Monthly Archives: October 2017

A Few U.S. Census Facts for Halloween

Casper, Wyoming, made the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of Halloween destinations in Facts for Features. Other suggested locales include Tombstone, Arizona; Sleepy Hollow, New York; and Transylvania County, North Carolina. The Bureau has compiled a few numbers on the holiday, including these:

  • 41.1 million: The estimated number of potential trick-or-treaters in 2015 — children ages 5 to 14 — across the United States. Of course, many other children — older than age 15 and younger than age 5 — also go trick-or-treating
  • 39,815: The number of people employed by U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2015. This industry’s value of shipments totaled $17.2 billion, up from $16.0 billion in 2014.
  • $12.4 million: The value of U.S. imports of pumpkins in 2016. Pumpkin carving and decorating is a popular Halloween tradition.
  • 302: The number of broom, brush, and mop, and casket manufacturing establishments (for the more authentic witches and vampires). Combined, these two industries employed 12,627 people and had a total value of shipments of $3.6 billion in 2012.

See more on the Census Bureau website.

Halloween Patents for the Holiday

From Karen Kitchens
WSL State Publications Librarian

It’s that time of year again — ghosts, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night! Halloween is a time for costumes, spooky stories, and Trick-or-Treaters. Intellectual Property is not the first phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Halloween celebrations. However, there are patents for every occasion. Here are a few Halloween-themed patents. Enjoy!

First, may we present the just-for-fun patents:


(U.S. Patent No. 6,059,423). Patented in 2000 by Darlene J. Knopick. This handy device provides increased safety for busy Trick-or-Treaters.

PET COSTUME (U.S. Patent No. D699,403). Patented in 2014 by Target Brands, Inc. this patent allows your dog to proudly Trick-or-Treat with all the neighborhood kids.

Next, some Halloween patents to make you shudder:

JACK-A-LANTERN (U.S. Patent No. 396,252). This patent was granted in 1889 to G.A. Beidler.

FORMING CONFIGURATIONS ON NATURAL GROWTHS (U.S. Patent No. 2,096,507). Patented in 1937 by John Czeski, an Ohio farmer. This device grows pumpkins with human faces!

Last, but not least, may we present the most horrifying Halloween patent of all, the RESPONSIVE TOILET (U.S. Patent Application No. 20120060270). This patent application was submitted in 2012 by Kevin and Timothy Ihlefeld. This talking toilet has a flush responsive audio player plays preselected audio content keyed in response to a toilet flush!

Have questions about patents? The State Library houses Wyoming’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center. We have trained librarians ready to help you. Contact us at (307) 777-6333 or



Free Library Continuing Education Events for November

The November 2017 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 75 great offerings. 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

Replacements for “Search for Jack” Storybook Kits

We all know what happens when items with multiple parts and pieces are well-loved and well-used. If you are missing pieces to your library’s “Search for Jack” storybook kit(s), or if you want to add or replace a full kit, WY Quality Counts can help. Contact Maggie Budd at to place your request.

If you’re unfamiliar with this resource, the kits feature The Search for Jack, a children’s book about two friends, Chuck the Beaver and Pepper the Meadowlark, exploring Wild Wyoming together to find the mysterious jackalope. As they search, they model basic scientific investigation skills for children, including questioning, finding clues, making observations and reaching a conclusion. These have been made available to Wyoming libraries at no cost.

WY Quality Counts developed The Search for Jack kits in consultation with storytellers and librarians at Laramie County Library System, advisers from the Wyoming Library Association, and early childhood experts from the University of Wyoming.

WY Quality Counts is a state program whose mission is to raise awareness about why quality child care matters in Wyoming. The program provides free resources that promote quality educational opportunities to prepare children for success through developmentally-appropriate teaching methods and materials.

YALSA Announces Teens’ Top Ten

The Young Adult Library Association (YALSA) has announced its 2017 Teens’ Top Ten list, voted on by teens around the USA. If you are looking for the best YA books of the past year, try your local library for one of these:

1. Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
2. Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shusterman
3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
4. Lady Midnight (Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare
5. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
7. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
8. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
9. Genius: The Game (Genius #1) by Leopoldo Gout
10. If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

See an annotated lists of the winners and of all nominees on the YALSA website. And remember, if you are looking for that perfect book for your next read, ask the staff at your local library.

Geography Awareness Week Bookmark Contest

Geography Awareness Week is coming up November 12-18. To mark this occasion, the Wyoming Geographic Alliance is sponsoring a bookmark contest for students in K-8 on the theme of “Civil Rights.”

All bookmark entries must be postmarked by December 1, 2017. This contest is only open to Wyoming students, limit one entry each. Judging will be based on geographic content, artistic quality, and creativity.

Download the entry form.

First place winners will have their bookmark published and distributed to libraries and schools throughout Wyoming. First and second place winners for each grade level will receive an inflatable globe and National Geographic world map. The sponsoring teacher will receive a one-year subscription to National Geographic Kids.

Questions may be directed to Robert Rust, WGA Graduate Assistant, at or (307) 766-3213.

Geography Awareness Week, organized by National Geographic Education Programs, encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. Each third week of November, students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom; and often meeting with policymakers and business leaders as part of that year’s activities. Geography Awareness Week is supported by year-long access to materials and resources for teachers, parents, community activists, and all geographically minded global citizens. The event is organized by National Geographic Education Programs.

Grant Opportunities

Code4Lib Diversity Scholarship Program
DEADLINE: November 17, 2017
The Code4Lib Scholarship Committee hopes to award 15 Diversity Scholarships, based on merit and need. Each scholarship will cover up to $1500 for travel costs, lodging, and conference fees for selected applicants to attend the 2018 Code4Lib Conference in Washington, D.C. from February 13-16, 2018. Applicants must be interested in actively engaging with the Code4Lib community and must be a member of a group not well-represented within the Code4Lib community.

PLA Preconference Stipend for Promoting Healthy Communities
DEADLINE: November 19, 2017
Public library workers are invited to apply for a $500 stipend to attend “Stand Up for Health: Health and Wellness Services for Your Community,” a one-day preconference workshop held at the Public Library Association (PLA) 2018 Conference in Philadelphia. The one-day preconference on March 20 is part of Promoting Healthy Communities, a new nationwide initiative from PLA and National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) that will increase public library workers’ knowledge and skills related to consumer health services. Fifty stipends will be awarded.

Jan Merrill-Oldham Professional Development Grant
DEADLINE: December 1, 2017
This award, established by the Preservation and Reformatting Section of the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS), allows librarians with 5 or fewer years of experience in the libraries and archives preservation field to attend the ALA Annual Conference. The award is a $1,250 cash grant to be used toward registration fees, airfare, and lodging.

Memory Lab Network
DEADLINE: December 15, 2017
DC Public Library announces a subgrant application opportunity for public libraries to join the Memory Lab Network project. The DC Public Library Memory Lab is a digitization lab and digital preservation resources created as a local response to the national needs for free public access to tools and information on caring for personal digital archives. Seven public libraries will be identified as Memory Lab Network partners and will spend one year creating personal archiving stations and programs to for their communities following the DCPL model with training, mentoring, and financial support from DCPL.

Carol McMurry Library Endowment Grants to Libraries
DEADLINE: December 15, 2017
These grants provide support to Wyoming librarians and publicly accessible Wyoming libraries in three areas: education and training, library resources, and library foundation development. Two grant deadlines annually; next deadline December 15, 2017. Contact Brian Greene, WSL Library Development Manager, with any questions at or (307) 777-6339.

Goodstein Library Teams Up With Food For Thought

Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library workers Shaina (L) and  Dinara (R) with the Food for Thought display.

The Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library is once again teaming up with the Wyoming Food for Thought Project to collect new K-12 kids books. The drive kicked off October 24 and runs through December 2.

Wyoming Food For Thought collects and distributes weekly food bags to K-12 Natrona County students in food-insecure situations. The organization has been around for five years now providing food to hungry kids, and for four of those years, Casper College has provided a book to each FFT recipient before the long winter break. Each year, FFT has served more kids, and each year, Casper College has stepped up to make sure every single one of those K-12 kids gets a NEW book.

This year, the library has set a goal of an even 1,000 books. Collection sites may be found at:

  • Digital Learning Center
  • Tate Museum
  • Gateway, 3rd floor
  • Campus bookstore
  • Knowledge Nook in the Sunrise Shopping center
  • Fort Caspar Academy
  • Verda James Elementary
  • Their Amazon wish list (because they know you’re busy!)

If you have books, but can’t make it to one of the collection spots, contact book drive coordinator Sarah Mailloux at (307) 268-2137,, or call the library’s main phone number at (307) 268-2269.

Collins Selected for PLA Leadership Academy

Jeff Collins

Jeff Collins is one of 28 exceptional individuals selected nationwide to be a Public Library Association Leadership Fellow. Jeff is Deputy Director, Public Service, at Laramie County Library System in Cheyenne.

As a Fellow, Jeff will attend the PLA’s 2017 Leadership Academy, taking place December 4-8, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. Themed “Navigating Change — Building Community,” the PLA Leadership Academy is designed to help empower public librarians as community leaders and agents of change. The content focuses on developing the skills needed to work with municipal officials to enhance the library’s role in the community and improve the effectiveness of library activities and programs.

Jeff joined LCLS in July, 2016. In his position, he is responsible for the four public service divisions in the library: Reference/Collection, Computer Center/Cataloging, Youth/Outreach, and Circulation/Branch Services. Prior to moving to Wyoming he was director of two libraries in Arizona and worked for the Connecticut State Library.