Category Archives: Youth Services

Free Online Games Make Financial Literacy Fun



Happy son saving money in piggy bank with fatherThe American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, has released a collection of free online games to teach children basic financial skills related to earning, saving and spending money.

The four interactive games — part of a series called Thinking Money for Kids and available at tm4k.ala.org — are designed for children ages 7 to 11 but are appropriate for other ages as well. They include:

  • Earning It: Follow the paths of characters Grace, Emma, and Kenji to see how their childhood interests translate into successful careers and opportunities to “give back” by volunteering.
  • Balance My Budget: Make choices about how to meet basic needs and treat yourself with a splurge here and there, while sticking to a monthly budget.
  • Money Trail: Starting with $500 in your bank account, make decisions about how to earn and spend.
  • Let’s Deal: Hear from buyers and vendors at a farmers’ market as they swap goods and learn about money.

Library workers are invited to use the games for in-person or virtual programming or to share them on library websites or social media. Additional financial literacy resources for library workers, including model programs and professional development, are available at Smart investing@your library.

Nominations Open for Wyoming Book Awards



young boy sitting on a pile of books reading against a white backgroundThe Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association invite you to submit nominations for the 2022 Wyoming Book Awards.

Each year, these two organizations jointly sponsor the awards 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 and submit your nominations for each of these three awards:

On each committee site, you will find nomination forms, past winners, and contact information for committee members so that you may contact them with any questions Nominations close on March 15, 2021.

Wyoming Reads 2021 Books Selected



The six books for next year’s Wyoming Reads have been selected — everything from chewing gum to seahorses to purple people! Wyoming’s first graders are going to have a hard time picking just one of these fabulous books to keep and cherish:

  • Brick by Brick by Heidi Woodward Sheffield
  • The World Needs More Purple People by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart, illustrated by Daniel Wiseman
  • Stretchy McHandsome by Judy Schachner
  • On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex
  • Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
  • This Is a Seahorse by Cassandra Federman

Wyoming Reads is a statewide celebration focusing on the joy of reading. The highlight is that every first grade student in Wyoming receiving a hardback book with their name printed inside the cover, donated by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. John Jorgensen established the foundation in 1996 and founded the Casper Cares, Casper Reads festival to honor his late wife’s commitment to children and reading. The celebration was expanded statewide as Wyoming Reads in 2006.

November is National Family Literacy Month



Family With Young Children Reading Book In Playroom TogetherFrom the Colorado Virtual Library blog
By Marisa Wood, Statewide Collaborative Programming Coordinator at Colorado State Library

Over the past several decades, practitioners across the country have recognized the strong correlation between parents’/caregivers’ educational attainment and children’s educational outcomes. Families succeed when they learn together.

Back in 1994, the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) worked with Congress to designate November 1 as National Family Literacy Day. Since then, we have joined libraries, schools, and educational programs across the country to celebrate National Family Literacy Month throughout each November.

The month offers an opportunity for practitioners to emphasize the important role that families play in the education of their children. Whether it’s hosting a virtual reading workshop for families in your program or classroom or publicly recognizing families for their efforts during this difficult year, there are many ways to celebrate during this month.

This November, you are invited to take part in 30 Days of Families Learning Together, a guide providing a month’s worth of family literacy activities and practices designed to inspire family memories rooted in imagining, playing, and learning together. Share your activities online using #NationalFamilyLiteracyMonth. You can also subscribe to NCFL’s Hotspot blog or follow them on social media to learn about useful resources and strategies throughout the month.

Celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month in September



September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.

There is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. Through access to technology, media resources, and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in the classroom and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their dreams and passions. A library card is an essential item on the back-to-school supplies list.

This year, DC’s Wonder Woman is embarking on a mission to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair. In her new role, Wonder Woman will promote the value of libraries and encourage everyone to get their very own library card.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

YA Resources Addressing Racism



From the Colorado Virtual Library

Recent national events have brought a critical focus on racism in this country. To help address this topic in your library, here are some resources for youth services staff.

Professional Development

Collection Development

Talking with Kids and Teens about Race

What Else You Can Do

ALSC and CLEL Launch a Virtual Storytime Services Guide



From the American Library Association

During times of crises, libraries continue to play a vital role in connecting their communities to resources, information, and to each other. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) have released a Virtual Storytime Services Guide to assist libraries in creating high quality and meaningful online experiences for their patrons.

As libraries of all types are expanding their digital collections and exploring virtual program offerings, this free guide is offered as a comprehensive resource to support librarians in this shift to more virtual work. Topics covered in this guide include:

  • Technology Tools
  • Suggested Practices
  • Copyright Considerations
  • Serving Diverse Children and Families
  • Promoting Virtual Storytime Programs
  • Other Virtual Children’s Programs
  • External Resources to Support Early Literacy

Each of these sections includes resources and suggestions for library leadership, departments involved in the virtual program editing or marketing processes, and virtual program providers.

Virtual Storytime and Copyright: Resources



From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has received many questions recently about virtual and online storytimes. They wanted to curate a few resources that may be helpful during this time. If you need legal advice, they would highly recommend that you reach out to your library’s, city’s or county’s legal counsel if available.

Virtual Storytime Information

  • Online Story Time & Coronavirus: This post from the Programming Librarian was posted by ALA’s Public Program’s Office. This should not be taken as legal advice, but may offer one perspective.

Copyright and Creative Commons Information

  • U.S. Copyright Office: The website of the U.S. Copyright Office provides a a plethora of resources on copyright law.

They hope you find this information useful. For further reading, you may also want to view the TSLAC’s previous blog post, Copyright and Fair Use Resources.

Have a safe and healthy summer!

Lasso a Library Card this September



From the American Library Association

This September, DC’s Wonder Woman is embarking on a new mission with the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair.

On this mission, Wonder Woman will remind the public that there is nothing more empowering than signing up for your own library card. Through access to technology, media resources and educational programs, a library card gives students the tools to succeed in school and provides people of all ages opportunities to pursue their passions and dreams.

In the coming months, Wonder Woman will appear in free Library Card Sign-up Month graphics, including print and digital public service announcements (PSAs) and library card artwork. Free tools, such as a template press release, a proclamation and sample social media posts will also be provided through the Library Card Sign-up Month webpage.

Wonder Woman posters, stickers and bookmarks are currently available for purchase through the ALA Store.

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the ALA and libraries unite together in a national effort to ensure every child signs up for their own library card.

CSLP Offers Teen Video Challenge



If you are looking for an idea for your teens this summer, the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) has refreshed their Teen Video Challenge.

The challenge is for teens (13-18) to create a public service announcement-type video promoting libraries and reading, that shows their unique interpretation of the 2020 CSLP slogan “Imagine Your Story.” Themes might include fairytales, mythology, and/or fantasy.

Entries must be submitted by August 7.

Videos are to be no longer than 60 seconds. All audio and artwork must be created by the entrant or be in the public domain.

If chosen, the kids creating the winning videos will receive $200 and their library will get $50 worth of CSLP summer reading materials.

Find information and links to instructions and forms on the Summer Reading Teen Video Challenge guide at gowyld.libguides.com/SummerReading/TeenVideo.

For more information, contact Chris Van Burgh at chris.vanburgh@wyo.gov.