Monthly Archives: October 2017

A Few U.S. Census Facts for Halloween

Casper, Wyoming, made the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of Halloween destinations in Facts for Features. Other suggested locales include Tombstone, Arizona; Sleepy Hollow, New York; and Transylvania County, North Carolina. The Bureau has compiled a few numbers on the holiday, including these:

  • 41.1 million: The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2015 — children ages 5 to 14 — across the United States. Of course, many other children — older than age 15 and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating
  • 39,815: The number of people employed by U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2015. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $17.2 billion, up from $16.0 billion in 2014.
  • $12.4 million: The value of U.S. imports of pumpkins in 2016. Pumpkin carving and decorating is a popular Halloween tradition.
  • 302: The number of broom, brush, and mop, and casket manufacturing establishments (for the more authentic witches and vampires). Combined, these two industries employed 12,627 people and had a total value of shipments of $3.6 billion in 2012.

See more on the Census Bureau website.

Halloween Patents for the Holiday

From Karen Kitchens
WSL State Publications Librarian

It’s that time of year again — ghosts, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night! Halloween is a time for costumes, spooky stories, and Trick-or-Treaters. Intellectual Property is not the first phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Halloween celebrations. However, there are patents for every occasion. Here are a few Halloween-themed patents. Enjoy!

First, may we present the just-for-fun patents:


(U.S. Patent No. 6,059,423). Patented in 2000 by Darlene J. Knopick. This handy device provides increased safety for busy Trick-or-Treaters.

PET COSTUME (U.S. Patent No. D699,403). Patented in 2014 by Target Brands, Inc. this patent allows your dog to proudly Trick-or-Treat with all the neighborhood kids.

Next, some Halloween patents to make you shudder:

JACK-A-LANTERN (U.S. Patent No. 396,252). This patent was granted in 1889 to G.A. Beidler.

FORMING CONFIGURATIONS ON NATURAL GROWTHS (U.S. Patent No. 2,096,507). Patented in 1937 by John Czeski, an Ohio farmer. This device grows pumpkins with human faces!

Last, but not least, may we present the most horrifying Halloween patent of all, the RESPONSIVE TOILET (U.S. Patent Application No. 20120060270). This patent application was submitted in 2012 by Kevin and Timothy Ihlefeld. This talking toilet has a flush responsive audio player plays preselected audio content keyed in response to a toilet flush!

Have questions about patents? The State Library houses Wyoming’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center. We have trained librarians ready to help you. Contact us at (307) 777-6333 or



Free Library Continuing Education Events for November

The November 2017 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 75 great offerings. Every training opportunity on this list is free and offered online. Topics include advocacy, planning, careers, children and teens, collection development, communication, databases, managing change, fundraising, legal, management, outreach and partnerships, programming, readers’ advisory, reference, school libraries, technology, training and instruction, and volunteers. View, download, or subscribe to the calendar at

Replacements for “Search for Jack” Storybook Kits

We all know what happens when items with multiple parts and pieces are well-loved and well-used. If you are missing pieces to your library’s “Search for Jack” storybook kit(s), or if you want to add or replace a full kit, WY Quality Counts can help. Contact Maggie Budd at to place your request.

If you’re unfamiliar with this resource, the kits feature The Search for Jack, a children’s book about two friends, Chuck the Beaver and Pepper the Meadowlark, exploring Wild Wyoming together to find the mysterious jackalope. As they search, they model basic s