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.
David Brown has joined the University of Wyoming Libraries as the Regional Medical Library Membership Coordinator for the MidContinental Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM). David holds a doctorate of education with a specialization in health education from Teachers College, Columbia University and he holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University. In addition he holds two Masters of Arts Degrees from Columbia University — one in computers and education and another in health education. He is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES®) and has been involved in training public heath professionals for the last 15 years, teaching and supervising research in health education and public health at a number of universities in both the United States and abroad.
Jennifer Strayer will join the University of Wyoming Libraries as a Collection Development Librarian in late May. She is coming to Wyoming from Indiana University Libraries in Bloomington, Indiana where she served as an assistant in the Collection Management Department. During her three years at IU Libraries, Jennifer developed an appreciation for data-driven collection management and aided in the replacement, withdrawal, and transfer of print materials. Jennifer holds an MLS from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Arts in Musicology and History from Hastings College (Hastings, Nebraska).
Conrrado Saldivar, an Adult Services Specialist at Natrona County Library, who also moonlights as a graduate student, was recently selected for the University of Washington’s 2020 “Husky 100,” an honor awarded to graduate and undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence inside the classroom and beyond. The Husky 100 celebrates students who show a commitment to leadership, engagement, and community impact. With over 1,700 nominations by peers, faculty, and staff, Conrrado was one of only ten students selected from the UW iSchool.
Susan Wynne is rejoining the University of Wyoming Libraries as the new Discovery & Metadata Librarian. She was previously a Catalog Librarian at UW from 2006-2012. Other prior positions include five years as the Cataloging & Metadata Librarian at Georgia State University, and most recently, Catalog Management Librarian at the University of Iowa Libraries. In her 20+ year library career, Susan has published and presented on topics such as RDA (Resource Description and Access), next-generation catalogs, oral histories, and batch processes in library catalog systems.
Dr. Judy Pasek, a STEM Liaison Librarian at the University of Wyoming since 2014, won the Best Professional Written Paper Award from the 2020 Rocky Mountain Bioengineering Symposium (RMBS) Board. Although this year’s symposium was canceled, her paper on “Publication Trends in Bioengineering, 1963 – 2019” will be published in the journal Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation. Judy provides library instruction and research services primarily to UW’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Psychology Department within the College of Arts and Sciences. She earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Wayne State University. Prior to becoming a librarian, she developed expertise in the sciences by holding entomology positions of increasing responsibility with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Pasek has a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Nebraska, a M.S. in entomology from the University of Missouri, and a B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan.
Mary Cushing retired from Laramie County Library System on April 7. Mary worked as a Branch Specialist in the Pine Bluffs library for 22 years, running everything from adult book clubs to weekly storytimes where she created a model for working with local daycares and elementary schools. She acted as a mentor to other staff members and played a pivotal role in connecting the Pine Bluffs community to the library’s programs and resources, including the annual Summer Reading Celebration. Mary’s dedication to every patron who walked through the library’s doors was incredible and made an impact on the community. She will be deeply missed by the Laramie County Library System as she sets out on what is sure to be another fulfilling chapter of her life.
Chad Hutchens, an Associate Librarian and Head of Digital Collections at the University of Wyoming Libraries, is the recipient of UW’s 2020 Agnes Milstead Distinguished Librarianship Award. The award recognizes Hutchens for his leadership, collaboration, innovation and commitment to service to UW Libraries’ mission. He oversees the implementation and sharing of digital collections along with the management of multiple repositories. A librarian at UW since 2008, Hutchens has achieved several professional accomplishments, including adapting existing practices to incorporate innovative and unique ways of thinking; developing open source materials; improving metadata practices; and expanding the roles within Digital Collections to build a robust department.
Frances Clymer is retiring April 30 after 15 years as Director of the Park County Library System.
Before she came to the library system, Frances was a librarian for the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (formerly the Buffalo Bill Historical Center). She came to the Center part-time in 1983. In 1993, she moved from working as a curatorial assistant into the Center’s McCracken Research Library, where she served as its Librarian from 1997-2005.
Frances has a master’s degree in medieval studies from the University of Poitiers in France and also did graduate work on a double major in French and art history at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Still, she said, “From the time I was in college, I always seemed to gravitate toward libraries.”
She was a bibliographic researcher in the Watson Library when she attended the University of Kansas, which gave her the freedom to explore what were then closed stacks. After she married and moved to Arizona, she became a clerk for the Arizona State University Hayden Library and worked for the university’s art history department, organizing the images in their slide library.
“I was always organizing information and interacting with interesting people and learning new things,” she said of these experiences. “It was just wonderful.”
After she joined the McCracken Library, she decided to pursue an MLIS from Emporia State University through their distance program. Much of the work was done online — to the scream of a 9600 KB modem back in those days. Peter Hassrick, director of the BBHC at the time, gave her professional leave to attend her in-person Emporia classes in Denver.
One of her proudest accomplishments as director was when the library moved in October 2008 from an antiquated building into its current location at 1500 Heart Mountain Street. The new library occupies the entire lower level of what used to be an oil company building that Park County purchased during a downturn. The County put forward money and obtained a matching grant from the State Loan and Investment Board. The Library Foundation raised more than $100,000 to contribute, which was the largest single private donation the county ever received.
As significant as that was, it doesn’t top her list. “What I’m most proud of is the staff,” she said. We have wonderful, competent people who are welcoming and informed in all three of our libraries — Cody, Powell, and Meeteetse. What I’m most pleased with is how wonderfully supportive and welcoming we are, and how essential we’ve become to our communities.”
The library’s support of its community has been evident during the current pandemic crisis. “Even right now, when we’re closed to public traffic, all three libraries are providing circulation through curbside pickup. That was the staff’s idea — they stepped up and they did it.” In fact, Cody Library Manager Nicholle Gerharter ran the statistics and discovered that from March 16-31 they circulated or renewed more than 9,000 items, even though they were closed.
The public health crisis is complicating the search for a new director, but Frances said, “My hope is that the board will find a candidate for a new director who has newer skills and different areas of knowledge to drive the library system forward in the next decade. Someone who is a good fit for the community. When you’re moving into a small town whether from across the state or another state, you need to have the skill set to be able to integrate yourself into a community gracefully.”
Her retirement plans include family, of course. She has a four-year-old grandson in Laramie and another grandchild on the way, so once restrictions are lifted, she’ll be able to spend more time with children and grandchildren.
She’ll also keep a hand in libraries with some planned research projects. Years ago she began gathering information on those who contributed to the Powell Library Club Cookbook in 1909 to raise money for a library in that community. It took some time — it was the 1920s before Powell got a physical library — “But they were undaunted, and they kept raising money.” She also wants to do histories of all the Park County libraries.
Margret “Maggie” Sullivan passed away on Friday, March 13. Maggie was the longtime Public Services Manager at the Powell Library in the Park County Library system and a graduate of the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute.
“She was hilarious, so intelligent and incredibly thoughtful,” said Faith Johnson, Branch Manager. “Her passing is such a loss to our community.” Faith added that Maggie found out that her cancer had returned last October. She started treatment in January and fought hard until the end.
In late February, she wrote her last article for the Powell Tribune, “I am Thankful for Your Stories.” Read it here.
Cass Kvenild, University of Wyoming Libraries associate dean, is the 2020 recipient of the Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS) Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award for her contributions as an education librarian. This award is sponsored by the American Psychological Association and administered by the Association of College & Research Libraries. The EBSS Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award will be presented at the American Library Association annual conference in June. Cass joined UW Libraries in 2003. During her time at UW, she has served as the distance learning librarian, the head of the Learning Resource Center and the assistant dean of Education and Research Services. She was appointed associate dean in July 2019. Read more about her award.
Dani Rasmussen has joined the Albany County Public Library as Assistant Library Director. Dani has worked as Library Director at the Garland Public Library in Garland, Utah. There she helped establish the library’s first teen programs including hosting a local ComicCon. Dani also has extensive customer service, human resources, and administrative experience from her time as the Executive Director of an assisted living facility.
Bailey Murray is now Albany County Public Library’s Technical Services Librarian. Bailey has worked at ACPL since 2009 and has been the Circulation Manager since 2014. She has also played a key role in growing ACPL’s manga and anime collections.
Patt Hilmer was nominated by the Washakie County Reading Council for her outstanding and consistent dedication to improving literacy opportunities for young people through her position as a library/media para-educator at East Side Elementary School and her active participation and leadership in the Council. “I honestly have to say I’m just the figure head of this award,” Patt said. “I have a wonderful support team in my fellow Reading Council Members.”
Sean Coyle joined Laramie County Library System as a Youth Services Librarian in November. Sean received his MS degree (Library and Information Science) from the University of Central Missouri and worked as a substitute teacher and reading instructor before moving to Cheyenne. Sean is looking forward to developing new youth programs and utilizing his skills to continually enhance the lives of patrons who use library services. Laramie County Library System is thrilled to welcome Sean to the organization and looks forward to all the talent he brings with him.
Abby Rowswell recently received an MLS degree with a concentration in Youth Services from Emporia State University. Since completing her degree program, she has begun her new position as a Youth Services Librarian at Laramie County Library System. Abby began working for Laramie County Library System in April 2015 after serving as a volunteer in the Peace Corps for two years. Abby loves all the different components of her job, including, “dreaming up new programs,” and interacting with the, “really great patrons who are committed to making a difference in their children’s lives.” Laramie County Library System is excited for Abby to continue making a difference in her new role as a Youth Services Librarian.
Cristine Braddy was recently named the Director of Goshen County Library after serving as Interim Director since the beginning of January. As Director, she’ll supervise the library’s full and part-time staff, manage the budget, plan and conduct programming, and continue the library’s modernization process.
“I took the interim position because I thought it would be a fun adventure for a few months,” Cristine said. “I found myself invested in the people and the projects we were working on. There are many times I’ve thought, ‘If I ever change careers, it will be to be a librarian,’ and then this came around.”
Cristine spent her elementary school years in Goshen County and returned there with her family in 2011. Her previous work experience includes teaching classes for Eastern Wyoming College, directing programming and groups at SONrise Church, supervising students and managing grants for the University of Nebraska-Kearney, and working with at risk youth for the University of Wyoming. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wyoming and her Master’s Degree from Liberty University.
“My background is counseling and human services,” Cristine said, “and the library is as much a human service organization as any I have worked with. The public policy issues are the same, the people are the same, the heart and mission are very similar.”
She’s passionate about reading, whether for entertainment or for lifelong learning. Over the years, she’s transitioned from purchasing and building her own personal library at home to becoming an advocate for library use. “I’m a believer in the role of the library as a hub for a community. I love how books open our eyes to the world around us and let us see the world through someone else’s eyes.”
One of Cristine’s goals is to reach equally into all age demographics through programming and facility improvements. “Goshen County is very community-oriented. The people of our county look out for each other and are always willing to pitch in.” As the library undergoes its face-lift and staff work to have a broader reach into the community, she hopes to get local residents on board as part of the process.
“I would love to see our library continue to grow as a place where our community, including children and youth, gathers to read and learn and grow,” she said. “I want to be a part of helping Goshen County develop a library that draws people in and gives them the world.”
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has selected Yolanda Hood, the Carol J. McMurry Distinguished Librarian for Academic Excellence at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, as the new editor of its quarterly, digital journal, Young Adult Library Services (YALS),to serve a one-year term through December 1, 2020. Yolanda has worked in libraries for over 14 years where her positions have involved working closely with teens and those that provide library services for teens. She is the co-creator, along with Kristine Shrauger, of the Diverse Families Database. She’ll work with the Editorial Advisory Board to set the tone and direction of the journal, as well as solicit and determine content.