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Volume 40, Number 4
May 2007

Fort Washakie School/Community Library wins Giant Step award

Robin Levin, John Washakie, Lesley Boughton & Cathy Gervais.  Dana Harr not pictured-Robin Levin, John Washakie, Lesley Boughton & Cathy Gervais. Dana Harr not pictured.

School Library Journal (SLJ), in partnership with Thomson Gale, part of Thomson Learning, names Fort Washakie School/Community Library and Technology Center (WY) and Far Rockaway High School (NY) co-winners of the 2007 Giant Step Award. Launched in 2000, the Giant Step Award recognizes a school and public library that has significantly improved its programs or services and greatly impacted student learning and achievement. Each winner will be presented with a $5,000 check during an award ceremony during the American Libraries Association's annual conference in Washington, DC.

Wyoming's Fort Washakie School/Community Library and Technology Center is one of the most impressive in the nation, but this combination school-and-public library on the Wind River Indian Reservation hasn't always been the thriving library and education center that it is today, with four full-time staff including Robin Levin, Dana Harr, John Washakie, and Cathy Gervais. Six years ago, when then-District Superintendent Karl Berlin decided to build a new library, his vision went beyond creating a more inviting space for students. At the time, the school's media center was very small, had only four computers, a limited collection, bookshelves that blocked the sunlight and a recessed reading area nicknamed "the pit." "I wanted to do something for the community," he says. What Berlin had in mind was a hybrid-a school-and-public library.

The 320 students at the K-8 school-nearly all of whom are members of the Shoshone tribe-also faced major challenges. Most struggled with reading and English-language skills and the majority came from very low-income families faced with staggering unemployment statistics.

Berlin received immediate support from Wyoming's Department of Education, the Shoshone Tribal government and business councils, and Fremont County School District No. 21, and together they constructed a 10,000-square-foot addition to the school. The $500,000 wing (financed mostly with state funds) now houses the Eastern Shoshone Culture Center, a distance-learning lab, an 8,000-square-foot library open to students and the public, and a computer lab with 42 networked computers.

This giant step has resulted in a thriving library and center for education for both children and adults. Now the library is always buzzing with people: tribal elders share their stories with young children as part of the summer reading program; a grandmother sends e-mails to her grandson serving in Iraq; and parents come to consult the ever-growing Native American reference collection. As the library's circulation steadily increases, so does student achievement. Most of the youngest students are doing well, and this year, more than 50 percent of third-grade readers (more than twice the previous amount) scored proficient or above on state exams.

Visit www.slj.com for the more information and in-depth profiles of the 2007 winners.

Nancy Pearl one of more than 50 authors at Wyoming Book Festival

Wyoming Book FestivalCome to Cheyenne for the Wyoming Library Association conference this September, and plan to stay for the Wyoming Book Festival Sept. 14-15, 2007. More than 50 authors and presenters are lined up for two days of exciting book events - free and open to the public. Among them is Nancy Pearl, the Seattle librarian who wrote Book Lust and who originated the One Book/One Community programs. See the festival authors page at http://www.wyomingbookfestival.org/authors.html for bios and photos.

Because the Wyoming Book Festival is free to the public and coordinated by the Wyoming Center for the Book, a nonprofit organization, it relies on donor and in-kind support to offer great book programming. The Wyoming Book Festival is supported in part by:

Second annual Wyoming Reads a success

May 15 marked the second annual Wyoming Reads celebration, which was held in all 23 Wyoming counties for the first time this year. The program is modeled after Casper Cares, Casper Reads which began in Natrona County in 1999 and was expanded statewide in 2006. During the celebration, more than 6,000 first graders received one of the following books: The Great Fuzz Frenzy by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, A Young Shepherd by Cat Urbigkit, I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont and David Catrow, The Little Red Hen by Jerry Pinkney, Prehistoric Actual Size by Steve Jenkins, or The Younger Brother's Survival Guide by Matt and Lisa Kopelke.

On May 1, Governor Dave Freudenthal signed a proclamation naming May 15th as Wyoming Literacy Day coinciding with the community event. The Honorary Chair of this year's event is Secretary of State Max Maxfield.

John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation in 1996 and founded the Casper Cares, Casper Reads festival to honor his late wife's commitment to literacy and children. For more information on Wyoming Reads, visit http://www.natronacountylibrary.org/wyreads.html.

Wyoming Library Association awards deadline June 30

Nominations are being accepted through June 30 for the all the Wyoming Library Association's various awards. For awards and nomination information, click to: http://www.wyla.org/awards/awards.shtml. For questions, contact the awards committee chair Elaine Hayes at ehayes@lclsonline.org

Wyoming Library Association announces book award winners.

The Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Reading Council sponsor three book awards for students in grades K-12. These awards connect children and teens with good authors, teach them the qualities of good books, encourage reading and honor authors whose book has been enjoyed by Wyoming children. Students select the winners. The winner of the 2007 Buckaroo Book Award for K-3 is Skippyjon Jones In the Doghouse by Judy Schachner. The winner of the Indian Paintbrush Book Award for grades 4-6 is Dragon Rider by Cornelia Caroline Funk. The Soaring Eagle Book Award for grades 7-12 was Eldest by Christopher Paolini. For a full list of runners-up and nominees, as well as information on the book awards, visit the Wyoming Library Association website at http://www.wyla.org/committees.shtml.

Get all the library news fast on RSS

Want news about new resources, grants and awards, upcoming events, job openings and other tidbits of interest? Get it right away on your desktop with the State Library's Wyoming State Library News webpage and RSS feed: http://will.state.wy.us/feeds/CurrentNews.html. It's is a continually updated list of library news from around the state as well as information of interest to Wyoming librarians. New to RSS? Check out the RSS FAQ at http://will.state.wy.us/feeds/RSSFAQ.pdf

Kristin HerrNew director at Carbon County

Kristin Herr became the new library director of the Carbon County Library System on April 30. She has been in the library field since 1992. Her first job was at her hometown library in Valley Center, Kansas. Since then, she has worked a variety of jobs in the library field: airline librarian, cataloger, business & technology reference librarian and most recently a branch manager in Lapel, Indiana. She received both her undergraduate degree in Business Administration and her master in Library Science from Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas.

"I enjoy new challenges and being the director of a county wide system is a brand new experience for me," Herr said. "I knew right away that I would really like working in Carbon County as everyone is easy to get along with and has a positive attitude. Over the next several months, I hope to get familiar with CCLS's services. I want to find ways to increase circulation and offer more family programs. One of my top priorities is to get regular courier service to the seven branches. We are also working on going out into the community more. We have already had a booth at the local job fair and we will find more venues for outreach."

Robert StaleyRobert Staley wins Agnes Milstead award

Robert Staley, University of Wyoming Libraries government documents librarian, is the recipient of the 2007 Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award. Staley, a UW librarian since 2001, is noted for his commitment to classroom teaching, research acumen and ability to make navigable the disorienting world of electronic information. Milstead in 1993 established the annual award to recognize significant contributions to UW Libraries in scholarship, program development, teaching, fundraising, or improving access to library resources. As a librarian at UW from 1966-1981, Milstead developed the university's first courses in library science and helped establish the library science graduate program.

Personnel-ly speaking

Ghost Ranch applications due June 16

The Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) Leadership Institute for 2007 is planned for Oct. 28 - Nov. 2. Applications will be accepted through June 16, 2007. Visit the MPLA web page for registration form and other information at http://www.mpla.us/. For questions, contact Wyoming MPLA representative Richard Landreth at rlandreth@ccsd.k12.wy.us or 680-4504, or contact Mary Bushing, MPLA Leadership Institute Coordinator, at marying@msn.com or 406-587-4742.

Snowy Range Nonprofit Institute deadline June 1

Scholarship applications for the Snowy Range Nonprofit Institute are due June 1. E-mail msrni@uwyo.edu for an application and information. The sixth UW Snowy Range Nonprofit Institute is scheduled for August 5-7 in Laramie: learn about board development, fundraising, volunteer management, and advocacy. This year's theme is "Enhancing Nonprofit Collaboration: Building Rocky Mountain Communities." Visit on the web at www.uwyo.edu/srni.

Is your library the Best Small Library in America?

Library Journal is seeking nominations for the 2007 Best Small Library in America Award. Co-sponsored with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the annual prize comes with $15,000 and a feature article in Library Journal. Deadline for nominations is Nov. 5, 2007. For nomination info, go to http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA606273.html.

WebJunction releases Blended Learning Guide

Blended learning mixes online and in-person training methods to offer libraries new approaches to library staff instruction. WebJunction recently released a Blended Learning Guide that is available online from their site at http://data.webjunction.org/wj/documents/13893.pdf. The Blended Learning Guide provides an introduction to potential tools and offers examples of successful programs implemented in organizations providing library staff training. It offers quick guides of several different modes to blended learning: Discussion Boards; Online Instant Messaging/Chat Sessions; PodCasting; Rapid E-Learning Software Tools; Web Conferencing. Blended learning case studies are included, as well as resources to find more information on the topic.

Just The Facts About Online Youth Victimization

The nation's top researchers on child online safety presented the findings from their research in the Mansfield Room of the U.S. Capitol Building. See the video of the discussion at http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/video.shtml. For more information, visit http://www.netcaucus.org/events/2007/youth/

ALSC's Kids! @ your libraryŽ Campaign tool kit continues to grow

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, has added new resources to its Kids! @ your libraryŽ online tool kit at www.ala.org/kids. The campaign's extensive tool kit, produced by librarians for librarians, contains free resources for promoting the library and its services to children and their families.

New Library Science publications

Visit the New Library Science Publications at the Wyoming State Library webpage, http://will.state.wy.us/ldo/newpubs.html, to view an annotated list of new items added to the State Library's Professional Collection. This month's additions include:

For a full list of new items, visit http://will.state.wy.us/ldo/newpubs.html. For questions, comments, or suggestions, contact Jamie Markus, Wyoming State Library Continuing Education Coordinator, jmarku@state.wy.us, 307-777-5914.

Wyoming Library Job Openings

Find additional links to library jobs at http://will.state.wy.us/libraries/libjobs.html