out their creations, whether they be podcasts, videos, apps, games, wearable tech, or some other fabulous invention or creation!

Library staff, afterschool providers and educators interested in learning more about Teen Tech Week and how they can celebrate the event can visit the official Teen Tech Week site and register for free to access helpful resources, materials, and downloadable artwork, including posters and bookmarks. Chinese, English, and Spanish language versions of the themed artwork are available as free downloads.

Promoting Healthy Communities Initiative Launched

From the American Library Association

Access to current and reliable health information is imperative for the well-being of all Americans, and public libraries are frequently a go-to resource as people navigate complex issues of health care, insurance, aging and more.

A new nationwide initiative from the Public Library Association (PLA) and National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) will increase public library workers’ knowledge and skills related to consumer health services.

Throughout the nine-month Promoting Healthy Communities initiative, PLA and NNLM will assess health information needs among public librarians and share free resources and professional development opportunities that will help public library staff better serve their patrons’ consumer health needs. In early 2018, the initiative will unveil a new website for public libraries that gives them easy access to training, tools and resources for consumer health information, health literacy programming and more.

The initiative will increase the capacity of public libraries to provide quality health reference services by holding training programs and webinars, publishing articles and podcasts about successful library programs, and helping dozens of library staff gain the Certified Health Information Specialization credential.

NNLM offers a wealth of resources to public libraries, including “program in a box” kits that libraries can use to engage their communities on specific health copies, such as health outreach, nutrition and food labels, and health insurance; funding opportunities and awards available to public libraries; and microlearning videos to inform library staff about NNLM resources. Wyoming is served by the NNLM’s MidContinental Region office.

The American Library Association (ALA) and NNLM recently unveiled a free Health Literacy Toolkit with customizable tools to raise awareness of how libraries support health literacy in their communities, including key messages, program ideas and downloadable marketing materials.

YALSA Announces Teens’ Top Ten

The Young Adult Library Association (YALSA) has announced its 2017 Teens’ Top Ten list, voted on by teens around the USA. If you are looking for the best YA books of the past year, try your local library for one of these:

1. Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
2. Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
4. Lady Midnight (Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare
5. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
7. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
8. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
9. Genius: The Game (Genius #1) by Leopoldo Gout
10. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

See an annotated lists of the winners and of all nominees on the YALSA website. And remember, if you are looking for that perfect book for your next read, ask the staff at your local library.

Improving Academic Library Impact

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has released Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to ResearchThis report investigates how libraries can increase student learning and success and effectively communicate their value to higher education stakeholders. You can learn more about the report in the video overview above.

Now more than ever, academic libraries are being asked to demonstrate value to their institutional stakeholders, funders, and governance boards. Academic Library Impact builds on ACRL’s 2010 Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and the results of the subsequent Assessment in Action program. It demonstrates how libraries are now measuring library contributions to student learning and success, and recommends where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector such as accreditation, student retention, and academic achievement.

The full report is freely available for download on the ACRL website.

Libraries to Celebrate Teen Read Week

Libraries, schools, and bookstores will celebrate Teen Read Week from October 8-14, 2017, with this year’s theme, “Unleash Your Story!”

Teen Read Week is a time to celebrate reading for fun while encouraging teens to take advantage of reading in all its forms. It is a great opportunity to for teens and their families to learn about all the free services and resources the library offers. The library also offers a safe and supervised space for adolescents to engage in creative, educational activities with caring adults and mentors.

Parents of teens are also encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Week at home with these ideas:

  • Set aside time each day for the family to read
  • Give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift or reward
  • Share your favorite book with your teen
  • Go online with your teen to learn about new books or authors by visiting, or use YALSA’s free Teen Book Finder app
  • Host a book discussion group
  • Build an in-home library (thrift stores and yard sales offer an inexpensive way to do that)
  • Listen to audiobooks on trips
  • Create a cozy reading corner somewhere in your home
  • Use meal time to talk about books that you’re reading
  • Parents and caregivers can be role models by making time to read, too
  • Incorporate reading into teen chores, such as reading a recipe when cooking, reading instructions for how-to projects, reading sales fliers to develop a shopping list, and more

Teen Read Week is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. It is held annually in October, the same week as Columbus Day. For more information, visit

Today is #AskAnArchivist Day

Today, October 4, archivists around the country will take to Twitter to respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. Questions will vary widely, from the silly (What do archivists talk about around the water cooler?) to the practical (What should I do to be sure that my emails won’t get lost?), but each question will be an opportunity for the public to learn more about the work of archivists. Last year generated thousands of questions and answers, some of which have been Storified. Visit SAA’s Storify that summarizes the 2016 #AskAnArchivist Day to get more examples of questions and answers.