Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

Happy Faces at Wyoming Reads

Wow, what a day! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we collected a few from today’s Wyoming Reads celebration.

Kudos to the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation for making this event possible with the help of library staff, volunteers, and donors from across Wyoming. Their work and generosity put a picture book to keep in the hands of every first grader in the state today.

Laughter and learning at Natrona County Library in Casper.

Students at the Casper Wyoming Reads outside on a sunny day.

Happy student at the Casper Wyoming Reads celebration.

Getting ready for the day at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne. Left to right: Tekla Slider, Abby Beaver, and Angie Wolff, all from the State Library, and Robin Papaleka from Laramie County Library.

The cast of Good Queen Sue for Wyoming Reads at East High School in Cheyenne.

The State Library’s WYLD Office Manager Desiree Saunders in action, reading to a rapt crowd.

WSL Collections Technician Angie Wolff reading “Do Not Bring Your Dragon to the Library” to students from Trinity Lutheran School.

Cheyenne Mayor Marion Orr reading at Laramie County Library.

Happiness is getting a book to take home! At Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

Sheridan County Fulmer Library children’s librarian Michelle Havenga reads to a crowd. The library hosted nearly 380 first graders.

Happy crowd at the Sheridan County Fulmer Library.

Reading at Carbon County Library in Rawlins.

Green River High School students helped out in some of the skits at Sweetwater County Library System’s Wyoming Reads event.





A Short History of Wyoming Reads

Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo Queens Jonna Brown and Rylee Anderson reading together at Laramie County Library during the 2016 Wyoming Reads celebration.

Tomorrow, first graders will gather at locations across the state to celebrate reading and take home their very own book to keep. It’s all part of the annual Wyoming Reads event, a program of the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. Ever wonder how this fantastic project got started? We took a look at the Wyoming Reads website for the story:

John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and the “Casper Cares, Casper Reads” celebration to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy and books.

She was always very dedicated to children and to literacy. She believed that until someone can read, they can’t really do anything else.

– John Jorgensen

The Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation was created in 1996 to benefit libraries and advance the cause of childhood literacy in Wyoming. After making a significant contribution of books to the library of her children’s elementary school, the foundation learned of a community that held an annual drive to raise enough money to give every first grade child a book to encourage early enthusiasm for reading. With the support of local teachers, administrators, and parents, the “Casper Cares, Casper Reads” project was born.

Students checking out their “We Read” sunglasses at Wyoming Reads 2016.

A steering committee was formed in January 1999. Six hardback books of varying reading levels were selected to be distributed to each first grade classroom in the school district. Each student then had the opportunity to select the book of their choice. Orders were compiled and placed through an independent local bookstore. In June 1999, all of the Natrona County School District first graders gathered on the campus of Casper College for the very first CC/CR festival.

In 2006, the Casper Cares, Casper Reads program was taken to a new level, expanding statewide for the first time as “Wyoming Reads.” The program has since grown to include celebrations in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties, distributing books to over 8,000 first graders in 2016. Each year since 2006, the Governor has issued a proclamation declaring Wyoming Literacy Day to fall in conjunction with this valuable statewide celebration.

Converse County Reaches Library Endowment Goal

Converse County Library’s main building in Douglas.

Converse County Library is the latest to reach its goal for the Wyoming Library Endowment Challenge, according to the latest update from the WSL Library Development Office. The Challenge is a state-funded program that offers matching funds for locally raised endowment dollars.

Converse is one of 15 Wyoming libraries that have hit 100% of their fundraising goals. Overall, the state’s 23 public library systems are 90.6% of the way, having accessed $17.1 million of the $18.35 million in match and incentive funds available to them. Local funds are matched 1:1, 2:1, or 3:1 based on county assessed valuations at the time the Challenge was established in 2008.

Fundraising partnerships, permitted under a 2015 amendment to the Challenge,helped put Converse County Library over the top. The library raised $101,117 in private funds, matched 2:1 with $202,234 in state funds. An additional $269,617 in matching funds was received in partnership with the Natrona County and Laramie County libraries.

Learn more about the Endowment Challenge and see the latest totals.

AHC Digitizes Isberg Collection Through SHRAB Grant

Grants of up to $2,500 from the Wyoming State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) are now available for the identification, preservation, and dissemination of historical records. Deadline to apply for this round is June 1, 2017. Here’s a great example of a SHRAB-funded project from the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center

Reposted with permission from the AHC

The University of Wyoming American Heritage Center has completed a grant project to digitize photographs, glass plate negatives, glass lantern slides, and stereo cards from the Isberg Family papers, a collection of a Laramie family with material dating from 1884 to 1930.

The collection in its entirety is available online.

Laramie Cowboy Band at the Albany County Fair, 1903. Photograph taken by William Isberg.

The Isberg Family collection contains photographic material, primarily taken by William H. Isberg in Laramie and Albany County. The Laramie photographs document the town as it appeared in the 1890s to about 1918. Included are images of President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1903 visit to Laramie. Other photographs show recreational activities in the country outside Laramie. Included are rock climbing, hunting, fishing, picnicking, and visiting at nearby ranches.

The Isberg family on a camping trip, 1918.

The digitization and free and open access to these materials online is made possible by a grant from the Wyoming SHRAB through the NHPRC, a body of the National Archives.

Wyoming Celebrates Reading

Last year, Wyoming State Library staffers Tom Ivie and Angie Wolff got into the Wyoming Reads spirit, reading to kids at the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

(Click for PDF)

On Tuesday, May 16, nearly 8,000 books will be distributed to first-graders at Wyoming Reads literacy celebrations held in each of the state’s 23 counties.

Governor Matt Mead has issued a proclamation naming May 16 as Wyoming Literacy Day. First Lady Carol Mead will be a special guest at the 18th annual celebration in Natrona County.

At many libraries where the event will be held, celebrity readers will be stationed to read books to the children. There will also be a special fairytale about “The Good Queen Sue”—a tribute to Sue Jorgensen, in whose memory this event was established.

Wyoming Reads celebrations focus on the joy of reading, highlighted by each child receiving a hardback book with their name printed inside the cover, donated by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation.

Earlier this year, children had the opportunity to choose which book they would like to receive from the following options:

  • Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
  • Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev
  • Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge
  • Good Night Baddies by Deborah Underwood
  • Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs by Eric Litwin

John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation in 1996 and founded the Casper Cares, Casper Reads festival to honor his late wife’s commitment to children and reading. The celebration was expanded statewide as Wyoming Reads in 2006.

“Sue was always very dedicated to children and to literacy,” said John. “She believed that literacy was the foundation for everything in life.”  That vision continues to fuel this community literacy initiative.

For more information, visit the Wyoming Reads website.

People News

Debbie McCarthy, Head of Technical Services at University of Wyoming Coe Library, has been elected to the OCLC Americas Regional Council (ARC), a part of OCLC’s Global Council. She was elected by OCLC member institutions’ voting representatives to serve three-year term on the ARC beginning 1 July 2017.

Enid Teeter, Supervisor of Library Services, recently received the University of Wyoming Libraries’ Outstanding Staff Award.



Vote Now for Your Favorite 2017 Wyoming Artifact

The 1873 annual report of the Wyoming State Geological Survey is one of the artifacts in the running.

The Wyoming State Historical Society, in partnership with the University of Wyoming Libraries, invites everyone, young and old, to participate in selecting “Wyoming’s Top Ten Most Significant Artifacts” for 2017.  Submissions received from libraries, museums, historical societies, and other institutions, were reviewed by a panel of independent judges to determine the top 15. The public is now invited to vote on the final top 10.

The program was created in 2015 to celebrate the state’s 125th anniversary, and it draws attention to the many fine institutions around the state that work diligently to preserve Wyoming’s heritage.

Voting ends on July 31. All ages are encouraged to vote as many times as you wish. Winners will be announced in September at the Society’s annual meeting. Peruse all the artifacts and submit your votes through the electronic ballot.

Apply for Wyoming Historical Records Grants

The Wyoming State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) is offering grants of up to $2,500 for projects promoting preservation of and access to Wyoming’s historical records. The deadline to apply for the grants is June 1.

The grants are available to Wyoming cultural heritage organizations for projects to process, preserve, and provide increased access to historical records. Projects eligible for funding include: processing collections of historical records, digitizing historical records, providing online access to records, and attending training that will improve your organization’s ability to complete these types of projects.

The grants are available for the period of July 1, 2017 thru June 30, 2018, and are provided through the Wyoming SHRAB by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

All projects related to the mission and goals of the SHRAB will be considered. The application, guidelines, and a brief presentation about the grant program and how to apply are available on the SHRAB webpage.

Please contact Michael Strom, SHRAB Coordinator and Wyoming State Archivist, with any questions at (307) 777-7020 or  Completed applications must be submitted by June 1, 2017, in digital format toStrom at the email address above or mailed to his attention at the Wyoming State Archives, 2301 Central Ave., Cheyenne, WY 82002.

The Wyoming SHRAB promotes the identification, preservation and dissemination of the state’s historical records, by encouraging and supporting ongoing training programs for state, tribal and local governments, local repositories, organizations, and others involved in records care in Wyoming. The program is administered by the Wyoming State Archives, which is part of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

Wyoming’s Bookmobiles a Valuable Service

It’s always a welcome sight when the Laramie County Library System pulls up to your stop.

It’s National Bookmobile Day, so we’d like to give kudos to Wyoming’s two bookmobiles that roll the roads to bring library services to tiny communities, schools, assisted living facilities, day cares, and more. In State FY16, Natrona County Public Library’s bookmobile circulated 21,975 items and Laramie County Library System’s circulated 13,235.

The Natrona County Public Library bookmobile, ready to roll.

National Bookmobile Day (Wednesday, April 12, 2017) celebrates our nation’s bookmobiles and the dedicated library professionals who provide this valuable and essential service to their communities every day. Wyoming’s two bookmobiles are among more than 650 nationwide (per Institute of Museum and Library Services FY14 data) that expand library services beyond building walls.

Enjoying a children’s book on the Natrona County Public Library’s bookmobile.

Bookmobiles give far-flung patrons a chance to browse the shelves for a great read, with assistance from the stellar library employees who work in Wyoming libraries.

Laramie County’s bookmobile shelves have quite a selection so patrons can find that next great read.

National Bookmobile Day is an opportunity for bookmobile fans to make their support known—through thanking bookmobile staff, writing a letter or e-mail to their libraries, or voicing their support to community leaders.

The event is coordinated by the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

Happy National Library Workers Day!

The best part about working in a library is the people you work with! The staff here at the Wyoming State Library would like to wish all those working in Wyoming libraries a happy National Library Workers Day. NLWD is a day where library staff, users, administrators, and Friends groups recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

If you haven’t already, check out Wyoming’s stars and nominate a deserving library worker. Also check out the Wyoming Snapshot Day photos from October—among the smiling patrons, you’ll find plenty of pictures of the people who serve them.

Wyoming’s public libraries alone employed 648 people in FY16, and the Wyoming Libraries Directory lists nearly 500 more in the state’s academic, school, and special libraries. There are more—the directory doesn’t list everyone. Today’s a great day to give a shout-out to every one of them.