Category Archives: National Library News

Honor a Wyoming Library Worker Today

Today, April 10, 2018, is National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

Today’s a great time to take a few minutes to do two things. First, please head over to the NLWD site and nominate a stellar library worker to be added to their list of stars.

Then, get to know more of your library colleagues across Wyoming! The Wyoming State Library blog has a running People News category that touches on the comings, goings, and achievements of those in the Wyoming library community. Take a look for the latest.

We’re always looking for People News. When you have new staff, retirements, awards, or other news of note, please send it to Susan Mark, WSL Publications Specialist, at, or give her a call at (307) 777-5915.

New Report Affirms Invaluable Role of Our Nation’s Libraries

From the American Library Association

Today the American Library Association (ALA) released its 2018 State of America’s Libraries report, an annual summary of library trends released during National Library Week, April 8 – 14, that outlines statistics and issues affecting all types of libraries. The report affirms the invaluable role libraries and library workers play within their communities by leading efforts to transform lives through education and lifelong learning.

During this time of rapid social change, libraries of all types are providing welcoming spaces to an increasingly diverse population; working with the community to offer social service support and health resources, career and small business development assistance; and combating fake news by providing tools to assess and evaluate news sources.

The function of libraries as community centers is readily recognized. A Brookings Institution article even referred to librarians as “ad hoc social workers and navigators” who “help local people figure out the complexities of life.” This role is especially evident, and never more essential, than in times of crisis, and 2017 had its share of adversity—from natural disasters to shootings on school campuses.

The report found that libraries continue to face challenges that carry with them the potential for censorship, to a variety of books, programs and materials. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2017. Some individual challenges resulted in requests to restrict or remove multiple titles or collections. Overall in 2017, 416 books were targeted. See the Top 10.

This is the 60th anniversary of National Library Week. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is observed each April by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country. National Library Week celebrations include the release of the ALA’s 2018 State of America’s Libraries report, April 9; National Library Workers Day, April 10; National Bookmobile Day, April 11; and Take Action for Libraries Day, April 12.

Celebrate National Library Week Beginning April 8

“Libraries Lead” is the theme for National Library Week, which kicks off on Sunday, April 8, and runs through April 14. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries—school, public, academic and special—participate.

This year’s honorary chair is dancer and celebrated author Misty Copeland. In 2015, Misty was promoted to principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Life in Motion and her 2014 picture book, Firebird, won the Coretta Scott King Book Illustrator Award in 2015. Her new book, Ballerina Body, an instant New York Times Bestseller, published in March 2017.

Celebrations during National Library Week include:

  • Monday, April 9: State of America’s Libraries Report released, including Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2017.
  • Tuesday, April 10: National Library Workers Day, a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. Pop on over to the site and nominate a library star!
  • Wednesday, April 11: National Bookmobile Day, a day to recognize the contributions of our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated professionals who make quality bookmobile outreach possible in their communities.
  • Thursday, April 12 is Take Action for Libraries Day: #fundlibraries.

Is your library doing something special for National Library Week? Let us know! Give us a shout-out in the comments or on Twitter (@WyoLibraries) or Facebook. You can also email Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library publications specialist, at to tell her about it.

Study Reveals Voter Perceptions of Libraries

From the Idaho Commission for Libraries

OCLC, the American Library Association (ALA) and its Public Library Association (PLA) division partnered to investigate current perceptions and support among US voters and how they may have shifted since 2008 when OCLC first published From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America, a national study of the awareness, attitudes, and underlying motivations among US voters for supporting library funding.

Explore the updated 2018 study.

The 2018 survey was again conducted by Leo Burnett USA, repeating questions and segmentation analysis from the original study, to allow for comparison with 2008 results. Key findings include:

  • a majority of U.S. voters believe public libraries are essential to communities and a source of civic pride;
  • voters still highly value traditional library services such as free access to books and quiet areas, but also increasingly value the library as a community hub.
  • There continues to be a disconnect between the services libraries offer and public awareness and support for those services;
  • although a majority of voters are likely to support library funding at the local ballot box, fewer are committed to definite support than a decade ago; and
  • a majority of voters still do not realize that the primary source of library funding is local.

A free webinar, hosted by WebJunction, is offered on April 17 to discuss the report:

Voter Perceptions of Libraries: Getting From Awareness to Funding in 2018
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 1-2 p.m. MDT
Hosted by WebJunction, this free webinar presents the results of a new study investigating voter perceptions and support for public libraries, with comparisons to similar research conducted 10 years ago.

Register now.

Celebrate Food and Cooking During Preservation Week

Michael Twitty

Food writer, independent scholar, culinary historian and historical interpreter Michael W. Twitty is Honorary Chair of Preservation Week, April 22 – 28, 2018, a time when librarians and library workers share their expertise about preserving family heirlooms and treasures.

Author of The Cooking Gene (Harper Collins 2017), Twitty is a noted culinary and cultural historian and the creator of Afroculinaria, the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacies. You can follow Twitty online with @KosherSoul on Twitter or through his Facebook page for cooking tips and resources.

Preservation Week is your opportunity to inspire action to preserve collections—in libraries, archives, and museums, of course, but especially the items held and loved by individuals, families, and communities. Preservation Week activities will also raise awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing sound preservation information.

This year’s Preservation Week theme is cooking and community archiving, 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. Institutions around the world will be using the hashtag #preswk to talk about their preservation programs and services.

Preservation Week is an initiative of the Association for Library Collections &Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association.

Take Part in Día With the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has planned an upcoming free distance learning program aimed at K-12 teachers, school librarians, and young adult and children’s librarians to celebrate “El Día de los Niños, El Día de los Libros” on April 30. This online event will take place from 1:00-2:10 p.m. MST. Register now if you would like to be one of a limited number of interactive sites.

April 30 has been traditionally celebrated as “Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros!” to honor “the day of the child, the day of the book.” The Educational Outreach team at the Library of Congress, in partnership with Internet2, invites public librarians, school librarians, and K-12 teachers from around the country to join us via interactive videoconference or live web stream to honor this day and its value in promoting diversity in children’s literature. The conversation will take on the theme of librarians as heroes and how they have inspired and continue to facilitate diversity in books and other media.

There are two ways for your organization to participate:

  1. Register as an interactive videoconferencing site no later than Friday, April 13. This will allow you and your colleagues to talk live with the presenters and as though you were in the same room with them. Only the first ten classrooms and libraries to register and successfully test will be accepted as an interactive site so register soon!
  2. Tune into the live stream and watch the complete program online (URL to  come). No registration is required for this option.

For questions about the program, contact Karen Jaffe at

Design Institute Invites Wyoming Libraries

The next Library Journal Design Institute will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah on April 27, and Wyoming librarians, library board or foundation members, and city or county planners and officials can take advantage of a special rate.

Library Journal is extending their early bird rate of $140 per person to Wyoming libraries for the duration of the registration period. The full rate is $175 per person. Please use promo code “UT20” to unlock the association ticket when registering.

Library Journal’s Design Institute is a one-day think tank that brings librarians together with leading architects, designers, and product vendors for a day of presentations, interactive discussions, and innovative problem-solving on library space, design, and construction. Design Institute draws between 80-100 attendees with the majority being library directors, city librarians, as well as city and facility planners.

John Chrastka

John Chrastka, Founder and Executive Director of EveryLibrary, the first nationwide Political Action Committee for libraries, is the keynote speaker. Chrastka will discuss what you need to do to win at the ballot box and get your project funded. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided pro-bono support to 75 library communities with ballot measures and tax referenda.

Sign up before March 16 to submit real-life design challenges with your registration. Each submission is vetted and reviewed by Library Journal, and then each sponsoring architect selects their top choice of design challenge to take on. The architect and library then work together to create a breakout session to be held onsite at the event. Even if a library’s submission is not selected, Design Institute affords every attendee the opportunity to have face-to-face time with the architects and product vendors to discuss their challenge needs. Whether you’re renovating, retrofitting, or building anew, you’ll find ideas, information, and inspiration no matter your budget.

Learn more and register. Remember to use the promo code “UT20” to unlock the special early bird rate of $140 when registering.

Libraries Transforming Communities Free Learning Series

The American Library Association (ALA), the Public Library Association (PLA) and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) invite public library staff serving small, mid-sized or rural communities to attend a free learning series to learn to lead productive conversations in their communities.

Through Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change, a two-year ALA initiative, library professionals may participate in three online learning sessions and one in-person workshop, all free of charge, between February and June 2018.

Library professionals should attend these sessions to learn to convene critical conversations with people with differing viewpoints; connect more meaningfully with library users and better meet their needs; and translate conversation into action.

Registration is currently open for the following three webinars:

  • Session 2: Libraries Transforming Communities: Future Search
    Wednesday, April 25, 12 p.m. MST
    Participants will learn how they can use the Future Search process to enable large, diverse groups to validate a common mission, take responsibility for action, and develop a concrete action plan.
  • Session 3: Libraries Transforming Communities: Conversation Café
    Wednesday, May 23, 12 p.m. MST
    Participants will learn how Conversation Cafés can help community members learn more about themselves, their community or an issue; essential elements of hosting a Conversation Café; facilitation skills; and techniques for addressing challenges.

Each session will be recorded and archived for free on-demand viewing on ALA’s Programming Librarian website.

Individuals who view all three webinars, live or recorded, will be invited to attend a free pre-conference workshop exploring the Conversation Café approach in-depth at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 22, 2018. Space is limited, and preference will be given to public library professionals serving small, mid-sized, or rural communities.

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.”