March 2001
Volume 33, Number 3


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Celebrate @ your library

National Library Week: April 1-7 https://cs.ala.org/@yourlibrary/

Seuss, Enzi promote reading

"The more that you read, the more you will know," wrote Dr. Seuss. His birthday, March 2, commemorated the National Education Association’s 4th Annual Read Across America Day around the country. Read Across America urges every child across the country to be reading with a caring adult.

McCormick Jr. High School in Cheyenne had 43 caring adults from Sen. Craig Thomas to Diana Enzi reading to students.

Enzi, a first-time Read Across America participant, was especially excited to read to students. “It’s a great idea,” she said. “I think the people who come into the classrooms benefit as much as the kids…just to remember the joy of reading. And if any of that rubs off on any child, that’s wonderful.”

After watching the movie “Thirteen Days,” Enzi decided to read two books on the Cuban Missile Crisis to her classroom. “I thought so often kids get their history or their idea of ‘what is’ from the movies,” she said. “I was just encouraging them to back that up with some books to find out if what they saw in the movies was real because often that’s enhanced for drama.”

Enzi to promote reading

Enzi looks forward to working with the libraries and plans to promote reading by making bookmarks for children and young adults with her family.

“My most happy memory of my childhood is one time when we all went and got books, came home, read and had popcorn, so it was really important to our kids too,” she said. “We used to read every Sunday night as a family, and now we have bookmarks that we got our kids to sit down and think ‘what were your favorite books.’”

The bookmarks list books that her children “loved” when they were young and want to encourage other children to read.

“I think the most precious gift anybody can receive is a book, and you can’t give one to every child, but only if there was a way we could encourage kids to come (to the library),” she said.

Enzi wants to encourage children to come into libraries and utilize the many resources.

She used the state’s libraries a lot when obtaining her master’s degree in Adult Education through the University of Wyoming’s online program, and found them very helpful.

Wyoming libraries: userfriendly

“They’re not strict librarians with glasses and buns sitting behind a desk making everybody be quiet,” she said. “I think Wyoming libraries have done a really good job of making themselves user-friendly, and there are so many resources at the library. And now for a lot of children, their only access to computers is at the library.”

However, she warns: “People seem to think that now that we have (the Internet) we don’t need to have libraries or books, and I don’t think that’s true at all. Nothing will never, ever replace the smell of a book and the feel of a book.”


State LAL winners announced; two set to compete nationally

Ask an ordinary student to write a letter to an author – living or dead – who has changed their life, and you’ll get an assortment of letters to a variety of authors that reveal a lot about the students.

In the 2001 Letters About Literature contest, Wyoming students wrote to authors ranging from Jerry Spinelli and Carolyn Keene to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Wilson Rawls.

Students from each level – I and II – competed for first, second and third place, with the first-place winner in each level continuing on to compete at the national level.

Winners for Level I, grades 4 through 7, are:

Winners for Level II, grades 8 through 12, are:

For winning at the state level, the first-place winners receive $100, second-place winners, $50, and third-place winners, $25. All state semifinalists receive a certificate. The two first-place winners compete at the national level for $500.

More than 600 students in the state entered the contest and 53 entries were selected as semifinalists. LAL is sponsored by the Wyoming Center for the Book at the State Library, the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in association with the Weekly Reader Corporation.


BCR offers benefits to member libraries

Question: What is BCR?

Answer: A major benefit to libraries.

According to their Web site: “The Bibliographical Center for Research (BCR) is a nonprofit, multi-state library cooperative that has served the library community since its founding in 1935, providing cost-effective library and information services.

Today, BCR serves more than 589 voting-member libraries in 28 states, including libraries throughout the 12 member states of Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In all, BCR services reach more than 3,000 libraries throughout the entire nation.

“A major benefit of belonging to a library in Wyoming is that we get member rates for anything from CD-ROM purchases to training to online databases to discounts on library supplies, and lots of other perks.” Erin Kinney, Wyoming State Library (WSL) electronic resources librarian, said. “Just by being in Wyoming, our libraries receive member rates, and the individual library doesn’t have to pay anything — the State Library pays the membership fee.”

BCR serves member libraries by helping them share information resources, providing libraries with access to information services, developing and promoting new technologies for information organization, delivering and carrying out training and technical assistance in the use of information services.

BCR’s membership benefits extend to all libraries in the 12 member states. For libraries in other states, membership fees for OCLC services or deposit accounts for reference database services are assessed. BCR membership benefits include easy access to OCLC products and services for OCLC users, significant savings on numerous library products and services and technical support for all our products and services.

Kinney said she encourages all libraries to use the benefits of BCR.

Anyone interested in receiving more information about BCR should visit the Web site at http://www.bcr.org or contact Sharon Hoffhines, BCR communications coordinator, at shoffhin@bcr.org.


Trustees’ Corner: It’s ‘spring cleaning’ time for library policies

By Jerry Krois, deputy state librarian

Every once in a while it’s good to take a fresh look at your library policies. Here are a few to check this spring:

Is your Investment Policy current? Wyoming statute 9-4-831 requires every political subdivision to have on file a “Statement of Investment Policy.” Does your policy reflect the current where, when and why you put library funds in CD’s, into a Wyoming State Library account or a Wyoming state auditor’s Wyo-Star Program? Is this document incorporated into your general policy document?

Is your policy on public inspection of your public documents still appropriate? Wyoming Statutes 16-4-202 through 204 ensure access to your public records (e.g. budget, strategic plan, policy manual and annual audit), but what are the conditions you set when inspecting the records? Are you moving into an electronic environment by putting these on a Web site?

Is your Internet Use Policy working for both the public and the staff? Are conditions of use enforceable by staff, and is the customer aware of the scope of policy? Is staff taking the proper steps to protect the privacy of the customer?

Do you have a policy on actions to be taken if an employee suspects child pornography is being displayed on a library computer? Do you understand Wyoming obscenity laws and apply them to library policy? How do you protect the employee if the suspicion is incorrect?

Do your policies incorporate (in full or part) philosophical statements of the American Library Association (ALA) on collections, access and intellectual freedom as expressed in the “Library Bill of Rights” and “Libraries: An American Value”?

Is the language of your policies that define use of the library restrictive and punitive or supportive and encouraging? Do you have a lot of sentences that include the word “not” rather than words that reflect a positive environment?

Is the policy dealing with challenged resources still clearly stated? Do you and staff understand the process to handle complaints? Does the library staff know what to say when the challenge is initially made to them?

We all hope that a common sense approach to libraries can minimize rules, but there are some in the community who take advantage of institutions or are simply forgetful. No matter what policy the board and director have struggled to craft, you must remember that the customer can’t be expected to know or remember every one. A booklet issued when registering for a library card, a Web site or library signage can provide overviews to let residents know of opportunities and restrictions. And the enforcement of the policies needs to be made in a professional, understanding and consistent manner.


Governor signs senate file into law on Read Across America Day

On Read Across America Day, March 2, Gov. Jim Geringer signed Senate File 92 into law, which will give $3.4 million to Wyoming public schools to help improve reading among young students in kindergarten through second grade.

Senate File 92 will require school districts to have 85 percent of students at those levels reading proficiently. It will also require each school district to plan and implement a program that measures reading progress in first and second grades.

“Seventy-five percent of children who read poorly at the end of third grade never become successful readers,” Judy Catchpole, state superintendent of public instruction, told the Associated Press.

“That’s why it is so important for parents to take the time to read to not only read aloud to their children, but to also read with their children,” she said.


Cody media specialist prepares for Venezuela teaching experience

“Bem vindo!” “Bonjour!” “Bienvenida!”

These are just some of the phrases Colleen Williams, Cody High School (CHS) Library media specialist, and her family may hear after moving to Venezuela this summer where she will teach English as a Second Language (ESL).

Colleen and her husband, Mike, will teach at Colegio Internacional Puerto La Cruz (CIPLC) in Venezuela. Colleen will teach ESL at the elementary level for her first year and will be in a technology position her second year.

Mike, a CHS science teacher and Northwest College anthropology teacher, will teach high school science.

“I’m excited about my job because it will be a change of pace,” Colleen said. “Mike is very excited to teach biology and, especially, marine biology. It can be very ‘hands-on.’ ”

Colleen said she also hopes to be involved with the library at their school. “I will be the only certified media specialist, so I hope to be able to order materials and help with general library management,” she said.

The Williams’ joined the International School Services (ISS) an educational job placement service. The couple had to submit resumes, transcripts and copies of teaching certificates. They then attended the ISS Recruitment Center in Washington, D.C. and interviewed with several schools before deciding that CIPLC in Venezuela was the best fit for them.

“We were very excited to get the jobs in Venezuela because it was our first choice of the schools that needed us,” she said. “The hard part of being a teaching team is finding a school that needs both you and your spouse.”

The Williams’ will live in Puerto La Cruz, a beach town four hours from the capitol of Caracas, with their two children who will attend the same school their parents will teach in. “It will be fun to go to school together everyday,” she said.

“We’re so excited to experience a new culture. We’ve both lived in a variety of environments and look forward to a new experience in Venezuela,” Colleen said. “We can’t wait to explore the islands and beaches."

Prior to moving to Wyoming, Colleen taught elementary school in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. She said when they decided to move from Los Angeles eight years ago, they opened a map of the United States and picked Cody because “it seemed like fun.”

“We moved here sight unseen and everything we owned fit in a four-door Toyota Corolla.”

Although Colleen is excited about her new position, she will miss the high school and the students, Cody and Wyoming.

“I’ll miss so much about CHS, but mostly the people. I have been so fortunate to work with a great group of teachers, administrators, staff and students,” she said. “In three years, I never woke up and grumbled about going to work. I love my job.

“I’ve made so many wonderful friends since I’ve been here. I think I’ve grown in many ways because of my experience in Cody. We’ll miss the ‘easy living’ of Wyoming.”


Around the State

Staff changes

Beth Walker, Campbell County Public Library Children’s Program facilitator, is leaving after more than 13 years of service. She has accepted a position with the American Red Cross as the Northeastern Wyoming Branch manager.

Shelly Ramon is the new youth services librarian at the Sweetwater County Library. She has worked as the assistant youth services librarian for 11 years.


Patrons of the Laramie County Library can now receive notices through their email. They can receive such information as when interlibrary loans and holds are available and when materials are overdue.

The Teton County Library has added a fourth 15-minute public Internet computer.


The Sublette County Commissioners and the Sublette County Library Board are planning an addition onto the Big Piney Library. Initial plans call for a 4,000 to 5,000 foot addition that would double the size of the library.

The Big Horn County Library recently unveiled the newly renovated mezzanine level. In addition to the new staircase, a chair lift has also been installed.


The Uinta County Library is holding an art contest for students in grades 7 to 12 to select art work that will appear on every memorial book in the library. The winner will also receive $50.

The Teton County Library hosted the Sand Glass Theater, a world- renowned puppet theater during February.


The Goshen County Public Library celebrated its second anniversary in February with an open house.


The Uinta County libraries and Lyman High School Library joined forces and donated 25 boxes of books and supplies to Wamsutter Community Library.

Board changes

The Uinta County Commissioners have appointed three new members to fill vacancies on the library’s board of trustees. The new members are: Marilyn Rudy, Mountain View; and Peggy Decaria and Ann Lavery, Evanston. They replace Dave Jensen, Marcia Shelton and Elaine Phillips.