Cathy Summerall retired in December from her job as part-time bookkeeper at the Sublette County Library. Cathy served the Libraries for 10 years, keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes while performing “other duties as assigned,” such as her role as Mrs. Claus! Cathy hopes to spend the winters with family in Orange Beach, Alabama and do more summer hiking and fishing in Sublette County.
Sue Hollingshead has retired as Laramie County Library System’s Information Technology Division Manager after a 24 year long career with the library. Sue began working at the organization in 1996 as a Network Specialist, moving on to become a Network Administrator before being promoted as the library’s first IT Division Manager. She served on many of the library’s internal committees, as well as the Laramie County Community College Business and Computer Science Advisory Committee and the Wyoming Library Leadership Committee. Sue played a crucial role in growing the library’s network from a single, small server into the intricate and advanced system that it is today.
Carey Hartmann, County Librarian and Executive Director of Laramie County Library System, recently celebrated her 40th anniversary with the organization. In November of 1980, Carey began her career with the library’s Children’s Division. She moved on to work as an Audiovisual Specialist and Division Head in Distribution Services, as Manager of Circulation, and as Assistant County Librarian until being appointed County Librarian in August of 2015. Carey holds a Master of Library Science degree from University of Arizona and has served on multiple committees within the library community, including as an American Library Association counselor, as President of the Wyoming Library Association, as WYLD Users Council President, and as Committee Chair for the Wyoming Library Association’s Legislative Committee where she advocated for the Wyoming Libraries Endowment program.
Kathy Kallas has retired after 31 years with the Uinta County Library. Kathy joined the library in 1989, working at the front desk and in circulation. For the last 29 years she has been head of the circulation department. She’s worked for six different library directors over the years and began at the library when they still used physical card catalogs. In an interview with the Uinta County Herald she said of the statewide WYLD system, “If our local library doesn’t have a requested book, we can get it from another library in the state. It is like we are one big library family.” She’s excited about retirement and plans to continue her love of bicycling, spend time with her seven grandchildren, and learn to work with llama wool.
This fall, Elizabeth Dill joined Laramie County Community College as the Associate Dean for the Ludden Library and Learning Commons.
“I was eager to work in a leadership role at a community college,” Elizabeth said. “I think the mission and vision and values of community colleges are extraordinary. I mean, we educate the first responders in this country. What a privilege it is to be involved in shaping their futures.”
Elizabeth is originally from Athens, Georgia. She came to LCCC from Troy University in Dothan, Alabama, where she was the Director of Library Services. Prior to that, she was the campus librarian at the Art Institute of Tucson in Tucson, Arizona.
As she takes on her new role, the entire LCCC Ludden Library team is embarking on strategic planning and are excited about the process of charting their future.
Thanks to Elizabeth’s efforts, the library is about to add a mini-makerspace from the University of Wyoming’s Innovation Wyrkshop. She recently won a grant award of $35,000 in equipment and expenses for what they plan to call the Golden Eagle Wyrkshop. She hopes to develop that space into a well-used site that promotes active learning for students, faculty, and members of the community.
Next year, she has two major publications coming out. She and Mary Ann Cullen co-edited a special journal issue of Library Trends called “OER (Open Educational Resources) and the Academic Library.” The two are also currently editing a book for ACRL Press on OER-enabled pedagogy and information literacy. Both are expected in 2021.
When asked what strengths she sees at the Ludden Library, “Without a doubt, it’s the faculty librarians and staff. They’re exceptionally intelligent and so caring of the students and faculty. It’s a real honor to work with all of them.”
Not to mention, the library itself is “really gorgeous” after its major renovation, completed in 2019. “We’re very privileged to work in such a beautiful library. Please come visit us!”
Kim Smith joined Laramie County Library System in November as its new Volunteer Coordinator. Kim holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resources Management from Upper Iowa University and has a Human Resource Management Certificate of Specialization. In her role, Kim will manage the library’s volunteer program along with its hundreds of volunteers. She is most looking forward to learning about the vital work that library volunteers perform in an effort to collaboratively provide outstanding services to the community. Laramie County Library System is thrilled to welcome Kim to the organization.
Michael Pearlman joined Laramie County Library System as a member of its Board of Directors. Michael works as the Communications Director for Governor Mark Gordon and currently serves as a member of the Laramie County Parks and Recreation Board. He looks forward to helping the library maintain its excellent services and working to ensure that it continues to evolve with the growing needs of the community.
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.
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.
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.”
Fern Stringham retired from the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library after 32 years of “joyful, and admirable service to our library, students, staff, public, and library plants.” Her last day at the library was August 28. Her coworkers wrote on Facebook, “Fern, you are one of the most authentic people we’ve ever known, and it’s been our privilege to have worked alongside you. Congratulations on your well-deserved retirement.”
Derrick Mason is an educator, creative, motivator, and entrepreneur bringing over 15 years of library experience to his role as Innovative Media and Learning Spaces Librarian at the University of Wyoming Libraries. His tenure in librarianship has awarded him the opportunity to work with diverse populations ranging from working class neighborhoods to affluent suburban communities. He has engaged in educational programs with at-risk urban youth and tech-curious senior citizens. When not tinkering with his latest gadget, Derrick enjoys photography, cross country road trips, genealogy, pro wrestling, and cheering on the Cleveland Browns.
EvaLyn Flores, Laramie County Library System Early Literacy Outreach Specialist, was selected as a recipient of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS) Rising Star Award. She started her job June 2018 and is responsible for developing and implementing the library’s First Steps: Literacy Begins at Home program. The award recognizes the achievements of those new to library outreach, who display a passion for the bookmobile and outreach profession, both at work and through volunteer or association activities. Rising Star Award Candidates must have worked in this field for five years or less. ABOS announced this and other new awards this year in honor of their 15th anniversary.
Larissa Stalcup joined Campbell County Public Library System in August as their Administrative Services Manager. Larissa and her husband Tyler are Gillette natives who moved back to Gillette from Grinnell, Iowa two years ago when they purchased a local business. In Iowa, Larissa was art director at Grinnell College for eight years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications, communication arts, and marketing and a minor in commercial art from Black Hills State University. Larissa spends most of her non-work days camping and hiking with her husband and two boys, Turner and Tucker.
Paula Martin has joined the University of Wyoming Libraries faculty as the new Assistant Dean, User Services. A native of Missouri, Paula holds a Master of Library and Information Science Degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Truman State University. She started her library career working in architecture and engineering libraries before switching to academic libraries. She’s worked in reference, instruction, circulation, electronic resources management, and most recently as the Director of Holman Library at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. She has also taught in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Stacia Berry joined Laramie County Library System as a member of its Board of Directors. She is an attorney who serves as the Deputy Director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. She looks forward to contributing to the success of Laramie County Library System and ensuring that everyone in the community can continue to access its wonderful services.
Isabel Zumel has left Teton County Library after 15 years as its Assistant Director. She served on the Wyoming Library Association Legislative Committee from 2015 to 2018. She’s joining the One22 Resource Center as Director of Education and Outreach. One22 is a human services organization which most recently has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency financial relief to Teton County families affected by the COVID-19 economic downturns.
Brittany Morton is the new Public Services Manager for the Powell Library. Brittany graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Minor in Creative Writing, and she is currently working toward her MLIS from the University of Illinois She worked as a Student Assistant at the Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections for two years, managing their social media and public outreach efforts and at the American Heritage Center as a Scan Technician Brittany’s has a passion for her public libraries and hopes to protect her community’s right to information.
Lida Volin is retiring at the end of August after 45 years of working for the Natrona County Library. Lida grew up in Casper and graduated from Kelly Walsh High School. She’s served in many positions during her tenure, including shelver, clerk-typist, Information Service Technician II, Library Assistant II and, since 1991, her current position as Interlibrary Loan Clerk. Known to many in Wyoming as the “Queen of ILL,” her assistance to the genealogy community and with interlibrary loans is particularly noteworthy. Locating books across Wyoming and the United States to meet thousands of patron requests annually is her specialty. Lida has seen many changes during her time at the library, from the introduction of computers and automation to the addition of formats that did not even exist in 1975 such as audiobooks on CDs, video games, and downloadable eContent. Her suggestions to researchers and willingness to provide assistance helps save them time and frustration, and her concerted efforts to find the item they need or want is one of the characteristics that makes her so valuable and special to Natrona County. When asked how she plans to spend some of her time in retirement, she laughed and said for years she’s been keeping track of books she wants to read some day. She has a file folder two inches thick with these titles and has already started the ILL process on a few not owned by her local library. To join the library in a celebration of Lida, cards may be sent to her c/o NCPL 307 E 2nd St, Casper, WY 82601.
Oscar Gittemeier brings a passion for community engagement and collaboration to Teton County Library at its new Director of Library Services. His first day at the library was July 13.
Prior to joining TCL he was the Outreach Manager for Adult Services at Fulton County Library System in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to an MS in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University, he has extensive education in management and leadership. In 2020 he served as the Vice-President/President-Elect of the Georgia Library Association.
In Atlanta, he worked closely with the Georgia Public Library Service and surrounding counties to launch program exchanges across county lines, explore resource sharing, and host large regional outreach programs that brought together libraries from across the state.
For many reasons, he knew Teton County was the right place for him. “One of our greatest strengths is the dedicated staff members that, despite the pandemic, are finding innovative ways to reach all our patrons. When I looked at the Teton County Library I found a team of joyful, engaged professionals.”
In addition to curbside service and virtual programs, TCL staff are exploring ways to Book a Librarian for a personally curated virtual browsing experience inside the library. This would serve immunocompromised patrons who are unable to come into community spaces as well as older patrons struggling with isolation.
“The TCL team is creative, thoughtful, and agile, which is necessary when adapting to a global pandemic,” Oscar said. “We’re innovating to serve all of our patrons regardless of ability or medical condition.”
Another strength Oscar sees at the library is its patrons and stakeholders. “The community, Foundation, and Friends support are remarkable. Teton County patrons absolutely love their public library and strongly support library initiatives.”
He added, “The views in Jackson aren’t too bad either. I ride my bike to work every day gazing at the mountains and enjoying the breeze off of Flat Creek. It’s the type of commute I could only dream of in Atlanta.”
Oscar hopes to build on TCL’s successes and build a larger library presence throughout Teton County, including Moran, Moose, and Hoback. He’s currently meeting with staff to explore outreach ideas like book vending machines, 24/7 lockers for holds, collaborations with community stakeholders, and curated gift deliveries from the library.
“Just before I left Atlanta we were launching Novel Deliveries, which is curated content specifically for you or a loved one. You simply complete a form to tell the library about a couple of your favorite books or movies and we curate content based on your interests and send you direct links to instantly stream or download movies, audiobooks, eBooks, and magazines. It’s a great way to reach out to your neighbors or loved ones while you’re physically distancing during the pandemic. I hope to launch a similar service in Teton County.”
He also has an interest in circulating non-traditional library items like GoPro cameras, binoculars, bear cans, and other items that might be popular in Teton County.
With the economic downturn and patrons out of work, he’s looking into ways to create an entrepreneurship hub and makerspace. This might include quiet rooms with videoconferencing equipment for interviews, skill building workshops, and technology workshops paired with print and digital collections.
“With a few key pieces of equipment, local makers, businesses, and non-profits could visit the library to create their own videos, commercials, or PSAs. Artists could record music, local stakeholders could host podcasts, and photographers could utilize editing software.”
He’s been impressed not just with his own library, but with the wider Wyoming library community. “In the short time I’ve been here I can already tell there’s a tight-knit, supportive library community in Wyoming. I absolutely love the statewide collaborations and resource sharing.” He’s now a member the Wyoming Library Association and looks forward to connecting with others at the 2020 virtual conference.
“I’m excited to learn from my colleagues around the state and connect with community partners. I’m just a phone call away if you ever want to chat about library collaboration. If you are ever in Jackson please stop by the library to say hello!”
The Park County Library Board has selected Karen Horner as its new system director. She will officially join the library on August 24.
Born and raised in California, Karen is currently the Cultural Services Agency Director and County Librarian for Mendocino County, California. In that role, she oversees five library branches, the bookmobile and outreach mobile unit, the county museum, and all county parks. She has an MLIS from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Agriculture, with a specialization in wildland/rangeland management.
She and her family have lived in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Hawaii. She’d been interested in relocating from California, so she jumped at the chance when this opportunity arose.
“I’ve been a lifelong fan of Wyoming,” Karen said, “and it’s always been on my list of states I would like to move too. I’ve visited Wyoming a few times, the first in 1989 to Cody as a tourist. The culture and lifestyle in Wyoming seem to suit my family, as we appreciate the isolation and ruggedness.”
She knows she faces challenges ahead in these unusual times. “This year saw libraries throughout the country close down, which was something I thought we would never see. We’re now exploring the future of public libraries and how they will move forward. As our community workplaces change, public libraries will continue to be the hub of the community, a place where people can access not only information online, but can access materials, books, and connect to their community.”
Her close-knit family is excited to relocate to Park County. She and her husband Marty have been together for over 30 years. They have two children, a son in college who works as a firefighter and a daughter who is a high school senior involved in FFA and sports.
“I look forward to connecting with everyone and becoming part of the community,” Karen said. “When everything else is changing, the libraries will still be bastions of familiarity and become even more relevant in serving their communities beyond online services.”
Jo Otterholt retired from the Wyoming Services for the Deaf Library at the end of May. Jo joined the Wyoming Department of Education in 1989 at the Wyoming School for the Deaf, working with students and managing library resources for students, teachers, and interpreters. After the school closed in 2000, she interpreted and tutored deaf students for Natrona County School District #1 until June 2004, when she rejoined the Dept. of ed to manage Outreach Library Services for the Deaf. In retirement, she looks forward to spending time with her husband, family, and friends as well as fishing-boating, camping and exploring Wyoming. She plans to continue serving on various organizations serving deaf children in Wyoming.
Garrett Randolph left Park County Library in late June. Garrett began as a Children’s Assistant in February 2018, coming to the library with no formal training, but with a winning personality and real love for kids. He was responsible for storytimes, and worked at the circulation desk. Garrett is pursuing a full-time music career in eastern Oregon as part of “R&M”, an acoustic guitar duo. Their latest album is “American Spirits.” His coworkers wish him all the very best – he will be missed in Cody!
Brenda Ariosto is the new Resource Specialist at the Wyoming Services for the Deaf Library. She’s a graduate of Kelly Walsh High School, born and raised in Wyoming. Brenda has worked for the State of Wyoming for six years, and she and her husband own Action Glass in Casper. She’s a competitive shooter and avid rockhound, and loves the outdoor lifestyle — camping, fishing, four-wheeling and just out for drives any chance she gets. Her husband, two children, eight (soon to be nine) grandchildren, and one great-grandchild are the center of her life. “My family comes first in anything and everything I do,” Brenda said. “I’m blessed beyond measure to have all of them right here in Wyoming.”
Anne Stowe retired from Sublette County Library in June after spending 19 years at the Pinedale Library. Ann was the overseer of the audiovisual collection and could recommend the perfect movie or audiobook without hesitation. She patiently taught many a patron how to download and enjoy the digital resources. Ann is looking forward to enjoying her grandson Solomon and traveling in her retirement.
Travis Pollok, Legislative Librarian at the Wyoming State Library, has received the Southern New Hampshire University 2020 Distinguished Scholar Award. The award is given to students with the highest final GPA in their program and recognizes the achievements of graduating Global Campus students. Travis received a Masters of History in Military History from SNHU last year.