Volume 4, No.12 | December 2020
Your Monthly News & Updates
Initiatives & Announcements
Meet Deborah Schander, Incoming Connecticut State Librarian 

We are pleased to share that the Connecticut State Library Board has hired Deborah Schander as the new Connecticut State Librarian. She will join the Connecticut State Library on Monday, January 4, 2021.

Schander was most recently the Executive Director of the Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Law Library Center for Information & Technology and Associate Professor of Law at the Seton Hall Law School. Prior to joining Seton Hall Law, Schander was Associate Director of the Law Library and Lecturer in Law at Vanderbilt University’s Alyne Queener Massey Law Library in Nashville, TN and a librarian and member of the faculty at Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, GA.

She is an active member of regional and national law library associations and is past chair of the Professional Engagement, Growth, and Advancement special interest section of the American Association of Law Libraries as well as past president of the Atlanta Law Libraries Association. She has written and spoken on a variety of topics within her areas of expertise including legal research instruction, legal information literacy, professional development, and library outreach. Schander holds a J.D. and an M.L.I.S. from Florida State University (2007) and a B.A. in English from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, MD (2003).

We are pleased to extend a warm welcome to Deborah!
Transformation for Libraries | The Futures School
"Great job - thank you to all involved - focusing on the positive changes and transformative changes that libraries can make regardless of the "scenario" we find ourselves in is very important. The pandemic has shown us how adaptable we can be and how important the work we do is. The best part of working in libraries is our collaborative mindset. We've always supported each other - leveraging that mindset is good for all our communities. Thanks CSL."

The Future Is Shared, November 2020
The CSL Transformation for Libraries: The Futures School project was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant # RE-95-17-0068-17, in the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program.

The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program (LB21) supports developing a diverse workforce of librarians to better meet the changing learning and information needs of the American public by enhancing the training and professional development of library and archives professionals; developing faculty and library leaders; and recruiting educating, and retaining the next generation of library and archives professionals.

A key requirement of the grant award is that it have national impact, as with many State Library IMLS grants across the country we all benefit from these projects such as Colorado State Library's RIPL Project, Maine's STEM Leadership project to create replicable programs to share with our library communities. Recently IMLS' Associate Deputy Director, Grants to States, Teri DeVoe, shared "CT's capacity to do this work is a real gift to the field."

For more information on how to participate, contact Dawn La Valle at dawn.lavalle@ct.gov.
Moving Forward with Digital Inclusion 

Survey Coming in December

All CT library directors will be receiving an extremely important survey in the month of December. Informed by six Conversations on Digital Inclusion with Connecticut library staff grouped by their IMLS locale code identification as urban, suburban, or rural, the survey will quantify the work done by libraries to close the digital divide. Quantitative questions should reveal the kinds of new digital inclusion services and practices that Connecticut libraries want to develop and the kind of support needed for these advances. The data gathered will create a foundation for the development of new resources for public libraries responsible for communities with under-connected residents. The analysis will substantiate the central role of libraries in the campaign to end information redlining and highlight the importance of funding libraries so that they can carry out this task. The survey has been developed in collaboration with Dr. Brian Real, a professor at the Southern Connecticut State University Department of Information and Library Science and an expert in the field of libraries and digital inclusion. Please plan to set aside fifteen minutes before the end of the year to respond to the survey for the good of all.
Workshops and Programs
DLD Sessions

Weeding in the Garden of Good & Evil
Tuesday, December 1 | 10 am-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

Hartford Courant & Hartford Courant Historical with ProQuest
Wednesday, December 9 | 3-3:30 pm
This 30-minute session will address using the Hartford Courant on the ProQuest Platform. By the end of the session, you will be able to navigate and search the Hartford Courant and Hartford Courant Historical, and learn about content useful to your community.
Continuing Education and Professional Development

Beginner Book Trailers with WeVideo
Wednesday, December 9 | 9-10 am

Beginner Book Trailers with WeVideo
Friday, December 11 | 9-10 am

Beginner Book Trailers with WeVideo
Friday, December 11 | 1-2 pm

Learn about the WeVideo environment and design quick and easy book trailers to promote library materials and services. Presented by Caitlin Augusta.

Ready to register? Interested in more workshops? Visit our calendar.

For questions and more information please contact Professional Development Coordinator Gail Hurley at gail.hurley@ct.gov or (860) 704-2223.
CT Digital Library
Important Update on RBdigital

As we shared back in August, OverDrive acquired RBdigital earlier this year. We have been advised that the shutdown of the RBdigital platform will occur no later than December 30, 2020. That means that ebooks and audiobooks on RBdigital will no longer be accessible from the RBdigital app and website.

Once this process is complete, the only way to access Connecticut State Library ebook and eaudio content will be through the SimplyE app. We are working with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to migrate RBdigital content over to DPLA to be made available in the SimplyE app. This will take place over the next few months. 

Now is a great time for any public libraries that have not gone live in the SimplyE app to work with the Connecticut State Library and Lyrasis to complete the production process and begin rolling the app out to your library users. 

We appreciate your patience as we navigate these changes. Please reach out to Brad Bullis at bradley.bullis@ct.gov to determine your status in SimplyE and take the next steps to go live in the app.

In November, two eGO CT Information Sessions were held - view the recordings.

  • November 9 - This information session was for libraries that are live in the SimplyE app and have begun rolling it out to their patrons. 

  • November 16 - This information session was for libraries that are interested in learning about eGO and the SimplyE app. Carissa Egan from Lyrasis, Jill Blades from Digital Public Library of America, and Brad Bullis from the Connecticut State Library presented. 

With more CT public libraries going live in SimplyE and rolling it out to their patrons, the Connecticut State Library has purchased 4,360 new items so far this year. Altogether, there are a total of 26,627 items now available to you and your patrons in SimplyE from the CSL and our partners.
Interest in eGO and SimplyE continues to grow with 42 libraries that have gone live in the SimplyE app. Of the 191 public libraries in Connecticut, 143 are configured in the SimplyE app, the first step before going live to their patrons. 
Interested in joining SimplyE? Contact Brad Bullis at bradley.bullis@ct.gov.
New Children and YA Books in SimplyE 

Browse this growing collection, including the titles below, accessible using the SimplyE app.

Children's & Young Adult
Book Discussion Sets

You can reserve book sets yourself! Check out the titles below and browse the full collection.
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman (New!)
Searching for Lottie by Susan L. Ross
Blended by Sharon Draper
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue park
Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland
Slay by Brittney Morris
Pine Island Home by Polly Horvath
Wink by Rob Harrell
Free Lunch by Rex Ogle
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, December 25 in observance of Christmas Day.

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