Category Archives: Articles and Information

Resources for Health Literacy Month

October is Health Literacy Month, a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. Libraries often are called on to provide reliable health information. In fact, the U.S. Impact Study showed that 30% of patrons using library computers did so for health and wellness purposes. To get ready for Health Literacy Month, here are a few resources:

You might also check out WebJunction’s numerous Health Happens in Libraries resources.

“Search for Jack” Story Time Giveaway

Many Wyoming libraries have been enjoying “The Search for Jack” storybook kits both for programs and to circulate. For the month of September, WY Quality Counts is hosting a giveaway to families that participate in a Chuck and Pepper themed story time at your library. Materials included in these kits enhance library story time with puppets, activity cards, games, and more. Storytellers and families can find something new each time they use these kits.

How can your patrons be entered into a drawing for one of the kits?

  1. Tell WY Quality Counts the day and time you are planning to host a Chuck & Pepper story time (email They’ll share it on their social media channels.
  2. Let families know during the story time that they can win one of their very own kits. All they have to do to be entered into the drawing is post on one of the WY Quality Counts social media pages sharing that they’re at the event, or post it on their own social media account and tag WY Quality Counts, or share a photo from story time. They can find WY Quality Counts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About WY Quality Counts

WY Quality Counts helps Wyoming families and child care providers identify and create quality learning experiences today, which helps ensure a bright, innovative and viable workforce for the future. They promote quality education opportunities, preparing children for success by using developmentally-appropriate teaching methods and materials to develop cognitive, language, social/emotional and motor skills. WY Quality Counts also provides funding for professionals in early childhood education.

Digital Literacy in Higher Education Strategic Brief

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released Digital Literacy in Higher Education, Part II: An NMC Horizon Project Strategic Brief, a follow-up to its 2016 strategic brief on digital literacy.

The NMC’s research examines the current landscape of digital literacy frameworks to illuminate its multiple dimensions — technical, psychological, and interpersonal — around which students’ ability to produce new content generates a sense of empowerment. Further, within the context of certain disciplines, learner commitment based on these levels of engagement is more readily established when paired with authentic digital experiences based on skills considered vital for workplace success.

Wyoming Library Use by the Numbers

Did you know Wyoming public library use beats the national averages? Check out these graphics created by the South Dakota State Library to see how the Equality State stacks up nationally and in comparison with other states in the region.

Find more Wyoming library statistics on the WSL website. Our Research and Statistics Librarian, Thomas Ivie, is always available to help you find and use the numbers. Contact him at or (307) 777-6330.

Happy Birthday Wyoming!

On this day in 1890, Wyoming became a state, and “her people are exceeding glad,” The Cheyenne Daily Sun reported the next day. You can explore the story of Wyoming statehood and delve into life in 1890 firsthand with resources from the Wyoming State Library in in our Digital Collection Suite and in

First check out Wyoming Newspapers from 1889 and 1890 to see what the local chatter was in the run-up to statehood, as well as the headlines when it happened (“44: That’s Our Star and Don’t You Forget it“)

The handwritten bill jacket from the 1890 Territorial House Joint Resolution 1 pleading Wyoming’s case for statehood.

In Wyoming Legislation, in the 1890 State Session Laws from that year, is the Territorial House Joint Resolution No. 1 — a memorial asking that Wyoming be admitted to the Union. It testified, “Our people without regard to party affiliation are ready and eager to assume and bear the additional burdens of statehood, and to escape from the disadvantages of territorial vassalage.” Also take a look at State Senate Joint Resolution No. 1 on selecting the Equality State’s first two U.S. Senators.

On the Federal Documents side, the WSL provides Wyoming residents with Proquest Congressional, a comprehensive online resource for congressional publications. See the report on the bill that would grant Wyoming its statehood, as well as the bill itself. (Proquest Congressional available to Wyoming residents only — log in with your library card and PIN.)

Want to know what else was going on in 1890? Check out the Place and Time feature in Wyoming Places. Among other news, the New Castle (now Newcastle) and Vermillion (now gone) post offices were established, and the Daily Boomerang lamented the fact that the city of Laramie was not actually located in Laramie County.

Your local library can help you navigate these resources. Also, we have reference librarians here at the Wyoming State Library if you have questions. Contact us for assistance at or (307) 777-6333.

Wyoming Book Reviews

Wilderness Fever: A Family’s Adventures Homesteading in Early Jackson Hole, 1914-1924
By Linda Preston McKinstry with Harold Cole McKinstry
Glendo, Wyo.: High Plains Press, 2016

Imagine leaving the city to homestead in a rural and relatively unknown part of the country. Today, this may sound like a dream come true but imagine that life without electricity, telephones, or even automobiles. Wilderness Fever is a wonderful collection of memoirs by Linda and Harold “Mac” McKinstry who did just that. They left the comforts of Washington D.C. for a shot at homesteading in the Jackson Hole area for ten years. Linda and Mac share their unique experiences and points of view on trying to live and raise a family in the harsh conditions of North Western Wyoming. Modern homesteaders and city dwellers alike will find that there is much to be grateful for after reading how early homesteaders’ lives were easily impacted by much more than unpredictable weather and rough terrain. Everything from the introduction of modern technologies such as the telephone to the development of Yellowstone National Park guided homestead decision-making. This book will drive home just how brave and tenacious early homesteaders had to be in order to survive.

Sydney Bays, Library Assistant
Sublette County Library

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared For the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
by Abbie Johnson Taylor
Denver, Colo.: DLD Books, 2016

My Ideal Partner is the true story of one woman’s love, struggles, heartache, personal growth, and loss. Newlywed Abbie’s happily-ever-after was shattered when her husband Bill suffered two debilitating strokes, leaving him unable to care for himself. In the course of three months, Abbie went from being a single, independent, visually-challenged adult to being a bride, a newlywed, and ultimately caregiver to her husband. In sharing her hardships, Abbie sheds light on many of the challenges caregivers face. Her difficult journey is both unique and yet universal. While this is Abbie’s story, it is also the story of many others who find their lives drastically changed when they become caregivers to the people they love. The subject matter is tough, but Taylor’s writing style is relaxed and conversational, making this a quick read. Perhaps because this was her first serious relationship, her descriptions of her relationship with Bill are told with the innocence of someone much younger. Grab a box of Kleenex! This is a powerful story that readers on an emotional journey, and has the power to move them to both tears and laughter.

Lisa Scroggins, Executive Director
Natrona County Library


Ideabook Helps Libraries Engage Families in Learning

The Public Library Association (PLA) and Global Family Research Project (GFRP) have released their collaborative publication, Ideabook: Libraries for Families. This publication is intended to inspire libraries to create meaningful family engagement experiences by sharing the many innovative ways that their peers support and guide families in children’s learning and development in such areas as reading, mathematics, language and literacy.

The Ideabook is built upon a research-based framework that was outlined in PLA and GFRP’s 2016 publication, Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement. The Ideabook highlights case studies from more than 50 libraries that are incorporating the five “Rs” of engagement—reach out, raise up, reinforce, relate, and reimagine—to develop meaningful, lasting relationships with families in their communities. It features programs from a wide variety of library types, including those that are well-resourced or lacking funds, and those that serve urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Ideabook: Libraries for Families and related resources are funded by a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. For more information on PLA’s Family Engagement Initiatives, visit or contact Scott Allen at

Forget Snow — Think Summer Reading!

Might be hard to believe when the snow is falling and the Wyoming highways are closed in late May, but summer reading is almost here! We loved this great promotional video from the Livonia Public Library where the kids tell us how they will “Build a Better World.”

Stop by your local public library to sign up and make your commitment to read something new during the warmer months. It’s not just for kids — many Wyoming public libraries have adult summer reading. Also, library staff might want to take a look at our Summer Reading 2017 LibGuide for resources and ideas.


Teen Read Week 2017: Unleash Your Story

Hanging out at the Washakie County Library on Snapshot Day during Teen Read Week 2016.

From the American Library Association

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has launched its 2017 Teen Read Week (TRW) website.

YALSA encourages libraries to connect with teens around the theme “Unleash Your Story” during Teen Read Week™, October 8–14, 2017. The free Teen Read Week site offers full access to a variety of resources for help planning Teen Read Week activities, including:

  • Forums: Discuss and share TRW-related resources and experiences;
  • Grants: Teen Read Week Activity Grant and Teens’ Top Ten Book Giveaway;
  • Planning and publicity tools.

Join the site to access more resources, such as themed logos and webinars. YALSA also offers TRW promotional materials for sale.

Teen Read Week™ is a national adolescent literacy initiative created by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Held annually in October, TRW’s purpose is to encourage all teens to be regular readers and library users. Join the discussion on social media with the hashtag #TRW17. Teen Read Week is supported in part by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

Wyoming Book Reviews

Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone: An Anthology of Wyoming Writers
Edited by Lori Howe
Jackson, WY: Sastrugi Press, 2016

In the introduction to Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone, Lori Howe describes Wyoming as “…a place of luminous beauty, fearless nature, and perhaps a bit of magic.” The anthology’s poems, essays, and stories — many of which were written by contributors who live or have spent significant time in Wyoming — address what it means to live in a place that looks, feels, and sounds as though it could be the setting of a John Prine song. Whether examining the natural world or approaching abstraction, the work within Blood, Water, Wind and Stone offers readers numerous ways to enter and engage with the writing. As anthologies lend themselves to reading around (no need to follow a linear progression), readers will enjoy being able to return to the writing as they please: a poem or two here, an essay there, a story to round out the evening. Blood, Water, Wind, and Stone is recommended for anyone interested in contemporary writing about, or influenced by, Wyoming.

Shannon Tharp, Collection Development Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries

An Obvious Fact
By Craig Johnson
New York: Viking, [2016]

An Obvious Fact, the twelfth novel in the Longmire series, kicks off at the start of the Sturgis motorcycle rally with Walt and Vic investigating a motorcycle accident.  That is the tip of the iceberg and there is no lack of action. Admittedly my Longmire knowledge is based on the Netflix series rather than the books, but it was easy to follow characters and backstories and pick through the differences. While familiarity with prior volumes would be beneficial, the book can easily be read on its own.  There are enough references to past storylines that interested readers will want to start at the beginning, myself included. The book’s appeal isn’t just limited to those who enjoy westerns and mysteries and is an essential purchase for collections, especially when highlighting Wyoming’s best resources (our residents). A new dose of Walt and crew is always a welcome prospect to Longmire fans.

Jennifer Beckstead, Teen Librarian
Natrona County Library