Monthly Archives: October 2017

USPTO Representatives Visit the State Library

(L to R) Karen Kitchens, WSL State Publications Librarian; Molly Kocialski, USPTO Rocky Mountain Region Office Director; and Rebecca Fritchman, USPTO Outreach Adviser.

The Wyoming State Library welcomed visitors Friday from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Denver.

Molly Kocialski, Director of the USPTO Rocky Mountain Region Office in Denver, and Rebecca Fritchman, Outreach Adviser, stopped by to see the WSL’s Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) as well as the rest of the library. Both were on their way up to Torrington for Sen. Mike Enzi’s Inventors Conference, held October 21.

State Publications Librarian Karen Kitchens, who manages the PTRC, gave them a tour. Both Molly and Rebecca said that Wyoming’s collection was one of the best they had ever seen. The PTRC is a valuable resource for businesses, researchers, students, teachers, historians, and inventors. The WSL’s collection includes:

  • Patents issued from 1790 to present;
  • Patent applications published since March 15, 2001;
  • Pending and registered trademarks from 1871;
  • PubWEST (Web-based Examiner’s Search Tool), a USPTO database for use by patent examiners;
  • USPTO documents; and
  • Commercial publications to assist with the patent and trademarking process.

In addition, the State Library maintains the Wyoming Inventors Database, part of its Digital Collection Suite. This resource catalogs U.S. patents from Wyoming inventors. Each record is linked to the USPTO website.

The WSL has reference librarians available to assist patrons with patent and trademark questions. Our librarians can help with using the resources, but they can’t offer legal opinions or interpretations of law, nor can they conduct patent searches.

Questions about patents and trademarks or about using the PTRC? Contact Karen at or (307) 777-7281.

Wyoming Inventions: Robot Baseball Umpire

The World Series Starts today! There’s a lot of talk in major league baseball these days about using a robot umpire to call balls and strikes more accurately. Did you know that a Cheyenne couple invented a patented robot umpire device way back in 1950?

Lloyd and Nellie Holiday filed for a patent of their “Detecting Device for fast moving objects” on March 31, 1950. It was approved by the U.S. Patent office on July 28, 1953. The device would use two lens to measure the strike zone. A light would indicate a strike, no light meant a ball outside the strike zone. You can see a drawing of the Holiday’s invention (along with many other Wyoming patents) by searching the State Library’s Wyoming Inventors database for the links to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

As a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), the Wyoming State Library can assist with general questions and provide assistance and instruction in the use of patent and trademark resources. Contact Karen Kitchens for additional information or questions at or (307) 777-7281.

Grand Openings at UW Libraries

All are invited to the October 26 grand opening of the Student Innovation Center, a partnership of the College of Engineering & Applied Science and UW Libraries. President Laurie Nichols will make opening remarks, and refreshments will be served in Coe Library Room 233 at 4:00 PM.

And on October 27, stop by for the grand opening of the Libraries’ One-Button Studio & Studio Coe. Beth Worthen, Chair of UW Libraries Development Board, and Ivan Gaetz, Dean of Libraries, will make opening remarks, and refreshments will be served in Coe Room 206 and 105 at noon.

Wyoming’s Top Ten Artifacts Named

FIRST PLACE– Case Farm Truck

The Wyoming State Historical Society has announced the winners of the state’s 2017 Top Ten Artifacts, chosen from more than 20 submissions, and voted on by more than 1,700 individuals. This is the Society’s third year hosting this project in partnership with the University of Wyoming Libraries.

The project draws awareness to historic collections at museums and libraries across Wyoming. Submissions included documents, books, fossils, clothing, artwork and much more, each one showcasing a unique corner of Wyoming history. The winning artifacts for 2017 are:

  • FIRST PLACE– Case Farm Truck submitted by the Brinton Museum, Big Horn.
  • 2nd Place– Jim Bridger Rifle, submitted by the Museum of the Mountain Man, Pinedale.
  • 3rd Place-Tyrannosaurus Rex Skeleton, submitted by the Tate Geological Museum, Casper.
  • 4th Place-Yellowstone Observation Wagon submitted by the Wyoming State Museum, Cheyenne.
  • 5th Place– Bighorn Sheep’s Skull submitted by the Dubois Museum, Dubois.
  • 6th Place-smith-Sherlock Cash Register submitted by South Pass City State Historic Site, South Pass.
  • 7th Place-Heart Mountain School Bell submitted by the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Powell.
  • 8th Place-Jesse Cole Headstone, submitted by the Laramie Peak Museum, Wheatland.
  • 9th Place– George Dunning Confession submitted by the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum, Buffalo.
  • 10th Place—Weed’s Automatic Nightherder Gun submitted by the Carbon County Museum, Rawlins.

Additional assistance came from Steve Boss and Mark Roller from the UW Libraries IT Department who handled the technology aspect and support in getting the material on the Internet.

Social Media and Libraries Webinar Series

Registration is now open for the Social Media and Libraries Webinar Series, hosted in collaboration by WebJunction and TechSoup for Libraries. This series will highlight social media best practices to keep patrons and library staff engaged, develop measurable goals, and cultivate new readers and learners in your community.

Register now for one or all three of the webinars!

  • Part 1: Getting Started with Social Media for Your Library
    Tuesday, October 24, 12:00-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time
    Social media has the potential to increase community engagement with new and existing library patrons. Learn how libraries can effectively use social media tools, even with limited staff and time.
  • Part 2: Social Media Analytics: What to Measure and Why
    Thursday, November 30, 12:00-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time
    Now that you are using social media to engage with your community, how do you know if it’s working? Learn the best methods to measure your library’s social media outcomes.
  • Part 3: Going Deeper with Social Media
    Tuesday, December 19, 12:00-1:30 p.m. Mountain Time
    Learn how to take the next steps toward amplifying your library’s social media program. This third webinar will discuss best practices in growing your library’s social media program and managing user engagement.

If you can’t attend a scheduled live session, the recordings will be available for you to watch at your convenience. Whether or not you plan to attend, please take this brief Social Media and Libraries Survey. Initial survey results will be shared in the webinars, and a final report with survey analysis will be available in early 2018.

UW Geological Museum Receives IMLS Grant to Digitize Rare Fossils

Thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the University of Wyoming Geological Museum will be able to make more of its rare fossil mammal collection available to researchers, schools, and the public.

The two-year project, “The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-PG) Fossil Mammal Project: Digitizing and Sharing Wyoming’s Rare Fossil Mammal Collection for Understanding Mammal Extinction and Recovery through Ecosystem Collapse,” will support the creation of 15,000 research-quality images of 5,000 rare mammal specimens from the collection, which spans the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction.

The 5,000 specimens to be digitized originate from sites in Wyoming, including the Big Horn Basin, Hanna Basin, the Great Divide Basin near Bridger, and the Lance Formation located near Lusk. Once digitized, images from the project will be made globally accessible through both the museum’s online database and the large data aggregator and web portal.

UW Libraries’ Chad Hutchens, Director of the Digital Collections Office, will coordinate with Information Technology and the Advanced Research Computing Center to secure web-accessible and preservation-level storage of specimen images and associated metadata. Hutchens will also supervise an undergraduate student who will handle file management and transfer, metadata entry, and quality assurance.

Read the full story to learn more about the project.

October 2017 Outrider Now Available

Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the October 2017 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month.

Have news you’d like included? Contact Susan Mark, WSL publications specialist, at or (307) 777-5915. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Encourage Your Teens and Tweens to Enter Letters About Literature

Level 1
Grades 4-6

Level 2
Grades 7-8

Level 3
Grades 9-12

Wyoming students in grades 4-12 are invited to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) of a book that changed their lives. The 2017-18 Letters About Literature reading and writing contest is open and accepting entries.

Postmark deadline is January 12, 2018.

Letters About Literature is a Library of Congress national reading/writing promotion program. Entries will be judged at the state and national level in three age categories: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, and grades 9-12. Students could win Amazon gift cards up to $150 in Wyoming competition and cash prizes in national judging.

Both individual and classroom entries are welcome. Resources are available for teachers and librarians:

  • An upcoming Letters About Literature webinar on October 25 at 2 p.m. MDT will explore 25 years of best practices. Certificates for CEUs will be available upon completion of the live program.
  • The Letters About Literature Teaching Guide provides activities and addresses how the program can dovetail with curriculum for teaching reading, and writing.
  • Winning letters from past years provide students with examples.
  • Last, but not least, the Wyoming State Library has created ready-to-print promotional posters for you to use to spread the word. We’d love it if you’d encourage the teens and tweens you work with to enter!

Guidelines, the teaching guide, and winning letters from previous years may be found on the Letters About Literature website. Questions may be directed to Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library publications specialist, at or (307) 777-5915.

National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

On Wednesday, October 25, the National Archives will host the fifth virtual Genealogy Fair via webcast. Viewers can participate with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. All of the session videos and handouts will be available from this web page free of charge. You can watch the sessions and download the materials at your convenience.

Session Schedule (all times MT):

  • 8 a.m.: Welcoming Remarks
    Archivist of the United States of America David S. Ferriero
  • 8:05 a.m.: Taking Care of your Family Heirlooms
    Training Conservator Katie Smith, National Archives at College Park, MD
  • 9 a.m.: 19th Century Ancestors in Tax Assessment Records
    Archives Technician Elise Fariello, National Archives at Chicago, IL
  • 10 a.m.: From the Cradle to the Grave: Birth, Childhood, and Death in the National Archives at St. Louis
    Archivist Daria Labinsky & Archives Technician Cara Moore, National Archives at St. Louis, MO
  • 11 a..m.: A is for Archives, B is for Burn File: Accessing Burned Records at the National Archives at St. Louis
    Preservation Specialist Ashley Cox, National Archives at St. Louis, MO
  • 12 p.m: Locating the Relocated: Deciphering Electronic Records on Japanese Americans Interned During World War II
    Archives Specialist John LeGloahec & Archivist Jana Leighton, National Archives at College Park, MD
  • 1 p.m.: Beyond the War Relocation Administration: Finding Japanese Relocatees in Other Records
    Director, Gwen Granados, National Archives at Riverside, CA
  • 2 p.m.: Closing Remarks
    Executive for Research Services Ann Cummings

Are you going to miss the live broadcast?  The National Archives has you covered. The video broadcasts and the presentation materials will continue to be available after the live event. offers many genealogy resources for Wyoming residents. Check out the Genealogy Resources in GoWYLD LibGuide for links, tutorials, research guides, and more.