Jacque Strike has retired from the Sublette County Library after working more than 13 years at the Pinedale Library. Jacque is a graduate of the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute. She’s looking forward to spending a lot of time in the mountains and hopes to get more stamps in her passport. Erin Losik, will move over from the Big Piney Library to replace Jacque and will be responsible for audio-visual, interlibrary loan, and periodicals
Shelby Nivitanont is the new Head of Public Services at the George W. Hopper Law Library, located at the University of Wyoming. Shelby has Master of Library and Information Studies degree from the University of Oklahoma and over a decade of service in the United States Air Force.
Jeff Collins Accepts Library Director Position in Iowa
Jeff Collins, Deputy Director of Public Service at Laramie County Library System since July 2016, has accepted the Library Director position at Davenport Public Library (Iowa) starting February 14, 2022.
During his time at Laramie County Library System, Jeff was an integral part of the organization. He spearheaded a team to create a universal training program for all new library employees. He participated on the administrative team and leadership team and led teams on strategic planning, summer reading, and library events, among others. Jeff helped with the process to eliminate fines on youth materials, assisted with implementing maker technologies, led teams that applied for and managed multiple grants, created new statistical spreadsheets and dashboards, and helped to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jeff served in the Laramie County community as a board member with the Laramie County Community Partnership and Raising Readers in Wyoming. Jeff was a graduate of Leadership Cheyenne, and was one of a handful of community leaders nominated to serve as an Honorary Commander at F.E. Warren Air Force Base.
Jeff was active in the library profession in Wyoming. He served on several WYLD committees and Wyoming Library Association committees, and he was elected as the Association’s President in 2020. He also participated in the Public Library Association’s Leadership Academy.
Jeff was a valuable asset to Laramie County Library System, and his innovation, work ethic, and leadership will be greatly missed. The organization wishes him the very best in his future endeavors and is confident that he will make an exceptional library director.
Lindsey Travis Named Sweetwater County Library System Director
Lindsey replaces Jason Grubb, who served as director for eight years. Grubb left his position at the library in November.
“We’re extremely happy to have Lindsey Travis continue her good work for the Sweetwater County Library,” said Library Board Treasurer Chris Propst. “Her obvious love for the library made her stand out in a competitive search for candidates, along with her writing, leadership and organizational abilities.”
Lindsey has worked for the library system since 2014, first serving as the Public Relations Specialist, then as a Library Manager, and most recently as Assistant Library Director. She has a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University, and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and political science from Illinois State University.
Prior to working at the library, Lindsey had a career in journalism. She was a News Editor at the Salt Lake Tribune and worked at a few newspapers in Illinois. She also worked at NOWCAP Services in Rock Springs coordinating a program that provided students with disabilities with information about work in the community.
“I love the Sweetwater County Library System and I’m truly honored to serve as the library’s director,” Lindsey said. “Our libraries are a valuable service to our community. As director, I plan to focus on outreach, innovation, and fulfilling the library’s mission of improving the quality of life in our communities.”
Along with working at the library, Lindsey is active in the Sweetwater County community. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Sweetwater County and has previously served on the Green River Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and the City Tree Board.
Lindsey lives in Green River with her husband, Scott, and their children, both of whom are attending college.
The Sweetwater County Library System is made up of the Sweetwater County Library in Green River; the White Mountain Library, Rock Springs Library, and Community Fine Arts Center in Rock Springs; and rural library branches in Granger, Reliance, Superior, Farson, Wamsutter, and Bairoil.
When Governor Mark Gordon announced the recipients of the Wyoming Arts Council’s 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards, long-time Sweetwater County Library System employee Debora Soulé was among them.
Debora has been the Director of the library system’s Community Fine Arts Center (CFAC) for nearly 22 years. The CFAC offers a permanent collection and changing displays of fine art as well as a year round schedule of performing arts programs. It’s maintained by a partnership between the Sweetwater County Library System, Sweetwater School District #1 and the City of Rock Springs.
“No one is more deserving of this award than Debora,” said Lindsey Travis, Sweetwater County Library System Director. “She has an unmatched passion for the arts — we are lucky to have her as part of our team.”
Debora was nominated by Chad Banks and received nine letters of support for the award. The Rock Springs Rocket Minerreported that she was nominated for “her length of commitment to the arts, outstanding contribution or impact, breadth of support, involvement in special initiatives supporting the arts, artistic excellence/level of standards.”
Established in 1982, the Governor’s Arts Awards winners are selected based on their substantial contributions made in Wyoming that exemplify a long-term commitment to the arts, with special consideration given to nominees whose arts service is statewide.
Jeff Collins is leaving the Laramie County Library System to become the Director of the Davenport (Iowa) Public Library in Iowa. Jeff has been the Deputy Director of Public Service at LCLS since 2016. This year he was President of the Wyoming Library Association.
Scott Tombroek is a native to the state of Wyoming and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming in 2018. He has worked for the Converse County Library system for over one year and is currently enrolled in a graduate program in Library and Information Science from Emporia State University. Scott enjoys reading, writing fiction, and petting his 18 pound cat. When not trapped in his own head, Scott can often be found working at the Glenrock Library.
Pam Smith, Park County Library Circulation Manager, is retiring after 13 years with the library. The library posted on Facebook, “ For 13 years Pam has been the face of the library, greeting patrons with a cheery hello and helping them find the materials they need. Pam is looking forward to sleeping in, traveling and spending more time with friends. She will be sorely missed by the staff, but we know the front desk will be in good hands as Roseanne Spiering takes the reins after Pam’s retirement.”
Sandra Mudd is a circulation clerk at Converse County Library in Douglas who is working on her MLIS through Emporia State University’s online program. Her area of focus is youth services, although she’s also interested in archives. Sandra has an associate’s degree in communications and a bachelor’s in journalism. She has been with the library for just over two years. Born and raised in Wyoming, she’s studying for her degree because she can’t imagine being anything other than a librarian. “It truly is the best job to have and I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Sandra said. Someday, she hopes to be able to travel, but until then, she’ll settle for going on adventures within the pages of a good book.
Jacob Mickelsen, Executive Director of the Carbon County Library System is leaving Wyoming for Colorado to become Loveland Public Library’s new Operations and Customer Service Manager. His last day with the library will be January 3.
“My time as director proved to be as rewarding as it was challenging,” Jacob said. “Now that we have a beautiful new facility in Rawlins and are on a stable financial and administrative footing, it was time for me to look for something new.”
Jacob is a Wyoming native, born in Casper and raised in Riverton, where he began his library career at the Riverton Branch Library. He moved to Carbon County to take a position as the Saratoga Branch Manager before becoming director in 2016. He took the helm during a difficult year for the library system when it was facing significant funding issues and struggling to maintain its seven branches.
“I’m most proud of the team we have and the way all of us have been able to work together to continue to provide quality, accessible, and up to date library services even in our rather rural part of the world,” he said. “Things were tough for a while, and still are in many ways, but as always, people are our strongest asset, and I am immeasurably proud of the people I have worked with.”
Jacob was active in the state’s library community and is currently on the Wyoming Library Association Executive Board as Past President. He served as President the 2019-2020 year.
“I will forever be grateful to the Wyoming library community,” he said. “From the folks at the state library and our larger systems to those in counties with just a few thousand people in them, if you pick up the phone they are not just willing but happy to help.
“I think we really have something special here, and it is thanks to all of you that we have it. Keep up the good work, fight the good fight, and remember that what we do matters. Also don’t forget to take care of yourselves. We can’t serve our patrons the way we should if we aren’t looking after ourselves.”
He added, “I’ll miss you all, but you probably haven’t seen the end of me. I may wind up back in the state someday. In the meantime, if you’ve ever passing through Loveland, stop by the library and say hello!”
Mike Kamber is the new manager for Laramie County Library System’s Information Technology Services division. A long-time employee of the library, Mike will now oversee the management of the organization’s software, telecommunications, and hardware throughout all three library facilities. Mike served as the interim IT Manager after Sue Hollingshead retired in December of 2020. Since beginning his career at the library in 2007, Mike has proven to be a valuable asset to the organization and has played a major role in the success of the Information Technology Services Division.
Lori Lewis recently celebrated her twenty-year anniversary with the Laramie County Library System where she serves as the Readers’ Advisory Librarian and Assistant Manager for Circulation and Branch Services. Lori began working at the library in October 2001 as a part-time Reference Desk Assistant and was promoted to Assistant Manager of Circulation and Branch Services in 2002. Lori received her Master of Library Science Degree in 2007 from Texas Women’s University, at which time she was appointed as the Readers’ Advisory Librarian. Lori has positively impacted her coworkers and library patrons since her very first day on the job, and her expertise on readers’ advisory has sent countless visitors home with their next favorite book.
Jessica Rardin joined the University of Wyoming Libraries faculty as the Learning and Engagement Librarian in July. She holds a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. At the University of Wyoming, she’ll be working with first-year student programming. Jessica has previously worked in college access, educational non-profits, and enrollment management. Her most recent position was with UWM’s Golda Meir Library’s User Services department where she worked on web accessibility, first-year course instruction, and reference projects. Outside of work, Jessica enjoys hiking, cooking, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks.
Denis Shannon joined the University of Wyoming Libraries as a Resource Acquisition and Management Librarian in September 2021. Since beginning his career in libraries, he has had the opportunity to work in academic, public, and prison libraries. Prior to working in libraries, Denis worked in manufacturing for five years, where he helped define and document processes. Denis comes from the Hudson Valley region of New York and is looking forward to further exploring Laramie and Wyoming.
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.
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 Hopkins-Gallis has retired from the Park County Library in Cody. She has been with the library for nine years.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.