Category Archives: Uncategorized

Wyoming Libraries Prepare for a Complete Count

With a new decade fresh on the horizon, Wyoming libraries should be gearing up for Census 2020. This is the first time the census will be available for online completion, in addition to the usual over-the-phone and mail-in submissions, which patrons across the state may struggle with accessing due to lack of or weak personal internet access. Libraries across Wyoming can be prepared for the count by learning about the 2020 Census, reaching out to their community leaders, and advocating for a Complete Count.

There is a lot of information out there regarding the U.S. Census, which is overwhelming to both staff and patrons — and that’s okay! The Wyoming State Library is here to guide your library staff through the most crucial information on the census. In early January, we’ll send each library in Wyoming a Census 2020 packet containing a Wyoming Library Census 2020 Toolkit with streamlined information, examples of our Wyoming-specific printable promotional materials, and posters and bookmarks provided by the Wyoming Community Foundation.

The Wyoming State Library has created a webpage dedicated to the Census 2020 and Wyoming libraries where you’ll find helpful videos, the WSL Library Census 2020 Toolkit, marketing resources, and more information for patrons as well as resources for trustees, library staff, and resources specifically collected for school and children’s librarians addressing the hard-to-count population of children in Wyoming.

Also starting in January, the Wyoming State Library will send weekly training emails on various census topics, possible situations to prepare for, and further resources. Contact Jessica Dawkins at with any census questions you may have so we can personalize our training to include issues and concerns faced by Wyoming librarians, and to assure that your library and its staff is included in this opportunity.

Learn more at

RBDigital a Hit With Wyomingites

Fun fact! In the last nine months, the RBDigital service through has circulated 27,000 of its 36,000 available unlimited and single use downloadable audiobook titles. With 70% of these coming from titles with less than five total circulations, it goes to show they’re reading more than just the best-sellers out there.

There’s never a wait for most of the State Library’s audiobook offerings, thanks to the launch of RBDigital Unlimited earlier this year. With this service, more than 34,000 of those audiobook titles have unlimited, simultaneous use access, so there’s never a hold list — no matter how many other people are listening to the same book. It adds up to reading choices galore, with no need for your patrons to wait.

In addition, thanks to the contributions of many libraries, the Wyoming State Library still purchases single user titles from publishers like Blackstone, Simon & Schuster Audio, Macmillan, Books on Tape, and Recorded Books within the embargo period of one year.

Want to spread the word among the avid audio readers who frequent your library? RBDigital has marketing materials available that include bookmarks, posters, web images and more. The Wyoming State Library has a LibGuide with more information for librarians on RBDigital, including detailed circulation information.

Webinar CANCELLED: Women’s Suffrage in Wyoming

From the December 11, 1869, Wyoming Weekly Leader.

This webinar has been cancelled. We are working to reschedule it and will announce a new time and date when it becomes available.

Join Wyoming State Library Database Instruction Librarian Chris Van Burgh from 2:15-3:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 5, for a free webinar, “Women’s Suffrage in Wyoming.” Explore resources available to you on this topic from the Wyoming State Library

Register for this free webinar to attend. We’ll also add it to our webinars index page afterward.

Scholarship Funds Available for MPLA Leadership Institute

The Wyoming Library Association Awards/Grants Committee has announced that scholarship funds are available for Wyoming library employees accepted into the Mountain Plains Library Association (MPLA) Leadership Institute.

The Debbie Iverson MPLA Scholarship was established in 2008 by Debbie Iverson, when she retired from Sheridan College. The purpose of this fund is to help Wyoming library employees further their leadership skills at the MPLA Leadership Institute.

Applications to the Institute are due by November December 15, 2019, so time is limited. If you have applied, or are interested in applying, this is a scholarship fund to consider. The MPLA Leadership Institute is held every two years.

To be eligible for scholarship funds for this purpose, an applicant must apply to MPLA directly, be accepted into the MPLA Leadership Institute, and show verification of acceptance into the program, to the WLA Awards/Grants Committee.

Questions? Contact Anna Street, WLA Awards/Grants Committee Chair, at

New Location in the Works for Washakie County Library

L-R, Terry Livingston, Library Board President; Arron Anderson, County Commissioner; Mary Grace Strauch, County Clerk; Fred Frandson, County Commissioner; Lee and Gerry Kennedy, sellers of the Kennedy Ave Hardware Building; Karen Jean Funk, Washakie County Library Director; and Terry Wolf, County Commissioner.

A new home for the Washakie County Library is in the works. In September, Washakie County Commissioners signed a $525,000 purchase agreement with Lee and Gerry Kennedy for the Ace Hardware building in downtown Worland.

Library Director Karen Funk said the idea of a new space for the library has been on their minds for years, and this opportunity presented itself in March. The library is currently housed in a former hospital with many small spaces and rooms and poor flow throughout.

“We’ve just ‘made do’ with what we had for an incredibly long time,” Karen said. “We’ve struggled with finding enough room for books, programming, and seating — including comfortable seating for families in the children’s room.” Meeting room space and electrical capacity has also been a concern, she said.

Accessibility will be key in the new location. The building has off-street parking on the main street through town. Karen said they hope the greater visibility will increase library use, as well as help with economic growth with a new and dynamic focus to the downtown area.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Karen said. “Our community will have better access to the materials in the library, and the staff will be able to help patrons more efficiently. We’ll also be able to host after-hours meetings for our community in the new space when the main part of the library is closed.”

Closing on the building is set for November 5, and money has been set aside from one-cent sales tax funds for the purchase. In addition to county funding, the library will search for matching grants to help with the renovation and interior needs for the new building.

At this time there’s no timeline in place for the renovation, although the library has a conceptual design in hand. The current owners have up to one year to move, at which time the work of meeting code, adding fire suppression, and installing a new water line the length of the building will begin. New LED lighting, security, and a new front entrance directly accessible from the parking area will all be addressed as those involve engineer a design. Karen estimates the project may take up to two years.

Karen’s excited for the future of the library and what it will mean to local residents. “Washakie County may not be the richest county in the state, but it’s rich in community,” she said. “We plan on giving the people we serve a public library built for the 21st Century — the most valuable, unique resource we can offer that’s free for everyone to use.”

July 2019 Outrider Now Available

Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the July 2019 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month. You can also see past issues.

Have news you’d like included? Contact Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Grobe Named WLA’s 2019 ‘Outstanding Heroine’

Dolleen Grobe

Washakie County Library volunteer Dolleen Grobe has been named the Wyoming Library Association’s “Outstanding Heroine” for 2019. The award recognizes an outstanding person or group whose hard work has made a difference to a Wyoming library within the last two years.

The public is invited to a reception in her honor at the Ten Sleep Library on Monday, July 15, at 4 p.m. The library is located at 200 North Fir Street in Ten Sleep.

Grobe served two terms on the Washakie County Library Board and then moved to the library’s Foundation Board, working diligently to achieve the Wyoming Library Endowment Challenge goals. Her support of the library, though, goes well above and beyond her service on the two boards.

“She says she’ll do anything for the library that isn’t illegal,” said Karen Funk, Washakie County Library director. Funk nominated Grobe for the award. “When Dolleen makes a commitment to join any organization, she dedicates her time, talents and energy. If she missed a meeting, it would be a shock! She volunteers with purpose and dedication.”

Grobe has been instrumental in the continued transformation of the Ten Sleep Branch Library renovation through her work with the Friends of the Library, and she reviews the Friends scholarships. She’s filled needs for the library’s After the Bell after-school program and provided special items for displays. Her rescue dog Gus visits every day with her, and has become known as “the library dog” to the children who are excited to see him.

“When someone sees Dolleen on the street in our community they see a friendly face that speaks a LIBRARY to them,” Funk said. “Although recognition is not something she desires, we feel the need to honor her. She has our back and we want to recognize her as a person who makes a difference through dedication and volunteerism.”

The Wyoming Library Association is a statewide association that provides leadership to the Wyoming library community and serves as a collective voice and advocate for advancement of Wyoming libraries.

Library Philanthropist Carol McMurry Has Passed Away

Carol Jean McMurry, 1944-2019. Photo credit: Dignity Memorial.

We are saddened to share with the Wyoming library community that noted library philanthropist and former librarian Carol McMurry has passed away at the age of 74.

Carol graduated from Natrona County High School in 1962, attended Casper College, and graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1966. She worked as a librarian for most of her career. More details about her life may be found in her obituary and in a 2007 article in the Wyoming Library Roundup.

In 2000, Carol and her two sisters donated $5 million to the Wyoming Community Foundation, $1 million of which was dedicated to libraries through the Carol McMurry Library Endowment. The Library Endowment supports both library projects and continuing education. Over the years, numerous projects have been accomplished with this funding and many library workers have furthered their education and training, due to her generosity.

More recently, Carol and her husband Pat Spieles made a $2.5 million gift to the University of Wyoming to create two programs: a campus reading program and a librarian position to work closely with the UW Honors College.

May 2019 Outrider Now Available

Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the May 2019 Outrider newsletter from the Wyoming State Library. Subscribe today, and we’ll send the Outrider straight to your email inbox each month. You can also see past issues.

Have news you’d like included? Contact Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

Free Library Continuing Education Events for May

site logoThe May 2019 Wyoming State Library training calendar is now available with 87 webinars and four recordings to watch “At Your Leisure.” Every training opportunity on this list is free and offered online. Topics include advocacy, planning, careers, children and teens, collection development, communication, databases, managing change, fundraising, legal, management, outreach and partnerships, programming, readers’ advisory, reference, school libraries, technology, training and instruction, and volunteers.

View, download, or subscribe to the calendar at