Category Archives: Schools

Upcoming Webinar: Virtual Field Trips in Wyoming

Join Nathan Doerr from the Wyoming State Museum and Gretchen Henrich and Megan Smith from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West for an exploration of their virtual field trips that can be scheduled for your classes.

The free webinar will take place this Thursday, December 6 from 10-11 a.m. MST.

Register now.

For a taste of what you’ll learn, check out the video above from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on Skype in the Classroom.

Librarians at Wyoming Innovations Conference

(L to R) Paige Bredenkamp, Wyoming State Library School Library Consultant; Julie Erickson, TIE (Technology and Innovation in Education) South Dakota; Megan Dingman, Campbell County School District 1 Coordinator of Library Professional Development

The 2nd annual Wyoming Innovations in Learning conference happened on November 7-9 in the Evanston Roundhouse facility. School librarians (as well as one public library director) from Wyoming were among the attendees and presenters. Maggie Unterseher, Megan Dingman, and Richard Landreth shared about Breakout EDU in the school library. Maggie and Megan also presented about integrating technology into the school library and shared practical ideas that can be utilized right away.

Some key sessions focused on:

  • Breakout EDU
  • Integrating tech into the school library
  • Google vs databases
  • Password organization
  • Coding
  • Course design
  • Subject matter teaching strategies
  • Digital skills

This was a fantastic conference attended by more than 200 participants that included librarians, K-12 teachers, college instructors, tech directors, and administrators. This annual conference is sponsored by Wyoming Department of Education, WyDECC, WyTEC, e-Volution, and the Wyoming State Library. WSL School Library Consultant serves on the conference committee. The 2019 conference will be held in Gillette, Wyoming. A call for conference session proposals will be sent out early next year.

The team who organized the Innovations conference. The WSL’s Paige Bredenkamp is fourth from the right.

Studying History Through Native American Newspapers

According to the Library of Congress, the first Native American newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, began publishing in 1828. The Phoenix is one of 14 Native American newspapers from the 19th and early 20th centuries that are available in Chronicling America.

Wyoming’s Native American newspapers are not included in the Library of Congress collection, but you can find them online in Wyoming Newspapers. In this digital collection you may find a limited number of issues of:

  • Arapahoe Agency Courier (1888)
  • Indian Progress (1909 and 1910)
  • Indian Paint Brush (1935)
  • Indian Guide (1887 and 1896-1897)

This Teaching with the Library of Congress blog post offers ideas on using Native American newspapers in the classroom. For more Native American Heritage Month resources, explore the heritage month portal.

Rural School Librarians Look to the Future

The Wyoming State Library is pleased to announce that 13 rural school librarians began a three-year professional development cohort program, designed to enhance their skills in the digital world, on October 8-9 with a virtual conference. Rural school librarians from North Dakota and South Dakota are also participating in the cohort. Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) of Rapid City is coordinating the program, free to librarians, thanks in part to an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant.  The state libraries of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming are partnering with TIE on this program, called “Reaching Out.”

The Wyoming “Reaching Out” participants are:

  • Laurie Boyson, Converse County School District #1
  • Ron Chesmore, Fremont County School District #38
  • Megan Dingman, Campbell County School District #1
  • Suzanne Dorn, Washakie County School District #1
  • Christine Hampton, Weston County School District #7
  • Natasha Harris, Fremont County School District #1
  • Connie Hollin, Platte County District #2
  • Sally Hoover, Weston County School District #1
  • Stefanie Hunt, Albany County School District #1
  • Wende Jenness, Big Horn County School District #3
  • Janet Kanode, Crook County School District #1
  • Jennisen Lucas, Park County School District #6
  • Kristie Ralston, Teton County School District #1.

Through face-to-face and virtual learning, selected librarians will gain expertise in utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and will be prepared to serve as instructional leaders in their schools. The event this week provides a focus on teaching Digital Literacy and the new national standards, as well as Digital Citizenship. Project Director, Julie Erickson, explained that these digital skills and standards integrate with content area standards to support teachers and students who live in a digital world.

More information is available from Julie Erickson at

TIE, an extension of public schools, has worked for more than three decades to improve instruction throughout the region.

This project was made possible in part by IMLS, grant RE-7018-0050-18. The IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums, with a mission to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.”

Archived Webinar: School Library Resources at the WSL

September 2018; 13 minutes

Download the slides.

Join Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant at the Wyoming State Library, on an updated tour of the resources that are freely available to all K-12 librarians and staff in Wyoming. This is a chance to see what the Wyoming State Library has available in terms of professional learning communities, tools for program support, free money for you and your library, and more!

Questions about school library issues? Contact Paige at or (307) 777-6331.

PBS Learning Media Storyboards for Classrooms

PBS Learning Media offers storyboards as an instructional tool for educators and students 13 and up. Storyboards are a way to illustrate a concept or topic through a collection of videos, text and images. Just save your storyboard to access a URL to share with your class.

With Storyboards you can create dynamic presentations by incorporating PBS videos, graphics, and text. There are two options for using Storyboards in your classroom:

  • Create a Class Storyboard — Create a media-rich Storyboard to share with your class that introduces a topic.
  • Assign a Student Storyboard — Assign a project for your students to produce and illustrate concepts that they have learned with their own Storyboard.

Learn more and Create a Storyboard with PBS Media.

Library of Congress Launches New Set of Educational Apps

From the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with educational organizations, has launched two new web- and mobile-based applications related to Congress and civics for use in K-12 classrooms.

Students can investigate complex questions through both applications, as well as three apps that launched in 2016. These applications transport students through primary sources to some of the most dramatic turning points in U.S. history and immerse them in the related debates. Each project takes a different approach to the subjects, but at the core of each are the rich historical primary sources that the Library makes freely available at

The two new civics interactives are:

  • DBQuest, developed by iCivics. DBQuest teaches history and civics through the use of primary source documents and evidence-based learning. It offers a platform, accessible on mobile devices, that reinforces evidence-based reasoning and document-based questioning by teaching students to identify and evaluate evidence, contextualize information and write sound supporting arguments.
  • Case Maker, developed by Bean Creative. Case Maker is a customizable system for inquiry-based learning for K-12 students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Modeled after the “observe, reflect, question” framework, developed under the Teaching with Primary Sources program, Case Maker guides students to challenge a question, collect evidence and make a case.

For more than a decade, the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program has provided extensive professional development opportunities for educators and enabled the development and dissemination of teaching materials focused on using the Library’s digitized primary sources. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world –  both on-site and online.

School Libraries: A Student Right

By Doug Johnson
Reposted from the Blue Skunk Blog

Here’s a little riff on ALA President Barbara Stripling’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries

Declaration for Student Rights to School Libraries

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” An educated citizenry is the product of effective schooling that is available to every child. School libraries are essential to an effective school. Therefore if all students have the right to a high quality education, all students have the right to access to well-staffed, well-stocked, and up-to-date physical and virtual school libraries.

School libraries honor the individual learner.

By providing access to materials on a wide range of topics, with a wide range of reading levels, and in a wide range of media formats, libraries allow the personalization of education, meeting the needs of every learner.

School libraries enable 24/7 learning.

By providing access to a curated collection of online materials, as well as Internet access in as unrestricted an environment as possible, libraries make it possible for learning to continue outside the classroom and school and into the home.

School libraries encourage the love of reading and learning.

By providing novels, non-fiction, magazines, games, videos, and other materials of high interest for practice reading and recreational use, libraries help students recognize that reading and learning can be a joyful experience, making the exploration of topics of personal interest a voluntary, lifelong enterprise.

School libraries teach valuable whole-life skills.

By providing access to professional information experts (librarians) who teach information seeking, evaluation, and communication skills, libraries develop students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity abilities necessary for vocational, academic, and personal success.

School libraries are spaces where all learners are welcome.

By providing a physical environment in which students feels welcome, comfortable, and safe, libraries insure that every student has a place where he or she is valued.

School libraries give all students a voice.

By providing access to the tools needed to create, communicate, and share original information through a range of media, students learn to participate in online conversations with both peers and with the world.

School libraries close the digital divide.

By providing access to technology beyond the school day, libraries give students whose families cannot afford home computers or Internet connectivity access to educational technology before and after school and at home.

School libraries encourage collaboration, teamwork, and face-to-face interaction in the school.

By providing a physical space for social learning, students learn and practice how to work in groups effectively.

School libraries protect student and staff intellectual freedom.

By providing Internet access that is as free from filtering as allowed by law, libraries insure that students and staff information flow is not censored, allowing access to a diverse ideas and opinions.

School libraries honor the education of the whole child.

By supporting an educational philosophy that values higher order thinking skills, creativity, authentic assessments, attention to personal dispositions, and individualization, libraries look beyond the low-level skills measured by standardized test scores and work to create graduates who capable of full engagement with society and the world.

AASL, I happily ceed the right to this concept to you.

Check out the very nice graphic of this done by LibraryGirl, Jennifer LaGuarde!

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.