Category Archives: WSL News

Happy Wyoming Snapshot Day 2020!

Wyoming Libraries Snapshot Day logoToday, October 21, is Wyoming Libraries Snapshot Day, where we celebrate the impact our libraries have on their communities every single day. We’re collecting photos, stories, and video that show how patrons are using and enjoying their libraries.

We’ll be sharing throughout the day. Follow all the action here:

If your library hasn’t signed up to participate, it’s not too late! Contact Susan Mark at the Wyoming State Library, or (307) 777-5915.

Wayne Johnson Has Passed Away

Photo of Wayne H. Johnson
Wayne H. Johnson (1942-2020)

Former Wyoming State Librarian Wayne H. Johnson passed away on October 16, 2020. He was 78.

Wayne served as the Wyoming State Librarian from 1978-1989. He was also a former state legislature in the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1992 to 2004 and then in the Wyoming Senate for another 12 years.

His obituary with information on services may be found on the Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home website.

The family requests no flowers, but those desiring to remember Wayne may donate to the charity of their choice.

October 2020 Outrider Now Available

Outrider newsletter header

Find a wrap-up of the latest in Wyoming library news in the October 2020 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.

Do you know any library colleagues, trustees, advocates, or volunteers who might be interested in the Outrider? Please share the news with them and encourage them to sign up for our monthly email.

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.

Opening November 1: Letters About Literature Contest

Letters About Literature 2021 logoWyoming students in grades 4-12 are invited to read, be inspired, and write back to the author (living or dead) of a book that changed their lives. The 2021 Wyoming Letters About Literature reading and writing contest will open November 1, 2020. Postmark deadline is January 9, 2021.

Wyoming Letters About Literature is a reading/writing promotion program. Entries will be judged at the state level in three age categories: grades 4-6, grades 7-8, and grades 9-12. At each age level, winners will receive an Amazon gift card worth $150 for first place, $100 for second, or $50 for third. Both individual and classroom entries are welcome. Questions may be directed to Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915.

Promotional Posters

Help spread the word. Download and print our promotional posters below and post them in your school, library, or any other location where you might reach teens and tweens.

Poster image for Letters About Literature all ages

All ages

Letters About Literature thumbnail of poster for grades 4-6

Grades 4-6

Letters About Literature thumbnail of poster for grades 7-8

Grades 7-8

Letters About Literature thumbnail of poster for grades 9-12

Grades 9-12

Find more information at

Snapshot Day One Week Away

Wyoming Snapshot Day will be held October 21, 2020, and if your library isn’t already signed up, we’d love to have you join us. Contact Susan Mark at or (307) 777-5915 to add your name to the list. We’d particularly like to see more school, academic, and special libraries participate.

On Snapshot Day, we ask you to collect photos and/or comments (and/or videos, if feasible) that tell the story of your library’s value each and every day of the year. Here at the WSL, we use these materials for advocacy, and we encourage you to do the same. We understand you may have questions:

What do I need to do to participate?
We have instructions for librarians on the website.

October 21 doesn’t work for me. May I do another day?
Yes! Please do. Just pick a day somewhere near the 21st and let us know. Same deal if you have a special event on a different day that you’d like included.

How do I promote Snapshot Day in my library?
Check out the forms, logos, and flyers we have available to you, including a tip sheet on how to make your Snapshot Day a success.

What if we don’t have a lot of staff time?
Even if you snap only a handful of photos, it adds to the overall results. You may do as little or as much as you’d like. We like to see as many libraries as possible represented.

What if I’m in a school or other library that has restrictions on taking photos of our patrons/students?
You are welcome to take photos of staff, stacks, displays, backs of heads, or “bookface” pics. You can also collect anonymous comments.

How do I send in my photos, comments, or videos?
You will email them or share them online to Susan Mark and she will add them to the Snapshot Day website and to social media. Specific instructions will be sent out to participants by email.

What’s the deadline for signing up?
None. If you decide the morning of October 21 to join in, we’ll happily take your comments, photos, and videos.

What if I have another question?
Contact Susan at or (307) 777-5915 and she’ll be glad to help you.

WSL People and Services in Video

The Wyoming State Library used federal funds to help sponsor last week’s Wyoming Library Association virtual conference. As part of that, our Library Development Office created these two brief videos to help the library community get to know our people and services a little better. We hope you enjoy them!

Funds for the sponsorship came from Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding received through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Learn more about how the WSL uses federal funds to support library services across Wyoming.

New Books at the WSL

The latest additions to the Wyoming State Library’s collection are available to you through WYLDCAT. Questions, comments, or suggestions for purchase may be directed to Library Development Manager Brian Greene at or (307) 777-6339.

Book cover image: Anonymity

Alison Macrina and Talya Cooper
Chicago : ALA Neal-Schuman, 2019

Book cover: Resilience

Rebekkah Smith Aldrich
Chicago : ALA Neal-Schuman, 2018

Book cover: Design Thinking

Design Thinking
Rachel Ivy Clarke
Chicago : ALA Neal-Schuman, 2020




Creepy Halloween Patents

It’s that time of year again! Ghosts, ghouls and things that go bump in the night! Halloween is a time for costumes, spooky stories and Trick-or-Treaters. Intellectual Property isn’t the first phrase that comes to mind when thinking of Halloween celebrations. However, there are patents for every occasion, including Halloween! Here are a few of the Halloween-themed patents we found searching the United State Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Click the images to see each full-sized, or click the patent number to see the full patent filing at the USPTO. And, as always, know that you can use our Patent and Trademark Resource Center for all your intellectual property questions, or contact us at (307) 777-6333 or


Design for a Paper Sheet or Similar Article (U.S. Patent Design D46,178). Patented in 1914 by Clara L. Mead. The design is a number of specters or ghostly figures shrouded and with death’s heads, each provided with a jack o’lantern.

Natural Creeping Baby Doll (U.S. Patent No. 118,435. This patent was granted in 1871 to George Pemberton­. According to his patent, Clarke wanted to improve the construction and operation of creeping (crawling) dolls. He wanted to mimic the natural movement of a baby.
Improvement in Coffins (U.S. Patent Number 212,273). Patented in 1879 by James Shannon. In 1879, James Shannon created a fastener to “prevent the displacement of the corpse in a coffin during the transfer of the remains down a flight of steps or stairway to the ground floor of a house, when the corpse is apt to slip to the lower end of the coffin and to steady the remains in the casket while in the hearse and on the route to the cemetery or place of interment.”
Ventriloquist’s Dummy (U.S. Patent No.2,114,851). Patented in 1938 by Martha McCown. According to the patent, McCown wanted to create a dummy that was durable and could be manufactured at a low cost.
Bleeding Costume Helmet (U.S. Patent No. 6,093,475). Patented in 2000 by Alan Geller. A costume element having an inner layer and at least in part transparent outer layer forming a passage there between, the passage having an upper opening. A fluid visible in at least a part of the passage is injected into the passage through the upper opening. A lower opening to the passage can be coupled to the upper opening by one or more tubes providing fluid communication and a pump.

Send in Your Directory Updates

site logoWe’d like to send a reminder out to all libraries and their employees to check the Wyoming Libraries Directory to make sure your listing is current.

The Directory is a resource the Wyoming State Library provides to help librarians connect and to help patrons find library locations and contacts. We rely on you to keep it current. Please take a few minutes and check your information.

Updates may be sent to Susan Mark, WSL Outreach Librarian, at She may also be reached at (307) 777-5915.