June 1997 Vol. 8, No. 6


Continuing education summit set for July

Library personnel in Wyoming may see more and varied continuing education options offered in the future.

The State Library is sponsoring a meeting of the minds--or a Continuing Education Summit--next month to discuss, evaluate and identify the roles and responsibilities of continuing education with providers statewide. The summit will be July 24-25, 1997, at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas.

"We’re hoping to see a commitment of other education providers," said State Librarian Helen Meadors, "to take on some of the responsibilities since the Wyoming State Library cannot possibly meet all the needs of library staff throughout the state.

Planners of the meeting hope to identify continuing education/professional development providers, their commitment for providing such training, and the role each provider plays. Possible topics of the summit include: technology and telecommunications; library services; board management; marketing; and personnel. Other topic considerations are the commitment, priorities and formats of delivery by education providers.

A document produced in 1995 cooperatively by Wyoming Library Association’s (WLA) Continuing Education Committee and Wyoming State Library (WSL) will be used a as a springboard for the summit’s discussions. The document, "Continuing Development of Wyoming's Library Personnel," will serve as a model of discussion.

The summit, a vision for many years of Meadors, will involve representatives from several educational and professional sectors in the region. Letters of invitation have been sent to representatives of: library and media personnel statewide; Bibliographic Center for Research in Denver; University of Wyoming (UW) Libraries and the community college libraries; UW’s School of Education; Wyoming State Department of Education; WYLD education sub-committee; WLA sections (Coming Education, Academic and Special, Public Library, School Library/Media, Health, Children/Young Adult, Government); Dean Faussett, head of the Department of Administration and Information’s Human Resources Training Division; WLA’s Paraprofessional Interest Group; Wyoming State Law Library and the Wyoming State Library.

The State Library is underwriting part of the travel and lodging costs for summit participants.

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Wyoming ranks fourth in nation for library use

Wyoming’s residents are really hitting the books! A recent paper from the National Household Education Survey ranks Wyoming fourth in the nation on annual public library use, tied with Maryland. Alaska, Utah and Washington were the top three respectively. Colorado ranked sixth.

This level of use comes as no surprise to Helen Meadors, Wyoming State Librarian. "Wyoming’s 23 county and 52 branch libraries not only provide a wide range of information resources, but they continue to embrace technology and keep patrons up to speed on the information superhighway."

The Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD) allows patrons to find whatever materials they need no matter where they are located within the state. The databases on WYLD also provide many full text periodicals that can be printed off directly from the computer. All of Wyoming’s county libraries and anumber of its branches are on the WYLD system.

Children’s reading programs, local autors, and library exhibits are also programs that bring back library users again and again. "Parents and care givers know the benefit of bringing kids to the library. Kids love books and they love to be read to," said Meadors. "Public libraries are the perfect place for families to go to read, check out books, and explore the Internet."

The survey from the National Center for Education Statistics reports that 73 percent of households used the library within the past year. Across the United States, the survey reports 44 percent of respondents used their public library within the last month, and 65 percent used the library within the past year.

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97 Wyoming Libraries Directory available

The 1997 Wyoming Libraries Directory is now available from the Wyoming State Library. The directory contains addresses, phone numbers, and some email and website addresses for all of Wyoming'’s libraries.

The fully indexed directory includes all county, branch, school, academic, institution, medical, and special libraries.

The directories were distributed to Wyoming libraries in May. To receive a copy or additional copies, orders may be placed through the Public Programs, Publications and Marketing Office of the State Library, 307/777-6338. The cost for out-of-state orders is $10 for each directory.

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UW librarian receives award

Congratulations to Bill Van Arsdale, collection department officer at the University of Wyoming Coe Library. He was recently presented with the Agnes Milstead Award for Distinguished Librarianship.

A Kansas native, Van Arsdale received his MLS from the University of Denver in 1973 and worked in libraries in Florida and Tennessee. In 1981 he was invited to come to the University of Wyoming as head of the Coe Reference Department. He said, "I liked the Rocky Mountain region and always hoped to return some day."

In a letter of support for his nomination, a co-worker wrote: "Bill keeps current in all major developments in the areas of library science. He possesses a strong vision of what is needed in order for the libraries to do the best possible job with constrained resources in serving our clientele as effectively as possible."

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News Briefs

READ*WRITE*NOW! is the summer component of the America Reads Challenge, President Clinton’s initiative to ensure that all children can read well and independently by the end of third grade.

This summer, the volunteer reading program is aiming to reach 1.5 million children. Participating in READ *WRITE*NOW! is one good way to encourage children to keep up their reading skills during the summer.

Summer reading opportunities for children at risk of academic failure can actually prevent summer reading loss and keep them on the same track as their more advantaged peers. READ*WRITE*NOW!:

For more information on America Reads Challenge, visit
http://www.ed.gov/inits/americareads/.

The American Library Association (ALA), its Public Library Association (PLA) division and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) set a course of action to resolve problems related to tax forms distribution in public libraries after a recent meeting between representatives of the groups.

IRS representatives acknowledged that several recent management decisions at the IRS have resulted in the increased demand on libraries. In 1995, nearly 6 percent of tax returns came from forms distributed through libraries. As a result of recent decisions by the IRS to eliminate other avenues of tax form distribution, that percentage could increase. IRS representatives expressed a desire to work with ALA in resolving problems.

Five action steps were identified at the May meeting:

Comments and suggestions may be sent to Greta Southard, executive director of the Public Library Association, 50 East Huron, Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail: gsouthard@ala.org.

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Around the State

Campbell County Public Library staff members were recently honored for their time of service: Terry Mueller, 17 years; Sue Knesel, 13 years; Candi Varvaro and Marcia Wright, 10 years; Jeannette Langdon, seven years; Ara Anderson, Peggy Bloxham, Jane Gebhart, Janet Tharp, Jane Niemitalo, and Liz Wernsmann, five years; and Kristie Jensen, three years. Other staff members nominated by their peers for special awards included Cynthia McGuire, Pat Brose, Jackie Darnell, Peggy Bloxham, Lyle Vogle and Dana Urman.

Johnson County Library Director Barbara Fraley recently celebrated 20 years at the library. Hired as a part-time "all purpose" librarian, she filled in where needed for $2.20 an hour, Fraley worked as the Children’s Librarian from 1979 until 1981 hen she was appointed director. In 1982 she was elected president of the Wyoming Library Association. She was voted Outstanding Librarian for the State of Wyoming in 1984; and in 1985 she was selected by People to People to go to China to visit libraries throughout the country. Fraley said: "The people part is the part I really enjoy; helping them, answering their research questions. As director you don’t have much time to do that, but that’s what I enjoy. The library is a real focal part of our community."

Glenda Williams, children’s program specialist at Natrona Cunty Public Library, will be attending the International Reading Association’s Spring Conference in Atlanta, Ga. Glenda will rpresent the Casper Reading Council as a delegate at the Delegates Assembly, which comprises representatives from affiliates, councils and special interest groups, and is the legislative body of the International Reading Association.

The Powell Branch Library in Park County is among seven Wyoming sites offering patrons WYNOT, a user friendly computer featuring "Able data" database. The database provides product information about assistive technologies, which include anything from motorized wheelchairs, to computer software, to adaptive writing instruments. Placement of the computers is made through the Wyoming New Options Technology (WYNOT) Resource Center. Other libraries include White Mountain Library, Carbon County Library and Casper College Goldstein Foundation Library. There are also WYNOT computers located at the State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in Cheyenne, the Wyoming Center for Independent Living in Lander and Eastern Wyoming College.

Shirley Palmer of the Sweetwater County Public Library has a celebrity in the family. Her son, Jesse Krank, won a $5,000 scholarship from Snapple for his idea for a commercial. He will study culinary arts and video at Boise State University.

Also in Sweetwater County, Sara Jensen recently received her MLS from San Jose State University, and Michaela Kaumo received her BSS from the University of Wyoming.

Zoe Kalber recently resigned her circulation position. She and her husband, Richard, are moving to Big Piney where he has been relocated to serve five churches. Best of luck to the Kalbers!

The Friends of the Worland Library and the Hot Springs County Library were recently awarded a grant from the Libri Foundation for children’s books. To qualify for the grant, the libraries had to be from a sparsely populated area, have little or no budget for books, and have programs for children. The Friends raised $350 and received $1,050 worth of books.

Glenda Williams, children and young adult program specialist at Natrona County Public Library, and Mary Rhoads, children’s librarian at Johnson County Library, were both selected as recipients of the Wyoming State Literacy Award for 1997. Glenda and Mary will be recognized for promoting literacy through their library programs at an awards ceremony during the State Reading Conference in Cheyenne on Oct. 3. Mary also received the Celebrate Literacy Award from the International Reading Association of Johnson County in May.

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Personnel-ly Speaking

State Librarian Helen Meadors has officially dropped the "Maul" from her last name. (Same state librarian, less name to write.)

Desiree Sallee and Sheila Russell recently attended a workshop on Marketing Services to State Government, sponsored by the Western Council of State Libraries. The two-day workshop in Seattle, Wash., focused on ways to promote library services within state government.

Ivan Hoopman, equipment specialist in the WYLD office, has joined the automation staff at the Wyoming Supreme Court and will be leaving the State Library on July 1. Good luck Ivan!

Beverly Matern is moving back to her home state of New York in July. She works in the Public Programs, Publications and Marketing Office. Best wishes Bev. Enjoy all those green rolling hills, trees . . . and bugs!!!

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Wyoming Center for the Book hosts luncheon series on censorship

Wyoming Center for the Book hosted the first of a three-part luncheon series on censorship earlier this month. Charles Levendosky presented a talk, "Burning Books in the Battle for the Mind," to a group of 45 people in Cheyenne.

Levendosky, a Casper journalist, poet and intellectual freedom advocate, discussed historical and current censorship issues. He told the audience, "Your freedom to think and form opinions is drastically reduced when you don'’t exercise your freedom to rea."

The luncheon series was inspired by the exhibit "Bonfire of Liberties," which is on display in the Herschler Gallery just north of the Capitol building. The exhibit focuses on censorship of books, drama and works of art. Chuck Thompson, associate dean of arts and humanities at Laramie County Community College, will present at the second luncheon on July 9 at noon in the Herschler Building cafeteria. The third luncheon will be on Aug. 4, and David Wolff, doctoral candidate in history at Arizona State University, will be the featured speaker.

"Bonfire of Liberties" will be on display for three months. The 18 panels of the exhibit were produced by the Texas Humanities Resource Center and is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Texas Center for the Book.

The Wyoming Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Library of Congress and is a program of the Wyoming State Library.

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