Monthly Archives: June 2017

WSL Closed for Independence Day

The Wyoming State Library will be closed Tuesday, July 4, for Independence Day. We will reopen on Wednesday, July 5. The library will be open its regular hours on Monday, July 3.

We celebrate the July 4 holiday in honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on that date in 1776. Learn more about the Declaration from the National Archives.

Although we won’t be in the building, you can still check out reading material online — ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, and digital magazines — through

Starting Immigration Services at Your Library

Photo by Samuel Schneider on Unsplash

The Public Library Association (PLA) in partnership with ALA’s Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services (ODLOS) is presenting a free webinar, “Starting Immigration Services at Your Library,” on Wednesday, July 26, at from 12-1 p.m. MDT.

Are you interested in learning how to incorporate immigration services into the library? In this webinar, the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) to share valuable information about their free online tools—immi and Citizenshipworks—which can be used to expand the capacity of your citizenship corner and provide people with self-guided immigration legal assistance. IAN will also discuss the ways libraries are currently using immi and Citizenshipworks in its branches. In addition, two public librarians engaged in working with the immigrant population in their communities will give examples of citizenship workshops and other programs at their libraries aimed towards immigrant patrons.

Learn more and register.

Wyoming librarians may also want to explore the citizenship resources in the Adult Learning Center in Learning Express Library and our training video (YouTube) on this resource.

What’s the Oldest Book in WYLDCAT?

Scan of the frontispiece and title page, courtesy of Matt Swift, Wyoming State Law Librarian.

Laramie County Library System recently blogged about the oldest book in their collection, an 1838 History of Rochester (Hey, Who You Callin’ an Old Book?!). Here at the Wyoming State Library, we wondered — what’s the oldest book in WYLD? Our Bibliographic Services Librarian, Bobbi Thorpe, went on the hunt.

The winner? The Wyoming State Law Library has a 1639 edition of The elements of the common lavves (laws) of England by Francis Bacon in its collection. According to Lawbook Exchange, “It was the first part of De Regulis Juris, a codification of English law that Bacon never completed.”

This book resides in the State Law Library’s historic collection, but little is known about its history. The earliest library stamp on it was from 1941, but it may have been added before then. At some point, this volume has been rebound. Although at the library you’d have to request this one at the checkout desk, you can see the digitized version any time on Hathi Trust.

Wyoming’s Horseback Librarian Report to ALA

Mabel Wilkinson on Joker

Just over a century ago, the American Library Association convened its 38th Annual Meeting in Asbury Park, New Jersey, from June 26 to July 1, 1916. In the published proceedings was a report from one Mabel Wilkinson, Park County Librarian, telling of her adventures when she was hard at work extending library services to the smallest places in Platte County. You can read the full account in Hathi Trust.

Over two weeks and 400 miles, Mabel “…visited each post-office, town, village, and hamlet in the county on this trip.” It was a two-week, 400-mile trip on horseback to places that included Lakeview, Bordeaux, Slater, Chugwater, Hartville, Sunrise, and Glendo. Only one place — Hartville Junction (also known just as Junction) — turned down a library. (You can read more about all these locales in Wyoming Places.)

After trying out seven other saddle horses, she chose “Joker” for the trip, whose former owner, “would not guarantee one thing about him, excepting that he had never done a mean thing in his life, that he was not ‘lady-broke,’ and was not overly gentle!”

Perhaps her most famous quote was not actually said by her, but was one she passed along in her report:

Not long ago I was greatly surprised as well as amused when a library director in the northern part of Wyoming, upon requesting a library organizer for her county, required: ‘A young woman who is not only a college graduate with library school training and experience but in addition must be able to get along with Western people, ride and drive, as well as pack a horse, follow a trail, shoot straight, run an automobile, and be able to rough it whenever necessary.’ Now, it has been proved that those qualifications all come as part of the business, as well as the fun of organizing in Wyoming.

Mabel went on to become the County Librarian for Park County. (You can find mentions of her in Wyoming Newspapers.) Her journey is a wonderful glimpse into both the history of Wyoming and the history of libraries in this state.