Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

$2.5 Million Gift Benefits UW Libraries

From UW News

A $2.5 million gift from two University of Wyoming alumni, Carol McMurry and her husband Pat Spieles, will create two programs: a campus reading program and a librarian position to work closely with the UW Honors College. Carol and Pat are are staunch supporters of UW Libraries.

UW Reads aims to broaden the shared understanding of the world through the joys of a good book, and the Endowed Librarian for Academic Excellence position will serve as a liaison between the Honors College and UW Libraries, as well as overseeing the UW Reads program.

The UW Reads program, modeled on the Big Read program of the National Endowment for the Arts, is  based on the principle that larger conversations about shared ideas can transform communities.

Once the program is established, a book would be selected from a range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, which participants sign up to read. Based on the book, the program may include activities such as readers joining book discussions online or in person. Speakers, including the author of the book or subject matter experts, may be invited to visit campus. Panel discussions, film screenings and public readings also may be offered, and the number and type of events will evolve from year to year.

The Endowed Librarian for Academic Excellence position will support the mission and programming of UW’s newly established Honors College, as well as scholarship and student excellence in general. This person will serve as a liaison between the Honors College and UW Libraries, as well as the main point of contact for Honors College students and faculty for library services and resources. He or she also will promote collaborations with the Wyoming State Library, community college libraries and statewide public libraries.

The position also will teach colloquia in the Honors College; develop open educational resources for the Honors College in the libraries; and serve as a critical point person for students seeking essential library resources for their theses. The position will create exhibits and offer lectures and specialized workshops on library research or digital scholarship. He or she will assist with educational and research experiences at the American Heritage Center and will oversee undergraduate research awards.

“This amazing gift of Carol and Pat represents a major step forward in UW Libraries helping realize the strategic plan of the University of Wyoming,” UW Libraries Dean Ivan Gaetz said. “Through this endowed position, a new partnership with the Honors College will unfold on several fronts — teaching, other educational programming and student scholarly development — that intersect with a wide scope of disciplines and promote a high level of student achievement.”

Read more  from UW News.

#MapMonday: Exploring the Census Atlases

A map from the 1870 Statistical Atlas showing river systems
in the United States. Image credit: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau recently posted on Facebook that in 1872, academics urged the Census Bureau and Congress to publish graphic representations of the data collected during the 1870 Census. Congress appropriated funds and Superintendent of the Census Francis Amasa Walker published the first Statistical Atlas of the United States 1874. The U.S. Census Bureau continued publishing atlases periodically until halting the program following the 1920 census.

In 2007, the Census Bureau published the Census Atlas of the United States. This atlas is the first comprehensive atlas of population and housing produced by the Census Bureau since the 1920s. It contains nearly 800 maps covering topics such as language and ancestry characteristics, housing patterns, and the geographic distribution of the population.

View all published editions of the Census Atlas.

Do you want research help with historical or current U.S. Census information? The Wyoming State Library is here to help. Contact our reference staff at or (307) 777-6333.

New Video: National Geographic Kids

This beautiful resource, for kids ages 6-14, includes books and magazines (every page, every issue), videos, and pictures. Explore topics: Animals, Environment, People & Cultures, History, Science & Tech, and Places. This is also the feature for January’s marketing campaign.
January 2019; 23 minutes

Wyoming Reads Issues Fraud Alert

Wyoming Reads, a program of Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation dedicated to advancing early childhood literacy, has received reports that individuals have been contacted by solicitors asking for donations in support of “Wyoming Reads.” Wyoming Reads does not solicit donations from anyone via phone. If you have been contacted via telephone and asked to provide your credit card information in order to make donations to Wyoming Reads, this is a scam.

Each year, Wyoming Reads provides a hardback picture book to every first grade student in Wyoming. The Wyoming State Library is proud to be a partner in this effort.

#TBT Mike the Bike in Wyoming State Docs

Friendly, terrifying, or just terrified? We weren’t quite sure ourselves when we ran across “Mike the Bike” in our state documents collection. In the 1970s, Mike was a mascot for the Wyoming Highway Patrol Safety Division’s effort to encourage bicycle safety for kids.

About Mike

Mike is a BICYCLE — a ‘Talking’ Bicycle. Mike wants all boys or girls to enjoy riding their bicycles and he also wants them to be safe while riding. He gives them eleven rules to follow that he hopes they will learn and always practice. He also gives tips on taking care of a bicycle as he visits with the Highway Patrol Safety Officer who presents the program.

Have to admit the bow tie is pretty snazzy, but we’re not so sure about that face. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Nevertheless, Mike offered some good safety tips in the brochure below. (Click for larger image.)

The Wyoming State Library is the official repository for state government publications. Not only do we have an extensive physical and online collection, we have reference librarians on staff who can help you find the information you need. Contact us at or (307) 777-6333. We’re always glad to help.

Featured Document: Wyoming Alzheimer’s Plan

As Wyoming’s population ages, many across the state will face the challenge of dementia. The Wyoming State Library recently added the Wyoming State Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias to our collection in our State Publications database and as a print document available through WYLDcat.

This 32-page plan is the result of over two years of work by the Wyoming Alzheimer’s and Dementia Work Group, consisting of 16 specialists from nine different state organizations concerned with the future of dementia care in the Equality State.

To inform the work of the group, a statewide Alzheimer’s needs assessment was completed, which consisted of 10 town hall listening sessions held last year throughout Wyoming, including on the Wind River Reservation. For those residents who were unable to attend a listening session, the Wyoming Center on Aging, based at the University of Wyoming, administered an on-line needs assessment survey.

‘The Path to a Patent’ at the WSL

January 11, 2019, update:
The Path to a Patent series of presentations has been cancelled due to the ongoing government shutdown.

The Wyoming State Library is hosting a free series on intellectual property, “The Path to a Patent,” from the Rocky Mountain U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. These three interactive sessions during January and February will be broadcast to the State Library at 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. The Path to a Patent will be useful for small business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors — anyone interested in patents and other intellectual property.

The series will cover not just the basics, but also delve deeper into intellectual property topics. Each session can stand alone so participants may sign up for the full series or only the ones that match their interests. All will be held in the State Library’s meeting room.

Pre-registration is requested, but not required.

  • The Path to a Patent, Part I: The patent application process
    Friday, January 18, 2019, 10-11:30 a.m. MST
  • The Path to a Patent, Part II: Patent searching
    Friday, February 1, 2019, 10-11:30 a.m. MST
  • The Path to a Patent, Part III: How to file a patent application using EFS-Web
    Friday, February 15, 2019, 10-11:30 a.m. MST

The Path to a Patent is valuable for a better understanding of intellectual property and how to protect it. While filing for a patent is a legal process, this series will give participants more information and understanding before they take the step of contacting an attorney.

Learn more about The Path to a Patent and other training opportunities from the Rocky Mountain USPTO. Contact Kitchens at or (307) 777-7281 with any questions.

The Wyoming State Library is a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC).