Monthly Archive for September, 2008

Colorado scores again!

Some exciting news for Colorado this month! Robbie Marks and Keith Lance have an article in the September issue of School Library Journal, pp 44 – 47, on the positive correlation between public library services and early reading success.  In the sidebar are quotes by Carol Wagstaff (Douglas County Libraries) and Maxine Curley (Mesa County Public Library District). There is also a mention of Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL), an early literacy group formed in January 2008.

For more information:

Note: CLEL members will be presenting a session on early literacy at the Youth Services workshops in October.  Register now for one of the 5 statewide workshops.

Rural & Small Library Conference

Over 200 librarians from all over the U.S. gathered in Sacramento to spend three days networking, attending workshops, and just plain playing around. In the Exhibit Hall, a technology petting zoo was set up so that librarians could get their hands on the newest tech gadgets. You should have heard the librarians rockin’ out on Play Station’s newest product – Rock Band. The conference had it all, great workshops, fantastic keynote speakers, good food, and of course friendly company. I am sure we all left feeling good about this one (see pics). Don’t miss the next Association of Rural & Small Library Conference 2009 in Gatlin, TN.

Golfing in the Library?

Library Mini Golf

Saw this the other day and thought, what a great, innovative fund raising idea. If you’d like experts to handle it for you, check out

“Better Library Instruction” Workshops

Nance Nassar of the Colorado State Library is holding another round of her “Better Library Instruction” workshops.  This year they focus on the new “Standards for the 21st Century Learner” and how to strategically integrate them into lessons taught collaboratively. She will also help participants learn to use technology to build advocacy in their schools.

Teacher librarians, classroom teachers, specialists, and anyone else who is interested is invited to attend.

There will be 12 all-day workshops around the state:

  • Thursday, October 23, 2008:  ALAMOSA
  • Tuesday, October 28, 2008:  LA JUNTA
  • Thursday, October 30, 2008:  BRUSH
  • Tuesday, November 11, 2008:  LOVELAND
  • Thursday, November 20, 2008:  DENVER
  • Thursday, December 4, 2008:  WESTMINSTER
  • Thursday, December 11, 2008:  CASTLE ROCK
  • Tuesday, January 13, 2009:  STEAMBOAT SPRINGS
  • Wednesday, January 28, 2009:  GRAND JUNCTION
  • Thursday, February 5, 2009:  PUEBLO
  • Friday, February 6, 2009:  COLORADO SPRINGS
  • Tuesday, February 17, 2009:  GLENWOOD SPRINGS

Be sure to register at least one week in advance! Registration opens Wednesday, October 1, 2008, and is $25 per person (this includes the cost of breakfast, lunch, and materials). We hope to see you there!

Youth Services Workshops

October is just around the corner, and with that comes crisp Fall air, crunchy leaves beneath your feet, and the State Library’s annual Youth Services workshops. This year, the workshops follow a new 4-part format:

Morning Session:

  1. Summer Reading 2009: “Be Creative @ Your Library”
  2. Teen Services:  NEW!  (not just summer programs!)

Afternoon Session:

  1. Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy: CLEL resources and advocacy
  2. Youth Services:  Advocacy and evaluation

Workshops are available in 5 locations around the state:

Front Range Area:

  • Wednesday, October 15:  PUEBLO
  • Thursday, October 16:  AURORA
  • Friday, October 17:  FIRESTONE

Western Slope Area:

  • Thursday, October 23:  DELTA
  • Friday, October 24:  VAIL

Registration is open NOW! Be sure to sign up at least one week in advance. We hope to see you all there!

The Day I went to Prison

The gate slowly cranked open as I entered a place I thought I’d never be. Cameras watched silently as I walked down the wide polished hallway. Fortunately, Diane Walden the Regional Librarian was my escort. She graciously offered to take me on a tour of the libraries located within the confines of the Colorado State Penitentiary near Canon City. Diane, in her infinite wisdom, started with the most locked down site – a place where the offenders are delivered materials through a slot in their door. Next we visited the largest library on campus, the sex offenders facility where I saw many offenders busily working in the library. Our next stop was a woman’s correctional facility where I met ladies diligently working away in their business class, and working in the library. Then off to the medium-security drug offenders site. The day flew by as I learned a great deal about prision life, and the librarians who work there. A couple of things really impressed me. First, how much the offenders use and appreciate the library. Secondly,  how dedicated and passionate these librarians are. They know that what they do is immeasurably important to the future of these men and woman. Diane, their fearless leader knows it too. Thank you.

Reference Renaissance Recap

CLiC was pleased to have given 4 scholarships to the Reference Renaissance Conference in Denver in early August. Here are some edited responses from the four attendees. 


During the conference, and afterwards, my overall impression remained the same: one of hope and energy.  Hope for the future of libraries and reference, and energy of both presenters and attendees.  I came away with some great ideas, specifically the creation of a Staff Portal intranet (from the Reference Tracking session) and Library Facebook Fan Page (from the Facebook Outreach session), both of which we have already instituted.  Our MPL Staff Portal is a place for the staff to communicate online about all library departments; we even have a place for personal “Happy Hour” conversations.  The staff appreciates having one place to get all library information, and is currently learning how to navigate and engage on the site.  We are all learning about Facebook, too, with our Library Fan Page – we got three fans in the first day of page creation!  We found that it is also very easy to send event ‘invitations’, and are happy to have one more place to advertise our library programs and connect with our community. 


Victoria A. Petersen
Technology Manager
Mancos Public Library


From Antiquity to Technology: A Renaissance of Libraries Today and Tomorrow


Beginning with an inspiring and thought-provoking Keynote speech by David Lewis to the theme of “rebirth” within reference and libraries, the Reference Renaissance conference, with over 500 attendees, proved to be one of the best conferences I’ve attended in the past 3 years. Filled with great optimism and acceptance of our fast-paced world, the sessions proved to introduce new concepts and the use of collaborative technologies in libraries today and of the future. As Colorado State Librarian Gene Hainer quoted, “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so” [W. Shakespeare], moving forward in reference and library services is greatly influenced by our collective mind-set. Presenters urged the importance of positivism and optimism as we move forward in discovering library services in the 21st Century. As colleagues and professionals, we must be proactive about our libraries, information resources, and our users’ information needs. We must renew our commitment with ourselves, our careers, our libraries and colleagues, and ultimately our communities of information seekers. The future of libraries is exhilarating!


Sarah Myers, Library Director

Red Feather Lakes Community Library



As a result of attending the Reference Renaissance Conference, my staff and I have entered discussion of just what we want our reference service to look like, and how will we achieve that.  We have begun planning a rearrangement of our print collection with format free, bookstore-style display and themed location in mind.  We are poised to pilot chat reference through our Plinkit website.  We will begin discussion of how we can better market our online reference resources to patrons, especially our youth.  Of all the ideas I’d to pursue, I think the most critical things we will do involve education.  Instead of just getting answers for people, as has been traditionally done, today’s information seekers usually want to know how they can find answers themselves.  That doesn’t mean they want us to point to an area in the stacks, hand them a URL, or sign them up for computer time.  It means that we take the time and opportunity to connect personally, seize the teachable moment, and assist them at their point of need to master the skills needed to become information literate.  In the end, the ability to find and evaluate the information they find will serve them much better than a hundred single answers.  Yes, I know, the more we teach the fewer tally marks we’ll have on our reference tracking sheets.  It’s a small price to pay for meaningful, and hopefully transformational, service. 


Sandy Messick, Director

Woodruff Memorial Library


The Reference Renaissance conference was a real eye-opener for someone like myself from a small public library district.  The conference was quite large, with more participants than there are residents in my little town!  Many were from large universities from around the USA, as well as some from other countries. The conference presenters were clearly focused on the needs of academic libraries, although smaller library needs were also addressed.


There was a stimulating array of speakers with computer backgrounds who were familiar with the technology that would propel reference into the twenty-first century.  While some spoke about the need for face-to-face reference services (or should I say, side-by-side partnering reference services!), the majority were illustrating the multi-faceted ways of on-line and electronic contact that is preferred by the younger generation. The entire conference was committed to keeping the reference departments a vital and vibrant part of the libraries of our nation.


Edith Strate, Adult Services Librarian

Juniper Library


A dozen librarians met in Ordway Colorado to get technified. Shelly Drumm (who has the patience of a saint) had all twelve of us blogging and podcasting that day. I think we all walked away from the workshop thinking –wow–we could do some really cool stuff with this. Going to go out on a limb – here is my  first (20 seconds) podcast. Bless you for listening. A big thanks to Dana Gibson (see her personalized Read Poster) for hosting the event. If you missed the first two workshops (Making the 2.0 Magic Happen). You can catch the third one @ UNC – Michener Library –Greeley (Friday, September 12, 2008  from 9:00am – 4:00pm). Register today! More pics.

Colorado Summer Reading Study Released

The Colorado State Library, Library Research Service recently published a new edition of Fast Facts:

No. 263 Colorado Summer Reading Programs by Robbie Bravman Marks available online at:

Some interesting numbers:

  • 1.5 million participants registered for summer reading programs in Colorado public libraries in the years 1998 through 2007.
  • In the last ten years, Colorado libraries experienced a 77% increase in summer reading registrants.
  • More than 8 in 10 Colorado public libraries used the 2007 Collaborative Summer Library them and resources provided by the Colorado State Library.

Hats off to all the librarians in Colorado who encourage children to read and have fun at their libraries during the summer.

View this and other Fast Facts at

Grants and Awards for Schools

AASL Offers More Than $45,000 through 2009

In 2009 AASL will offer more than $45,000 in awards to AASL members. AASL’s ten awards recognize excellence and showcase best practices in the school library media field in categories that include research, collaboration, leadership, and innovation. The awards include the AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award, the AASL Research Grant, the ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant, the Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished School Administrator Award, the Frances Henne Award, the Information Technology Pathfinder Award, the Innovative Reading Grant, the Intellectual Freedom Award, and the National School Library Media Program of the Year

Applications can be viewed and downloaded at: 


Best Buy Rewards School’s Interactive te@ch

The Best Buy te@ch program rewards schools for successful interactive programs they have launched with available technology. Winning te@ch programs focus on kids using technology to learn a standards-based curriculum, rather than on teaching students to use technology or educators using technology that children are not able to use hands-on.

Accredited K-12 public, private, parochial, and nonprofit charter schools in the United States are eligible to apply for the $5,000 maximum award before October 12, 2008.

For more information, visit: