Category Archives: Schools

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.

New AASL Standards Crosswalks Available

The new AASL standards crosswalks between Future Ready Framework and ISTE have been released. These downloadable documents help educators align different sets of standards that are being used in their districts.

Learn more and download the crosswalks.

Other possible standards sets are being reviewed by AASL for crosswalks and will be posted as they are completed.

‘Reaching Out’ Application Period to Close Early

There has been an overwhelming response to the “Reaching Out” professional development opportunity for school librarians. However, it’s been brought to our attention that the time it takes to get school district approval for travel can be weeks. This would severely impact the ability of selected applicants to attend the initial meeting in Gillette on October 8-9.

With this in mind, the application window will close on September 14 instead of October 1. Please submit your application by next Friday to be considered for selection.

Get Your Ticket to Wyoming Innovations in Learning

The 2nd Annual Wyoming Innovations in Learning conference will be held November 7-9, 2018, at the Roundhouse Facilities in Evanston, Wyoming and you can sign up now to attend. Registration is $40 until October 14.

The Innovations conference is an opportunity for educators to share and explore innovative teaching and learning practices for classrooms and distance learning environments, from kindergarten through higher education. The complete agenda for the Innovations conference is now available here.

If you have something new and exciting that you are doing, you can showcase that innovation. The Innovations Showcase is an informal get-together to share innovative practices and technologies with educators across the state of Wyoming. Submit your showcase proposal here.

For more for information contact Robin Grandpre at (307) 777-5315 or

Paige Bredenkamp, Wyoming State Library School Library Consultant, has been part of the planning for this conference. School librarians may also wish to contact Paige at or (307) 777-6331 if they have questions.

Upcoming Webinar: School Library Resources at the WSL

Paige Bredenkamp

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!

The free webinar will take place this Friday, September 7, at 10 a.m. MDT.

Register now.

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


Complimentary Earth Science Week Toolkits Now Available

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) is once again offering complimentary toolkits to junior high science classrooms across Wyoming in celebration of Earth Science Week October 14–20.

The 50 toolkits are provided by the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and are available to school teachers on a first come, first serve basis. The 2018 Earth Science Week theme is “Earth as Inspiration,” which AGI says emphasizes artistic expressions as a unique, powerful opportunity for geoscience education and understanding in the 21st century.

AGI has organized Earth Science Week every year in October since 1998, and in 2012, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead proclaimed the second week in October as Wyoming Earth Science Week. The WSGS facilitates the celebration in Wyoming by offering several resources to science teachers to be used in the classroom.

“Most kids have a natural interest and enthusiasm for earth science topics,” says WSGS Director, Dr. Erin Campbell. “These Earth Science Week toolkits are a great resource for teachers to keep that interest alive.”

Each toolkit contains material to help prepare for Earth Science Week and teach earth sciences throughout the year.

Toolkits include:

  • 12-month school-year activity calendar, suitable for hanging
  • New Earth Science Week poster, including a learning activity
  • NASA materials on school resources and planetary exploration
  • National Park Service posters on caves, plants, and geology
  • Geologic Map Day poster dealing with artistic inspiration
  • Mineral Education Coalition “Quarry to Crop” postcard
  • IRIS material on seismology and earthquakes
  • AmericaView poster on exploring America through LandSat
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute poster on global change
  • UNAVCO materials on Geodesy and websites to explore
  • Fact sheet from Critical Zones Observatories
  • Switch Energy Project information on energy science
  • Bureau of Land Management dinosaur coloring page
  • Material on Constructing the Rock Cycle from Geological Society of America
  • Water Footprint Calculator information on water science
  • EarthScope material on what it means to be an earth scientist
  • CLEAN, AMS, TERC, and GPS information and more

To request a toolkit, contact Christina George at or (307) 766-2286 ext. 231.

Apply Now for ‘Reaching Out’ School Librarian Cohort

Update: the application window will close on September 14 instead of October 1. Please submit your application by September 14 to be considered for selection.

You may have seen the recent announcement on Reaching Out, a free professional development program. Wyoming school librarians are now invited to apply for this three-year cohort program, designed to enhance skills in the digital world.

Detailed program information and application.
Deadline to apply is October 1 September 14, 2018.

Thirteen school librarians from Wyoming, as well as 13 each from North Dakota and South Dakota, will participate in the cohort. Through face-to-face and virtual learning, participants will gain expertise in utilizing Open Educational Resources (OER) and be prepared to serve as digital leaders in the school environment, benefiting students, parents, and faculty. Skills gained will also support development of student learning objectives and teacher professional growth plans.

The professional development provided by Reaching Out is free; travel stipends and hotel costs are covered for the face-to-face trainings, and travel stipends and conference registration are covered for the TIE conferences. In addition, participants will receive 4 graduate credits per year for completing the professional development.

The program begins in October 2018 and participants must commit to the entire cohort, through June, 2021. More information is available from Julie Erickson at

TIE, in collaboration with the Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota State Libraries, is coordinating the program, free to librarians, thanks in part to an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant RE-7018-0050-18. 

Grant Brings Technology Training To Rural School Librarians

The Wyoming State Library (WSL) and two other state libraries have partnered with Technology and Innovation in Education (TIE) of Rapid City, South Dakota, to bring continuing education and training to school librarians in rural areas. School librarians in Wyoming, South Dakota, and North Dakota are eligible to apply for a three-year professional development cohort program, designed to enhance their skills in the digital world. TIE, an extension of public schools, has worked for more than three decades to improve instruction throughout the region.

“The school librarian is the key to making the library a hub for learning across the entire curriculum,” said Jamie Markus, Wyoming State Librarian. “Developing their skills and knowledge through this program will better help them promote student achievement.”

This program, coordinated TIE, is free to librarians, thanks in part to a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Thirteen school librarians from each of the three states will participate in the cohort. 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.

“TIE has a long history of supporting classroom educators to leverage technology for learning,” said TIE director Dr. Julie Mathiesen. “We recognize this growing need among rural school librarians as they also have a need to transition to a more digital-based learning hub.”

The program begins this fall and librarians must commit to the entire cohort, through June, 2021.  Any school librarian may apply but the project’s target group is librarians working in tribal reservation schools or within 50 miles of reservations, Hutterite colony schools, rural districts with K-12 enrollments under 500, and schools identified as Priority or Focus schools.

More information is available from Paige Bredenkamp, WSL School Library Consultant, at or (307) 777-6331, or from Julie Erickson at TIE in South Dakota,

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.

This project was made possible in part by IMLS, grant RE-7018-0050-18.

Information Power: Aligning the Standards


From Information Power, we have the “Aligning the Standards” presentation to share. This session was presented by Janet Boss, Stefanie Hunt, and Julia Tyser from Albany County School District 1. Be sure to check out the many links to additional resources within the slides.

Register Now for Fall Literacy Conference at UW

Sign up now to attend the Fall Literacy Conference on September 21-22 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. This year’s focus is “Multimodal Literacies in P-16 Classrooms.”

Each Fall, UW’s Literacy Research Center and Clinic hosts this conference to expose teachers from Wyoming and beyond to the latest research and best practices in literacy education. The conference features keynote presentations from top researchers in literacy education, a variety of breakout sessions, as well as several Featured Children’s Authors’ workshops. View the Conference Program & Schedule.

Registration is required and attendance is capped at 180 persons. Attendees must pay a non-refundable $35 fee and register by September 14, 2018.

Learn more and register.