Attendance was up at this year’s Wyoming Library Association conference that was held August 7-9 with 141 attendees and 24 vendors. In addition to the pre-conference sessions, fabulous keynote with P.C. Sweeney, and Ron Franscell’s author luncheon, there were 35 breakout sessions conducted by 59 presenters.
Jacob Mickelsen, Carbon County Library System Executive Director, was elected Vice President of WLA. Outgoing President Kate Mutch, Natrona County Library Assistant Director, passed the gavel to Abby Beaver, who will lead the organization as President for the 2019-20 term. Abby is the Information Services Manager at the Wyoming State Library
Many were in attendance Thursday night for the Awards Reception honoring Dolleen Grobe as WLA’s Outstanding Heroine, Crest Hill Elementary Librarian Devin Hodgins as Outstanding Librarian, and the Laramie County Community College Ludden Library & Learning Commons as this year’s Outstanding Library. Grobe was honored locally at a reception at the Ten Sleep Library last month. Plans are in the works to visit LCCC and Crest Hill Elementary to make local presentations there.
Generous WLA members donated 20 gift baskets to the annual Wyoming Library Leadership Institute raffle – everything from pet toys to Wyoming Whiskey. The raffle raised $1,742 for WLLI.
See more conference photos and news on WLA’s Facebook page. Also, keep in touch with WLA throughout the year by signing up for its email lists. Encourage your friends and co-workers to join the lists, too – you don’t have to be a member to subscribe. Learn more about WLA at www.wyla.org.
Kathy Bjornestad with some of the baskets from the 2018 raffle.
It’s time to show your creative side and support the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute by building a basket (or multiple baskets) to raffle at the Wyoming Library Association annual conference in Cheyenne. Money from this annual fundraiser will benefit future leaders in Wyoming libraries.
Step One: Choose an amazing theme (beautiful, fun, practical, etc.) and fill a container with items related to that theme.
Step Two: Make a list of the items you include in the basket and take pictures of the final product. Send your pictures to Susan Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org
Step Three: Bring your basket to WLA and watch as people clamor for an opportunity to win it.
They’re looking for a variety of baskets appropriate for men, women, children, and pets of all ages.
What the Tech is a very popular WLA Conference program comprised of lots of quick 90-second presentations. It’s a lot of fun, but it can’t happen without YOU. Please volunteer to share with us a few of your favorite apps, websites, and technology related items, each in 90 seconds or less — try to beat the bell! Contact Thomas Ivie at email@example.com for details and to sign up.
Not sure you want to? Check out this video we made just for you!
Ron is a Wyoming native, author of 17 fiction and nonfiction books, and long-time journalist. His chilling true crime story of rape and murder in Casper — released in hardcover as Fall and in paperback as The Darkest Night — is still in print after more than 12 years. In 2001, Ron was awarded the SIRS/WLA Intellectual Freedom Freedom Award.
He returns to Wyoming in his new book, Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story which covers (and uncovers) the disturbing secrets of two murderers who evaded justice for almost 40 years.
Ron’s books will be available for purchase at the conference through Casper’s Wind City Books. Plan on getting your copies signed after the luncheon and during the Friday vendor break.
The full Wyoming Library Association conference runs August 8-9, but it’s worth coming a day early for the pre-conference sessions. In addition to the School Library Summit, there are two valuable workshops on August 7, one on science and one on health. Register for either or both on the WLA Conference registration form. Pre-conference sessions are $20 each.
In the morning, Leap into Science is a program designed to build interest and skills in literacy and science for children ages 3-10 and their families, in community settings like libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs. It was developed by The Franklin Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project. The program consists of three types of workshops (preschool, elementary, and family), and includes a broad range of science concepts. This training will be held from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7. Learn more about Leap into Science at leap.fi.edu.
For the afternoon, Beyond an Apple a Day with George Strawley from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine will cover the health information seeking behavior of consumers and the role of the librarian in the provision of health information for the public. Come learn about the evolution of consumer health, health literacy and the e-patient. Participants will be equipped with knowledge of top consumer health sites, e-patient resources and collection development core lists. Participants will discuss creative ideas for health information outreach. The class will wrap up with an opportunity to explore effective marketing approaches and develop an elevator speech. This course, scheduled for 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, qualifies for up to four contact hours toward a Consumer Health Information Specialization from the Medical Library Association. George will also present a breakout session during the full conference on “Citizen Science: Putting Your Patrons in Touch with Discover.”
Sweeney is the political director of EveryLibrary, a national political action committee (PAC) for libraries. He’s the co-author of Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding from ALA Editions and a lecturer for San Jose State University iSchool. He’s worked in both public and school libraries, and was a Library Journal 2015 Mover and Shaker.
His keynote will be the fun and inspirational session, “Make It Happen/Party Hard,” intended to motivate library staff to balance the stressful work of librarianship with celebrating successes in their communities. He’ll highlight the need for enthusiasm from staff at all levels to promote the work that libraries do and discuss how that enthusiasm can build positive professional networks and relationships with communities for real tangible outcomes. Finally, he’ll explore the way that emotional attractors affect library work and the level of success within communities.
Sweeney will also be leading a breakout session, “From Advocate to Activist.” In this session, he’ll challenge the traditional model of advocacy for libraries and instead look at how to create activists to build the public support libraries need to survive. He’ll look at how the current advocacy model is failing libraries and causing massive defunding and closures and will explore many of the strategies and tactics used by some of the best community organizers, political action committees, and politicians to build real actionable support. He’ll emphasize the resources and skills that librarians and library staff need to develop if they want to have the political and community support that they need in order to increase support and funding.