Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

UW’s Rocky Mountain Herbarium Part of Major Digital Archive Project

Students and volunteers working on the grant are able to digitize and database plant specimens in the Rocky Mountain Herbarium’s new imaging laboratory.

From UW News

The University of Wyoming’s Rocky Mountain Herbarium is a leading partner in a $2.9 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a comprehensive digital archive of more than 1.7 million plant specimens native to the southern Rocky Mountain region.

The University of Colorado-Boulder is the principal lead for the award, which includes 38 universities, botanical gardens, national parks and Native American nations.

The Rocky Mountain Herbarium, as the largest herbarium in the region, will contribute a significant number of specimens and will assist smaller institutions in their digitizing and imaging efforts.

Once it is completed, researchers and the public will be able to access the database for information about the region’s more than 4,000 plant species, from specimens collected from the 1800s to the present. The map-based application will allow visualization of species’ distributions and make available high-resolution images of plant specimens.

“Herbarium specimens are used more and more to document natural resources, elucidate evolutionary relationships and processes, describe the effects of climate change, and to identify organisms and landscapes of conservation concern,” says Rocky Mountain Herbarium curator Burrell “Ernie” Nelson. “Consolidating specimen data from these institutions will lead to more and better understanding of these topics in the southern Rocky Mountains, and may bring to light patterns that have been previously invisible.”

The Rocky Mountain Herbarium is already a leader in the region and among herbaria, in collection size, activity and its online database of digitized specimens. NSF support will make it possible to increase the rate of specimen digitization and imaging, and integrate an estimated 670,000 southern Rocky Mountain specimens into the new “Southern Rockies” portal.

As curator, Nelson will oversee specimen selection and imaging at the herbarium. Larry Schmidt, of the UW Libraries, is project manager for the digital processing and workflow. UW Libraries also is involved in the data management, file processing and preservation aspects of the project.

The southern Rocky Mountain region, as defined for this project, includes the mountains, basins and high plains of southern Wyoming, Colorado and northern New Mexico; the continuous high plains to the east of those states; and the Colorado Plateau in eastern Utah and northern Arizona.

Laramie County Library Plans for Certified Wildlife Habitat

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF), America’s largest wildlife conservation and education organization, has announced that Laramie County Library System has successfully created a Certified Wildlife Habitat through NWF’s Garden for Wildlife Program. In addition, Laramie County Library’s habitat has been co-certified with NWF’s state affiliate, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

The plan is to convert an existing detention pond on the southwest corner of the property into a habitat area using a variety of trees, shrubs, and other plants that are accustomed to periods of drought and standing water. LCLS is providing the land while the rest of the project, spearheaded by volunteer Nancy Loomis, will be supported by grants.

As a Certified Wildlife Habitat, Laramie County Library’s specified land will improve habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs, and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed – natural food sources, clean water, cover, and places to raise young. This Certified Wildlife Habitat garden is now also part of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a national effort to create a million gardens that provide habitat for declining pollinator insects, like butterflies and bees.


Literacy Begins at Teton County’s Family Place

Submitted by Valerie Maginnis
Teton County Library Director

Literacy begins at birth in Teton County, Wyoming.  Thanks to generous funding from the Teton County Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library, Teton County Library is the first Family Place Library in Wyoming. The Family Place Library provides an opportunity to expand the library’s traditional role of providing youth library services beyond storytime and summer reading programs by building on the knowledge that early learning, good health, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in a young child’s growth and development. The free Family Place program at Teton County Library will provide all-encompassing, community-based education and family support for children, from birth to 3 years old, living in northwestern Wyoming.

Mary Flamino, Youth Services Manager, and Eva Dahlgren, Alta Branch Manager, attended the Family Place Training Institute at the Middle County Public Library in the spring of 2017. Both Mary and Eva returned to Teton County, eager to launch the program in Jackson and Alta, beginning with weekly Baby Time activities in the fall of 2017.

The Family Place Library network of libraries includes more than 500 sites nationwide, in 32 states. The Family Place Libraries concept originated at the Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, NY, in 1979. Family Place creates a partnership between libraries and communities to connect parents and caregivers to the resources and services they need during the first years of their child’s development. The hallmark of Family Place is a five-week series of workshops to bring together children, age 0-3, and their parents in an informal early childhood setting filled with toys, art, activities and books.The workshops encourage parents to play with their children while meeting other parents and caregivers. Professionals from health and social service agencies, as well as, child nutritionists, speech therapists and family therapists informally chat with participants and answer child-rearing questions.

Teton County Library will begin offering the Parent-Child Workshop series in the spring of 2018. Another key component of the Family Place program is reimagining the library’s youth area to offer more welcoming spaces for families of young children. Added features include: toy collections, real-play items, books, and a parenting collection.

For information about Teton County Library’s Family Place program, contact Valerie Maginnis, Library Director, at

‘Once Upon a Murder’ at the Lander Library

A fairy tale crew

“Servant girls” Audie Cunningham (L), Young Adult Librarian, and Anita Marple (R), Lander Branch Manager.

Fremont County Library – Lander held its 3rd Annual Murder Mystery night. “Once Upon a Murder,” on Friday, October 27 in the library’s Carnegie Room. It was a timeless tale of treachery and treason in a kingdom far, far away. Library staff report that it proved to be a hoot!

“We already have people asking about next year’s event,” said Tasha Reeves, Librarian Assistant. “The first year we did ‘Murder at the Deadwood Saloon,’ and last year was ‘Murder Among the Mateys.’ Each year gets wilder and crazier than the last!”

The event has been successful for the library. This year’s murder mystery drew 45 participants and 11 guests. “We’ve had more than 50 signups every year,” Tasha said. “It brings folks to the library that don’t normally come our way. One of the most recurring comments that I’ve heard is that participants met others from the community that they never knew and have remained friends.”

The Beast, Grandma, Hamlet, and Red Riding Hood

The Beast

Prince Charming

Hansel and Rapunzel


CFAC Hosts Exhibit of Edward S. Curtis Photos

This portrait of Chief Joseph by Edward S. Curtis is one of 30 images that can be seen in the current exhibit at the Community Fine Arts Center.

The Community Fine Arts Center, a branch of the Sweetwater County Library System, will host a traveling photography exhibit showcasing the work of Edward S. Curtis. The exhibit opens November 8 with a book discussion at 7 p.m. on Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher. The public is invited to the opening reception on November 9 from 5 to 7 p.m.

The exhibit features pieces from Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian, a grand work that provides a permanent record of 80 North American tribes through ethnographic notes and over 1500 photographs included in 20 volumes. Accompanying the volumes were 20 portfolios containing 36 photogravure prints each. A selection of these images in digital format will be on display.

This exhibit will be available to see November 8 through December 22. CFAC hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday and Saturday noon to 5 p.m.

“Edward Curtis’s The North American Indian: A Traveling Exhibit to Wyoming Libraries” is supported in part by funding from the Wyoming Arts Council, as well as the Wyoming Community Foundation’s Carol McMurry Donor Advised Fund in partnership with the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which holds a rare complete set of The North American Indian.

This exhibit is part of a community celebration, “Eye of a Nation: a Celebration of Heritage,” highlighting both the visual and performing arts to recognize the significance of Edward Curtis’s work and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s 100th anniversary. These events have the support of local organizations including the CFAC, Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library and Cultural Affairs Committee, Downtown Rock Springs, Rock Springs Historical Museum, Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, and the Sweetwater County Library System.

Take a Tour of the Toppan Rare Books Collection With C-SPAN

When C-SPAN did its 2014 Local Content Vehicles Tour, it stopped in Wyoming. Anne Marie Lane, Curator of the Toppan Rare Books Collection at the UW American Heritage Center, was interviewed about the collection and the rare books history course she teaches each fall at the University of Wyoming. Rare books, she said, are an opportunity to teach about the history of print making and to discuss modern topics such as gender, politics, and race. Enjoy this quick tour with her of some of the collection.

Glenrock Branch Library in the News

The Glenrock Branch Library has been hitting the headlinesthis fall, with great coverage from the local newspapers in Converse County. Ethan Brogan, editor of the Douglas Budget and Glenrock Independent, was kind enough to allow us permission to repost these two stories from late September.

Farmer’s Market brings local flavor, taste

By Ethan Brogan

The downpour outside couldn’t stop Glenrock residents from visiting the Farmer’s Market at Glenrock Library Sept. 23. Various stalls lined the walls of the library, featuring foods grown from Glenrock and even baked goods from Casper.

Sharon Davies sold her Glenrock grown produce to attendees next to YBarBQ sauces that had a lot of the foot traffic walking in the door.

Moonberry Farms brought their organic produce including wide varieties of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Stacie’s Bakery, of Casper, featured quiches, fruit tarts, cupcakes and a variety of different baked goods. Deer Creek Honey Farms was also in attendance, selling the remainder of honey left for the season.

This market is one of several events hosted by the Glenrock Library during the past several weeks as an effort to sponsor more events with the available space at the library.

“Tamara Lehner is doing a pretty bang-up job at trying to make things happen at the library,” Glenrock Mayor Doug Frank said. “I’m really happy to see our library making an attempt at programming and things that I hope that our townspeople will enjoy.”

Rockin’ the Glen: UW econ prof offers music appreciation 101

By Ethan Brogan

When you go to hear a musician play, you never really know what you’re getting into. When you hear the act coming to your local library has played at the Lincoln Center in New York and the Kennedy Center in D.C., is an economist and worked for former President Bill Clinton and the King of Sweden, you really don’t know what to expect. For the select few shuffling into the Glenrock Library Friday, there was no way to be prepared.

Jason Shogren sits before his audience with his 1957 Gibson CG1 in hand. The guitar is scratched with black duct tape strewn around the center.

He rips into his first song. A light-hearted melody with ghosted bass undertones. He is precise while he shifts between fast and slow tempos, playing lead and rhythm simultaneously.

When he finishes his first song, the small crowd of nine claps, as he tunes strings between songs and tells everyone about the roughed-up guitar he plays.

“The only thing older than what is sitting on this stool, beside me, is this guitar,” Shogren says. “That makes me about 29.”

The guitar is only one year older than Shogren, he adds, and wasn’t the first instrument he played. His played piano at age 5 and moved onto accordion at age 10, but at age 15, he found the way to soothe his muse, the guitar.

“If you want to get the girls, guitar is the way,” he says laughing. “It made sense; been playing it pretty much ever since.”

Shogren is originally from Duluth, Minnesota, but moved out to Wyoming in 1980s to study environmental economics at the University of Wyoming. He had never heard of the merging of these two ideas and immediately became intrigued.

After Shogren earned his doctorate, he worked at several places before he got a call from the White House. He went out to Capitol Hill and served on an advisory board for Bill Clinton.

“It was a very interesting time,” he tells the audience. “A lot of smart folks with a lot of fancy degrees.”

Shogren remembers the time fondly, remarking how the other advisors were from ivy-league schools like Harvard and Yale. He was from UW.

“This is so and so from Harvard and J. from Wyoming,” he recounts with a laugh.

Shogren also traveled to Sweden to advise the King of Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf on biodiversity and climate change. Shogren joked he thought he had a chance of wooing the princess, but fate had other plans for him. He met his wife Linda. It was their mutual interests that drew them together at first. Linda was interested in behavioral economics, what drives people to make decisions about consumption of food or habits.

“It is a merging of economics and psychology,” Shogren says.

Linda moved to Centennial, Wyoming, where she and Shogren work as professors at UW.

Through all of  his professional and personal triumphs, Shogren has focused on music his whole life. He played in bands in high school, college, during his work and, now, is in two groups J Shorgren Shangha’d and 10¢ Stranger. The drive to always be doing something has been instilled in Shogren since he was a kid.

“I can’t sit still, that must be it,” Shogren  says. “If I sit, I feel like I’m gonna drown.”

Shogren also appeared at the Converse County Library in Douglas. This story has been shortened from the original article.

Recycled Book Turkeys at Natrona County Library

On Saturday, November 4, more than 60 patrons gathered at the Natrona County Library for a little Thanksgiving, craftastic fun!  Using books that were otherwise headed to the recycling bin, participants cut, folded, colored, rolled, taped, and hot glued their way to gorgeous Recycled Book Turkeys. Each had a slightly different vision — for example, one patron only used cookbook pages to create a colorful, delicious, tail for her turkey.  Many tables in Natrona County will have beautiful centerpieces on them this year, reminding us all how thankful we are for libraries.

UW’s Studio Coe Promotes Exploration and Innovation

By Kaijsa Calkins and Susan Schulz

Following on the success of the One Button Studio, the University of Wyoming Coe Library debuted a new service and active learning space in September. Studio Coe is a staffed multimedia production and editing lab equipped with high-end equipment and software to support a wide range of student and faculty projects. This project was conceptualized by a team of librarians led by Lori Phillips, Associate Dean of Libraries, as a way to support the new University Studies Curriculum that includes digital communication as required learning outcomes in three levels of Communication courses required of all UW undergraduates. Studio Coe is part of a larger vision to support and promote exploration, innovation, and knowledge production that crosses disciplinary and departmental boundaries.

The Studio Coe manager is Susan Schulz, Library Specialist in the Research & Instruction Services department, who has been supporting instructional technologies at UW Libraries since 2013. Susan has assembled a staff of student employees with backgrounds in graphic design and video production and editing. This team stays up to date with the latest media production software and is constantly learning new technologies and techniques they can teach to our campus community members.

During the first six weeks of operation, Studio Coe had more than 60 visits from people working on a variety of projects, from a graduate student editing hundreds of hours of video interviews and many still photos into a short video on his research, to groups of science writing students creating podcasts about new technologies, to architectural engineering students adding background images to their designs of new buildings.

Studio Coe is located in Coe Library room 105 and is open 2:00-9:00 p.m. SundayThursday. For more information, visit

Alzheimer’s Author to Speak at Casper Libraries

Niki Kapsambelis

Niki Kapsambelis, author of The Inheritance: A Family on the Front Lines of the Battle Against Alzheimer’s Disease, will speak at the Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library on Tuesday, November 7, with the presentation beginning at 1 p.m. In addition to Kapsambelis, the presentation will also feature Robin McIntyre, a member of the DeMoe family featured in the book, and Kelly Shipley, who has her master’s in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker.

Kapsambelis will speak later that same evening at 6 p.m. at the Natrona County Library with Robin McIntyre, as well as Steve McIntyre (Robin’s father). Their presentation will be followed by a panel discussion including the author, the DeMoe family members, and Wyoming Neurologic Associates Dr. David Wheeler, M.D., Ph.D., and Chairman of Wyoming Dementia Care.

The Inheritance tells the story of the progression of an autosomal dominant genetic mutation plaguing one North Dakota family with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease for generations while balancing the anecdotal stories with detailed research information and history of the disease from its discovery to present.

Robin McIntyre, who has tested positive for the genetic mutation and is guaranteed to develop early-onset Alzheimer’s disease just as her mother and other family members have, will be sharing her story alongside Kapsambelis. The two will create “an unparalleled opportunity for the Casper Community to learn about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” which in its early onset form affects people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

The Casper College event is free and open to the public. Registration will begin at noon followed by Kapsambelis and McIntyre at 1 p.m who will present “Heroes Among Us: How Everyday People are Changing the Course of Alzheimer’s History.” At 2, Shipley will present on “The Importance of Supporting Caregivers in Our Community” followed by a panel question and answer session at 2:30. In addition to the presenters the panel will also feature Steve McIntyre. Continuing Education Units are available for those attending.

The Natrona County Library event is free and open to the public with refreshments provided. Seating is limited, available on a first come, first served basis. Copies of Kapsambelis’ book will be available for purchase, which she will sign following her talk. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to Wyoming Dementia Care.

Kapsambelis’s appearance at Casper College is hosted by Wyoming Dementia Care and the Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library. Other sponsors of the event include Mountain Plaza Assisted Living, Central Wyoming Counseling Center, and the University of Wyoming Center on Aging. The Natrona County Library program is sponsored by the University of Wyoming Center on Aging, Mountain Plaza Assisted Living, Natrona County Library, AARP, and Wind City Books.

For more information on either event, call the Natrona County Library at (307) 237-4935 or the Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library at (307) 268-2269. The Goodstein Foundation Library is located on the Casper College campus at 125 College Dr. The Natrona County Library is at 307 E. 2nd St.