Category Archives: People News

Knesel Named ‘Governor’s Woman of Distinction’

Sue Knesel

The Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues will recognize Susan B. Knesel of Gillette with its 2017 “Governor’s Woman of Distinction Award” at an October 14 luncheon at 12:30 p.m. at Gillette College. Knesel is a Campbell County Public Library System retiree and a past president of the Wyoming Library Association.

The award is “a once-in-a-lifetime honor for the recipient’s impact on women and/or families in the areas of education, employment practices, community outreach, health and wellness or legal issues.” Knesel was nominated by CCPLS Youth Services Coordinator Janet S. Tharp and WCWI member Laurel Vicklund of Gillette.

“Sue has been a tireless advocate for youth, women, families, underrepresented citizens and more,” said Terri Lesley, CCPLS Executive Director, who provided a letter of support. “She has developed many programs, putting much of her time and talent to work to advance literacy, improve community services and promote good government. Having observed Sue in action for the last 20 years, I’ve often asked myself how one woman can do so much.”

Knesel’s career accomplishments include introducing cutting edge literacy programs for preschoolers and toddlers. She procured a nutrition grant to provide summer meals to students and community grants to bring popular authors to Campbell County where they provided presentations and writing workshops for fifth grade, junior high and high school students. She carved out library space for tweens and enhanced library programming with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).

Tickets are $25 for the no-host luncheon. RSVP by October 5 to Michelle Shellhart at (307) 777-2801 or Chava Case at (307) 777-2823 at the Wyoming Business Council.

People News

Edie Phillips retired August 31 after almost 25 years with Park County Public Library System in Cody. She began working there in 1992, part-time in technical services and part-time in circulation. Later she became technical services supervisor. “I have met so many great people along the way, especially the helpful WYLD team. Their expertise has been invaluable,” she said. “I know I won’t be missed for my quick temper and awful puns, but I thank all my co-workers for their enduring patience.” She has no set plans for retirement but is considering volunteering in the library.

Kim Taylor is the new Children’s Programming Specialist at the Big Piney Library. She previously worked with small children and is looking forward to the new environment the library has to offer. Kim loved books and the library as a child and is hoping to help foster those interests in the kids she works with. Kim enjoys the community of Big Piney and the relationship the library has with the people in the area. “The library here is such an important part of our town. I love that it has something for everybody, from children’s programs to great adult classes. I’ve participated in many classes over the years and have enjoyed the fun opportunities to learn something new.” Kim enjoys living in Wyoming with her husband and three teenagers. She loves to spend time outside, travel, and connect with family and friends.  The best part of the job for Kim is working with the kids and also being surrounded by so many books to read!

Kennedy Penn-O’Toole was elected as the new leader of the Wyoming Library Association’s Youth Services Interest Group. Kennedy is the Young Adult Specialist at Albany County Public Library.

Doug Loughry has joined the Big Piney Library as its new manager.  Doug was an elementary educator for the past five years. He and his wife made Big Piney their home and have found it to be the ideal location for their new family — close enough to their two year old’s grandparents (within driving distance), but not too close. In his free time Doug may be seen on the slopes at White Pines Ski Resort or floating rivers in a raft. Doug has a passion for working with children and is very excited to be a part of the library that is such a positive contributor to the town of Big Piney.

Maggie Sullivan is now the ILL and Public Services Manager, taking the place of Courtney Suko. Maggie has returned to Wyoming after spending two years in Arizona. We are delighted to have her back where she belongs.

Leslie Colin Tribble is now the Technical Services Manager at Park County Library taking the place of Edie Phillips, who retired. Leslie has been with the Park County Public Library in Cody since September of 2010. She has worked in many areas, including Children’s Services and the circulation desk. Since March of last year she has been working on the Meeteetse flood replacements project. Leslie has a B.S. in environmental education and an M.S. in conservation education. She is an avid hiker and photographer of the natural world. She has been studying cataloging and is well-equipped to take on the challenges of the Technical Services department.




One Man’s Wyoming Libraries Road Trip

Kelly Leichtnam’s map of Wyoming is sprouting push pins — each one a library in the state he’s visited. He’s hoping to snag them all.

Four years ago, Kelly moved from Sheridan, where he was born and raised, to take a job in Cheyenne as a Retirement Educator for the State of Wyoming. He’s on the road 20 weeks a year, covering about 25,000 miles a year going to different communities to make presentations to state employees and others enrolled in the Wyoming Retirement System.

To pass the hours on the road (and the evenings in hotels with terrible television reception), he was always buying the audiobooks he loved on CD. That was until Park County Library Director Frances Clymer let him know that with the WYLD consortium, he could check out materials from any public library in the state and return them anywhere as well.

At first, it solved a practical problem for him. Then, he said “It became fun.” He began putting a pin in a Wyoming road map marking every library where he’d both checked something in and checked something out. When we interviewed him, he was up to 24, and he had also visited additional libraries, since they’re an excellent place to hold meetings. “They always have the rooms and the technology available.”

When the car he’s driving now dies, he’s looking forward to getting a new one where he can use the downloadable audio in GoWYLD. “That’s an even greater benefit because you don’t even have to go to the library. You can download it from the website.”

Kelly lived on the East Coast for four years when he served in the U.S. Army. “I realized early on I would always come back to Wyoming, and that’s where I wanted to live the rest of my life.” He loves the Equality State and collects tourism stickers in his travels along with library checkouts.

“I’m just amazed at where libraries have come from when I was a little kid,” he said.


People News

August 1 marked Michelle Havenga’s 36th anniversary as the Children’s Librarian at the Sheridan County Fulmer Library. She’s has encouraged a love of reading in so many kids in the community … and sometimes dogs and puppies as well.

Lucky Sydney Lupton, after 12 fine years of service for the Riverton Branch Library, Fremont County Library System, she is retiring and plans on expanding her master gardening skills. Syd always came to work with her sense of humor and “can do” attitude. She will be greatly missed.

Matthew Troyanek is now the Office Associate Senior for the American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming. He was worked 17 years at UW in a variety of staffing positions, most recently at the Office of the Registrar. “I enjoy the professional atmosphere of American Heritage Center, the research and education focus we have as a primary source archive, and the administrative support that I’m able to provide for our faculty and staff.”


People News

Rachael Svoboda, Laramie County Library System Business Services Coordinator, graduated in the 2016-17 Leadership Cheyenne class on June 2. Rachael is the Business Services Coordinator for L2B (Library 2 Business). L2B is a free information service that connects patrons with local and regional economic development agencies to learn new skills and create a business network.


Victoria Bryan is departing the familiar stacks of the Rawlins Public Library to further her education. Victoria was a Library Assistant who came to work for the system last July and has been a welcome sight at the circulation desk ever since. She quickly made herself a valuable asset to co-workers and patrons alike in Rawlins and will be greatly missed. “Being here was like being part of a family,” Victoria said, “because we had each other’s backs.” All of her co-workers wish her well on her future endeavors.

Cindy Moore has joined the Converse County Library as its new Assistant Director. “It’s gratifying to be in such a magnificent library and a vibrant town,” she said. “The director and board are supportive and have worked to provide their patrons with the best facilities, collections, and technology. If you’re in the area, please stop by — it’ll be a treat!”

Former AHC Director Mark Greene Dies

Mark Greene, Past Director of the American Heritage Center

Mark A. Greene, emeritus director of the American Heritage Center, passed away on June 21, 2017. The Society of American Archivists (SAA) has set up a memorial page for people to share their memories of Mark. Greene was an SAA Fellow and Past President.

Greene was the director of the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, from 2002 to 2015. Under his direction, the AHC performed a six-year comprehensive collection analysis, developed its first formal collecting policy, cataloged the entirety of its 3,000 collections, and implemented one of the nation’s largest reappraisal and deaccessioning programs. (From UW.)

Marple Named Lander Branch Manager

Anita Marple recently was named manager of the Lander Branch Library, part of the Fremont County Library System. “Anita is very service oriented, said Janette McMahon, the library system’s Executive Director. “I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the Lander branch.”

The library has been a big part of Marple’s life ever since she came to Fremont County. “The Lander Library was the first place I took my two children when we moved to Lander 15 years ago,” she said. “From the very first visit we felt welcomed by the children’s staff in particular and quickly became regular visitors.”

As her children grew, she began volunteering with the Lander Library Friends Association, serving on its board for four years before she was hired by Barbara Oakleaf in 2011 to work in the children’s department part-time. Not long after her hire, she started the Library Support Staff Certification (LSSC) process, taking online courses with the support of Carol McMurry Library Endowment grants. In 2013, she took the full-time children’s position when Becky Packer retired.

“I appreciate this opportunity,” Marple said. “We’ve got intelligent, creative staff who are committed to excellent service to the wonderful variety of people in the Lander community.

As she settles into the groove of leading the Lander team, she hopes to encourage new avenues to engage current patrons and welcome new ones, as well as to develop more partnerships with groups in the community.  “We provide access to excellent resources. Promoting what we do and what we offer will be necessary to show that the library truly is the hub of the community.”

Marple holds a B.S. degree in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology from Missouri State University.  Prior to joining the library world, she worked in campus ministry, early childhood education, and bookstores.

She grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, on the north bank of the Missouri River in a good-sized Italian family (with Scots-Irish thrown in) of 10 kids. “My maiden name is Giovagnoli, which is not so common in the US, but in Italy it’s equivalent to ‘Smith.'” A fun random fact: her father was the inventor of the modern arm-style commercial baseball pitching machine, the  “Iron Mike,” used by most of the major league baseball teams for training.

McMahon to Lead Fremont County Library System

Janette McMahon has been chosen as the new Executive Director for the Fremont County Library System. Prior to her move to Wyoming, she was Director of the West Liberty Public Library for 22 years in her hometown of West Liberty, Iowa.

A quote McMahon said has driven her career in library service is from Ray Bradbury: “Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future” She started in library work as a children’s librarian. “I definitely gained new respect for daycare providers, teachers, and library children’s department staff during the short time I did that.”

Now, after many years in libraries, “I’m looking forward to the challenges of the Fremont County Library System and working with the creative staff here. Not to mention the great location!”

In her free time, McMahon enjoys hiking, cycling, reading (particularly historical fiction), and sewing. She also loves to travel with her family, exploring the United States and abroad.

Hadaway Named LCCC Associate Dean

Maura Hadaway

Maura Hadaway has been named Associate Dean of the Library & Learning Commons at Laramie County Community College. She served in this position in an interim capacity beginning January, 2017.

Maura most recently worked as an Instructor of Computer Information Systems at LCCC. She has also been an electronic resources licensing agent for a nationwide library consortia and a project manager in the telecom industry. A former LCCC student, she also has worked as administrative assistant and copy cataloger for the college’s Ludden Library. Maura has a Bachelor of Science in History from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.

Maura is very excited about her return to “Library Land,” as she affectionately calls the world of libraries.

People News

Nancy McDaniel retired at the end of May after 27 years as the children’s specialist at Sublette County Library. One patron said, “Nancy quickly learned my children’s names and always had a smile, making us feel welcome and happy to be at the library.” Speaking of happy, she’s joined in this photo by Evie, daughter of co-worker Michelle Humber. A reception for Nancy was held at the library on May 31.


Sheryll Hampton, technical services and inter-library loan specialist, is saying farewell to the Sheridan College Kooi library and Wyoming. In July, she will be the Collection Management Services Librarian at her alma mater, Northwest Nazarene University. Sheryll worked at the college for four years and earned her MLIS from San Jose State University in 2015.


Jessica Anders has joined Eastern Wyoming College as the Library Technician.  Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Wyoming.


Patience Engavo has been named the Fort Washakie School/Community Library Student of the Year.  The honor goes to a unique child who shows resolve, commitment to literacy, and a notable work ethic. Patience is a special needs student who worked as a “sorter and arranger” of easy books. She demonstrated a cheerful attitude, helping several days each week, and improved her independent skills. Patience is a great help to the library staff.


Kathy Bjornestad has been elected to the executive board of Wyoming Writers, Inc., a statewide writers’ organization. Kathy Bjornestad is the Library Media Specialist at Sundance Elementary and is a former secondary English teacher. She has been a member of Wyoming Writers since 1990 and is also an active member of Bear Lodge Writers and Black Hills Fiction Writers.

Susan Mark has been elected President of WyoPoets, a statewide poetry organization. She works as a Publication Specialist at the Wyoming State Library.

Library Media Specialist Lori Clark-Erickson will retire this summer after 15 years with the Teton County School District. Among many projects for Jackson Hole High School in recent years, Lori helped students with in-depth research for National History Day, mentored National Honor Society students, and helped coordinate and run the Model UN. She was a teacher for a total of 22 years, and has impacted thousands of student lives. Lori has served on many state committees and been a dedicated member of Wyoming Library Association and the School Library Interest Group. She will seek out new professional challenges after retirement, and also hopes find time to garden, rock climb, bike, ski, sew, and knit.


Tiffany Russell, the Acquisitions and Resources Manager for the Carbon County Library System, and formerly Saratoga Library Branch Manager, departed at the end of May. Tiffany was with the CCLS for almost two years after starting her career in Colorado. She’ll be moving to Jackson with her family.


Naomi Manley, formerly a Library Assistant at the Rawlins Library, is taking over the Acquisitions and Resources Manager position at Carbon County Library System. Naomi lives in the Platte Valley, and enjoys spending long afternoons at the lake with her well-read giant schnauzer, Jasper.


David Kruger, University of Wyoming Agricultural Research and Instruction Librarian, recently saw his J.C. Penney: The Man, the Store, and American Agriculture published by University of Oklahoma Press. The book was released in hardback and e-book formats on May 25, 2017.


Donnie Claunch, Library Specialist – Day Circulation at the Goodstein Foundation Library, was named Employee of the Month for March 2017 by the Casper College Staff Alliance.


Libby Ngo was named Employee of the Month for April 2017 by the Casper College Staff Alliance. Ngo is an Acquisitions & Cataloging Library Specialist and has worked for the college’s Goodstein Foundation Library since 1998.