2016 Jaffarian School Library Award for Humanities Programming

The American Library Association invites school libraries to apply for a $5,000 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award recognizing outstanding humanities programming in kindergarten through eighth grade. Any school library program in the United States that serves children in any combination of grades K–8 and is staffed by a state-certified librarian is eligible.

Nominations must be received by May 6, 2016. Applications, award guidelines, and a list of previous winners are available at www.ala.org/jaffarian.

School libraries, public or private, that serve children in grades K-8 are eligible. Nominated programs must have taken place during the current school year (2015-16). Programs that are still in progress as of the award deadline are eligible, and libraries are encouraged to self-nominate. Eligible programs may focus on many subject areas, including social studies, poetry, drama, art, music, language arts, foreign language, and culture. Programs should broaden perspectives and help students understand the world and their place in it. They should be initiated and coordinated by the school librarian and exemplify the role of the library program in advancing the overall educational goals of the school.

Recent Jaffarian Award-winners have included:

  • The R.O.A.D. (Research, Observe, Analyze, Discover) I Travel, a genealogy program for eighth-graders at Perry Meridian Middle School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
  • Transforming Tales, a program that used fairy takes from around the world to serve as a creative introduction to global studies for third-graders at the Meadowbrook School of Weston (Weston, Massachusetts).
  • Who Are We?, a program that challenged seventh- and eighth-graders at the Inter-American Magnet School (Chicago) to explore the individual and collective behavior of human beings in a series of quarterly research projects.

Named after the late Sara Jaffarian, a school librarian and longtime ALA member, ALA’s Jaffarian Award was established in 2006 to recognize and promote excellence in humanities programming in elementary and middle-school libraries.

Abby Beaver Joins the Wyoming State Library


Abby Beaver

The Wyoming State Library welcomes our newest staff member. Abby Beaver has joined the team as Access Services Manager. She comes to WSL from Sheridan College Mary Brown Kooi Library where she worked as reference, cataloging, and programming librarian.

Abby holds a B.S. in biology with minors in zoology and music from the University of Wyoming. She began working at the University of Wyoming Coe library in 1999 as a student employee, and was the evening supervisor and reserves specialist from 2006 to 2008. She earned her MLS from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2010 while working at the UW George W. Hopper Law Library as a library assistant doing copy cataloging, ordering, stacks maintenance, and circulation backup. She made the move to Sheridan early in 2011.

In addition to her cataloging duties at Sheridan College, she planned programs every semester, did information literacy instruction, and started a graphic novel collection that was well-received by the students. She provided support finding materials for faculty collection development, served on committees, and helped start a faculty-staff reading book club that is still going strong.

The Access Services Manager position is evolving to meet the needs of Wyoming libraries. Abby’s work at the State Library will include coordinating resource sharing efforts across Wyoming by managing statewide contracts with OCLC and product vendors, like Baker & Taylor, and overseeing the interlibrary loan services provided through VDX.

“I’m looking forward to learning new things here,” she said, “working at a more macro level to help all the libraries throughout Wyoming make materials more available. And I’m just excited to work with such great people at the State Library.”

A Casper native, Abby is a musician, mostly on percussion and piano. Other hobbies include knitting, quilting, sewing costumes, spending time with her dog Jack (a boxer), and “Of course, reading.” She plans to take advantage of the many things going on in Cheyenne now that she’s moved to a larger community.

Abby may be reached at the Wyoming State Library at abby.beaver@wyo.gov or 307-777-5913.

GPO Launches govinfo

govinfo_logo_blue_square_0The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has launched www.govinfo.gov, a new way for the public to discover and access information from federal agencies and organizations in all three branches of government. Govinfo is a user-friendly, modernized site that provides an easy to use navigation system accessible on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and personal computers. Currently in beta, govinfo will replace GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) in 2017.

There are more than 1.5 million titles available on govinfo, with more added daily. Collections include:

  • The Congressional Record
  • Federal Register
  • Congressional Calendars, Hearings, Reports
  • Bills
  • The U.S. Code
  • Code of Federal Regulations
  • U.S. Courts Opinions
  • The Federal Budget

Key features on govinfo include:

  • Mobile-friendly optimized for screen size
  • An alphabetical list of collections
  • Quick links to popular publications
  • Related documents
  • Search by calendar
  • Shareable social media content

GPO provides for free, permanent public access to federal government information through www.govinfo.gov, through its online bookstore, and through partnerships with approximately 1,200 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Wyoming has nine FDLP libraries where staff can assist in finding government information. Visit GPO online at www.gpo.gov.

Infographic: Librarians Embrace Tech Instruction

From School Library Journal

Need help making the case for librarians as technology leaders? This handy infographic, based on School Library Journal‘s 2015 technology survey, is free to download and share. Click on the infographic below for a larger image.


For details about SLJ‘s findings, see the related story, “School Librarians Want More Tech—and Bandwidth | SLJ 2015 Tech Survey.”

2016 Big Talk From Small Libraries Online Conference Schedule Now Available

join_us2The full schedule for the 2016 Big Talk From Small Libraries online conference is now available. This free event runs from 7:45 a.m to 4 p.m. MST on Friday, February 26.

Organizers are still collecting details from the presenters, so some descriptions and speaker bios are not posted yet. Additional information will be filled in as it is received.

Big Talk From Small Libraries is aimed at librarians from small libraries; the smaller the better! Each speaker is from a small library or directly works with small libraries. Topics range from technology (new and old tech) to programming to new roles for the library.

Everyone is welcome to register and attend, regardless of how big or small your library. Register at nlcblogs.nebraska.gov/bigtalk/registration.

WDE Invites Input on Statewide Digital Learning Plan

The Wyoming of Education (WDE) is holding meetings across the state to gather public input as the Statewide Digital Learning Plan (SDLP) is being prepared for presentation to school districts and legislators. The SDLP is a five year comprehensive technology plan to improve student access to digital learning opportunities.

Librarians are active in statewide educational technology issues. Two school librarians and two members of the Wyoming State Library staff serve on the Statewide Education Technology Plan Advisory Panel. The SDLP meetings offer an opportunity for librarians to weigh in on digital learning.

“Through the work of the Distance Education Task Force we saw the need for a comprehensive plan on education technology and the need to do more to determine the needs of students,” said Brent Bacon, WDE Chief Academic Officer. “The listening sessions will be to meet with folks to make sure we continue to create more opportunities for all Wyoming students.”

One goal of the sessions is to understand how technology is currently being used in the classroom.

“Students, parents, educators, boards of trustees, libraries, the community college system, the University of Wyoming, and individuals from both the public and private sector will all benefit from network connectivity in and between schools, communities, and between the state and the world,” said Ballard.

The tour kicked off in Evanston on January 25, and finishes in Cheyenne on February 10. All listening sessions are scheduled from 4-6 p.m. in school district buildings. Remaining dates and locations on the tour:

  • January 27 – Rawlins, High School, Cafeteria
  • January 28 – Riverton, Central Office, Round Room
  • Feburary 1 – Casper, Central Services, Jefferson Room
  • February 2 – Cody, Middle School, Commons
  • February 3 – Sheridan, Central Office, Board Room
  • February 4 – Gillette, Staff Development Center, Willow Room
  • February 9 – Laramie, Special Services Building, District Training Room
  • February 10 – Cheyenne, Storey Gym, District Boardroom

More information and Frequently Asked Questions at