Monthly Archives: July 2017

Elk Mountain Library on the Move

The Elk Mountain Branch Library will set out the treats and celebrate a ribbon cutting at its new location on Monday, July 17, at 6 p.m. The library, formerly the smallest in the Carbon County Library System, will roughly quadruple its space.

“The space is bigger, brighter, and new” said Jacob Mickelsen, CCLS Director. “We’ve been able to add a children’s room and meeting room, as well as upgrading the technology. It’s a much needed upgrade to a heavily used branch library.”

The new library features all new information technology infrastructure as well as a raised floor, which should simplify further upgrades in the future. The addition of a meeting room is a high point for those living in Elk Mountain, as options for meeting space are severely limited in such a small community.

Elk Mountain Library’s former location

The project began when the Town of Elk Mountain, which owned the property, made other plans for the building where the library was housed. “Fortunately the town really values their library,” said Mickelsen. “A public-private partnership was formed to raise funds for a new facility.” The old town shop right next door turned out to be a perfect fit, and the space was gutted and completely renovated.

Mickelsen said special thanks go to the Town of Elk Mountain’s government, particularly Mayor Morgan Irene, for assisting with permits and fundraising, as well as local resident Reed Brannon for heading up the fundraising committee. Major funders included the Peter Thieriot Family, the Double 8 Ranch, the Carol McMurry Foundation, the Walter Scott Foundation, and the people of Elk Mountain. Over $230,000 was raised for this project, and other donations, particularly from the Elk Mountain Parent/Teachers Organization, have allowed for the library to be outfitted with all new technology and furniture.

“I’m mostly excited to never have to climb up into the old library’s spider-infested attic to fix the heater again,” Mickelsen said, mentioning also his envy of Branch Manager Tammy Page’s new granite-topped circulation desk. “Elk Mountain is an awesome community, and I’m so happy to see all of their hard work pay off.”

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.

Library Resources for the Opioid Crisis

Reposted from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region

Though the severity of the current opioid crisis is shocking, it is not surprising to find public librarians supporting the needs of their communities. The National Library of Medicine has compiled resources to assist librarians and other first responders to ensure that they understand the complex legal and medical issues this crisis presents:

Discover other ways librarians respond to disasters and emergencies with the NLM Disaster Health bibliography, and stay tuned for more information later this summer about an NLM Disaster Health webinar on this topic.

From the DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB email list
Submitted by Robin Taylor, MLIS
Contractor, ICF
Disaster Information Management Research Center

Johnson County Celebrates WLA Award

On Friday, July 14, Johnson County Library is celebrating its selection as the Wyoming Library Association’s Outstanding Library for 2017. Katrina Brown, WLA Vice President, will present the award. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the large meeting room at the library in Buffalo, 171 N. Adams. All are invited, and refreshments will be served.

WLA gives this award for a significant special project completed within the last two years. The staff, library board, and the community or people served must all be involved in the work for which recognition is sought.

In Johnson County Library’s case, it was the library’s renovation and expansion, a  $4.79 million project that added 10,000 square feet onto the original 8,500-square-foot building, allowing for dedicated children’s and young adult spaces, a local history room, and a meeting room twice the size of the old one. It was paid for with $3.79 million in specific purpose sales tax revenue and $1 million in county funds.

It was a long journey. The initial needs assessment was done in 2008, paid for with a Carol McMurry Library Endowment grant. In 2014, the Johnson County Commissioners urged the library to go to the voters for a 1% specific purpose tax. Despite the fact that Johnson County voters have historically voted every proposed project of this type down, the library took the brave step of putting it on the ballot. After a vigorous campaign, the library expansion project passed with fewer than 200 votes.

The new building has exceeded every expectation. Perhaps its crowning jewel is the storybook wall mural located at the entrance of the children’s area. Painted by local artist Lisa Norman, it brings in numerous elements of well-loved books and characters. The artist even hid a few things in the work for patrons to find.

The expanded library opened in June of 2016, thanks to the hundreds of people involved in the project’s success: county officials, the library trustees and foundation, Friends of the Library, high school students, and many others. It was truly a community effort.


UW Libraries Lecture Series on World War I

From UW News

University of Wyoming Libraries will host three free programs related to World War I during the fall semester in recognition of the centenary of the historic event.

The programs are part of “World War I and America,” a two-year national initiative of Library of America, presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, other organizations and support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The UW Libraries, in collaboration with local community and campus organizations, such as the Albany County Historical Society, the Laramie Plains Museum, UW’s Army ROTC and the UW History Club, are sponsoring these programs:

  • “But I Just Had to Brace Up and Do My Best: Nurses in World War I,” Monday, September 11 at 2 p.m., Coe Library, Room 506.
  • “Warriors in Khaki: Indian Doughboys in the Great War,” Tuesday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m., Alice Hardie Stevens Center, Laramie Plains Museum.
  • “Home Front in Wyoming,” Monday, October 2 at 7 p.m., Alice Hardie Stevens Center, Laramie Plains Museum.

Learn more about each program on UW News. For more information about the World War I lecture series, call Cynthia Hughes, UW Libraries metadata librarian, at (307) 766-5611 or email

Poetry in the State Library Stacks

A government documents library is perhaps the last place you’d look for creative writing. Still, we found poetry in the stacks here at the Wyoming State Library.

In years past, the Wyoming Council on the Arts (now the Wyoming Arts Council) published anthologies of poems, stories, and art by Wyoming K-12 students. Since these were published by a state agency, and the WSL is the official repository for state documents, these found their way into our collection. On the shelves, we found titles such as A Weave of Poems, published in 1980, Sun, Snow, Rain You Name It, published in 1983, and Moon Crayons, published in 1989.

We located two of the then-young poets who contributed to these anthologies to find out where they were, whether they were still writing, and to ask their permission to republish their poems.

Michael Kelly and family

In the earth as I tunnel through the dirt
I think of my brother
caught by a boy and used for fishing
and my mother put in bread by a crazy-person, and all my friends
some eaten by birds, all gone.

Michael Kelly, Grade 3, Pinedale Elementary
 Sun, Snow, Rain You Name It, 1983

Michael Kelly remembers being proud that his poem was selected, but not much else about the circumstances of its writing. “Perhaps it was about that time that I regularly annoyed my family by reading interminably at full voice from Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends.”  He works in Washington D.C. now and works as a federal government attorney. He writes only the most occasional poem now, “but about half of my work is analytical and persuasive writing.” Kelly has a degree from Pinedale High School, and Cornell and Georgetown Universities. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, two daughters, and one cat. “Our garden is full of happy worms,” he added.

Jansen Siplon-Curry

A Unicorn
A unicorn is a unicorn
when it has a horn
But when a unicorn
doesn’t have a horn
it is a horse

Jansen Siplon, Grade 1, Casper
Moon Crayons, 1989

Jansen Siplon-Curry published her first novel, Seeing Ione, in 2015 and writes regularly at her blog, The Tall Mom. She included “A Unicorn” when she submitted a book of about a dozen poems for the Young Authors competition in 1988. That collection won locally, at state and in national competition. “I was encouraged to enter by my first grade teacher, Mrs. Gronski,” she said. “I was blessed with amazing teachers in elementary.”

While she knew she had an aptitude for reading and language, she was intrigued by science and always thought she’d have a career in the medical field. She continued to dabble in poetry secretly in her journals, but didn’t really purse writing as an interest until after she’d become a parent and found writing — and reading — helped her process her experiences. “It’s funny,” she said “I’ve read it’s those things we excel at earliest in life that tell us most about our gifts and passions. I certainly feel that way about writing.”

These days she mostly wrangles her three children. She works for St. Anthony Tri-Parish Catholic School as their Event Coordinator, organizing and executing fundraisers, working on retaining and recruitment, and writing the school’s alumni publication, The Antonian. She also serves on the Natrona County Public Library Foundation Board.

“Writing continues to be something I long to do more of,” she said, “and fear I will never truly learn how to do well.”

Nominations Open for Marketer of the Year

Library Journal will honor one library staffer or a library team with its first annual Marketer of the Year award in its October 1, 2017, issue. The award, sponsored by Library Ideas, comes with a $2,000 cash prize. The award recognizes the importance of innovative approaches to marketing of library services, the role of marketing in building library engagement, and the value of quality marketing collateral to help build a vibrant sense of the library and define its relevance in the community. The award places a special emphasis on an individual (or team) working for a library who has instituted or reinvigorated a marketing strategy in the past two years that has:

  • had measurable impact on some aspect of the library’s use,
  • created a new understanding of the community served via market research,
  • improved the prominence of the library in community, and/or
  • driven the marketing around a successful funding initiative that enables the library to reach new audiences or secures deeper sustainability.

Deadline is August 8, 2017. Learn more and see how to submit a nomination.

Working With Friends Group Webinar

Some of the items the Ten Sleep Friends of the Library gathered for a raffle auction.

Members of the Sundance Friends of the Library.

Want to know how to work better with your Friends of the Library group? Tune in for a free webinar at 11 a.m. MDT on Monday, July 17, “Working with Friends Groups: The Good, the Great, and the Unfriendly,” with Sally Gardner Reed, Executive Director of United for Libraries.

Reed, who is also a former Executive Director of Friends of Libraries U.S.A., has decades of experience liaising between Friends groups and the libraries that they support, serve, and (sometimes) exasperate. In this free webinar she will offer guidance on building and maintaining these important relationships, showing not only how to effectively harness Friends’ goodwill and enthusiasm but also sharing tactful techniques for steering an ineffective or unfriendly group down the right path. She’ll also discuss fundraising, advocacy, programs, and membership development best practices.

Register to attend.