Category Archives: WLA

Kwame Alexander Tops Indian Paintbrush Awards

The 2018 Indian Paintbrush Book Award winner is The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. First runner up is Pax by Sara Pennypacker, and second runner up is Wish by Barbara O’Connor.

Sponsored by the Wyoming Library Association and the Wyoming State Reading Council, the Indian Paintbrush Award provides the opportunity for Wyoming youth in grades 4-6 to select a favorite book and honor its author. This year, 1,417 students voted, thanks to the schools and public libraries who participated in voting and encouraged kids to read the nominees.

WLA Calls for Conference Proposals

Do you have a great idea for a program for the Wyoming Library Association Conference? If so, they’d like to know. Even if you don’t have all the details pinned down, the WLA is interested in your ideas.

Program Proposal Form
Deadline April 30, 2018

The conference will be held from August 1-3 in Casper at the Casper Events Center. Information Power will take place on August 1. Registration will open at 11:30 a.m. on August 2 with the keynote at noon and the awards reception in the late afternoon or early evening. The conference will wrap up at 1:30 p.m. on August 3. The Ramkota is the host hotel, and accommodations include a full breakfast. WLA will not provide breakfast at the conference.

More information will be available on the WLA website as it becomes available.

Apply Now to Attend the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Wyoming Library Leadership Institute that will be held July 19-20 at Central Wyoming College’s Lander Campus. Application deadline is April 15.

Wyoming Library Leadership Institute (WLLI) provides an opportunity for librarians and others associated with libraries to learn about leadership potential. These acquired skills will be used to benefit their library, community and library association involvement. The program was developed because there was a recognized need to cultivate library leaders, which prompted the Wyoming State Library (WSL) to seek funding for the institute.

Learn more and fill out your application to be part of the 2018 cohort.

Questions? Contact Tasha Reeves at, (307) 332-5194, or Chris Van Burgh at, (307) 777-3642.

WLA Sets 2018 Conference Dates

Save the dates! The 2018 Wyoming Library Association Conference will be held August 1-3 in Casper, Wyoming, at the Casper Events Center. Information Power for school librarians will be held on Wednesday, August 1, and the main conference will be on August 2-3. The host hotel will be the Ramkota Hotel, a quick drive from the Events Center.

Mark your calendars now and plan to attend. More details will be coming as the conference gets closer.

Help Set a Feast for the Legislative Reception

Make plans now. The Wyoming Library Association legislative reception will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2018, at the Wyoming State Library, 2800 Central Ave. in Cheyenne. The reception will begin at 5:30, preceded by a legislative update at 5 p.m. from WLA lobbyists Mary Lynne Shickich and Susan Stubson.

The WSL Library Development Office is putting together a set of “short takes” on different but relevant topics for February 22 and 23. It will be free and directed at a broad audience of persons with Wyoming library interests.

One thing that makes WLA’s reception stand out is its home-cooked food, so we are in need of your potluck dishes. Appetizers, hot dishes, sides, salads, and desserts are all welcome. If you are planning to attend and bring something, please contact Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915. Please indicate whether you will need an electrical outlet for hot dishes.

Monetary donations toward the reception are also welcome. Make checks out to the Wyoming Library Association and indicate in the memo line that it’s for the reception. Mail to WLA at P.O. Box 1387 Cheyenne, WY 82003.

Mark Your Calendar for the Legislative Reception

Pencil it in now, and make plans to attend: the 2018 Wyoming Library Association Legislative Reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. on February 22, 2018 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. from WLA lobbyists Mary Lynne Shickich and Susan Stubson.

Our Library Development Office is currently planning training sessions in conjunction with the reception earlier that day and on Friday morning, February 23. Details coming soon.

A-Tisket, a-Tasket, a WLLI Basket!

From Anna Smedts, WLLI Advisor

Congratulations to all our basket winners and a HUGE THANKS to all those who so graciously (and creatively!) contributed to the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute (WLLI) basket fundraiser.

At the drawing (L to R): Johanna Tuttle, Abby Beaver, Darcy Acord, Chris Van Burgh, and Anna Smedts.

This year, the baskets were especially eye-catching and generously stuffed, drawing in many last-minute ticket purchasers with hopes of taking home the bounty. The “Basque-kit,” “Spirit of Sheridan,” “Devil’s Tower,” and “Wyoming Redneck” baskets were popular and fun reflections of our Wyoming culture. Raffle contestants were hard-pressed to choose between titles like “Zen and the Art of Gardening,” “Don’t Mess With a Princess,” “Margarita Madness,” and “Tuscany, WY.” From literary themes (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — WOW!), date nights (“Movie” or “Staycation”?) to “Canning” and “Creativity” baskets, there was something for everyone. Thank you all again, so very much, for your generous support of the WLLI; whether you bought tickets or built a basket, we appreciate you!

Nearly $1,400 was raised, which will go toward covering the costs of the 2018 Institute in beautiful Lander, Wyoming, next July. We hope to continue the tradition of providing opportunities for Wyoming librarians to gain skills in leading, communicating, collaborating, and engaging within their library systems and communities. Please consider applying to attend the 2018 Institute, or recommending it to a colleague — we have some exciting plans in place!

About 25 baskets were contributed to the WLLI raffle this year. Volunteers who helped out included Cynthia Twing, Megan Herold, Abby Beaver, Johanna Tuttle, Rachael Yates, Nancy Venable, Michelle Humber, Marci Mock, Karen Funk, Darcy Acord, Bonnie Stahla, and Anna Smedts. A few of the winners are pictured below with their baskets.


WLA Elects Two to Board

Kate Mutch

At its 2017 conference, the Wyoming Library Association announced that Kate Mutch was elected as its new Vice President/President-Elect. Mutch is Assistant Director at Natrona County Public Library.  “One of the greatest things about librarians is the willingness to share with others — information, materials and even themselves,” Mutch said in her candidate statement. “Wyoming libraries excel at this in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere. I believe working together to provide the best possible library service makes all of our libraries stronger.”


Cindy Moore

Cindy Moore, Converse County Library Assistant Director, was elected MPLA Representative, succeeding Steve Boss. “I believe very strongly in access without restrictions, the importance of libraries in our communities, exemplary customer service; and financial responsibility to our taxpayers,” she said. “MPLA has given me so much: grants for school, the Leadership Institute, and the support and friendship of librarians throughout the mountain western states.”

Thanks go to the other candidates on the ballot who were willing to step forward and offer their time and talents to WLA: Jennisen Lucas, who ran for Vice President, and Steve Boss and Nancy Venable, who ran for MPLA Representative. It was truly an excellent slate of candidates this year, and all of them should be commended.

Take a Tour of “What the Tech?”

2017 “What the Tech is That?”

If you missed it, check out the presentation slides and list of links from this year’s “What the Tech is That?” presentation at the Wyoming Library Association conference.

What the Tech? List of Tech from WLA 2017

  • Epic!: Digital library for kids 12 & under. Accessible on any device.
  • iMovie Trailers: Create fun, Hollywood-style movie trailers from your videos.
  • Hugo Hubble: Alexa-enabled, robotic, smart camera, reads facial expressions and senses emotions. Not yet available, but check at
  • 3D printing designers
    • Melissa NG com fun fashion with 3D printing
    • Anouk Wipprecht ( Technology couture with sensors embedded in design
    • Danit Peleg (com) more fashion that can be printed at home.
    • Iris Van Herpen ( fusing technology and traditional Couture craftsmanship.
  • website with CIA maps, headquarters tour, intelligence literature, world factbook, & world leaders, as well as a special section for K-9 Corps.
  • Sugarcane: Educational game creator.
  • Camtasia: Fee based video recorder/editor.
  • Plickers: clickers that can be used in the classroom or library.
  • NetGalley: website with ARC’s and egalleys available for review.
  • Edelweiss: another site with ARC’s and egalleys available for review.
  • Google Trips: app that gathers your travel information from Gmail and Inbox, then organizes it automatically.
  • Google Earth Voyager: Showcase of interactive, curated guided tours of places around the earth., then click “Voyager” in left-hand column.
  • Planbook: fee-based lesson book/scheduling tool for educators.
  • Ozoblockly: Learn simple coding to control your own ozobot.
  • StoryCorps: archive of more than 65,000 interviews; one of the largest born-digital collections of human voices.
  • Animoto: fee-based video creation service.
  • Eat Your Books: website that organizes your recipes.
  • ELBOW Cassette Player: Concept tech. Allows user to connect cassette tapes to digital player.
  • EyeNote: assistive technology app that helps you read money denominations.
  • Biblionasium: “Goodreads for Elementary Students” and now integrated with Follett Destiny.
  • Clips: Shareable, editable video app for iOS. Find in iTunes store.
  • Photomath: Assistive technology app for doing math.
  • BARD Mobile: Assistive Technology app. Offers downloadable Braille and audio reading material. Must be registered to use the app.
  • Map of Life: discover, identify, and record biodiversity worldwide. Also view species range map and inventory.
  • Tripit: helps you build your itinerary with dates, times, directions, maps, and weather.
  • Classcraft: classroom management app that uses gaming to direct students’ motivation.

Our Favorite Tweets from the WLA Conference

From August 9-11, more than 140 librarians, school library media specialists, and library workers gathered in Sheridan to learn and connect at Information Power and at the Wyoming Library Association 2017 Conference. Here are a few highlights we spotted on the #wyla17 hashtag on Twitter.