All posts by Susan

Happy Wyoming Snapshot Day 2020!

Wyoming Libraries Snapshot Day logoToday, October 21, is Wyoming Libraries Snapshot Day, where we celebrate the impact our libraries have on their communities every single day. We’re collecting photos, stories, and video that show how patrons are using and enjoying their libraries.

We’ll be sharing throughout the day. Follow all the action here:

If your library hasn’t signed up to participate, it’s not too late! Contact Susan Mark at the Wyoming State Library, or (307) 777-5915.

Wayne Johnson Has Passed Away

Photo of Wayne H. Johnson
Wayne H. Johnson (1942-2020)

Former Wyoming State Librarian Wayne H. Johnson passed away on October 16, 2020. He was 78.

Wayne served as the Wyoming State Librarian from 1978-1989. He was also a former state legislature in the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1992 to 2004 and then in the Wyoming Senate for another 12 years.

His obituary with information on services may be found on the Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home website.

The family requests no flowers, but those desiring to remember Wayne may donate to the charity of their choice.

Laramie County Receives Compassion-in-Action Award

Pictured left to right: Ed Boenisch of Compassionate Cheyenne, Beth Howard of Compassionate Cheyenne, Carey Hartmann Executive Director Laramie County Library System, Linda Franklin of Compassionate Cheyenne
Pictured left to right: Ed Boenisch of Compassionate Cheyenne, Beth Howard of Compassionate Cheyenne, Carey Hartmann Executive Director Laramie County Library System, Linda Franklin of Compassionate Cheyenne

From Laramie County Library System

Laramie County Library System was honored with the Compassion-In-Action Award from Compassionate Cheyenne in a small ceremony at the library earlier this month. The award, which seeks to recognize organizations or individuals who are helping foster compassion throughout the community, acknowledged the library’s efforts to welcome and support every single member of the Laramie County community. The award extends to all library facilities including the libraries in Cheyenne, Burns, Pine Bluffs, and the Bookmobile.

Ed Boenisch nominated the library in January of 2019 and Beth Howard, a member of the Compassionate Cheyenne working group, presented the award. Howard read from Boenisch’s nomination, stating, “The Library, like many others in the country, has consistently opened its doors to the homeless and those in need of support. The Board of Directors and the Executive Director and all employees have committed to this compassionate service and have made it a priority through staff training. Without this long-term commitment, those in our community who find themselves on the margins would not have these comprehensive services, caring and support.”

Boenisch’s nomination cited the library’s modern computer lab, which provides access to the Internet for individuals from all walks of life; its warm, welcoming, and accessible building that provides a safe place during the cold winter and hot summer months; and an abundance of library resources available for free to those in the community. Howard went on to recognize the library’s efforts in serving the community during the COVID-19 crisis by providing contactless pick up of library items and by safely reopening its building.

Executive Director Carey Hartmann accepted the award certificate along with a $100 donation from the Sunrise Rotary Club, with funds provided by RBC Wealth Management. Hartmann said that the award was extremely meaningful for Laramie County Library System and stated, “all employees at the library care deeply about the people that we serve.” She continued that to have the library’s efforts acknowledged during these difficult times provided great meaning for the organization.

October 2020 Outrider Now Available

Outrider newsletter header

Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the October 2020 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.

Do you know any library colleagues, trustees, advocates, or volunteers who might be interested in the Outrider? Please share the news with them and encourage them to sign up for our monthly email.

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

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of October 19

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of October 19 from the Wyoming State Library Training Calendar. Descriptions are below. You can subscribe and view the events in your calendar software, or you can find all the events at

All times MDT

Monday, Oct 19 (12:30-1:30 pm)
A Library for Everyone: Building a Model for Library Digital Accessibility (Idaho Library Commission)
Want to know more about the ways libraries can support digital accessibility? Learn from the expertise of Boise State University librarians Rebeca Peacock and Amy Vecchione using their digital accessibility research to show how you can apply the lessons learned in your library. In this presentation, you’ll learn what digital accessibility is and how meeting digital accessibility needs supports everyone! In addition, they will share easy to implement techniques and tools to improve the library experience for everyone.

Tuesday, Oct 20 (9-10 am)
Orientation to Law Library Collections  (Law Library of Congress)
This webinar is an online version of the one-hour on-site orientations taught by legal reference librarians from the Law Library of Congress, and will cover digital resources available through the Law Library’s website as well as those available on-site.

Tuesday, Oct 20 (11-12 pm)
So You Want to Write a Grant? (CharityHowTo)
In this live, interactive webinar we will discuss how grants can help your organization implement new programs or projects to best achieve its mission. We will also address the common pitfalls encountered by many organizations seeking grants for the first time as well as common challenges for new grant writers.

Tuesday, Oct 20 (11-1 pm)
Impact: Empowering Libraries and Communities Through Digital Lending (Library Leaders Forum)
Learn from libraries that have implemented controlled digital lending and hear from users about the impact the library practice has made for them.

Tuesday, Oct 20 (12-1 pm)
Must-Read Mysteries (Booklist)
Calling all armchair detectives! Whether you prefer your mysteries and crime fic cozy, hardboiled, paranormal, or procedural, you’ll want to join us for this webinar where representatives from Oceanview Publishing, Severn House, and Soho Press will clue you into the season’s hottest mysteries, thrillers, crime fiction, and more. Attendees will also hear from Kathy Sexton and Dontaná McPherson-Joseph, librarians at Oak Park Public Library, about ordering for the latest trends in these heart-stopping stories.

Tuesday, Oct 20 (1-2 pm)
Marrying Accuracy and Empathy to Improve Customer Experience (Training Magazine Network)
Accuracy is critical to your business and empathy is the ultimate soft skill, but marrying the two skills together for learners, especially virtually, can be a challenge. By connecting these skills together in the context of the role, you can establish neural pathways that support positive customer interaction.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (9-10 am)
Events in a Digital Age: How to Maximize Offline Events in an Online World (Firespring)
With the vast number of online tools available, you can streamline everything from event registration to email marketing to social media, ensuring you capture your audience right where they are: online. Join us to learn how to plan your next event with digital in mind from day one.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (9-10 am)
Migrating to an Open-Source ILS in an Academic Library (Nebraska Library Commission)
In this session, we will discuss the preparation of data for migration, the design of the OPAC and the patron experience, the implementation of supported Koha, the process of working with staff and faculty on a major migration, and, of course, communication. By describing the ways in which this process differs across public and private institutions, this session will help librarians to understand the process of migration, the many ways in which migrations can go right, and some ideas of what to do when something inevitably goes wrong.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (9-10 am)
How to Raise $100,000 or More through a Pivot Campaign (NonProfit Hub)
In this special event with veteran capital campaign expert Andrea Kihlstedt, you’ll find out how to raise money through a Pivot Campaign, applying principles of capital campaign fundraising to your organization. Andrea will share five powerful campaign lessons you can put to work this fall to raise more money. You’ll learn how the pivot campaign plan worked for organizations that have used the campaign model.  You’ll leave with practical road map to conducting a pivot-campaign for your organization. Don’t miss this lively session with one of our field’s pros.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (11-12:30 pm)
Care of Outdoor Collections (Connecting to Collections Care)
Many institutions deal with common outdoor collection types like sculptures and fountains. But what about objects like architectural elements, farm implements, and transportation related items? In this webinar we will bring together conservators from different regions and climates, specifically the Northeast, West Coast, and the South, to discuss how institutions manage all of these types of outdoor collection objects ranging from the common to the more unusual.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (12-1 pm)
Where Does Governance Stop and Management Begin? (Propel Nonprofits)
A nonprofit’s board and the staff need to be collaborative partners to achieve the mission of the organization. However, there are times when roles and responsibilities become blurred. Join us as we clarify where governance stops and management begins.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (12-1 pm)
TRAILS Webinar: Embedding OER Into Your LMS with Accessibility & UDL Best Practices (Montana State Library)
Trying to think of ways to save your students money while still providing quality content? This session will get you started with embedding OER (Open Educational Resources) into your LMS in an accessible, user-friendly way. Join us to see multiple examples of incorporating OER as well as UDL (Universal Design for Learning) best practices into your instruction.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (12-1:30 pm)
Teaching Social Justice: Navigating the Deep Waters of Equity in Early Childhood Programs (Early Childhood Investigations)
In this compelling webinar, early childhood teacher, equity expert, and author, Nadia Jaboneta will share the story from her most recent book, You can’t Celebrate That! The session will explore the depths of Nadia’s riveting social justice journey as she partnered with families to explore cultural identity, religious celebrations and expressions of racism in response to a biased comment by one child to another in her diverse preschool class.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (12-1:30 pm)
Citizen Science & Libraries: Fight Plastic Pollution Through Citizen Science Online Presentation and Q&A (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
Register for this event for an introduction to citizen science, to learn more about libraries as hubs for citizen science, and to learn how to participate in citizen science projects that study the environment through a presentation and online Q&A.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (2-3 pm)
What new digital inclusion models (partners and funding) are coming together due to the pandemic? (National Digital Inclusion Alliance)
Learn from libraries and non-profits about their successful strategies for connecting the disconnected during the pandemic.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (2-3 pm)
Metrics Toolkit: A Tool for Navigating the Research Metrics Landscape (National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
The Metrics Toolkit is an open access resource aimed at helping researchers, evaluators, and librarians understand and responsibly use research metrics, including bibliometrics and altmetrics. The Toolkit provides evidence-based information about research metrics across disciplines, including how each metric is calculated, where it can be found, and how it should (and should not) be applied. Join this PNR Rendezvous to hear how it can be used by librarians to facilitate research impact outreach and education efforts, helping authors and institutional evaluators gain knowledge about specific metrics and choose appropriate metrics based on the type of impact being considered and the nature of one’s work.

Wednesday, Oct 21 (3-4 pm)
Virtual Libraries for Remote Learning (
In this edWebinar, Michelle Luhtala, a high school librarian, will discuss strategies and feature learning tools that have facilitated remote learning in their learning community. In this “boots-on-the-ground” dive into practice, successes and challenges will be shared alike. Lively discussion is the goal for this presentation where participants will be encouraged to share their best practices.

Thursday, Oct 22 (9-10 am)
The Erased Labor of Digital Libraries (Lyrasis)
At university-run digital library shops, there is a growing demand for more cheaply paid labor than ever before. The immense, and perceived, backlog of items waiting for digitization and metadata is now colliding with born-digital materials and scholarly communications scope drift. This daily work is being disproportionately disbursed to part-time MLIS paraprofessionals, graduate students, interns and even volunteers. The tradeoff offered to these powerless groups is ‘professional experience’. While this gives students and paraprofessionals an edge on the job market, our conversation will discuss the financial, emotional, and perceived ‘cost’ of this tradeoff. This session will include live, but anonymized, data collection and active conversation with attendees. Results of the data collection will be published during the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

Thursday, Oct 22 (11-12 pm)
How to run crowdfunding campaigns for your nonprofit that will generate serious revenue (Charity Village)
In the wake of COVID-19, cancelled in-person events have left many nonprofit managers struggling to replace lost revenue and create new streams for donations. As our current climate goes more and more virtual, crowdfunding has been on the rise as a great way to safely engage donors into giving and to continue raising funds – no matter what happens with the ongoing pandemic.

Thursday, Oct 22 (11-12 pm)
“Everything’s in 300”: Moving from Dewey Decimal to BDC at the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (Maskwacis Cultural College)
The Dewey decimal classification has long been the standard of organizing library collections around the world, but a First Nations tribal council in B.C.’s Central Interior says it will ditch the system because of its colonial legacy. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council is transitioning to the Brian Deer Classification System, which was developed by the late Kahnawake Mohawk librarian Alec Brian Deer in the 1970s. Its taxonomy is based on the geographical locations of Indigenous communities. The session will include project planning and scoping, appraising the collection, classification development, tools and resources, and developing manuals and teaching guides for cataloguing work.

Thursday, Oct 22 (12-1 pm)
Literacy Development: How to Avoid COVID Slide & Digital Divide Pitfalls (Booklist)
Looking for a simple and proven way to build confidence, stamina, and literacy outcomes for struggling readers? How about a format that address the equity challenges at the forefront of our minds or the current COVID-slide reality? In this lively program, Booklist and Thorndike Press from Gale, a Cengage company, will be joined by two youth librarians and large print advocates. Melissa Jacobs, (Director of Library Services for the NYC Department of Education & NYC School Library System) and Brenna Shanks (Selection Librarian, King County Library System) will share their philosophies and best practices for incorporating large print into a youth collection in a conversation moderated by Booklist associate editor Heather Booth.

Thursday, Oct 22 (12-1:30 pm)
Customizing the New Pocket Response Resource (Lyrasis)
The new ArtsReady 2.0/dPlan Pocket Response Resource, (“PRR”), is a free document designed specifically for arts and cultural organizations. The PRR puts critical emergency information in the pocket (or device) of staff, crew and volunteers, ensuring they have immediate access to information they’ll need in the first minutes and hours of any type of emergency. The PRR and Instructions, available for free download, prompts organizations to collect critical contact information on one side, and critical action steps such as evacuation, crisis communications, situational assessment, and prioritizing assets to be protected or salvaged on the other. While the Pocket Response Resource is designed to be “do it yourself,” this webinar will provide you with guidance and recommendations to maximize the utility of your PRR.

Thursday, Oct 22 (1-2 pm)
One Step at a Time: How Libraries Can Promote Healthy, Thriving, and Livable Communities (WebJunction)
This webinar will highlight the multiple benefits of walking and walkable communities, and provide the information and inspiration you need to join the hundreds of public libraries around the country that are contributing to the development of healthy and resilient communities. Learn how to advocate for safe walking routes to your libraries, how to partner with parks and recreation, local transportation departments, and others committed to building safe, accessible, equitable places to walk and move.

Thursday, Oct 22 (6-7 pm)
AASL Town Hall (American Association of School Librarians)
Leading Learning: AASL Town Halls return as educators prepare to return to school – in whatever format the learning environment may take. Join Jennisen Lucas, District Librarian, Park County School District 6, and Sylvia K. Norton, Executive Director, American Association of School Librarians, and your colleagues to talk about how you’re updating your practice based on lessons learned from the spring.

Saturday, October 24 (9:30am-5 pm)
SLJ Summit 2020 (School Library Journal)
In this free, day-long event, you’ll gain skills, ideas, and support in leading the change you want to see in your library, school, and community.

5 Things About the State Archives

Front of the Barrett Building where the Wyoming State Archives is located.

From the Wyoming State Archives

In celebration of American Archives Month in October, archival entities throughout the country highlight the importance of records and historical documents. While most people have heard of state archives, many are not aware of what they do. In celebration of American Archives Month, here are “5 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About the Wyoming State Archives!”

  1. You can access the Wyoming State Archives from home.
    Many of the State Archives digital resources are available online. Things like historical photographs, newspapers, maps, oral history interviews, and the Wyoming Blue Books, a one-stop shop for information on the history of Wyoming government, and a variety of other information. Just go to and start browsing!
  2. What do you want to know about your Wyoming? You can research your family, town, school and lots more! Got a question about Wyoming history? We probably have an answer.
    The Wyoming State Archives is THE resource for Wyoming information and history. Information on historical events, the famous and infamous, community history, is available. Plus, reference archivists are available to help you with your informational search. The Archives is an invaluable tool for student research. With decades of combined experience using the materials, if they don’t have an answer to your question, they usually know where to look for it. There’s a reason why many authors visit the archives to research information for their books and articles.
  3. The Archives has a database of historic Wyoming Photographic collections.
    The Wyoming State Archives houses the photographic collections of J.E. Stimson, Frank Meyers, Thomas Carrigen, Miller-Meyers and Fendley. These historical photos are available for framing, use in books, etc for a small fee. Start looking now and you’ll be lost in history before you know it. And, you can come in to see our 250,000 photo collection any time, too!
  4. Archives are digital, too.
    This year the State Archives added the 1,000,000th file to our Digital Archives. You spend your work days on your computer, and so do state employees. The State Archives has a secure way to save and manage all those digital files, so the state’s history will be preserved, no matter what format the records are in.
  5. You can be a part of history.
    The Wyoming State Archives, along with the Wyoming State Museum and American Heritage Center in Laramie, is documenting the COVID-19 pandemic and requests public submissions. Items like diaries, written accounts, videos, vlogs, pictures, and other documents will provide researchers in the future a better picture of life during the current pandemic. Collecting these items now will ensure that the memories survive. The more stories that are added, the more complete a picture scholars of the future will see. We welcome submissions from any and all viewpoints, and communities large and small.
  6. BONUS – The Archives is a darn interesting place to visit.
    Whether you are researching Butch Cassidy, the Tea Pot Dome, Matthew Shepard, or the many and various other stories and people associated with the Cowboy State you will find a variety of resources and information about the topic.

American Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the important of records of enduring value. Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to information that has lasting value, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records.

The Wyoming State Archives is located in the Barrett Building first floor, 2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne WY 82002. For further information, contact Kathy Marquis, State Archivist at 307-777-8691 or message her at

The State Archives is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you require special assistance, contact (307) 777-7826.

Opening November 1: Letters About Literature Contest

Letters About Literature 2021 logoWyoming 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 2021 Wyoming Letters About Literature reading and writing contest will open November 1, 2020. Postmark deadline is January 9, 2021.

Wyoming Letters About Literature is a reading/writing promotion program. Entries will be judged at the state level in three age categories: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, and grades 9-12. At each age level, winners will receive an Amazon gift card worth $150 for first place, $100 for second, or $50 for third. Both individual and classroom entries are welcome. Questions may be directed to Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915.

Promotional Posters

Help spread the word. Download and print our promotional posters below and post them in your school, library, or any other location where you might reach teens and tweens.

Poster image for Letters About Literature all ages

All ages

Letters About Literature thumbnail of poster for grades 4-6

Grades 4-6

Letters About Literature thumbnail of poster for grades 7-8

Grades 7-8

Letters About Literature thumbnail of poster for grades 9-12

Grades 9-12

Find more information at

Snapshot Day One Week Away

Wyoming Snapshot Day will be held October 21, 2020, and if your library isn’t already signed up, we’d love to have you join us. Contact Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915 to add your name to the list. We’d particularly like to see more school, academic, and special libraries participate.

On Snapshot Day, we ask you to collect photos and/or comments (and/or videos, if feasible) that tell the story of your library’s value each and every day of the year. Here at the WSL, we use these materials for advocacy, and we encourage you to do the same. We understand you may have questions:

What do I need to do to participate?
We have instructions for librarians on the website.

October 21 doesn’t work for me. May I do another day?
Yes! Please do. Just pick a day somewhere near the 21st and let us know. Same deal if you have a special event on a different day that you’d like included.

How do I promote Snapshot Day in my library?
Check out the forms, logos, and flyers we have available to you, including a tip sheet on how to make your Snapshot Day a success.

What if we don’t have a lot of staff time?
Even if you snap only a handful of photos, it adds to the overall results. You may do as little or as much as you’d like. We like to see as many libraries as possible represented.

What if I’m in a school or other library that has restrictions on taking photos of our patrons/students?
You are welcome to take photos of staff, stacks, displays, backs of heads, or “bookface” pics. You can also collect anonymous comments.

How do I send in my photos, comments, or videos?
You will email them or share them online to Susan Mark and she will add them to the Snapshot Day website and to social media. Specific instructions will be sent out to participants by email.

What’s the deadline for signing up?
None. If you decide the morning of October 21 to join in, we’ll happily take your comments, photos, and videos.

What if I have another question?
Contact Susan at or (307) 777-5915 and she’ll be glad to help you.

WSL People and Services in Video

The Wyoming State Library used federal funds to help sponsor last week’s Wyoming Library Association virtual conference. As part of that, our Library Development Office created these two brief videos to help the library community get to know our people and services a little better. We hope you enjoy them!

Funds for the sponsorship came from Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding received through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Learn more about how the WSL uses federal funds to support library services across Wyoming.

People News

Have People News at your library? Send it to Susan Mark at

Photo of Maria Wenzel

Maria Wenzel is the new Rawlins Branch Manager for Carbon County Library System. Originally from Mexico city, Maria arrived in Wyoming after living in the Houston area for the last six years where she put in practice the knowledge gained from her Project Management Program (PMP) certification in leadership and management. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from National Autonomous University of Mexico, and loves to utilize her creative side when possible. She loves to inspire others and lead by example.

Photo of Linda Rae Waggener

Linda Rae Waggener of Laramie died September 12, 2020, following a long journey with cancer. She was 55. Linda was a Senior Library Assistant at the University of Wyoming Libraries. She began her library career in high school as a page at the Sweetwater County Library. She earned her M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston (now Simmons University) in January 1991. Read her full obituary. While being treated in 2019 for late-stage cancer, Linda earned a master’s degree in American studies at UW, doing extensive research on Wyoming’s Carnegie libraries.


  Photo of Georgia Nations

The Fremont County Library System is mourning the death of former librarian Georgia Nations. Georgia and her daughter Kristi Dowers were both killed in vehicle crash on October 1. Georgia retired in 2014 after working 36½ years at the Lander Library.  “She truly invested herself in the library through hard work, excellent customer service, and diligence in finding resources for patrons,” FCLS Interim Director Anita Marple, “It was not uncommon for her to race out to a patron’s car if she found one more book to meet their reference need! We will always remember and appreciate the mark Georgia left on our library and community.”