All posts by Jessica Dawkins

Helping Patrons Apply for Census Jobs

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting over 500,000 people to fill temporary positions in every county across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. Libraries are fantastic and trusted resources for job seekers, especially in rural communities. The American Library Association’s How Can My Library Increase Awareness of 2020 Census Hiring? flyer says, “Helping the Census Bureau reach out to identify and hire qualified, culturally competent workers in every community — people who know the community’s neighborhoods and speak relevant languages — will also contribute to achieving an inclusive, accurate and complete count.”

According to the interactive 2020 Census recruitment map, every county in Wyoming is still in need of census enumerators. Teton County and Weston County have the fewest census enumerators hired, but 14 out of 23 counties only have between 40-60% of the desired census workforce for their locality. Most 2020 Census positions start soon and will last several weeks, offering competitive wages, weekly paychecks, flexible hours, and paid training. You can find job descriptions and qualifications here.

Your library can help promote this important job opportunity to your community members by sharing recruitment information on your website and social media, or through flyers, and handouts. Patrons can also:

  • Text Wyomingjobs (nospaces) to 313131 to receive a recruiting advertisement and link to more information from the U.S. Census Bureau
  • Visit for more information and to apply online, as well as to check your application status, and update or download your application
  • Check current competitive wages for your county using the Pay Rate Calculator

More resources:

Senator Enzi and Librarian of Congress meet with Wyoming Librarians

Dr. Hayden and Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus pose for a picture during the reception.

On Friday, September 6, 2019, Wyoming librarians welcomed Senator Mike Enzi and Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden to the Wyoming Library Directors Retreat preceding a special reception at the Laramie County Library open to all Wyoming library staff.

Dr. Hayden joined Senator Enzi and his wife Diana for an afternoon storytime. The guests read Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face by Larissa Theule, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, and The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen to the delight of both children and adults in the audience. Storytime was followed by a closed meeting, but not before Dr. Hayden had taken a few moments to chat with the younger library patrons.

During the meeting, Senator Enzi and Dr. Hayden spoke personally with library directors from all of Wyoming’s major library branches for an hour and a half. Afterwards, the guests of honor, directors, and library staff were welcomed to a reception celebrating the special visit.


Dr. Hayden, Senator Enzi, and Diana Enzi introduce themselves to their storytime audience during Dr. Hayden’s visit to Wyoming.

The Wyoming State Library would like to thank Senator Mike Enzi, Diana Enzi, and Dr. Carla Hayden for joining us and empowering the minds of library leaders throughout our great state.

Find more photos from this event on our Wyoming State Library Facebook page.

From the Stacks: Vacationland Wyoming

Did you know the Wyoming State Library houses some historic marketing campaigns published by state agencies? “Live and work in Vacationland Wyoming,” say two Wyoming Natural Resource Board brochures from 1957 and 1960. Decorated with art stylistic of their time, the pamphlets contain information on transportation, power, business and health climates, living conditions, and natural resources throughout Wyoming in an effort to bring more citizens to the state.

“Wonderful Wyoming is one of the nation’s favorite playgrounds. A major portion of the state, eighth largest in the U.S., is given over to national forests, national parks and national monuments.”

Each brochure has a map featuring some of the highlights of Wyoming at the time, including a “jackalope area” near Douglas, Star Valley cheese, and various natural resources and production areas for sugar, iron, phosphate, and bentonite.

The Wyoming State Library is the official depository for these and other Wyoming state government publications. You can search our catalog for more or browse our digitized documents in the Wyoming State Publications database. Need help finding the state government information you’re looking for? Contact our reference staff for assistance at or (307) 777-6333.


Innovations for School Libraries

Found in the Big Deal Media K-12 Technology newsletter.

Game Integrating Computational Thinking and Environmental Problem Solving
The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) pioneered Design–Make–Play, a novel approach to learning and engagement, drawing on deeper learning research and supporting the creation of learning experiences that develop critical thinking, knowledge integration, innovation, and creativity skills.

Assessments for Evaluating Historical Thinking
The Olympics Protest is a new assessment from the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) that gauges whether students can identify the historical event depicted in an iconic photograph and evaluate its historical significance. Successful students will draw on their knowledge of the past to identify American track athletes John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising their fists to protest racial injustice while on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics and then explain how the event was historically significant.

Documentary Illustrating Storytelling and Meaning Making with Children
Eric Carle, Picture Writer: The Art of the Picture Book is a 32-minute portrait of Eric Carle, creator of more than 70 books for children, including the bestselling classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In this documentary, Carle methodically layers a tissue paper collage of the caterpillar, pours over thumbnail sketches, and ruminates on drafts of his books.

Reading Under the Stars With Gale

Gale has created new marketing materials for Gale’s Books & Authors (available in that you and your libraries can use to promote Summer Reading. With Books & Authors, readers can explore Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction, Young Adult, Pre-Teen, and Kids titles that will take them to the moon and back.

Find them here.

Questions? Contact Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian, at or (307) 777-3642.

Free Virtual Conference from Library 2.019

(Image from the conference registration website)

Library 2.019: Open Data Virtual Conference
Wednesday, June 5
1 – 4 p.m. MST

This web conference will explore how librarians are using open data, teaching others about it, and even creating it. You’ll learn about tools you can implement in your own library and hear stories from libraries that have partnered with their local and state governments. Armed with practical tools and experiences, you’ll be ready to start diving into open data to help your library and community! Click here for more information and to register.

Free Library Continuing Education Events for June

site logoThe June 2019 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 75 webinars, one mini-conference, and four recordings to watch “At Your Leisure.” 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

GoWYLD Database: CultureGrams for National Poetry Month

Can you find National Poetry Month resources on CultureGrams? You bet!

CultureGrams offers the history of poetry around the world, as well as the various forms poetry can be found in. Searching “poetry” in the World Edition or the Kids Edition (and one entry in the Provinces Edition; the Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Yukon) will provide you with fun and interesting facts in these various cultures—the perfect resource to explore as National Poetry Month winds down over the next week.

Here are a few fun poetry facts we found using CultureGrams:

  • Bangladeshis are generally proud of their artistic tradition, which is much older than their young country. Poetry, music, and literature are highly valued. Ethnic Bengali poetry, known for its passion and emotion, reflects the character of the Bangladeshi people.
  • In the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, orators known as ighyuwa, or griots, sing praise poetry and recite oral histories and other forms of poetry.
  • In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, poetry  is a cherished art. Anciently, poets used their art to shame enemies, record great feats and genealogies, and praise their patrons. Today, poems and stories are both published and preserved orally.

To start exploring CultureGrams, go to, or click here for resources to promote this database in your library.

Wyoming in Poetry: May Preston Slosson

Wyoming is no stranger to literary and artistic celebration. The artists who praise our state are incredibly fascinating, from the fame of Ernest Hemingway to the seldom-heard-of voices of the past. In honor of National Poetry Month, we’re taking a closer look at May Preston Slosson.
May Preston Slosson (1858 – 1943) was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in the United States, likely the first “lady prison chaplain” in the world, and a poet with roots in Wyoming history. Born in New York and raised in Kansas, Slosson lived all over the country before moving with her husband to the city of Laramie towards the end of the 19th Century. There, she organized educational Sunday afternoon lectures for inmates at the Wyoming Territorial Prison, and promoted the institution of prison reform. Slosson became prison chaplain in 1899 at the fervent request of the inmates. This one-of-a-kind feat was featured in Wide World Magazine shortly upon her promotion:
“The Rev. Mrs. May Preston Slosson, of Laramie Penitentiary, Wyoming, is the only lady prison chaplain in the world, and possesses an extraordinary influence over her convict flock. She has already averted one dangerous mutiny, and has done much to ameliorate the lot of the prisoners.”
She served as chaplain and prisoner advocate until Slosson and her family moved to New York in 1903. Mrs. Slosson considered herself spoiled by the rich rights available to women in Wyoming, and she and her husband became leading advocates in the fight for nationwide women’s suffrage.
In 1920, Slosson published a book of poems titled A Quiet Garden, in which much of the content was inspired by or was directly about Wyoming.
See the accompanying images to read more about May Preston Slosson and to read a glimpse of her work. We found these tidbits in Wyoming Newspapers.


Library History: Wyoming Library Association

Before National Library Week comes to a close, we have one more story to share about Wyoming’s library history: the formation of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA).

An October 8, 1914 article published in Laramie’s Weekly Boomerang attributes creation of the association to Basin librarian Agnes K. Snow, who was chairman of the federation’s Literacy and Library Extension Committee. The formation of the association “will tend to increase the usefulness of the county and other libraries in the state and to secure needed legislation, as well as helping librarians in their work.”

Snow proposed the idea of the association before the annual meeting of the Wyoming State Federation of Women’s Clubs in Douglas in August 1913. The federation created a special committee to consider the formation of the group and appointed Snow its chairman, assisted by Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, the first librarian at the University of Wyoming.

The library association held its first meeting on October 7, 1914, signing the constitution and electing officers. The association selected Dr. Hebard as president, Snow as vice president, and W.S. Ingham, librarian at the Laramie Carnegie Public Library, as secretary-treasurer.

There follows a long on-again-off-again account of the association when wartime rationing made transportation and organization funding rather difficult. When membership finally settled out in the middle of the 20th Century, the WLA set to work establishing statewide practices. The association reported legislative success in clarifying bonds for county libraries, changing county library laws to delete outdated practices, and enabling county library boards to organize cooperative library systems crossing county lines in 1961, and helped formulate standards for Wyoming public libraries throughout the 1960s.

Today, the WLA is a staple in the Wyoming library community. The association provides support for libraries and library staff, and according to the WLA mission, they provide leadership, advocate for advancement of Wyoming libraries, educate the library community and users about contemporary library services, issues, and technology, provide members with a network for interaction on professional and social levels, and promote the profession of librarianship and participation of Wyoming libraries in regional, national, and global library arenas. The WLA also organizes and hosts the annual Wyoming Library Association Conference benefiting library staff and library communities around the state by encouraging minds to connect and share.

Find this and more library history of Wyoming with the Wyoming Newspapers Project.