Category Archives: People News

People News

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Beth Hronek retired on October 1 after a 31-year career, the last seven at the Northwest College library. Her career led her from Iowa to a community college in Kentucky to a University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Her primary vocation has been bibliographic instruction and then, secondarily, public service and technical/web services. Beth plans on playing her trumpet more (she has a Masters of Music degree) and spending extended time in-depth exploring several regions, historic sites, and national parks throughout the United States. Beth, a current Wyoming Naturalist Program student began her volunteer hours on October 2 at 6:45 a.m.. She’ll continue to reside in Powell, but, as much as possible, you’ll find her in Yellowstone National Park.


Keyosha Atwater joined Laramie County Library System as a member of its Board of Directors. Keyosha works as a reading consultant with over eight years of experience in applying evidence-based Science of Reading components to expand reading comprehension. She looks forward to working with the library board and helping empower the organization to foster a love of reading in patrons and provide resources and services for life-long learners.

Portrait of Jason Grubb

Jason Grubb is leaving the Sweetwater County Library System after more than 11 years with the library, eight as director. His last day will be November 12. He plans to stay in Green River and launch a web design company, among other projects.


LaTisha Phillips is transitioning into a new role as Big Piney Library’s Youth Services Specialist. “Tish” has been with the library as a Library Assistant since 2018. She’s looking forward to making current programs extra fun while offering additional events such as a Teen Crayon Art class. As a mom of three, Tish loves all kinds of crafting and creating from cooking and baking to music and writing. She enjoys reading most everything, and has a special love of the Harry Potter series.

Eileen sitting at desk with flowers

Eileen Hopkins-Gallis has retired from the Park County Library in Cody. She has been with the library for nine years.


People News

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Portrait of Janice Grover-Roosa

Janice Grover-Roosa is the newly appointed Carol J. McMurry Distinguished Librarian for Academic Excellence at the University of Wyoming. Janice received a M.A. in English from the University of Wyoming in 2017 and a MLS from Emporia State University in 2009. Her current research interests include an examination of rhetorics in physical and online library spaces, critical librarianship, and assessment of information literacy competencies in transfer students. Before arriving at UW, Janice served as the Director of Library Services at Western Wyoming Community College. She has also served in many capacities at the Sweetwater County Library System in Rock Springs and Green River. Outside of work Janice enjoys over-landing, hot drinks, experimental fiction, awkward moments that aren’t happening to her, inappropriate graffiti sloppily spray painted by children trying to be bad, the earthy smell of geraniums, snail-mail, and roller derby.

Portrait of Kathy Marquis

Kathy Marquis is retiring September 30 after nearly six years at the State Archives — one and a half as State Archivist. “”It’s been a great gig and I’ve really appreciated working with my wonderful colleagues,” she said. “It’s been fun adding our publications to WYLDCat, attending WLA meetings, and reconnecting with the library community in this job.” Prior to her stint at the State Archives, Kathy worked at the Albany County Public Library.

Portrait of Nathan Bender

Nathan Bender has rejoined the McCracken Research Library as a Reference Assistant. The library is part of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. This is a part-time position, assisting with researcher services. Nathan said he is delighted to be back, having previously served at the MRL as Housel Curator from 1998 to 2005.

People News

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Michelle Humber has been promoted to Assistant Director of the Sublette County Libraries. During her 11 years serving as Youth Services Specialist at the Pinedale Library, she has worked tirelessly to foster childhood literacy and to bring quality programming to Sublette County, and has nurtured collaborative partnerships with area preschools, the school district, Sublette BOCES, and countless local businesses. From the Baby and Me early literacy program to STEM based MakerSpace to Virtual Storytime, Michelle always has fresh ideas to serve the community and a cheerful passion for elevating library services by inspiring lifelong learning.

Karri Savage has recently joined the Washakie County Library. She and her (newly retired) husband, Gary, moved from Moncks Corner, South Carolina to Ten Sleep in April. Karri was a former middle school science teacher, attendance clerk registrar, and coached a gardening and engineering team at St. Stephen Middle School in St. Stephen, South Carolina. Her engineering team focused on bridge building, mechanical engineering ,and robotics. She and her students became award winners in the trebuchet competitions. Karri brings to the team much enthusiasm and happily works in both Ten Sleep and Worland libraries.

Chris Mullen holding books, standing by library shelves

Chris Mullen has joined the Natrona County Library Board and will serve as Treasurer. Chris is a petroleum geologist with over 33 years of industry experience. Though new to the current board, he previously served two terms on the Natrona County Library Board from 2003 to 2009, during which he was elected president by his peers four times. Chris was even voted the Wyoming Library Association Trustee of the Year in 2009! He’s lived in Casper for over 16 years, and is passionate about setting up the library for future successes.

Susan Parkins, Senior Outreach Specialist at Laramie County Library System, has been announced as the winner of the Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS) 2021 John Philip Excellence in Outreach Award, the organization’s most prestigious honor. The award, sponsored by the ABOS and Farber Specialty Vehicles, is given to an individual in recognition of their outstanding contributions and prominent leadership. Susan has been a member of ABOS since 2001 and is a past president of the organization.. She also served on the Tech and Conference Planning committees, chaired the Long Range Planning, Continuing Education, and Advocacy committees.. The Laramie County community has benefited greatly from Susan’s dedication to providing library services for everyone and anyone who needs them. Not only has Susan improved outreach services in Laramie County, but through her time with ABOS she has also worked to improve outreach services on a national level.

Hanz Olson has joined the Goodstein Foundation Library at Casper College as of July 1. He is serving as a reference and instruction librarian and archivist for the Western History Center. A Casper native, Hanz earned his MLIS from the iSchool at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May of 2019, completing coursework in both the librarianship and archives tracks. He held a position at the Wisconsin Historical Society and worked in numerous libraries on the UW-Madison campus during his two years in the program. He also gained considerable experience offering library instruction. Upon graduating, he served as Learning Resources Librarian and Archivist at Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia for two years. He is thrilled to be back in Casper and to have this opportunity to join the Goodstein Foundation Library team.

Vickie Cawthra holding book, standing by library shelves

Vickie Cawthra has joined the Natrona County Library Board as a Member-at-Large. Vickie is a retired educator with an extensive background in education, adult literacy, and library services. For the past five years, she served as both Co-Director and tutor for a program for second language learners called Ingles, which is offered in partnership with the Natrona County Library. Throughout Vickie’s career, she has managed staff, created budgets, designed facilities, developed programs, written grants, and worked with everyone from babies to seniors. She has also previously served on the Natrona County Library Board, and is excited to be back.

Meghan Kelly Chosen to Lead LCCC Ludden Library

Portrait photo
Meghan Kelly

Meghan Kelly was recently named Associate Dean, Library & Learning Commons, at the Laramie County Community College (LCCC) Ludden Library. She’s been with the LCCC library since 2005 when she came on board as the Cataloging and Instruction Librarian. She’s been doing technical services and health science liaison duties since joining the library.

“We have a gorgeous new space and a dedicated, caring team,” Meghan said. “I was interested in the position because I felt like it would put me in a place to support our team and an organization I care about. We’ve had quite a few transitions in leadership over the past few years, and I felt like we needed some consistency, to stabilize, and someone with some historical knowledge to help follow through on initiatives.”

Meghan’s library career began young. At the age of 13 she began working in the Wyoming library community at the Sublette County Library. In fact, she said, then-Director Daphne Platts had to apply for a special dispensation from the governor to avoid breaking child labor laws by hiring her.

College took her to Montana State University-Bozeman where she worked in the library on campus while earning her undergraduate degree. After earning her MLIS from the University of Texas-Austin, she worked at a public library in California before returning to Wyoming for the faculty librarian job at LCCC. Meghan was a graduate of the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute in 2011 and has served on Wyoming Library Association and WYLD Network committees.

This fall, the college will produce its draft strategic plan, and the library will look at future directions for its own area, including assessment and continuous improvement. Meghan looks forward to setting goals and strategies as a team, and anticipates they will continue with current initiatives such as Open Education Resources (OER) and an LCCC archive.

Michelle Havenga to Retire After 40 Years at Sheridan County

Woman sitting on bench reading to socially distanced child and mother.
Michelle Havenga in action on Wyoming Libraries Snapshot Day 2020.
Woman reading book to German Shepherd dog.
Sharing books not just with kids, but with dogs!

After decades of dedicated service, Sheridan County Public Library System Children’s Librarian, Michelle Havenga will retire on August 31 — 40 years and one month after she was first hired.

The Sheridan Press published a wonderful story that’s well worth the read on Michelle and her upcoming retirement.

Michelle was well-known in the Wyoming library community and well-appreciated for her energy, joy, and sense of humor. Over the course of her career, she has inspired countless Sheridan County children to love reading and libraries.

All are invited to the library’s retirement party for Michelle on Friday, August 20 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Fulmer Library at 335 W. Alger Street in Sheridan.

Woman in library reading a book to a large group of children. Library shelves in background.
Michelle reading to a crowd during the 2017 Wyoming Reads celebration.

People News

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Narissa Kennedy joined Laramie County Library System as the Adult Services Event Coordinator at the end of March. Narissa received her Master of Fine Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where she also worked in public relations and recruitment for the University’s Art Department. Narissa has experience working in libraries and is looking forward to providing innovative, unique, and memorable programs that enrich the lives of library patrons. Laramie County Library System is excited to welcome Narissa to the organization and looks forward to all the creative and diverse events she will plan for the library.

Mary Rhoads has retired after more than 30 years working at the Johnson County Library. Mary was the Children’s Librarian and Assistant Director. She’s been the face of Story Hour for as long as most can remember, and has taken great joy in presenting the program to multiple generations of the same families. Mary was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Wyoming Library Association. She was instrumental in two awards which the Johnson County Library achieved — the WLA Outstanding Library Award for its expansion project, and the Milstead Award for its Book Buddies program.

Vickie Overcast is retiring after 42 years as the Librarian at Worland High School. She worked part-time with the English Language Learner (ELL) students for the past six years and coached volleyball and swimming for almost 30 years. She has been active in leadership roles in the Wyoming Education Association. She is an active member of the Worland Reading Council and the Washakie County Public Library Friends of the Library group.

Shannon Person, manager of the Circulation Help Desk in Coe Library, is the recipient of the University of Wyoming Libraries Outstanding Staff Award for her contributions in 2020.  The Outstanding Staff Award, funded by the McMurry-Spieles Excellence Fund, honors a UW Libraries staff member who has “demonstrated exceptional service to UW Libraries and made significant contributions to the university and/or the community.” Recipients of this award are chosen by a committee of their peers.

People News

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Kailey Dvorak has joined the Hot Springs County Library team as their new Youth Services Librarian. Kailey is a native of Thermopolis. The library is excited to know she’ll bring her creative skills and energy to the job.

Harry Whitlock, a Library Specialist in the Research & Instruction Department with University of Wyoming Libraries was one of the many wildland firefighters called upon to battle the Mullen Fire in the Medicine Bow National Forest last year. Harry is a retired Army officer, Wyoming native, and volunteer firefighter and EMT. Read his account of his experience fighting this historic fire.

Dr. Judy Pasek was selected for the Best Professional Written Paper Award from the Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium for the second year in a row.  Her paper on “Trends in Bioengineering Granted Patents 2000 – 2019” was published in the April 2021 issue of the journal Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation.  The study assessed 20-year trends in intellectual property development worldwide for bioengineering and biomedical engineering inventions using publicly-available patent data. Dr. Pasek is the STEM Liaison Librarian at the University of Wyoming.

120 Years of Service at UW Libraries

Three women standing in stairwell
From front to back: Pam Reeves, Kay Hert, and Janet Woods.

This year recognizes the amazing accomplishment of three University of Wyoming Libraries employees who have each worked at UW for forty years. Collectively, they have contributed 120 years of service to the university.

Kay Hert
Kay started working in Coe Library during the fall of 1978 as a work-study student, shelving books in Circulation. She began working for the Administrative Office in the summer of 1979 and became a full-time benefitted staff member in September 1980. In 1992, she began job-hopping: Technical Services (two decades or so), Collection Development (five or six years), back to Technical Services (now known as Resource Discovery & Management) for a couple of years or so, and then in July 2020, she made it back to the Admin Office — where it all started some 40+ years ago.  And somewhere along the line, she became an accountant.

Pam Reeves
Pam started in 1980 as a part-time Booking Clerk, and then went on to become an Accounting Clerk and later, a Media Specialist in Audio Visual Services (AVS). In 1995, she was promoted to the Manager of Media Services (formerly AVS) until it was closed and then moved up to Circulation. Pam currently works at the Help Desk as the Library Assistant, Senior.

Janet Woods
Janet started her work at the University of Wyoming with the American Heritage Center on June, 23, 1980. After working for nine months as an Archival Processer, she then moved to the Brinkerhoff Geology Library in 1981. After three years, she moved to her current position as Supervisor of Library Services in the Resource Discovery and Management (RDM) division.

Deb Kelly Retiring from NWC

Woman seated in library holding up two books on table next to her
Deb Kelly

Unbeknownst to her at the time, Deb Kelly actually started her library career in 1972 at Northwest College (NWC) in Powell as a library student employee. After graduating from NWC in 1974, Deb transferred to Eastern Montana College in Billings and in 1977 earned her B.S. Ed. with a library endorsement. From 1979-81, Deb officially started her 41-year library career by working as a teacher and librarian in two Montana schools.

After a long career, Deb is retiring from the NWC Library on June 19. A drop-in reception in her honor will be held in the library on Wednesday, April 21, from 3:30-5:30 p.m.

In 1983, Deb was hired by NWC as a Library Technical Assistant-Processing. The library building was brand new with new, empty shelves for periodicals. That summer was busy organizing and shelving periodicals and rearranging the new and old book shelves. Deb worked in technical services, completing many of the tasks we still do today (interlibrary loans, processing, inventory), except she typed catalog cards and filed them in lovely myrtle wood library catalog drawers: The Library Catalog. Her working contract was 6 hours per day for 8 months per year.

In 1988, Deb moved to Meeteetse and became the children’s librarian at the Meeteetse Branch (and school) Library. She taught library skills to K-8th graders and provided up to three children’s story-times per week.  She ordered and processed books purchased with her school budget and attended regular book acquisition meetings to expend county funds. She also created bulletin boards displays, evaluated book reviews, shelved books, assisted patrons and students, and entered books into the new online catalog that would become WYLDCat.

In 1996, Deb came back home to Powell and returned to the NWC library as a night and weekend Library Assistant. After 2.5 semesters she was hired as a full-time (10 month) Library Assistant in charge of Interlibrary Loans, Serials, and Government Documents (FLDP program). Over time, this position was upgraded to Librarian status and Deb expanded her duties as a team member to manage serials digital access and provide evening reference services at the NWC Cody Outreach Center.  Deb still enjoys educating college students through displays and working with community members, faculty, staff, and students to locate and bring in interlibrary loans.

After retirement, Deb will start with spending more time with her husband, David, sleeping in, making jewelry and greeting cards (they are very awesome), and knitting.  The NWC library will make sure she is stocked up with interlibrary loans and a McNaughton book or two.

People News

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

Woman with dark hair wearing dark blue shirt and jeans, seated

Audie Cunningham departed the Fremont County Library System at the end of March after nine years with the library. She plans to pursue her art design business full time.

Elderly woman in pink sweater, patterned shirt and eyeglasses with cake in front of her

Mabel Hinz had a much-delayed celebration of her retirement from the Weston County Library. Mabel worked at the library from 1971-1975 before returning to teaching kindergarten. She came back to the library as a circulation assistant in 1999 and worked until 2020. COVID delayed her retirement celebration until this month. It was a dual celebration, as the day also marked her 83rd birthday.