Category Archives: WLA

Save the Date for the WLA Legislative Reception

Pencil it in now, and make plans to attend: the 2019 Wyoming Library Association Legislative Reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, at the Wyoming State Library, 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne.

Library directors, employees, trustees, and volunteers are encouraged to be there. It’s a great opportunity to thank your Wyoming senators, representatives, and elected officials for their support of libraries and to offer them an evening of home-cooked food. The event will be preceded by a legislative update at 5 p.m.

Our Library Development Office is currently planning training sessions in conjunction with the reception earlier that day and on Friday morning, February 8. Details coming soon.

If you can bring a potluck dish, please contact Jessica Dawkins at the Wyoming State Library at or (307) 777-6337 and indicate what you will bring and whether you will need an electrical outlet.

WLA Names Natrona County Library ‘Outstanding Library of the Year’

The Wyoming Library Association (WLA) has named the Natrona County Library “Outstanding Library of the Year.” The award is given for a significant special project completed within the last two years. In this case, the Natrona County Library’s Creation Station was recognized. The only Makerspace in Casper, the Creation Station transformed an aging and inflexible building into a dynamic and flexible space that provides the community with 21st century innovations and ingenuities.

Initiated by the Natrona County Library’s Executive Director Lisa Scroggins, the Creation Station Committee consisted of Kate Mutch, Betsy O’Neil, Jerry Jones, Gayla Peterman, Gary Collums, and Jennifer Beckstead. In addition, Natrona County Library Foundation Executive Director Beth Worthen worked tirelessly to secure the necessary funding to make the Creation Station a reality. The Creation Station was funded through private donations.

The library was honored at an award ceremony emceed by WLA President Kate Mutch on Wednesday, September 12 at 1 p.m. at the Natrona County Library.

Customer Service in the Library

Our customers (patrons) are our bread and butter! This presentation at the 2018 Wyoming Library Association conference examined customer service with respect to both diversity and generations in public and school library settings. Presenters Richard Landreth and Anna Street have shared their slides for those who missed it or those who wanted a refresher of what they learned at the conference.

WLA Elects Two to Board

At its 2018 conference, the Wyoming Library Association announced that Abby Beaver was elected as its new Vice President/President-Elect. Abby is the Information Services Manager at the Wyoming State Library. As Vice President, she will chair the program planning committee for the 2019 WLA conference and assume the presidency for 2019-2020. “I’m excited to work with librarians to provide quality programming and encourage more participation in our association,” she said in her candidate statement.

Janice Grover-Roosa was elected ALA Councilor. She will serve as WLA’s representative to the American Library Association and also as Intellectual Freedom Advisor. Janice is Director of the Western Wyoming Community College Hay Library. “I will commit myself to helping all of us in the Wyoming Library Community navigate and make use of the many useful tools ALA has prepared on behalf of libraries,” she said in her candidate statement. “My goal is not to ‘promote ALA’ but rather to promote our libraries by recommending various resources and opportunities provided by ALA.” She succeeded Brian Greene, Library Development Manager at the Wyoming State Library.

Thanks go to the other candidates on the ballot who were willing to step forward and offer their time and talents to WLA. Brenda Mahoney-Ayres, Director of the Weston County Library, ran for Vice President. Terri Lesley, Executive Library Director of the Campbell County Public Library System who ran for ALA Councilor. It was truly an excellent slate of candidates this year, and all of them should be commended.

WLA Presentation: Beyond Fake News

Another informative presentation we’re sharing from the recent Wyoming Library Association conference: in “Beyond Fake News,” Michelle Boule demonstrated methods to teach students of any age how to evaluate information sources, from a rogue tweet to a scholarly book to a picture on Imgur. She reviewed strategies that use what students already know and build upon that through in-class activities that get students up and moving physically and mentally.

The presentation included resources for curriculum creation and media fact checking. Presentation and handout are available at

Websites, Apps, & Gizmos from ‘What the Tech’

Topics at the Wyoming Library Association “What the Tech” session included social media, genealogy, fair use, language learning, DIY toys, and more. We uploaded the slides to SlideShare for those who couldn’t make it and those who were there and would like to review them. We’ve also included the links below so that you can check out these tools yourself.

This presentation wouldn’t have happened without the people who stepped up to share:

  • Teri Wiblemo, Fremont County Library System
  • Gabrielle (Gabby) St. Clair, Fremont County Library System
  • Elizabeth Albin, Campbell County Public Library System
  • Debbie Revzin, Wyoming State Library (intern)
  • Jennisen Lucas, Park County School District 6
  • Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library
  • Danielle Price, Wyoming State Library
  • Michelle Boule Smith, Sheridan College Mary Brown Kooi Library
  • Angela Wolff, Laramie County Library System
  • Paige Bredenkamp, Wyoming State Library
  • Thomas Ivie, Wyoming State Library

Paige and Thomas were also the organizers for the session. You can see What the Tech slides from prior years on Susan Mark’s SlideShare channel.

Tharp Named WLA Outstanding Librarian

Janet Tharp. Photo from Campbell County, Wyoming Government Facebook page.

Katrina Brown, WLA President, with Janet at the awards ceremony. Photo from Campbell County, Wyoming Government Facebook page.

Janet Tharp, Youth Services Coordinator for Campbell County Public Library System, has been honored by the Wyoming Library Association with its Outstanding Librarian Award for 2018.

This award is meant to, above all, recognize and especially honor the significant and outstanding accomplishments set forth by a library employee in the past year, such as service to library patrons, and the library community that this individual is a part of. It is also meant to reflect the goals of WLA and the library professional, as a whole.

Janet was nominated by Darcy Acord, the library’s Youth Service Librarian. Darcy wrote in the nomination: “Over her 26-year career, Janet Tharp has exemplified outstanding library service to youth. In the past year in particular, Janet has helped our department sustain the loss of a 20-hour staff position and continue to deliver quality library service; has helped implement a new early-literacy program, Play to Learn, in our community; and has planned and organized the annual Wyoming Reads event for all first graders in Campbell County.”

Bring a Basket for the Annual WLLI Fundraiser

Raffle baskets at the 2017 WLA conference.

As we head into another Wyoming Library Association conference on August 1-3, the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute is looking for your beautiful gift baskets to raffle off for its annual fundraiser. WLLI benefits the Wyoming Library Community by nurturing leaders at every stage of their careers and every level of their organizations.

If your library can bring a basket, please contact Chris Van Burgh at or (307) 777-3642. We especially encourage WLLI grads to participate.

Be creative! And once you’ve put the finishing touches on your basket, send a picture of it to Susan Mark at so that she can post it on social media.

For those bringing baskets, please leave them at the registration table with Laura Grott rather than taking them into the vendor area.

The Institute is also looking for volunteers to man the tables and sell tickets at the conference. If you can donate a little time, please contact Darcy Acord at or (307) 687-9227.


The ‘What the Tech’ WLA Session Needs You!

Going to the Wyoming Library Association conference in August and looking for a way to get a little more involved. Consider volunteering to share your knowledge in the “What the Tech is That?” session, a “lightning round” tour of technologies you can put to use in your library.

What the Tech has something for everyone in a rapid-fire, whirlwind trip of websites and tech tools. When you participate, you can have fun exploring new gadgets and gizmos, choosing and preparing a handful of topics, and trying to share each one in the 90 seconds before the bell signals the end of the round.

From “What the Tech” 2017

It’s not time-consuming to participate — put together a few PowerPoint slides that show everyone where they can find each of your chosen resources along with a screen shot or two. Then tell everyone in 90 seconds what the resource is and how you use it or plan to use it.

Resources can be anything from websites to apps to tech tools, from practical to the way-out-there bizarre. If you have used a new resource for summer reading or a new organizational app or a retirement tool, we want to hear about it! With so much technology to choose from it is helpful to have first-hand accounts of what works from staff in our own library community. Potential topics might include:

  • Planning/organizational tools
  • Summer reading tool
  • Communication app
  • Informational websites
  • Gaming
  • VR/AR
  • Programming tools
  • Library management
  • Library space resources
  • Homework help
  • Social media platforms
  • Reading log apps
  • And more….

Interested? Contact Thomas Ivie at or (307) 777-6330 for more details. We really hope that you will choose to participate in this fun collaboration and support Wyoming libraries!

WLA Conference Registration Now Open

Click for PDF of program

Registration is now open on the Wyoming Library Association website for the 2018 Wyoming Library Association conference to be held August 1-3 at the Casper Events Center. Wednesday, August 1, is the Information Power pre-conference for school librarians. The full conference kicks off Thursday, August 2, with registration at 9:00 a.m. and breakout sessions beginning at 9:30.

See the program
Register for the conference and/or Information Power

Registration deadline is Thursday, July 19. A room block has been secured at the Ramkota Hotel for $89 plus tax for up to four people. Call (307) 266-6000 for reservations. A free breakfast buffet is provided at the hotel each morning. Registration includes breaks, lunch, and reception. The conference will be held in the lower level at the Events Center, so we recommend you park on that level.

The annual conference is a great opportunity to gather, connect, and learn with your fellow members of the Wyoming library community. On the agenda are the opening keynote luncheon, author luncheon, multiple breakout sessions, vendor booths, awards reception, and a basket raffle to support the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute.