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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your idea for a program could be one to help make this year’s conference great!
The Wyoming Library Association has a number of interest groups. One of the youngest is LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Development), formed in 2012. Starting in 2017, LEAD members began facilitating and sponsoring workshops at WLA Conferences about leadership development, customer service, association membership, and the importance of EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) in libraries.
Another workshop and its subject evolved into a wider discussion for LEAD, WLA and library leadership statewide: the need for a library mentorship program for all Wyoming library staff members, professional and support staff alike. In October 2020 the WLA Mentorship Program was successfully launched at the WLA Virtual 2020 Conference.
“Our hope in WLA is that this mentorship program will grow each year and encourage the ongoing professional growth and confidence of both established and emerging leaders in the library field,” said Anna Street, WLA LEAD Interest Group Chair.
LEAD and WLA are now taking applications and starting the matching process between mentors and protégés. This is a 12-month program between a mentor and a protégé, inspired by other successful mentorship programs at organizations like ALA.
Learn more and apply to be either a mentor or a protégé. If you have any questions or want verification that your application was received, contact the LEAD chair or co-chair.
Olympus Games and Comics received the Wyoming Library Association’s Hero/Heroine Award after being nominated by Laramie County Library System. The award, which recognizes an outstanding group or person whose hard work has made a difference to a Wyoming library, was presented to owner Kyle McCormick during a small ceremony at Laramie County Library on Tuesday, September 29.
Olympus Games and Comics has played an instrumental role in many of Laramie County Library’s programs and events by providing comics, activities, games and more. They are an exceptional partner to the library who goes above and beyond to ensure the children in Laramie County have access to the many worlds and adventures lying in wait behind the cover of their comic books.
Mynda Camphouse, Youth Services Event Coordinator for Laramie County Library System, nominated the hobby store, located at 1710 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. “Their investment in encouraging youth and adult literacy has been demonstrated by donating all the free comics for our Free Comic Book Day, by bringing employees and interactive table top games to library events, and by providing guidance to adults on encouraging youth literacy,” she said. “They are a fantastic partner and an amazing group of people who see the importance of promoting literacy in all its forms in the Cheyenne community.”
Olympus Games and Comics is a locally-owned store that specializes in board games, miniatures, comics, role playing games, and more. The store fosters a great sense of community and ensures that comic culture is accessible to all by participating in free library events including Star Wars Reads, Library Con, and Free Comic Book Day.
“This decision was made by the WLA Executive Board with input from library directors and staff from around the state and reflects a common-sense response to reduced budgets and ongoing public health concerns,” said Jacob Mickelsen, WLA Vice President, in an email.
Rather than holding its regular sessions digitally, WLA has decided to try a different approach for this conference. They plan to arrange for a smaller number of bigger presenters, focusing on timely and relevant subjects to libraries in 2020 and beyond.
Jacob thanks those who have already submitted program proposals and hopes they’ll consider holding on to those until the next in-person conference or regional gathering.
Your program proposals are wanted! Do you have experience to share in a topic of interest? A successful program others could try? Whatever type of library you work in, WLA encourages you to share your knowledge and enthusiasm with colleagues from across the state.
Submit your proposal online by July 31, 2020. Proposals may be either 60 or 90 minutes in length. The conference planning committee will review proposals by August 31.
Whether you plan on presenting or not, the WLA conference is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend.
Need assistance with travel and registration? Always remember that Carol McMurry Library Endowment Individual Grants are available for library continuing education. There are six grant deadlines during the year; apply by the July 31 deadline to be eligible for funding for the WLA conference.
Annually, 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.
Thanks to all the participating libraries and for those who encouraged students to read and vote! Our congratulations go out to this year’s winners.
Buckaroo Book Awards
Winner: Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating
1st Runner-Up: Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List by Kate Klise
An important deadline is fast approaching. Three book awards for K-12 children and teens, sponsored by the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association, are taking nominations for 2021 titles, but the deadline is looming!
Nominations are due to the committees by March 1. Nominations come from students and their teacher or librarian inputs them on the form.
The awards are selected by age group: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. This is a great opportunity for the children and teens you work with to engage with reading and weigh in on the new titles they love best.
The Wyoming Library Association is counting on YOU — if you’re planning to attend the 2020 WLA Legislative Reception and would like to partake in the annual potluck dinner, bring a contribution! There are not currently enough sign-ups to provide food for both legislators and library guests, and there is still a dire need for entreés, sides, desserts, and options for restrictive diets (gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, etc.).
Contact Jessica Dawkins at email@example.com or (307) 777-6337 to sign-up for food donations ASAP. Cash donations to the Wyoming Library Association are also welcome; please contact Abby Beaver, WLA President, at (307) 777-5913 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reception will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on February 20, and it will be preceded by a legislative update at 5:00 p.m. We hope to see you and your dish this Thursday at the Wyoming State Library in Cheyenne!