Monthly Archive for October, 2008


Librarian, Joanne Mikasa, turns her media center into a spooky place for kids and parents to visit on All Hallows Eve. The Haunted House is a fundraiser that garners hundreds of dollars, allowing  Joanne to purchase additional books and supplies for her library in Vineland, Colorado. I asked Joanne which room she is stationed in. There are several rooms to this haunted house! Her reply was, “Oh no, I don’t even go in — it’s way too scary!”

Getting Creative at the Youth Services Workshops

Thursday, October 16th found me at the Aurora Public Library for one of the Colorado State Library’s Youth Services workshops. I was lucky enough to be able to attend this year, and would like to share my experience (and photos!) with everyone.

The YS workshops this year were based not only on children’s programming for the 2009 statewide summer reading program (Be Creative @ Your Library), but also on teen programming (Express Yourself) and other teen issues, literacy-enhanced storytimes, and much more.

In the morning, we split into groups and got creative, making our own posters with markers, crayons, stickers, foam cutouts, and any other crafty items you can think of. Some posters were especially nice, and everyone received this year’s READ lapel pin as a prize.

Getting creative with posters.

Displaying the finished product.

Patricia Froehlich (Colorado State Library) then gave us some history on CSLP (the Collaborative Summer Library Program), which now boasts 47 member states.

Patricia Froehlich's presentation on CSLP.

Next up was teen services and a presentation by Mary McCarthy (Colorado State Library, Boulder Public Library). Of course she had to loosen up the group with an icebreaker, and so we all went around and told what was the oddest thing in our cars. (My answer: a toaster oven.) Mary spoke about C’YAAL, using your community and staff for programming, and of course, “begging, borrowing, and stealing ideas” from others. She also presented us with some wonderful web resources, including the following:

When we broke for lunch (pizza and salad…mmm!), we played Human Bingo, and those who were able to complete their bingo card were given prizes of t-shirts and books.
 There was time for networking during lunch.

We played Human Bingo, and gave out books as prizes.

We also used lunch time to share creative ideas for the 2009 program. Projects such as “Paint like Picasso”, using recycled materials to make kaleidoscopes, podcasts on the Twilight series (with kids reading aloud their favorite parts of the books), bringing in local art teachers from the schools to display student art, “musical petting zoos”, and many others were suggested.

After lunch, we moved on to a presentation on CLEL and literacy-enhanced storytime by Melissa Depper (Arapahoe Library District). Melissa talked about the 6 skills your child needs to learn in order to read, starting from birth. She defined early literacy as “what kids know about reading and writing before they can read or write”. We were able to view PET scans of a brain, and to practice the 6 skills with actual storytime books. She recommended for information on cognitive development, as well as the CLEL website.

Finally, we ended the day with a brief presentation on the LRS Fast Facts and “the Robbie report” by Patricia Froehlich. She also discussed a site called, which can track summer reading participants online, and patrons can even register themselves for the program.

At the end of the day, Patricia handed out program manuals and order forms, and the workshop was adjourned. What a day! I learned so much about teen services and early literacy, children’s programming and storytimes.

I want to say thanks to the Aurora Public Library (and Jan Zinkl in particular) for hosting.

Here’s what I learned:

  • CSLP has nearly all 50 states on board, which means a child living in Colorado could visit a grandparent in almost any state and find the same summer program in the library there as they do here.
  • You should use your community and staff for programming. If a staff member speaks Korean, ask him or her to come in a couple of times a week and teach. There are many untapped resources working in your library right now.
  • Kids that learn just 8 nursery rhymes before Kindergarten have an easier time learning to read than those who don’t.
  • Don’t skip over unfamiliar words when reading to a child. They should never be dumbed down.
  • And, of course, always have chocolate on hand for the afternoon.

Fun at Camp!

It’s hard to imagine that a plethora of workshops could be put together on-the-fly in 45 minutes, but that is exactly what happened right before our very eyes thanks to Steve Lawson (from Colorado), Joshua Neff (from Kansas) and Laura Crossett (from WY).  Check out the pic (above) – Steve is taking suggestions from a crowd of 140 on what they want to talk about during the day. A myriad of breakout sessions were created, and it would be hard to imagine someone not finding something they liked – after all the crowd decided what they wanted to talk about. LibraryCamps are starting to pop up all over the country as a way to make sure people get the most out of their conferences. No talking heads, just people discussing and sharing thoughts and ideas. More photos! The most inspiring thing to me was the energy these young organizers and attendees brought to the event. And, the cool thing is — the sharing didn’t stop at the end of the day. This clever bunch has created a Wiki and the discussion is still continuing! So, a huge shout out to Steve, Joe, Laura and everyone else who made this a fun and exciting event. And, a special thanks to the University of Denver for hosting LibraryCamp of the West 2008 (a free event!). I think I heard something about a LibraryCamp of the West in 2009, right?

Fort Collins dot gov

My good friend and former coworker at the Pikes Peak Community College Library, Kay Knudsen is now working at the Colorado Division of Wildlife Research Center Library. I imposed upon her to give me a tour of her new place of employment and show me around to some other government libraries. Here’s a picture of Kay with one of the many reports the this library has in the collection. Colorado Division of Wildlife Library--Kay Knudsen

I got the grand tour of the National Wildlife Research Center Library by former CLiC Board Chair Diana Dwyer. They do amazing work! If you have never had a tour, I highly recommend it. They also have a wonderful facility that can be used for library events. I visited the USDA Forest Service Library. Laura Bojanowski was kind enough to show me around. They have a lot going on with consolidating library locations. I visited with Megan Eberhardt Frank at the U.S. Geological Survey Library and also Mary Foley a the Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health Library. What a great two days and thanks to everyone for making the time to visit with me. See more pictures.

Grant Opportunity for Libraries – Community Conversations

From Talk to Action!

The Special Populations & Issues Committee of the Colorado State Library seeks 10-15 libraries to provide outreach to new, diverse groups by becoming part of “Community Conversations.”

Libraries are thriving active places where people come together for education, entertainment and information.  Does your library mirror your communities’ composition and interests?

What better way to practice inclusivity than by applying your skills to a  ‘Community Conversations‘ project?

Equip your library to use diversity materials in fostering broad-based conversations.

  • Position your library as a leader to celebrate community diversity.
  • Design a ‘Community Conversations’ project held between January and June 2009.
  • Engage an underserved or diverse community; create diversity awareness, or serve a particular customer group such as differently-abled, immigrants, low income, older adults, non-native English speakers, varying ethnicities, religions, or sexual orientations.
  • Create local events such as a diversity fair, a facilitated discussion, and book discussions  or speaker series.
  • Feature local community leaders and partners as endorsers, speakers or participants.
  • Foster dialogue and lifelong learning about cultural differences.
  • Enable library and staff to celebrate and encourage diversity in their communities.

Any public, school, academic or special library in the state may apply.  Benefits include:

  • Paired with a mentor with background in outreach and diversity/inclusivity.
  • $500 to build diversity resources in your collection.
  • Contact with statewide groups that specialize in diversity/inclusivity.
  • Expert advice during the planning process.
  • Serve as a mentor in 2009.

For Application Info:
Applications due: 12/1/08 to

2008-2009 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey

The 2008-2009 Public Library Funding & Technology Access Survey is underway. I encourage Colorado public libraries to participate in this important national survey. The findings from this study will give public library administrators, librarians, boards, and advocates powerful data to use when talking about Colorado libraries. This is the kind of data that speaks volumes to legislators, the media, and the general public.
The goal for each state is a 60% response rate. Colorado is about half way there at 29.7%. Any public library or library branch can participate. Also, in order to make things a little clearer (hopefully!), keep in mind there are TWO URL’s: one for non-Opportunity Online participants and one for Opportunity Online participants.

For more information see the ALA Press release and last year’s survey results.


Wilbur the Butterfly Pig

Sixty library members flocked to participate in the Kids Day Parade sponsored by the Colorado State Fair. The parade marches right by the library, so staff pulled out all the stops to get a bunch of people as well as animals involved in the parade. Employees, board members, Summer Reading Program Grand Prize Winners (and family) were invited to walk with the library. Featured parade guests were Wilbur the butterfly pig, Otis the Pug Bug, CBee from Country Buffet, Cat in the Hat, Clifford costumes, and of course, the library made sure it advertised its Books in the Park Trailer. Wilbur may have wished he could fly away to greener pastures, but alas his wings were just for decoration.

Colorado Libraries Awarded Grants for Key Projects

The Colorado State Library today announced grants to 16 school, public and academic libraries for innovative projects designed to improve library services and life-long learning.  The proposals are funded through the federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) allocation to the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado State Library.

This year’s grants totaled nearly $257,000. All grants addressed a goal in the long-range plan to improve library services to Colorado students and adult learners that support educational achievement and lifelong learning.

Awards were made to:

  • Academy School District 20, Summit Preschool and Middle School Programs, Library and Literacy Partnership Program, $7,300
    At-risk middle school students will serve as mentors to at-risk preschool students. They will meet biweekly to select books, read together and engage in questioning activities.


  •  Adams State College, Nielsen Library, Mobile Learning Center and Laptop Loan Program, $18,400 
    The Nielsen Library program will improve access to technology in the San Luis Valley and help the underserved student population use resources at Adams State College. Training sessions will be offered at public schools, community centers, retirement centers and nursing facilities.
  • Arapahoe Library District, Parent and Child Literacy Project, $9,462 
    This grant provides library services to the children of non-English speaking adults. The grant targets children aged three to 11 in the Sheridan branch and new Glendale branch.
  • Boulder Valley Family Literacy Program, General Education Development (GED) at the Library: A Gateway to More, $18,012
    Free adult GED study classes will be offered in the Boulder and Lafayette public libraries
  • Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL), Enhancing Colorado Library Story Times: Early Literacy Skills and Messages, $17,922
    Early literacy and library story time practitioners will train library staff in 10 small to medium sized public libraries on the principles, skills and messages of the “Every Child Ready to Read” program developed by the Public Library Association.
  • Colorado Springs School District 11, Penrose Elementary Library Media Center, Using Digital Media and Storytelling to Improve Literacy, $8,445
    Students will improve literacy skills through writing stories and scripts which they will then use to produce digital media projects.


  • Denver Public Library, Central Branch, Technology Empowerment Program, $20,000
    Customers will have improved access to computers, computer training classes and individual assistance in a new technology training room.
  • Douglas County Libraries Foundation, Book Start, $20,000
    Early literacy training will be available for child care providers in 48 child care facilities. Twenty-five volunteers will be trained and 1,200 children will receive close to 5,500 hours per week of literacy instruction.
  • Estes Park Public Library Foundation, Estes Valley Partnership to Expand and Enrich Informal Education, $18,533
    Estes Park Public Library in partnership with various organizations will provide educational after school programs for children attending grades four through eight.
  • Fort Collins Regional Library District, Book Express, $20,000
    The library district will partner with the Poudre School District to pilot a book by mail program. This program will target approximately 800 preschool through sixth grade children in rural areas of the library district.
  • Fort Lewis College, John F. Reed Library, Fort Lewis College Research Commons, $14,350
    An electronic collection of original student work consisting of research papers, portfolios and creative works will be formed. The digital repository will serve as a publishing, research and learning instrument for students.  
  • Johnson & Wales University, Connecting Information Literacy to Learning, $19,929 
    Students will have access to a larger computer lab where they will develop skills in obtaining, evaluating, and using information in an effective and socially responsible manner.
  • Loveland Public Library, Loveland Kids Love to Read: Loveland Public Library Literacy Outreach, $16,581
    The Loveland Public Library in collaboration with the City of Loveland Housing Authority will provide 90 minute bimonthly literacy programs with groups of children ages three to 14 years of age in six low income complexes in Loveland. Their goal is to have 1,632 contacts with resident children. 
  • Pikes Peak Library District, Ready Set Read! $16,374
    Staff training will be provided to assist parents, teachers, and tutors in the identification of appropriate reading level materials for students. All new and existing materials will be remarked and shelved according to reading level making them easier to locate.
  • Pueblo County School District 70, Vineland Elementary School Media Center, The Missing Link-Linking Student Achievement with the Community Library, $1,517
    Students and their parents will have access to an upgraded and expanded Web based Accelerated Reader Program that will encourage and foster student achievement with the use of existing community library resources.
  • State Library’s Special Populations & Issues Committee, Community Conversations, $30,000
    Ten to 12 local libraries will create programming that, via outreach to community leaders, partners, and diverse participants will foster dialogue and lifelong learning about cultural differences.

For more information regarding these grants, contact Jean Marie Heilig, LSTA Coordinator at 303-866-6731 or



Libraries and Rotary Collaborate

Colorado libraries have been the recipient of over $3000 of funding from Rotary International for Children’s books on Health, Conservation, and Education. This partnership was a collaboration between Rotary District 5470 former District Governor, Jan Williams, and the Colorado Library Consortium. Rotary Clubs donated up to $300 to support their local libraries and libraries agreed to put a Rotary bookmark in the new materials, create a display showcasing the books, and speak at the Rotary Club about libraries.  The photo shows some of the books that Woodruff Memorial Library in La Junta received. Thanks, Rotarians!

School Library 101 Tutorial

Arapahoe Library District has partnered with CLiC to provide a classy interactive tutorial for school librarians. The tutorial (part one of a two part series) is not only for beginner librarians, but also for the folks who have been school librarians for awhile. Pop in, see what you think, and then let us know! If you think other school librarians (especially newbies) would benefit from viewing the tutorial pass it along. A special thanks to Lisa Priebe and Donna Miller for getting this project launched!