April 2000

[Document URL: http://will.state.wy.us/slpub/outrider/2000/0004or.html]

Last Modified: 28 April 2000 - 12:00:00 AM

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Receives recognition for service

Urie Elementary School Library writes history of national award

The Urie Elementary School Library in Lyman, has written the first chapter in the history of the National Award for Library Service. Along with three other libraries, the Urie library has been recognized for its service to the community through the use of its highly innovative and resourceful programs.

"Libraries have long offered free and equal access to books, but in today’s rapidly changing world, they are also responding to the daunting challenges of the information age and unique needs of their communities," said Beverly Sheppard, acting director of Institute of Museums and Library Service (IMLS). "In recognition of the vast array of new services libraries offer, IMLS is proud to introduce the winners of its first National Award for Library Service."

Wiesenthal Library also honored
Also awarded for their programs were B.B Comer Memorial Public Library, Sylacauga, Ala.; Queens Borough Public Library in Queens, N.Y.; and the Simon Wiesenthal Center Library and Archives, Los Angeles, Cal.

Nested in the rural area of southwestern Wyoming, the Urie Elementary School Library not only connected its school to the Internet, but also brought the county library online.

Urie librarians open the school’s computer lab at night where they train newcomers to the World Wide Web and bridge the digital divide in this rural community. Library staff maintains Urie Elementary School’s Web site, and they also designed the county public library’s Web page and connected it to the Internet. The staff’s command with technology even assisted the search for a new county library director through designing and hosting a Web page to attract candidates.

The service of this school library goes far beyond the school system to encompass the whole community.

Literacy, community and a love of reading are the goals of the Urie Elementary School Library, which holds book fairs for the community and technology nights for parents. It welcomes families of homeschoolers and sponsors artist residencies. But the library’s contributions to the community do not stop with the Internet. It enriches the community with storytelling programs and an extensive collection of books. A hands-on table of activities and story-buddies to read with are maintained for the children. Students learn about authors and illustrators, recycling and homelessness, and the history of books. They write poetry and donate canned goods to the local food pantry.

The place to be
As the saying in Lyman goes: Urie Elementary School Library is not a quiet library - it is "the place to be" in Lyman.

Lesley Boughton, Wyoming state librarian, attended the ceremony that honored the Urie library.

"It was really an honor to be at the ceremony," she said. "I was able to congratulate our colleagues for putting into practice what we see as a goal -- customer service."

The URL for school’s library Web site is http://www.uinta6.k12.wy.us/WWW/Urie/Uriehome.html.

This year’s recognition events coincided with National Library Week (April 9 to 15).

All types of libraries are eligible for the National Award for Library Service, and this year 75 libraries were nominated.

Trustees’ Corner

Preparing for intelligent discussions on filtering

By Jerry Krois
Deputy state librarian

Are you staying educated on the continuing library issue of filtering? Are you prepared to discuss filtering intelligently at your board meetings and within the community? Do you know what to say, and how to say it, when challenged that the library is the community’s porn shop?

Whether you answer YES or NO, you might read some of the recent reports found at World Wide Web sites so you can identify the strategies taken by individuals and groups and the possible future impact on your library.

To begin, try the new report titled "Dangerous Access, 2000 Edition: Uncovering Internet Pornography in America’s Libraries" by David Burt on the Internet at http://www.frc.org/misc/bl063.pdf.

Published by the Family Research Council in February, Burt (a librarian) argues for filters on library computers.

His efforts to acquire documentation from libraries throughout the country under various states’ freedom of information acts has been considered controversial.

Another interesting publication on the Web is the Censorware Project’s "Censored Internet Access in Utah Schools and Libraries" at http://censorware.org/reports/utah/, which reviews information blocked through the Utah Education Network.

Family Friendly Libraries at http://www.fflibraries.org/ offers you numerous short statements on problems with the American Library Association’s (ALA) position on not filtering public use computers.

Safekids.com has a copy of Lawrence Magid’s "Child Safety on the Information Highway" at http://www.safekids.com/child_safety.htm. Magid discusses the responsibilities parents need to accept in guiding their children in using the Internet.

Librarian Karen Schneider provides her results of filter effectiveness in "The Internet Filter Assessment Project" at http://www.bluehighways.com/tifap/tifap.htm.

Filtering is not moving to the back burner of library issues but continues to receive significant attention as court cases, media, public influence, state legislation, and pro/con organizations push the issue in communities throughout the states.

Your "Internet Use Policy," no matter how well crafted yesterday, will continue to be subject to challenge by parents, government officials and even staff. Being informed on this issue allows you to discuss it knowledgeably and determine the best policy and practice for your library.

Creationist wins lawsuit against Wisconsin library

A Wisconsin creationist has won a lawsuit he filed last summer against the city of West Allis after the city’s public library refused him permission to use one of its meeting rooms.

Christopher A. Pfeifer had sought the use of the room to make a presentation on behalf of the Genesis Commission, his nonprofit Christian education group.

He claimed that he was turned away because the program content might include religious discussion.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ruled April 11 that while the library may seek "to avoid controversy" through "the exclusion of partisan political meetings and religious services or instruction," such a motive is not a valid ground for restricting speech in a public forum.

Pfeifer’s attorney, Erik Stanley of the Orlando, Florida-based Liberty Counsel, said in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the decision "ensured that freedom of speech applies to all citizens."

City Attorney Sheryl Kuhary could not be reached for comment.

Goshen authors release ‘Memories,’ ‘Wrinklebelly’

Goshen County authors have released two new books.

"Life Filled with Memories" is by Frieda Siedler.

Her story covers her early years in Germany, marriage and separation by war and eventually immigration to America. Life was hard for the couple and their five children. The family moved several times before settling in Torrington in the 1950s.

Siedler wrote the book in her native German, and it took several years to have it translated and published. Copies can be ordered from Artisitic Endeavors, 2010 Main St., Torrington, Wyo. 82240.

Sally Vanderpoel penned her second book titled "Wrinklebelly," which is based on conversations with her mother, Helen Houston Rouse, who homesteaded in the Huntley area.

The stories cover many of the locals and local history.

Copies are $12.95 or $15 by mail and can be obtained from the author at 2719 Main, Torrington, Wyo. 82240 or by emailing her at svander@scottsbluff.net

Her first book, written in 1968 and revised in 1974, was "The Care and Feeding of Your Diabetic Child."

WSL soliciting responses to staff training needs

In response to training needs expressed by Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD) users, the Wyoming State Library (WSL) has created a continuing education training survey designed to solicit responses from library staff of all types, levels and services, both in WYLD and non-WYLD libraries.

The survey was printed in the April/May issue of Coming Attractions. An online version is available on WSL’s Web site at http://will.state.wy.us/training/survey.html.

The information WSL is gathering is critically important to help develop and design educational materials and opportunities to help meet Wyoming libraries’ needs.

Library staff members are asked to submit their responses by Monday, May 22, (only one survey response a person, please). The state library will disseminate the results after they are tabulated.

Questions may be directed to Corky Walters, WYLD manager, at 800/264-1281, option 1, then 2, then 6, 307/777-6339, fax, 307/777-6289, or cwalters@wyld.state.wy.us.

Park County task force seeks solutions

After the last budget, Park County Library was told to expect deep budget cuts next time.

The county’s assessed valuation revenues decreased by 50 percent since a peak in 1983, decreasing the dollars available for services. Last year, the library faced a serious budget shortfall and was granted a one-time allocation of $106,446 after public protest over potential cuts in services.

At that time, the county commission instructed the library board to seek other funding. Because of the budget crunch, Park County Library employees did not receive raises as other employees did in an effort to preserve staff positions and library hours.

Although the county commissioners now say the budget picture should be better this year, the library is still moving forward with efforts to find what its patrons’ priorities are.

A task force met for the first time in February to look at the budget situation and seek solutions.

A smaller group created an informal survey to gauge public demand for different library services. Efforts were made to get reactions both from regular patrons and from non-users of the library.

More than 1,700 surveys were collected and tallied by the third week of March. Not only did they reveal that there were few areas the public was willing to cut, many comments requested that the library increase its hours.

The task force is now working to find ways to maintain the library Park County residents have said they want and to secure strong community support when the library makes its next budget presentation to the commissioners.

Big Horn Conference

Librarians share and collaborate on issues

Librarians from all types of libraries gathered in Powell for the Big Horn Basin Library Conference on April 1.

Northwest College (NWC) hosted the meeting, which drew 40 participants for a day of sharing and collaborating on library issues.

"We get too involved in our own little areas and become insulated. It’s good to get out and visit with other librarians," said Kay Carlson, director of NWC’s John Taggart Hinckley Library. At the conference, "the participants showed some enthusiasm for resource sharing, working together and learning more about each other," she said.

Conference participants heard updates on the Wyoming State Library (WSL) from Lesley Boughton, state librarian; on the Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD) from Corky Walters, WYLD manager; and on interlibrary loan from Venice Beske, WSL manager of statewide information service. A distance education discussion featured Renee Dechert, assistant professor of English, NWC; Steve Thulin, assistant professor of history, NWC; and Carlson. Jan Segerstrom, Jackson Hole Middle School librarian, spoke about Information Power, an effort to promote information literacy skills. (See related story).

Colleen Williams, Cody High School librarian, discussed library classroom collaboration, and Carlson talked about bibliographic instruction at NWC.

Carlson said she was particularly pleased with a large turnout of school librarians. Often, she said, scheduling conflicts or budget constraints prevent some library staff members and many school librarians from attending larger, statewide events, such as the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) annual conference. The one-day, regional setting allowed them to pull in a good cross-section of librarians from the Big Horn Basin.

Boughton was also pleased with the turnout at the conference.

"You don’t often see so many types of librarians at any event other than the WLA conference," she said. "This was a great conference and could be a model for events in other regions."

LCLS moves ‘Fast Forward’ in nationwide pilot program

Laramie County Library System is one of only 20 libraries nationwide to participate in the pilot "Fast Forward: Science, Technology and the Communications Revolution" viewing, reading and discussion series.

The project is organized by National Video Resources (NVR) in partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office and funded by the National Science Foundation and the Albert P. Sloan Foundation.

"Fast Forward" uses documentary films to involve the public in a study of the impact of science and technology in the 20th Century.

The project encourages participants to examine the hopes and anxieties associated with revolutions in movement, communications and knowledge. Discussion themes will cover such subjects as TV, radio, movies, the telephone, the computer and the Internet.

More information is available on the ALA Public Programs Office and NVR Web sites at http://www.ala.org/publicprograms and http://www.nvr.org; from Pamela Goodes, ALA Public Programs Office, 312/280-5055, pgoodes@ala.org; or from Sally Mason-Robinson, NVR 312/491-0844, sallymaro@aol.com.

This will be the first public program series offered in the new Burns Branch Library scheduled to open in late summer. Unlike the present branch facility, the new building will have a meeting room so the library will now be able to offer programs to the public.

Laramie County Library needs new home and funding to build

The Laramie County Library is looking for a new home to shelve its books, and it’s also looking for funding.

Having outgrown its current location at 2800 Central Ave. -- with 33,000-square foot of space -- library officials said 90,000 square feet is needed by 2020.

There are four possible site locations, and architects and library officials are leaning towards the northeast corner of Pershing Boulevard and Converse Avenue. The land is own by the city of Cheyenne and building the library would not require the destruction of existing businesses and houses.

However, some residents are questioning the proposed site because of the heavy traffic in the area.

Funding for the new library would come from a proposed sales tax increase that voters would decide in November.

On the tax ballot draft presented to the community by the Specific Purpose Tax Proposal Committee (capital facilities tax), $600,000 would provide funding for the architecture and engineering designs for a new library classified as a "Valuable Quality of Life Project." Although cost estimates for the preferred site have yet to be developed, new construction is estimated to cost $120 a square foot.

Librarians make the shift to give patrons the power of ‘information literacy’

Across the country, librarians are shifting their focus to "information literacy," teaching patrons how to find, manage and use information effectively.

It’s known as Information Power, a national campaign based on standards promoted by the American Library Association (ALA), the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). ALA published a document in 1998 titled "Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning" that outlines the standards and the vision behind them. Although the focus of the Information Power campaign is in the K-12 library and classroom, public libraries and higher education also have a role in helping their patrons become information literate.

An effective user
"The whole idea behind Information Power is to empower a student or adult to be an effective user of information," said Jan Segerstrom, library media specialist for Jackson Hole Middle School. Segerstrom is coordinator of Wyoming’s task force for Information Power, heading up efforts to bring information literacy standards to libraries, particularly school library media centers across the state.

Segerstrom presented Information Power to librarians at the 1999 Wyoming Library Association conference in October and, most recently, at a meeting of the Big Horn region WYLD libraries in Powell late March.

Information Power is not based on physical standards but on nine information literacy standards in three main areas:

  1. Students who are Information Literate will access information effectively and efficiently, evaluate information critically and competently and use information accurately and creatively;
  2. Students who are Independent Learners will pursue information related to personal interests, appreciate literature and other creative forms of expression and strive for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation.
  3. 3. Students who are Socially Responsible will recognize the importance of information to a democratic society, practice ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology and participate effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.
Information Power looks at creating a community of life-long learners, identifying information literacy at the core of life-long learning, providing the skills to manage information, emphasizing library media program advocacy and providing broad guidelines and examples for helping library media professionals adapt the guidelines to individual learning situations within their school library media programs.

The traditional librarian was the one with all the answers, Segerstrom said, but, "That’s the opposite of what we’re trying to do now."

With the explosion of technology, there are all kinds of new skills needed to access information that is not necessarily found in the textbooks. Students need an "information processing model" to help them learn how to manage information, one ingrained by repetition, so it’s a natural process to use their entire lives. They need to become risk-takers and life-long learners.

That’s why information literacy standards are important," Segerstrom said.

Tearing down the walls
Information Power tears down the traditional walls between the classroom and the school library media center. School librarians and classroom teachers must learn to teach information literacy and to work collaboratively to structure assignments that will teach the students how to locate and use information, not just memorize information.

This process was ranked highest in importance in this year’s Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Issues Survey.

The media center is no longer a supplement to the classroom, but is a hub of learning in its own right.

Segerstrom said it will take time, effort and resources to make these transformations in school libraries.

Needed change
There are three areas the most change is needed:

  1. The look of the library -- A media center requires more space for resources and equipment, to teach information literacy skills to large groups, to separate computers from reading areas, and to create production stations.
  2. The role of the library media specialist -- The library media specialist has to be more than a keeper of books. He or she must do much more teaching, delivery of services, and administration and design of library programs.
  3. The library program and design -- This is changing from basic library skills, such as looking up information in an almanac, to information literacy skills that train students how to independently locate, manage and use information for completing assignments.
It’s a big shift in thinking, Segerstrom said. Right now, the campaign is still in the awareness stage in Wyoming. When she talks to librarians about Information Power, "The comments are ‘My gosh, this is overwhelming. There’s a lot of change that needs to take place.’ "

It will also take the support of school administrators and boards to provide more resources -- often a tough sell in the face of tight budgets. Nevertheless, there are now studies available showing that a strong library media program can improve student achievement as measured by standardized test scores. An article in the April 2000 issue of School Library Journal, "Dick and Jane Go to the Head of the Class," outlines some of these studies and lists resources and advocacy tips.

Information from some of these studies is also available on Colorado’s Library Research Service Web site at http://www.lrs.org.

Segerstrom can provide more information or make presentations to Wyoming organizations about Information Power. She can be contacted at 307/733-3019 or jasegerstrom@teton1.k12.wy.us.

Internet complaint brings filtering issue before Natrona County Library Board

One mother’s complaint brought the issue of Internet filtering before the Natrona County Library Board in March.

A patron told the Casper Star-Tribune that she and her eight-year-old daughter both witnessed a man viewing scantily clad women on one of the Natrona County Library’s two Internet terminals on the second floor of the library in Casper.

Staff gave her a copy of Natrona County’s Internet policy, which does not restrict one patron’s use of the Internet based on another patron’s complaints, and told her she could bring her concerns to the director and the board. She contacted local churches and the media with her concerns prior to the March 9 meeting of the board.

Bill Nelson, Natrona County library director, stated in an interview with the Casper Star-Tribune that it was not the library’s role to monitor any legal materials that adults choose to view in the library.

The same Star-Tribune article compared Natrona County’s Internet policy with Laramie County’s code of conduct, which prohibits conduct "offensive to others." Lucie Osborn, Laramie County Library System (LCLS) director, explained that the code of conduct prohibits harassment, addressing the issue of inappropriate Internet use in the same way it would address someone making offensive comments to another patron or otherwise displaying inappropriate behavior for a public library environment.

In its separate Internet policy, LCLS supports intellectual freedom and does not censor electronic resources. In addition, the policy prohibits unlawful use of the Internet and advises, "some systems contain material that may be considered offensive, illegal and/or inaccurate." Both the Internet policy and the code of conduct were reviewed by the Laramie County attorney and approved by the library board.

Nelson said the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) supports the right of each board to determine policy appropriate to its community. WLA has a statement in support of intellectual freedom on its Web site at http://www.wyla.org/freedom/statement.html.

At its meeting, the Natrona County board chose not to limit Internet access, but accepted suggestions from local residents on how to deter use of the library terminals for pornography. Among the suggestions were filters, placing terminals in a more open area and monitors for library staff to show what people are viewing.

The board’s decision prompted a Star-Tribune editorial defending Natrona County’s policy and urging Laramie County to rethink its policy or risk a First Amendment lawsuit.

In response to the news from Casper, Mary Lynn Corbett, Lincoln County Library directory, and Tobi Liedes-Bell, Washakie County Library director, both reiterated their libraries’ Internet policies in local newspaper columns.

The American Library Association (ALA) has a helpful memorandum on Internet filtering that outlines different scenarios and possible liabilities on its Web site at http://www.ftrf.org/internetfilteringmemo.html.

Libraries Directory ready for mailing

Wyoming State Library’s (WSL) Public Programs, Publications and Marketing office plans to mail the 2000 Wyoming Libraries Directory the last week of April or the first week of May to all libraries that requested copies.

Every effort was made to ensure accuracy in this year’s edition. However, due to the large number of entries, library staff are asked to check their listings upon receipt for accuracy.

Corrections and updates may be sent to Susan Vittitow in the WSL publications office at 2301 Capitol Ave., Cheyenne Wyo. 82002, 800/264-1281, press 1, option 6, 307/777-6338, fax, 307/777-6289, or svitti@state.wy.us.

Corrections received by May 15 will be printed in the May/June issue of The Outrider and incorporated in the online directory at http://cowgirl.state.wy.us/directory/. Corrections received after the deadline will be made in the online directory only. Librarians are reminded that WSL staff make corrections to the online directory continually. Key staff changes and other updates may be made anytime by contacting Vittitow or by using the online forms at http://cowgirl.state.wy.us/directory/update.cfm.

Read In Day offers chance to chat

"Can we chat?"

Read In Day 2000, Thursday, May 11, is offering an opportunity to chat with one of 22 authors.

In addition, a chance to win Millennium Project prizes is also up for grabs.

To celebrate literacy and telecommunications, half-hour chats are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (EST) with children’s authors and illustrators.

The authors will be available to chat about their books and answer questions.

The URL for the Read In Day 2000 Web site is http://www.readin.org.

Year-3 E-rate to receive $2.25 billion in funding

The FCC has announced that it will fund Year-3 E-rate at the maximum level of $2.25 billion. Year-3 funding will start July 1, 2000.

The first of eight waves of letters will soon be out, committing $185 million for 7,465 school and library applications.

Librarians may have heard that there are more requests for money than actually exists for Year 3. While this is true, those eligible that filed within the window and sought support for either telecommunications services or Internet access should receive funding.

At the close of the Year-3 application filing window in January, more than 36,000 applications were filed by schools and libraries requesting an estimated $4.72 billion in discounts for telecommunications services, Internet access and internal connections. While requests for support have doubled, funds will be available for all priority-one requests received within the filing window: telecommunications services and Internet access. Support for internal connections, the second priority, will be available only for the very neediest applicants.

Four Wyoming county libraries will soon receive funding commitment letters: Fremont for $2,902.53; Lincoln for $7,081.80; Niobrara for $852.11; and Platte for $2,022.72.

Between the Lions helps youths learn to read

Can Dr. Ruth Wordheimer help a troubled monkey avoid the heartbreak of Long-Word Freakout? Can Heath the Thesaurus think of five ways to say "hello?" And will Cliff Hanger EVER get off his cliff?

These are just some of the questions that were asked during the debut of Between the Lions, the new PBS children’s television series designed to help youths ages 4 to 7 learn to read. Officially launched on April 3 after five years in the making, Between the Lions offers an expert-approved literacy curriculum, with each of its half-hour episodes following the adventures of a family of lions who run a not-so-ordinary library.

In addition to TV programming, Between the Lions includes a new Web site http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/lions.

The American Library Association, and two of its divisions, the American Association of School Librarians and the Association for Library Service to Children, are founding partners in the Between the Lions series.

Around the State


Wyoming library job openings