Weekly Wrap-U.P.! May 12, 2023

System Spotlight

By Christopher Dressler

Bring on Summer Reading!

Director Sara at Plains reports: “We got our new outdoor sidewalk sign.  This is the first time we have had one, but we are using this to encourage Summer Reading, and then we can swap out the message boards.  It can be filled with water or sand; however, it is surprisingly heavy so it will be fine most of the time.  Right now, we have it set up inside.  Bring on Summer Reading!” If you have questions or comments, please email plainslibrary@plainslibrary.com

Future Dates & Training Opportunities

May 5, 2023, 10:00 am – #TrendyLibrarian

May 15, 2023, 1:00 pm – Niche Academy “Disability Accommodations in Libraries”/Registration Link

June 16, 2023, 10:00 am – System Board Meeting (Online Only)


By Richard Brookman

New Template Policies on SWKLS Wiki

Two new template policies have been added to the SWKLS Wiki page. One is a template for “Budget/Capital Improvement” and the other is “Interlibrary Loan”. These templates are to provide a starting point for the members. When you download the policy you will notice it will be a Word document. This will allow you to edit the template to make alterations to fit your community.

As mentioned above you can see these templates and the other templates on the System Wiki page.

Image provided by Pixabay.com contributor BookBabe

Beyond Barriers

This past week I visited with Mignon Lucky of Beyond Barriers. She wanted me to pass along what Beyond Barriers is and if any of our member libraries might like to contact her or give their information to patrons that might be interested in contacting the organization.

Beyond Barriers is an organization providing disability services for living independently. They help individuals live as independently as possible through training, education, advocacy and support. Just a few of the services they offer are: independent living training and support; employment services; blind/low vision services; ADA compliance/community education; medical supply loan closet; and more.

Anyone with any kind of disability qualifies. You don’t have to “prove” anything. The organization’s goal is to eliminate barriers.

If you or anyone in your community would like to contact Beyond Barriers for more information you can contact:

Mignon Luckey, Independent Living Specialist/Older Blind Program

Email – mlucky@BeyondBarriersKS.com

Phone – Direct: 620-371-7018 or Main: 620-371-7690

New Characters at the System

SpongeBob, Cat in the Hat, Red Book or Page the Book, Grinch, and Classic Santa character costumes have been added to the System’s cast of characters. The characters are to help augment your programs and/or help with your Parade Program Entry for the library in your community.

Member libraries can contact the System Office to reserve the costumes through an interlibrary loan request or by email/phone. The library can just receive the costume if they have someone that will dress up as the character. If not I will make arrangements to be at your library to dress as the character you selected for your program.

Cataloging, Collection Development, and ILL

By Sara Wilson

Collection Development Inspiration

Adult Fiction

Children’s & YA Fiction

In Literary News

Grief Book Author Charged With Murder

A widow wrote a children’s book, recently, to help her own kids cope with the sudden death of their father. The book was called “Are You With Me?” and the author, Kouri Richins, said her children helped her with the writing process. Now, it’s come to light that she is being charged with the murder of her husband, the man whose death inspired the book. To read more about the case, click this link.

Recent Book Challenge Issues Making the News

Libraries are feeling the impact of book challenges across the country. Here are some recent news reports involving book challenges and bans across the United States. (Special thanks to Sara Koehn, Director of Haskell Township Public Library and Sean Bird, Interim Dean of University Libraries at Washburn University for their contributions to this list!)

School Censorship Violates Basic Human Rights: https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/05/03/us-school-censorship-violates-basic-human-rights

Illinois to Become First State to Ban Book Bans: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/05/03/illinois-to-become-first-state-to-prohibit-book-bans-00095151 & https://bookriot.com/illinois-to-become-first-state-to-ban-book-bans/

Missouri Escalates Battle Over Books: https://www.kcur.org/education/2023-05-04/library-funding-becomes-the-nuclear-option-as-the-battle-over-books-escalates

ALA OIF Blog 05.05.23: https://www.oif.ala.org/intellectual-freedom-news-05-05-2023/

First Amendment Coalition: https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/news-opinion/first-amendment-news/

Empowered by Reading (Unitedagainstbookbans): https://uniteagainstbookbans.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Empowered-by-Reading-final.pdf

You Can Learn Birdsongs!

In this informational video, Jackie Augustine, from Audubon of Kansas, teaches you about how to learn to recognize birdsongs. The Audubon of Kansas provided many of our libraries with free birding adventure backpacks a few months ago. If you have not received one and would like one for your library, please let me know and I will connect you with contact information. This video would be great to share with patrons interested in going on a birdwatching adventure this spring/summer.

In Case You Missed It

#TrendyLibrarian Workshop Pics

We had a great time last Friday at the #TrendyLibrarian workshop! It was so great to see those of you who were able to make it out. We hope you learned new things and had fun doing it! 🙂 If you missed it, we hope to see you next year! Here are some pics from the day’s events:


by Christopher Dressler

How It Works – Library S.T.R.E.A.M. Ed.

As many of you have seen at the #Trendy Librarian Workshop, we have lots of toys that many of your patrons would enjoy using. These toys are fun to use, and you might even learn something while playing. Maybe, “toy” is not the best way to describe what these devices should be described.

From another perspective these tools can fix real world problems, at home, on the farm, or at work. For an example, the Makey Makey can be used as a water detector to detect plumbing clogs near drains, water heaters or your HVAC systems. The Toy Box 3D Printer can be used to print parts that were broken on equipment, temporary fittings, or an emergency fix when you can’t get a part right away.

These tools can be used for practical purposes like prototyping, making molds, and even making tools for specific purposes or one time uses. Let your patrons brainstorm ideas and decide if a 3D printer is right for your library. Call us today to setup a demo of our many STREAM tools that we offer. See our S.T.R.E.A.M. site for our list.

As always, if you have specific needs for a video or an in-person training, please feel free to reach out via phone or email. -5/8/23

Three AI Programs for Librarians (Steve Andrews)

During our recent Trendy Librarian workshop, I shared some useful Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs that you can test and use. These programs are designed to make your work easier and help you save time. In this article, I will introduce you to three different AI tools that I find particularly useful.

  • ChatGPT:
    ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It is a program that can simulate human-like responses to text-based input. You can access ChatGPT for free by signing up for an account on their website. The latest version available is 3.5. To learn more about ChatGPT, you can visit their blog at https://openai.com/blog/chatgpt.
  • Canva’s Text-to-Image:
    Canva is a popular design platform that offers a Text-to-Image app. This app allows you to create images based on your text input. You can use it to create social media posts, posters, or any other visual content. The app is available on Canva’s website, and you can access it by visiting https://www.canva.com/apps/text-to-image.
  • Google’s Bard:
    Google has developed a conversational AI called Bard. It is an AI-powered writing tool that can help you with creative writing. You can access Bard by visiting https://bard.google.com/. If you are a Google Workspace user and would like to try Bard, please contact me to enable access.

In conclusion, these AI tools can help you save time and improve your productivity. They are easy to use, and you can access them online. I hope you find these tools helpful, and I encourage you to give them a try.

Price Increases for Google Workspace

Google has announced price increases for Google Workspace accounts that will be rolling out this year. For our members that use Google Workspace, the Business Starter plan will increase from $6 per user (per month) to $7.20 per user (per month). The new pricing started rolling out in April of this year and will continue through 2024, depending on factors that include number of user licenses, current contract terms, and payment plan.

Google Analytics Notifications

Google is sending out notifications concerning the transition from Legacy (Universal) Analytics to the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4). As a reminder, the SWKLS I.T. department has already provisioned GA4 analytics for all websites that we manage. Please ignore these emails if we host and manage your website!