Category Archives: WLA

Experiencing the Wyoming Library Association Mentoring Program



Portrait of David Brown
David Brown

By David Brown, Wyoming Outreach and Engagement Specialist for NNLM Region 4, University of Wyoming Libraries
Reposted from the Network of the National Library of Medicine

From October 2020 to July 2021, I had the opportunity to participate in the Wyoming Library Association Mentorship Program as a protégé. The purpose of this program is to assist all library staff to succeed in their library careers.  In this program the mentors provide protégés with a personal relationship that allows for acculturating, encouraging new talent, sharing expertise and connections, and promoting professional growth. During the times of COVID this was all done virtually.  

I saw this as an opportunity to further network and engage with libraries and librarians in the State of Wyoming. This opportunity would provide me more information about the state and its library community. One reason I was interested in this program is that I had recently moved to the state to take a position within the Midcontinental Region of the Network of the National Library of Medicine.   

To become a member of the mentorship program you must fill out an application that asks questions about why you want to be a part of the program and to establish some personal goals while involved in the program. This application applies both to mentors and protégées.  I completed the application and waited several weeks to be matched with a mentor.   

I was fortunate that for a mentor I received the Wyoming State Librarian, Jamie Markus. Jamie and I had monthly meetings throughout the program year. During these meetings, Jamie and I talked about the library structures and the policies that govern the library systems within the state. We also talked about the state library and its functions within the state. I also talked with Jamie about the upcoming changes to the Network of the National Library of Medicine as we were in the process of transitioning from the MidContinetal Region to Region 4.

During this program, I learned about the structure of Wyoming’s library systems and the appropriations procedures in the state when it comes to library funding. We completed the CliftonStrengths assessment. CliftonStrengths is a personality assessment that examines your responses to questions to find what areas are considered strengths for you.  Each of these activities was rewarding and provided me with a better understanding about Wyoming’s library community as well as opportunities to engage with Wyoming library professionals in a safe and virtual way during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Overall, I found this mentorship program a rewarding and engaging experience. I hope new professionals and existing professionals new to a region or state would consider joining a mentorship program.  I would also recommend established professionals to sign up as a mentor to help further develop the skills of librarians and help them navigate the profession they are choosing. The time and effort are worth it to further develop your skills in librarianship.  


Learn more about about the Wyoming Library Association Mentorship Program and about CliftonStrengths.

David Brown is the Public Health Engagement Specialist and Outreach Specialist for the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming for the Network of the National Library of Medicine Region 4

He holds a Doctor of Education with a specialization in health education from Teachers College Columbia University. He also holds a Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University. Additionally, he has two Masters of Arts Degrees from Columbia University one in computers and education and another in health education. He is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist.

David has been involved in training public health professionals for the last 15 years, teaching and supervising research in health education and public health at a number of universities in both the United States and abroad.  He has served on the board of directors for the Society for Public Health Education.  He currently serves on the Divisional Board for the Certification of Health Education Specialists with The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Inc. He has also served on several editorial boards related to health education and promotion.

Registration Open for the WLA Virtual Conference



Conference poster

The Wyoming Library Association 2021 Annual Conference is coming up on October 7-8. This year’s conference will be held online and will feature new member-centered and member-created programs to participate in, the chance to interact with vendors, and two keynote speakers.

The theme is RESILIENCE: The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience, ingenuity, and resources of Wyoming libraries. Attend the 2021 conference to learn from your colleagues and share your experiences as we look to the future.

Register now. Registration deadline is October 4, 2021. Contact WLA@amigos.org with any questions.

Congrats Wyoming Library Leadership Institute Class of 2021



After two years of planning, Wyoming Library Leadership Institute 2021 gathered June 23-25 in beautiful Pinedale, Wyoming. The first day saw participants learning about the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute, the benefits of belonging to a professional organization, and the many benefits of journaling. That evening we celebrated a spectacular Happy Hour hosted at the Sublette County Library to which past WLLI grads were invited. On Thursday, Elissa Ruckle from Elevate Wyoming determined participants’ personality colors and dove deep into communication tips, lizard brain reactions, leadership styles, and generational traits. Friday morning was spent on building and leading teams. Participants enjoyed the beautiful surroundings in Pinedale, the gorgeous Sublette County Library, and amazing meals from local restaurants. Like Wyoming Library Leadership Institute on Facebook to see more pictures of this year’s gathering.

13 people smile and stand side by side in front of a scenic mountain lake view
Left to Right: Susan Parkins, Cindy Mosteller, Jessica Otto, Judi Boyce, Darcy Acord (mentor), Samantha Griffis, Jacque Strike (mentor), Kimberly Redmond, Linda Herget, Tammy Plowman, Liz Palmer, Rachael Svoboda (mentor), and Johanna Tuttle (mentor).
13 women sit at a long restaurant dining table, smiling at the camera.
Clockwise from Left: Jessica Otto, Tammy Plowman, Samantha Griffis, Susan Parkins, Darcy Acord (mentor), Cindy Mosteller, Liz Palmer, Johanna Tuttle (mentor), Rachael Svoboda (mentor), Judi Boyce, Elissa Ruckle, Linda Herget, and Kimberly Redmond

Jessica Otto, Wyoming State Library Collections Technician and a member of the WLLI 2021 graduating class, said she found the opportunity to participate in WLLI “lifechanging.”

“I was able to meet more members of my library community and become a part of something really special,” Jessica said. She also admitted her expectations for the experience were exceeded, “I knew this could help me become a better leader at work, but I wasn’t prepared for all these lessons to apply to my family life, my community life, and even my relationship with myself.”

“My biggest takeaway from the institute was relearning what a leader actually is. Being a leader doesn’t mean doing things before anyone else does or telling all the ‘followers’ how to do their tasks,” Jessica said. “Everyone has their own unique abilities and leadership style. Moving forward, I know that teams are comprised of leaders and there are ways for everyone to lead together.”

Visit the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute’s webpage for more information about its history, participants, and upcoming events or to continue your leadership journey through a volunteer committee position.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Training Events and Resources



Wyoming Library Association logo has WLA on background of mountains and full name beneathAs 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 the 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.

Here are the most recent event/webinar highlights from the committee.

Pre-recorded and other resource types

Why Use Inclusive Language
Libraries: All, Target Audience: All
Short, but important article about why we should be using inclusive language. “Inclusive language acknowledges diversity, conveys respect to all people, is sensitive to differences, and promotes equal opportunities.”

Wyoming Arts Council’s Arts Access Project Grant
Libraries: Rural, All, Target Audience: All
Up to $750 in funding for “arts projects led by and/or primarily serving BIPOC communities” or organizations meeting other criteria

National Archives Black Wall Street: 100 Years Since the Tulsa Race Massacre
Libraries: All, Target Audience: All
Featured document display from the National Archives Museum collections in memory of the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre

REFORMA Colorado’s 2021 Conference Recorded Sessions
Libraries: All, Target Audience: All
Two recorded sessions, “Cultivating Community Partners through Outreach, presented by Angelique Velasco” and “Fostering Empathy through Diverse Picture Books, presented by Ana Siqueira, Cynthia Harmony, and Mariana Llanos”

Project Enable
Libraries: School, Public, Target Audience: All
Free training to help meet library and information needs of PreK-grade 12 students with disabilities. Also includes a database of over 1,000 resources.

Upcoming

June 8-9
Beyond the Buzzwords: A Deep Dive into Today’s Most Important Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conversations
Libraries: All, Target Audience: All
Four keynotes and six panels covering EDI in a variety of topics

If you are holding any events that focus on EDI or come across any resources, send them to Conrrado Saldivar at CSaldivar@natronacountylibrary.org. The committee will compile and share as they’re able to. As always, make sure to check out the training calendar linked above for more continuing education opportunities.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Training Events and Resources



Wyoming Library Association logo has WLA on background of mountains and full name beneathAs 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 the 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.

Here are the most recent event/webinar highlights from the committee.

Pre-recorded and Other Resource Types

Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth (Libraries: School and Public, Target Audience: Youth Services): “Series of free, online professional development modules for school and public youth services librarians, library administrators, and others interested in improving their knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy.”

Diverse Book Finder​ (Libraries: School and Public, Target Audience: Youth Services): Collection Analysis Tool for picture books

Inclusive Metadata & Conscious Editing Resources (Libraries: All, Target Audience: Cataloging/Tech Services): Extensive list of resources “related to conscious editing and anti-oppressive metadata practices”

Spanish for Librarians (Libraries: All, Target Audience: Public-facing positions): Published in 2002, basic Spanish grammar and phrases for library staff (Note: REFORMA’s Translations Committee is actively updating this resource)

WebJunction’s Spanish Language Outreach Program​ (Libraries: All, Target Audience: Collection Development, Public-facing Positions, Outreach): Various resources for starting outreach to Spanish speaking populations (Note: most resources are from 2012, but still provide beneficial starting points)

Storytelling for Justice: How Libraries and Archives Hold History to Account (Libraries: All, Target Audience: All): “Learn about the power and potential of these memory institutions to confront race, policing, and mass incarceration, to foster equity of access and participation, and to educate and train the next generation of librarians, archivists, and activists.”

Upcoming

May 20
SLJ Day of Dialog* (Libraries: School and Public, Target Audience: Youth Services): Various free programs will discuss EDI and social justice topics. Note that while registration is free and unlimited, each program has an attendance cap.

May 20
Spanish Language Collection Development* (Libraries: School and Public, Target Audience: Collection Development): Diana Miranda-Murillo from the Austin Public Library (TX) will give us an update on the current tools she is using for Spanish language collection development — from the traditional tools (catalogs and websites) to the not-so-traditional ones like book tubers and social media.

* Highlight taken from the Wyoming State Library’s Training Calendar.

If you are holding any events that focus on EDI or come across any resources, send them to Conrrado Saldivar at CSaldivar@natronacountylibrary.org. The committee will compile and share as they’re able to. As always, make sure to check out the training calendar linked above for more continuing education opportunities.

WLA Reminder: Conference Presenters Needed!



Cartoon megaphone with text CALL FOR PROPOSALS

The Wyoming Library Association 2021 program subcommittee needs you! They are in need of presenters to join them in offering a robust virtual conference, with presentations, mashups, discussions, and the like for all WY library staff, directors, trustees, and supporters.

The WLA’s annual conference will take place virtually on October 7-8, 2021.

The conference theme is Resilience. How are libraries and library staff resilient? Pre-COVID? During a Pandemic? And what does resilience planning have to do with the future of libraries in Wyoming? Can your library be a center of resilience and sustainability for your community?

Program proposals will be accepted through May 31, 2021. Although resilience is the main focus, proposals on other topics are welcome.

Consider how best to deliver your program virtually, and begin crafting your proposal. If you have any questions, contact Jeff Collins at jcollins@lclsonline.org, chair of the WLA 2021 program subcommittee and WLA Vice President. You may also contact the other members of the program subcommittee.

Your program(s) will make this year’s conference a memorable and resilient one!

Wyoming Library Association Grant and Award Nominations Open



Wyoming Library Association mountains logoThe Wyoming Library Association (WLA) Awards/Grants Committee is opening nominations for the Wyoming Library Association Awards/Grants for 2021. Nominations open Friday, April 30, and close on Monday, August 2.

The four award categories are:

  • Outstanding Hero/Heroine
  • Outstanding Librarian
  • Outstanding Library
  • Lifetime Achievement Award

The Nora Van Burgh Grant offers funding assistance to those who wish to enhance their effectiveness as library employees through additional educational experience. Any WLA member is eligible, and non-degreed library employees are especially encouraged to apply.

Learn more about the awards and detailed criteria.

Questions? Contact committee chair Anna Street at anna@ccpls.org or email the committee at wlaawardscommittee@gmail.com.

Wyoming Library Association Book Award Winners Announced



The Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association jointly sponsor three awards: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, the Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and the Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. The purpose of these awards is to provide an opportunity for the youth of Wyoming to read and select favorite books and to honor the authors of those books.

Learn more about the awards.

WLA Call for Program Proposals



The program planning committee for the upcoming Wyoming Library Association’s annual conference will open its call for proposals soon.

This year’s annual conference will take place virtually on October 7-8, 2021.  The conference theme is Resilience. The program planning committee is hoping to offer a robust virtual conference, with presentations and discussions for all types of Wyoming librarians.

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience, ingenuity, and resources of Wyoming libraries. Think about ways you have pivoted your services, adapted to a virtual environment, or found ways to meet your patrons’ new needs during the pandemic.

Other topics might include dealing with budget constraints, technology changes, burnout, and other challenges and opportunities. Topics do not have to be related to the pandemic. Can you share your knowledge with your colleagues or lead a discussion about best practices?

Program proposals will be accepted April 19 through May 31, 2021.  Consider how best to deliver your information virtually, and begin crafting your proposal.  Visit www.wyla.org to submit your proposal by May 31, 2021.  If you have any questions, contact Jeff Collins at jcollins@lclsonline.org.

Your idea for a program could be one to help make this year’s conference great!