Category Archives: WLA

Author Ron Franscell to Speak at WLA

Ron Franscell

Ron Franscell

USA Today bestselling crime writer, novelist, and journalist Ron Franscell will be the featured luncheon speaker at the 2019 Wyoming Library Association conference on Friday, August 9.

Ron is a Wyoming native, author of 17 fiction and nonfiction books, and long-time journalist. His chilling true crime story of rape and murder in Casper — released in hardcover as Fall and in paperback as The Darkest Night — is still in print after more than 12 years. In 2001, Ron was awarded the SIRS/WLA Intellectual Freedom Freedom Award.

He returns to Wyoming in his new book, Alice & Gerald: A Homicidal Love Story which covers (and uncovers) the disturbing secrets of two murderers who evaded justice for almost 40 years.

Ron’s books will be available for purchase at the conference through Casper’s Wind City Books. Plan on getting your copies signed after the luncheon and during the Friday vendor break.

The full conference runs August 8-9, with pre-conference sessions taking place August 7. Learn more and register.

Science and Health at WLA Pre-Conferences

The full Wyoming Library Association conference runs August 8-9, but it’s worth coming a day early for the pre-conference sessions. In addition to the School Library Summit, there are two valuable workshops on August 7, one on science and one on health. Register for either or both on the WLA Conference registration form. Pre-conference sessions are $20 each.

In the morning, Leap into Science is a program designed to build interest and skills in literacy and science for children ages 3-10 and their families, in community settings like libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs. It was developed by The Franklin Institute and the National Girls Collaborative Project. The program consists of three types of workshops (preschool, elementary, and family), and includes a broad range of science concepts. This training will be held from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7. Learn more about Leap into Science at

For the afternoon, Beyond an Apple a Day with George Strawley from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine will cover the health information seeking behavior of consumers and the role of the librarian in the provision of health information for the public. Come learn about the evolution of consumer health, health literacy and the e-patient. Participants will be equipped with knowledge of top consumer health sites, e-patient resources and collection development core lists. Participants will discuss creative ideas for health information outreach. The class will wrap up with an opportunity to explore effective marketing approaches and develop an elevator speech. This course, scheduled for 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, qualifies for up to four contact hours toward a Consumer Health Information Specialization from the Medical Library Association. George will also present a breakout session during the full conference on “Citizen Science: Putting Your Patrons in Touch with Discover.”

PC Sweeney is WLA Keynote Speaker

PC Sweeney, Political Director of EveryLibrary and keynote speaker for the 2019 Wyoming Library Association conference

If you need yet another reason to attend the 2019 Wyoming Library Association conference from August 7-9 this year, you don’t want to miss keynote speaker PC Sweeney.

Sweeney is the political director of EveryLibrary, a national political action committee (PAC) for libraries. He’s the co-author of Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding from ALA Editions and a lecturer for San Jose State University iSchool. He’s worked in both public and school libraries, and was a Library Journal 2015 Mover and Shaker.

His keynote will be the fun and inspirational session, “Make It Happen/Party Hard,” intended to motivate library staff to balance the stressful work of librarianship with celebrating successes in their communities. He’ll highlight the need for enthusiasm from staff at all levels to promote the work that libraries do and discuss how that enthusiasm can build positive professional networks and relationships with communities for real tangible outcomes. Finally, he’ll explore the way that emotional attractors affect library work and the level of success within communities.

Sweeney will also be leading a breakout session, “From Advocate to Activist.” In this session, he’ll challenge the traditional model of advocacy for libraries and instead look at how to create activists to build the public support libraries need to survive. He’ll look at how the current advocacy model is failing libraries and causing massive defunding and closures and will explore many of the strategies and tactics used by some of the best community organizers, political action committees, and politicians to build real actionable support. He’ll emphasize the resources and skills that librarians and library staff need to develop if they want to have the political and community support that they need in order to increase support and funding.

Learn more and register for the conference.

WLLI Plans First Graduate Institute

All Wyoming Library Leadership Institute graduates are invited to attend the first-ever Graduate Institute July 19-20, 2019, in Gillette. Reignite and increase your passion for leadership and collaborate with other grads to create the WLLI Future Plan. Jep Enck, Enck Resources, will lead the group through the planning process and fire up your leadership skills. Plans are in the works to live stream this event for those who can’t make it to Gillette.

Register here.
(Use code WLLIGRAD if asked.)
Registration deadline is June 22, 2019.

If you have any difficulty registering, contact Chris Van Burgh at or (307) 777-3642, or contact Laura Grott at

Download the PDF flyer.

WLA Conference Registration Open

Registration for the 2019 Wyoming Library Association Annual Conference is now open. The conference will be held at the Little America Hotel & Resort in Cheyenne from August 7-9:

  • Wednesday, August 7: School Library Summit (formerly called Info Power)
  • Wednesday, August 7: Preconference
    • Leap Into Science
    • Beyond an Apple a Day: Providing Consumer Health Information At Your Library
  • Thursday-Friday, August 8-9: WLA Conference

Learn more and register.

2019 Soaring Eagle Award Winners Named

The 2019 Soaring Eagle Award winners are here — the best YA reads as chosen by Wyoming students in grades 7-12:

  • Winner: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • First Runner-Up: Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz
  • Second Runner-Up: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

The Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association jointly sponsor three awards: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, the Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and the Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. The purpose of these awards is to provide an opportunity for the youth of Wyoming to read and select favorite books and to honor the authors of those books.

Library History: Wyoming Library Association

Before National Library Week comes to a close, we have one more story to share about Wyoming’s library history: the formation of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA).

An October 8, 1914 article published in Laramie’s Weekly Boomerang attributes creation of the association to Basin librarian Agnes K. Snow, who was chairman of the federation’s Literacy and Library Extension Committee. The formation of the association “will tend to increase the usefulness of the county and other libraries in the state and to secure needed legislation, as well as helping librarians in their work.”

Snow proposed the idea of the association before the annual meeting of the Wyoming State Federation of Women’s Clubs in Douglas in August 1913. The federation created a special committee to consider the formation of the group and appointed Snow its chairman, assisted by Dr. Grace Raymond Hebard, the first librarian at the University of Wyoming.

The library association held its first meeting on October 7, 1914, signing the constitution and electing officers. The association selected Dr. Hebard as president, Snow as vice president, and W.S. Ingham, librarian at the Laramie Carnegie Public Library, as secretary-treasurer.

There follows a long on-again-off-again account of the association when wartime rationing made transportation and organization funding rather difficult. When membership finally settled out in the middle of the 20th Century, the WLA set to work establishing statewide practices. The association reported legislative success in clarifying bonds for county libraries, changing county library laws to delete outdated practices, and enabling county library boards to organize cooperative library systems crossing county lines in 1961, and helped formulate standards for Wyoming public libraries throughout the 1960s.

Today, the WLA is a staple in the Wyoming library community. The association provides support for libraries and library staff, and according to the WLA mission, they provide leadership, advocate for advancement of Wyoming libraries, educate the library community and users about contemporary library services, issues, and technology, provide members with a network for interaction on professional and social levels, and promote the profession of librarianship and participation of Wyoming libraries in regional, national, and global library arenas. The WLA also organizes and hosts the annual Wyoming Library Association Conference benefiting library staff and library communities around the state by encouraging minds to connect and share.

Find this and more library history of Wyoming with the Wyoming Newspapers Project.



Nominate a Deserving Colleague or Library for a WLA Award

The Awards/Grants Committee of the Wyoming Library Association is accepting nominations for its annual awards that honor individuals and organizations for their contributions to libraries and librarianship. WLA members may submit nominations through May 31, 2019 in these categories:

Outstanding Hero/Heroine

The Outstanding Hero/Heroine award provides an opportunity for WLA to recognize an outstanding person or group whose hard work has made a difference to a Wyoming library within the last two years.

Outstanding Librarian

The Outstanding Librarian award recognizes the significant and outstanding accomplishments of a library employee in the past year, including service to the public and/or library community. It is also meant to reflect the goals of WLA and the library profession as a whole.

Outstanding Library

The Outstanding Library award recognizes a significant special project completed within the last two years. The staff, library board, community, or people served must all have been involved in the work for which recognition is sought.


Nora Van Burgh Development Grants

In addition, WLA has available Nora Van Burgh Development Grants to provide funding assistance to those who wish to enhance their effectiveness as library employees through additional educational experience. Non-degreed library employees, a majority of the WLA membership, are particularly encouraged to apply, though any current member of WLA may apply. Deadline to apply is June 15, 2019.


Learn more about awards and grants on the WLA website.

2019 Buckaroo Award Winners Named

The 2019 Buckaroo Book Award winners are here — 4,502 Wyoming students in grades K-3 voted for their favorite book this year. Look for 2019-2020 nominees later in April.

  • Winner: Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt
  • First Runner-Up: Narwhal, Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
  • Second Runner-Up: The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

The Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association jointly sponsor three awards: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, the Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and the Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. The purpose of these awards is to provide an opportunity for the youth of Wyoming to read and select favorite books and to honor the authors of those books.

2019 Indian Paintbrush Award-Winners Named

The 2019 Indian Paintbrush Awards have been announced More than 900 Wyoming students in grades 4-6 voted on these as their favorites for the year:

  • Winner: The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • First runner up: Restart by Gordon Korman
  • Second runner up: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

The Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Literacy Association jointly sponsor three awards: the Buckaroo Book Award for children in grades K-3, the Indian Paintbrush Book Award for children in grades 4-6, and the Soaring Eagle Book Award for youth in grades 7-12. The purpose of these awards is to provide an opportunity for the youth of Wyoming to read and select favorite books and to honor the authors of those books.