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Participant Requirements for Successful Supervision 2021

The Colorado State Library is working with Pat Wagner to revamp offer our popular Successful Supervision workshop for Colorado library staff currently working in a supervisory position!

This unique experience will span 9 weeks starting on April 28, and be a blend of 6 live, online sessions, asynchronous videos, homework assignments, and reflection designed to help participants explore and practice crucial supervision concepts, models, and strategies. 

  • Applicants must be currently working as a supervisor in a Colorado library (Includes public, school, academic and special). 
  • Due to previous high demand, we are limiting this workshop to 1 staff member per library/organization.

Additional Participant Commitments

Attend all scheduled sessions

While there will be short videos to watch and a focus on personal reflection, the real meat of the workshop will happen during the live session discussions. We only have room for 20 participants this year, and we need to know participants have the time and capacity to fully participate.

Assignments and reflection

You will get out of Successful Supervision what you put into it. We scheduled Successful Supervision every other week so that you have time to review brief videos, complete short assignments, and reflect on what you have learned. Our goal is to give you opportunities to apply what you are learning each week. Please plan on 1 – 2 hours of homework each week in between live sessions.

Active participation in all live session discussion LinkedIn conversations. 

We love to say that no two people learn the exact same thing in any workshop, so your questions, reflections, and aha moments are critical to group learning. Be prepared to participate and share on LinkedIn and during the live sessions!

Ask questions! 

We want you to get out of successful supervision what you need. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information or clarification.


A key component of this workshop is networking with and learning from other participants. Each participant will be required to have a LinkedIn account and to join and participate in the Successful Supervision LinkedIn group. 

Technical Requirements

We will be using GoToMeeting for the live sessions. This meeting platform works best on a laptop vs mobile devices. Chromebooks should be tested thoroughly. 

A commitment to confidentiality. 

We want Successful Supervision to be a safe place to discuss real life supervision issues. Everything shared during sessions and online is to remain confidential.

Provide feedback

We want to know your needs are being met during this workshop. We will welcome feedback anytime during the workshop, and you will be required to fill out a survey at the end of the course.


Colorado Department of Education - Colorado State Library Logo

Curious about Library Supervision

  • Considering a move into a supervisory position in a library and wondering if it’s the right career path for you?
  • Curious about specific skills needed to be an effective supervisor?

The Colorado State Library, partnered with Pat Wagner of Pattern Research, Inc., to offer Curious about Library Supervision: a practical introduction to library supervision.

Part I – During this webinar, Pat Wagner shares her perspective on what the job entails, the challenges, the rewards, and the quirks of being a boss.


Part II – The Resume – Ensure that your resume and interview reflects the supervisory point of view.


Creating Accessible Experiences for All – Webinar Archive

The COVID-19 pandemic has inspired libraries to interact with their communities in many new, innovative ways – especially online! This webinar will provide examples of how online library experiences can be made more accessible and enjoyable for all, focusing on inclusive service to individuals who rely on alternative forms of access to auditory and visual information. Participants at various library levels, from virtual storytime providers to leadership, will leave with several ideas for building accessibility into their online programs and services.

This webinar was the result of collaboration by the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind, the Colorado Talking Book Library, and Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL).

Session Transcript

>>> My name is Christine Kreger,
and I’m the Professional
Development Consultant for the
Colorado State Library.
We had a wonderful turnout for
today’s webinar, and this
webinar all kind of began with
an email from Jessica
Fredrickson, who is one of our
presenters for today.
Soon after libraries started
doing more virtual programming
and after closing down, and it’s
been really an amazing
partnership between the Colorado
Libraries for Early Literacy, or
CLEL, and the Colorado
Commission for the Deaf, Hard of
Hearing, and DeafBlind, and the
Colorado Talking Book Library.
So once again, my name is
Christine Kreger.
With me today, I have Timothy —
and I know I’m going to say it
wrong again for Chevalier, who’s
from the Colorado Commission for
the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and
Jessica Fredrickson, from the
Colorado Libraries for Early
Literacy, and Teresa Kalber and
Debbi MacLeod from the Colorado
Talking Book Library.
So without further ado, next
slide, Beth.
I also have the lovely Beth
Crist, who is kind of my backup
for today’s session because, you
know, wonky internet can happen.
And also just to help us kind of
keep track of everything that’s
going on today.
Before we get started for the
actual session, I wanted to go
over a couple of housekeeping
We have an hour and a half for
our discussion today.
We are providing realtime
captioning today, and if you
would like to use the captioning
or are just curious as to what
it is all about, if you go to
the bottom menu, down at the
bottom where you can choose to
see the chat and the
participants and all of that
stuff, you should see a closed
captioning CC button.
If you click on that, the
captions should appear.
There’s also a little —
actually, there’s a little up
arrow next to it where you can
choose to show subtitles or
choose to view the full
transcript, and that is your
choice to use or not use as you
see fit.
Everyone but the presenters are
muted for today’s session, but
there will be interaction
opportunities, and we welcome
your questions throughout.
As we go through, if you have
questions today, it would help
me and the other presenters
immensely if you would type the
word “question” in all caps
before typing your question into
the chat.
That way we can scroll and find
your question easily.
We have a couple people who can
help make sure that we are
seeing the chat questions.
Today we are also focusing on
web Content Accessibility
Guidelines and how they relate
to virtual programming.
And lastly, we are recording
today’s session.
I’m double checking that I have
that on.
And the archive will be made
available on the Colorado
virtual Library Website.
I also do intend to email it to
everybody who registered for
today’s webinar, and we had
quite a few people who once we
hit the magic 100 number for
Zoom, we had quite a few people
who I’ll send the archive to
because they emailed me directly
and were unable to get in.
So I think that is it for
And Timothy, I’m going to turn
it over to you.
>> Thank you.
Can you hear me okay?
>> I can.
>> Okay, good.
So I’m with the Colorado
Commission for the Deaf, Hard of
Hearing, and DeafBlind, as was
One of the things that we focus
on is accessibility, especially
as it pertains to communication
and environmental access.
And that’s mandated by the
Department of Justice.
Note, the term Civil Rights
They mandate that this emphasis
on civil rights under the ADA
prohibits discrimination on the
basis of disability in
employment or state and local
government or public
accommodations, which are such
things as libraries,
restaurants, so forth,
commercial facilities,
transportation, and
The social model of disability
does not accept the term
Those are attributes — such
attributes that focus on a
disability, for example the
inability to hear, the inability
to walk, whereas what we’re
supporting today is the social
model of disability, which is
used to refer to restrictions
caused by society when it does
not give equivalent access via
accommodations, as mandated by
the Department of Justice.
So what we want to emphasize is
that when experiences are
designed with accessibility in
mind, everyone benefits.
Next slide, please.
So I talked about our focus is
going to be on the social model
where we focus on the
What we’re going to focus on are
the accommodations.
Next slide, please.
So when experiences are designed
with accessibility in mind,
everyone benefits.
For example, the curb cut effect
or even the push button to open
the door has benefitted
individuals who use wheelchairs.
It was originally designed for
individuals who were in
wheelchairs, but as a college
professor, when I’m bringing in
a stack of books in my arms, all
I got to do is push the button
with my elbow, and it opens the
It benefits me.
It benefits individuals that are
pushing strollers.
Curb cuts benefit people on
bicycles and skateboarders.
So the idea is that when
accessibility is made for one in
mind, it’s made for all in mind,
in the sense that it enables
everyone to navigate quite
So social model makes curb
navigation unnecessary by making
the curb cut.
Thus, the curb is no longer a
The same thing is true for
virtual access, what we’re going
to cover today.
So captioning benefits all, but
it has an undervalued learning
benefit, as has been documented
by research.
Research shows that students who
are struggling with reading or
learning English, same-language
subtitling can actually support
development of literacy.
In other words, rather than
simply being annoying, as some
people will complain about
captioning, listening to English
and reading English subtitles at
the same time — in other words
multi channels of
communication — helps learners
to decode words and enhances
reading abilities.
There’s been several controlled
studies with school children in
early grades in which the
research found that the captions
contributed to word recognition
and comprehension skills.
Another study found that
subtitles support the
understanding of film or audio
So the emerging research shows
that when students listen to a
story while tracking the
transcript, their literacy
skills will be improved.
So today’s focus will be on
storytime and storybook and how
does that — how can we enhance
accessibility for all and at the
same time address literacy.
So the next slide, please.
So Debbi, I believe this was
>> Yes, this was my slide.
So it’s chat time.
I’m going to turn on my video
for one minute so that you can
see me.
Hi, how are you?
I’m going to turn my video back
But what we would like to know
is could you put in the chat,
what virtual programs and online
services your library is
currently offering or planning
to offer.
I know things are kind of
changing as we’re in this COVID
period, so if you could share
with the group your virtual
programs or online services.
So we have virtual storytime,
virtual team gaming.
Oh, you’re typing fast.
It’s hard to read.
So we have baby time, toddler
time, discussion books.
I saw Legos going by pretty
Virtual trivia, that looks like
Technology tutorials, online
adult book club.
Oh, a memory cafe.
We’ve got yoga.
It looks like storytime seems to
be fairly common.
So I guess we picked the right
example to go with.
So thanks for sharing those.
That’s wonderful.
And I hope everybody’s had a
chance to put in their input,
and thank you for that.
So next slide, please.
One of the things that we wanted
to do was use the Web Content
accessibility Guidelines as kind
of a framework in which to put
these suggestions on how we can
make our programs accessible.
And the worldwide web
consortium, otherwise known as
W3C, which you may have heard
of, is an international
community that develops open
standards to ensure long-term
growth of the web.
So they have lots of pieces to
what they work on, but
accessibility guidelines are a
piece of it, and these WCAG
guidelines are now in 2.1.
So that’s the version that we’re
working with here.
So there’s four of them, and you
can see them.
Perceivable, it can’t be
invisible to the senses.
So what that means is including
things like if you can’t hear,
then you would need captioning.
If you can’t see, you would need
audio description.
If you are actually sharing
something physically, you might
not assume that everybody can
see it and think about how it
could be experienced sensorially
or tactually.
Think of the use of color with
regards to color blindness.
So there’s things like that.
Operable, so is the interface
navigable and responsive to
And what that includes is
thinking about keyboard issues,
thinking about the timing of
your operation.
Are you expecting people to do
it really quickly?
And they may have operator
issues around their hands, for
Also think about the possibility
of how the operation could
affect seizures or physical
reactions, how easy is it to
Then what input modalities are
you allowing?
Is it just keyboard, or could it
be audio or could it be breath
Those kinds of things.
Under understandable, it’s the
information and operation of the
user interface.
So what that includes then, it
can’t be beyond the user
So are you using unusual words
that many people wouldn’t
Are you using abbreviations or
those pesky acronyms?
Is the content or operation
especially predictable?
So getting user input on that
And we have all experienced this
and I’m sure have found it
useful, input assistance.
So that comes in, spelling error
I know I have benefitted from
that myself really a lot.
And there are other ways of
providing input assistance.
And the last one then is robust,
and that’s around content must
be robust enough that it can be
interpreted reliably.
So it’s got to be able to
include compatible name, roles,
values, and status messages.
So the content and the platforms
kind of need to be robust so
they can evolve.
There’s much more — many more
examples of the specifics for
each of these four categories,
and they are in the handout.
So in the handouts that we have
provided, I have included
understanding techniques for
success criteria.
Under each one of these, there’s
a whole list of ways — of items
that you can address, and they
should include the links so you
can go right to them.
So we don’t want to spend a ton
of time digging too deeply into
these, but I think with this
overview, you kind of get the
So I will turn it over to the
next slide, and I forget who’s
going to pick up.
I think it’s Jessica.
>> It’s Timothy, actually.
>> Okay, Timothy.
>> Okay.
So what we have is Story Boxes
provided to us by the Colorado
School for the Deaf and the
The Story Boxes contain the
principles that Debbi MacLeod so
effectively outlined and
And the four principles, if you
could identify them and be
prepared to share an example —
I’m speaking to the participants
now — be prepared to share an
example of content accessibility
as either perceivable, operable,
understandable, or robust.
So at the end of the ten-minute
video that we’re now about to
watch, you will be asked to
share any one of those four
So with that, we’ll proceed.
The student that they are
working with, the students,
rather, that they are working
with are DeafBlind.
So this will be an excellent
example of how videos should not
only be captioned but should
also have audio description.
So let’s proceed to the video.
>> So Timothy, you’re going to
need to share your screen to do
the video.
>> Okay.
We’ll do it from my end, all
We’ll go to screen one, I
believe it is.
>> And we’re still seeing Beth’s
>> Oh, is that Beth’s screen?
I get it.
Let me switch to mine.
>> There you go.
>> So now I can’t see it.
Let me take out — I got to go
to a second screen.
We’ll click on Story Boxes now
and hopefully mine will work.
>> The video link is down in the
notes section.
>> When he’s sharing his screen,
he can’t see the slides.
Does anybody else have access to
that URL?
>> I do.
I almost exited out of our
meeting here.
Let me pull up the video.
So once again, we’re going to be
watching a video, which is an
example of an accessible video.
Sorry, it keeps starting.
So we’re asking all participants
to look for those principles in
And let me share my screen here.
>> Thank you, Jessica.
>> No problem.
Okay, let me now play this
>> A Story Box is a group of
collective objects you put
together to help a student
experience a book.
So it gives them a hands on
experience instead of just
>> Words represent ideas and
Without understanding the
meaning of words, they’re no
more than sounds.
Learners who are blind require
on-hands experiences.
Here are three kinds of books
and their associated objects.
When reading “If You Give a
Mouse a Cookie,” include a
Story Boxes provide an
opportunity for learners who are
blind to tactually experience
the book.
>> Sara is seated in a library.
>> When putting together a Story
Box, gathering items from around
the home, around the school, or
purchasing items from a discount
store is an easy way to have
many different items available
for that box.
>> It takes more time to explore
and understand an object than it
does to visually explore and
A learner using their sense of
touch needs to thoroughly
examine an item in order to
understand it as a whole.
Story Boxes provide the
opportunity to explore and
explicitly discuss items and
their functions.
When reading “Good Night Moon,”
you can discuss phones, clocks,
brushes, and combs.
>> So next slide, please.
So I just wanted to quickly
comment, I wonder, could you
replace Jessica’s picture with
Jessica is much more pleasant to
look at.
Okay, that’s fine.
So the video demonstrated both
audio description and
captioning, and the whole point
of this is a family learning
So if this is going to be done
virtually for tactile learners
who need a sense of touch in
order to get information, the
storybook activity needs to be
tailored directly to the child’s
needs and done in conjunction
with family.
So in other words, this is a
family endeavor.
The family is essential to these
types of learning activities
that are conducted virtually.
The storybook outlined how items
can be used to identify length
or size or thickness, the
texture of the material.
Then it went on to say to use
it — how can it be used in a
functional way?
So in other words, learning is
not only concrete with touch and
sight and feeling, but it is
also conceptual.
Learning needs to entail
conceptual development.
In this case, asking the child
what function the item could be
used for is part of that
conceptual development.
For children that can hear, you
can also ask how it sounds.
Well, of course a shoe string
isn’t going to make any noise,
but there would be some examples
where you could have noise be
part of it.
So the equipment needed at home
for the family would of course
be a video magnifier and to have
the objects of the storybook
shared with the family in
advance or the family take the
initiative to develop the story
box in conjunction with a
So as they’re exploring images
in the book, they can go to the
So this provides a meaningful
and more importantly fun
exercise for children to develop
language and literacy skills.
So with that in mind, I would
like to ask the participants to
share when the video
demonstrated WCAG — I was going
to say we Cag principles, but
that didn’t sound right.
Go ahead.
>> This is Jessica speaking.
We’ve had one participant,
Kelly, share it was robust
because each box can be applied
to different children and made
individualized like that.
>> Yes, right.
So you select the accessibility
to make sure it’s compatible,
that the technology is
>> This is Jessica speaking
One thing I noticed, the video
itself that we just watched was
perceivable because it provided
captioning and audio
>> Yes, and so no matter who
participated in the video, they
would have an opportunity to
have access to the materials
And we still have two more
examples we need, operable and
Anyone want to tackle those two?
Or one of them.
Operable, understandable.
>> And this is Christine.
Just as a reminder,
understandable is that the
interface, operation, and
information is clear and easily
And operable is that the
interface is navigable and
responsive to users.
>> And so the operable part of
it, I think, was more related to
the interaction with the
DeafBlind child as it related to
going at their pace, giving them
time to respond, engaging them
with content that was designed
to be accessible for them.
Then you’ll note that in the
recording, there was no flashing
There was no busyness in the
So that’s part of being
Does anybody want to tackle
>> Becky indicated
understandable for the kids
because they’re able to interact
with objects and understand them
at a deeper level, far more
engagement and comprehension.
>> Excellent, excellent.
So meaning that it was easily
What they were trying to teach
or convey was easily
Right on, thank you.
So that’ll suffice.
We have one example of each.
We can move on to the next
slide, please.
>> Hello, everyone.
This is Jessica speaking.
Once again, I’m a youth services
librarian and the current
training and advocacy chair for
Colorado Libraries for Early
I’m one in four adults in the
United States who experiences
I personally and really excited
about virtual library programs
and their potential to reach
users for whom the library may
always be physically
inaccessible or unwelcoming.
I hope libraries will continue
to offer new types of programs
and online services, even when
we’re back to business as usual.
I’m particularly excited to both
adapt some things from the Story
Box model for every day programs
and then to adapt some of those
elements for programming
In my library, I work with the
Loan Tree Bridge Program, which
serves students transiting out
of high school and into the
wider world.
So I’m hoping we might be able
to do some of these things.
It’s very exciting.
For this next section, we’re
going to take what we’ve learned
from the Story Box model and the
four design principles and apply
those to virtual story times.
We’ll explore specific
strategies to make the virtual
storytimes that we offer more
accessible and enjoyable for
Some of the strategies we’re
going to discuss today will
apply more to leadership
decisions, and if you are
working as a video editor, and
some of the strategies we’ll
talk about will apply more to
virtual storytime providers
themselves who are doing the
Regardless of your role, I hope
you leave today feeling
empowered to take at least one
concrete step towards
Slide, please.
All right.
So remember, perceivable means
that anyone can interact with
our content regardless of how
they perceive it.
To get a feel for how currently
perceivable your current virtual
storytimes are, I suggest trying
to watch it without the sound.
Then try watching the video with
only the visual element.
Think about, how does that
impact your personal experience
and your understanding?
This is why captioning and audio
description is so important.
We’re going to have a lot of
resources for you that I will
put in the chat box at the
educational background of the
webinar and that Christine will
mail out when she mails the
So whether you are looking to
train staff to provide these
services in house or if you
would rather outsource them, we
will have resources for you to
do that.
The caption media program is on
the screen right now.
It is a must read.
It will include a local and DCMP
service vendor database.
I want to talk a little bit more
about why captioning is
important for a program that is
typically geared for ages 0 to
Back when we started, Timothy
mentioned a lot of benefits when
he explained the curb cut
effect, especially how
captioning can aid comprehension
and retention.
When I talk about captioning in
storytimes, someone almost
always says, well, storytime
kids are too young to be reading
captions anyway.
This is true, although with so
many schools turning to online
learning for the rest of the
school year, a virtual storytime
audience is probably a much
wider range of ages than it was
before, especially as we get
into summer.
We always see older kids at the
library in the summer, right?
Even so, the adults watching
virtual storytimes with those
children are reading, and their
ability to participate and
engage fully with our content
It matters for every storytime,
Caregiver participation is not
just an essential component of
library storytime, it is a
must-have piece for a
developmentally appropriate
screen time experience for young
So the more perceivable we can
make our virtual storytime
activities and our early
literacy message, the better all
caregivers will be able to
participate during the
experience and the better
they’ll all retain that
information and be able to
implement those early literacy
strategies as they raise readers
at home, which is our goal.
The other thing I want to point
out about audio description is
even if your library is not
providing captioning and audio
description yet, there are ways
you can build elements of audio
description into your individual
virtual storytime performance.
So for example, you can verbally
describe the motions before you
do a song or a rhyme instead of
relying on families to watch
what you do on a screen, right.
And again, this helps everyone
know what to expect and better
The last bullet point on this
slide refers to picking a
flexible platform.
It’s more of a technology point.
Again, this benefits everyone.
As households struggle right now
to share internet bandwidth and
devices among numerous family
members who are doing school and
working from home, it’s likely
that many families will be
watching your storytime from a
mobile device, right?
So all families need a platform
that is flexible and can easily
change orientation.
Slide, please.
All right.
Let’s look at things that
virtual storytime providers can
do to make the experience more
perceivable as well.
Although your library may not be
able to follow the Story Box
model for everyone and provide
tactile experience bags, in my
library we can have 500
participants, up to 500
participants watching our
virtual storytimes every day.
Even if you can’t provide those
tactile experiences, you can
definitely suggest that
caregivers grab these tactile
objects in advance.
Hopefully you can include this
information in a slide before
storytime starts, in the program
description on your library
website, in the email if you are
emailing — if you’re doing a
registration process and
emailing participants the link,
or in the video description box
itself so that families have
advance notice and opportunity
to grab these materials.
You could also suggest some
tactile ways for families to
extend the virtual storytime
experience at home.
Like we learned in the Story
Boxes video, these tactile
experiences help all learners
better understand concepts.
Similarly, we can adapt
storytime activities so one
sense is not the only way to
For example, the image on this
screen is my personal modified
mouse House flannel.
We can’t raise hands, but we can
do a thumbs up or a slab.
So if the virtual audience could
give me a thumbs up or a clap in
their reactions if they know
what Mouse House is.
Should be down on the bottom of
your screen.
Ted knows.
Yeah, lots of folks know.
Lots of youth services
representation in the audience
I love it.
For those of you who aren’t
familiar with this activity,
mouse House is a classic.
It is super popular.
There’s a flannel mouse that
hides in the classic version
behind different color houses.
Children have to guess which
color house the mouse is hiding
It’s very fun.
But there are many ways that we
can make it better and more
So for example, adding variation
besides color to this activity
enables children and families
with color blindness to
participate in the fun.
Adding more variation also
better builds every child’s
vocabulary and background
Think about just the rich
opportunity for discussion with
this modified flannel.
You can talk about the different
types of houses and who might
live there.
Think about all the descriptive
vocabulary you use when you
modify flannel so that color is
not the only variation.
That benefits everyone.
Slide, please.
All right, let’s move on and
explore principle two, operable.
It means the interface is
navigable and responsive to
This principle puts the user and
their needs at the center of the
online experience.
So one of the biggest
implications is picking a
platform that gives users the
ability to pace their own
An accessible video does not
start without the user prompting
it, and the viewer can pause or
stop the video at any time.
I cannot stress how important
this is to me personally.
Motion sensitivity is a big part
of my vestibular disorder.
So having that pacing is
important when I watch a video.
For this reason, recorded
storytimes that families can
view and access on their
schedule could be preferred to
in place of or in addition to
livestream performances.
This strategy also improves
everybody’s ability to access
your content.
Families may not be able to tune
in at the specific time your
library is livestreaming a
performance, especially if you
are streaming in the morning
right now.
A lot of adults are in charge of
facilitating online learning at
home for their older children.
So making a recording available
makes the experience more
Virtual storytime providers on
an individual level can also
meet this principle by building
in sufficient wait time for the
audience to interact and engage
with their content.
Again, this interactivity is
another essential component of a
high-quality screen time
experience for young children as
defined by 0 to 3 and many other
And we need to make sure we
leave in enough wait time for
that virtual audience
interaction to take place.
Speaking from personal
experience, as a virtual
storytime provider, this feels
really weird at first.
It definitely takes some getting
used to.
I am used to having immediate
visual and auditory feedback
when I ask a question at
storytime in the library.
Kids are usually shouting and
jumping up and down with their
answers, right?
We don’t have that feedback
during virtual storytime.
So it’s really important that we
adjust our pacing when we plan
and build in that sufficient
wait time.
One thing I do is I look at the
screen and smile and count in my
head to at least ten to give
people a chance to answer at
Another element that virtual
storytime providers can
manipulate is their recording
Part of my disorder personally
means that looking at patterned
wallpaper makes me feel
nauseous, especially if I’m
watching someone move around in
front of it and doing head,
shoulders, knees, and toes
really fast.
But simplifying your filming
environment and your background
helps not just viewers like me.
Think about how easily young
children are distracted, right?
So by filming in front of a
clean and clear background, you
help all families better focus
on your content.
Slide, please.
All right, principle number
three, understandable.
This means that the interface
operation and information is
clear and easily discoverable.
This principle really speaks to
how your library picks a video
platform and how your virtual
storytime is promoted.
So how discoverable are your
virtual programs on your library
How many clicks does it take to
access your virtual storytime?
For example, do they have to
register for the virtual program
and then get into their email to
access the link to the
performance later?
Another question we should be
asking ourselves is how
forgiving is the technology when
a user makes a mistake?
For example, if a family
accidently exits the storytime
video, how easy is it for them
to get back in?
This forgiveness benefits all
users, both those with limited
fine motor control and all of
those busy caregivers who are
managing squirming babies and
toddlers and trying to bounce
them on their lap and follow
along with the video.
It’s also helpful for people who
have unanticipated pet
appearances at home.
I’ve seen a lot of cats that
seem to like to walk across
people’s keyboards lately.
Slide, please.
Lastly, let’s look at the fourth
Robust content and platforms are
compatible with assisted and
adaptive technologies.
So this means picking an
accessible video player that is
functional from multiple input
It works without a mouse.
It works through speech
interface and can be used with
screen meters.
When picking video platforms and
working with vendors, we should
investigate accessibility
features just as much as we do
privacy and cybersecurity.
It should become a part of those
questions that we ask vendors
before we enter into a
relationship with them.
There will be additional
resources about picking an
accessible video player in the
handout, but really the best way
to find out if what you’ve
chosen is accessible or not is
to engage in user testing and
ask users with assistive devices
if this actually works.
Automated testing can only go so
Even the best tools can miss
really big accessibility issues.
Slide, please.
And I’m going to turn it over to
>> Okay.
So thanks, Jessica, and giving
us all those really good ideas.
What we’re wondering is what is
the one thing that you can take
away from this session and
implement fairly quickly at your
You can also include in the
chat something that you think is
interesting that you don’t think
is quickly implementable but you
really want to do some research
and see if you can get going in
your library as well.
So either way.
So verbalizing, and we also have
some closed captioning.
Considering Story Boxes,
watching videos with the sound
off to see if you can understand
it, good.
Captions and descriptive audio.
Oh, good, reconsidering whether
you’re going to record and offer
prerecorded programs.
Oh, and color blindness, right.
Thinking about how color
blindness might affect storytime
and how people would see the
actual book.
Those are all great, great
I’m sure your patrons will be
thrilled if these got
I think one of the things, you
may not think you have people
with disabilities in your
community because they don’t
talk about them, but there are
many people who will not tell
you that the print is too small
or they can’t really hear very
well or they’ve got other visual
or motor issues.
Generally, people won’t share
those things, but you can be
sure that these types of issues
exist in your patron
So those are all great ideas.
Thank you for that.
And I’ll turn it over.
>> I had to interject there.
I want to point out that
disability impacts everyone, and
your staff, whether you know it
or not.
>> Yes.
>> Okay.
Debbi signing off.
>> So I think we have reached
the point in our session today
where we can take some
Remember, if you would, use
“question” in capitals before
your question.
I saw one earlier asking about
live questioning — or live
I can just speak kind of from my
The other presenters can come
So we actually have a live
captioner in today’s session.
It is not something that is
freely available, especially for
institutions to use.
So Rachel is our lovely
captioner today, and she’s doing
a fabulous job.
I have it turned on so I can see
And we are paying her for this
session, and this is kind of
what she does for a living.
So that is important.
I will mention very quickly, and
I believe it made it on to the
list of resources, that if you
are an individual or you know an
individual who would like to
attend some things, there’s a
company called Relay Colorado
that individuals can sign up for
in order to get transcription
It is free to the individuals.
So for the webinars that I
offer, I can’t call Relay
Colorado and have them do it for
But if an individual was
attending one of my sessions, I
could, and I’m going to try very
hard to remember that as I send
out information about webinars
in the future, that I include
that information so that people
can push it out.
And I think another thing,
depending on what you’re doing,
is if you’re using Google Slides
for any reason, it actually has
a closed captioning service
built in.
It may not be as good as having
a live transcription.
I didn’t know if anybody else
had anything to add for that.
>> This is Jessica speaking.
I wanted to talk a little bit
about captioning and what is the
difference between closed
captioning and realtime or CART
transcription, as it’s known.
Now we’re doing a live
performance and we have realtime
That is a very unique skill set
that generally you’re going to
have to pay for.
That’s not going to be something
you can really train staff on in
house, not to do well.
Closed captioning or the kinds
of captions you see maybe on
YouTube videos, those are the
captions that we saw on the
Story Box video.
So those are after a video is
recorded and then those are
added into there.
So there will be a lot of
resources about captioning in
the handout.
I will put in a plug right now.
There’s a resource to a group
called Rooted in Rights.
They’re an amazing, amazing
They have a lot of videos to
kind of help you understand what
are these different
accessibility things and how do
you get started with them.
So they have a training video
called “Captions in a Couple
I highly recommend checking that
video out as well as their
>> So we had another question
that was not accessibility
related, but I want to say it
out loud.
If anybody needs a certificate
for today’s session, I typed my
email in the chat.
If you email me directly within
the next couple days, I can get
you a certificate.
Another question that we have is
their library is using Facebook
Live for story hour, and they’re
curious what other platforms
other people are using or might
be recommended.
>> This is Jessica again.
Currently my library is using
Zoom, and they’re only
livestreaming, which I’m not
particularly happy about.
People are using all kinds of
different platforms.
I’m also going to encourage
folks to think about privacy and
cybersecurity when we pick
platforms to interact with
So there is a blog post — and I
will see if I can get it and put
it in the chat box.
I recently had a conversation
with the director of the ALA
Office for Intellectual Freedom.
She encouraged people to pick
platforms mindfully and the
privacy implications of reaching
out for programs to young
children on social media.
It’s a lot to think about.
I’m just going to pop that link
in the chat box.
I think the first instinct was
to go for where is our
community, our community is on
social media, right?
But maybe that’s not the most
accessible way for our community
to engage with us.
Maybe that’s not the most secure
and respectful way of children’s
privacy, especially for
children’s programs to do that.
I see Barbara mentioned, yes,
there is a way on YouTube —
YouTube got sued last year for
violating the Children’s Online
Privacy Protection Act.
They had to make a lot of
One of the changes they made is
you can flag your video as
children for the audience.
Then YouTube is not allowed to
collect personal identifiable
information when people engage
with that video.
And they’re not allowed to
So that’s a good workaround
YouTube is also — it’s not an
accessible video player.
Facebook Live, YouTube, Zoom,
they’re not accessible video
Some are more accessible than
So YouTube has moved away from
Flash and now they are working
off HTML 5.
So they are much more accessible
platform than they used to be.
But there are actual video
players you can embed on your
library website that are
>> This is Debbi.
I just want to jump in.
Teresa made a suggestion, and I
don’t know if it went by so fast
in chat.
But if you wanted to check on
different accessibility on
something, you can turn your
monitor off and just listen to
the sound as opposed to turning
the sound off and just watching
So that’s another way.
And that would simulate what a
visually impaired person
would — how they’d experience
the event.
So thanks for that.
>> So another question, this is
Another question that came
through was asking the wider
audience as well, but how long
are your storytimes?
There were some people that
answered in chat.
I don’t know, Jessica, if that
was something you wanted to talk
about also.
Looked like about 30 minutes.
>> I can address that.
I’m also the project
The Association for Library
Services to Children is working
on a national guide about
getting started with virtual
storytime services.
How long your storytime is
really depends on what’s your
goal for the program and what’s
your library community.
Some libraries are doing ten
Some libraries are doing a full
30-minute program.
It really just depends.
So there’s not one right or
wrong way, I guess, time-wise.
My library personally, we’re
doing half an hour storytime
>> And this is Christine again.
There’s several people who have
chimed in.
Some are between 10 and 15
minutes, up to a half hour.
So it’s great to kind of hear
what everybody else is doing as
Another question was, are most
of you, because we’re using
these platforms and if we’re
worried about privacy and
security, are most of you
requiring registrations for
>> This is Jessica speaking.
This is another reason why I
would like to see us offer
recorded experiences because not
only are they more accessible,
they’re also safer for people to
But that’s my personal take on
I see — yeah, some places are
not requiring registration.
They want their programs to be
They want their patrons to be
able to find them.
Jennifer says that they are not
doing registration.
They offer live and then a
recording available for two
I love that compromise.
Lauren says Arapahoe just
They’re prerecording videos then
adding captions and sharing
I love that.
There is a good point also in
the chat box about thinking
about timing, how long should
little people focus on the
I talked a little bit about what
libraries can do to make sure
they’re providing a
developmentally appropriate
screen time experience.
So those are definitely
considerations you want to take
in when you’re planning
storytime and thinking about how
long it should be.
>> So this is Christine.
We’ve talked a lot about virtual
storytimes, but we have a
question from an adult services
They’re thinking about doing
recorded readers advisory
They’re curious about
suggestions for making those
videos accessible for adult
patrons, especially if they
don’t have any fancy equipment.
>> This is Timothy speaking.
For all individuals to have
access to captioning, if they
don’t have any equipment,
typically captioning you just
click at the bottom of the
screen, but that’s closed
What we’ve experienced today is
closed captioning, you have to
click at the bottom of the
screen to see the captioning.
There is also open captioning,
which is burned in or hard coded
captioning, which is permanent
captioning that’s always on the
This is certainly ideal for
young people who could benefit
from developing language and
literacy, but it can also be of
benefit for adults who may not
have all the equipment and can
easily access the captioning.
So that would be one
consideration for addressing a
lack of equipment.
>> This is Debbi.
To make a video accessible to
people with visual issues, if
you are going to hold up an item
or you’re going to show
something, then what you would
just want to do is make sure
you’re describing it so that if
you prerecord it and test it
with your monitor off, then you
would know which things need to
be described.
That’s pretty easy to do if
you’re just aware of it as
you’re constructing your reader
advisory program.
Just make sure that you’re doing
description along the way and
not relying solely on a visual.
>> This is Timothy.
Could we switch to gallery view?
>> Beth, if you want to stop
sharing right now, and then we
can turn people’s videos on.
Thank you, that’s a good
>> This is Jessica speaking.
Also, about adult programs, I’ve
noticed in the chat box and have
heard that libraries are
offering one-on-one virtual book
librarian appointments.
When your library offers those
services, I would also strongly
encourage you to include
information there about how
patrons can let you know if they
would like an ASL interpreter or
if they would require, you know,
some additional accommodations
to interact with you in that
A lot of libraries are sharing
these services and not letting
people know that we can make
them accessible.
We are, as public institutions,
it’s our legal responsibility to
do that.
So we need to let people know
how we can do that.
We need to let them know that’s
an option when we’re promoting
these services.
>> And this is Christine.
I just wanted to call attention
to Tess’ comment that they
actually have one ASL/English
storytime they prerecord and
then the English portions have
captions, which I think is
fabulous as well.
And Timothy, you’re muted right
>> Apparently you could read my
I try to throw in a little humor
once in a while.
It doesn’t always work, but you
I wanted to also point out that
if you’re a librarian in a rural
area, outside of the front
range, you can request free
interpreter services, free
American Sign Language services.
I believe we have it on our
resources list that Jessica will
put on the chat.
That is specific to my agency,
The Colorado Commission for the
Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and
I almost ran out of breath
saying that title.
So it’s on our website under
rural interpreter services
You go to that program link,
fill out a form, request
interpreter services,
preferably, you know, they say
72 hours in advance, but
sometimes a little bit more.
Under those circumstances, at
this point in time, all
interpreter services are being
offered virtually.
So we have video remote
interpreters that can come in on
Zoom, can come in on storytime
and participate in your
And I want to point out, too, I
realize that there’s a lot of
fears right now regarding Zoom.
You’ve heard the stories.
We had it happen in my
Kind of scary.
But as of May 30th, for all
users who switch over to Zoom
5.0, Zoom will be encrypted
after that date.
No more Zoom bombing to worry
So it’s safe to use for
>> Another question that
appeared just a little bit ago
was we’ve been talking about how
it might be good to prerecord
your storytimes for a variety of
reasons, but then there’s that
age-old copyright question.
So editors and publishers have
been okay with, well, if it’s
kind of like transitory and it’s
not going to live forever on the
internet, what to do about that.
Is there a way we can balance
the two?
>> This is Jessica speaking.
I think what I might do is I
might also include a link into
our getting started with — or,
what is it called?
The filming virtual storytimes
before, during, and after
COVID-19 webinar that we
recently hosted that has a lot
of resources about navigating
copyright and publishers
I will tell you one publisher
who is okay with your stuff
going on YouTube is Scholastic.
They do a lot of storytime
They don’t prefer it, but they
understand if that’s what
libraries are doing.
This is another reason why you
might want to look at embedding
videos on your website and maybe
not using social media as the
way to provide the program but
instead promote it, not just for
cybersecurity and stuff, but
because publishers don’t want
you to put stuff on social
They generally want you to avoid
The other thing I want to point
out about publisher permissions
is they’re expiring very soon.
Most are expiring in May or
So if those are not extended, we
will have to get into the habit
of asking for permission.
And they’re responding really
quickly these days.
Turnaround time does not take
nearly as long as it used to.
If you want permission for
things to go on YouTube, I would
say in that argument, hey, my
library really wants to make
this available as a recording
because we want it to be
Use some of the content from
this webinar that we talked
about, the importance of viewers
pacing an experience that they
don’t get in a live performance.
That can kinds of beef up your
argument with publishers.
I will put the link to that
other virtual storytime webinar
in the chat box.
Again, I would encourage
everyone to look out for the
virtual storytime services guide
that is going to be coming here
shortly from ALSC.
So I’m going to put — I’m going
to start with that link, virtual
storytime services guide, in the
chat box.
You can bookmark that.
That will be coming soon.
There is a sneak peek blog post,
which is also — you can access
that sneak peek blog post from
the landing page.
That sneak peek blog post
addresses copyright and virtual
It’s going to take me just a
minute to find the virtual
storytime webinar link.
So give me a minute while I find
>> And while Jessica is looking
at that, we had another
question, which gets more into
If you are prerecording book
recommendations, do you have
to — what copyright things
might you have to think about?
I’ve taken so many copyright
classes that I should know some
of this off the top of my head.
There’s something having to do
with the purpose — you have to
look up fair use.
If you just use a snippet — and
I think Jessica has more
Maybe her brain is working
better than mine.
>> It’s been very consumed by
fair use lately.
There’s four factors that
feature into fair use.
One of those is the amount of
the work.
One of those is the purpose of
the work.
When you’re doing a book talk,
you’re not reading the whole
book, so in some ways it’s safer
than reading a whole book during
storytime in terms of copyright.
I don’t know that you would need
to even get permission to book
talk a book online.
Book Tubers, is that what
they’re called?
They book talk books all the
time on YouTube.
Publishers love it.
It gets their book out there in
the world.
I just dropped the link to the
webinar about the previous
webinar, specifically about
virtual storytimes, all aspects
of virtual storytimes, in the
chat box.
>> Tess also asked, she said
she’s offered two prerecorded
storytimes, but that’s kind of
been down played by her
organization because it takes so
long to upload, and they have a
lot of other programs that need
to be posted.
Does anyone know a way to cut
down on uploading time?
>> Um, yes.
There’s a file transfer website.
That also came up in the virtual
storytime webinar, the CLEL
webinar in there.
In those slides and in the
presentation handout for that
webinar, there’s a site that
makes file transfer a lot
I can’t remember what it’s
called off the top of my head.
>> Another recommendation from
Kelly is to potentially do the
recording as a lower visual.
She said today she changed
settings to 720 instead of 1080.
Yeah, uploading, especially from
home, it takes a long time.
>> Can I add to that?
>> Josie, yeah, go ahead.
>> If you have already
prerecorded a storytime on your
device, your iPhone or tablet or
whatever, you can go in to the
settings on that prerecording
and look at it, what visual
quality it is.
Usually on an iPhone, you’d do
that in iMovie, by importing it
and then re-exporting it to your
photos as a lower visual
On a Samsung tablet or something
android, you can usually press
and hold, and it’ll tell you
which one you’re using and you
can convert it to a lesser
visual quality.
>> Thank you.
>> Christine, I think we have
about 13 minutes left.
Why don’t we look at the
resources handout, if there’s no
further questions.
>> Okay.
Beth, I will have you share your
screen again.
Huge round of applause for Beth,
who’s managing all the stuff in
the back.
And then go to the next slide.
There you go.
>> Thank you, Beth.
And thank you, Christine.
I just put a link to the
resources handout in the chat
I wanted to talk just a little
bit about the different
categories of resources.
There are nine pages of
resources right now.
So I wanted to let you know kind
of what’s in there.
The first category is library
And this includes a recent
webinar from ASGLA, which
focused on making your social
media accessible, and it’s well
worth checking out.
Then it also includes a
presentation from the Exchange
2020 Conference that speaks a
lot more to making your web
content accessible.
So those are really valuable
And there’s more in that
section, too.
There’s also a section about web
That section is going to include
a lot of the web content
accessibility guidelines and the
four principles that we
referenced that Debbi took us
through earlier and that we
grounded our presentation in
So you can visit that section to
learn more about that.
There is a section specifically
about video accessibility.
This is really relevant if your
library is providing virtual
programs through a video medium,
such as Zoom or YouTube.
And if you explore only one
resource in that section, please
check out Rooted in Rights.
I mentioned them earlier.
They’re a nonprofit advocacy and
video production organization
that is dedicated to making
creative content accessible.
And they’re all — everyone who
works there identifies with
disability, which is why it’s a
great organization because I
trust what they say.
They have a bunch of really
helpful training videos and a
video accessibility guide that’s
well worth exploring.
Speaking of video accessibility,
the handout also includes
extensive resources for how to
get started with captioning,
audio description, and
transcription services.
Whether or not you want to train
staff to provide those in house
or if you’re interested in
outsourcing them.
This includes both a local
captioning services directory,
which is available from the
Colorado Commission for the
Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and
It also includes a national
service directory from the
Described in Captioning Media
Lastly, we have shared some
accessible virtual program
providers that maybe you want to
connect your community with and
So this includes an ASL picture
book read aloud video series
being offered by the Colorado
School for the Deaf and Blind.
This also described the
Described in Caption Media
In addition to having training
resources available to teach
people how to caption, they have
an extensive video library
that’s free for educators.
All the videos on there are
accessible videos.
So it’s something we definitely
want to be making sure that our
local schools know about and
that we’re connecting kids and
families to.
Slide, please.
The last thing I want to say is
that we are also your resources.
We are here for you, not just
during this webinar.
If you have additional
questions, you can contact us.
We are happy to help, happy to
make your programs more
accessible for your community
and more enjoyable for everyone.
>> So this is Christine.
We do still have about nine
minutes left if there are any
last-minute questions.
Feel free to pop them into the
Our goal is to try to answer as
many questions as you have as
I typed it several times in the
chat, but just as a reminder, I
will email everybody a link to
the archive, a link to the
handout and the resources, as
well as — there was a third
I typed it in the chat.
I forgot.
Oh, the slides.
So everybody will have the
slides available as well because
that can be very helpful.
Hopefully we’ll have that done
by tomorrow, because as we
mentioned, uploading things to
YouTube can take a really long
And our session is an hour and a
So if no one has any other
questions, and feel free to put
them in the chat, I want to
extend a huge thank you to our
presenters today, Jessica,
Timothy, Debbi, and Teresa
helped in the chat from the
Talking Book Library.
Basically, this webinar would
not have happened had Jessica
not contacted us.
And we just thought it was such
a fabulous idea.
So we hope everybody enjoyed
what you learned today and can
hopefully start implementing.
I think I’ll just kind of throw
in one small thing that we
talked about when we were
putting together this session.
There’s a lot to absorb with all
of this, and you don’t have to
do everything tomorrow.
So once again, think about small
steps that you can take to make
the programs a little bit more
accessible, a little bit more
accessible, and a little bit
more accessible.
Every small step will make a
difference in the end.
>> And this is Debbi.
If you want to include in chat
if we did another webinar, what
would you want us to focus on
for accessibility?
Is there some — we focused on
storytimes as an example, but is
there some other area that you
could use some help with?
So you can just include that in
the chat if you want.
>> Yeah, you can include that in
the chat.
I also will include a survey
when I send all of you the
So after you’ve had some time to
think about that, you can put
that in the survey as well.
Let us know if there’s other
things you would like to see.
So one of the ideas is teen and
adult virtual programming and
>> That’s a great idea.
Some of those principles and the
things we talked about, like
captioning, are going to apply
to all programs, no matter what
age group that you’re doing it
>> Well, if there are no other
questions, once again, last huge
round of applause to our
presenters for today.
I wish everybody a great
Be well, everyone.
>> Thank you, everyone, for
Thank you, Timothy and Debbi,
for sharing your expertise, and
Thank you to the State Library
and Christine and Beth for
hosting this.
I’m so excited that you all came
And I’m glad you are joining in
the accessibility movement.
>> Thank you.
>> Thanks to Jessica for getting
us going.
>> Yes.
Jessica Fredrickson deserves the
Thank you.
>> Y’all going to make me blush.
Can you see me blushing over the
>> Thank you.
>> Thanks, everybody.
>> Thank you, everyone.
>> Bye.
>> Be well.

As you prepare to reopen your library – A webinar on health and mental health issues- Archive

The Colorado State Library and Ready Teams partnered to provide a webinar for Colorado library staff as they begin planning for re-opening libraries across the state. Representatives from a variety of health, mental health, and library agencies will shared their perspectives on how organizations can support library staff and their patrons as they reopen.

  • Carl LoFaro is a social worker with 15 years of experience working in mental health care and prevention. He has served challenging populations in high-stress situations including while deployed with the Army to Iraq and in crisis centers in Colorado. His belief that other community members are often the best resources for people who are struggling guides his current work as a suicide prevention researcher and a doctoral student.
  • Olivia Zarella is a public health professional focused on infectious disease and climate change. She is currently a doctoral student in public health at the Colorado School of Public Health. Currently she is working to strengthen the systems that prevent and control infectious diseases and focuses on improving public health intervention sustainability through the education of and inclusion of at-risk communities in decision making. To support Colorado communities during this pandemic, Olivia created the ColoradoSPH COVID-19 Student Response Initiative.
  • Alyssa Henneboehle is a family nurse practitioner with nine years of experience in healthcare. Her focus during her RN career was obstetrics, and as an NP she provides primary care to residents of assisted-living facilities. She is passionate about caring for underserved populations and is particularly concerned about the current COVID-19 outbreak because of the increased risk the virus poses to her patient population.
  • Deborah Conklin is the director of Ready Teams. She has 18 years of experience helping nonprofits and government agencies more effectively serve their clients through customized training, financial analysis, and strategic planning. She is passionate about providing tools and information to people and organizations to empower them to achieve financial stability.
  • Polly Gallagher is an executive director of a small to mid-sized rural Colorado library district. She has led non-profit and government agencies through a variety of pivots and significant changes in operations and service models. She believes that libraries are recognized as trustworthy resources in our community and are positioned to support and direct people within our building and beyond.
  • Robert Ayala is the division manager of customer experience at the Loveland Public Library, with primary responsibilities for customer service, circulation, facilities, and security. He has been with LPL for 6 years with previous positions at the Converse Public Library and San Antonio Public Library. Other areas of experience are in adult services, community partnerships, large-scale programming and events, and project management.
  • Christine Kreger is the Professional Development Consultant for the Colorado State Library, bringing over 25 years of training and continuing education experience to the table. She is passionate about learning at all levels and connecting library staff to the information and resources they need to all of they great work they do .

What’s in Your Medicine Cabinet? Resources for Medication Safety

Ten percent of all hospital admissions are the result of patients not taking medications correctly. Twenty-eight percent of all hospital admissions for those over 65 are caused by medical non-compliance.  Many adults over 60 years of age take two or more prescriptions, with around 20% taking five or more in a single month. The health consequences of misunderstanding how to take a medication can be significant – even deadly. There are many free authoritative and reliable medication safety resources. The majority of resources provided are from institutes that comprise the National Institutes of Health, such as the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Others are highly-respected non-profit or governmental organizations.

DailyMed (, from the NLM, provides high quality information on nearly 106, 000 marketed drugs. Search by drug name or drug class and receive an abundance of information on adverse reactions, patient counseling information, consumer health information, material for breastfeeding mothers, clinical trial information, and biomedical literature resources.

Drug Information Portal ( provides quick access to quality drug information. The site contains information on over 30,500 drugs and is searchable by drug name or category. In addition to links to MedlinePlus for consumer information, the database pulls additional information for breastfeeding mothers, clinical trials and US Food and Drug Administration information (FDA).

LactMed ( from the NLM is a peer-reviewed database for breastfeeding mothers and their healthcare team to understand potential effects of drugs on breastfeeding infants. Developed by a pharmacist, the site contains over 1,000 frequently used complementary and alternative medicine products.

LiverTox ( from the NLM provides current, accurate information on liver injury attributable to prescription and nonprescription medications, herbals and dietary supplements.

MedlinePlus ( is the premier consumer health resource in English and Spanish from the NLM. In addition to information on over 1,000 health topics in English and Spanish, there is a wealth of information on drugs, supplements and herbal topics. This is a great site to learn about prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications – including side effects and dosing. You can also research dietary supplements and herbal remedies to learn about effectiveness, dosage, and potential interactions with prescription medications. MedlinePlus also has health information in nearly 50 additional languages (

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (, or NCCAM, provides research-based information on all aspects of complementary and alternative medicine. Of particular interest is the use and side effects of herbs and botanicals, and information on clinical trials for these substances. This site is available in English and Spanish.

PillBox (, provides information and images to quickly identify prescription, over-the-counter, homeopathic, and veterinary pills marketed in the United States. You can search by a pill’s shape, imprint (letters or numbers), or color, in addition to the drug name or ingredient or pill size.

Avoiding Medication Errors

Keeping a Personal Health Record (PHR) can help reduce medication errors, and assist healthcare providers and family members if you are unable to communicate your medication history. It is also an invaluable resource for all of your personal health history. A PHR is different from the medical records a healthcare team keeps. A PHR can be information that you maintain and keep current, or provided by another source such as your healthcare provider, insurer, employer, or a commercial product. There are many tools available to help you collect, track, and share prescription drug and over the counter medication information. has Mednotes, a free personal medication eRecord. You can receive instant access to detailed warnings and drug interactions, email notifications of drug warnings, access easy-to-read health information, and generate printer-friendly reports to share with caregivers or your doctor.  Visit to learn more and get started.

Disposing of Expired and Unused Medications

Drinking water can be contaminated by improper medication disposal. Traces of steroids, antibiotics, anti-depressants and hormones have been found in municipal water sources. There are safe methods for disposing of unused, unneeded or expired prescription drugs. The FDA has great information on how to properly dispose of medications at Here are a few guidelines:

  • Take unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs out of their original containers.
  • Mix prescription drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, and put them in impermeable, non-descript containers, such as empty cans or sealable bags.
  • Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs doing so. Visit for a list of drugs that the FDA recommends flushing.

Participate in the National Take Back Initiative occurring several times each year. This program, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, provides local venues for disposing of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. With support from local law enforcement and community partners, the April 2018 National Take Back Initiative event brought in 475 tons of unwanted or expired medications! Click here to find collection sites in your area year-round.

Dana Abbey, MLS, is the Colorado/Community Engagement Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region.  She can be reached at


This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

What is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine?

What is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine?

Coordinators from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) hear that question a lot. NNLM is a government program, coordinated by the National Library of Medicine, and carried out through a nationwide network of health science libraries and information centers. Its mission is to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing access to biomedical and health information. NNLM has been around in one form or another for over 40 years. To understand what it does now, it helps to have some background knowledge of where it came from.

National Library of Medicine

In 1836 the Library of the Office of the Surgeon General of the Army was established in Washington D.C., with a budget of $150 for medical books. Over the next century, this library went through several moves and name changes, and was finally rechristened the National Library of Medicine in 1956. The largest biomedical library in the world, it is one of the National Institutes of Health located in Bethesda, Maryland and the building is roughly the size of four football fields.

The Regional Medical Library Program

In 1965, The Medical Library Assistance Act authorized the National Library of Medicine to develop a national system of Regional Medical Libraries. Eleven regional health science libraries were funded to provide resource sharing and interlibrary loan services via DOCLINE across US medical school libraries. By the late 1980s the mission of the program included outreach to health professionals and a focus on regional needs.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine

The Regional Medical Library Program was renamed the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) in 1991. At this time, the network was configured into 8 regions that remain today. In the years since, the National Library of Medicine has gone through many different changes that have been echoed in the work of NNLM. When the National Library of Medicine began making its collection available online via PubMed and MedlinePlus, NNLM began providing outreach and training to the public on these resources through public libraries, community, and faith-based organizations. The charge of NNLM was expanded to include a focus on outreach to special and underserved populations and this was implemented by offering funding to network members and exhibiting at conferences and events.

The MidContinental Region

The MidContinental Region (MCR) of NNLM includes Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, and Wyoming. It is administered through the University of Utah’s Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, but each state in the region has a dedicated outreach coordinator. In addition to its focus on health information outreach, the MCR also concentrates on areas such as community and library engagement, education, research enterprise, rural health, and technology.


All courses and webinars offered by NNLM are free of charge and many offer free continuing education credits through the Medical Library Association. The MidContinental Region hosts a monthly information webinar called Breezing Along with the RML that features a variety of topics relevant to librarianship, health sciences, technology, research, and community outreach. Additional webinars, as well as in-person and online courses, are frequently made available from the MCR and other regions of NNLM. Visit the national Training Schedule for a list of all upcoming training opportunities.


To help Network members better serve the health needs of their community, NNLM offers funding for projects that improve access to health information, increase engagement with research and data, expand professional knowledge, and support outreach that promotes awareness and use of NLM resources in local communities.

Your State Coordinator

Each state in the MidContinental Region has an embedded state outreach coordinator. In Colorado, Dana Abbey works out of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Library. She is happy to serve as a resource for any health information needs throughout the state of Colorado or in the Denver Metro area. She can be reached at or 303-724-2110. Dana also exhibits at CALCON each year, so please stop by and say “hi”!

NNLM Membership

Membership in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is free and easy. You don’t have to be a medical library to join, you don’t even have to be a library. Any organization that shares health information is welcome to sign up and take advantage of our training and funding opportunities and join our community. Benefits of Network membership include a certificate of recognition, training opportunities, eligibility for project funding, document delivery services, emergency preparedness planning and response, and partnerships with other NNLM members.


This was the first time I had attended CALCON and I got a crash course in conference attendance.  I will take many of these lessons with me as I attend future conferences.

I learned to bring a notebook and pen to each session.  Apparently, presenters no longer provide print-outs of their slides.  The slides are all available on the conference website.  I also learned that bringing snacks is a good idea.

I learned that it may feel as if everyone else attended the conference with at least one friend or colleague.  This can be intimidating, but ultimately everyone is at the conference to learn.  When I made the effort to introduce myself, I met many interesting, nice librarians.

I learned the value of moving beyond my comfort zone when choosing sessions.  The presentations that were most valuable to me were on topics of which I had little previous knowledge.  Overall, I had a great time and the opportunity was invaluable.  In order to get the most out of the experience, I had to move beyond my comfort zone.

I promoted to a supervisor position this past April.  Because of this, I attended many of the sessions that were included in the Leadership track.  I gained a lot of insight from both presenters and other attendees.  There was information on how to supervise, how to hire new staff, and how to stay excited about a job that sometimes involves difficult conversations.  Additionally, I left with many resources to continue learning on my own.

Overall, attending CALCON was a challenging and rewarding experience.

Librarians, Make Happy Work!

As a librarian new to Colorado this year, I was thrilled to attend CALCON in October and meet many new people from all over the state who love their work in–and with–libraries as much as I do.

CALCON was such a positive experience for me, from networking to attending keynote sessions, to attending the quick and enlightening lightning sessions. My most inspirational session had to be the
first: Social Super Glue: How to Improve Your Library’s Workplace Culture with Kris Boesch. While Boesch doesn’t work in libraries, her session on how to “make happy work” was especially poignant to me.

Librarians and library staff are public service workers who often take on much of the challenges and stress their patrons face each day. We can become overwhelmed by negativity and pass it on. Boesch pointed out how crucial it is to have happy staff in a library, because happy employees make 26% fewer mistakes than unhappy employees, and unhappy employees can cost $30,000 more a year for a library to employ. This is due to a decrease in productivity, contagious negativity, bad customer service, turnover, safety
incidents, and a difficulty in recruiting new staff. On the other side, a happy employee is more productive, shares their happiness, shows better customer service, and makes less mistakes with fewer absences than even an average employee.

As a branch manager, I realized how much of an impact one person’s happiness can be on the entire staff. That’s due to the fact that full-time people spend an average of 2,000 hours of their life at work each
year. Imagine what it’s like for a department of 5 (10,000 hours) or 20 (40,000 hours). It’s my job to not only for me to focus on my own happiness, but also to make a happy and positive environment for all of my staff.

Where do we begin?

Empathy. Respect. Kindness. Curiosity. Understanding our purpose.

From here, I created an action plan to “make happy work” at my library. My actions include:

1.) Acknowledging the successes and struggles of others

  • It makes an impact on people when they realize that their work
    is noticed by others. By acknowledging their lives, we’re acknowledging that
    they matter.

2.) Coming from a place of curiosity in conversations

  • By beginning a conversation or interaction with the intention of
    learning something, you’re creating an atmosphere of respect and interest. This
    is very simple, yet powerful. How often do we come into a meeting with a
    preconceived notion of what we expect to get from it? By merely leaving
    judgment at the door, you open endless opportunities to learn from those around

3.) Leading a “Rose, Bud, Thorn” exchange at the beginning of a meeting, which encourages staff to think more deeply about how work is going and share it with the team.

  • Ask your staff or colleagues these things:
    • What is your rose (What is
      the highlight of your day/week/month?)
    • What is your bud? (What
      are you looking forward to?)
    • What is your thorn? (What is
      your challenge? What is going wrong?)
  • I have already attempted this in meetings, and IT WORKS. The time in a meeting for sharing went from one sentence answers to thoughtful conversations that staff all participated in.

Boesch’s keynote was the perfect introduction to CALCON, because it inspired me to think about the significance of my staff’s happiness each day. I came from many sessions with program ideas, new leadership skills, ways to increase the library’s relationship with the community, and the expertise of
new people. However, if my staff aren’t happy, then everything I learn and implement won’t work how I intend, and we’ll never reach our goals. It’s up to each of us to work on our own happiness and help our colleagues and patrons be happy.

As Boesch highlighted, “The secret to success is simply a decision.” And, I am committed to being happy and helping those around me make happy work.