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Digital Literacy Innovation Grant Opportunity

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Digital Literacy Innovation Grant Opportunity

diglitAre you ready to innovate in your community? Would your library like to:

  • Hold a community-wide tech fair?
  • Teach computer classes to senior citizens?
  • Recruit teen volunteers to help teach tech classes at the library?
  • Implement a video production lab with the latest technology?

If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” apply now for a Digital Literacy Grant from WSL. The purpose of this grant cycle is to provide funding to help public, academic, college, tribal, and school libraries implement Digital Literacy projects that focus on the skills and resources needed by a library’s community and its patrons. Projects should meet at least one of the following objectives:

  • Encourage the development of skills required to communicate and perform business transactions in a digital environment;
  • Use diverse technologies appropriately to retrieve quality information;
  • Support the development of skills to collaborate with others or to enhance employability in a digital and evolving world.

Digital Literacy grant applicants are urged to utilize project partners such as non-profits, hospitals, credit unions, and local businesses. Overall funding to support this grant cycle is $75,000, with a limit of $7,500 per application. It is anticipated that ten (10) or more applicants may receive awards.

Due to staffing limitations, WSL staff are not able to offer detailed one-on-one consulting on the final application. However, they are available to answer questions from potential applicants and can help them determine if they should adjust or proceed with their proposal or modify the proposal budget before expending the resources necessary to fully plan the project and prepare a full grant application.

For grant guidelines and specifics, go to sos.wa.gov/q/grants. For contact information for Digital Literacy staff, consult “Section 10” of the guidelines. To find out more about Digital Literacy initiatives, visit sos.wa.gov/q/DLwa.

Applications deadline: Postmarked or hand delivered by Friday, April 18, 2014.

Gadget Menagerie Takes Off

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Library 21 Initiative, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Less than a month into a whirlwind tour of over 40 libraries around the state and the Gadget Menagerie is officially a big hit in libraries. January kicked off the Gadget Menagerie with visits to Skagit and Lincoln Counties as well as the Ritzville Library and Mid-Columbia Libraries. Now, we are preparing for a super-busy February with visits to Gonzaga University, Richland Public Library, Timberland Regional Library, Washington State Library, Spokane County Library District, Sno-Isle Libraries and Everett Public Library. Wow, that’s exhausting just at a glance!


Sedro-Woolley staff show off devices at the Gadget Menagerie

The exciting thing about the Gadget Menagerie program is that it is not only for staff, but also for the public. Libraries wishing to offer a public program are partnering with Washington State Library staff to bring the Gadgets to the library for patrons as well. Working directly with library users has been a joy. It is so much fun to help people discover the world of eReaders and tablets. Everyone has different needs when it comes to using a tablet and our job is to help people understand how they are all similar, yet different. Is this a contradiction in terms? Perhaps, but it is very true.

By working with staff and encouraging them to approach devices in a “device agnostic” manner, we hope to get staff more comfortable helping patrons coming to the library on a daily basis with various devices. Each day of the Gadget Menagerie, we are learning more about devices and about our communities.
Devices in the current menagerie include: Kindle, Nook Touch, Kindle Fire HD, Nook HD, Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad Mini, Microsoft Surface RT and a Chromebook.

New devices are coming soon and will include more android-based tablets. Patrons and students may bring their own device or explore one from the Washington State Library.


Just a few of the available devices at the Gadget Menagerie.

At the public workshops, we assisted many people with their own devices and showcased the gadgets from our menagerie. An 83-year old woman wanted to compare tablets. After working with the various tablets in the Menagerie, she was able to narrow her interest down to 2 tablets. At another session, a 70-something farmer wanted to know when high speed internet would come to his county and town. He loves technology and has quite a few of his own gadgets already. He enjoyed showing us what he liked about the different tablets and was enthusiastic when telling us that when high-speed internet comes to his town, he’d be able to do so much more with all his high-tech toys. When the local librarian asked him “How did you get so tech savvy?,” he responded with, “My grandkids, and I have a lot of them!”

Our youngest patron at the Gadget Menagerie was 9 years old. She had a tablet and wanted to learn about YouTube. Unfortunately, since she has no access to internet at home, her tablet has limited functionality when items aren’t downloaded directly onto it. She loves coming to the library and now knows that she can bring her tablet in and use the library’s wi-fi to download what she needs and ask the friendly staff for help.

So, by now you are probably wondering, what exactly is this Gadget Menagerie?

The Washington State Library is partnering with local libraries across the state providing gadget training for library staff. Library patrons and students will be given similar training focused on the needs of the device user. Over 40 locations and 70 trainings are scheduled for the Gadget Menagerie through June 2014.

“We are very excited to be able to provide this training,” State Librarian Rand Simmons said. “We hope these skills will be beneficial to both library staff and those who rely on library resources.”


Staff at the Burlington Public Library study devices at the Menagerie.

Library staff will learn how various eReaders, tablets and other devices work. They will discover what these devices have in common, how they differ, and learn basic operating tips. Staff will learn basic troubleshooting and tips for helping patrons with their devices, including how to download books from the library.

The Gadget Menagerie will familiarize local library staff with the variety of gadgets available, allowing for staff to be more comfortable and skilled in helping library patrons.

Not all libraries are offering both types of training; some libraries are focusing only on staff training since they either already offer public workshops or don’t have the resources to offer trainings at this time.

These trainings are funded by the Washington State Library via the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

For this project, which is part of the Washington State Library Digital Literacy project, we are actively encouraging feedback and stories. So far, 100% of the public attendees say they have learned something valuable and would recommend the program to another. Comments from the public vary, but this one is very typical of the responses we have been receiving; “It was useful to have knowledgeable persons explain the equipment-what they will and will not do. Thank you for bringing the variety of devices.”

As one staff person said in a thank-you note, “We couldn’t have asked for better, more useful, hands-on training!”

Sing With Our Kids: WSL Workshops Wrapping Up

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 Posted in For Libraries, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sing With Our Kids: WSL Workshops Wrapping Up

Parachute play

Parachute play

Music powers the young brain and children’s musician, Nancy Stewart, brought that message to over 300 librarians across Washington State. Nancy launched a pilot program last year to connect families with free resources for early learning through community singing. Her project takes place in her own community of Mercer Island and has been expanded to last through at least summer 2014. The ideas shared at the trainings provided by Nancy around the state for library staff will be incorporated into her resources. Nancy’s free website for “Sing With Our Kids” is available at http://singwithourkids.com/.

Nancy’s free website includes songs, videos, book recommendations, community toolboxes, a grandparents corner, tips on using technology, advice from the experts, early learning and music information, your voice and ears and much more. All the information is available freely as long as credit is given and not profit is made.

Programs related to the project have included flash mobs, scavenger hunts, caroling, may pole celebration, storytimes,  campfire sing-alongs and early literacy talks for parents and care-givers. When Nancy demonstrated the may pole at the library workshops, excitement was so high that many libraries now have their own maypole for singing and dancing. In addition, one librarian in Everett came up with the idea of theming the may pole to reflect the current season and a new version about a spider was created. Check out Nancy’s flash mob video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnFA4DOIwdc&feature=share.


Martha Shinners and the May Pole

Making inter-generational connections and getting out into the community is what Nancy’s pilot project is all about (in addition to encouraging singing and the development of early literacy skills in young children.) Nancy has partnered with the local library, bookstore, parks, churches and even families she has never met while working on this project. Using social media (blog, facebook, twitter) helps Nancy reach a wider audience and connect with new people. For her community Christmas caroling, Nancy’s basic idea was to get families together and go caroling. She threw out the idea that someone could do this in their own neighborhood and even project the lyrics onto a big screen if available at someone’s home. Next thing she knew, Nancy was contacted by a family inviting her to lead caroling at their home with lyrics projected. Neighbors and family came together to sing making for quite the memorable event.

Early literacy skills are vital to helping children prepare for kindergarten. Nancy has great videos on the six early literacy skills and five practices of early literacy at http://singwithourkids.com/video.htm. She collaborated with Charlie the Noiseguy to make the videos both educational and fun.

Feedback from the workshops held in 13 locations around the state was extremely positive. Participants shared the following comments on the impact of the workshop:

Campfire Sing-Along

Campfire Sing-Along

  • I would say the project was great to learn about and Nancy was very motivating. It helped me feel encouraged to understand the importance of music in a child’s life and the need to incorporate it more into storytimes. I also enjoyed the live examples of how to use a parachute, maypole, etc. Great ideas!
  • Being reminded about the power of music once again and how it can connect families together.
  • It was just listening to Nancy talk about the power of song. It gave me a lot to think about and also a new way of talking to patrons about the importance of song. Also, her website looks incredible! I think this will be invaluable.
  • Building the confidence and providing the outstanding free resources for integrating songs and singing into children’s programming in the community.
  • The wealth of ideas and all the connections that were made. The reminder about the importance of music in my professional life and personal life!
  • I really enjoyed the videos that Nancy shared of herself going out into the community. Breaking up in to small groups and brainstorming gave us a “hands-on” approach and I think that helps us retain the information better and we also learn from each other.

The final workshop takes place tomorrow in Spokane at the Moran Prairie branch of the Spokane County Library District. After the final workshop, Nancy will continue to share her project with libraries throughout Washington via her website, blog and other avenues. Interested in giving it a try yourself? Check out Nancy’s community toolbox at http://singwithourkids.com/toolbox.htm.


Summer Means Reading (e-Books) on the Beach

Friday, July 19th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Summer Means Reading (e-Books) on the Beach

Our family vacation this summer was in Maui where we vacationed several years ago as well. I noticed a few things that changed in the past 3 or 4 years. The kids are now teens and pre-teens and were amazingly well behaved and involved in living the Aloha life that Maui offers. I also noted that my in-laws who are in their 70s were enjoying their Nooks and iPads for reading books. Likewise, the parents, aunts, and uncles were all enjoying various e-Readers and tablets for reading, watching videos, and playing games.

sunset:Maui Sunset. Copyright J. Fenton

The kids were actually less inclined to read an e-book on the beach because they were too busy playing in the surf. However, when they took a break from exploring and swimming, they were gaming on their various gadgets or reading actual paper books.

As libraries struggle to find a new path in this age of gadget abundance, I look at my family vacation and realize that we have successfully reached all generations with technology. And it is not just the youth who are embracing it. In fact, some youth are now starting to disengage from the overload of technology to try to have more balanced lives.

While I did have my “smart-phone” and e-reader tablet in Maui, I turned off my work email and limited my monitoring of social media and email. My only internet access was through my phone, as the condo did not provide free internet. This was very much appreciated by my husband and the rest of the family as it allowed us the opportunity to connect with each other without the constant disruption of gadgets.

Whereas a few years ago, the kids would have been playing with their handheld game consoles and everyone (kids and adults) would have been reading paper books, now we all have our gadgets. And yes, some even took those e-Readers to the beach!

While reading in our family is never going away, the way we read is changing. None of us wanted to bring a dozen books in our suitcases with the extra fees airlines charge for luggage so having a dozen (or more) books downloaded on our various devices helped us keep the luggage fees in check and assure us that we wouldn’t run out of reading material.

Oh, and where do you think many of those e-books came from? You guessed it, the library. Some things never change.


Sudoku, Battle decks, Gamification…Oh My!

Friday, June 28th, 2013 Posted in For Libraries, For the Public, Training and Continuing Education | 1 Comment »

Sudoku was a foreign concept to me; I couldn’t understand why people were obsessed with filling in crossword puzzles made up of numbers. I’m not much of a mathematician and I was convinced Sudoku was a math game. Being stranded in eastern Washington 100 miles from the nearest town led me to give Sudoku a try and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s all about logic and as a librarian and trainer, I do love logic games.

One of the (manySudoku) new trends in learning, both classroom and virtual, is gamification. Games help people learn by getting them involved competitively and helping them find the intrinsic value in the subject matter. However, gamification in its most simple form of pop-quizzes is not quite the same. In developing trainings, many trainers are now adding in components that help participants learn materials by exploring and achieving results on their own and with colleagues.

For those of us with a competitive streak, this style of training can be highly engaging and fun. And of course there’s that sense of fun and not taking things too seriously. Many people like ice-breakers and games, but there are always those that prefer not to engage in these activities and perceive them as a waste of time. The trick is to make sure that the games and activities contribute to the learning goal. For example, in a communication workshop, you could do an ice-breaker that involves miscommunication. Here’s an example from http://www.trainerbubble.com/

Follow the Leader

Duration:  15 – 30 minutes.

Objective: Useful during a session on body language or communication skills, where you want to highlight how people communicate.


  • One person is asked to leave the room. While they are gone the rest of the group identify a ‘leader’. This leader must perform a subtle action that everyone has to follow (i.e., rubbing their nose, licking their lips, scratching their ear, winking, crossing legs, etc.)
  • Ask the person to return to the room and explain that they must identify the leader of the group. The leader should alter the action every few minutes with everyone following suit.
  • In review, discuss what was noticed and how we interpret and spot body language in others.

braingamesAh, the possibilities….

There are many great ice-breakers out there and the possibilities are endless.

In addition to ice-breakers and energizers, training can be gamified by its very structure. Take Battle decks as an example.

From http://www.webjunction.org/documents/webjunction/Battledecks_2010.html:

Battledecks is a fun improv exercise that challenges contestants to deliver a presentation on the fly using an unknown slidedeck containing random (and often hilarious) slides. The contestants are judged on their ability to create a coherent presentation that incorporates the slide content smoothly. Laughs and getting through all of the slides on time are a plus.

How it works:

  • Each presenter will be given 5 minutes to present 12 slides.
  • They have not seen the slide deck before today.
  • Attendees will judge the presentations based on a set of criteria.
  • You are encouraged to use chat during the presentations.
  • There is a slide from one of the conference presentations in each of the decks!

Criteria for judging:

  • Believability, humor, and integration with conference theme.
  • Ease and presence in online conferencing tool, engaging the audience.
  • Presentation flow with minimal pauses or stammering, and getting through all of the slides

Beyond the classroom: Brain Games for Health

Studies show that keeping the brain engaged through games helps stave off the onset of dementia (New England Journal of Medicine, Joe Verghese, M.D., volume=348, issue=25, 2003). Some fun brain games that can be done in trainings or on your own include:

  • Write a short story…in only 7 words.
  • Here’s a brain workout that will help keep your mind on track. Try these three exercises in simple subtraction:
    • Beginning at 200, count backward, subtracting 5 each time (200, 195, 190…).
    • Beginning at 150, count backward, subtracting 7 each time (150, 143, 136…).
    • Beginning at 100, count backward, subtracting 3 each time (100, 97, 94…).

Let’s keep our brains sharp and engaged and try adding some gaming to our trainings. And just for fun, let’s test your attention skills with this video.








Living in a Virtual World

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Living in a Virtual World


Time-traveling back to 1995….

My introduction to the virtual classroom was almost 2 decades ago! One of my undergraduate professors decided that he would have us meet virtually for a class session. In 1995, internet was still a novelty. I had my email through school and felt like one of the elite. I recently stumbled upon an email about that first virtual classroom experience, software has changed, but the premise is the same.

From the 1995 email:

“You will be ‘in’ a virtual ‘classroom’ on the ‘Penn’ campus. See who else shows up, identify yourself, and talk to each other. There’s help on line, but the key thing you need to know is that if you type “ at the left margin, whatever you type until you hit will be attributed to you as spoken ‘discourse’ everybody else can hear…(Some strange things may happen to you, but what the heck?) List-lurkers welcome to come along and meet the rest, and I will try to be there myself, but there are time zones and a schedule where I’m lecturing that evening to cope with.”

I attended this session and was frustrated that my slow typing meant that I was always at least a step behind everyone else in the conversation. Then, we discovered what Professor O’Donnell was trying to teach us. Thirty minutes into the session, “O’Donnell” revealed that he was a Teacher Assistant pretending to be Professor O’Donnell. Lesson learned; we never really know who we are talking with online.

Now, I gAlaska et the opportunity to teach librarians how to use virtual classrooms for meetings and trainings. In March, I went to Valdez, Alaska to teach a conference session on this topic. I must admit that playing the game “Get Out of Valdez” gave me brand-new appreciation for the Pacific Northwest and reinforced my thoughts that the Alaskan librarians are made of awesome. I was welcomed warmly to our northern most state and had the opportunity to meet many Alaskan librarians, from those working in remote villages with a population of 40 to a former Washington librarian who now manages the Anchorage library. Despite concerns that days of snow may prevent us from departing Valdez, we all made it safely out.

The session focused on how to create interactive, fun webinars and I gave the participants several templates that they can re-purpose for their own use. Attendees later told me that I helped them see the simple things that could be done to enhance the webinar experience.

Through my various communities of practice including; I have been able to practice and fine-tune my webinar skills over the years. In the beginning when the Washington training group decided to experiment with web meetings, I was resistant. I knew I would miss seeing my colleagues face to face and the social interaction of those meetings often lead to great new ideas and projects. However, I soon became a convert. Now, while I love seeing my colleagues in person at trainings and conferences, I appreciate the times that we meet virtually.

Plus, there are so many more opportunities for collaboration now that I live much of my life in the “virtual world” of librarianship. I can meet regularly with my fellow Continuing Education state-wide coordinators from around the states and keep up with my local colleagues between our quarterly in-person meetings. I was able to partner with my colleague, Shirley Biladeau, from the Idaho Commission for Libraries to offer a series of eReader webinars for library staff. We are currently partnering on teaching Turning the Page 2.0 in the fall. Without the help of our virtual spaces including the virtual classroom, my job would be a lot harder.

Now, 18 ycomputerears after my first attempt at navigating the virtual classroom, I am passionate at sharing my knowledge and skills with others. Also, I generally “know” who is in my classroom because we now have VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) that allows me to hear the voices of my peers. And if someone isn’t on a microphone and communicating over chat, I trust they are who they claim to be.

Jennifer Fenton is the Continuing Education/Training Coordinator at the Washington State Library and can often be found glued to a computer screen with a headset facilitating, attending or monitoring various online trainings and meetings.

Free WSL Webinars in January

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 Posted in For Libraries, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education, Updates | Comments Off on Free WSL Webinars in January

computer lab2013 is nearly here! WSL is pleased to offer the following FREE webinars in January. Happy Holidays!

 Registration is available here.

 First Tuesdays: Burnout: Avoiding the flames

January 8, 9:00-10:00 a.m. PT

Library staff trying to keep up with changes in technology, demographics, & services may feel somewhat at sea. In this interactive session, Debra Westwood, Library Cluster Manager, King County Library System will look at how libraries are changing. Debra will help attendees learn about individual and group responses to change and devise specific strategies that individuals and work groups can use to remain buoyant in these difficult seas. Presented by Debra Westwood, King County Library System. Instructions and Login for First Tuesdays session

Designed as a continuing-education opportunity for staff of libraries in Washington State, this free web presentation from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., lets attendees share their skills and successes and learn about new topics. The special-subject presentations, lasting about 60 minutes, are recorded so that others may listen at their own convenience.

 Service Excellence in Your Library

January 10, 9:00-10:00 a.m. PT

This spring, Kate Laughlin will be touring with her workshop, Service Excellence in Your Library. Get a sneak preview at this webinar.

All library staff from top to bottom, internal and external, are in a service position. What is it that sets an organization’s level of service apart from others? How can employing these techniques propel the good service we already provide in WA’s libraries into great service? Join us for an engaging look at transforming our library’s culture to one of Service Excellence. Explore how such a transformation occurs, and as an individual, how you can encourage this change. This training emphasizes consistent approaches to service, while providing additional skills to help ensure satisfaction in all customer interactions. It is appropriate to anyone working in libraries, regardless of job position or library type.

Library consultant and trainer, Kate Laughlin, has been working in and with libraries since the late 1990s. In 2011, she had the opportunity to immerse with a focus group of 15 staff from different levels of library work, internal and external. From that intensive work came the creation of Service Excellence training, which is acutely relevant to the work we do in libraries and for our patrons.

TechSoup for Libraries: Washington

January 16, 9:30-10:00 a.m. PT

Whether you’re a regular TechSoup for Libraries user or haven’t heard of them until now, this webinar designed specifically for Washington public libraries will show you something new about the variety of free services offered to libraries and nonprofits.

TechSoup, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is working toward a time when every nonprofit, library, and social benefit organization will have the technology resources and knowledge they need to operate at their full potential.

During this  30-minute webinar, attendees will learn how to register and request over 450 donated and discounted products from more than 50 donor partners — including Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec, and take a virtual tour of other free resources in TechSoup’s tech arsenal including:

  • TechSoup’s up-to-date articles and library spotlights
  • community discussion forums
  • free webinars and tweetchats
  • technology news

and more!

This webinar will be of interest to staff in Washington public libraries who want to learn more about how they can benefit from all the free services TechSoup has to offer. Presented by Stephanie Gerding and Brenda Hough.

Legal Research for Information Professionals

January 28, 10:00-11:30 a.m. PT

Legal reference questions can be challenging to answer. This class will help public librarians learn practical skills for approaching these types of questions.

Participants will be able to:

* Translate keywords from reference questions into legal search terms for finding resources

* Describe legal resources available through WA web sites (KCLL, WashingtonLawHelp and others)

* Refer legal questions as appropriate to a law library

Online via Blackboard/Elluminate. Instructions for log-in will be sent to each registrant.

Presented by Kim Ositis, Public Law Library of King County.

The Library as a Makerspace

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Libraries are no longer simply a holding area for books, they are community hubs. People gather at the library to share ideas and enrich their lives. Computers and internet are now standard in libraries and are often in demand. Unemployed individuals can come to the library and apply for jobs. Kids can do their homework (or play games) at the library. But did you know that libraries are now becoming much more than books, computers and internet? Libraries are becoming creation spaces, often called maker spaces (or makerspaces).

What is a makerspace? Personally, I like this definition “Modeled after hackerspaces, a makerspace is a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects. It could be embedded inside an existing organization or standalone on its own. It could be a simple room in a building or an outbuilding that’s closer to a shed. The key is that it can adapt to a wide variety of uses and can be shaped by educational purposes as well as the students’ creative goals.” (Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries).

Sound familiar? It is not really that much of a stretch for libraries that already offer book clubs with knitting or various craft programs.

Makerspaces in libraries are also connected to STEM which is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. There is also a group wanting to add art into the mix to create STEAM. Both ideas dovetail nicely with offering maker space for people to experiment and create.

Is your library already a makerspace? If not, can you envision it becoming one?

Here are more resources on makerspaces:
Westport Library Maker-Space
News story from the Capital Gazette

Photo courtesy of Helen K via photopin cc

Back to School: Not Just for Kids

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Technology and Resources, Training and Continuing Education | Comments Off on Back to School: Not Just for Kids

The kids are back to school and things are kicking into high gear for training librarians. This fall promises to be a busy and educational season for library staff. With our Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) we are gearing up to offer high impact trainings this fall, both on the ground and online.

On September 24, library staff are invited to attend the 2-hour webinar, Legal Research for Information Professionals. Taught by Kim Ositis of the Public Law Library of King County, this webinar will equip library staff with practical skills that will help them to answer challenging legal questions. Kim’s legal webinars have been sponsored by WSL for a few years now and continue to draw crowds.

In October, Arta Kabashi from Amigos Library Services will be coming to Washington State from Texas to train staff in rural libraries on the eReader landscape. Her full-day workshop on All You Need to Know about E-reader Services in Your Library will introduce the concepts and tools necessary in implementing and delivering e-Reader services to library users. E-readers continue to gain in popularity and this interactive workshop is aimed at helping library staff better serve our customers.

In addition to new technologies such as e-Readers, the need for training library staff in traditional skills continues. One of the most requested training topics is Customer Service. Therefore, WSL contracted with Kate Laughlin, Library Consultant, to offer multiple trainings around the state in 2012-2013 on Service Excellence in Your Library. In November, Kate kicks off her full-day workshops in the Tri-Cities. Additional workshops will be scheduled after winter break into spring 2013. Kate’s workshops are guaranteed to be engaging and practical. Our library patrons are sure to benefit as a result of this excellent customer service training.

Continuing to partner with our colleagues is important. As part of a series of joint workshops and webinars, we are pleased to offer a webinar in October about WTBBL (Washington Talking Book & Braille Library) Youth Services. Mandy Gonnsen, the new youth services librarian at WTBBL, looks forward to enhancing services there for children and teens.

In addition to these trainings, WSL continues to offer a monthly webinar series on the first Tuesday of each month called First Tuesdays. Upcoming topics for First Tuesdays include the eReaders: Best PracticesSummer Reading and Burnout: Avoiding the Flames. Archives of previous First Tuesdays webinars are available at http://www.sos.wa.gov/library/libraries/firsttuesdays/default.aspx.

As the kids return to school, librarians are continuing their education as well through these and many other training opportunities.

ALA-APA Recognizes Highline Community Colleges Graduates

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Grants and Funding, Training and Continuing Education, Uncategorized | Comments Off on ALA-APA Recognizes Highline Community Colleges Graduates

The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) announced on May 30, 2012 that it has completed an agreement with the Highline Community College (HCC) in Des Moines, Washington, that will allow the graduates in the Library & Information Services Program, who meet the established criteria, to receive the LSSC (Library Support Staff Certification) designation.

ALA-APA and HCC believe that the degree or certificate coupled with the LSSC will benefit graduates, the library in which they work, and library users. Lorelle Swader, Director of ALA-APA, said, “HCC’s graduates in the Library & Information Services Program will be recognized for their acquired skills and knowledge with this national certification, which is quickly becoming a standard for the profession. The LSSC will show employers of these graduates that they have made a commitment to furthering their own continuing professional development and future.”

The ALA-APA proposed this agreement after reviewing HCC curriculum and finding its graduates have completed coursework that meets the majority of LSSC’s competency requirements. To receive the LSSC, candidates from Highline must have the required one year of recent library experience or meet that requirement within four years.
ALA-APA is has similar agreements with the Pasadena City College and the Palomar Community college in California; the Waubonsee Community College, the College of DuPage, and the Illinois Central College in Illinois; the Carolina Central Community College in North Carolina; and the Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. ALA-APA is working with 13 other colleges including Spokane Falls Community College, to see if their curriculums also meet the standards set forth by the LSSC competencies.

Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the American Library Association developed, established the LSSC Program, and support ALA-APA’s work with these programs.

Washington State Library has partnered with ALA-APA to offer Registration Assistance Awards to individuals interested in pursuing certification through LSSC. In May, WSL and ALA-APA awarded 7 Registration Assistance Awards to the following individuals:

• John Allman, King County Library System
• Ezilda Johns, Yakama Nation Library
• Cathy Miller, Yakama Nation Library
• Kate Mullen, Sno-Isle Libraries
• Chelsea Pomeroy, Washington State Attorney General’s Research Center
• Susan Springer, Sno-Isle Libraries
• Jolena Tillequots, Yakama Nation Library

Three of the awardees represent tribal libraries in Washington, 3 are from public libraries and 1 is from a government library. Congratulations to the recipients. These individuals join over 230 others nationwide currently seeking certification through LSSC. Now that HCC graduates are eligible for LSSC, we hope to see Washington State numbers grow quickly.

Major kudos to Highline Community College on having the first LSSC accredited program in Washington State.

To find out more about this degree or recognition agreements or about LSSC, please contact LSSC Program staff at lssc@ala.org or visit http://ala-apa.org/lssc/.