Each April during School Library Month, our nation celebrates the essential role of strong school libraries in transforming learning.
For this year’s celebration, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), sponsor of School Library Month, is encouraging school libraries to raise awareness of their unique contribution to both teaching and learning.
Wyoming has more than 300 school libraries in public K-12 schools, serving more than 90,000 students. Every day, the librarians and paraprofessionals in these libraries support literacy and learning across the curriculum.
The April 2021 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 88 live webinars, five online conferences and five recordings to watch “At Your Leisure.” Every training opportunity on this list is free and offered online. Topics include advocacy, planning, careers, children and teens, collection development, communication, databases, managing change, fundraising, legal, management, outreach and partnerships, programming, readers’ advisory, reference, school libraries, technology, training and instruction, and volunteers.
Libraries may have questions about what the broadband provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) will mean for libraries. We came across the summary below that details some of the funding.
Wyoming should see some of this funding, and the State Library will keep the library community informed as things develop.
On e-Rate, our WSL Library Development Office is developing a list of consultants. The normal e-Rate application closes on March 25, but we anticipate that the ARPA funding will likely be offered outside of the traditional window, although no official announcement has been made yet.
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law on March 11, 2021. Included in the $1.9 trillion package is significant funding that can be used to support expansion of broadband infrastructure. Here are some of the key broadband-related funding provisions:
Economic Development Administration (Department of Commerce): $3 billion in additional funding to the Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (PWEAA) program through September 2022
Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund (Department of the Treasury): $10 billion for “capital projects directly enabling work, education, and health monitoring, including remote options, in response to the public health emergency”; in addition to capital projects, eligible efforts include ancillary services (such as broadband mapping) to increase efficiencies of capital projects, and cost support efforts (such as subsidies)
Emergency Connectivity Fund (FCC): $7.2 billion for E-Rate support to reimburse schools and libraries for provision of eligible equipment and advanced telecommunications and information services during the pandemic, including for locations other than schools and libraries
Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund: $219.8 billion for investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund: $130.2 billion for rural community development block grants (CDBG) ($45.6 billion), rural areas ($19.5 billion), and counties ($65.1 billion, population-based), including for investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure
Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund: $500 million ($250 million per year for 2022 and 2023) for Tribal use only “for any governmental purpose other than a lobbying activity”
As part of the Wyoming Library Association EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Committee’s ongoing efforts, they’ll highlight interesting programs, webinars, workshops, and more that support WLA’s EDI Statement.
The hope is to share ideas of how to incorporate EDI into programs, see what other libraries are doing regarding EDI in libraries, and learn from each other.
Teton County Library will offer two Zoom programs as part of their “Teton County at 100 years: 1921-2021” Centennial series:
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will present “Indigenous Knowledge and the Land” on February 26 at 6:00 p.m.,
Todd Wilkinson will present “Wildness From The Heart of the American Serengeti: How Are We Gonna Save This Place?” on March 4 at 6:00 p.m.
The Wyoming State Library training calendar is compiled monthly by Thomas Ivie and Paige Bredenkamp. The calendar regularly includes free events in the EDI category.
If you have any upcoming programs that incorporate EDI ideas and principles, contact Conrrado Saldivar at CSaldivar@natronacountylibrary.org so he can add it to these occasional highlights. In this era of virtual programming, he would love to include any events happening in Wyoming.
Teen services librarians — are you tired of feeling like you just can’t quite “reach” your teens? Would you like to meet with other teen librarians across the state to discuss ways to engage teens in library programs and services? Does forming a professional network of other teen services librarians sound like an opportunity you would enjoy?
Join Paige Bredenkamp from the Wyoming State Library and Darcy Acord from Campbell County Public Library for a four-week online course for youth service librarians. “Transforming Teen Services through Connected Learning Opportunities” (T3) is an initiative from the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA). This initiative is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The course will be free, and will require a minimum investment of time: coursework will take approximately one hour per week, and the group will meet online for an additional weekly hour-long discussion. At the end of the course, you will:
Understand connected learning theory and why it is important for public library staff serving teens
Formulate ideas for implementing connected learning opportunities into the teen programming at your own libraries, with an awareness of the unique circumstances of Wyoming libraries
Form a community of practice with other teen services library staff in Wyoming
The course begins Friday, February 26, and enrollment is limited to 10 participants. Questions may be directed to Paige Bredenkamp, firstname.lastname@example.org or Darcy Acord, email@example.com. Those interested in participating should discuss this opportunity with supervisors, and then contact either Darcy or Paige to enroll.
We’ve gathered together resources for Black History Month. This research guide includes GoWYLD.net databases, primary sources and classroom materials.
Research databases include Black Freedom Struggle, a resource featuring select primary source documents related to critical people and events in African American history; Black Studies Center, a resource that brings together essential historical and current material for researching the past, present, and future of African-Americans; and U.S. History (Gale in Context) featuring a topic header, African American Perspectives.
Classroom materials in the guide are from a variety of sources. The Digital Public Library of America includes topics such as, Exodusters: African American Migration to the Great Plains and WyoHistory.org has a lesson plan around the topic of The Black 14. The U.S. National Archives has put together primary sources and educational activities for teaching about African American history.
Today is World Read Aloud Day. For a different slant on this celebration… have someone read to you! For kids, try Bookflix, with stories read in English and in Spanish. Poets On Screen, a resource for adults, lets you hear poetry read out loud.
Both are free to Wyoming residents — accessible with a library card from any Wyoming public or community college library, or from the Wyoming State Library.
Bookflix includes fictional video storybooks read by authors and celebrities. Enjoy a story read by Claire Danes, Kathy Bates, John Lithgow, or Merle Streep or read by the authors, Mem Fox, Jane Yellen, Karma Wilson.
There are nine categories, such as Family and Community, Imagination, Earth and Sky, and Celebrations. In each category there are pairs of video storybooks and related nonfiction ebooks, along with additional early reader material such as, “which came first,” “fact or fiction,” and “word match.” There are 37 titles in Spanish, including Chato’s Kitchen, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! and Click Clack Moo.
Listen to these wonderful stories by going to GoWYLD.net and selecting the Kids K-8 subject area. Note that there are two links, one for in the library and one for using from home. If you are not in the library, you will be asked for your library card number and pin.
You can also listen to poets reading famous works by long ago poets. For example, Patience Agbabi reading William Blake, Tennyson, Phyllis Wheatley, or Shakespeare, and Christopher Logue reading the works of Pablo Naruda.
Find Poets On Screen and more poetry resources by going to GoWYLD.net selecting the Literature subject area, then clicking on the Poetry tab on the left.
Contact Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian, at firstname.lastname@example.org or check with your local library.
John Jorgensen, of Casper, founder of the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and Wyoming Reads program, is the recipient of the 2020 Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award by the University of Wyoming Literacy Research Center and Clinic’s (LRCC) Outreach Advisory Board.
Jorgensen has demonstrated a passion for promoting literacy not only in Natrona County, but also across Wyoming and outside the state. He first established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation in 1996, in honor of his late wife, to commemorate her commitment to literacy and books.
His work expanded statewide in 2006 with Wyoming Reads. Each year, the program gives the state’s first graders the opportunity to choose one of six hardcover books free to take home. Nearly 7,500 Wyoming first graders received a book in 2019, and the program has grown to include other states, including Oregon and Minnesota.
LRCC Outreach Advisory Board Co-Chair Judy Catchpole and Sen. Jeff Wasserburger will present the award to Jorgensen May 18. Jorgensen will receive a plaque and $4,000 to continue his efforts to improve literacy across the state. He was nominated for the award by the executive director of the Natrona County Library, Lisa Scroggins.
“The Wyoming Reads program ensures that every student in Wyoming has access to books that can be read to them or that they can read themselves,” says LRCC Executive Director Dana Robertson. “This exposure is fundamental to students having a hopeful and positive spiral of experiences with literacy that leads them to more reading, greater academic achievement and personal fulfillment in their lives.”
Runner-up for the award was Friends of Washakie County Library, which will receive a certificate and $3,000 to support the construction of a new library in the county. The award will be presented to the Friends of Washakie County Library Board later this spring. Board secretary Laura McDonald nominated the group.
Friends of Washakie County Library has supported literacy by sponsoring the annual Read Across America celebration in its libraries, by providing free reading materials at locations, such as community centers and Little Free Libraries installed in local parks, and also by providing nearly $20,000 the last decade to support literacy projects and scholarships in small communities.
The Carol Mead Leaders in Literacy Award is a way to recognize and honor Wyoming citizens, organizations, businesses or communities that have made substantial contributions that enhance the literacy development among the Wyoming community. Formerly known as the First Lady’s Leaders in Literacy Award, the honor was established in 2016 by the LRCC Outreach Advisory Board to recognize the work of Wyoming’s former first lady, Carol Mead, to promote literacy education throughout the state. The award, in 2019, was renamed to honor the legacy of the former first lady and her impact on the literacy and education of students in Wyoming.
Wyoming librarians are invited to join a virtual training on the Leap into Science curriculum, brought to you by the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, the Wyoming State Library and the Wyoming Alliance for Environmental Education.
Leap into Science is a nationwide program developed by The Franklin Institute Science Museum that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books, designed for children ages 3-10 and their families. The program empowers educators to offer workshops in community settings like libraries, museums, out-of-school time programs, and early childhood programs to engage underserved audiences in accessible and familiar settings.
The topic for these trainings is Light & Shadow.
Monday, February 1 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. (focus on afterschool educators)
Tuesday, February 9 from 3:30-5:30 p.m (focus on early childhood educators)
Although the sessions will focus on the different program needs of the specific audiences, librarians may attend either one that fits their schedules. Download and share the flyer with colleagues!
Leap into Science member organizations make a commitment to:
Schedule and lead at least three (3) Leap into Science workshops (learning sessions) for children and families living in underserved rural or urban communities by Fall 2021
Post each workshop to The Connectory, a searchable directory for STEM programs across the country
Lead Leap into Science activities during National Leap into Science Week, June 7-13, 2021
Complete a workshop report following each workshop
Participate in quarterly calls with other trained educators in your state
You will receive
Each organization who participates in Leap into Science will receive:
A free virtual training on high-quality science and literacy curriculum and facilitation strategies for two or more educators
Ongoing support during program implementation as part of a Leap into Science National Network
Access to the national Leap into Science leadership team and online resources
A curriculum and materials kit (valued at $300)
Web-based training on new curriculum themes in subsequent years