Vol. 5 No. 04 | April 2021
Your Monthly News & Updates
Initiatives & Announcements
ACLPD Digital Inclusion Task Force NBC CT Interview with Sherelle Harris, Interim Director, Norwalk Public Library
Saturday, March 28, 2021
We are excited to share this weekend’s NBC Connecticut interview with Sherelle Harris, Interim Director of the Norwalk Public Library to discuss the work of the CT State Library Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development’s (ACLPD) Digital Inclusion Task Force to launch a statewide digital navigation program and Norwalk’s existing digital inclusion strategies.

CSL/ACLPD Digital Inclusion Task Force Goals:

  • The Task Force is designed to engage with the community of librarians to explore how digital navigation could best be implemented in their communities and across our state, and Norwalk provides one model.

  • The Task Force is also looking to national models such as the Digital Navigator program by the Salt Lake City Public Library funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

  • The Task Force is working towards the formation of a CT Digital Inclusion Alliance to address digital navigation as well as expanded eRate, broadband funding and other activities.
Partnering with CT Department of Housing on UniteCT
State agency partners CSL and Department of Housing (DOH) connected to share data and information in support of UniteCT, emergency rental assistance for CT residents impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Marina Marmolejo, Program Manager of UniteCT for DOH presented an information session for libraries to learn more about the UniteCT program and how to support our communities. The session covered an overview of the program, eligibility across communities, and the online application portal. Visit the DLD website for the recording, slide presentation and related resources.

Maria Bernier, CSL Statewide Data Coordinator worked with DOH to populate the UniteCT Technology Access Support map with CT public libraries as a prime resource for applicants to refer to when needing access.

Acting through DOH, the State of Connecticut developed the UniteCT Program. This $235 million program provides rental and utility payment assistance to qualified Connecticut households financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will financially support households up to 80% of the HUD Area Median Income. Learn more about UniteCT
April is Military Saves Month!

Military Saves is a component of America Saves, and as a participant in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Network seeks to motivate, support, and encourage military families to save money, reduce debt, and build wealth.

The weekly themes this year are:
Week 1: Week 1: Launch/Saving Automatically
Week 2: Save for the Unexpected
Week 3: Save to Retire
Week 4: Save by Reducing Debt
Week 5: Save as a Family

If you want to participate as an organization, getting started is easy!

Even if you don't formally participate, you can create displays or provide links on your website to share this valuable resource.
COVID-19 Resources

One year later, DLD continues to provide COVID-19 related information and resources to help your library reopen to the public. Remember to check our COVID-19 Resource Guide for information submitted by all Connecticut public libraries about their reopenings and continued services as well as sample library procedures and policies and the Governor’s Sector Rules for Libraries as of March 19, 2021.
Stay Connected! Join our Emails Lists

Our many email discussion lists for the library community help you connect with your peers, whether you're in the office or working from home. Conntech has the greatest reach across the state, and both Goodnightmoon for children's services and Speak for YA services have lively discussions and professional interchange.

Financial Literacy Month is April!

Money Smart Week is April 10-17. Do you need program ideas? . Explore the Money Smart Week website where you can register for access to webinars you can share with your community. 

The Money Smart Week team has developed a two-part Promo Kit and graphics.

For more information and resources about Money Smart Week and financial literacy, please visit our Financial Literacy Resource Guide

More Financial Resources!
  • Thinking Money for Kids | The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, developed this collection of free online games to teach children basic financial skills.
  • Visit and register with ValChoice for FREE insurance education tools for libraries.

Questions? Contact Gail Hurley at gail.hurley@ct.gov
Workshops and Programs
Libraries Transform. 
Because supporting professional development is key to your success.  
CT State Library Division of Library Development
Fair. Equitable. In demand.
April & May
Construction Grant Information Sessions
Tuesday, April 6, 2-3:30 pm

If your library is thinking of applying for a construction grant from the CT State Library in 2021, plan to attend an information session this spring, if you haven’t already. Attendance at an information session is a requirement for the grant application. In this session, you'll learn what you need to do before applying as well as what's required after you receive the grant. Don't get tripped up -- just plan ahead and be prepared. Information about construction grants is available online.
Virtual Volunteer Program
Tuesday, April 13 | 9-10 am

A virtual volunteer program is one where volunteers work from home on behalf of the Library. Starting or converting an existing volunteer program to a virtual program benefits volunteers, the Library, and the community.
In this one hour workshop, participants will learn how to design a virtual volunteer program from scratch, from goals to benefits, to jobs and evaluation. Leave the workshop ready to start your own virtual volunteer program in whatever size works best for your Library. Whether you design your program for 3 volunteers or 30, a virtual volunteer program can work for any Library.
From Diversity to Inclusion: How to audit your collection and why
Wednesday, April 14 | 11 am-12 pm

Join Maria Bernier, State Data Coordinator, for an informative demonstration of how to sift through the mountains of Connecticut public library data in order to tell your library's story and answer common data questions. Learn how to use pre-made Excel charts to illustrate your budget presentations and documents. Let the data work for you.
Beginner Canva for Summer Reading Projects
Tuesday, April 27 | 9-10 am

Tuesday, May 4 | 9-10 am

Get ready for summer reading, and learn how to make logos, web images, and flyers using the online design site Canva. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about the Canva environment and design elements. Participants will work on their own designs during the workshop and will finish the class with projects they can use at their library - this summer or any time.

Since this is a small group workshop, participants will need a computer with a camera and microphone so they can share thoughts and ask questions throughout the class.

This is a beginner class for those who have little to no prior Canva experience. Participants should sign up for a free Canva account before the workshop.
Weeding in the Garden of Good & Evil
Monday, May 3 | 10-12 pm

Weeding your library's collection can be a daunting task, but it is a critical component to providing excellent library service to your community. This workshop will give you the tools and enthusiasm that you will need to assess your collection and make decisions on what material needs to be weeded out of it. Our approach to weeding is that it isn't the irresponsible disposal of the library's property, but rather a part of the public service to borrowers, that of maintaining the best possible collection for the community.

The workshop will cover:
  • The purpose of weeding
  • Criteria for weeding decisions
  • The mechanics of weeding
  • Developing a weeding policy
  • Resources for disposal of weeded material
Accessibility is More Than a Ramp:
Reducing and interrupting disability bias in the library
Thursday, May 27 | 1-2:30 pm

This workshop will take a light -hearted approach to recognizing and interrupting disability-based bias in ourselves and others. Participants will learn about respectful disability language and etiquette and have the opportunity to ask questions they have always wanted to ask about disability and disability issues.

Melissa Marshall is a Connecticut attorney nationally known for her expertise in disability civil rights law and her bias awareness workshops. A person with a disability who infuses humor and informality into her workshops, she is personally acquainted with many of the issues she will address in this presentation. 

Interested in more workshops? Visit our calendar.
CT Digital Library
eGO CT Update

Many libraries have been waiting for OverDrive eAudio to be accessible in SimplyE before joining the eGO CT program. The wait is over! OverDrive eAudio is now accessible in the SimplyE app.

The CT State Library has purchased 5,167 new items to coincide with libraries going live in the SimplyE app and rolling it out to their patrons. A total of 25, 086 items are now available to you in SimplyE from the Connecticut State Library and our partners.

Focus areas included children and teen, anti-racist/EDI titles, biography, mystery and backlist bestsellers, Connecticut Authors, self-help, and over 400 Spanish language titles. Interest in eGO program and the SimplyE app continues to grow.

There are now 89 libraries that have gone live in the SimplyE app. Of the 191 public libraries in Connecticut, 153 are configured in the SimplyE app.

Interested in joining SimplyE? Contact Brad Bullis at bradley.bullis@ct.gov.
Updating findIT CT in 2021

New updates! The library networks in Connecticut along with a handful of individual libraries have been updated in the statewide library catalog, findIT CT in 2021.

Need to update your catalog? If your library’s catalog has not been updated in findIT since 2020 or prior, please consider contributing records. Review our instructions on how to exporting a file. There is a new procedure in place that lets you send updates as often as you woudl like once a file is successfully uploaded to the statewide catalog. It is now an automated procedure unless a file requires manual intervention by staff. There is no cost to have your holdings included in CT’s statewide catalog.

For questions, please contact Gail Hurley at gail.hurley@ct.gov  
Library Data You Can Use
Library Facts Flyers Still Available

This year’s Library Facts Flyers, featuring FY2020 data from your library’s annual report to CSL, are available in multiple versions: the traditional layout, new At a Glance, new Children’s and YA, and new COVID-19 services. Check out the samples online, and then request one or all for your library
Children's & Young Adult
All Things Summer Reading!

It’s coming and we want everyone to be ready! We have lots of tools and resources to support your summer reading program all available on our Summer Reading Resource Guide.

Learn more about our new outcome-based Summer Reading Reports on the guide and watch the video explaining why CSL is migrating to outcome-based, or impact, data. In addition, we put a collection of frequently asked questions in one new page: Summer Reading FAQ.

Miss the recent Summer Reading information sessions? We’ve got recordings!
New in SimplyE | New Connecticut Authors Titles

Browse this growing collection, including the titles below, accessible using the SimplyE app. Does your library participate in the eGO CT program?

New Professional Development Titles
These are just some highlights! Browse more new professional development titles.

Interested in borrowing any of these titles? Contact Judy Crooks at judy.crooks@ct.gov.
Find Us
Middletown Library Service Center

Open by appointment only for the foreseeable future
Monday - Friday | 9 am - 4 pm

MLSC will be closed Friday, April 2 in observance of Good Friday.

MLSC staff, whether in the office or telecommuting, are responding to voicemail and e-mail during business hours of 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except for state holidays. 
Connecticut State Library | Division of Library Development
Middletown Library Service Center
786 South Main Street | Middletown, CT 06457