All posts by Jessica Otto

Wyoming Libraries Encouraged to Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month



There is nothing more empowering than getting your own library card. It gives you access to technology, resources, and services to pursue your passions and dreams. That’s why we are so excited that Library Card Sign-Up Month is here again! The American Library Association (ALA) and National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) teamed up in 1987 for the very first Library Card Sign-Up Month, “a national campaign to emphasize the importance of library cards to a child’s education and to combat illiteracy.” Visit the American Library Association Archives blog to read more about the campaign’s history.

Share the following graphic and information from ALA with your patrons, family, and friends to promote this special event:

Marley Dias, author, executive producer, and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks, is joining the American Library Association and libraries nationwide in promoting the power of a library card this September. #1000BlackGirlBooks is an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character. Dias launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015 with the help of GrassROOTS Community Foundation. The goal was to collect 1,000 books by February 2016 and Dias has collected over 13,000 books to-date. Dias’ #1000BlackGirlBooks resources guide can found on the GrassROOTS Community Foundation website.

As honorary chair, Dias wants to remind the public that signing up for a library card provides access to technology, multimedia content and educational programming that transforms lives and strengthens communities. “A library card provides opportunity for discovery and access to a rich and diverse world. It empowers you to make change and experience new stories,” said Dias.

Visit your library online or in-person to see what’s new and take part in the celebration. Libraries across the country are participating.

Do you have friends who don’t have library cards? Invite them to sign up during September and to check-out GoWYLD.net for instant access to e-Books, e-Audiobooks, magazines, language learning, and more resources for library card holders of all ages.

Jessica Otto Promoted to Digital Initiatives Specialist



Jessica Otto

Jessica Otto started a new role this week in the Wyoming State Library Information Services office as the Digital Initiatives Specialist. She will replace Danielle Price, whose last day at the WSL was August 13.

“We are very excited to promote Jessica into the position of Digital Initiatives Specialist,” Abby Beaver, Information Services Manager, said. “Jessica has been an incredible asset to our team and already has practical experience with the software used for the State Publications digital collection. I know she will do a fantastic job!”

Jessica joined the WSL in June 2018 as Collections Technician. In that role, she “worked on a bit of everything” in the library. She oversaw the maintenance of the Wyoming State Library’s physical collections, worked on book processing and repair, and managed the Wyoming Places digital collection. She also used her skills in graphic design, social media management, and copyediting as part of the marketing and publications team.

As Digital Initiatives Specialist, Jessica will be responsible for the acquisition and management of digital-born state publications, supporting state agency outreach, and digitizing historic state publications in the WSL collection.

“My time at the state library so far has been very educational,” Jessica said. “I’ve become part of this amazing Wyoming library community, and I look forward to expanding my connections even more with our state agencies in an effort to provide easier information access for all patrons.”

WYLD Welcomes Cori Hundley



Cori Hundley, Systems Librarian at Wyoming State Library

The Wyoming State Library welcomes Cori Hundley to the WYLD office as systems librarian. This position provides technical support for the SirsiDynix Symphony library system with a focus on circulation and public access, while also working with the GoWYLD databases to resolve technical issues.

Cori has a BA in history from the Ohio State University, and an MLIS from Kent State University. After college, she spent time working at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and for Alaska Mountain Guides in Skagway, Alaska before spending the past five years as Assistant Librarian – Public Services Librarian at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, Wyoming.

“We’re very excited to have Cori join our team,” WYLD Program Manager Desiree Saunders said. “She brings experience from an academic library as well as knowledge of the WYLD network and Wyoming libraries in general.”

Cori said her experience with the IT helpdesk at CWC allowed her to learn a lot about technical support and how much she enjoys the technical side of library sciences. “I always had positive interactions with the WYLD staff, so when the opportunity to join such a wonderful team presented itself, I couldn’t pass up the chance.”

Cori hopes to provide excellent library and technical support to the entire Wyoming library system in her new position. She is excited to learn more about the back-end of the systems that are integral to the flow of information, access, and all the services libraries provide. “I love the mission of all libraries and I’m excited to be part of a team that provides such an important service to those that serve on the ‘front lines’ of library work. It’s an honor to be here.”

An outdoorswoman and hiking enthusiast, Cori also dabbles in martial arts, running, yoga, and rock climbing. She is also a big fan of Marvel, Tamora Pierce, and fantasy novels.

Celebrate Cheyenne Day with Wyoming History



It’s Cheyenne Day today and while the Wyoming State Library offices are closed this afternoon, you can access our digital collections online anytime, anywhere! Our staff has gathered some Cheyenne Frontier Days and rodeo-related content for you to peruse, but you can find much more Wyoming history with each database linked below.

A historic newspaper page with photos of Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1944.
Page 4 of the Fort Warren Sentinel from July 28, 1944.

Wyoming Digital Newspaper Collection
Historic newspapers are full of information, including photographs, illustrations, weather reports, and social columns. Our earliest archive dates back to 1849 but many of these papers survived for only a brief time and disappeared like the boom-and-bust ghost towns of Wyoming and the west. This collection contains 142,270 issues comprising 1,171,758 pages. Here are some of our Cheyenne Frontier Days favorites:
Wyoming Publicity Edition (August 1, 1913)
Wyoming State Ledger (June 27, 1922)
The Wyoming Tribune Eagle (July 27, 1943)
Fort Warren Sentinel (July 28, 1944)

Wyoming Places
This fun digital collection provides information about locations, histories, and name origins of places in the great state of Wyoming. There are twelve search results for the keyword “cowboy,” including Beatty Gulch, named for cowboy James Beatty, who was thrown from his horse at that location. The town of Frontier in Lincoln County is now long-gone, but was once a successful mining town that was “pleasantly located, with good schools and churches, electric light and excellent water system.”

Wyoming Publications
This database contains Wyoming government agency documents and federal publications concerning the State of Wyoming. You’ll find budget requests, agency reports, and even historic brand books:
Official Brand Book of the State of Wyoming (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
Scoping Statement: Checkerboard Wild Horse Removal (2016)

Patent schematics
System for Practicing Roping (Patent 4498676)

Wyoming Inventors
System for Practicing Roping (Patent 4498676 by Robert R. Runner of Pavillion, WY)
Animal Roping System (Patent 8579293 by Casey Sellers and Colter Sellers of Buffalo, WY)
Training Apparatus for Calf Roping (Patent 8297980 by William Clark Reynolds of Wright, WY)

Wyoming Trademarks
Did you know you can check the status of Wyoming trademarks with our digital collection? Our database catalogs Wyoming trademarks, both current and archived, issued since 1881.
Cheyenne Frontier Days (active)
100th Annual 1996 Cheyenne Frontier Days (inactive)
Return to the West (inactive)

Congrats Wyoming Library Leadership Institute Class of 2021



After two years of planning, Wyoming Library Leadership Institute 2021 gathered June 23-25 in beautiful Pinedale, Wyoming. The first day saw participants learning about the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute, the benefits of belonging to a professional organization, and the many benefits of journaling. That evening we celebrated a spectacular Happy Hour hosted at the Sublette County Library to which past WLLI grads were invited. On Thursday, Elissa Ruckle from Elevate Wyoming determined participants’ personality colors and dove deep into communication tips, lizard brain reactions, leadership styles, and generational traits. Friday morning was spent on building and leading teams. Participants enjoyed the beautiful surroundings in Pinedale, the gorgeous Sublette County Library, and amazing meals from local restaurants. Like Wyoming Library Leadership Institute on Facebook to see more pictures of this year’s gathering.

13 people smile and stand side by side in front of a scenic mountain lake view
Left to Right: Susan Parkins, Cindy Mosteller, Jessica Otto, Judi Boyce, Darcy Acord (mentor), Samantha Griffis, Jacque Strike (mentor), Kimberly Redmond, Linda Herget, Tammy Plowman, Liz Palmer, Rachael Svoboda (mentor), and Johanna Tuttle (mentor).
13 women sit at a long restaurant dining table, smiling at the camera.
Clockwise from Left: Jessica Otto, Tammy Plowman, Samantha Griffis, Susan Parkins, Darcy Acord (mentor), Cindy Mosteller, Liz Palmer, Johanna Tuttle (mentor), Rachael Svoboda (mentor), Judi Boyce, Elissa Ruckle, Linda Herget, and Kimberly Redmond

Jessica Otto, Wyoming State Library Collections Technician and a member of the WLLI 2021 graduating class, said she found the opportunity to participate in WLLI “lifechanging.”

“I was able to meet more members of my library community and become a part of something really special,” Jessica said. She also admitted her expectations for the experience were exceeded, “I knew this could help me become a better leader at work, but I wasn’t prepared for all these lessons to apply to my family life, my community life, and even my relationship with myself.”

“My biggest takeaway from the institute was relearning what a leader actually is. Being a leader doesn’t mean doing things before anyone else does or telling all the ‘followers’ how to do their tasks,” Jessica said. “Everyone has their own unique abilities and leadership style. Moving forward, I know that teams are comprised of leaders and there are ways for everyone to lead together.”

Visit the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute’s webpage for more information about its history, participants, and upcoming events or to continue your leadership journey through a volunteer committee position.

Welcome Katelyn Wittenborn to the Wyoming State Library



Katelyn in orange shirt sitting at computer
Katelyn Wittenborn

The Wyoming State Library welcomes Katelyn Wittenborn as our new Interlibrary Loan Technician in the Information Services office. She will be responsible for providing support and training to interlibrary loan staff employed at Wyoming libraries within the WYLD network, as well as assisting with the State Library’s ILL needs, processing library materials, and managing our mail room.

Katelyn originates from southern Illinois, where she attended a local community college before moving to Laramie to attend the University of Wyoming. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in English in the spring of 2020 and is currently working towards her Master of Library and Information Science through the University of Washington’s iSchool.

She has worked in a variety of positions prior to the Wyoming State Library, from farm-sitting during high school to student work in human resources. For the past three years, Katelyn has worked as a writing tutor at the University of Wyoming, and recently joined the American Heritage Center last year where she assisted with digitization for the Rocky Mountain Online Archive. Katelyn’s continuing passion for information access is what brings her to our library.

“We are thrilled to have Katelyn join our team,” Information Services Manager Abby Beaver said. “Not only will Katelyn bring fresh ideas from her library science program, but we are eager to utilize her tutoring skills to develop more ILL training opportunities.”

Katelyn said one of the things she is most passionate about is making information accessible to everyone, no matter their background or circumstances. She hopes to learn as much as she can from her peers in order to provide the best possible experience to ILL users. “Interlibrary Loan Services play a huge part in making sure that everyone has access to the resources and materials they need, no matter where they’re from,” she said. “It’s so rewarding to help facilitate that process and to increase accessibility for patrons.”

A fun fact about Katelyn is that she is a published author, having won a couple of creative writing contents in high school. She says she can’t remember what the names of the publications were, but they’re out there somewhere.

“I’m looking forward to new adventures at the Wyoming State Library,” Katelyn said. “I hope to continue to grow and gain new experiences during my time here, and to always continue learning.”

Job Opening: Natrona County Library Adult Services Specialist



Application deadline is July 30, 2021. Click here for more details.

Adult Services Specialist
Full-time benefited position
Evenings and weekends required

Natrona County Library is seeking a skilled, confident individual who is passionate and eager to deliver services and programs; to help patrons’ research questions, suggest materials to read, teach about library resources and provide dynamic customer service to patrons.

The successful applicant should be able to:

  • Plan and implement programs for specific target audiences.
  • Speak and work effectively with the public and other staff.
  • Understand and effectively communicate value of library services.
  • Confidently interact with patrons for a variety of reasons, including in order to transfer knowledge and skills to patrons in group and 1:1 settings, and to redirect patron behavior as needed.
  • Provide resolutions to patron problems with computers, E-readers, mobile devices and software.
  • Lead book discussion groups, Creation Station programs and other programs and classes.

Must have superior customer service skills. This position requires a high level of technology skills. (e.g. computers, software, media devices, troubleshooting computer/device issues, teaching others.)

Full Job Description can be found here.

WSL Job Opening: Bibliographic Services Librarian



The Wyoming State Library is seeking an experienced individual to serve as the Bibliographic Services Librarian for the WYLD Network office in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

See the full vacancy announcement here.

This position is responsible for assisting library staff throughout the state with issues related to the cataloging, serials, and acquisitions modules in the statewide integrated library system (SirsiDynix Symphony). This position ensures the quality of the bibliographic database by monitoring data entry, resolving issues with cataloging and serials records, creating original records, creating and maintaining related documentation and training materials, and by overseeing the creation and use of authorized headings.

The Bibliographic Services Librarian reports directly to the WYLD Manager and serves as a point of contact for member library staff with questions or concerns about acquisitions, serials, and cataloging practices. This position works with the WYLD Support Team to address basic ILS related issues, plan for the implementation of new features in the ILS, identify training needs, and deliver training to library staff.  Additionally, this person serves on statewide committees when needed and provides a leadership role for other technical services staff in the consortium.

This position is perfect for a candidate who:

  • Has knowledge of national standards and practices including AACR2, RDA, MARC format, authority control, Dewey Decimal Classification, and Library of Congress Subject Headings
  • Has experience using Integrated Library Systems and Library Services Platforms with an emphasis on technical services
  • Demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude when working with library staff and coworkers
  • Can creatively solve problems and negotiate and handle stressful situations in a positive manner
  • Can multitask, prioritize, and demonstrate innovation and flexibility
  • Is comfortable providing training using a variety of methods for users with varying levels of technical expertise

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s in Library Science or equivalent from ALA-accredited institution
  • At least two years of post-MLS professional-level cataloging work in a library, including experience with OCLC
  • Effective communication, interpersonal, organization, analytical, and problem-solving skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people with varying levels of computer skills, as well as the ability to make technology understandable to the library community
  • Ability to work effectively in a team setting and independently
  • Familiarity with library technology standards and protocols such as AACR2, MARC, and RDA

New Grant Opportunities from Wyoming Humanities



Wyoming Humanities logo with the phrase Think WY celebrating 50 years and a magnifying glassWyoming Humanities has two new grant opportunities available, both of which can offer significant dollars to nonprofit humanities organizations and organizations that provide humanities programming. The goal of Wyoming Humanities’ grants is to support public programs that use the humanities to explore the state’s histories, stories, issues, and connections between groups and communities.

Wyoming Humanities American Rescue Plan (ARP) Grant
DEADLINE: Applications available July 15
Wyoming Humanities ARP Grants will support nonprofit organizations as they “prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.” Three grants will be available to support nonprofit organizations across the state: General Operating Support Grants, Programming Support Grants, and Recovery Support Grants.

Wyoming Crossroads Grant
DEADLINE: Applications available July 15
Wyoming Crossroads is a state-wide public humanities initiative to bring humanities perspectives to help Wyoming realize growth out of change. The aim of this grant is to serve the three primary goals of the larger initiative: increase Wyoming’s intellectual, community, social and civic wealth as the state restructures its economy; apply humanities programming in new and innovative ways to reach audiences that do no typically engage in public humanities; and develop new partnerships with groups and associations not typically considered “humanities” or cultural organizations.

Executive Director Shawn Reese and Director of Grants and Programming Chloe Flagg will share the application process, details about the grants, and answer questions during a live webinar on Friday, July 16 at 11 am. Click here to register for Explore New Grant Opportunities from Wyoming Humanities.

For more information, visit the Wyoming Humanities website or contact Chloe Flagg, Director of Grants and Programming, at chloe@thinkwy.org or (307) 721-9246.

WSL Job Opening: LSTA, SDC, Institutions Librarian



The Wyoming State Library is seeking an organized and communicative professional to facilitate library development by providing research, consulting, statistical, and other support to libraries of all types, and to manage federal grant projects.

See the full vacancy announcement here.

This position serves as the State Data Coordinator and engages in regular communications with Wyoming libraries and with colleagues nationally. Statistical duties include collecting, organizing, analyzing, and distributing library data and statistics, supporting the effectiveness of libraries by giving stakeholders data tools for making comparisons, advocating for their libraries, and making data-driven decisions.

Challenges include working with libraries to ensure consistent data reporting. This entails clarity of instruction to libraries, verification of responses, communication, and provision of training. Careful analysis of the numbers, discerning and evaluating the factors that affect the statistics, is necessary to create valid, usable data products. Oh, by the way, the use of a sense of humor with stats work is appreciated.

This position serves as co-coordinator for Wyoming’s federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grants and any additional grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). As a co-coordinator, this person will advise staff on projects supported by federal funds, and ensure adherence to IMLS guidelines and to Wyoming’s 5-year-plan for IMLS funds. Duties include developing, collecting, and maintaining documentation in order to complete the annual report to IMLS on the grant. This person will manage LSTA stipends to libraries at the 13 state institutions, serve as consultant to them, and perform site visits.

As part of the State Library’s reference team, this person will demonstrate exceptional customer service in providing reference services to patrons. In addition, this position will manage the Wyoming Newspapers digital collection.