January 1998

It's a keeper: Library community supports FirstSearch licensing

After using FirstSearch during a three-month trial, Wyoming libraries are pleased with the database product and support continuing the service.

As a result of usage statistics and favorable responses to the service, the State Library decided to subscribe to the "FirstSearch Base Package and H.W. Wilson Select with Full Text."

This new service is available to residents of Wyoming through their public, school, community college and special libraries. FirstSearch is already available to University of Wyoming students.

When Kim Capron from the Park County Library found out FirstSearch is being offered free to any Wyoming library she couldn’t believe it. "What a fantastic deal for our school libraries."

Capron also serves on the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) Legislative Committee and said: "Whenever we visit with legislators they ask about the connection between WYLD and education. We can point to this cooperative effort and show them that our libraries are providing the kind of cooperation and educational tools that are needed."

The base package includes the following databases:

The State Library’s subscription will provide for five simultaneous users of these databases, at a cost of $28,500.

Bruce Hampton, writer and Fremont County board member, said: "I can’t offer enough praise for this wonderful tool. It’s like walking into the greatest library on earth. With the exception of WYLD, it’s the best thing to hit Wyoming libraries since Andrew Carnegie."

As a writer, Hampton spends many hours gathering research materials for his books. He added, "It’s often critical that I review all previous titles about a particular subject...FirstSearch provides that information in WorldCat."

Questions about FirstSearch may be directed to Venice Beske in the Statewide Information Services section at the State Library by calling 1-800/264-1281, option 1 (in-state use only) or 307/777-7982. You may also call her if your library is interested in training on FirstSearch.

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JAC restores funds for WYLD upgrade

On January 20, the Joint Appropriations Committee met and recommended $839,920 be restored to the state’s budget for upgrading the WYLD system. The funds will allow migration to DRA Web2, a windows interface software upgrade, which will provide the public with access to the Web environment through the WYLD menu.

The money will also provide for database licensing, telecommunications and maintenance for the system. The recommended budget does not include funding for training.

Legislators will vote on the budget during the upcoming session, which begins on February 16.

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WLA legislative reception scheduled for March 5th

Wyoming library personnel are encouraged to attend the WLA Legislative Reception March 5 at the Hitching Post in Cheyenne.

The annual event, scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., is an opportunity to meet legislators and to be a voice for cooperative library services in the state.

This year the WLA is focusing on two concerns: maintaining the inclusion of school libraries in the "basket of goods" for education reform, and pushing forward the expanded State Library budget for WYLD CAT.

Prior to the reception, a briefing is planned in the Cheyenne Club Room West from 4:30 to 5 p.m. WLA lobbyist Tom Jones will report on legislative issues affecting libraries.

Members of the legislative reception committee are Mary Coffin, Marjorie Elwood, Alice Hild Farris, Janet Glasner, Karen Mydland, Sid Stanfill, Janet Williams and Judy Yeo.

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Board awards grants

At its December meeting, the State Library Board awarded $15,000 in Netlender Grants to Wyoming libraries in recognition of their resource sharing support to libraries throughout state. Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) funds are set aside to provide partial postage and other cost reimbursements to public and academic libraries that lend resources to other libraries. Award amounts are based on interlibrary loan activity for the past year.

This year the funds were awarded to the following county libraries: Albany - $683; Carbon - $692; Converse - $832; Hot Springs - $428; Natrona - $1,330; Platte - $300; Sheridan - $1,795; Sublette - $95; Sweetwater - $3,345; Uinta - $130; Washakie - $370; and the University of Wyoming (UW) - $5,000. The total funding is up $5,000 from last year, with UW receiving the bulk of the increase.

In its fifth year, the award program is supported by the Wyoming Resource Sharing Council.

The Board also approved LSTA Title I non-competitive grants in the amounts of $1,300 for each of the state’s 12 institutions.

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Serials Module training set for winter/spring 1998

The serials module is part of the existing DRA system that allows libraries to check in periodicals, enter holdings information, and run claims reports. All WYLD libraries are being strongly encouraged by the Database Quality Committee to use the module to enter summary holding statements at a bare minimum. These statements provide basic information about each library’s local holdings which then appear in Gateway.

Desiree Sallee from the State Library will be providing training for the DRA Serials Module for WYLD libraries. The training is scheduled for February through April throughout the state. These training sessions will be held at individual libraries with small groups of technical services people directly involved in managing their library’s serials collections.

To see a draft of the agenda, please visit the WYLD homepage and select the "DRA Serials Module Training" link, or go directly to http://will.state.wy.us/wyld/training/serials.

A tentative schedule will be posted as soon as possible. If you have any questions, contact Desiree Sallee at 307/777-6258.

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Readers Theatre group performs in Gillette

Campbell County Library Director Marcia Wright said the Gillette Readers Theatre "just sort of happened." "A couple of us thought it would be an interesting thing to do and we added a third person and said ‘let’s do it,’" she said.

The group reads stories before an audience with "theatrical flair" rather than acting. They hope using this new tool will get people interested in reading.

The readers now include five library staff Wright, Ara Anderson, Pam Boger, Terri Lesley and Cynthia Ebertz. Wright said they do not necessarily perform at the same time.

The Gillette Readers Theatre first performed before the Wyoming Historical Society the weekend after Labor Day. Wright said they read from "Leaning into the Wind," an anthology of writings by Wyoming authors. She said the book worked well for the format, "the conversations between people, and then the thoughts to themselves."

Wright said their selections are tailored to the audience. The group has performed at schools, presented a Christmas program, and are now rehearsing for a professional secretaries group.

Initial responses for the performance include the following comments from the Wyoming Historical Society: "The blend of voices provides a unique experience in listening to the written word. It’s almost like music!. . . It could not have been a better selection of readings, length, humor and pathos."

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Razor blade found in children's book at library

A single-edged razor blade was found glued to the outside margin of a children’s book at the Albany County Library last month.

The blade was found by Children’s Librarian Anita Trout in a copy of The Little Prince in the J Fiction area. Trout led staff and volunteers in looking through every book in the children’s collection. Each book was taken off the shelf, checked for sabotage and reshelved. No other items were found.

Library Director Susan Simpson theorized that the act was done while the person was in the library as the blade was not glued on tightly and, as a rule, returned books are searched by staff before they are put back on the shelf.

The Laramie Police Department was scheduled to test the razor blade. Simpson said they had not yet received the results.

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Housing reports available

The Wyoming Housing Data Base Partnership (WHDBP) was organized in January 1997 to identify the need for affordable housing throughout the state. This public-private partnership was created to develop a comprehensive statewide database on housing issues, such as rent, home prices, housing affordability, and rental vacancy rates.

WHDBP also analyzes statewide economic trends of incomes, inflation, unemployment and bankruptcy. These data are provided in a quarterly report, Wyoming Housing and Demographic Data, available to the public five to six weeks after each quarter ends.

While providing valuable information to our partners in the project, data from the report is also used by private developers and consultants, State of Wyoming offices, Habitat for Humanity, University of Wyoming researchers, and real estate agents.

To order a copy of the quarterly report, call Chaplin at 307/777-3464.

The report is sponsored by the WHDBP and authored by David Chaplin of the Department of Administration and Information (A&I), Division of Economic Analysis.

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YA database created

The Young Adult Library Services Association is creating a database of school and public libraries with active youth participation groups.

To be included in the database, send the following information to YALSA@ala.org :

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Around the State

The new Sublette County Library in Pinedale is open for business. Although the new furniture hasn’t arrived yet, the new library is up and running. Daphne Platts, director, said 80 percent of the building project was funded by private funds. "We’re very proud of the outpouring of community support," she said. A dedication of the new building is planned for Feb. 14.

Carol Thomas is the new branch manager of the Glenrock Library as of Nov. 17. She replaced Lana Richardson, who resigned after almost three years of service. Thomas had previously worked as a clerk at the library from 1983 to 1989.

The Washakie County Library’s face-lift is under way. Painting began the end of October and carpeting is now being installed. The county commissioners voted to fund the project.

Sandy Frazier was honored recently for completing 20 years of employment at the Albany County Public Library. She began as a volunteer at the library in 1976, when her family moved to Laramie from California. She is now technical services librarian and head of the department.

The Homer A. and Mildred S. Scott Foundation has approved a $29,100 grant proposal submitted by the Sheridan Library Foundation. The funds will support replacement of the 24-year-old roof on the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library.

Mabel Brown donated her extensive collection of western history books, containing approximately 200 volumes, to the Weston County Library’s Centennial Room. A reception honoring Brown for her contribution was held Oct. 24 at the library. Brown is a well-known historian, writer and lecturer, recently moved from Newcastle to Cheyenne.

Myrtle the turtle is alive and well at the Campbell County Library. The 20-year-old box turtle lives in the children’s department and is given a weekly maintenance from assistant children’s librarian Janet Tharp, which includes a bath, lotion rub and eye drops.

The Natrona County Public Library was given nearly $1,000 worth of books, videos and audiotapes by Parents Pulling Together and the Natrona County Parent to Parent Workshop through a grant from the governor. The grant is part of a federal program funded by the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1994, as recommended by the Governor’s Substance Abuse and Violent Crime Advisory Board.

The Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program conducted by the Friends of the Natrona County Public Library has been awarded a Steele-Reese Foundation grant for outstanding service in motivating youngsters to read.

The Friends of the Library Annual Kristmas Event (FLAKE) was held Dec. 5 at Lander Valley High School. The event raises funds for the Fremont County Library and was initiated when fiscal cutbacks threatened to drastically reduce the number of new materials the library could acquire. In addition to books, the library also needs software, books on tape, and videos. FLAKE included a Native American hoop dance, bagpipes, yodeling and a short play.

The Joe F. and Roberta H. Napier Foundation recently awarded $5,000 to the Sheridan Library Foundation to assist in its continuing efforts to improve and support the library. The Napier Foundation has made annual gifts since the Library Foundation was activated nearly 10 years ago. Funds will go toward books, roof repair and the endowment fund, according to Taylor Crosby, foundation chairman.

Mary Timlin has retired from her position of acquisitions librarian with the Sweetwater County Library System. She was honored at a public reception in October at the White Mountain Library in Rock Springs.

The Goshen County Public Library celebrated 75 years of continuous service by hosting a month-long open house in December. Congratulations!

Shoshoni School Librarian Mary Lynn Eisenmenger has started the "Gifts of Books Project" this year at Shoshoni Elementary School. Eisenmenger discovered it was common for children who have come with their mothers to the Family Violence Center to not have gifts on Christmas. She asked students to bring a book from home to wrap and give as a Christmas gift for another child. The books were then given to the Home For Battered Women, the Good Samaritan Center, Abba’s House and Child Development Services.

The Star Valley High School National Honor Society hosted an audience participation story for more than 125 children at the Star Valley Branch Library in November. Children also participated in activities related to the story, and were given the animals included in the story by library staff. NHS students provided refreshments as well as purchasing new toys for the library’s toy center.

The Granger Branch Library has been dealing with an unwanted neighbor. Apparently there’s a skunk living under the town hall building, and it’s causing quite a "stink" at the library. The town of Granger has taken measures that will hopefully remove the building’s odorous resident.

Publications office brings home awards

The State Library Public Programs, Publications and Marketing (PPPM) office picked up three awards at the Wyoming Press Association’s 1997 Communications Contest. The awards ceremony was held in Casper on Jan. 17.

First place honors were given to Wyoming Center for the Book’s Censorship Luncheon Series, under the category of Information Programs and Campaigns. The WYLD Marketing Packet received honorable mention under the same category.

A red ribbon was awarded to The Outrider for second place in the newsletter category.

Linn Rounds, manager, said she always thought the publications staff did outstanding work, but it's nice to receive this recognition, especially from an outside organization of newspaper professionals.

PPPM staff includes Sheila Russell, Julie Hurd and Cec Moats.

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Sheridan teacher wins ALA contest

Deb Hofmeier of Sheridan was one of 50 winners of a multimedia computer in the national "Kids Connect @ The Library" essay contest. One winner was selected from each state.

She also won another computer to be donated to the library of her choice. Hofmeier, a third grade teacher at Tongue River Elementary School, gave the second computer to her school library.

The contest, sponsored by the American Library Association and Suave, invited parents and guardians to tell in 125 words or less how their family benefits from the library.

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LSCA takes a bow, LSTA takes the stage

Marking an end to the federal Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) program, the State Library’s final report highlighted some of the Wyoming projects made possible with LSCA funds throughout the history of the program.

These successes illustrate the impact of LSCA in Wyoming over the past 40 years of the national program. Its existence provided opportunities to address statewide networking and technology issues, stimulated all types of libraries to participate in statewide resource sharing initiatives, and provided equitable access to Wyoming’s library resources.

The new Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) will provide even more opportunities for success as the new program will enable all types of libraries to participate. LSTA focuses on services and technology, providing the possibility of resources to help Wyoming libraries become even more involved in the virtual library environment.

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WEST event coming up in February

Just a reminder that the Wyoming library community will be represented at the Wyoming Extension Showcase on Technology (WEST) in Casper on Feb. 20 and 21.

The State Library and the Wyoming library community are sponsors of the event, which will bring together hundreds of exhibitors to showcase cutting-edge technologies available in Wyoming and the western region.

Library involvement will include demonstrating the Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD), Ariel and other electronic library resources.

For more information contact Brian Green at the State Library, 1-800-264-1281, option 1 and then select option 7, or visit the WEST web site at http://west.uwyo.edu.

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New program offered through acquisitions

The State Library Central Acquisitions Office introduced a new program last month, offering any library with an acquisitions account the opportunity to earn interest on their account balance.

Starting January 1998, money deposited in acquisitions accounts will start earning three percent interest on the average monthly balance. Any interest earned from eligible acquisitions accounts will be deposited into a new "WIN" account. The funds in that account may be used the same as any other acquisitions account. Federal funds or grant funds are not eligible to earn interest.

The new "WIN" program is available to any library with a current or past acquisitions account. All Wyoming libraries are welcome to open an account and start earning interest through this program.

Interested libraries may contact Jack Willmarth, Central Acquisitions manager, at 307/777-5917 or Vera Caleb, senior account representative, at 307/777-5918.

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News Briefs

William R. Gordon, director of the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System in Hyattsville, Md., will become the new executive director of the American Library Association (ALA) on March 1, 1998. Gordon, who has been with the Prince George’s County system since 1977, has also served as director of the Arrowhead (Minn.) Library System, the Pocatello (Idaho) Public Library, and the Southeastern Idaho Public Library Agency and as assistant director of the Renton (Wash.) Public Library. He holds an M.A. degree in library science from the University of Denver and a B.A. degree in sociology from Baker University in Baldwin, Kan.

The NEH Office of Challenge Grants helps institutions and organizations engaged in humanities activities to secure long-term support for, and improvements in, their programs and resources. Awards are made to museums, public libraries, colleges, historical societies, public television and radio stations, universities, scholarly associations, and other nonprofit entities improve their financial stability and the quality of their humanities activities. The application deadline for Challenge Grants is May 1, 1998; draft proposals are due by March 1, 1998. For more information, contact the Office of Challenge Grants, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20506, phone: 202/606-8309, email: challenge@neh.fed.us

Annually, as participants in Children’s Choices, 2,000 children in each of five geographic regions of the United States receive multiple copies of nearly 1,000 newly published children’s books provided by trade book publishers. The young people select approximately 100 titles that they particularly like and think kids across the country will enjoy equally. Single copies of the 1997 Children’s Choice list are available for $1 and a self-addressed, 9x12 envelope. Mail to the International Reading Association, Dept EG, P.O. Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714. The list is also on the Children’s Book Council new Web site at http://www.cbcbooks.org.

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Personel-ly Speaking

Wyoming State Library (WSL) employees have new email addresses, effective Friday, Jan. 23. To send messages to WSL employees, just type the first initial of the employee, plus the first four digits of his or her last name with ‘@missc.state.wy.us’ following. (Example: Marc Stratton’s new email address will be mstrat@missc.state.wy.us.) The new addresses are a result of the State Library’s migration to a higher version of network software, which includes a new email program. If you have any questions, contact Marc or Marilyn in the WSL’s Library Automated Systems Services Office (formerly known as the WYLD office).

The Central Acquisitions Office has a new file clerk: Bridgette Kelley, a Manpower employee who has worked at the State Library for a month. Originally from Seattle, this self-proclaimed "military brat" has been grateful to settle down in Cheyenne. Although she misses the water, green and trees of the great Northwest, she really likes the dry climate and small-town feel of Wyoming. The mother of six children and grandmother of six, Bridgette is a paralegal by trade. She’s spent eight years in Denver, has served six years in the Army and has lived in almost every state in the Union. Welcome Bridgette!

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State Library gets a new look

The State Library recently unveiled its new logo design, which will start appearing on its Web site, newsletters, brochures and other publications.

The contemporary design incorporates the Wyoming landscape with pages of a book. These elements represent Wyoming libraries’ ongoing role as navigators on the information highway and advocates of lifelong learning.

The logo was designed by a graphic artist in Laramie.

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Retreat planned to review laws

By Jerry Krois, deputy state librarian

Wyoming’s library laws have a long history, maybe one that is too long. The statutes do not reflect today’s information age with technological tools, role of public libraries in education, and place in local government. They do not reflect the cooperative environment of resource sharing, the phasing out of political boundaries to provide services, or the professionalism of employees.

The State Library Board, in cooperation with the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) have planned a public library retreat for May 17 to bring together public library directors, board representatives, WLA leaders and State Library managers to identify changes that need to be made within the laws for libraries.

This retreat will allow participants to decide what action plan is needed to make our public libraries a better governmental entity and a stronger community resource. Participants will focus on funding issues including the feasibility of resurrecting the concept of library districts and the role of the state in supporting statewide initiatives.

The main purpose of the retreat is to develop recommendations, which will then guide the state toward a plan of action that may result in updated legislation.

The WLA Legislative Committee will take on the lead role in working with legislative sponsors and providing educational information to the library community to achieve recommended changes in the 1999 General Legislative Session.

Directors and board chairs will receive information on the location, dates and agenda as planning for the retreat progresses.

As Wyoming enters a new millennium the library community needs to ensure that our public libraries are understood and funded appropriately. The Board hopes this retreat and its outcomes will position our public libraries as a key resource to the state’s residents for education, information, economic development and personal growth.

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Get ready for National Library Week

National Library Week will mark its 40th anniversary this year. Scheduled for April 19-25, the annual event will focus on the role of libraries in connecting children and adults with books, computers and other resources they need to live, learn and work in a d global society. The theme is "Kids Connect @ the Library" or simply "Connect @ the Library."

A free promotional packet is available by calling the American Library Association at 800/545-2433, ext. 5041. The packet contains sample press releases, camera-ready art, PSAs and more.

To receive a free ALA Graphics Catalog with National Library Week posters and other promotional materials, call 800/545-2433, ext. 5046.

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Wildflowers pamphlet free for libraries

Growing wildflowers, trees and shrubs in Wyoming is available to all libraries just for the asking.

According to Bill Edwards from the non-profit group Wildscapes Wildflowers for Wyoming, up to 20 copies are available to libraries to use as give-aways or to lend out. This is the second printing of the booklet, published by Fulchrum Press in Cheyenne.

If you are interested in receiving copies of the booklet for your library, contact Bill Edwards at 307/634-8189.

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Writing contest deadline approaching

Over the past four years, more than 40,000 students have participated in "Letters About Literature (LAL) ‘98." This is the first year Wyoming has participated, and coordinators are encouraging students to enter.

The national writing contest invites students to write a letter to an author--living or dead--explaining how his or her book changed the student’s way of thinking about the world. It is sponsored by Wyoming Center for the Book, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Weekly Reader Corporation.

The contest deadline is March 1, 1998. Entries for this year’s contest have already been received from Colorado, Iowa and Illinois. Previous winners have been published in the critically acclaimed anthology of student writing, Dear Author: Students Write About the Books that Changed Their Lives.

Based on the success of the program in recent years, LAL ‘98 will, for the first time, offer two competition levels. Level I is open to students in grades 4-7, and Level II is open to students in grades 8-12. Until this year, entries had been limited to students in junior and senior high school.

The state winner in each level will receive a cash award of $100 and national winners will receive a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

Judges for Wyoming’s contest are WCB board members Ron Franscell, publisher/editor of the Gillette News-Record; Eva Knight from Cheyenne, a retired bank vice president and secretary to the board who also serves as the White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services national coordinator of state representatives and the Task Force on Rural Libraries; and Allen Wyatt, president of Discovery Computing Inc., a computer and publishing services company in Sundance.

Information packets were mailed in November to Wyoming public and school libraries. For more information, contact Cathy Gourley, National Coordinator at 717/472-3489 or cgourley@epix.net.

Guidelines for LAL ‘98 are now online at the Weekly Reader web site. Contact http://www.weeklyreader.com, then go to the Navigation Station and search for Letters About Literature.

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