Here’s this week’s news from WebJunction and WebJunction Minnesota:
  • WebJunction Homepage Spotlights: Resources for Innovative Reference Services, New App Helps Youth Find Free Summer Meals, Digital Literacy Resources
  • Upcoming Webinars – May-June 2014

WebJunction Home Page Spotlight

Beyond the Desk: Resources for Innovative Reference ServicesAhniwa Ferrari Published: 07 May 2014
Library services often begin with a question. Do you have this book? Can you help me find information for my report? Which country is the largest producer of coffee beans? As we grow up we are taught to ask questions to help us learn new information, challenge viewpoints, and clarify our understanding of the world around us.
In the classroom, teachers are prepared for the questions they receive because those questions most likely relate to the curriculum being taught. In libraries, staff have to be prepared for any question under the sun, often from patrons that have vastly different viewpoints than each other (and possibly than our own). It is the ability to answer these questions, no matter how out of the blue they may seem, that can make library staff seem like information superheroes.
The apparent ease with which staff provide information is, of course, the result of great preparation and a thorough knowledge of the resources available. This month’s resources highlight some of the best reference content on WebJunction to help library staff take their information superpowers to the next level.
Feeding a Need: New App Helps Youth Find Free Summer MealsAriel Gilbert-Knight, Senior Content Manager, Techsoup and Techsoup for Libraries / Published: 02 May 2014
Millions of low-income students rely on free or low-cost school meals. But when summer vacation starts, the school meals end. This means youth who had access to nutritious meals during the school year may be undernourished or hungry over the summer.
The good news is:  there are thousands of sites serving free summer meals to low-income youth. And there’s a new free mobile app called Range that helps libraries, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and others working with youth locate those free meal sites this summer.
The statistics on hunger in America are startling:
  • 14.5% of U.S. households experienced food insecurity in 2012, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
  • “Food insecurity” means that, at some point in the year, a household lacked access to enough nutritious food to support an “active, healthy life for all household members.”
  • The same USDA study showed that 10% of U.S. households with children under 18 experienced food insecurity that year. That’s 3.9 MILLION U.S. households with hungry children.
During the school year, federal programs like the National School Lunch Program help close this nutrition gap by providing free or reduced cost meals to low-income students.

Read more >> Feeding a Need: New App Helps Youth Find Free Summer Meals

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Digital Literacy ResourcesKendra Morgan / Published: 02 May 2014
Libraries know digital literacy; they’ve been the go-to resource for their communities for years. Yet the need continues to grow as the demand for basic skills intensifies and new skills emerge. Whether supporting job hunters, students, older adults, or anyone seeking new technology knowledge, trainers in libraries are using curricula, resources, and tools to help people in their communities advance their digital proficiency. In this webinar, Digital Literacy: Libraries Respond to Community Needs, presenters shared practical ways for all libraries to address digital literacy programming and training—from classroom settings, drop-in classes, or responding to patron needs on the fly.

A key theme with the three presenters was, “Don’t reinvent the wheel”, and that is certainly something we embrace at WebJunction. With limited staff time and budgets, being able to rely on quality, existing resources can help deliver effective digital literacy training. This webinar presented an engaging opportunity to hear about several great resources available to support digital literacy training in libraries. Jessica Meadows from provided a tour of their collection of free, self-paced and instructor-supported online courses that are available to anyone. The tutorial topics include introductions to technology terms and ideas, Microsoft Office basics and how to create a resume for job-seekers. Jessica also shared several examples from libraries around the country that have adopted the GCFLearnFree resources, including the Sequoyah Regional Library System (GA) where the staff was able to use the shared resources to expand their training program since they didn’t need to create curriculum from scratch.

Read more >> Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Digital Literacy Resources

Promote Upcoming WebJunction Webinars – May and June 2014Please consider sharing these webinars with your colleagues. Help spread the word to staff who may not be receiving these announcements.

May Webinars:
Transforming Library Space for Community EngagementThursday, May 22, 2014 ♦ 12 pm Central  60 min
As libraries expand their focus from collections to creation, physical spaces are being transformed in ways that enhance community engagement in the digital age. Rethink how your library’s space might be configured to better enable your patrons to interact with technology and with each other. While future-facing libraries are pushing boundaries, the public still perceives libraries as being primarily about books. Learn how some key alterations to existing library space can refresh public perceptions. We’ll look at a variety of projects, ranging from larger room renovations to smaller libraries who redefined space on a modest scale, yet still had a strong impact on the community.
Panelists: Betha Gutsche, Program Manager, WebJunction; Beth Farley, Head of Information and Reader Services, Bellingham (WA) Public Library; and Eileen Shaw, Everson Branch Manager, Whatcom County (WA) Library System.
Health Happens in Libraries: Technology Planning for eHealthWednesday, May 28, 2014 ♦ 1 pm Central  60 min
As the intersection of digital technology and individual health management grows, patrons will turn to libraries to access digital resources and learn how to put technology to work for their health. A recent IMLS study showed that an estimated 37 percent of library computer users (28 million people) explore health and wellness issues, including learning about medical conditions, finding health care providers, and assessing health insurance options. Join the Health Happens in Libraries team to learn how public libraries can leverage their technology infrastructure to better serve the health information needs of patrons. Participants will learn best practices and resources for eHealth technology planning for libraries of all sizes. Participants will also be introduced to strategies for communicating with community partners about their technology resources, and identifying ways to build eHealth services through collaboration.
June Webinars: Please sign up now in order to take advantage of this early registration opportunity! Share the information with colleagues in the Minnesota library community! This information will be made available to the general WJ membership in the June edition of the Crossroads newsletter.
Best Small Libraries in America: Vital, Innovative and Thriving
Thursday, June 5, 2014 ♦ 1 pm Central ♦ 60 min
Library Journal’s annual Best Small Library in America Award, cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was created in 2005 to discover and reward exemplary work by libraries serving populations under 25,000, and to showcase these best practices to provide a replicable case study for their peers. In collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries and Library Journal, we are pleased to host this webinar featuring the two most recent award winners, 2013 Best Small Library in America: Southern Area Public Library and 2014 Best Small Library in America: Pine River Library. Join us to learn how these two libraries have developed creative programming, extensive partnerships, and innovative and responsive services so they can identify, meet, and even anticipate the ever-evolving needs of their communities.
The session will include an overview of the nomination process for next year’s award, as well as how previous winners have spent the prize money, and leveraged the recognition, to take their offerings to the next level.
Presented by: Amy Dodson, director, Pine River Library, CO; Mary Beth Stenger, director, Southern Area Public Library, WV; and Meredith Schwartz, senior editor, News and Features, Library Journal.
Be Fearless: Public Speaking for Librarians
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 ♦ 1 pm Central ♦ 60 min
Do you quake at the thought of public speaking? Are you also faced with the need to communicate to audiences, small or large, the importance of your work in libraries? You really can overcome your anxieties and master the art of public speaking. Join us for this webinar to learn some basic skills for preparing and delivering speeches, plus tips to manage your nervousness and make your presentations more memorable. Armed with practical techniques, you’ll be ready to deliver clear, persuasive, and engaging presentations on behalf of your library.


Mary Ann Van Cura, State Library Services
Cecelia Boone, Minitex
Affiliation with WebJunction Minnesota is free and available to members of the Minnesota library community. Tell your colleagues! 


The Institute of Museum and Library Services, a Federal Agency that fosters innovation, leadership and a lifetime of learning, in conjunction with State Library Services, a division of the Minnesota Department  of Education, which administers federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants, supports the WebJunction Minnesota project.