All posts by Susan

Free Continuing Education Events for the Week of January 21

Free, online, continuing education events for the week of January 21 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 MST

Tuesday, Jan 22 (10-11:30 am)
Providing Great Library Service With Skill and Empathy (Utah State Library)
This 90-minute webinar session with Steve provides realistic and practical tools to help all library employees with patron-contact jobs to better deal with entitled, difficult or even angry people, over the counter or over the phone. Steve uses his background in HR, security, and law enforcement to teach this program in a fast, entertaining, and even humorous way. Steve is the author of the ALA 2015 book Library Security and Service! Service! Service!, which is all about how to deliver excellent service to a variety of customers, in many contact settings.

Tuesday, Jan 22 (12:30-1:30 pm)
Social Media 101 for Nonprofits (Firespring)
This session includes practical tips and tools for extending your cause and mission via social media. We cover the basics of using social media for your nonprofit organization and give you handy tips for the “big 3”: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Wednesday, Jan 23 (10-11 am)
Reclaim Your Success: Lessons from Disrupters – Success Strategies from Women Who Break the Mold (American Management Association)
Dr. Patti Fletcher, speaker, advocate, leadership futurist, and author of Disrupters: Success Strategies from Women Who Break the Mold, shares how a disrupter’s mindset enables women to not just break the glass ceiling, but shatter it against all odds. You will take away an action plan with specific lessons learned that can be put into practice right away.

Wednesday, Jan 23 (12-1 pm)
Size Doesn’t Matter: Transforming Big Ideas into Small Library Environments (Programming Librarian)
If you’ve ever heard about a fantastic library idea from a super-big library and thought, “There’s no way I can make that idea work in my understaffed, underfunded small library,” think again! This presentation celebrates all things small and shares big ideas that work in small libraries.

Wednesday, Jan 23 (1-2 pm)
The Future Is Now: Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality in Public Libraries (WebJunction)
Libraries have long been at the forefront of providing community access to new technologies. Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) are now finding a place in library programming and services, engaging with communities in truly innovative ways. Two Maryland libraries are building their programming with straightforward approaches to community discovery and local partnerships. Join us to hear creative ideas for how to get started using VR/AR/MR at your library, as well as practical tips about applications, equipment and potential uses to meet your community’s needs.

Wednesday, Jan 23 (1-2 pm)
Emerging Tech Trends in the Library – Part 9 (Infopeople)
With so much new technology coming at us so fast, it can be difficult to keep up. As part of the Emerging Tech Trends series, presenter Laura Solomon continues the exploration into emerging technology trends, and how these trends might (or might not) re-shape library services.

Wednesday, Jan 23 (1-2 pm)
Leadership in Youth Services, Part 3: Moving Beyond Youth Services (Association for Library Services to Children)
Thinking of the next step in your career? Learn how to translate the things you do everyday in your role as a Youth Services Librarian into desirable supervisory skills on your resume. Get advice from professionals in the field who have made the leap to management and hear what you should be doing right now to make yourself more marketable.

Wednesday, Jan 23 (3-4 pm)
Leading Transformational Learning Through Making (edWeb)
The library makerspace is emerging as a powerful vehicle for increasing library visibility and value to the student community. In this session, Michelle Luhtala, Library Department Chair, and Donna Burns, Technology Integrator, of New Canaan High School in Connecticut, will feature how reorganization and materials selection helped one learning community fully embrace “making” across disciplines and grade levels.

Thursday, Jan 24 (12-1 pm)
National Mentoring Month: Strategies for Mentoring Girls in STEM (National Girls Collaborative Project)
The National Girls Collaborative Project is celebrating National Mentoring Month by highlighting the importance of role models and mentors in empowering girls and young women to actively pursue STEM education and careers. Join us as we cover tangible takeaways for educators seeking to utilize mentors in their programming, in addition to concrete strategies mentors can use to engage girls.. We will also take time to hear from participants and discuss methods for promoting the mentoring work that inspires girls to pursue STEM.

Thursday, Jan 24 (1-2 pm)
I Inherited a Mess! What Do I Do Now? (Texas State Library & Archives Commission)
You’ve landed your dream job. Every position has its challenges, but from day one, week one, or month one, you figure out that the library has problems: collection, human resources, public relations, technology, finance, policies, circulation, programming, or that the 100-year-old building is held together with duct tape. And maybe all of the above. This session is part case study, part plan, and part cheerleading session. Gwin Grimes, director of the Jeff Davis County Library in Fort Davis, Texas will share her decision-making matrix and outline of how to prioritize and plan for a library makeover, large or small.

Apply to Host ‘Thinking Money for Kids’

From the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA), in partnership with the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, invites public libraries to apply to be part of a national tour of the traveling exhibition Thinking Money for Kids.

Inspired by the success of the popular Thinking Money exhibit, Thinking Money for Kids is a new financial literacy experience for children ages 7 to 11, as well as their parents, caregivers and educators. The interactive exhibit will help children understand what money is, its function in society, money choices, and money values, such as fairness, responsibility and charitableness.

The exhibit will travel to 50 U.S. public libraries between 2019 and 2021. Applications will be accepted until February 8, 2019.

Read the full project guidelines and apply online.

Selected libraries will receive:

  • the 1,000-square-foot traveling exhibition for a six-week loan,
  • a $1,000 programming allowance,
  • expenses paid for an orientation workshop at the 2019 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., and
  • programming resources and support.

Participating libraries will be required to hold a minimum of four public programs related to the personal finance themes explored in the exhibition and fulfill other marketing and reporting requirements.
Thinking Money for Kids will be administered by ALA’s Public Programs Office.

ALA and the FINRA Foundation have partnered since 2007 on Smart investing@your library, a program that supports library efforts to provide patrons with effective, unbiased educational resources about personal finance and investing.

Celebrating Wyoming Connections

From the Laramie County Library System

A few years ago, the Laramie County Library System staff started a discussion on how we could draw attention to books, movies and CD’s in the collection that had a Wyoming connection. We wanted to denote materials that were written or produced by Wyoming authors or artists as well as those that had a Wyoming setting.

It turned out to be an involved and time-consuming project. In fact, it took a while to even come up with a logo. The classic bucking bronc image is trademarked, and printing in traditional brown and gold would be expensive, so we went with the simple “WYO” in black ink on a beige background. We had to keep the cost down because we knew we would need a lot of stickers. For all our small population, Wyoming residents are a creative bunch. Right now there are over fifty authors on the master Wyoming author list, with more being added all the time. There are also a number of Wyoming musicians whose recordings the library owns.

The list of Wyoming authors ranges from Owen Wister, whose classic western, The Virginian, was published in 1902, to current bestselling mystery authors C.J. Box and Craig Johnson. In between are such notable Wyoming writers as Kathleen and W. Michael Gear, whose long-running Native American historical fiction series has received international attention. And then there’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Proulx, whose novella Brokeback Mountain was the basis for the acclaimed film of the same title.

Other Wyoming authors who are less well-known but who have still built strong followings include mystery writer Curt Wendelboe, inspirational romance author Amanda Cabot, cowboy romance author Joanne Kennedy and rising literary star Alison Hagy, of which her book Boleto, the New York Times Book Review wrote: “…her settings glimmer with well-chosen metaphors.” Wendelboe, Cabot and Kennedy live in or near Cheyenne and Hagy is a Laramie resident.

If keeping track of Wyoming authors is difficult, tracking books with a Wyoming settings is even harder. Because of our scenic beauty, challenging environment and reputation for rugged individualism, Wyoming seems to have a great appeal for fiction writers. Well-known writers who have set novels in Wyoming include thriller writer Lee Child, prolific women’s fiction and suspense author Nora Roberts, and acclaimed mystery writer William Kent Krueger.

The library owns multiple copies of many of these authors’ works and since every copy of every title needs a sticker, it really adds up. And we’re doing this for not only print versions, but audio copies as well. Some of these authors have two or more books out every year, and we also have to purchase replacement copies. And I haven’t even mentioned all the non-fiction and children’s titles included in the project. For example, western Wyoming author Cat Urbigkit has written several children’s books, many of which feature Wyoming settings.

Wyoming has a rich literary history, staggeringly so for such a thinly populated state. Something about this place seems to draw and inspire creative individuals, and it has for decades. Ernest Hemingway was a frequent visitor to the state and wrote much of his acclaimed World War I novel A Farewell to Arms in a cabin near Sheridan. He was once quoted as saying, “There are two places I love: Africa and Wyoming.”

So keep an eye out for the WYO stickers when browsing the stacks and join us in celebrating Wyoming’s rich artistic tradition.

~Mary G.

New Video: National Geographic Kids

This beautiful resource, for kids ages 6-14, includes books and magazines (every page, every issue), videos, and pictures. Explore topics: Animals, Environment, People & Cultures, History, Science & Tech, and Places. This is also the feature for January’s marketing campaign.
January 2019; 23 minutes

Wyoming Book Reviews

Wedge of Fear
Eugene Gagliano
Fort Collins, CO : Crystal Publishing LLC, 2018

Tony Greco and his parents have just moved to Wyoming from New York. Tony is in 6th grade and worried about starting over at a new school and the prospect of trying to make new friends. Tony wants to prove to everyone, especially his mom, he can take care of himself, but first he must prove it to himself. When faced with a terrifying medical crisis involving his mother, in the middle of a Wyoming tornado, Tony proves himself to be more than capable of taking care of himself and others. Eugene Gagliano has done a good job of portraying the thoughts and feelings of a 6th grade boy. He paints a vivid picture of small town life and country living in rural Wyoming. I think this book would attract reluctant readers, especially boys.

Twila Pilcher, Certified Library Support Staff
Hulett School Library

Ghost Walker: Tracking a Mountain Lion’s Soul Through Science and Story
Leslie Patten
Far Cry Publishing, 2018

I approached Patten’s Ghost Walker with the caution I’d use hearing of a recent mountain lion sighting. After all, much of my childhood was deep in the Bitterroots, in one of the areas where Patten researched mountain lion (‘cougar’) activity. I soon enjoyed reading about Patten’s consultations and work with wildlife experts, studying the lions in their home ranges throughout the West. Patten’s writing style makes a scientific topic understandable, relating the history of human-mountain lion interactions and the current positive work being done. This is a realistic writing of how mountain lions live, die, and interact with humans.  Read Ghost Walker – you will come away more aware and appreciative of the mountain lion’s place in Wyoming’s eco-system.

Nancy Venable, Extension and Volunteer Services Manager
Campbell County Public Library

WLA Unveils New Website

The Wyoming Library Association has a fresh, new website on the Wild Apricot platform. Intended to improve communication and member benefits, the site features an updated look and feel and improved functionality.

WLA Vice-President Abby Beaver, Communications Advisor Elizabeth Thorson, Executive Secretary Laura Grott, and Wyoming State Library Marketing Lead Cary Dunlap managed the website migration. The new site is not only more attractive, it’s easier for the web administrators to update content and manage members. As a bonus, it’s less expensive, saving WLA money.

Members are encouraged to peruse the site at and let Laura or Abby know if any information is missing or incorrect. Questions may also be directed to Laura at or Abby at

People News

Joanna Howard was named the new manager of the LaBarge Branch Library this month. Joanna has worked as a substitute in the library for the past three years and has participated in storytime events with her children as well. She’s currently planning adult programming, including some centered on the local area and history. Her mission is to continue having the LaBarge Branch Library as a pillar of the community, where patrons come enjoy visiting with each other while finding information resources and searching for recreational reading.

After almost 26 years at the LaBarge Branch Library, long-time manager Marika Thayer retired on December 31, 2018. When she started, the library was just an old house on a lot. She very much enjoyed watching the beautiful new library being built. She is looking forward to having more time to look for new books to read. The Lincoln County Library will miss her greatly and they wish her wonderful literary adventures and exciting reading opportunities.

Potluck Dishes Needed for Legislative Reception

Potluck dishes are still needed for the Wyoming Library Association Legislative Reception at the Wyoming State Library on February 7.

What sets the WLA reception apart from the many others is the food. Delicious potluck dishes are a welcome treat for legislators away from home and living on restaurant fare during the session. Your help makes this possible. If you can bring a dish of any type — entree, salad, dessert, side, bread, appetizer — please sign up with Jessica Dawkins at or (307) 777-6337.

While all contributions are welcome, hot dishes are particularly appreciated. Please let Jessica know if you need an electrical outlet. You can also make monetary contributions to the reception by sending your donation to the Wyoming Library Association at P.O. Box 1387, Cheyenne WY 82003.

The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. on February 7 here at the Wyoming State Library, 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. It will be preceded at 5:00 p.m. with a legislative update.

Training Planned in Conjunction With Legislative Reception

If you are thinking of heading to the Wyoming Library Association Legislative Reception on Thursday, February 7, in Cheyenne, the Wyoming State Library has two important learning opportunities for you.

Also, if you have time to set aside for extra training while in Cheyenne, contact Desiree Saunders at or (307) 777-6258, or Brian Greene at or (307) 777-6339 in advance so that we can schedule one on one training for you or your employees with WSL staff. The reception itself will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, at the State Library, 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. It will be preceded by a legislative update at 5:00.

Let’s Get a Complete Count: Census 2020 and Wyoming Libraries
Thursday, February 7, 2:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Laramie County Library, 2200 Pioneer Ave., Cheyenne
Willow Room – First Floor

Join Stephanie Freeman, Wyoming’s Partnership Specialist from the U S Census and Brian Greene, WSL Library Development Manager, to learn how the Wyoming library community can play a key role in helping our state get a “Complete Count.” We also want to hear what you are doing or plan to do with Census 2020 and hear your questions, your ideas. March 23, 2020 will be the first day that census forms can be completed. Can we count on Wyoming libraries to be ready?

Short Takes for Trustees
Friday, February 8, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Wyoming State Library, 2800 Central Avenue, Cheyenne
Large Training Room

Join Brian Greene, WSL Library Development Manager in a preview of short videos for trustees from ALA’s United for Libraries division that the WSL hopes to make available during the next year. We want your input. These videos (8-10 minutes each) cover: What It Means to Be a Trustee; Board Meetings; Board Ethics; Library Advocacy; Library Policies; Strategic Planning; Working with Friends; Evaluating the Library Director; Board Self Evaluation; and Succession Planning and New Board Orientation.

WSL Closed for MLK/Equality Day

The Wyoming State Library will be closed Monday, January 21, for Martin Luther King Jr., Wyoming Equality Day. We will resume our regular hours on Tuesday, January 22.

In 1973, Wyoming State Representatives Rodger McDaniel, Chuck Morrison, and Elizabeth Phelan introduced a House Bill 373 proposing a “Holiday honoring Martin Luther King.” The bill died in committee that year. It wasn’t until 1990 that the third Monday in January was designated as a state holiday (1990 Session Laws, Chapter 21).

Learn more about the history of MLK/Equality Day in the Wyoming Legislation database.