All posts by Susan

Federal Budget Recommendation Would Eliminate IMLS

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget recommendation, “A Budget for a Better America,” once again proposes to eliminate funding for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. While this is the third year that the President’s budget recommendation has proposed eliminating IMLS, Congress has actually increased funding for the agency over that time period.

In Wyoming, IMLS funding through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) supports statewide projects such as WYLDCAT, interlibrary loan, e-content, databases, training, and support of the Wyoming’s 13 state institution libraries. In past years, Wyoming has received approximately $900,000 annually in support of these projects that help improve library services for every resident of Wyoming, down to those in the smallest communities.

The American Library Association, Wyoming Library Association, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and other organizations are closely monitoring this situation.

The State Library administers IMLS funding for Wyoming. For more details on the projects that federal funds support in this state, see

Questions about LSTA funding in Wyoming? Contact State Librarian Jamie Markus at or (307) 777-5914.

Upcoming Webinar: Find Family in Wyoming Newspapers

Join Chris Van Burgh for “Find Family in Wyoming Newspapers” on Tuesday, March 19 from 11:15 a.m. to noon MDT. This webinar explores Wyoming Newspapers (1849-1922) and how you can use this resource to find bits and pieces about your relatives’ time in Wyoming. Did they own a business? Play bridge? Serve in the war? So much to find!

Register for this free webinar to attend We’ll also add it to our webinars index page afterward.

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

Evaluating Your Library’s Programming

By Shauna Swantek, Head of Public Services, Marshall District Library
From the Library of Michigan Dispatch Newsletter

Children’s program at Alpine Branch Library

The new year brings with it a natural time for reflection. Why not apply this to programming at the library as well?  Consider answering the following on your own or with your team. You may need to break the questions down for various demographics you serve.  These are not meant to be yes or no questions; when possible, follow your response with a why explanation.  Be curious as you reflect on the work your library programming staff does.


  • What was the best attended program last year?
  • What program created the most buzz online?  Around town?
  • What program was really unique?  Why?
  • How did we evaluate a “successful” program in the last year:  attendance, feedback, other?
  • What do we do solidly for a core group of people but never seem to see new faces there?
  • Is there a program that needs to be discontinued?  Re-imagined?  Re-scheduled for a different time?  Re-staffed?
  • When was the last time we surveyed our patrons/community to help inform our programming?

New or expanding programming

  • What do we sometimes/often forget about when creating a program?
  • Have we invited local people/organizations in to program with us lately?
  • How are we taking library programming out of our building?
  • Did some programs help us serve people we do not usually see? 
  • What programs did we offer that were multi-generational?
  • What are we/should we be intentional about when creating a program?
  • How might a new program create a community of learners/makers/doers?

Making the most of staff, resources, & programs

  • Who is gifted with a particular program/audience?  Why does this work so well?
  • What programs am I personally most enjoying preparing for/leading? 
  • Are there programs I need to let go or pass on to someone else?
  • How do we tell the story of successful programs to those who aren’t able to attend?

You probably ended up creating some of your own reflection questions and/or notes along the way. The real work is considering how you can apply the answers/information to planning efforts. Look for opportunities and low hanging fruit; start there. Most of all, be honest. If it doesn’t light you up, you may not the right person to lead that program. Try to work with other staff as part of a team so everyone is working from a place of true investment and shining their light on your community.

‘The Path to a Patent’ at the WSL

The Wyoming State Library is hosting a free series on intellectual property, “The Path to a Patent,” from the Rocky Mountain U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. These three interactive sessions during April and May will be broadcast to the State Library at 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. The Path to a Patent will be useful for small business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors — anyone interested in patents and other intellectual property.

The series will cover not just the basics, but also delve deeper into intellectual property topics. Each session can stand alone so participants may sign up for the full series or only the ones that match their interests. All will be held in the State Library’s meeting room.

Pre-registration is requested, but not required.

  • The Path to a Patent, Part I: The patent application process
    Friday, April 5, 2019, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. MDT
  • The Path to a Patent, Part II: Patent searching
    Friday, April 19, 2019, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. MDT
  • The Path to a Patent, Part III: How to file a patent application using EFS-Web
    Friday, May 3, 2019, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. MDT

The Path to a Patent is valuable for a better understanding of intellectual property and how to protect it. While filing for a patent is a legal process, this series will give participants more information and understanding before they take the step of contacting an attorney.

Learn more about The Path to a Patent and other training opportunities from the Rocky Mountain USPTO. Contact Kitchens at or (307) 777-7281 with any questions.

The Wyoming State Library is a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC).

Online Training ‘At Your Leisure’

In addition to the live webinars in our training calendar, each month we try to pick some videos out there that you can watch “At Your Leisure.” We hope you enjoy these ones that caught our attention for March:

Trustee Trouble 5
(Wyoming State Library)
Library Board membership is a great way to give back to the community and the library. Sometimes that first year on the board is tough, there is a lot more to being a library board member than you might think. In this series of episodes, laugh and learn along with Dan, a new library trustee, as he muddles through his first year on the library board. We suggest viewing one episode per month and then as a group, discuss the episode and answer the questions asked at the end of the segment.

Integration Nation: Combining Technology and Library Media
(Wyoming State Library)
Join Megan Dingman and Maggie Unterseher, Library Media Specialists in Campbell County, Wyoming, to explore technology and library media integration opportunities. Hosted by Paige Bredenkamp of the Wyoming State Library. Download the slides

Easy as 1, 2, 3: Practical Tactics to Advocate for Your Library Today
(School Library Connection)
Jump into this webinar to uncover strategies to advocate for your library from the hallway to the town hall, including how to build coalitions to influence policy, craft more powerful narratives about your library, and help administrators see the magic of your library.

Build an A-Team
(Harvard Business Review)
What’s the secret to having an engaged and productive team? It’s having a plan for developing all employees—no matter where they are on their personal learning curves. Better morale and higher performance happen through learning, argues Whitney Johnson. In over 20 years of coaching, investing, and consulting, Johnson has seen that employees need continuous learning and fresh challenges in order to stay motivated.

February-March 2019 Outrider Now Available

Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the February/March 2019 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month. You can also see past issues.

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.

New Ways to Engage With Your Community

By Randy Riley, State Librarian, Library of Michigan (LM)
From the Library of Michigan
Dispatch Newsletter

With the new year comes the opportunity to look at our personal and professional lives and assess how we are doing. We are surrounded by advice and tips on how to lose weight, get organized or how to become the best “you” possible. Each January presents us with an opportunity to make positive changes, try new things and hit the restart button looking at the future. The new year is a great time to look at what your library is doing and consider how it can be strengthened.

Through programs like the Harwood Institute the LM is committed to helping create more community centered libraries and librarians across the state. Consider these library resolutions focused on helping to make sure that your library remains an essential and irreplaceable community institution.

1. Worry more about the needs of your community and less about trends.

It is important to be aware of current trends impacting libraries, but not every new trend is the best fit for your library or unique community. We should not feel compelled to chase every new trend discussed in library journals and at conferences. Every community will benefit from librarians who take the time to get to know their community and find creative ways to serve patrons.

2. Get out into the community more in 2019.

Surveys are a great tool for gathering feedback, but they do not replace community conversations. Responses to surveys are often limited and questions do not allow patrons to provide broader answers to complicated questions. Combine surveys with an increased level of visibility in the community. Join organizations, serve on committees, host town meetings and talk to people wherever and whenever possible. Librarians embedded in their communities almost always have a better understanding of the needs of their patrons.

3. Make programming a job requirement for all staff.

Community centered libraries offer opportunities for people to learn together. Making one person responsible for this duty will not work.

4. Learn something new.

Learn something new that will help make your library a better place.

5. Claim your seat at the table.

Advocate for your library at every opportunity. Request to be on the agenda of local meetings of the city council, chamber of commerce, etc. and strive to keep the community more aware of who you are and what you do. Make sure that you have something to say and be willing to say it.

6. Send library “believers” out into community.

Librarians already love libraries. Create opportunities to send your supporters into the community to spread the “good word” about libraries. Their positive message often has a greater impact on community members and funders.

All the best in 2019.

Women Inventors in the U.S. and Wyoming

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released Progress and Potential: A profile of women inventors on U.S. patents, a report on the trends and characteristics of U.S. women inventors named on U.S. patents granted from 1976 through 2016. The report issued by the USPTO’s Office of the Chief Economist shows that women still comprise a small minority of patented inventors and highlights an untapped potential of women to spur innovation in the United States.

The report delivers several important findings, including:

  • The share of patents that include at least one woman as an inventor increased from about 7 percent in the 1980s to 21 percent by 2016.
  • Even with this increase in patent counts, women inventors made up only 12 percent of all inventors on patents granted in 2016.
  • Gains in female participation in science and engineering occupations and entrepreneurship are not leading to broad increases in female inventors earning a patent.
  • Technology-intensive states, as well as those where women comprise a large percentage of the state’s overall workforce, show higher rates of women inventors.
  • Women inventors are increasingly concentrated in specific technologies, suggesting that women are specializing in areas where female predecessors have traditionally patented rather than entering into male-dominated fields.
  • Women are increasingly likely to patent on large, gender-mixed inventor teams, and are less likely than men to be an individual inventor on a granted patent.

Wyoming’s women inventors have contributed greatly to progress and economic development through their innovations. Here are tidbits on two of them from our Wyoming Inventors Database. For a more complete list from the Equality State, download Wyoming Women Inventors 1890-2018 (MS Word document).

  • The first Wyoming woman to receive a patent was Myrtle M. Wallin of Rock Springs. She received patent number 664,597 for a Work-Holder on December 25, 1900.
  • According to a U. S. Patent and Trademark Office report Buttons to Biotech: U.S. Patenting by Women, 1977 to 1996, Joan D. Sheridan of Cheyenne was the 19th most prolific woman inventor during 1992-1996. She received 20 patents.

The Wyoming State Library offers helpful information for inventors. Visit our Patent & Trademark Resource Center to learn more.

Job Opening: Big Horn County Library Director

From the Big Horn County Library System

Application deadline: April 15, 2019

The Big Horn County Library Board of Trustees is seeking a person to fill the position of Library Director who oversees and advocates for Big Horn County Library System that serves the people in Big Horn County, Wyoming.

Qualifications that are required and desired are MLS, a bachelor’s degree with public library experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience. In addition to library and/or business operations and administrative knowledge, the following are essential professional skills required:

  • competency in QuickBooks and other computer systems that are currently in use or
    may be implemented in future;
  • ability to effectively communicate ideas and information in verbal and written forms.
  • ability to identify priorities, develop goals and strategies to achieve them, meet
    deadlines, assess patron/community needs, and provide quality library services; and
  • excellent interpersonal, leadership, public speaking, customer service
    skills, with the added ability to problem solve.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • budgeting and fiscal management;
  • oversight of programs and services;
  • hiring, training and supervision of library employees;
  • management and organization of acquisitions, and control of collections;
  • maintenance and safety of library buildings; and
  • developing positive public relations with patrons, donor, volunteers, teachers, community organizations, business and city/county officials.

Interested applicants may mail a letter of interest, along with resume, to or no later than April 15, 2019.

Featured in GoWYLD: Ancestry Library

As winter winds down, the month of March feels like a good time to visit your local library for some productive genealogy research. So we’re focused on Ancestry Library, the largest online family history resource available. Ancestry Library edition provides access to family history documents that record the lineage of individuals from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and more. Search census, immigration, birth, marriage, and death records and other primary sources. Remember, Wyoming library users must use this resource in their local library, but it’s worth the trip!

Learn more.

Libraries should have received their mini-marketing kit by email to promote this resource to patrons. If you would like to be either added to or removed from our monthly email list for the mini-marketing kits, contact Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915.