All posts by Susan

Share Your Story of Teaching and Learning With the AASL Standards

As part of the implementation of its new “National School Library Standards,” the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has launched a video storytelling campaign. With Every Standard Tells a Story, school library professionals can submit their own  narratives on how school libraries transform teaching and learning for real people in real places through examples of the things they already do every day that meet the AASL Standards.

School library professionals can join the campaign by recording their own stories that illustrate how they harness curiosity, model responsibility, inspire exploration, promote creativity and deepen understanding for learners, colleagues, and the community. These videos can then be uploaded to YouTube and added to AASL’s Every Standard Tells A Story playlist. Complete instructions can be found on the AASL Standards Portal.

Upton Branch Library Celebrates 50 Years

The Upton Branch Library is celebrating its birthday today – 50 years in existence! The branch is part of the Weston County Library, which serves its 7,200 county residents, 1,100 in Upton proper. The Upton Branch Library’s record of service to its community is indeed something to be proud of. We wish them 50 more and then some. Stop by the library today from 1-3 p.m. for their open house to congratulate them and enjoy some cake. (After all, what birthday would be complete without cake?)

Branch Manager Sherri Randall with the Library’s birthday cake.

Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus stopped by to join in the celebration.

Wyoming Women Are an Inventive Lot

By Karen Kitchens, WSL State Publications Librarian

Of necessity, Wyoming women have long used their inventive energies to create both practical and decorative designs. Not surprisingly, the inventions of Wyoming women reflect the period from which they came. Beginning with predominantly agricultural and domestically focused inventions, Wyoming women’s patents have grown to include industrial, scientific, and technical areas. Here are a few samples of historical inventions by Wyoming women. Check out more Wyoming inventors in the Wyoming Inventors Database offered by the Wyoming State Library. You can also download and view the full list of Wyoming Women Inventors from 1890 to 2017.

The first Wyoming woman to be granted a US patent was Myrtle M. Wallin of Rock Springs. Ms. Wallin was granted Patent Number 664597 on December 25, 1900 for a “Work-Holder.” Ms. Wallin describes this patent as a work holding devise devised for seamstresses, designed to fit upon the knee of the user to clamp and hold work.
On January 2, 1912, Zelta J. Frederick of Casper was granted Patent Number 1013482 for a “Flat Safety-Pin.” This invention was to guard the wearing from being scratched while in use.
Focusing on agricultural use, Carey S. McClure from Dayton, was awarded Patent Number 1227058 for a “Hay-Bunching Machine” on May 22, 1917. This is an illustration of the side of the machine in its operative position.
On October 12, 1920, Fay M. Haynes of Encampment was granted Patent Number 1355144 for “Lock-Joint for Drilling Tools.” In the patent specifications Haynes states this invention is “especially adapted to be used on drilling tools, for connecting the drilling bits in a simple and efficient manner.”
Winfred S. Whitcomb of Laramie was granted Patent Number 1582324 on April 27, 1926. Ms. Whitcomb indicated that this “Sheep-Shearing Machine” was “power driven and wherein substantially all vibration is eliminated.”

Visit our Patent and Trademark Resource Center for more resources and information on intellectual property.






WLA Calls for Conference Proposals

Do you have a great idea for a program for the Wyoming Library Association Conference? If so, they’d like to know. Even if you don’t have all the details pinned down, the WLA is interested in your ideas.

Program Proposal Form
Deadline April 30, 2018

The conference will be held from August 1-3 in Casper at the Casper Events Center. Information Power will take place on August 1. Registration will open at 11:30 a.m. on August 2 with the keynote at noon and the awards reception in the late afternoon or early evening. The conference will wrap up at 1:30 p.m. on August 3. The Ramkota is the host hotel, and accommodations include a full breakfast. WLA will not provide breakfast at the conference.

More information will be available on the WLA website as it becomes available.

Take Part in Día With the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has planned an upcoming free distance learning program aimed at K-12 teachers, school librarians, and young adult and children’s librarians to celebrate “El Día de los Niños, El Día de los Libros” on April 30. This online event will take place from 1:00-2:10 p.m. MST. Register now if you would like to be one of a limited number of interactive sites.

April 30 has been traditionally celebrated as “Dia de los Ninos, Dia de los Libros!” to honor “the day of the child, the day of the book.” The Educational Outreach team at the Library of Congress, in partnership with Internet2, invites public librarians, school librarians, and K-12 teachers from around the country to join us via interactive videoconference or live web stream to honor this day and its value in promoting diversity in children’s literature. The conversation will take on the theme of librarians as heroes and how they have inspired and continue to facilitate diversity in books and other media.

There are two ways for your organization to participate:

  1. Register as an interactive videoconferencing site no later than Friday, April 13. This will allow you and your colleagues to talk live with the presenters and as though you were in the same room with them. Only the first ten classrooms and libraries to register and successfully test will be accepted as an interactive site so register soon!
  2. Tune into the live stream and watch the complete program online (URL to  come). No registration is required for this option.

For questions about the program, contact Karen Jaffe at

U.S. History in Context Training March 8

Do you have student patrons who are working on their History Day projects? U.S. History In Context has a dedicated portal to support K-12 National History Day research, and Cengage Learning is hosting a webinar on this topic tomorrow.

Register for U.S. History In Context Training
Thursday, March 8 from 9:00-9:30 a.m. MST

Learn how to navigate the interface and support specialized research like National History Day with curated content. During this course, participants in the session will:

  • Review the general content available in the U.S. History resource
  • Construct and employ efficient search strategies for information retrieval
  • Examine the navigational and search features of the interface
  • Differentiate between basic, person, and advanced search options
  • Recognize how to use article tools as a way to manage and organize information found within the resource

U.S. History in Context is one of the many resources provided to all Wyoming residents by the State Library. Access it at your local library, or log in remotely with your library card and PIN.

WSL Welcomes Kathy Kilbourne

Kathy Kilbourne

Kathy Kilbourne has joined the Wyoming State Library as our new Collections Technician in the Information Services office. Prior to joining the WSL, she was a paralegal for three years at a law firm and also worked at the Cheyenne Aquatic Center for the City of Cheyenne.

Kathy was born here in Cheyenne and grew up as a self-described “Air Force brat.” Her father’s service took her family from F.E. Warren AFB to Turkey and eventually back again. She spent her elementary school years at Yokota AFB in Japan and junior high years at McGuire AFB in New Jersey. High school returned her to Cheyenne where she graduated from from Central High School.

She attended the University of Wyoming before transferring to Metropolitan State University of Denver where she received a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in criminal justice and history. In May 2013 she received her paralegal certificate from Laramie County Community College.

Information Services Manager Abby Beaver says the new hire is settling into the role nicely. “Kathy’s fitting in already as she begins her training. Her work as a paralegal and her experience working with the public will be a great asset to our team.”

Kathy’s the “proud mother of two great kids.” Daughter Zoe is a Surgical Tech. for the Orthopaedic and Spine Center of the Rockies in Fort Collins, and her son Blade is a freshman at the University of Wyoming.

Away from work, Kathy enjoys walking with her fiancé Scott’s dogs, adult coloring, and working in her flower/fairy garden throughout the spring and summer months. Scott’s a member of the Sherman Hill Model Railroad Club, so they travel to train shows in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Utah. Most Saturdays find her watching movies, both new and old. A favorite she watches again and again is Dr. Zhivago — and, of course, she enjoyed the novel, too.

Wyoming Innovations in Learning 2018 Call for Proposals

The second annual Wyoming Innovations in Learning conference is set for November 7-9, 2018 in Evanston. The conference is an opportunity for educators to share and explore innovative teaching and learning practices for classrooms and distance learning environments, from kindergarten through higher education.

The Innovations conference seeks presenters from all fields who wish to contribute their ideas and experiences to inspire educators and bring best teaching practices to K-20 learning. Session proposals will be accepted through May 4, 2018. Selected presenters will be notified of their inclusion in the conference by May 31, 2018.

Submit your session proposal here.

This conference is hosted by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Wyoming Distance Education Consortium (WyDEC), the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming community colleges, and school libraries.

For more information, contact Robin Grandpre, at 307-777-5315 or

WLLI Keynote Speaker is Retired Navy SEAL

Larry Yatch

The keynote speaker for this year’s Wyoming Library Leadership Institute is Larry Yatch, a Retired Navy SEAL and Team Performance Expert (SEALed Mindset Leaders). The Institute will be held in Lander, Wyoming on July 19-20 at Central Wyoming College’s Lander campus.

Larry has been a leader while serving in extreme environments across the globe. Among many of his stellar accomplishments and sacrifices, he planned and led an assault on the world’s largest oil platform in the largest Special Operations mission in history during the opening night of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has applied the lessons learned from these experiences to develop SEALed Mindset, a company that repurposes leadership and training principles from SEAL Teams to other arenas.

The Fremont County Library System is providing two guest speakers. FCLS Director Janette McMahon will discuss the importance of reader’s advisory, and Lander Library Teen Librarian Audie Cunningham will conduct a session on how to be creative when you aren’t necessarily a creative person. Additional speakers are planned, but have not yet been announced.

The Leadership Institute exists to provide opportunities for learning, mentoring and developing leadership skills to promote the personal and professional growth of the Wyoming library community. From 10-12 Wyoming library employees will be accepted for WLLI through a competitive application process. Accommodations and meals will be provided to participants.

Apply now to be part of WLLI 2018. Application deadline is April 15.



In-Depth With the New AASL Standards: Include

Join Jennisen Lucas, Wyoming School Librarian and AASL Affiliate, as she goes on an in-depth tour of the new AASL standards. In this webinar, she covers the second Shared Foundation of the standards: Include. February 2018; 49 minutes