Megan Benfield joined the Central Wyoming College Library/Academic Resource Center on September 3 as Librarian – Resource Management. She graduated in 2017 from Adams State University with a BA in anthropology (dual emphasis in cultural anthropology and archaeology) and a minor in history. She will complete her Master’s in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives administration in December from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Megan is originally from Colorado Springs and just moved here from the Seattle metro area. Her hobbies mostly include spending time with her puppy and cake decorating.
Rhonda Everman is departing the Goshen County Library on October 25. She is an interlibrary loan specialist who has been working for the library for three-and-a-half years. “I’ve very much enjoyed getting to know the wonderful patrons I order items for, and also all the great staff members here,” Rhonda said
Karen Kitchens celebrated her 10-year anniversary with the Wyoming State Library. Karen is the WSL’s State Publications Librarian.
The Glenrock Branch Library is thrilled to announce that Jennifer Kofoed, formerly the Circulation Manager at the Douglas Library, has been hired as the new Branch Manager. Jenni brings her knowledge base of a degree in Education with an Endorsement in Library Science as well as years of working in libraries, from her hometown base of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the college library at Chadron State, to several years’ experience in Converse County Library in Douglas. In addition, in the past several months, they’ve increased their circulation team with the hire of Erin Wolfley (recovering cake-decorator), Cherish Nelson (information technology extraordinaire), and the newest addition, Brenda Huck. Also on staff since August is Young Adult Librarian Jenn Butler, who has relocated from Chadron, where she received her degree in Library Science, and worked at the Reta E. King Library at Chadron State College.
Lisa Evans has joined the staff of the Converse County Library as a Circulation Clerk. She’s lived in Douglas about 5 years and has been with the library for about 4 months “I love it!,” Lisa say. “I love everything about our library — the books, the people I work with, and our patrons.”
Barbara Wolter has retired from the Wyoming State Archives after almost 20 years. She began in 1999 as a senior microfilm technician, when the State Archives filmed not only all the state’s newspapers, but records from state and local government agencies. Five years ago, the Archives’ State Imaging Center ended its microfilming operation and became a digitization lab, and Barb learned a whole new technology for her work. In her years of service, she has transferred literally millions of paper documents onto film and digital format, and from film to digital form. Quite a legacy! Congratulations, Barb, and best wishes for the future.
Valencia Sherman is Carbon County Library System’s new Acquisitions Services Manager. Valencia was the Rawlins Library Manager for two-and-a-half years. She replaces Naomi Manley, who moved to California.
Leslie Tribble (left), Technical Services Manager at Park County Library in Cody is usually off adventuring somewhere in the area when she’s not at the library. After writing several articles on regional hiking for the local outdoor gear shop, she decided to put all that information to good use and published her Adventure Guide to Cody this past summer. The book gives readers a brief overview of the natural and human history of the region and provides information on where to hike, bike, kayak, and bird watch all within a short drive from downtown. Garrett Randolph (right), Assistant Children’s Librarian at Park County Library, is a singer-songwriter and musician. On August 30, 2019, Garrett released his debut full-length album titled “Badlands: Concerning Postcards and Portraits of the American Dream.” This album is a collection of 15 original songs Randolph started crafting in 2016. Garrett was raised in Cody and is known for his narrative storytelling and poetic lyrics.
Lindsay Hineman is now the Children’s Librarian at Converse County Library. Lindsay has lived in Douglas many years and worked as a daycare and preschool teacher for 10 years, then as a special education paraprofessional for eight. “Being the children’s librarian and programs manager has let me go back to my roots of working with young children and getting to watch their minds grow and shape into who they will become as teenagers and young adult,” Lindsay said. “I’m very excited to be a part of this amazing library family and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.”
Over the summer, there were a number of new hires and appointments at the University of Wyoming Libraries.
Hilary Baribeau is the new Digital Scholarship Librarian. Hilary received her MLIS from the Pratt Institute where she received awards for Academic Excellence, Graduate Student Leadership, and the NYLA Dewey Scholarship Award. Hilary comes to the University of Wyoming by way of Maine where she was a Research Librarian and E-Resources Management Assistant at Bates College. Hilary works in the Digital Collections department and provides leadership and management for open scholarship, scholarly identities, and open educational resources. She also works with stakeholders throughout the University to identify and support digital platforms related to student and faculty scholarship.
Dr. Yolanda Hood joined the UW Libraries faculty as the Carol J. McMurry Distinguished Librarian for Academic. Dr. Hood arrived here from Prince Edward Island, Canada, but was born and raised in North Carolina. She has worked in libraries for 14 years and loves it because the students keep her young and on her toes. As the Carol J. McMurry Distinguished Librarian for Academic Excellence, she will work closely with students in the Honors College to help ensure their academic success here at the University of Wyoming.
Larry Schmidt is now the Chair of Research & Instruction. Larry joined the UW Libraries faculty in 2002 and has served as the science librarian, as head of the Geology Library, and as a research librarian in R&I. He holds an MLS from Emporia State University and an MS in Environmental Engineering from Montana State University. He has administered several grants related to digitization at UW and his research interests relate to digital herbaria and teaching research data management. As department chair, Larry plans and directs the daily work of Research & Instruction, including coordinating the instruction program and research help services, as well as supervising library faculty, staff and a graduate assistant.
Kaijsa Calkins was appointed as the Assistant Dean, Education & Research Services, in late August. She now leads a library division that includes Digital Collections, Special Collections, and Research & Instruction. Kaijsa joined the Reference department in 2006 as the English Reference Librarian. Most recently, she served as department chair of Research & Instruction. This past summer she attended the prestigious Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.
Cass Kvenild was appointed Associate Dean of Libraries in July. Cass has worked at UW Libraries for 16 years, serving as the distance learning librarian, the head of the Learning Resource Center, and most recently, the assistant dean of Education & Research Services. In her role as associate dean, Cass oversees all operational activities of the UW Libraries, facilitates the work of the three large divisions of the Libraries, and provides oversight for the appointment and promotion of library faculty.
Shannon Sheridan has joined UW Libraries as the Data Management Librarian. Shannon’s most recent position was as a fellow in the National Library of Medicine Associate Fellowship Program. She spent one year working and doing research at the NLM in Bethesda, Maryland and then spent the second year of the fellowship as a liaison librarian for Drexel University’s College of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. Shannon works in the Digital Collections department and provides leadership and management for the UW data repository. She also consults with UW faculty and students on research data management, works to cultivate relationships with other departments on campus working with data, and aims to educate the UW community on a variety of data management skills.
The Albany County Public Library Board of Directors has named Rachel Crocker as ACPL’s new library director. Crocker previously held the role of assistant library director, and she served as interim library director since May. Rachel joined the ACPL staff in January 2018.
“Rachel has impressed me the last 18 months as an assistant and interim director,” ACPL Board Chairman, Scott Shoop, said. “She has the intelligence, leadership, and management skills to be very successful in this position.”
Rachel has ample strategic planning and visioning experience, as well as sound knowledge of the three branches of Albany County Public Library and of the Albany County community. She’s taken a lead on budget preparation and library operations during her time at ACPL. Her financial and organizational management skillset are an asset to the library.
“Working with the staff over the last 18 months to serve our community has been such a pleasure, and I’m thrilled to take on this new role,” Rachel said. “I look forward to working with the staff, board, and community to continue the library’s great work and to create a vision for how we can best serve and adapt to the growth and changes in Albany County.”
Rachel graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from Denver University. She formerly worked for Kansas State University teaching library instruction classes, doing community outreach, and conducting reference.
She also worked at IREX, an international education nonprofit, facilitating discussion and leading planning to assist public libraries in eight countries. Rachel’s skills helped libraries to develop initiatives that matched community needs. She worked primarily in the Philippines and Nigeria for the project.
Tawnya Miller is the new Manager of the Big Piney Library. Tawnya has filled a number of roles with the Big Piney Library since 2012, most recently by coordinating adult programming, exhibits and senior center outreach. Tawnya has a passion for the region’s culture and history and is looking forward to further serving the community in this new role.
Travis Pollok was recently awarded a Masters of History in Military History from Southern New Hampshire University. Travis is the Legislative Librarian at the Wyoming State Library.
Sherri Angelovic has been named Youth Services Manager at the White Mountain Library. Sherri has worked for the Sweetwater County Library System for almost 20 years, beginning in Youth Services before moving to Circulation and most recently, Technical Services. Now back where she began, she’s excited to build on White Mountain’s strong history of childhood fun. “I hope to continue the great children’s programs we’ve always had here and make a fun and exciting place for kids of all ages to come, hang out and participate,” she said.
Travis Pollok, Wyoming State Library Legislative Librarian, recently celebrated his 5-year anniversary with the WSL. Travis is the State Library’s Wyoming Legislation database specialist, one of six resources in the Digital Collection Suite
Sunny Hobbs is newly appointed Youth Services Manager at the Rock Springs Library. Sunny worked at the La Barge Branch Library, part of the Lincoln County Library System. “I was doing the same basic job, but on a much smaller scale. Because the town is so small, I was on a first name basis with all of our patrons and this gave me the opportunity to learn not only how a library is run but how important a neighborhood library truly is to the community it serves.” She wants to move the library forward while still respecting its past. “I think Annie created a wonderful space for kids in our neighborhood, and I will do everything I can to keep that in place,” she added. “I look forward to trying some new things, and keeping some traditions in place, and really letting the kids themselves tell me what is working and what isn’t. Customizing the program to our kids is an exciting challenge that I look forward to.”
A longtime University of Wyoming faculty member who founded and directed a key outreach program for more than a decade has been named director of UW’s American Heritage Center (AHC).
Religious studies Professor Paul Flesher will lead UW’s repository of manuscripts collections, rare books and the university archives, which is among the largest nongovernmental archives in the nation. Flesher’s appointment was approved last week by the UW Board of Trustees.
Flesher has been a member of the UW faculty since 1993, when he founded the religious studies program. He managed it for 21 years, during which it became a department, grew its faculty and created a bachelor’s degree. He also established UW’s Saturday University program, which takes UW faculty members across the state to deliver lectures on a variety of topics, and directed it for 11 years.
“We’re delighted that Dr. Flesher, a national and international scholar, has agreed to direct the AHC, a core facility for the state and a hub for international understanding of the West,” Provost Kate Miller says. “Through his Saturday University work, he has established strong connections with museums and archives across Wyoming, and his commitment to serving the state fits nicely with the AHC’s mission.”
A historian of ancient religions — trained at Oxford University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Brown University — Flesher has published three books, edited or co-edited nine collected volumes of essays, and written more than 40 essays and book chapters.
Flesher has worked in archives in Israel, England and the United States. Drawing upon his background in computer programming, he currently leads a project building a searchable, digital archive of archaeological excavation records. He has extensive experience in editing, currently serving as editor-in-chief for a book series with E.J. Brill Publishers of Leiden, The Netherlands, as well as sitting on the boards of three journals.
For 21 years, the Wyoming native wrote a column — “Religion Today,” which discussed world religions — that was published in Wyoming newspapers and other media outlets.
“I see the job of administrator as a way to enhance teaching and create and renew opportunities that further what people can know about today’s world,” Flesher says. “The AHC is an incredible repository of knowledge, and I’m excited to help advance its work within the state and beyond.”
The AHC’s collections focus on Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West and nationally on the topics of environment and conservation; the mining and petroleum industries; air and rail transportation; the performing arts (particularly radio, television, film, and popular music); journalism; U.S. military history; and book history.
On July 1, Katrina Brown officially took over as Director of the Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library. She came to Casper College from Sheridan College, where she was Director of the Mary Brown Kooi Library.
“I enjoy being a library director,” Katrina said. “It’s gratifying to help library staff identify, grow, and improve library services. And there’s always that challenge of balancing the needs and desires of different populations.”
She continued, “The Kooi Library is a great one. I appreciate all I learned working there. Although I’m moving on, I look forward to seeing it grow and change under its new director.”
Katrina has been active in the library community, and is currently on the Executive Board of the Wyoming Library Association as its Past President. She’s a 2011 graduate of the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute (WLLI). She holds associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in history and a Master of Library and Information Science. She was born and raised in California and moved to Wyoming in 2005.
“At Casper College, I’m taking over a library with a lot of strengths,” Katrina said. “The staff is incredible. They’ve kept the library running seamlessly and increased services such as their instruction sessions. The library is also fortunate to have such solid support from the college.”
She wants to continue to build on those strengths by continuing the growth in instruction programs and increasing student engagement.
“If you have any interest in leadership, attend WLLI,” she added. “It helped me believe I was a leader and could do the job.”
Conrrado Saldivar, Adult Services Specialist at Natrona County Library, was recently awarded a Spectrum Scholarship from the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services. His award was given based on his commitment to equity and inclusion, demonstrated community outreach, commitment to the library profession, and leadership potential. The scholarship provides assistance for graduate study expenses and a stipend to attend the Spectrum Leadership Institute and the ALA Annual conference in 2020.
He was one of 60 recipients nationwide. Since 1997, the ALA has awarded more than 1,100 Spectrum Scholarships.
Conrrado began working at the Natrona County Library in April 2015 as an Adult Services Specialist. He received a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Spanish from the University of Wyoming in 2013 and began working on his MLIS at the University of Washington iSchool in 2018. He is also currently a contributing writer for the Hack Library School blog and Co-president of the Student Chapter of the American Library Association at the University of Washington.
Natrona County Library has four staff in new positions. From left to right, we have Chelsie Troutman, Youth & Teen Services Specialist; Jennifer (Jenn) Beckstead, Youth Services Manager; Lorene Peterson, Youth & Teen Services Specialist; and Adilene (Adi) Rodriguez, Adult Services Specialist. The library posted on Facebook, “They are valuable members of our team, and we’re fortunate to have their skills, talents, and expertise at the library. We wish them the very best in their new roles and thank them for their continued dedication and service.”
Anne Parady (left) and Diane Roccabruna retired from the Sweetwater County Library System at the end of June. Anne worked for the system for 17 years, more than 10 of them as the Youth Services Manager. Diane worked in youth services for 20 years, primarily with teens. Anne and Diane have helped countless kids over their years with the library system. They helped make the library a great place to work and and a staple in the community.
In June, Jeff Collins, the Deputy Director of Public Service for the Laramie County Library System, graduated from Leadership Cheyenne’s 2019 class. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce’s year-long program aims to grow a network of leaders in Cheyenne, foster an understanding of the community, and build participants’ leadership skills. Jeff, who has worked at Laramie County Library System since 2016, says Leadership Cheyenne, “was a phenomenal experience,” and that he looks forward to finding ways to help Laramie County Library System continue to meet the needs of the community.
Jerry Jones, Youth Services Manager, is retiring in July after 30 years at Natrona County Library.She has been a key player, dedicated to providing excellent and innovative library services. Her rapport with children is caring and natural, and her personal enthusiasm is reflected in the students’ joy with the books she gives them. The core of Jerry’s success in connecting with the children of Natrona County is her natural ability to connect with children and desire to help provide the necessary tools to become successful learners. The Natrona County Library wishes Jerry much happiness as she writes the next chapter of her life.
DeChantel Galgoci has joined the Hot Springs County Library as Front Desk Librarian.
Steve Rzasa was recently named Director of the Johnson County Library, replacing Cynthia Twing, who retired after 20 years as Director and nearly 30 years at the library.
Steve was first hired by the library in 2008. His promotion to Director after his many years of working under Cynthia creates continuity of leadership at the library — part of why he applied. “I’ve adopted her philosophy of libraries being a community equalizer, a place that anyone should be able to use,” he said. “That’s something I want to continue. I was also intrigued by the challenge of shepherding the library into a new era, while maintaining all the things that make it great.”
Steve is a 2000 graduate of Boston University’s School of Communications with a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. He worked seven years for Courier Publications in Midcoast Maine, first as a reporter, then as the assistant editor at a weekly newspaper. He moved to Buffalo in August of 2007 to become editor of the Buffalo Bulletin before he was hired by the library.
He put his educational background to work right away when he came to the Johnson County Library, creating the library’s first newsletter. When he became the Technical Services Librarian a couple of years later, his duties expanded to include linking new books and technical troubleshooting with the public, in addition to publishing the newsletter, handling communications, issuing press releases, and managing social media. He was one of the first library employees in Wyoming to receive ALA Library Support Staff Certification.
The library’s greatest strength, he says, is the staff . “We’re also blessed to have our expanded library, which has opened up opportunities for new programming and more room for people to simply relax in the library.”
With the completion of the library expansion three years ago, Steve says the next thing on the agenda is a new strategic plan. “For so long the goal was to expand the Johnson County Library,” he said. “That goal’s been achieved, so we now need to be mindful of what our next target should be.”
As the library moves forward, Steve said customer service will be an emphasis. “The focus should always be on the patron. We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to serve the public and new things we can offer.”