Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How to Subscribe to MLA Listserv and Why!

The Maryland Library Association is the statewide professional support group for all academic, public, school, and special libraries and they share a lot of timely, relevant, and interesting information through the Listserv. 

For example, the State Library Resource Center (SLRC) recently shared their Senior Mental Health Resources guide on the Listserv:
We also share job openings, staff development workshops, and humor! 

To subscribe to the listserv, just send an email! 

For more information on how to post to the listserv and how to unsubscribe, visit: 

Monday, December 29, 2014

SRC Summit

Author Name: Marcella Whitmore
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:

1. Digital storytelling presentation gave me valuable information on how to
make custom instructional videos that I can incorporate in my library
programming at little or no cost.

2. Science of the Superhero presentation provided an overview on drawing the
human figure/superhero; it gave some nice tips showing how the perspective
(e.g. bird's eye view vs. worm's eye view) determines how figure should be

3. SRC Share-o-Rama was the most informative part of the day; it was
interesting and useful to see what the other counties did for SRC. I learned
how some new creative/innovative programming ideas that were also free or

How to implement
I really liked the Digital Storytelling portion of the SRC Summit. I think it would be great to use it with SRC next year. It could be used several ways. First, I think I'd like to make some sort of short clip to promote SRC using Sneaks as a super hero. Also, I think it could be an actual library program for children to make some short videos - maybe even some kind of contest.

Additional learning: 
The graphic novel presentation was also very good. It's not an area of the collection that I'm very familiar with so I will definitely be looking at some of the recommended titles.

Kids are customers, too!

Author Name: Donna Croft
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:

**"Making Makers" is a hands-on learning, exploring, and creating activity.
Children can feel good about themselves since there is no right or wrong. It
encourages and inspires.

**An excellent way to support schools to reinforce learning strategies to
help students locate and verify reliable resources for informational needs.

*Fiction, Non-Fiction, History, Fantasy and anything in-between -- Such an
eye-opening array of titles Captain Blue Hen Comics has to offer.

How to implement:

**Organize a Score Challenge night like we offer our Minecraft programs for
children since we can request the additional computers for this purpose.

**Host a "Maker" night for parents and children to encourage creativity in
STEM or the arts. Post a challenge and provide components individual can use
to produce their original creations.

**There is such a variety of Graphic Novels. A book club highlighting
different types and subjects would interest young patrons to explore this
popular genre.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

School Readiness Training

Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:
1. Maryland has great improvements this year towards early childhood
development and learning as the government just approved a grant.

2. Executive functions are a key factor in early childhood development.

3. Parents need to be aware that they can babble to their children and NEED
to talk to their children at a young age.

How to implement
Can use this in story times. It's important to understand how a child develops in order to give an excellent learning experience during any age for story times and programming.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Renee Mason
Library System: Allegany County Library Systems

Top 3 things learned:
1. About the Shadow Puppet Edu app
2. List of Some Great Graphic Novels for kids
3. Two book suggestions: How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee and I'd Love to Draw by Andrew Loomis.

How to implement:
1. Use the Shadow Puppet Edu app to make a SRC compilation to showcase at the end of the summer. Could also do this for 2014 season to advertise for the 2015 season. (Turn video into marketing material for the next year's SRC). Check to see if the video can be played on the local Board of Education TV channel.

2. Read some of the graphic novels to have some readers advisory suggestions for teens.

3. See if we can order the two book suggestions: How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee and I'd Love to Draw by Andrew Loomis.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Donna Croft
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:
*A great way to recruit performers, programs and other summer reading workshop/classes for this year's Summer Reading Program 2015. We need to canvas our communities to see what wonderful talent and performers are waiting to be showcased. 

*Digital Media is a wonderful way to add variety to storytimes. It also presents a great venue for children to participate in storytelling.

*Drawing a superhero isn't such a daunting task. Artist Jerry DeCaire was inspiring and encouraged that we too can draw a superhero.

How to implement:
*Each Branch could submit their prospective community performers, etc. to the SCP committee. The committee could gather all the information and hold tryouts and line up performers for the summer, thus saving us a great deal of money.

*Download the app for free and presto you have a tool to spice up storytime hour.

*A superhero party including drawing superheros, dress up with capes and props, games, and some foods a superhero might eat. This is perfect for our theme for the elementary age crowd.

Additional learning:
We are at times challenged when trying to decorate our branches in tune with the theme.
Possibly this could be a discussion topic to learn from others.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Diane Kisner
Library System: Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County

Top 3 things learned:
The information on digital media for SRC that Rachael Stein and Sam Eddington presented was helpful. The App, Shadow Puppet Edu, which is free and designed for kids, offers students an easy way to make videos for storytelling. My hope is to learn more about this App, and apply it to some of my programming.

I was inspired by Marvel Comic Illustrator, Jerry DeCaire. It was very interesting to watch him sketch and share his Marvel-ous talents. What a treat! I hope to use some of the techniques he showed us for my school age students.

Tess Goldwasser presented us with a wide variety of great graphic novels to preview. A list for kids, teens and adults was also handed out.

I found the Share-O-Rama Panel to be most informative. It was made up of a rep from each county and they shared their system's SRC planning process. It was good to hear how presenters are found, where funding comes from, and to learn new ways to gather resources for our SRC programs.

How to implement:
I would like to use some of the follow-up ideas that we brainstormed from Sam & Rachael's presentation. I really liked the idea of making a short video of our local community heroes.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Bonnie Winters
Library System: Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County

Top 3 things learned:
1. I enjoyed the demonstration and discussion of the digital storytelling app - Shadow Puppet edu - and all the ideas for how we can use the app. That was quite helpful.

2. And the sharing of ideas about how each county conducts SRC was very useful. I learned that there are a number of ways to arrange SRC events.

3. The presentation about drawing super heroes provided insight into how that is done.

How to implement: Since I do the PR for Ruth Enlow Library, I am thinking of ways to use the Shadow Puppet edu app to promote and/or recap our SRC events this year.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Adryana Billotti
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:
1. Different types of graphic novels and reading advisory for graphic novels for kids, that will be useful during the 2015 Summer Reading Club 
2. Learned about an app that allows pictures to be taken or used and be made into a narrated movie, will be a really fantastic and cool tool to use throughout the 2015 Summer Reading Club and can be a great addition to everyday story times at the library
3. Learned about the ways other counties of Western Maryland are doing their Summer Reading Club and gleaned ideas to potentially incorporate into Washington County's Summer Reading Club

How to implement:
Create narrated, more participatory story times using the app that was presented. New ways of marketing and asking for program participants for Summer Reading Club, includes newspaper advertisements and radio ads. Photo booth of props for SRC participants to dress up in and take pictures of to created a narrated slideshow/movie of the 2015 SRC program for Washington
County Free Library

Additional learning: More graphic novel advisory related specifically to age ranges and reading levels in order to be able to provide the best graphic novel reading advisory to children and teens.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Tammy Gantz
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:
1. How to use Shadow Puppet Edu to create digital stories, make instructional videos, illustrate a nursery rhyme or song, share about library programs and extend a story program.
2. At the Graphic Novels presentation I learned the importance of graphic novels. Some of the advantages are that they are beneficial to kids with special needs, motivate reluctant readers, fosters creative reading skills and more.
3. At the Science of the Super Hero presentation I learned that when perspective changes, proportion changes. I also learned that Jerry DeCaire is a very talented artist.

How to implement:
When I returned from the SRC Summit I shared the Shadow Puppet Edu app with my one of my children's staff, Laura Gross and she was very excited. She recreated the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear with the ap and used artwork from the Metropolitan Museum of art as the pages of the book. It took her about an hour to select all the artwork and add the text. Her creation turned out wonderful. She is going to use this in a special iPad storytime we are hosting in January. This program is very simple to use and I can see it being used in the future. As for the Graphic Novels presentation, it is always wonderful to have new books that one can recommend to patrons. The list was very helpful. Jerry DeCaire also gave us a few titles that we can recommend to budding comic artists.

Additional learning: Additional classes and aps for iPad storytimes and uses in the library are always helpful.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Stacy Lyn Winters
Library System: Allegany County Library Systems

Top 3 things learned:
  1. Learned how to use Shadow puppet.
  2. Learned about different graphic novels to place in our collection.
  3. Learned how much time and effort goes into creating graphic novels.
How to implement:
I could use shadow puppets during my story time. I got alot of ideas for which graphic novels I would like to place in our collection.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Kate Livengood
Library System: Allegany County Library Systems

Top 3 things learned:
  1. How to use Shadow Puppet to create narrated slideshows/videos.
  2. Collected some new ideas for graphic novels to order.
  3. Learned some of the techniques used in drawing the human figure in comics.
How to implement: Shadow puppet could be used to retell stories, create new stories, or to make educational clips.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Janlee Viands
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:
I left before the panel started to share what was working and not working for their counties.
I did enjoy the speakers I think the summit is beneficial and I hope it continues. I'm glad the WCFL SRC Committee was able to attend.

Additional Learning: I would be interested in having Tess Goldwasser come to a branch staff meeting sometime in the future.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Julie Iden
Library System: Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County

Top 3 things learned:
How to Draw a Superhero
How to create a digital story using Shadow Puppet Edu
How other counties handle SRC

How to implement: I would like to try advertising for talent for our SRC programs. I was impressed by the response that Allegany County received.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Jeff Ridgeway
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned:
1. Sam Eddington is unique. I enjoyed learning about the Story Time App and may use it in the future, but probably not in the way that he used it.

2. I learned that I could probably have been an illustrator for Marvel had I continued to pursue my Art career, but at this point I don't think that's in the cards as I don't want to memorize all of the primary muscles in the human body.

3. I think that Allegany Co. presented two or three common sense ideas that we will probably look at adopting or at least consider for next year's reading club, but I also find that we are doing a pretty good job of presenting a high quality program ourselves.

How to implement:
I could see doing a "Wednesdays with Us" type of program where we standardized some program times in all outlets. I can see us putting out a "call for performers" for the Summer Reading Club, with a set expense account for those performers. I would like to see the WCPS schools do a complete buy in of our program to the extent that everyone enrolled in the system would be enrolled in our club (we would then have over 20,000 enrollees if that happened). I am looking at doing a story time with an IPad and can create story stretchers such as nursery rhymes using the app shown to us. 

Additional learning: I think that we could have used a little more in-depth discussion regarding the SRC. The panel scratched the surface, but I think that having us get together with the individual librarians in each system is beneficial.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Sarah McGuire
Library System: Allegany County Library Systems

Top 3 things learned:
1. Popular Graphic Novels
2. Drawing superheros!
3. Shadow puppet ans 30 hands app

How to implement: What to look for in a graphic novel, this is not one of my strong points.

Summer Reading Club Summit

Author Name: Abigail Andrews
Library System: Washington County Free Library

Top 3 things learned: I learned how Garrett and Allegany Counties conduct their Summer Reading Clubs, about the Shadow Puppet Edu and 30 Hands apps, and learned about the process behind comic book art. I was very impressed by Allegany County's Sponsorship Packet and Wednesdays with Us programs.

How to implement: Hopefully we will be able to adapt the sponsorship packet to meet our needs in Washington County. While it is nice to have the same program on different days so that a wider variety of people can attend, maybe we can also add in programming at a consistent time county-wide.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tri-County Summit 2015 FYI: The Team, the Theme, and the Location

The Team:

Representing Allegany County: Carl Emerick & Kate Livengood
Representing Garrett County: Ann Leighton & Crystal Adkins
Representing Washington County: Beau Bradley & Will Carroll
Representing WMRL: Tracy Carroll & Elizabeth Hulett
Facilitator: Julie Zamostny

Why do we do the Tri-County Summit?

Before 2006, each of the library systems did their own staff day every year and at some point, the suggestion was made to have the three counties work together every other year to plan a shared staff day. Thus was born the first Tri-County Summit in 2006. The second Summit was held in 2009 and in 2010, the WMRL Advisory Board wrote the Summit into our core services and so we are committed to collaboratively planning a shared staff day every other year. The summit allows us to pool our resources, our talented staff, ideas, and energy for the purposes of lifelong learning, connecting/networking with each other, fostering community, and identifying areas for new collaborations. 

When is Tri-County Summit 2015?  
Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015

Where is Tri-County Summit 2015? 
At the Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Free Library

The Theme for Summit 2015: 
It's a draft; we're still word-smithing...

"Bridging Our Gaps With Creativity: Honoring Our Past While Building Our Futures”

It may look something like this...

RELIB Staff Day

Author: Bonnie Winters
Library System: Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County, Oakland

Top 3 things learned:

From the Staff Round Robin, I learned that coming up with some programs that target our male patrons would be a good idea.

From the Creative Problem Solving break-out session, I learned that individuals react to change based on their own mental model and where they are in the transition process, moving through the phases from endings to new beginnings. The exercise we did with Julie in the problem solving session was
very helpful in showing how people view change.

Also in the problem solving session, we worked through a transition (the pie), the core components (ingredients of the pie), and then removal of one of these core ingredients and likened the process to the starfish losing one leg. The starfish's response would be to grow a new leg. And our assignment
was to list 1 or 2 opportunities that became available because of the lost component. In other words, we had to look at the pie with a new set of possibilities, rather than giving up because the one component was missing.

How to implement:

Regarding programming targeted to male patrons, we are researching options available to us.

Regarding the problem solving model, I have to remember to be open to new possibilities and looking at each situation with an open mind. Just because we can't do it one way doesn't mean we might not be able to do it in a different way.

Governor's Grants Conference 2014

Author: Harry Sachs
Library System: Washington County Free Library, Hagerstown

Learning Event website:

Top 3 things learned:

1) MARYLAND OPEN DATA LAW—Government Transparency

A major focus of the conference was this new law with speakers from the state and federal levels offering commentaries. This law, which went into effect in 2014, requires state agencies to make much of its public information machine-readable and searchable. A 37-member council was created as part of the law with a set list of targets that include designing and conducting a statewide data inventory, agreeing on minimum metadata standards and geo-aggregate standards, reviewing data mapping practices and establishing a statewide standard disclaimer and acknowledgement requirement. This council will encourage all branches of state and local government to use state open data portals and create their own, and adopt policies consistent with state Open Data policy. A national organization recently ranked Maryland in a six-way tie for first place for the state's commitment to open data and government transparency. The state's open data platform ( is part of an effort to foster government transparency and innovation and help spark entrepreneurial opportunities. The data can be viewed by type or category, such as administrative, budget, agriculture, economic or demographic. Visualization tools allow users to create charts and maps based on the data and embed these into web documents to share with others.

2) USA SPENDING—Tracking What the Federal Government Spends

Required by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, this tool ( is meant as a way of using technology to give the American public the means to track federal government spending with a single, searchable database on federal grants. According to its website, collecting data about the various types of contracts, grants, loans, and
other types of spending at the federal level will provide a broader picture of the Federal spending processes, and will help to meet the need of greater transparency.

3) EARN MARYLAND—Workforce Development Grants Program

EARN Maryland ( is a new state-funded ($9 million) competitive workforce development grants program that is industry-led and regional in focus. EARN Maryland aims to address the demands of businesses by focusing intensively on the workforce needs of a specific industry sector over a sustained period. EARN Maryland invests in strategic industry partnerships from key economic sectors in every region. In Western Maryland, the EARN Maryland 2014 Implementation Grantee Partnerships include the Washington County Manufacturing Partnership.

How to implement
The Open Data Law could be the focus of a future workshop on government transparency and citizen access to data. The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has also recently released this fall a revised edition of the Maryland Public Information Act Manual. Because the law has just been
enacted, the best approach at this time would be disseminating information for public awareness purposes.

Kids Are Customers, Too

Author: Laura Gross
Library System: Washington County Free Library, Smithsburg

Top 3 things learned

  1. Early Childhood Readiness to Read. 
  2. Greg Pizzoli's writing process. 
  3. The benefits of comic books.

How to implement: 

  • Post tips around our children's room to give parents ideas how to incorporate reading skills into every day activities. 
  • Create specified lists of activities (At the beach, In the car, etc...) for parents to take and use to help their children with reading readiness. 
  • Keep updated with the newest and best comic for recommendations to parents and kids.