Monthly Archives: July 2017

Apply Now for Libraries Ready to Code Grants

The American Library Association (ALA) has opened the application period for grants to develop public and school library programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth. The grant opportunity, announced last month, is the latest phase of the Libraries Ready to Code (RtC) initiative of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), sponsored by Google.

Through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) process, a cohort of 25-50 libraries will be selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 to design and implement youth coding programs that incorporate Ready to Code concepts. Through these programs, the library cohort will collaboratively develop, pilot and rapidly iterate a “Ready to Code” toolkit containing a selection of CS resources for libraries and an implementation guide.

The Ready to Code project team will host an informational webinar on Tuesday, August 1, to supplement the detailed RFP and provide additional guidance to applicants. Interested applicants can RSVP to participate in the webinar at the RtC website. Proposals will be accepted through August 31, 2017, and selected libraries will be announced in October.

For detailed information about the RtC grants, including the RFP and FAQs related to the program, visit

Operation Gratitude at the Lander Library


The Pieracini family in front of the Operation Gratitude collection area in the Lander Library.

The Lander Library decided to “Build a Better World” this summer with an Operation Gratitude drive. Operation Gratitude is a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that sends care packages and letters of support to individual military service members deployed in harm’s way, to their children, and to first responders, veterans, new recruits, military families, and wounded heroes and their caregivers.

“It was an easy decision to do something for the men and women who serve our country,” said Tasha Reeves, Library Assistant and event coordinator. “After all, that’s what they are out there doing every day, trying to build a better world. Operation Gratitude is a great way to honor them.”

The Lander Library set up a collection drive asking for wish list items for these groups. Items on the list included toiletries, stationary, clothing, gift cards, electronics and thank you letters, as well as yarn or knitted or crocheted hats or scarves.

At the end of the drive, the library had collected hundreds of greeting cards, 13 stuffed animals, eight hand-knit scarves, and one big box of hand and body warmers, along with an assortment of sweatpants, socks, stationery, and toiletries. Monetary donations totaled $252. All donations were sent to Operation Gratitude headquarters in California to be packaged and distributed as needed.

“Supporting the men and women who work on a daily basis to preserve our freedoms and to help in times of crisis is our privilege and obligation,” said Anita Marple, Lander Library Manager. “This project is a great example of how the library brings the community together.”

Free Library Continuing Education Events for August

The August 2017 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available. Every training opportunity on this list is free and offered online. Topics include advocacy, planning, careers, children and teens, collection development, communication, databases, managing change, fundraising, legal, management, outreach and partnerships, programming, readers’ advisory, reference, school libraries, technology, training and instruction, and volunteers. View, download, or subscribe to the calendar at

And the Oldest Book in a Wyoming Library Is…

“The Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes” by John Gerard, published in 1636 and found in the Wyoming Room at the Sheridan Fulmer Library. Old, but not the oldest.

Shortly after we posted about the oldest book in WYLDCAT, Sheridan County Public Library System Director Cameron Duff emailed us to let us know they have a copy of The Herball Or Generall Historie of Plantes by John Gerard, published in 1636. It’s kept in the Wyoming Room in a locked display case, as it’s rather fragile. Cameron was not sure how the library ended up with the book, but the the display case indicates it was donated about 1971.

His email inspired us to pose the question: What, exactly, is the oldest book held in a Wyoming library? Not just in WYLDCAT, but in any library building?

First, it depends on how you define “book.” Albany County Public Library owns about a dozen cuneiform tablets — the one in the photo is dated circa 2350 BCE, making it about 4,367 years old. This one turns out to be a bill from a butcher. Nathan Bender, ACPL’s Technical Services Librarian, told us these were purchased in 1936 from Edgar J. Banks, advertised as Babylonian, which he had acquired in Baghdad. The library still has the original acquisitions paperwork.

If we limit it to a more typical book, a sheaf of pages bound together, the American Heritage Center is the clear winner with the Toppan Library rare book collections. Some of the very old material at the AHC has been cataloged with ambiguous dates in the 1400s. These include both illuminated manuscripts and incunabula (printed books from before 1500). Their oldest tome cataloged with a definite date is the Opus restitutionum usurarum et excommunicationum by Franciscus de Platea, published in Venice in 1472.

An illuminated manuscript from the 1400s held by the AHC in the Toppan Library.

For the curious, Debbie McCarthy, Head of University of Wyoming Libraries Technical Services, gave us these handy links to search the Toppan Library collection:

Other libraries checked their collections and came up with a 1918 Atlas of American Agriculture at Northwest College and three titles from 1850 at Park County Library. Will Matchinski at the Wyoming State Hospital keeps a 1939 Fourth edition of the Sears List of Subject Headings for Small Libraries and a Latin-English Lexicon from the late 19th century.

As for the State Library’s oldest book? Well, it’s a mouthful, located in our federal documents: American archives : consisting of a collection of authentick records, state papers, debates, and letters and other notices of publick affairs, the whole forming a documentary history of the origin and progress of the North American colonies ; of the causes and accomplishment of the American revolution ; and of the Constitution of government for the United States, to the final ratification thereof. In six series. While we have a print copy, you can also read it online in its entirety in Hathi Trust.

We’d like to thank everyone for playing! There are truly some treasures held in Wyoming’s libraries.

Archived Webinar: Get Ready for the Eclipse!

The celestial event of the century will soon be upon us as libraries prepare for the August 21, 2017, solar eclipse. Use resources in to learn more about the eclipse and find activities, images, and video. Also check out our Wyoming and the Solar Eclipse 2017 LibGuide for more.

Find upcoming training events in our calendar and view past events in our webinar archives.

Deadline Looming for WLA Conference Registration

Click for printable program.

A reminder that the deadline to register for the 2017 Wyoming Library Association conference Aug. 9-11 at Sheridan College is coming up fast on Tuesday, August 1.

This is a hard deadline — there will be no late or on-site registrations for the full conference.

If you are thinking of attending, we encourage you to check out the conference program to see the great offerings. Also, you can learn more about the featured speakers on this blog. The WLA conference is a great chance to learn and to network with your colleagues from around Wyoming.

If you’re registered, be sure to find exactly where you’re going with the Sheridan College map and to check out the lodging options on the WLA website.

Click for bigger image.

For school librarians planning to attend the Information Power pre-conference for school librarians on August 9, registrations will be accepted at the door. On-site registration is available for Information Power ONLY, not for the main conference. However, there will be no online registrations for Information Power after August 1. You can register online until then on the WLA conference page link.

Hope to see you all there! We look forward to coming together for another great WLA conference.

On This Date: Korean War Cease-fire

​July 27, 2017, marks the 64th anniversary of the ceasefire that ended the Korean War.

Did you know the State Library has more than 50 books about this often overlooked conflict? From straightforward histories such as The Korean War: Years of Stalemate, July 1951 – July 1953 by A.J. Birtle, to personal accounts such as The Three Wars of Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer: His Korean War Diary, we’ve got plenty of reading on this fascinating topic. Check WYLDCAT for these and other titles.

In our online resources, both U.S. History in Context and History Study Center have substantial sections dedicated to the Korean War. Check out these and other history resources in

Cupcake Wars at Lander Library

Submitted by Audie Cunningham
Fremont County Library System-Lander

This year was our 5th annual Cupcake Wars competition for the teen department at the Lander Library. We had six teams of two register to compete in the cupcake decorating contest. Our judges this year were Jeannette Woodward, a member of the Friends of the Library and former Library Director. We also had Paul Primrose, an English teacher at the high school and library patron.

Teams decorated their cupcakes according to a chosen literary theme during an allotted 20 minutes. A few of this years themes included King Arthur, Hamilton, and Marvel. Each team also got a secret ingredient right before the competition that had to be incorporated into their design. Secret ingredients included fruit loops, doughnut holes and a melted chocolate bar.

This years winners were Maille Gray and Allison Brown (The Rainbow Readers) who chose King Arthur as their theme. They obviously put a lot of thought into planning their designs and had source materials to help them during the competition. Teens had to utilize a number of skills during the one-hour program including creativity, craftsmanship, problem solving, engineering, teamwork and public speaking.

Lots of fun (and sugar) were had by all! This year the program was funded by a Lander District Recreation Board along with all of our other Summer Reading Programs this year.