All posts by Susan

Wyoming Book Reviews

When they Were Young: A Sam Dawson Mystery
By Steven Horn
Cheyenne, WY : Granite Peak Press, 2017

Steven Horn writes a beautifully penned Wyoming story, complete with the Nebraska Sand Hills and the Laramie Range, the University of Wyoming and the Medicine Bow National Forest as the back drop. Sam Dawson, a Wyoming man reticent to speak, share, or be in touch with his emotional side, comes off the page with richness and the absence of cliché. A struggling writer working as a photography instructor at the university, Sam challenges his daughter and his love interest, Annie, while tending to demons of his past. When They Were Young takes us back in time to a young marginalized family struggling to survive against the cruelties of young men and harsh environments. Every mystery needs haunting elements and the author provides many: a crusty old rancher, threatening events, isolated country houses, evidence in a musty barn, researched child abductions, icy winters, evidence of pornography, and a series of suspicious deaths. Reading this book will take you on familiar paths with likable folks while making your skin crawl with the nastiness of the human condition.

Cindy Moore, Assistant Director
Converse County Library

Saving Wyoming’s Hoback: The Grassroots Movement That Stopped Natural Gas Development
By Florence Rose Shepard and Susan Marsh
Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2017

Saving Wyoming’s Hoback recounts the actions of citizens working together to protect the scenic and valued Hoback Basin from drilling. The book begins with a summary of the conservation efforts as the author recounts the announcement of a buyout by the Trust for Public Land of mineral leases from the Plains Exploration & Production Company, preventing any future drilling in the area. Following this summary was a more detailed account covering the different people and their reasons for wanting conservation.

The beautiful pictures and descriptions of the area in question help to showcase why it is so special. In contrast, pictures of the Green River Basin and the gas development in that area show what could have happened in the Hoback Basin. This was an informative read that guides the reader through the intricacies of government agencies’ decisions and what citizen-run groups did to oppose those decisions. I would recommend it to those interested in conservation and who enjoy Wyoming’s natural beauty.

Jessica Anders, Library Technician
Eastern Wyoming College Library

WLA Sets 2018 Conference Dates

Save the dates! The 2018 Wyoming Library Association Conference will be held August 1-3 in Casper, Wyoming, at the Casper Events Center. Information Power for school librarians will be held on Wednesday, August 1, and the main conference will be on August 2-3. The host hotel will be the Ramkota Hotel, a quick drive from the Events Center.

Mark your calendars now and plan to attend. More details will be coming as the conference gets closer.

iPads and Imagination

Reposted from Laramie County Library System
by Robin Papaleka

We’ve all been there. Your three year old is crawling under the table at the restaurant. Your seven year old is whining in the car. It’s so nice to toss an iPad or a phone into their lap and enjoy the peace and quiet! As the parent of a 3 and 4 year old, I struggle with this!  I somehow got the idea that my children must be entertained or occupied at all times.  According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the overuse of digital media and screens can put kids and teens at risk of sleep problems, obesity, cyberbullying, and negative performance in school.  A report by Common Sense Media said children up to age 8 spend an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day on screens, and for 8- to 12-year-olds, the average was 4 hours and 36 minutes. (“How does your child’s screen time measure up?” CNN Wire, 15 Nov. 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.) That’s between 15 ½ and 31 ½ hours a week!

At Laramie County Library our desire is help you unplug your kids and grow their minds and imaginations!  We have books for everyone, in fact the 2nd floor is arranged from birth to teen!  For babies we have board books as well as a Baby Music program, and don’t forget the very popular Baby Lapsit. For pre-school ages we have story times several times a week, and we are even doing a Pre-K STEM program in January for this age group. There’s chess club, Lego mania, Pokémon programs, and STEM programs for a variety of ages. That’s just to name a few of our unplugged, get-your-brain-moving programming for kids and teens!  We also have an I-spy table, a play book-mobile and book factory area, and the ELC (the Early Literacy Center) where kids can put on puppet shows, learn letters, make music, and engage in imaginative play.

What we offer is an example of what libraries do for children. If you live elsewhere, check with your local library for their programs.

But what if you can’t make it to the library and you forgot to check out books for that long road trip?  Boredom isn’t all bad.  Encouraging contemplation and daydreaming can spur creativity. (“Make time for boredom: the surprising benefits of stultification.” The Atlantic, June 2017, p. 23. Opposing Viewpoints in Context)  Just the very act of sitting and staring out the window with nothing to entertain you, forces the brain to imagine, wonder, tell itself stories, and do all the brain exercises that people have used for centuries before they had an iPhone in their hands, people like Einstein, Mozart, Rembrandt, or Galileo.

Let’s get back to the way things were. Let’s give our kids’ brains the unplugged freedom they long for!  And while we’re at it, let’s put our own phones down and read a book, or day dream a while, or imagine animals out of the clouds!

Webinars and More to Plan for Successful Summer Reading

Want to get the most out of your Collaborative Summer Library Program online manual? First, take a look at this brief video for some ideas.

Then, explore the newly updated Summer Reading: 2018 LibGuide from the Wyoming State Library for tips and resources.

Now, mark your calendar: on January 10, the CSLP will present two summer reading webinars. Get started planning your 2018 Summer Library Program from the comfort of your library by attending this Collaborative Summer Library Program 2018 “Libraries Rock!” themed webinar. You will be introduced to the theme, the artwork, and the manual based on the CSLP 2018 theme, “Libraries Rock!”

  • Early Literacy/School Age – 8 a.m. MST
  • Teen/Adult 12 p.m. MST

Check the WSL training calendar for links to register.

Questions about summer reading resources? Contact Chris Van Burgh, WSL Database Instruction Librarian, at or (307) 777-3642.

Grant Opportunities

Revisiting the Founding Era
DEADLINE: January 31, 2018

Revisiting the Founding Era is a nationwide project that will use historical documents to spark public conversations about the Founding Era’s enduring ideas and themes and how they continue to influence our lives today. Up to 100 U.S. public libraries will be selected to host programs related to the American Revolution and the early years of the nation. Participating libraries will receive 10 copies of a 100-page reader containing relevant documents and $1,000 to be used for programs, as well as training, resources, and support. Public libraries that serve rural or undeserved communities are especially encouraged to apply.

ALA/Information Today, Inc. Library of the Future Award
DEADLINE: February 1, 2018
An award to honor an individual library, library consortium, group of librarians, or support organization for innovative planning for, applications of, or development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting. Award consists of $1,500 and a 24K gold-framed citation of achievement.

Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Great Stories Club
DEADLINE: February 16, 2018
Informational webinar: January 12, 2018
Up to 25 selected libraries will work with small groups of teens to read and discuss three titles on the theme “Growing Up Brave on the Margins.” This TRHT Great Stories Club pilot program will feature books that explore the coming-of-age experience for young people in historically marginalized group. Successful applicants will receive copies of the books, a $300 programming stipend, travel expenses for a project orientation, promotional materials, training, and technical support.

Save America’s Treasures Grant Program
DEADLINE: February 21, 2018
The National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), is now accepting applications for $5 million in matching grants to support the preservation of nationally significant historic properties and collections through the Save America’s Treasures program.

Lisa Libraries
The Lisa Libraries donates new children’s books and small libraries to organizations that work with kids in poor and under-served areas. They have a strong interest in supporting small, grass-roots organizations. Recipients of these free books will need to cover the shipping costs. Must have a tax exempt 501(c)(3) status.

Another Look Back at the Heart Mountain Internment Camp

We’ve added video to our Heart Mountain Japanese-American Internment Camp digital exhibit, thanks to this great find from Wyoming PBS, “Aura Newlin – Japanese Americans in Wyoming,” on Wyoming Chronicle. Newlin provides a present day look back at the Japanese Internment Camp at Heart Mountain.

Aura (Matsumura) Newlin is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Northwest College and the Board Secretary for the Heart Mountain Foundation. She is a fourth-generation Japanese-American and a fourth-generation Wyomingite. Her grandmother’s family was held against their will at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center on the basis of their race.

The Wyoming State Library also invites you to join us on Thursday, January 18, from 11:15 a.m. to noon MST for our free Database of the Month webinar, Heart Mountain Internment Camp exhibit and Wyoming Newspapers. The WSL’s Thomas Ivie and Chris Van Burgh will take a look at the Heart Mountain Internment Camp exhibit, part of Wyoming Newspapers. They will look at searching in Wyoming Newspapers, as well as a few other resources available in Learn more and register.

Job Opening at the WSL: Collections Technician

site logoIf you’d like to join our crew at the Wyoming State Library, we currently have an opening here at our offices in Cheyenne for a Collections Technician.

Collections Technician

The Collections Technician serves as the custodian of Wyoming State Library’s physical collection, including state documents, federal documents and maps. This position assists in the preservation and physical processing of library materials being added or removed from the collection, which includes the development of materials and documents to prepare them for public use or digital production. This position uses common archival practices to repair damaged or fragile materials to allow for preservation and continual use by the public. This position provides support for digital projects by creating metadata and scanning documents, using various types of software. This position provides first point of contact in support for digital devices content questions from patrons and Wyoming libraries using WYLD databases such as 3M Cloud and RB Digital.

Learn more on the State of Wyoming jobs site.

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of January 1

Free, online, continuing education events for this week from the Wyoming State Library Training Calendar. You can subscribe and view the events in your calendar software, or you can find all the events at

All times MST

Wednesday, Jan 3 (9-10 am)
Best New Children’s Books of 2017 (Nebraska Library Commission)
Sally Snyder, Nebraska Library Commission’s Coordinator of Children and Young Adult Library Service, will give brief book talks on new titles that could be good additions to your library’s collection. Titles for pre-school through elementary school will be included.
For more information and to register, visit:

Wednesday, Jan 3 (12-1:30 pm)
Strengthening Inclusive Early Childhood Programs with Music Therapy Strategies: The Director’s Role in Tuning up Music to Turn on Inclusion (Early Childhood Investigations)
All children make music and music therapy practices can make early childhood classrooms inclusive. By using therapeutic techniques, educators can support children of all abilities and their families to participate in a broad range of activities and contexts. Focusing on developmental goals, intentional music interventions help children with disabilities become successful in inclusive early childhood programs.Join Dr. Petra Kern to learn how you can turn on the music and make your inclusive program sing!
For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Jan 4 (8:30-9:30 am)
Online Tools that Help Nonprofits Learn, Listen & Engage (Firespring)
Every day you learn about a new mobile app or piece of software that will “change your life.” There’s so much coming at you, it sometimes feels like you’re drinking through a firehose. In this session, we will help you make technology your friend. In his most revealing session, Jay takes you behind the curtain to show, in real-time, which tools he uses to manage his online presence and why.
For more information and to register, visit:

Thursday, Jan 4 (12-1 pm)
Your Government Career Resolutions (GovLoop)
On January 1st, millions of people around the globe will pledge to change an aspect of their life. Whether it’s eating more salads, going to the gym more often, or even investing in more quality time with family, New Year’s is the time to make big changes. Those changes are often centered around people’s careers too. But how do you actually implement your career resolutions?Join us as we talk to government experts about how employees can invest in professional development and make major strides forward in their career.
For more information and to register, visit:

Two Conferences Issue Calls for Proposals

The Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) has opened their call for session proposals for their 2018 conference in Springfield, Illinois, September 13-15. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. MST on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, maximum two proposals per presenter, including individual and group presentations.

Learn more.



The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is accepting program or paper proposals for its 2018 Young Adult Services Symposium to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Novermber 2-4. The theme of the 2018 symposium is: “Zeroing In: Focusing on Teen Needs.” Symposium participants will explore how libraries can best support teens’ social and emotional learning to help them effectively navigate a challenging world.

Submit your program or paper proposal by February 1, 2018.

Family Tree Magazine Names Wyoming Newspapers to ’75 Best’ List

The December 2017 issue of Family Tree Magazine named Wyoming Newspapers to its list of the 75 best state websites for genealogy for 2017. They wrote: “Search and view more than 800,000 newspaper pages (and growing), including all papers published in Wyoming between 1849 and 1922.”

With your Wyoming library card and PIN, you can read more in this and other issues of Family Tree. The publication is accessible through Zinio Digital Magazines, now part of RBDigital in our GoWYLD e-content resources. Family Tree is one of more than 100 popular magazine titles available at no cost to Wyoming residents.

Wyoming Newspapers is a service of the Wyoming State Library to ensure the preservation of the state’s historical Wyoming newspapers. Making these documents available to the world for education and historical research, including genealogy, is the cornerstone of this service. Questions about Wyoming Newspapers may be directed to Thomas Ivie, WSL Research & Statistics Librarian, at or (307) 777-6333.