September 2020 Edition
A Message from the State Librarian
Arizona libraries were in the national spotlight in August! The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) called attention to the resiliency of Arizona libraries in responding to the pandemic and the support provided by the federal CARES Act funding with a “Grant Spotlight” titled “From Book Delivery to Virtual Scavenger Hunts: How Arizona is Helping Libraries and Communities Stay Connected.” The article explained the Express, Expanded, and Supplemental funding opportunities and the ways CARES Act funds are being used to help Arizona libraries pivot to continue serving their communities in creative new ways during these challenging times.

American Library Association President Julius C. Jefferson, Jr. also highlighted Arizona libraries by making Cordes Lakes Public Library a stop on his virtual tour, "Holding Space: A national conversation series with libraries." The focus of the Arizona visit was on rural libraries and their vital roles in their communities. If you missed “From Interior to Border: Libraries Reaching Rural Communities” on August 5, it’s not too late to learn more. Julius Jefferson wrote letters from the road each of the 10 days of the 12-stop tour, and videos are also available online. From the first stop at the Library of Congress where Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and IMLS Director Crosby Kemper III kicked off the tour to the conclusion in Hawaii, the tour provided excellent windows into America’s libraries, showing commonalities within their wide diversity.

I’d like to end my message with a thank you and a request. Thank you to Arizona libraries for promoting awareness and the need to participate in Census 2020. It has been great seeing the reminders on your websites and in your communications. Field data collection and self-response options will close on September 30. Please make whatever opportunities you can to remind members of your community of the importance of completing the Census. Tools for spreading the word are available on the Census webpage
Stay safe and well,

Holly Henley
State Librarian
Resources & Opportunities
2021 State Grants-in-Aid Construction Funding Available
Arizona public libraries are invited to apply for State Grants-in-Aid Construction (SGIAC) funds.

Libraries may apply for up to $50,000 with a 1:1 cash match provided from the library or its administrative agency. Funds for this program are awarded on a competitive basis. Please review the Construction Guidelines before submitting your application.

The application process is in two stages. The online Intent to Apply form must be submitted by 11:59PM on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. After reviewing the Intents, the State Library will invite a limited number of applicants to complete a full application. The invitation to apply should not be construed as a precursor to an award; the SGIAC process is extremely competitive. 

Please contact Jaime Ball if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing your construction project ideas!
Libraries and Voter Engagement
Voting is one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities of citizenship in the United States. Yet, turnout in national elections is consistently lower than two-thirds of eligible voters. Participation rates among certain demographic groups and in state or local elections are often lower still. There is frequent talk about the critical role of libraries in our democracy. What does that look like in practice? 

Download the Libraries and Voter Engagement guide to find ideas, tips and tools for supporting voting engagement in your community.

You can participate in another ALA initiative right now with a simple email. ALA is showcasing that libraries of all types are serving as ballot drop-off locations in all types of communities- big, small, rural, urban, suburban, tribal -- wherever your library is. If your library will be serving as a host location, just send an email to Michael Dowling at with the name of your library, type of library, location (state) and a contact email.
Dear Arizona Voter Writing Contest
The 2020 election provides an opportunity for teacher librarians and classroom teachers to co-plan and co-teach lessons related to voting in our democracy. The “Dear Arizona Voter Writing Contest,” sponsored by AzLA and organized by the Teacher Librarian Division, offers a way for young people to learn more about voting and express their understandings of its importance. Students can write in any genre—essay, poetry, song lyrics, letters to the editor, opinion pieces—and can be presented in traditional written format or with multimedia texts.

  • Contest Dates: School-level winners will be announced on or before election day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Certificates will be awarded to winners at school sites. Elected officials may be invited to present certificates to the student winners whose schools are in their legislative districts.

  • Participants: All students in K-12th grades are invited to write no more than 300 words to answer this question: Why is it important for U.S. citizens in Arizona to vote in every local, state, and national election?

For questions about the Dear Arizona Voter Writing Contest, please contact Judi Moreillon, AzLA Teacher Librarian Division Co-Chair:
Equity in Action: A Staff and Collection Development Opportunity
The Arizona State Library has an exciting opportunity for both Professional Development and Collection Development. Twenty library staff who register for Equity in Action: Fostering an Antiracist Library Culture and receive a certificate of course completion will be able to put their knowledge into action by selecting and purchasing collection materials through a special account set up by the State Library (a minimum value of $300).
In this interactive three-week course offered by School Library Journal and Library Journal, you will learn about the concrete actions that library leaders are taking to make their libraries antiracist today and in the future. Practical coursework, along with targeted support, will go from theory to application, helping you to transform your library services to better meet the needs of all your users—and bring in new ones.

The live interactive sessions will be on September 29, October 6, and October 13 from 11am -1pm. You will receive self-guided options and additional bonus content so you can follow along at your own pace. You will complete assignments to build your own equity-based initiative over three weeks in an interactive online classroom environment with personal coaching from an expert in the field.

One learning objective of this course is to learn how to assess the inclusiveness of current collection development and RA practices. After you earn a certificate of completion, you will be given access to an account to purchase materials for your library that will help diversify your collection.

To participate in this program, email Ann Marie Creegan at with your name, work email address, library name, your position title, and a sentence or two about your learning objective. Participants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.
Public Library Survey 2020:
New Questions for the Pandemic
The Public Library Survey (PLS) for FY20 will open in either late summer or early fall. With it will come a series of new federal-level questions specifically designed to capture your efforts during the pandemic.

State Library staff also plans to add state-specific questions designed to track electronic content not currently collected at the national level. To learn more, please check out our recent webinar on either our YouTube channel, or through Niche Academy.

If you have questions or comments, please direct them to Chris Guerra at
Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative
To assist during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Coursera is launching an effort to help countries, states, and cities reskill their unemployed workers to re-enter the workforce.

Government agencies (including public libraries) serving the unemployed can now secure free access to Coursera for Government. The initiative provides access to more than 3,800 courses and 400 Specializations from Coursera’s university and industry partners.

  • Enrollment is open through September 30, 2020 for organizations to enroll unemployed workers in courses
  • Newly-enrolled learners will have through December 31, 2020 to complete their courses

To enroll, complete this form to start the application process.
Virtual Field Trips: How to Create Them
and Resources Available
Thursday, September 3rd at Noon
Have you ever wondered how virtual tours are produced? In our new “virtual” reality, virtual field trips and tours are now more significant than ever as a vital way to introduce people to your library and for marketing your offerings.
This discussion will feature the following organizations:
  • The Phoenix Zoo
  • University of Advancing Technology
  • Phoenix Herpetological Society
Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insights on how to develop a virtual field trip and discuss with your fellow STEM community collaborators.

To attend, please register here.
After registering for the session, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please note this may go to your junk mail.
AzLA Service Award Nominations
Every year AzLA recognizes library professionals from across the state. Do you know someone who has shown outstanding leadership? Someone setting a standard in teacher librarianship? Please consider nominating them for an AzLA Service Award. Maybe it is even you who has a great career idea or has implemented a great initiative. Then nominate yourself.

These awards are for people who have stood out among their peers. Chances are you know someone in your own library who is deserving of a service award. The association depends on its membership to identify worthy candidates, so please consider nominating a colleague today for one of the awards listed at

Nominations for an AzLA Service Award include the 2020 Nomination Form found on the AzLA website together with a minimum of two (2) additional letters of support. Deadline to submit is October 1, 2020.  
Professional Development News
Self-Care and Collaboration
Karin Peabody
Join us on September 24 from 9:30 - 11:45 am for a fantastic workshop titled "Self-Care and Collaboration" presented by Karin Peabody.

This 2-hour workshop-webinar will discuss self-care during a global pandemic. The amount of change and loss around us is overwhelming, and we need fresh tools for working well under the strain.

This highly interactive workshop-webinar is designed to facilitate conversation, connection, and equip teams for working well together remotely. Four destructive behaviors that undermine work culture in a crisis will be discussed, and four pathways to health for strong teams will be presented. The workshop-webinar is practical and meets the felt needs of teams who are working under high stress. Participants will have a chance to collaborate in Zoom breakout rooms with other professionals across the state. We hope you can join us! Register here

Please contact Ann Marie Creegan at if you have questions.
Learn to Discern Misinformation Manual
The Learn to Discern (L2D) program has been designed and tested to help people learn why and how manipulative content works, and to gain the skills to reject half-truths, clickbait, hate speech, and fakes. The program manual is for educators in formal and informal education environments to help learners of all ages fight misinformation. The manual provides step-by-step guidance and interactive exercises. It contains over 170 pages of fun, engaging activities organized in units that cover:

  • The information and media space and its features: Navigating different types of platforms and content, distinguishing between facts and opinions, recognizing professional journalism, and more.
  • Misinformation and manipulation: Why everyone is vulnerable, and how to recognize and overcome biased information.
  • Fighting misinformation: Practical skills and tools for recognizing and rejecting manipulation, assessing credibility, and selecting objective content.

Niche Academy for
Arizona Library Staff

The Academy for Arizona Library Staff at Niche Academy has over 300 webinars and tutorials specifically for library staff. The Academy is organized by topic but the amount of training located there can be overwhelming. Here are some trainings that may be of interest:

Book Repair Clinic. This webinar is a series of short videos that shows you procedures for book repairs. There is also a section that explains preventative maintenance and cleaning methods for removing stains and odors.

Polaris Searching Best Practices. This webinar shows best practices on how to search Polaris more effectively. These include title, author, keyword and subject searches as well as some basic general searching tips. Follow the sections on the table of contents to the right.

Whole Person Librarianship. For those of you that may have missed this in-person training that we offered last year, there is now a webinar on Niche Academy for you to view. 

For access to these or any other Niche Academy webinars, contact Ann Marie Creegan.
Live Webinars on
Wednesday Mornings
Set aside Wednesday mornings for professional development! Every Wednesday morning, PCI webinars produces a live webinar specifically designed for library staff. A subscription purchased by the Arizona State Library allows Arizona library staff access to both the online and archived webinars.

To access the live webinars, follow the link below and register for the webinar. A link will be sent to you with log-in instructions. If you have missed any of the live webinars, they are all accessed on the Academy for Arizona Library Staff on Niche Academy.

Here are the upcoming live webinars, which are all on Wednesdays at 9:30 am Mountain Standard Time:

Send your email address to Ann Marie Creegan at for access.
Upcoming WebJunction Webinars
WebJunction hosts free live webinars that are open to all. Each session covers a high-interest library topic presented by real-world practitioners and experts. In addition to live webinars, WebJunction has hundreds of archived webinars that are extremely informative.

The upcoming live webinar is:

This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of walking and walkable communities and how libraries can help lead community efforts. During COVID-19 stay at home orders, improvements to air and water quality around the globe showed how changing our transportation practices could benefit the environment. We also know that physical activities, like walking, can help prevent chronic diseases and promote health. This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of walking and walkable communities, and provide the information and inspiration you need to join the hundreds of public libraries around the country that are contributing to the development of healthy and resilient communities. Learn how to advocate for safe walking routes to your libraries, how to partner with parks and recreation, local transportation departments, and others committed to building safe, accessible, equitable places to walk and move.

When: October 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Upcoming InfoPeople Courses
Infopeople offers a variety of webinars and self-paced online courses on topics of high interest for library staff. Webinars are free, and the Arizona State Library has purchased a block of registrations for the online courses. Arizona library staff may register for courses by sending an email to Ann Marie Creegan with the following information:
  • The course name and dates
  • Registrant’s name
  • Registrant’s email
  • Library name
  • Library address
  • Library phone number

Here are the upcoming Infopeople courses:

Through a series of three scheduled live online meetings, supplementary materials and practical assignments, participants will learn the tools needed to truly listen to coworkers of marginalized populations with empathy, build trust, create improved morale, and better support them in the communities they serve.
When: September 9, 16 and 23 at 11:00 am

Readings, discussions, online meetings and assignments will provide learners with the tools, resources and skills to be a better communicator. Throughout the course you will also have the opportunity to communicate with the instructor one-on-one.
When: September 15-October 12, 2020

During the course, you will have weekly readings, do practical assignments, and participate in discussions to share ideas and experiences. In Weeks 3 and 4, we will schedule two optional online meetings. These meetings are a great way to connect, ask questions, and explore the course material in a friendly, informal environment. Those who cannot participate in person will be able to listen to the archived recording of the meetings.
When: September 22-October 19, 2020

This four-week online course will provide an overview of library cataloging and classification and prepare you to do copy cataloging. Through reading materials, online forums, and individual exercises, you will gain knowledge of basic cataloging rules and tools, commonly used controlled vocabularies, the Dewey Decimal Classification system, and MARC21 format. Applying this knowledge, you will be able to decode MARC bibliographic records and perform basic copy cataloging.
When: September 29-October 26, 2020

The instructor will provide examples, resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be used as you develop programming plans that meet the needs of your community. During the course, you will participate in discussion forums, with an opportunity to share your experiences and questions, alongside others who are working to create engaging virtual programming, too. Through assignments, you will apply the concepts to your own institution and community.
When: September 29-October 26, 2020

In addition to the scheduled sessions, the instructor will provide examples, resources, best practices, and useful tips and techniques that can be applied as you seek to use design thinking at your library. During the course, you will participate in discussion forums, with an opportunity to share your experiences and questions, alongside others who are working to use design thinking, too. Through assignments, you will apply the concepts to your own library and community.
When: October 6-November 2, 2020

This webinar will examine how public libraries across the country are helping students, their parents, and teachers succeed in the new world of distance learning. We will look at popular educational websites and reading resources as well as examples of videos designed to help Spanish-language speakers access the library’s resources. We will also discuss how one library continues to provide class visits during stay-at-home and will learn about “pandemic pods.” We will even share how some libraries are helping families deal with food insecurity due to school closures.
When: September 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm

This webinar examines practical strategies that libraries across the country are using to support job seekers in the community. We will look at resources within libraries as well as partnerships to help support workforce resiliency. We will also examine tools for you to create a systematic plan for your library.
When: September 15, 2020 at 12:00 pm

In this webinar, you will learn about mindfulness from a practitioner (Mimosa Shah) and a scholar (Beck Tench) who have spent the last five years collaborating on how to practice mindfulness in libraries with integrity and resilience. We will move beyond the common understandings and examples of mindfulness, looking from both a critical and optimistic points-of-view. We will discuss what mindfulness is, why we might practice it, and how to do so, with a special focus on library-specific issues.
When: September 22, 2020 at 12:00 pm
More Online Learning Opportunities
Hopefully, in-person training will resume soon! Meanwhile, there are many opportunities for online learning. Below are just a few.

Webinars from around the Country
NCompass Live is the Nebraska Library Commision’s weekly webinar series covering a variety of library topics and activities. It is free and open for anyone to view. Registration for these webinars can be found here or explore archives of past webinars.

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission also offers many free webinars that are open to anyone in the library field. Registration for upcoming webinars can be found here. Links to archived webinars can be found here.

The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) offers training for librarians on health topics. The list of upcoming trainings can be found on their website.

Every month, the Wyoming State Library compiles a training calendar that lists all of the free webinars and trainings offered for the month. The list can be found on their website.

Booklist offers free webinars on a variety of topics, offering immediate tips, tools, resources, and new ideas for collection development and readers’-advisory work. The list of upcoming webinars can be found on their website.

AASL, the American Association for School Librarians, offers free webinars specific to teacher librarians in their Learning Library.

Here are some other places that free webinars can be found. These are not specific to libraries but offer useful information:

  • Grantspace,a service of the Foundation Center, offers information and resources that are specifically designed to meet the needs of grantseekers. Many free webinars can be found at Grantspace on the topic of grant writing.

  • ICMA and GOV LOOP offer free webinars that are specific to leadership in government agencies.

  • TechSoup offers free nonprofit webinars on everything from social media, to marketing and outreach, to technology planning.
Library Services is part of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State. The branches of Library Services include Library Development, the State of Arizona Research Library, the Arizona Talking Book Library, and E-Rate. Library Services programs and activities are supported in part with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Holly Henley
State Librarian and Director of Library Services, Archives and Records
Library Services