Friday Grab Bag, April 17, 2020

One of the bright spots in the strange and stressful moment that we find ourselves in, for me at least, is watching Colorado libraries respond. To help make Colorado libraries’ innovation more visible, we’ve launched a new series called Pandemic Practices. The first edition covers Mobile Hotspot lending, and features invaluable input from staff at Denver Public Library.  We would love to hear more about what you are doing, how you implemented it, and any lessons that you’ve learned or best practices you’ve established thus far. We’ll share that information on Colorado Virtual Library so that all Colorado libraries can benefit. If you have information that you would like to share with the Colorado library community, please reach out to me, Marisa Wood, at, or by phone at 303.351.2338.

In other news you can definitely use, in response to the proliferation of COVID-19 data, the Library Research Service (LRS) is publishing a series with strategies for tacking data with a critical eye. If you find yourself Between a Graph and a Hard Place, check out the first installment: New blog series: Between a Graph and a Hard Place

Now into the bag…

Library Giving Day

Library Giving Day, which was started in 2017 as an idea from the Seattle Public Library Foundation to create a national day of giving is coming up next week on April 23. If your library participates in #LibraryGivingDay you might be concerned and confused about how to position fundraising in light of the news and information about COVID-19. The campaign coordinators have created some useful resources to help you navigate fundraising during challenging times including  5 Fundraising Tips, Q&A Webinar: Library Giving Day & COVID-19 (recorded), as well as downloadable email templates that reflect the current fundraising climate.

Creative Quarantine

Adults, teens, and kids are invited to participate in Denver Public Library’s 2020 Maker Challenge. Share what you’re making at home with the library and  automatically enter to win a $50 gift card to an awesome local business! From April 3- August 8, a winner from each Denver Public Library branch will be randomly selected and notified at the end of each month. Be sure to include your email address if you’d like to be entered to win.

Share your favorite poetry with others, listen to live performances, cheer on local writers, and celebrate literary expression and National Poetry Month with Garfield County Libraries’ Virtual Open Mic Poetry event on April 21 at 6:00 pm. You are invited to listen and/or take your turn at the (virtual) mic, and hear from Colorado Poet Laureate Bobby LeFebre who will not only share some of his work, but also participate in a Q&A session!

Mesa County Libraries may be closed, But April is National Poetry Month and the poetry must go on! Teens and Adults are invited to submit an original poem for the 2020 Poetry Contest by April 24. Once the library re-opens, there will be an award ceremony, but in the meantime the top three poems will be awarded prizes and will be featured on the library’s website.

Marking this unusual time in history, Bud Werner Memorial Library is looking to add local writers to their Short Story Dispenser with Stories From Home.. Spend April 2020 crafting your finest prose or poetry, but not more than 2,000 characters long (including spaces), that reflects the time and space of what you’re doing and feeling this month.  Winning submissions will be rewarded with inclusion in the community’s short story machine.

Security Public Library is hosting its first ever Bento Book Challenge from April 13-30. What is a bento book you ask? It’s a picture of a book surrounded by objects that attempt to describe what the book is about without using words. Prizes will be awarded for: PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and Adult. Winners will be announced the first week of May and will receive a $20.00 Amazon gift card via email.

Learning For All

How to Lead and Work Through Uncertainty | April 21 @12:00-12:45 pm MDT
Government employees are often asked to lead and work in times of great uncertainty. Whether through pandemics, natural disasters, administrative changes or budget disputes, federal, state and local employees are tasked with mission-critical work during volatile and unstable times.It’s during these times of upheaval that the work government employees do on a daily basis is even more critical. How can government employees lead, work and even thrive during crisis?

Open at Home: School Librarians as Instructional Leaders | April 22 @ 10:00 am MDT
Join EveryLibrary for part one of a three-part series on how school librarians can help their faculty and students during COVID-19 shutdowns and after.

Falling Between the Cracks: Addressing Workplace Mistakes and Misunderstandings | April 30 @ 12:00-1:00 pm MDT
A busy work calendar, a year-long project that absorbs everyone’s time and attention, or a series of workplace crises can cause us to neglect and damage healthy communication, even in the best-run organizations. Learn steps you can take to step back, reconnect, and repair the damage.

How To Review A Book | May 13 @ 12:00-1:00 pm MDT
Join Pattern Research for a discussion of the philosophies of reviewing books, the ethics of promoting books for payment, evaluating fiction and nonfiction genres, and the debate about how much you need to know to review a book.

Museums and Libraries in the News

The creative ways Aurora librarians are managing to work from home | 9 News
Public libraries can’t open, so Aurora Public Library librarians are bringing the library to people’s homes, from theirs.

Most Libraries Are Closed. Some Librarians Still Have to Go In. | New York Times
Eagle Valley Library District makes the national news in the debate over library employees being asked to report for work at closed libraries.

Alamosa Public Library’s Messages from the Hidden Lake get’s a shout out in this round-up of literary magazines published by libraries.

Library’s 3D Printer is pitching in to Face Shield Project | Estes Park Trail Gazette
Estes Valley Library has partnered with the Northern Colorado face shield Project to create frames for protective face shields using the Library’s 3D printers. Yay!

What’s New at the Colorado State Library

Learning Opportunities

GRTQuick Bites: Are Play Groups Right for Your Library? With Gail Yerbic

  • April 21 @ 12:00-12:20pm
  • Free! No registration required
  • Join online

CSL in Session: How to Plan Classes and Presentations

  • April 22 @ 12:00-1:00pm
  • Free! No registration required
  • Join online

Webinar: Phone-a-Story: Simple fun one call away!

  • April 23 @ 12:00-1:00pm
  • Free! No registration required
  • Join online

State Publications Blog

Colorado Virtual Library

Youth Services Meetings, Week of April 20
Connect with colleagues from around the state to discuss timely topics, exchange ideas, share frustrations, and celebrate successes.

Webinar Archive: Virtual Storytimes: Filming Before, During and After COVID-19
If you weren’t able to make it to last week’s Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL)  workshop on Virtual Storytimes, we have the recording of the session as well as supporting material available here.

Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: National Survey Results Webinar
Note: Registration is now full for this April 22 webinar, but the archived recording will be available on PLA’s On-Demand Webinars page.

Learning Edge: April 2020 #1
The Learning Edge April 2020 #1 rounds up resources and news from the education field, and reminds us that we are in new territory and it is okay to keep it simple.

Are you thinking of making a change this year in your job?  Check out Library Jobline for hot new library employment opportunities.

This post is part of the Spotlight on Sharing initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of resource sharing in Colorado libraries. Do you have a story from your library to share? Email Marisa Wood, Also, be sure to follow Colorado State Library on Twitter and Facebook.

Latest posts by Marisa Wood (see all)