Category Archives: WLA

Check Out the WLA Conference Program

One session, “Explore, Learn, Create: Teen Engagement, Empathy and Activism,” has been canceled, and some changes have been made to presenters.

heading to the Wyoming Library Association conference in Sheridan August 9-11? Then check out the great lineup of sessions in the conference program. You’re sure to find something of interest.

The annual conference offers numerous opportunities to learn and to network with library colleagues from across the state.

Deadline to register is August 1. There will be no late or on-site registrations, so sign up now for the 2017 WLA Conference.

Still Time to Join “What the Tech?”

Episode 2 What the Heck is What the Tech?

Like to play with tech toys? Want to bask in the adulation of your fellow librarians at the upcoming Wyoming Library Association conference?

There’s still time to join the “What the Tech is That?” team. This session is a crowd favorite: a rapid-fire, whirlwind tour of websites and tech tools. Choose and prepare a handful of topics, and share each one in 90 (or so) seconds flat before you’re stopped by the bell.

Interested? Contact Thomas Ivie at, (307) 777-6330, or Paige Bredenkamp at, (307) 777-6331, for more details.

WLA Announces Election Nominees

The Wyoming Library Association has announced nominees for its 2017 election of a Vice President/President-Elect and a Representative to the Mountain Plains Library Association. The ballot will be released July 17 and is restricted to Active and Life members of WLA members. Voting will close August 3, 2017, and the successful candidates will be announced at the Association’s 2017 conference in Sheridan August 10-11.

If you are a WLA member who is eligible to vote, you will receive a ballot by email via SurveyMonkey. If you do not receive your ballot, please check your spam filter first, and if it is not there, contact Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915.

So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to the five fantastic volunteers who have stepped forward:

Vice-President/President-Elect Nominees:
Kate Mutch and Jennisen Lucas

Kate Mutch

Thank you for this opportunity to run for a position in the Wyoming Library Association.

I began as a volunteer in a small library (service population 2,500!) in Colorado in 1998 and went on to pursue my MLS through Emporia State University. In 1999, I became the director of that library. I moved on to a director’s job in Andover, Kansas. I was delighted to return to the west over 14 years ago to serve at the Natrona County Public Library where I am the Public Services Administrator.

Since coming to Wyoming I have enjoyed meeting and working with library staff from all over this unique and wonderful state. I have served on the Wyoming Library Association Awards Committee and currently am serving on the WYLD Governing Board, the WLA Legislative Committee, and the WYLD shared purchasing committee, and I am chair of the WYLD Training Committee. In an unofficial capacity I have been the “wrangler” of all things Overdrive in our eight-member consortia. On a local level I served as Secretary of the local Kiwanis Club for nine years.

One of the greatest things about librarians is the willingness to share with others — information, materials and even themselves. Wyoming libraries excel at this in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere. I believe working together to provide the best possible library service makes all of our libraries stronger. Over the years I have benefited personally and professional from those who have served to keep the organization moving forward, and I would be honored to serve the Wyoming Library Association as it promotes, improves, and supports libraries, librarians, and their many services.

There is a continued need to promote Wyoming libraries as a relevant and needed part of 21st century life.  It is even more important than ever to promote the participation of Wyoming librarians and libraries in regional, national, and global library arenas; through WLA, Wyoming has a better chance of being successful with this.

Jennisen Lucas

What is your passion? I have a T-shirt from Gale that asks that question. I was challenged to answer it to fill in the blank on the shirt. I chose to write “Learning.” This is why I chose librarianship as my profession — because I have a passion for learning, both my own learning and that of those around me. For the past 15 years, I have been a school librarian, and I have been very active in my professional organizations, but prior to this career choice, I have worked in public libraries, academic libraries, and a law library. I have been co-chair of the Information Power committee and Wyoming’s School Library Interest Group’s recorder and co-chair, as well as serving as one of Wyoming’s delegates to the American Association of School Librarians, for which I have also served on a variety of committees, currently chairing the Beyond Words Grant Jury.

We often separate our various library types (school, academic, special, public) because we all have very different “needs” and “concerns,” but at the core, all librarians believe in the right of each individual to access the information they need to educate themselves. Libraries are not about books; they are about information, and more importantly, they are about education. As a school librarian, I am in a unique position to be identified as a teacher, as well as a librarian. This, however, does not make me unique among librarians. We all do this. Our youngest patrons start learning story basics, text features, and reading skills at the knees of our youth services librarians in the public libraries. Then they are sent to school libraries where good school librarians begin systematically fostering the skills of resource selection and evaluation, discrimination of information validity, and digital literacy skills. Our academic librarians then provide students with further, more in-depth training pursuant to specific subject materials, and our public librarian colleagues then pick up the trail again (although also continuing for those who encompassed the greatness of both public and school libraries throughout their school careers) to lead adults who continually educate themselves on new things that catch their interests or new information about old passions. So, all librarians are educators. Now to the question at hand: why vote for me as Vice President/ President-Elect of the Wyoming Library Association? I am running because I believe that communication between our various interest groups must happen to strengthen our organization and clarify our purpose for all libraries. United, we are strong, but we must also increase communication and collaboration with outside agencies, such as the Wyoming Department of Education, to share our purpose and our abilities to educate every citizen of Wyoming.

Mountain Plains Library Association Representative Nominees:
Nancy Venable, Cindy Moore, and Steve Boss

Nancy Venable

What a wonderful opportunity to represent the fantastic Wyoming libraries through the Mountain Plains Library Association! My prior experiences with MPLA have been through membership and attendance at joint conferences with the Montana Library Association and the Wyoming Library Association. Always, in any library networking, I have been impressed by the MPLA state representatives; they epitomize their vibrant and vital libraries and regions, wholeheartedly dedicated to their communities.

My background is in Wyoming public libraries and Montana school libraries with two years on the WLA Awards & Grants Committee and a diversity of Montana Library Association volunteer positions. These were great positions where I was able to be part of the positive movements that support libraries and their communities. Working with dedicated Wyoming librarians and building relationships that advocate our state’s libraries has definitely been a wonderful and rewarding experience.

I ask for your vote to support my belief in the power of Wyoming libraries and the stronger voice we have as an association member of MPLA. We benefit from this alliance because MPLA is an organization proven to keep a true perspective and eye on the future while supporting librarians and libraries. The issues addressed by MPLA are common to all of us in the information profession.

As the Wyoming MPLA representative, I would be committed to working toward the best in Wyoming’s libraries through the unique, knowledgeable, and diverse MPLA network.

Cindy Moore

It has been my good fortune to work in Wyoming public libraries since 2003, volunteering and working in school libraries before that. I began working in the Sweetwater County Library System at the White Mountain Library in 2003 and started an MLIS. program in 2004. I graduated in 2006 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and worked throughout SCLS libraries until 2012 when I moved to Powell and was Branch Manager in Park County.  In 2013 I took the Albany County Public Library directorship and retired in 2016. I found I didn’t like retirement, the position of Assistant Director at the Converse County Library opened, and what an opportunity! I have now lived and worked in every corner and the center of Wyoming.

I believe very strongly in access without restrictions, the importance of libraries in our communities, exemplary customer service, and financial responsibility to our taxpayers. Mountain Plains Library Association has given me so much: grants for school, the MPLA Leadership Institute, and the support and friendship of librarians throughout the mountain western states. It would be a pleasure to return that goodwill and represent Wyoming libraries.

Steve Boss

I am the Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Wyoming. I have had the pleasure of serving as the Wyoming State Representative for MPLA. Serving in this capacity, I was the 2015 WLA Conference Chair for the joint WLA/MPLA Conference held in Cheyenne.  I have enjoyed working with and getting to know colleagues in both in WLA and MPLA.

This year I am helping with the WLA Conference to be held in Sheridan and am looking forward attending the upcoming joint NLA/MPLA Conference to be held in Lake Tahoe.


Join the Fun at ‘What the Tech?’

What the Tech 2017

It’s back! The ever popular “What the Tech is That?” session is on the schedule for the Aug. 10-11 Wyoming Library Association conference in Sheridan. You can help make it a great time for all, especially yourself, by taking the stage as one of the session contributors.

“What the Tech?” is a rapid-fire, whirlwind tour of websites and tech tools. Contributors can have fun exploring new gadgets and gizmos, choosing and preparing a handful of topics, and trying to share each one in the 90 (or so) seconds before the bell signals the end of the round.

If you haven’t seen a WTT session and would like a better idea of what’s involved, find examples of previous year’s handouts and slides on the WLA New Tech Interest Group wiki. Also enjoy the video of last year’s hybrid conference presentation below.

Interested? Contact Thomas Ivie at, (307) 777-6330, or Paige Bredenkamp at, (307) 777-6331, for more details.



WLA Announces Conference Speakers

Garth Stein

The Wyoming Library Association has secured two top-notch speakers for the 2017 WLA conference August 10-11 in Sheridan.

The keynote speaker at the Thursday, August 10, kick-off luncheon, will be Stephen Hughes on “Influence: The Art & Science of Changing Minds.” This exciting program draws on the latest scientific research to illustrate how you can influence others to see things your way without resorting to manipulation. You’ll leave with practical ideas you can apply right away.

Garth Stein will be featured at the author luncheon on Friday, August 11. Stein writes for all ages. His newest novel is A Sudden Light, published by Simon and Schuster in September, 2014.  He has three previous novels:  Raven Stole the MoonHow Evan Broke His Head and Other Secretsand The Art of Racing in the Rain  and has authored the Enzo children’s series. (Enzo, Zoë, and Denny are actually characters from The Art of Racing in the Rain.) 

School librarians, don’t forget: Information Power will be held as a pre-conference on August 9.

Register to attend on the WLA website.

Tentative Conference Schedule:

Wednesday, August 9

  • 10 a.m.: Information Power

Thursday, August 10

  • 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Registration and vendors open
  • 12-1:15 p.m.: Keynote speaker Stephen Hughes on “Influence: The Art & Science of Changing Minds”
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m.: WLA Annual Meeting
  • 2-3 p.m.: Breakout sessions
  • 3-3:45 p.m.: Break and vendor time
  • 3:45-4:30 p.m. Breakouts sessions
  • 4:30-5:30: Happy hour and awards celebration at Sheridan Kooi Library

Friday, August 11

  • 8-9 a.m.: Breakfast with vendors
  • 9-9:50 a.m.: Breakout sessions
  • 10-10:30 a.m.: Vendor time and basket raffle drawing
  • 10:45-11:45 a.m.: Breakout sessions
  • 12-1:30 p.m.: Lunch with author Garth Stein
  • 1:30-2 p.m.: Interest group meetings

Wyoming at National Library Legislative Day

L to R: Ivan Gaetz, Sen. John Barrasso, Janice Grover-Roosa, and Jamie Markus

On May 1-2, representatives of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) traveled to Washington, D.C., as part of the American Library Association’s 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day. Janice Grover-Roosa, Director of the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library, and Ivan Gaetz, Dean of the University of Wyoming Libraries, met with Wyoming’s Congressional delegation to discuss key library issues. Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus accompanied them to provide information on how federal money is used in Wyoming.

Wyoming’s representatives hand-delivered letters from public, academic, and school librarians. The Congressional delegation and staff were grateful to hear from directors around the state, and the letters cemented the message that Wyoming libraries use federal funds to collaborate to improve people’s lives. Grover-Roosa provided us with this report of NLLD happenings:

By Janice-Grover-Roosa
Director, Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library

The Wyoming crew with Senator Mike Enzi

National Library Legislative Day provides an ideal opportunity for librarians, library board members and other library users to meet with their members of congress to discuss the meaningful contributions libraries make around the country every day. Though coming from a state with such a small population can leave Wyoming residents at a disadvantage from time to time, this isn’t the case when it comes to engaging in meaningful dialogue with our congressional representatives. Wyoming’s “one big town” mentality translated into three rich conversations between Wyoming librarians and members of Congress and their staff last week as Wyoming librarians made the trip to help keep Washington well informed.

After President Trump released his preliminary budget, completely cutting the funds appropriated for the Institute of Museums and Library Services and the Library Services Technology Act, librarians across the state were tasked with explaining what such a hefty cut would mean in terms of future library services and materials to uneasy library users. Luckily for librarians, Wyoming congressional representatives have repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to Wyoming libraries, allowing these hard conversations to be straightforward and practical. Simply put, Wyoming representatives have a history of supporting the breadth of services and resources available to residents through Wyoming libraries, and though it may be necessary to absorb some budget cuts, there’s little reason to believe all federal funding for libraries will be cut.

Last week State Librarian Jamie Markus, University of Wyoming Dean of Libraries Ivan Gaetz, and I met with Senators Enzi and Barrasso as well as Congressman Cheney to talk to them in person about the value LSTA funding brings to libraries across Wyoming. This is to say, Wyoming libraries are able to provide access to robust collections of materials seamlessly from one county to the next because of a collective commitment to funding by county, state, and federal entities and, as librarians working in the state,  we are always eager to discuss the importance of information access to inquisitive Wyoming communities. By “we,” I mean librarians from across the state—we weren’t alone at our visits. We arrived in D.C. with letters written by library directors from around the state who shared firsthand accounts of the significance of library services to Wyoming residents. Our congressional delegation was happy to welcome us to Capitol Hill to be a part of this important discussion, and they were grateful for the information provided from their Wyoming librarians.

After a gracious welcome from Ms. Enzi, Senator Enzi and members of his affable staff welcomed our Wyoming librarian crew to sit down with him to discuss the importance of libraries to thriving Wyoming communities. As almost every wall of Senator Enzi’s office was filled with books, the librarians felt right at home. Senator Enzi took the time to explain that no matter the year or the administration, Congress takes the time to carefully examine the federal budget and appropriate funds accordingly. He went on to engage in conversation about the different materials, services, and opportunities available to Wyoming residents as a result of LSTA funds.

Senator Barrasso, who had clearly done his research prior to our arrival, echoed Senator Enzi’s comments about carefully examining the entire federal budget. The Senator asked us how we currently put LSTA funds to use and also asked more detailed questions about library users, materials, and services. We also talked with the senator about the beautiful Carnegie libraries all around the state and the lasting legacy of information those libraries have helped to cultivate in our state. Senator Barrasso and his staff were engaged, interested, and took notes!

When we arrived at Congressman Cheney’s office we were a little worried we might not get to meet with her as she was at the Capitol Building waiting to cast a vote. Rather than cancel our meeting, however, she asked that we meet with her during her short break at the Capitol.  We were escorted by her committed staff through security and tunnels until we found Congressman Cheney waiting to meet with us. Congressman Cheney had a lot of questions for us. She wanted to know if people prefer eBooks or print and had questions about accessing various materials through mobile apps. Congressman Cheney was also interested in hearing about the information needs of Wyoming residents. Like Senators Enzi and Barrasso, Congressman Cheney also asked questions about how LSTA funds are put to use in Wyoming.

Though our federal representatives have always supported Wyoming libraries, we really appreciated the opportunity to reengage them in a conversation about libraries today. Our representatives took us seriously and clearly wanted to be well informed on issues regarding libraries. The federal budget still has a long way to go before it’s final but we know we’ve been heard and our representatives know where to go when they need their library questions answered.

As for those of you reading this post, feel free to reach out to me at or to Cameron Duff, chair of the Wyoming Library Association’s Legislative Committee, at if you have any questions about LSTA funding and Wyoming libraries. If we can’t answer your questions, we’ll know who can.

WLA Conference Registration Open

Registration is now open on the Wyoming Library Association website for the 2017 conference to be held Aug. 10-11 at Sheridan College. School librarians can also register for Information Power, which will be held on Aug. 9 in Sheridan in conjunction with the WLA conference.

Events will kick off with lunch on Thursday, Aug. 10 (vendors will open mid-morning), and conclude after lunch on Friday, Aug. 11. Low-cost lodging options in the Villas at Sheridan College and in the residence halls are available in addition to a room block at the Holiday Inn.

The annual conference is a great opportunity to gather, connect, and learn with your fellow members of the Wyoming library. On the agenda are the opening keynote luncheon, author and/or legislative luncheon, multiple breakout sessions, vendor booths, awards reception at the Sheridan Kooi Library, and the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute basket raffle.

Find more details and register on the WLA website. Conference registration will close on August 1; no late or no-site registration will be available.

Library Advocates Connect with Congress

Representatives of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) are traveling to Washington, D.C., in May to discuss key library issues with the state’s Congressional delegation as part of the American Library Association’s 43rd annual National Library Legislative Day on May 1-2.

Janice Grover-Roosa, Director of the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library, and Ivan Gaetz, Dean of the University of Wyoming Libraries, will meet with Representative Cheney and Senators Barrasso and Enzi on May 2 to discuss key library issues, including funding of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

President Donald Trump’s proposed America First budget calls for the elimination of the IMLS and the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants to States program that the agency administers. Each year, the Wyoming State Library receives approximately $900,000 in LSTA funds that support library services throughout the state.

Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus will accompany Grover-Roosa and Gaetz to provide information on how federal money is used in Wyoming. The shared catalog (WYLDCAT) and online resources that include ebooks, research databases, career training, and genealogy are among the many services currently supported by the annual LSTA grant.

A fact sheet on the State Library’s website provides a detailed list of federally-funded services. Because Wyoming uses its LSTA funds for statewide projects, every patron or student at any of the state’s 23 county libraries, more than 250 school libraries, seven community colleges, and the University of Wyoming Libraries could feel the effects.

“Library directors from around the state have been fielding concerns from librarians about how a loss in national funding would impact local services around the state,” said Grover-Roosa. “We’re doing our best to answer questions based on what we know and not jump to any conclusions. Whatever the outcome may be, our residents can count on their librarians to help them access what they’re looking for.”

The WLA representatives will be among more than 500 library advocates registered to attend National Library Legislative Day — a record-breaking number this year, according to the American Library Association. Those who can’t travel to D.C. have the option of participating in Virtual Library Legislative Day and connect with their legislators by phone calls, emails, and social media platforms.

Library advocates who aren’t traveling to D.C. are invited to participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day to connect with Congress from home.

Register Now for WLA Youth Services Meeting

The Wyoming Library Association Youth Services Interest Group will hold its 2017 Spring Meeting, “Telling Our Library’s Story,” on May 5, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Fremont County Public Library in Lander. Speakers will be:

  • Kate Lutz, Storyteller: “Catching, Shaping, Growing Stories”
    • Learn the basics of oral storytelling, from developing the tale, to effective telling. Understand the basic stories of any organization. Consider story possibilities beyond the folktale. Explore storytelling tips and techniques. Practice your newly developed skills.
    • This keynote looks across the wide spectrum of storytelling as used by storytellers, speakers, writers, organizations and the community. With an emphasis on practical applications, we explore story structure and engagement techniques. The goal is telling compelling stories, whether traditional tales or personal and professional experiences.
  • Wyoming Storytellers’ Guild
    • Join Michelle King, Cathy Ringler, and other members of Wyoming’s newly-formed Storytellers’ Guild to build on the ideas from the morning workshop and discuss storytelling in Wyoming.

Learn more on the meeting flyer. Register for this event on the WLA website (link on bottom, center panel).

WLA Seeks Candidates for Two Offices

The Wyoming Library Association is seeking nominations for two positions to be elected in August:

  • Vice President/President-Elect – serves three years: one year as Vice President, one as President and one as Past President
  • Mountain Plains Library Association representative – serves a three-year term

To learn more about the requirements for each position, see the:

Deadline for nominations is June 30, 2017. You may nominate yourself or suggest names for the committee. Questions or nominations may go to Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915, or Richard Landreth at or (307) 682-9809