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National Bookmobile Day; Lake Travis Community Library

2018 April 11
by Kyla Hunt

Today is National Bookmobile Day! We have been highlighting a few of the fantastic bookmobile programs throughout Texas. Today we are focusing on the Lake Travis Community Library!

Lake Travis Bookmobile Could you provide a brief history of your library’s bookmobile program?
Our bookmobile program started as an outcome of our library’s long-range plan as a way to serve patrons in the farthest reaches of our library district, which covers 102 square miles. After much research in vehicles, the bookmobile was purchased in 2016 and started service in September of that year. We reached out to the community to gauge interest and need for a bookmobile service in different areas, and we are now currently serving a mixture of neighborhoods, RV parks, food pantries, preschools, and assisted living facility stops over a two-week period.

How many books does your bookmobile circulate annually?
In our first year of service, we circulated approximately 20,000 items, signed up almost five hundred new library accounts, and approximately 10,500 people walked through the door of our bookmobile at regular stops and special events.

Did you obtain any grants to get your bookmobile program off the ground?Lake Travis Bookmobile
We were fortunate enough to receive the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission Special Projects Grant for the salary of an outreach librarian and in the second year, an outreach assistant. We also received a Texas Book Festival Collections Enhancement Grant for a starting collection for the bookmobile. Our local Rotary Club also supported the bookmobile by purchasing signage and promotional materials.

In your experience, does the bookmobile appeal more to children? To the elderly? To everyone?
The bookmobile definitely appeals more to children, partly because it seems fun to smaller patrons to board a truck and get a book, and the experience sometimes comes with hand stamps and snacks (when their parents say it’s ok). But the elderly appreciate the service as well when books and library materials are brought to their assisted living facility, along with a friendly face and good conversation. We’d love to think the bookmobile appeals to everyone.

What feedback have you received from your community regarding your bookmobile?
Patrons who visit the bookmobile tell us they enjoy the service and love seeing the bookmobile driving around on the roads. Our main library circulation and patronage has increased in the time the bookmobile has been in service, hopefully due in some part to the bookmobile advertising library service. We have heard the bookmobile collection feels less overwhelming than the main library collection, though of course the main library has a larger selection. We have many families who regularly visit the bookmobile, which we take as a sign that they enjoy the service. We hear from our preschools that the kids look forward to bookmobile day and have fun reading their new books after their visit.

What does the future look like for your bookmobile program? Do you anticipate expanding it or maintaining it?
We are certainly maintaining the stops we have, which seem to be doing well and appear to be appreciated by the community. We hope to expand to more stops as our community grows, and hopefully we can attend more special events as well. We would like to add more programming at various stops and hopefully introduce more curriculum at schools when appropriate. The possibilities are endless!

Do you think bookmobiles are regaining popularity in Texas? If so, why?
It certainly feels like bookmobiles are regaining popularity in Texas as we hear about more programs starting in the Central Texas area. It also seems like bookmobiles are following a general trend toward more home delivery service in all life services, such as grocery stores, online purchases, etc. Bookmobiles are a good outreach vehicle (no pun intended!) for getting the word out in the community about the library and taking library resources to where people live. If someone forgets to return an item, they can run home and get it while the bookmobile is still at their stop. We love seeing the faces of new patrons when they realize how many resources are available through their local library!

Does your library have a bookmobile program that you would like to share? Do so in the comments!

Public Comment Open for TSLAC Sunset Review

2018 April 10
by Katherine Adelberg

The mission and performance of the State Library and Archives Commission are under review by the Legislature as required under the Texas Sunset Act.

Through the Sunset review, every Texan has the opportunity to suggest ways in which the mission and operations of the State Library and Archives Commission can be strengthened.

If you would like to share your ideas about the Library and Archives Commission, please send an email to the address below, use the comment form on the Sunset Commission website, or contact Tamara Schiff of the Sunset staff.  Suggestions are preferred by May 11, 2018, so they can be fully considered by the Commission staff. Comments are considered confidential.

Sunset Advisory Commission
P.O. Box 13066
Austin, Texas  78711
Fax: 512/463-0705

The Sunset Act provides that the Sunset Commission, composed of legislators and public members, periodically evaluate a state agency to determine if the agency is still needed and to explore ways to ensure that the agency’s funds are well spent.  Based on the recommendations of the Sunset Commission, the Texas Legislature ultimately decides whether an agency continues to operate into the future.

The Sunset review involves three steps.

  1. Sunset Commission staff will evaluate the State Library and Archives Commission and issue a report in July 2018 recommending solutions to problems found.
  2. A month or so later, the Sunset Commission will meet to hear public testimony on the agency and the recommendations of the Sunset staff.
  3. Based on public input and the Sunset staff report, the Sunset Commission will adopt recommendations for the full Legislature to consider when it convenes in January 2019.

Please refer to the Sunset Commission website or call the office at 512-463-1300 for updated information on specific dates for these meetings.


National Bookmobile Day: El Paso Public Library

2018 April 10
by Kyla Hunt

As we approach National Bookmobile Day on April 11, we are highlighting a few of the fantastic bookmobile programs throughout Texas. Today we are focusing on the El Paso Public Library!

El Paso BookmobileCould you provide a brief history of your library’s bookmobile program?

In 1937, the El Paso Public Library had a specially built cart dubbed the “rolling branch” or “rolling Library”, which served the patients in local hospitals. Twenty years later, 1957, we had our first Bookmobile, complete with air conditioning!

Throughout the years, the Bookmobile was replaced and more units were added, up to 5 at one time. In 1997, a new Bookmobile replaced the last of the five vehicles to retire.

Finally, our two newest Bookmobiles replaced the old one in El Paso Bookmobile2014. These are smaller units that allow for more accessibility and outreach, complete with WIFI, are ADA compliant, plus roll-away book carts and canopies. One unit is assigned to do regular Stops, while the second unit is made available to the community thru reservations for events and school visits.

How many books does your bookmobile circulate annually?

Back in 1937, it was about 3,800 annually. Just last year, it was over 24,000 books annually.

Did you obtain any grants to get your bookmobile program off the ground?

Through the years, several of the Bookmobiles were funded by grants. Thanks to the 2012 Quality of Life Bond, the newer buses were obtained.

In your experience, does the bookmobile appeal more to children? To the elderly? To everyone?

El Paso BookmobileWe do get a good amount of families who use the Bookmobile, but in my experience, it does seem to attract school age kids, followed by our senior population.

What feedback have you received from your community regarding your bookmobile?

Our residents have expressed their appreciation for this service. We have received many compliments as we’re still being discovered by new users, while older generations reminisce about their childhood when they used the first Bookmobiles. It’s such a personal bond, I feel as if we’re visiting friends and family, our patrons really look forward to our visits!

National Bookmobile Day: Georgetown Public Library

2018 April 9
by Kyla Hunt

As we approach National Bookmobile Day on April 11, we are highlighting a few of the fantastic bookmobile programs throughout Texas. Today we are focusing on the Georgetown Public Library!

GeorgeownGeorgetown Public Library’s bookmobile program started in 2012 with a grant from Texas State Library and fundraising from our Friends of the Library group. The bookmobile circulates an average of 2,000 items a month. We visit 28 senior focused stops and 32 children/family focused stops per month.

Our outreach service appeals equally to young and aging Georgetownmembers of our community. Our service began under the operation and supervision of one librarian and has grown into a team of three trained staff members that care for and maintain regularly scheduled stops and bookmobile operations. Most of our programming is geared towards children. As our Outreach team expands to accommodate our growing community we are hopeful to create programming for our senior patrons and keep our vision aimed at innovation and growth.

GeorgetownOur community LOVES the bookmobile! I can’t tell you how many folks walk onto the bus with eyes of nostalgia telling me about the bookmobile that came to their neighborhood when they were young. I receive emails weekly simply expressing gratitude for this service! The opportunities we have, as public servants, to positively impact the lives of others are such precious gifts. Beyond books, as outreach workers, the impact of our kindness, our patience, our understanding, our humanity is immeasurable.

We are in constant motion! Continually collaborating, Georgetownconnecting and enriching the lives of our citizens. Last week we worked with the Georgetown Fire and Police department on an annual event for preschoolers called the Stuffed Animal Road Trip. This event is fun for everyone involved and gives us the opportunity to promote literacy, community and imagination!

As Texas cities continue to grow and the needs of our communities increase and change I can’t imagine the need for outreach slowing down. I believe bookmobiles and outreach services will continue to enrich and empower our cities and help guide us into a thriving and innovative future.

Free CE and Training This Week – April 9-13

2018 April 8
by Christina Manz

Our weekly listing of free training online and free Texas workshops is updated as new events are added – throughout the week! See what’s happening on the CE calendar. Confirm the date and time when you register, or follow links for archive information. Events listed in Central Time.

Tuesday April 10, 2018
Habits of a Highly Successful Fundraiser (The Good Partnership)
Join this webinar to learn about tips and tools and to how to successfully use stories in your small nonprofit. There will also be Q&A time.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

STEM vs. STEAM: Science and Art in the Classroom (Booklist)
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics have proved to be invaluable foundations in the curriculum, but there are many areas where the arts naturally intersect. This free, hour-long webinar, sponsored by Workman, DK, Lerner, Holiday House, and Black Rabbit, will offer up a wide range of titles for students, be they more STEM or STEAM inclined.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Adapting the FDLP Certificate Program for Training Student Workers & Library Assistants (Federal Depository Library Program)
In this webinar, participants will learn more about training library assistants and student workers.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Go Viral! Motivating Your Employees to Share Their Knowledge (InSync Training)
We never want for information in everyday life. Have a problem? Just Google it away! Unfortunately, everything changes when we go to work. The knowledge we need remains hidden in hierarchical silos and training materials. Employees are left to fend for themselves – often with negative results. Let’s dig into the knowledge sharing behaviors that have become so commonplace in our daily lives and share specific tactics to activate these behaviors in the workplace.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

How to Think about Major Gifts (Nonprofit Hub)
In this webinar, you will learn about understanding the proper structure for major gift, how to describe and understand the 7-Pillars of a successful major gift program and be able to assess your nonprofit’s culture of philanthropy.
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Making & Amplifying Educator Connections through the AASL Standards (American Association of School Librarians)
Why are connections with educators so essential to school librarians? Participants will delve into the National School Library Standards and available resources to make authentic and purposeful connections with educators. Participants will create an action plan to help them plan, record, and amplify the results of their connections.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Wednesday April 11, 2018
NCompass Live: Teen Services Without Teen Spaces: Innovative Programming (Nebraska Library Commission)
Learn how the Marion Public Library, with no dedicated programming space, cultivated an after school crowd through revised scheduling, drop-in programs, and new community connections.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Why Build Relationships with Grantmakers? (Charity How To)
Why isn’t a well written proposal enough to get the grant award?! Participating in “Why Build Relationships With Grantmakers” will strengthen your relationship building efforts and grant writing results in your grant seeking strategy. In this live, interactive webinar we talk briefly about *why* relationships with grantmakers are important. We will share ways to learn if a grantmaker has the capacity to have relationships with potential grantees prior to submitting an award versus what their preference is for communication prior to an award. We will also address the key role that your colleagues should play in the grant relationship outreach process and how to get them excited and engaged to help look for connections and make introductions to grantmakers.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

How to Develop Outcome Measures & Design Effective Surveys (Public Library Association)
Outcome measurement is a way for libraries to assess their impact on the people they serve and helps libraries answer the question, “What good did we do?” Libraries may need to measure outcomes for a variety of reasons—from measuring and improving impact, to better managing services and resources, to demonstrating a need for funding or other support. This webinar will help libraries develop their own outcome measures based on program goals and implement those measures through effective survey design. This webinar is the second in a series featuring Project Outcome’s Outcome Measurement Guidelines, designed to help guide and provide additional support for outcome-focused data collection.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

5 Easy Wins to Increase Online Donations in 5 Minutes (The Digital Nonprofit)
Getting more people to donate online can sometimes seem more like voodoo than science: Your ED says to add more links. Blogs say to run intricate A/B tests for button colors. You just want the thing to friggin’ work on mobile! What strategies actually work? And better yet, which ones will yield the biggest return for your effort? In this webinar, we’ll answer those questions by reviewing 5 easy wins all nonprofits should do to increase donations online. These are 5-minute tweaks we’ll show you how to do yourself—no more waiting for the webmaster to make 1 change.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

An Organizer’s Tale: Mobilizing Allies for Union Negotiations in Libraries (EveryLibrary)
In this free webinar, Emily Drabinski will discuss lessons learned through fighting for a fair union contract. More than anything, making political change requires mobilizing people. Drawing on the experiences she described in the Political Librarian piece “An Organizer’s Tale: LIU Brooklyn’s Lockout and Union Contract Negotiation,” Drabinski will share concrete strategies for building power, developing and maintaining lists, assessing allies, and holding organizing conversations.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Sustainable Connected Learning for Youth (Georgia Library Association)
Connected Learning is an innovative approach to youth learning that is based on the principle that learning happens best when it is interest-driven, peer supported, and academically oriented. Learn how the connected learning model has been implemented at Cuyahoga County Public Library’s 27 branches and how you can implement similar programming in your library.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Child Care Now & Beyond: Perspectives from American and Canadian Advocates (Early Childhood Investigations)
In this powerful webinar, two of the most influential child care advocates in the US and Canada share their insights about the state of child care in their respective countries. Lynette Fraga from Child Care Aware of America, and Morna Ballantyne from Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada will discuss current challenges and opportunities for child care systems in their countries now, and share insights about the path forward toward increasing quality and affordability of, and access to child care in the future.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

What Is the Federal Register? (Federal Depository Library Program)
The Federal Register is the official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other Presidential documents. This webinar will cover the historical background and purpose of the Federal Register, as well as how to use it in daily life. It is appropriate for anyone who ever gets questions about: food labelling requirements, cosmetic ingredients, Fair Labor standards, oil drilling regulations, the Physician Fee Schedule, pesticide tolerances, net neutrality, presidential proclamations and executive orders in the news, and so much more.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Spotlight on Emerging Tech in Gov (GovLoop)
From automation to cybersecurity to the cloud, the way the government works is fundamentally different than it was even 10 years ago. And now the pace of that technological revolution is advancing at an even faster rate. So how can agencies keep up? And what emerging technologies are making the biggest impact?
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Introduction to Fundraising Planning (GrantSpace)
Does your organization need help directing its fundraising efforts? Planning focuses your organization by setting fundraising priorities and helps give staff and board members a roadmap to success.This introductory class will provide you the basic steps for developing a fundraising plan.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

College and Career Ready! Motivate and Empower Struggling Readers in High School (edWeb)
In this edWebinar, high school co-teachers Elizabeth Hauser and Katherine Young will demonstrate how to channel motivation to increase literacy skills in struggling adolescent students.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Thursday April 12, 2018
Helping the Homeless: How Libraries Offer Hope (Utah State Library and ULS RASART Roundtable)
Join Ethan Sellers (Volunteers of America) to learn about the role of the library in aiding the homeless population. Find out about demographics, factors and causes, and agencies that can offer assistance. Learn best practices for interacting with the homeless and the library’s role as a tool in reducing poverty.
Time: 11-12:30 p.m.

PubMed for Librarians: Customization with My NCBI (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
PubMed for Librarians: Customization with My NCBI, is a synchronous online session that includes hands-on exercises. Attend this class to learn about the advantages of creating a My NCBI account, managing and manipulating settings in your My NCBI account, identifying available filters in your My NCBI account, and how to create a custom filter.
Time: 12-1:30 p.m.

Interactions with Teens (YALSA)
Join this YALSA webinar facilitated by knowledgeable youth development experts and library staff that focuses on interactions with teens.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

A Librarian’s Guide to Solo Leadership: How to Lead When You Don’t Think You Have Anyone to Lead (Colorado State Library)
It’s not always easy to lead an entire organization by yourself. Solo librarians are in the unique position where we are expected to be leaders but we very rarely, if ever, have a staff to lead. This presentation is geared toward the solo librarian or librarians who oversee a very small staff. Through storytelling and anecdotes, I hope to encourage and inspire librarians to take charge of their unique leadership roles within their organizations and discover opportunities to collaborate, learn, and influence others outside of their organization. No registration is required! The session will be offered via Adobe Connect. You can access the classroom via the CSL in Session website:
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

A Librarian’s Guide to Solo Leadership: How to Lead When You Don’t Think You Have Anyone to Lead (Colorado State Library)
It’s not always easy to lead an entire organization by yourself. Solo librarians are in the unique position where we are expected to be leaders but we very rarely, if ever, have a staff to lead. This presentation is geared toward the solo librarian or librarians who oversee a very small staff. Through storytelling and anecdotes, I hope to encourage and inspire librarians to take charge of their unique leadership roles within their organizations and discover opportunities to collaborate, learn, and influence others outside of their organization. No registration is required! The session will be offered via Adobe Connect. You can access the classroom via the CSL in Session website:
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Serving Older Adults and Their Care Partners at Your Library (Infopeople)
By 2030, projections indicate that 25% of the US population will be 65 or older. This means that libraries will be serving a steadily increasing number of older patrons and their care partners. This webinar will help you understand and adapt to these users’ changing needs.
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Author Ideas on Integrating Fiction into the Middle-Grade and Middle-School Curriculum (American Association of School Librarians)
Three authors of novels for middle-grade/middle school students discuss the value of including fiction in teaching various curriculum areas – and not just designating novels as “extra-credit!” The authors will reveal the depth of their research for historical fiction (Rebecca Behrens, “The Last Grand Adventure”); for science/nature study (Jo Hackl, “Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe”); and about political and social change (Sara Holbrook, “Enemy”).
Time: 3-4:00 p.m.

Friday April 13, 2018
LYRASIS Second Fridays – It Takes a Village: Open Source Software Models of Collaboration and Sustainability – Themes and Future Directions (Lyrasis)
Why do some community-supported open source programs seem more successful than others? Why do some live on grants while some achieve financial sustainability? What can open source program staff learn from one another? In 2017, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided grant funding to enable LYRASIS to assess how open-source software (OSS) programs serving cultural and scientific heritage organizations attain long-term sustainability. Join the webinar to find out the results.
Time: 11:30-1:00 p.m.

Free CE and Training This Week – April 2-6

2018 April 1
by Christina Manz

Our weekly listing of free training online and free Texas workshops is updated as new events are added – throughout the week! See what’s happening on the CE calendar. Confirm the date and time when you register, or follow links for archive information. Events listed in Central Time.

Monday April 2, 2018
Jumpstart Your Week (Motivate Monday)
How are nonprofit professionals jumpstarting their week with purpose? Join us for Motivate Monday where: We share your wins; Feature a special guest with a quick tip to get your week started right; And close with a Q&A session.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

Libraries Enhancing Rural Access for Neighbors (LEARN) Project (University of Wyoming ECHO in Assistive Technology)
In this session, the Wyoming Assistive Technology Resources (WATR) and Wyoming State Library (WSL) will highlight their collaboration to increase assistive technology (AT) awareness through AT Toolkits at a Wyoming library near you. Learn about the AT that is inside and how to get your hands on these amazing tools.
Time: 4:15-5:00 p.m.

Tuesday April 3, 2018
NERF Squadron: Chaos with a Purpose (Washington State Library)
We started off with a simple idea; Bring your NERF gun (or use ours), and a friend (or make some here), and let’s battle! What began as a serendipitous brainstorm has grown into one of our most successful teen programs. Middle and High School students are invited to the library after-hours and enjoy a monthly event that encourages exercise, friendly competition, and teamwork. Join us as we discuss best practices, what scenarios you can play, and how you can adapt and scale the program for your library. Presented by Nick Madsen, Community Library Network.
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

In a Volunteer Recruitment Rut? Steps to Up Your Tech Game (VolunteerMatch)
Join VolunteerMatch and the Association for Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) for this upcoming webinar where we’ll share insights into recruiting great volunteers online and tips for crafting an irresistible volunteer opportunity.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Library Love for LibraryReads (Booklist)
Do you participate in LibraryReads, the monthly nationwide public library staff picks list for adult fiction and nonfiction? Are you thinking about it? Join us for this free, one-hour webinar where we’ll show you how to participate. Representatives from Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and W. W. Norton will present forthcoming books perfect for public libraries and LibraryReads nominations.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Marketing-as-a-Service: An Introduction to USAGov’s Partnership Toolkit (DigitalGov)
USAGov recognizes that all of us as agencies have a common mission: to serve the public. We work with different agency partners to educate and inform them on various government programs and services. Through these partnerships, we not only engage and guide different audiences, but work to steadily demystify what it means to “market in the Government.”
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Wednesday April 4, 2018
NCompass Live: Building a Future: The Big Move (Nebraska Library Commission)
The Timbrook Library, the busiest branch in the Campbell County Public Library System, located in Central Virginia, spent decades waiting for new construction. They operated out of a bookmobile (which eventually broke down and went up on blocks), a room in a school, and a storefront for many years before moving into a standalone building with amenities such as meetings spaces, tutor rooms, and a lunch room. The move was not without its own challenges. As we celebrate our second anniversary in the building, we’ll discuss the bumps and bruises (physical and on some egos) which occurred during the month-long move, how we handled this massive change, and how our team came through stronger than ever.
Time: 10-11:00 a.m.

Introduction to Digital Preservation Basics (Treasure State Academic Information & Library Services)
Please join us for a simple introduction to digital archiving and digital preservation! This webinar is jointly hosted by the TRAILS Digital Preservation Committee and the TRAILS Professional Development Committee. UM Digital Archivist, Professor Erin Baucom, will present digital preservation at a basic level that is suitable for both content creators of and archivists/librarians who will receive digital objects.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

It’s a New World: How to Cultivate Your Community Online (Firespring)
Join Dana Ostomel, Firespring’s vice president of nonprofit industry development, to discover the secret sauce of cultivating a community primed and ready to support you.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

Obtain & Utilize Donor Data Effectively to Increase Giving (Network for Good)
Database-phobes do not fear. In this webinar we’ll dig into the fundamentals of collecting donor information and how to use that information to better cultivate and steward your donors.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

School & Public Library Partnerships: STEAM to Students (Indiana State Library)
Join Deb Gaff, youth services librarian at the Bartholomew County Public Library—and former teacher—as she discusses the STEAM programs she does for students both in school and at BCPL.  These programs include Coder Dojo, working with robots, a Nick & Tesla book club, and more.  She’ll explain how BCPL got started with these initiatives, share strategies for establishing a relationship with schools, and offer tips for libraries who may have less resources than BCPL.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Trust, Technology, and Storytelling: How Social Changes Impact Fundraising (Blackbaud)
Trust in media, brands, and traditional gatekeepers is declining. Formerly influential voices no longer move opinions, and there’s less certainty in the world. At the same time, individuals are becoming consumers AND creators of media as result of mobile apps and social networking platforms. Your fundraising must pivot and adjust to these trends: What will it take to remain effective, grow support, and drive engagement? In this webinar, Fundraising and Communications Expert Michael Hoffman—founder of social good marketing agency See3, the DoGooder Video Awards, and tech startup Gather Voices—will provide answers. Join him to learn how storytelling and powerful tech can drive next-level acquisition and retention.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Librarian’s Guide to Trade Data, Part 8: U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Federal Depository Library Program)
Participants will learn how to use the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ Transborder Freight Data website as well as features on the “Trade” web page of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

An Introduction to Online Fundraising for Small and Medium-Sized Nonprofits (Charity How To)
Online fundraising is the fasting growing segment of giving. Donors of all ages are using their smartphones, tablets, and computers to connect with causes and to give money to fundraising campaigns. During this free nonprofit webinar, you’ll learn the tactics to successfully raise money online for your nonprofit, even if you are a small or midsize organization. This webinar will detail the basics of an online fundraising campaign;  how social media & online tools can be used to raise more money; ways you can fit online giving into your long-term strategy;  and Julia’s 10 steps to online fundraising success!
Time: 2-3:00 p.m.

Librarians’ Insights on How to Integrate Technology into Makerspaces (School Library Journal)
In this webinar, Dr. Azadeh Jamalian, Head of Education Strategy at littleBits, discusses best practices on bringing hands-on coding and STEAM into your school’s library makerspace and STEM labs. She’ll review pilot and case studies examining STEM implementation in elementary and middle school libraries and makerspaces, and she’ll provide important take-aways applicable for different programs.
Time: 3-4:00 p.m.

Making & Assessing Learner Connections through the AASL Standards (American Association of School Librarians)
This highly informative session will investigate the application of the framework in library lessons. She’ll discuss designing and enhancing learner experiences using the Shared Foundations and learner Competencies in the National School Library Standards. Participants will also be introduced to student assessment opportunities provided through the AASL Standards.
Time: 6-7:00 p.m.

Thursday April 5, 2018
The New CEO Activism: What Leaders Must Know (Harvard Business Review)
In this interactive HBR webinar, Toffel and Chatterji will share lessons from executives who are part of the new “CEO activism.” They’ll explore these leaders’ strategies for avoiding zero-sum debates, coming out ahead with a strong stand, and reframing and redirecting controversial issues.
Time: 11-12:00 p.m.

Industry and Campus Webinar: Why Security and Privacy Shouldn’t Be Enemies (EduCause)
The higher education sector faces a unique set of challenges that begin with the basic characteristics and behaviors of its users: students, faculty, and staff are constantly on the move, plugging into university resources from many locations and different devices without restrictions on their online traffic. This behavior makes the sensitive information they hold a “juicy” target for cyberattackers. While this scenario may warrant setting up harsh restrictions, a university is a dynamic place, fostering a free exchange of ideas, and we all want it to remain so. This session will explore how advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) are making it possible to solve this huge challenge.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

Selecting Accounting and Financial Management Software for Your Nonprofit (IdealWare)
In this webinar, we will present findings from our brand new Idealware research report, Selecting Financial Management Software For Your Nonprofit, then host a panel discussion to help you understand the landscape of financial management software and how to find the right fit.
Time: 12-1:00 p.m.

PubMed for Librarians: Using Evidence-Based Search Features (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
The webinar will explore Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) used for indexing study design and how they work in PubMed, introduce 3 PubMed products that facilitate evidence based searching, and demonstrate how to customize My NCBI Filters to quickly locate specific publication types.
Time: 12-1:30 p.m.

CopyTalk: Are Librarians Confident Assessing Fair Use? (District Dispatch)
Presented by Sara Benson, Copyright Librarian at the University of Illinois. Sara will discuss her study to measure both academic librarian confidence and comprehension of fair use. The results, though limited in scope, provide encouraging evidence that appropriate training, even on a time-limited level, can help library professionals improve their knowledge of fair use.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

Online Fundraising Best Practices for Nonprofits (Firespring)
In this educational session, Jay will share best practices—including detailed formulas that every nonprofit should be using—to track the effectiveness of their fundraising efforts.
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Mysterious, Magical, and Mischievous: A Sneak Peek of Newly Selected Middle Grade Books (Junior Library Guild)
Listen in as JLG editors Susan Marston, Liz Gavril, and Maria Wang discuss some of the must-read books their team hand-picked for middle school this spring. From high-interest novels and engaging nonfiction to thrilling fantasies and mysteries, they will share new titles that will help you provide the right books for your readers. Appropriate for grades 5 – 8 school and public librarians and educators.
Time: 2-2:30 p.m.

Promoting Meaningful Making in Your School (Demco)
In this webinar, maker expert Nicholas Provenzano will share with you the many different ways to create an inclusive, meaningful and accessible makerspace that will allow students to explore and learn in the ways that matter most to them. Not all makerspaces are created equal, and this webinar will help you tailor your space to the needs of your students and your teachers.
Time: 3-4:00 p.m.

Friday April 6, 2018
6 Essentials for Teams that Work (Effectiveness Institute)
Learn what it takes to build your high performance team. The strongest and most effective teams tap into and activate the strengths of every team member and build an environment rich with trust and respect. This allows for open communication and cohesiveness, which enables a team to rise to its full potential and overcome any obstacle to achieve desired results. Learn how you can build a breakthrough team by participating in our one-hour webinar.
Time: 1-2:00 p.m.

PLA Conference Highlights, Part 2

2018 March 30
by Cindy Fisher

Earlier this month, staff from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission had the opportunity to attend the Public Library Association’s conference. We wanted to share one experience from Cindy Fisher, Library Technology Consultant. Enjoy!

Despite Winter Storm Toby’s best attempt to keep me from attending my first Public Library Association Conference, I made it time for the last day and half of programming. Before heading off to my first session, I stopped by Loveytown, an interactive art project from Madison, Wisconsin artist Michael  Velliquette, and co-sponsored by Madison Public Library’s The Bubbler and Anythink Library in Adams County, CO.  It was a whimsical creative way to begin the day and judging from other conference attendees studiously decorating their paper dolls, the mental break was welcome.

Two sessions I attended focused on different approaches to facilitating technology learning in public libraries: Transforming Digital Learning at the Calgary Public Library and Flipped Classroom: Turning Traditional Library Programs Upside Down from three different branches of the Gwinnett County Library System in Georgia.

Library staff at Calgary Public Library realized that with the growing number of devices, apps, tools, and technology resources patrons needed assistance with, library staff would never be able to keep up with it all. So instead of trying to keep up, they changed their approach from teaching technology to facilitating technology learning using techniques adapted from a problem-solving approach called computational thinking.

Computational thinking uses four steps to tackle problems in a systematic way:

  • Decompose: Break a problem down into smaller pieces
  • Pattern matching: Find similarities between things
  • Abstraction: Pull out specific differences to make one solution work for multiple problems
  • Algorithm: A list of steps that you can follow to finish a task

While this approach was developed out of the computer science discipline, subjects as diverse as literature, economics, chemistry, cooking, and now technology learning,  have used this approach to facilitate learning.

The presenters gave one example of how they integrated this approach into working with their patrons.  After library staff were abruptly notified that they would no longer be able provide Microsoft Word on their library PCs, they quickly had to offer GoogleDocs workshops at their library to meet the word processing needs of their patrons. Anticipating the technology anxiety that many patrons (and staff) might have, they devised a library class that used computational thinking elements Pattern Matching and Abstraction to find the similarities between the two software interfaces (pattern matching) and to find  find a new solution for what they didn’t know, such as identifying a new icon for printing (abstraction). You can download one of the handouts from this session if you’d like to take a closer look at what this looks like in practice.  Since this is more of a framework for approaching teaching, than a series of ready-made curriculum resources, it might seem a little daunting to try to implement this. However, I think the presenters did a great job of showing how you can implement this approach in small ways while working with a patron one-on-one or with in a classroom setting.  If you’re interested in understanding more about computational thinking, check out this free Computational Thinking for Educators online course from Google.

The second session entitled, Flipped Classroom: Turning Traditional Library Programs Upside Down, showed how three different staff members transformed three different library classes using the flipped classroom model.  This model “flips” the conventional structure of homework at home and instruction in the classroom. So in a flipped classroom, students are expected to work outside of and ahead of the classroom meeting time and then once in the library, students engage in interactive activities that practice what they learned at home. It may seem like a big ask of your patrons, so here’s how GCLS set it up. You can also find more on their handout here.

First, it should be noted that their library system has moved to a more series-based library class program, meaning that each library class builds on concepts from a previous class. This means that they expect their patrons/students to come back for the next session so there is accountability built in. These classes might last anywhere between 6 weeks to a two months. They noted that while sometimes the same students aren’t always able to attend the meetings and students drop in and out of a series of classes, a number of their classes “graduated” all of the students that started, and in one case, tight-knit groups of community members continued to meet even after the series of classes concluded.

Each of the workshops tackled different topics and were led by different library staff:

  • A Citizenship class used materials from the S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to teach concepts to the class. The instructor also created a Powerpoint covering the topics and sent these materials to students email addresses to review ahead of the next class. While they would cover some of the emailed content in classes if some people hadn’t had time to review the concepts, they spent most of the time in class practicing vocabulary and working on activities.
  • A library staff member was hoping to engage her elderly patron population on how to use some of the library technology to help them capture and digitize their old photos and scrapbooks. She created tutorials and again used email to send materials ahead of time. While her students were less enthusiastic about the “flipped” nature of their workshop, they took quickly to the scanner and soon became the community’s Local History Club, organizing and presenting at town celebrations. The class was supposed to last for six weeks, and it has been going on now for over a year.
  • Another library staff member responded to interest in a Spanish learning for native English speakers by creating a Spanish Language Learning class. Gwinett County Public Library subscribes to Mango Languages so students were assigned lessons they could complete on their this own in this online database and then they would spend time in class engaging in discussion.  The library staff member also reached out to Mango Languages who provided a text document of the online course that was being used in the class so the library instructor could also work through the lessons in person.

There were so many great sessions at the Public Library Association conference this year — if you were able to attend, what did you learn? Tell us in the comments! If you weren’t able to attend, check out these short videos that cover some of the conference’s highlights.

PLA Conference Highlights, Part 1

2018 March 29

Earlier this month, staff from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission had the opportunity to attend the Public Library Association’s conference. We wanted to share one experience from Bethany Wilson, the Youth Services Consultant. Enjoy!

Despite all the flight delays and cancellations due to the arrival of Winter Storm Toby in Philadelphia, I was able to safely dodge the storm and make it to the PLA Conference on Tuesday in advance of the heavy snows. I’ve lived in southern states most of my life and I have never seen city personnel work together so seamlessly to combat the snow and ice that Toby brought to Philly! Within a day, things were back to normal in the city and I think everyone had a wonderful conference experience.

Both programs that resonated most with me revolve around outreach and I was impressed with the ways in which libraries are partnering with like-minded organizations to expand their reach and meet needs in the community. On Thursday, I attended a session presented by the San Francisco Public Library (SFPL) in collaboration with Too Small to Fail (TSTF) ( Talking is Teaching: Opportunities for Increasing Early Brain and Language Development detailed the birth of the partnership between these two organizations and their success in spreading the message about the importance of parents and caregivers as first teachers.

The target audience for this message was not library users. SFPL and TSTF agreed that they needed to meet parents and children where they were. The tool they used to promote the message was a tote bag filled with informational material about early childhood development, the role of parents and caregivers as first teachers, and the importance of talking, singing, and reading with your child. The bag also contained a t-shirt for the child along with other helpful items.

Staff were trained on how to provide a “warm hand-off” when doing outreach. It begins with an opening prompt, is followed by a research tidbit, information about the campaign and the library, and then an invitation to visit the library as they are handing off the tote bag. Once everything was in place, they took it to the streets! Outreach occurred where parents and their children congregate, such as parks and playgrounds, laundromats, stores, bus stops, and hospitals.

To date, the San Francisco Public Library and Too Small to Fail have made 2,875 new connections since their collaboration began using the warm hand-off approach. I was astonished at the number of non-library users they were able to reach using this method and the success they’ve had with it. What a fantastic and wildly successful partnership and outreach initiative!

As public librarians know, it is often difficult to get out of the branch to do outreach, particularly in smaller libraries with limited staff and hours. So, how do we expand our reach to connect to kids and parents who might not have access to or even know about summer programming available to them at the library? On Friday, Cedar Rapids Public Library presented Take Summer Reading to the Streets: Partnering to Reach Children with Barriers to Library Access, in which they explained their collaborative efforts with local organizations to meet kids where they are and bring the summer learning experience to them.

The presenters explained how their first partnership with the YMCA developed by meeting an expressed need. The YMCA said they could really use some books for kids attending their summer programs. The library eagerly stepped in to provide those books. From there, the partnership blossomed into a full-fledged, off-site summer reading program run by library volunteers at the YMCA. Kids had access to new books each week, could request books, and did not need a library card to check out books. The volunteers even sponsored craft events and other activities for the kids that aligned with summer reading activities happening at the library.

At the end of the summer, kids who participated in the YMCA program were asked three questions: 1. Do you have a library card? 2. Have you ever participated in a Summer Reading program before? 3. Have you ever visited the library? The overwhelming response to these questions was “no”, which indicated the library had found a successful way to reach a previously untouched demographic and provide them with a summer reading experience!

It’s obvious that the Cedar Rapids Public Library has developed a successful model for reaching kids who do not have access to the library in summer and they have been tweaking and perfecting that model each year. It was a fantastic outreach success story and provided some great ideas about how to begin this process in other communities.

FY2018 ILL Lending Reimbursement Program

2018 March 27
by Kyla Hunt

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s FY2018 ILL Lending Reimbursement Program will open in the Grant Management System (GMS) on Thursday, April 19, 2018.  The annual  reimbursement program assists libraries participating in statewide interlibrary loan with out of pocket expenses associated with the service, including courier service, postage costs, and staff time.  This fixed amount award is funded by the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is available to any eligible library lending items to other Texas libraries through the Navigator system.  While the reimbursement amounts vary from year to year depending on participation and available funds, TSLAC was able to reimburse libraries $5.99 per lend through the FY2017 ILL Lending Reimbursement Program.  We encourage all lending libraries to participate and appreciate the continued statewide sharing!  Look for full details on the program April 12th on our website.

A webinar outlining the details of participation in the FY2018 ILL Lending Reimbursement Program will be presented on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 10:00 am CST.  Please register for the webinar here. Everyone is welcome to join, a recording of the webinar and related handouts will be made available to those unable to attend the live session on our website.

If library directors and staff are interested in reviewing Texas libraries’ use of Navigator and how to optimize interlibrary loan activity in the community, please review TSLAC’s webinar from last October here: Where There’s a wILL, There’s a Way: Optimizing ILL Services in Texas Public Libraries

Questions? Please contact Sara Hayes at or 512-463-5406.

Register today for Telling Your Library’s Story: Value, Benefit, Worth and Impact!

2018 March 26
by Kyla Hunt

Here is your reminder to register for the TSLAC workshop
SLM Advanced – Telling Your Library’s Story: Value, Benefit, Worth and Impact! Registration is still open for the following dates and locations:

April 30: Corpus Christi

May 1: McAllen

May 14: Bedford

May 15: Waco

May 17: Alpine

May 21: Abilene

May 24: Conroe

Register here!

This workshop content is offered under SLM moniker but is applicable for all types and sizes of libraries and provides the breadth of assessment content.

The workshop presenter personalizes data for examples and exercises and matches ideas to attendees. In addition, those attending might bring a new idea, existing strategy, plan, goal, some issue they need to address or something they want to justify and work alone or bring others from the institution to work in teams to make all exercises fit for the design of a plan/content tailored to meet their need.

For example attendees could bring an issue to address, then finish the day with a concrete plan for moving forward on justifying (examples we have had so far) a new branch/new idea for a new service, or expanding existing services to serve new or changing populations.

Workshop content focuses on terminology, visuals and uses examples from contemporary library tools such as From Awareness to Funding – which discusses using tools, infographics, stories…to provide a pathway to and inspire action.