Vol. 5 No. 01 | January 2021
Your Monthly News & Updates
Initiatives & Announcements
With Gratitude to Maureen Sullivan, Interim Connecticut State Librarian

It is with true appreciation and admiration that we share words of gratitude for Maureen Sullivan who served as Interim Connecticut State Librarian these past many months, gracefully and steadily steering the CT State Library through the choppy and at times turbulent waters of 2020. She kept us on point and on course.

Maureen brought her full armory of library experience and expertise to provide effective, enriching, and inspiring leadership not only to the State Library, but to all our CT libraries and to the people whom our libraries and library workers all strive to serve, always, and especially amidst all the obstacles and events that this year delivered. Maureen has been an essential and intelligent leader and partner, sometimes out in front and often behind the scenes, yet always with our libraries and our communities at the center.

Of note is Maureen’s collaboration with Governor Ned Lamont’s administration to dedicate $2.6 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds to support a team of the state’s public libraries in their ability to simultaneously protect public health and safely provide services to those most in need in both our urban and rural communities.

In one of her final December meetings with CSL’s Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development (ACLPD) Committee, as we all reflected on the work of this past year, Maureen offered a brief yet fitting encapsulation for why we are all doing the work that we do: “Libraries are critical to the experience of people.” It is her fierce yet elegant underlining of the value of libraries, to serve for and with their communities, that we take forward as we all enter 2021 together.

Our deepest thanks,
The Connecticut State Library Division of Library Development Team
Set the Stage
Early Childhood Initiative
For Connecticut library staff in youth services

Set the Stage is an early literacy initiative program designed for any library staff member who works with or wishes to work with children ages birth to five and their families. Initiated and designed by children’s librarians Allison Murphy and Caitlin Augusta, Set the Stage is a partnership initiative with the Connecticut State Library Division of Library Development (CSL DLD). Facilitated by CSL DLD's Children and YA Consultant Kymberlee Powe, this year-long program will begin in January 2021 with ten core courses including Child Development, Storytime 101, and Collection Management. Students will also participate in Project Ready, an online initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Services dedicated to improving knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy.

This project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.
Everybody Learns Initiative Update

On October 7, Governor Ned Lamont announced that his administration is dedicating $2.6 million of Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Funds to support the state’s public libraries as they continue to make health and safety improvements and offer more services to residents amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The governor distributed the Everybody Learns funds among about 60 libraries across Connecticut, based on their size and the number of residents they serve each year, allowing much of the funding to be allocated to target those that serve low-income urban and rural communities. Here from some of the recipients on the impact of Everybody Learns:

"The grant funds are expanding capacity at the Russell Library by allowing for a comprehensive self-service system. Our self-checkout system will allow for "low-touch/no-touch" patron self-service. Library patrons will be able to check out their own materials at a kiosk, just like at a grocery store, or even check out materials using their smart phone. This will reduce the need for close-quarters interactions between staff and patrons, thereby reducing exposure risks. It will also allow for re¬-deployment of some staff away from routine, repetitive tasks to more value-added services both within the library and throughout the community."
-Russell Library, Middletown

"The small, standalone Plexiglas barriers have allowed us to host certain in-person events on a limited basis. Recently, we have used these barriers for a Pro Bono Legal clinic in which community members received free, 1-on-1 legal advice from local attorneys. We are hosting a second clinic this week and anticipate putting on similar programs in the future."
-Public Library of New London

"This grant has allowed us to open our building to the general public, allowing them to be safe and as free of covid-19 as possible. The air scrubbers with HEPA filters are great. Even after the epidemic is over, we will continue to use them, during flu season especially."
-Aldrich Free Public Library, Plainfield

"This grant allowed us to make a variety of improvements we couldn’t otherwise afford, such as installing semi-permanent Plexiglas partitions and rolling partitions, which has allowed us to more than double usable space within the building. We learned very quickly after Hurricane Isaias, coupled with a pandemic and work from home orders, that socially distanced work space with power and internet is at an all-time premium."
-Torrington Library
CT Crossroads Project's Inaugural Burroughs Award

CT Crossroads Projects preserves community history through casual conversations that are recorded and uploaded into their digital archive at www.ctcrossroadsproject.com. They firmly believe that everyone should have an opportunity to tell their story, to leave their mark on the history of their community.

Last year CT Crossroads Projects decided that they would identify one person a year that has had an impact on Connecticut as a whole. This person would be given the annual Judy Burroughs award, and would participate in the project by engaging in a recorded conversation.

The inaugural Burroughs Award recipient is Kymberlee Powe, CSL DLD's Children's and YA Consultant. Kym was nominated and awarded for her commitment to libraries, as well as children and their information needs.

“I am honored to receive the inaugural Judy Burroughs Award,” shared Kym. “My conversation with Chris and Alex was a great opportunity to remember how I stumbled from the world of musical theatre into youth and librarianship. My goal as a youth librarian was a simple one. I used to sit in the library and notice the kids and teens. Who had been left behind by society or overlooked by adults? And how many times? I knew I wanted to see the kids who weren’t seen. Now that I’m working with the Connecticut State Library, I want to help librarians find the youth that need our services the most, and lift them up in the way that only librarians can.”

Workshops and Programs
January & February
DLD Sessions

LSTA Grant Information Sessions*
Tuesday, January 19 | 10-11:30 am

LSTA Grant Information Sessions*
Monday, January 25 | 2-3:30 pm

Learn about the tools available from the CT State Library that will prepare your library for a successful LSTA grant application, including the new Best Practices in Connecticut Public Libraries self-assessment tool for libraries and the Aspen Institute’s “Action Guide for Re-Envisioning Your Public Library, version 2.0,” a set of resources for convening a community dialogue and helping communities take action to re-envision their own public library. Libraries that undertake these two assessment and planning exercises are eligible to apply for a planning grant. Christine Gauvreau, LSTA Coordinator, will review resources for literacy grants as well as the grant application instructions, timeline, regulations, and fiscal management.

It is recommended that the person writing the application and the person managing the project attend. Visit LSTA Grants for more information and the application.

*This information session is required for all libraries that intend to apply for either a literacy or planning grant.

Critical Business Content in ABI/INFORM Collection for researchIT
Thursday, January 21 | 3-3:30 pm

This 30-minute webinar will address the critical business research content in ABI/INFORM Collection and how to locate that content. This session does assume basic knowledge and search technique on the ProQuest Platform. By the end of this session you will be able to describe the content in ABI/Inform Collection and locate this critical content through targeted searching. Visit researchiT CT for more information.
Continuing Education and Professional Development

Accessible Library Programs: Making the Virtual World Accessible to Everyone
Thursday, January 28 | 1-2:30 pm

In this workshop we will explore both a library’s legal obligation to make virtual programs accessible to people with disabilities and ways that you can make them accessible. Resources that you need and tips for creating great programming that is accessible too all will be shared.

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.

Stand Out Every Time You Talk | Part 1*
Tuesday, February 2 | 11 am-12:15 pm

Stand Out Every Time You Talk | Part 2*
Wednesday, February 3 | 11 am-12:15 pm

**NOTE: This workshop has 2 parts. Please register for both Part 1 and Part 2.

Have you been asked to present at a library conference? Or are you having difficulty getting and maintaining interest during Zoom sessions? Chances are you could use a presentation skills refresher. In this two-session class (yes it's virtual), you'll learn:

  • Why solid eye contact helps both you and your image
  • Anchors to ground you and reduce nervousness
  • Why gestures are important and how to use them to make your presentation come alive
  • Ways to use your voice effectively
  • Techniques to deal with distractions, a hostile audience, etc.
  • How to run an effective Q&A session

Jean Baur, our instructor for this session, has been coaching professionals in presentation skills for many years, and started her career as a corporate trainer. Interactive and fun, you'll learn how to balance your message with physical skills that will engage your audience and help them understand and implement your ideas.
Learning at Your Own Pace

Connecticut State Library Academy

Start off 2021 learning something new! New tutorials and webinars were recently added to the CT State Library Academy (Niche Academy) in the categories of customer service, library staff, literacy, programming, security/ safety, and technology. Search more than 250 self-paced tutorials and webinars alphabetically or by general categories.

DLD Professional Development Resource

Did you know that the DLD Professional Development Resource is a place to look for upcoming and archived webinars from some of your favorites like WebJunction and Infopeople? Upcoming webinars from these two resources include advocacy and communications for trustees and staff, wellbeing toolkit for small and rural libraries, winning library grants, and serving veterans in our communities.

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

With more CT public libraries going live in SimplyE and rolling it out to their patrons, the Connecticut State Library has purchased 4,596 new items in 2020. Altogether, there are a total of 27,284 items now available to you and your patrons in SimplyE from the CSL and our partners.

With this growing collection, focus areas included children and teen, professional development, career and job resources, biography, mystery and backlist bestsellers, Connecticut Authors, self-help, maker and DIY, and over 300 Spanish language titles.

Interest in eGO and SimplyE continues to grow with 58 libraries that have gone live in the SimplyE app. Of the 191 public libraries in Connecticut, 149 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 Biography and Memoir Books in SimplyE 

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

Children's & Young Adult
New! DLD Children’s and YA Newsletter
With a new year comes new initiatives. In January, we are excited to launch the DLD Children’s and YA Newsletter focused on the services, programs, and initiatives that serve our youngest generations.

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, January 1 in observance of New Year's Day and Monday, January 18 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. 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