State Archivist Michael Strom is leaving Wyoming to work for the Library of Virginia as the State Archivist of Virginia and director of the Library’s Government Records Services Division. His last day at the Wyoming State Archives will be March 1.
“I’m excited about the new challenge and the opportunity to do some different things,” Michael said. “I’m also looking forward to being more closely associated with a library again, similar to my time working at universities.”
Michael has worked at the Wyoming State Archives for seven and a half years. Before coming to Cheyenne, he spent ten years in university archives, first at Yale University and then at Texas Christian University.
“The opportunity to lead an archives program is what drew me to this position and I’ll always be grateful for the chance to do so,” he said. “When I arrived in Cheyenne, I had no idea how different university archives and government archives are. My staff had a lot to teach me those first few years!”
During his time at the Wyoming State Archives, they’ve increased access to the collections and found more ways to use technology to provide that access. “I would say that establishing the digital archives is our biggest single accomplishment during my time here,” he said. “It’s a valuable service.”
The digital archives provides agencies with a way to manage, preserve, and access their electronic records. The system allows them to apply retention schedules, which means the records will be reviewed and, if appropriate, disposed of on time.
“We’ve recently opened this service up to county clerks, and it’s exciting to be expanding beyond state government,” Michael said. “It’s important to me that the State Archives be a resource to people around the state.”
He added, “Being Wyoming’s State Archivist has been an honor and this new opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without the experience I gained here. I’ll always be grateful for the chance to serve in this capacity.”
Presidents Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. This year it will take place on February 18. The holiday was initially established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington. Now, it serves as a day to remember and celebrate all U.S. presidents, both past and present. Some states require that schools teach children about the U.S. presidents in the days leading up to President’s Day.
Friends, and Fellow-Citizens: The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be cloathed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made.
As one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson made significant achievements for our country, including almost doubling our nation’s territory through the Louisiana Purchase. Learn more about Jefferson in Jefferson Memorial: Interpretive Guide to Thomas Jefferson Memorial. This handbook from the National Park Service describes the Jefferson Memorial and includes a biography of Thomas Jefferson.
It wouldn’t be Presidents Day without a mention of Honest Abe, one of our country’s most highly regarded presidents. Check out Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness from the National Park Service. This handbook presents a description and history of the Lincoln Memorial and a biography of the man it commemorates.
Interested in what it’s like to be in an intelligence meeting with the president? Getting To Know the President by John Helgerson describes the critical process of information sharing between the Intelligence Community (IC) and the Chief Executive, the President of the United States, starting as a presidential candidate. Since 1952, the CIA, and now the Intelligence Community as a whole, has provided presidential candidates and presidents-elect with intelligence briefings during their campaigns and transitions. These briefings have helped presidents be as well informed as possible on international developments from the day they take office.
First published in 1996 and now revised and updated to include accounts of intelligence support to candidates and presidents-elect in the three elections between then and 2004, Helgerson’s study provides unique insights into the mechanics and content of the briefings, the interaction of the participants, and the briefings’ effect on the relationships presidents have had with their intelligence services.
Our country is lucky to have had some amazing leaders. Without their vision and dedication, our nation wouldn’t be what it is today. Happy Presidents Day!
The Wyoming State Library has separate volumes from Herbert Hoover (1929) to Barack Obama (2013) of Public Papers of the Presidents in our print collection. Stop in and explore! Want some guidance on finding federal government information? Contact our reference staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (307) 777-6333.
Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of February 18
Tuesday, Feb 19 (11-12 pm) How to Use Social Media to Raise Money Online (Nonprofit Tech for Good) Packed with practical, how-to advice and examples for small nonprofits on a limited budget, this free webinar will show you how to leverage your social media accounts to raise money and strengthen relationships with donors so they give again.
Tuesday, Feb 19 (12-1 pm) Cybersecurity in Low-Risk Organizations: Understanding Your Risk and Making Practical Improvements (TechSoup) Mission-driven organizations often need support in identifying and fending off basic online threats. For organizations with decentralized operations or a wide volunteer base, proper connectivity is crucial. However, many organizations want to establish an online presence quickly, and they ignore basic security steps, such as using a formal identity system or multifactor authentication.
Tuesday, Feb 19 (12-1 pm) Everything’s Coming up YA (Booklist) The first hint of the spring season has arrived, and we’re here to help you keep your YA collections fresh.
Tuesday, Feb 19 (1-2 pm) Teaching Historical Fiction with Primary Sources (Follett) Teaching with historical fiction is the perfect way to bring those events to life for students. Primary sources can often seem dated or unconnected to the modern life of our students, but through the lens of a narrative, we see the context that allows us to make those connections between the past and the present.
Wednesday, Feb 20 (9-10 am) NCompass Live: Crafting Relevant Community Partnerships Using Archives (Nebraska Library Commission) Historically, archives have told the stories of the dominant society. Increasingly, archives are exploring and filling some of the silences left by the exclusion of many voices. Oral history is a way of actively collecting stories which may not exist in written form. Both the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s LGBTQ+ Voices: The Queer Omaha Archives Oral History Project and the University of Nebraska at Kearney Archives and Special Collections’ Coming to the Plains: Latin@ Stories in Central Nebraska project engage members of diverse communities in telling their own stories. Find out more about these projects during this webinar.
Wednesday, Feb 20 (12-1 pm) Tear Down This Wall: Find & Remove Barriers to Library Use (Colorado State Library) Join us for this interactive session to discuss how to find out who isn’t coming to your library and why, and talk through strategies for breaking down road blocks that some members of your community have to enable them to become more active library patrons.
Wednesday, Feb 20 (12-1 pm) Mindful Leadership: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Academic Library Information Literacy Program (Association of College & Research Libraries) Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just politically correct buzzwords; they are complex ideas that should be addressed by leaders of instruction programs. Mindful leadership involves the thoughtful reflection about and integration of practices that support DEI in our work as instructional librarians. This webinar offers a panel discussion and question-and-answer session examining DEI through the lens of management and leadership featuring four well-known specialists:.
Wednesday, Feb 20 (2-3 pm) Breezing Along with the RML (National Network of Libraries of Medicine) Have you been pondering your 2019 professional development? Are you wondering how other librarians in the region decide when selecting development opportunities? This month we are featuring three MCR network members who will share their experiences from recent conferences and trainings.
Thursday, Feb 21 (9-11:15 am) Deep Dive into COUNTER Code of Practice Release 5 (Library Connect) In this instructional webinar, you’ll learn more about the COUNTER Code of Practice Release 5 (COP5), which goes into effect in January 2019. Lorraine Estelle, COUNTER Project Director, will highlight key points in the development of the new release, touching on metric types and new reports. Then Elena Zapryanova-Hadjinikolova, COUNTER Executive Committee and Director Analytics, Elsevier, will take you step-by-step through the new reports and familiarize you with their use cases.
Thursday, Feb 21 (12-1 pm) Creative and Innovative Recognition Strategies for Today’s Volunteers (VolunteerMatch) Are you doing the right things to recognize the work volunteers do for your organization? Are your recognition strategies and events stuck in the past? In this webinar we’ll discuss what motivates today’s volunteers and discuss strategies for matching recognition to motivation. We’ll also share examples and ideas to incorporate creative and meaningful recognition into your volunteer engagement strategy.
Thursday, Feb 21 (12-1 pm) How to Create a School Makerspace (Demco) This webinar will cover the basics of starting, outfitting, and maintaining a makerspace at your school. Based in part on his best-selling book, Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces, Nicholas Provenzano will share all of his favorite tips, tricks, and tools to help you as you venture into the world of making.
Thursday, Feb 21 (12-1 pm) Stay Mentally Alert and Sane: Government Resources For Good Mental Health (Federal Depository Library Program) This webinar will offer information on where to find resources on mental health including the National Institute of Mental Health, PubMed, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Information on how to help patrons who may have mental health issues will also be presented. Resources in other languages about mental health will be included.
Thursday, Feb 21 (12-1 pm) Superpatients: Patients Who Extended Science When All Other Options Were Gone (National Network of Libraries of Medicine) In his forthcoming book Superpatients, Dave deBronkart, cancer survivor and co-founder of the Society for Participatory Medicine, tells stories of patients who have (literally) extended science when all other options were gone. What do these “superpatients” need and want to achieve their goals in health and treatment? Additionally, what does it mean for the future of medical librarians?
Thursday, Feb 21 (1-2 pm) Using Social Media as a Tool to Advocate Diversity and Inclusion (Infopeople) Social media is a great way to start dialogue and conversations about a variety of topics and to meet customers where they are. This webinar will demonstrate how to use humor, pop culture, children’s materials, and more, to advocate for diverse communities, and to speak up when necessary.
Thursday, Feb 21 (1-2 pm) The Elephant in the Room: Helping Your Community Navigate the Financial Aspects of Healthcare (National Network of Libraries of Medicine) In this hour-long webinar we’ll explore the four components of financial health literacy and how librarians can support education and awareness to empower health consumers as they navigate complex issues of terminology, insurance, unexpected costs and financial barriers to healthcare. Better understanding the financial aspects of healthcare provides one key to unlocking health equity and wellness.
Friday, Feb 22 (7:45am-4pm) Big Talk From Small Libraries 2019
This FREE one-day event is a great opportunity to learn about the innovative things your colleagues are doing in their small libraries. GoToWebinar login instructions will be e-mailed to registered attendees the day before the conference.
The Johnson County Library of 1999 would be unrecognizable to the building’s current patrons.
The building was almost 10,000 square feet smaller. Video cassettes were in vogue. The internet was dial-up. E-books could be found only in the pages of a science fiction novel.
But in both 1999 and 2019, the beating heart of the library has been the same: a friendly bibliophile who loves her community just as much as she loves books.
At the end of June, Cynthia Twing will step down after two decades as the library’s director.
“It just seemed like the right time,” Twing said. “My husband has been retired for five years, and I want to spend more of my time with him. And after the completion of the expansion project (in 2016), I feel like I have accomplished what I came here to do. It’s time for somebody else to have the adventure.”
Twing started working at the Johnson County Library in 1990 as a technical services and young adult librarian. She was appointed the library’s director in 1999. She also oversees the library’s Kaycee branch.
Twing said she has a lot to be proud of in her two decades of service — from being named Wyoming’s Librarian of the Year in 2008 to being the chairwoman of the Wyoming Library Association’s legislative committee in the mid-2000s.
But few accomplishments hold the same place in her heart as the library’s 2016 expansion, which added 10,000 square feet, an expanded children’s area, a teen room, and a local history room.
“Getting that done was really important and fulfilling for me,” Twing said.
In 2014, the Johnson County commissioners pledged $1 million toward the expansion project, and the library board proposed a 1 percent — or sixth-penny — tax that would pay for the other $3.7 million needed for the project. The proposal was that local sales tax would be increased by 1 percent and would continue at that rate until the $3.7 million was collected.
The library faced an uphill battle in passing the tax because voters had been asked to tax themselves for capital improvement projects twice in the past decade and both of those projects had fallen far short of the votes needed to pass them.
On general election night, Twing had a pleasant surprise. The 1 percent tax passed. Approximately 53 percent of voters – or 1,758 people – voted in favor of the tax. Construction started in spring 2015, and the new library opened to the public in summer 2016.
Twing said that her years of work on the project were well worth the effort.
“It’s been really fulfilling to see what this building means to the community and to see everyone embrace it,” Twing said. “It’s quite a legacy.”
Twing will retire in June. Starting this month, the library board will begin searching for a new director. The board will consider candidates both in and outside of Johnson County, Twing said.
Archived Webinar: Integrate Technology and Library Media
Join the integration nation and find ways to combine technology and library media in your school. Megan Dingman and Maggie Unterseher, Library Media Specialists in Campbell County explore opportunities in this archived webinar.
Questions about school library issues? Contact the Wyoming State Library’s School Library Consultant Paige Bredenkamp at email@example.com or (307) 777-6331.
The U.S. National Archives has a new lineup of professional development webinars for educators starting this month. Each features the holdings of the National Archives, along with resources for bringing these primary sources into your classroom. All webinars are free of charge. Advanced registration is required. Find the complete list of programs and more information on their website.
Native American Resources from the National Archives Wednesday, February 20, at 5 p.m. MT
Incorporate records of Native Communities throughout U.S. History into your curriculum, guide student research at the National Archives, and help make National Archives primary sources more accessible to everyone.
This webinar is part of the Native American professional development series. Each program features new resources for locating and using Federal records related to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
An Introduction to DocsTeach Thursday, February 28, at 7pm ET
Join us for an introduction to DocsTeach.org, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. Discover how to find primary sources for teaching history and civics topics. Explore the 12 different document-based activity tools; and learn how, with a free DocsTeach.org account, you can create your own activities or modify existing activities to share with your students. This webinar is suitable for all educators.
Petitions, Protest, and Persuasion: Women’s Voices in the Records of the National Archives Thursday, March 28, at 7pm ET
In conjunction with the new Rightfully Hers exhibition opening at the National Archives in Washington, DC, explore stories of women participating in the political process through petitions, protest, and more in the decades leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Discover primary sources and teaching activities for bringing these voices into the classroom. This webinar is suitable for all educators
On February 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Cottonwood Room, Laramie County Library will host Laramie County Community College history instructor Mary Ludwig as she presents “The Exodusters: Black History in the West,” a powerful presentation that will detail the harrowing 1879 migration of over 15,000 black men, women, and children as they sought new opportunities in western states. Among the stories featured is that of Barney Ford, an African-American who helped establish the Inter Ocean Hotel in Cheyenne.
This event is an exploration of this year’s Black History Month theme, Black Migrations, which, according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, “emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.” The Exodusters were the first mass migration of black peoples in America since the Civil War, and their western communities proved to be pivotal models of pioneer spirit in the burgeoning frontier.
Sheridan’s Best-Kept Secret: The Library’s Wyoming Room
By Mary Ellen McWilliams Used with permission of the Sheridan Press. Part 1 of 3: read Part 2 and Part 3 on the Sheridan Press website.
Many folks are somewhat familiar with The Wyoming Room at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library. Only a few, however, have more than a cursory knowledge of the treasures tucked away, out of sight, in its many file cabinets, drawers, shelves and storage areas. These contain a remarkable wealth of information, primarily relative to Sheridan County, regional and state history.
The extension was planned by then library director Alice Meister and The Wyoming Room’s first director, the late Helen Graham. Author-historian David McCullough, a man with no lack for words, written or spoken, gave the opening presentation Nov. 11, 1986.
The room would store, and make available to the public birth, marriage, cemetery, and early arrest records, city directories and town hall minutes. Graham established obituary files, not generally found in community libraries. A local educator, the late Charlie Popovich, provided the room with extensive school records. The Civic Theatre Guild, the Hospital Auxiliary and many others, brought in their organizations’ materials.
Shelves are full of publications going years back. They include Annals of Wyoming, Wyoming Archaeologist, the Montana Magazine of Western History, Wyoming Wildlife, and many others.
Graham welcomed the meticulous work of volunteer Deck Hunter in identifying all the early Sheridan County homesteaders and mapping their claims. These, along with the Sandorn maps, tracking the city’s development, are housed in an adjoining room.
An extensive genealogical collection fills many shelves and includes years of research on the emigrants into the early mining camps in the county, “World War I Yearbooks,” “The Lineage book of the DAR” and “Colonial Families in the U.S.” The collection makes a fine supplement to the ancestry information available today on the internet.
The Sheridan County Extension Homemaker’s publication of the Sheridan County Heritage Book contains more than 200 family histories plus features on towns, businesses, schools, organizations and institutions as well as brands and land patents. There is a like publication from the Clearmont, Ulm and Leiter area, Vie Willits Garber’s Big Horn Pioneers, and Charlie Rawlins’ history of the Dayton-Ranchester area, In Our Neck of the Woods.
Fifty-eight years ago, Myrna “Mac” Grimm, a member of the fledgling Sheridan County Historical Society, began keeping scrapbooks of our history and recently she brought in her last, the 19th large binder, to the library. They include a wealth of clippings, photos, minutes of meetings, and much more.
Major Sheridan County newspapers from the original issues to today’s Sheridan Press are either digitized or available in print, as are many of the KWYO radio scripts from announcers Bob Wilson and Dr. William Frackelton. Many thousands of photographs are available including in collections of Don Diers, Elsa Spear Byron, George Ostrum, Herb Coffeen, Peggy Cooksley, Dick Lenz and, one just recently arrived, from Ike Fordyce.
Several hundred personal interviews are recorded and on file, including the early Robert A. Helvey taped interviews. These include interviews with Hans Kleiber, Marjorie Masters, Don King, Joe Medicine Crow, Dee Brown, Floyd Bard, and Cheyenne Chief Little Wolf’s daughter, Lydia Wild Hog. Many special collections, such as those for All American Indian Days and Miss Indian America, and the Elsa Spear Byron materials, photos and diaries, are available for research.
Dozens of drawers include alphabetized files on individuals, families, businesses, organizations, towns, places, and events. Thousands of library cards are available to help authors, visitors, and researchers locate what information they wish. Sheridan County Historical Society and Museum board member Helen Laumann has used the collections to gather information for more than 50 programs, titled “Conversations in History,” given at The Hub over the past six years and repeated in many other locations.
Helen Graham retired in 2000, after 32 years with the library and 14 with The Wyoming Room. Her work earned her the State Historical Society’s highest honor, the Cumulative Award for Lifetime Achievement in Western American History. She also won a Distinguished Service Award from the Wyoming Library Association, and a Sheridan County Historical Society Chapter award for her work in The Wyoming Room.
The room has had three managers since, with Karen Woinoski first taking the reins. Karen worked primarily on further cataloging the collections. During her time, staff member Jeanne Sanchez meticulously researched and identified the graves in the old cemetery at Carneyville.
Judy Slack and then Kim Ostermyer followed and their achievements will be addressed in Part II of this column. Thus, the work goes on and new and exciting discoveries never end. We ask the readers to watch for Part II, recognizing co-operative projects, donors, volunteers and further exploring a smattering of the many treasures tucked away and awaiting public enjoyment and use by authors, historians, program presenters, students and researchers worldwide.
Mary Ellen McWilliams serves as an adviser and volunteer for the Sheridan County Historical Society and Museum and the Fort Phil Kearny/Bozeman Trail Association.
Award-Winning YA Author at Campbell County Library
Campbell County Public Library in Gillette will host an author visit from Jennifer Nielsen, the award-winning author of A Night Divided, a young adult novel about the construction of the Berlin Wall. Among its honors, A Night Divided won the Wyoming Library Association’s 2017 Indian Paintbrush Award.
Jennifer Nielsen writes both fantasy and historical fiction novels for youth and teens. Her most recent historical fiction novel, Resistance (Scholastic, 2018) details the experiences of teens who worked for various resistance efforts during the rise of Nazi Germany.
Nielsen will be visiting 8th grade classes in the Campbell County school district on February 20-22 to speak about Resistance in preparation for their 8th grade Holocaust unit and research project. On Friday evening, February 22, at 6:30 pm, Nielsen will give a public presentation about the history behind both A Night Divided and Resistance.
Nielsen’s visit is made possible by the Campbell County Library Foundation, LLC, and a Campbell County Community Public Recreation District grant.
Last Thursday’s Wyoming Library Legislative Reception drew a crowd of more than 75, including about 25 state legislators. We were also treated to a visit by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
As usual, the row of crockpots was a hit. When legislators spend two months away from home, living on restaurant food, a night of home cooking is a welcome treat.
The annual legislative reception is a time when Wyoming librarians have a chance to mingle with their legislators and let them know how much their support is appreciated.