Category Archives: WSL News

Spread the Word! Letters About Literature Opens Soon

All ages

Grades 4-6

Grades 7-8

Grades 9-12

Wyoming 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 2020 Wyoming Letters About Literature reading and writing contest will open November 1. Postmark deadline for Wyoming entries will be January 11, 2020.

You can help spread the word — we’ve created the promotional posters above to help. Download and print the PDFs, or use the JPGs in your own presentations, emails, newsletters, social media, or any other way you can think of to inspire a teen or tween to enter.

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.

Competition will be held at the state level only. The Library of Congress concluded its support of Letters About Literature with the 2019 contest.

Find more information and a teaching guide at Questions? Contact Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915.

Creepy Patents for Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner, so this month the Wyoming State Library dug deep into the final resting place for U.S. Patents — the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Database. Here we found some creepy and disturbing patents to help get you in the mood for this season of chilling goosebumps! (Click to see larger images… if you dare…)

Learn more about patents through the Wyoming State Library’s Patent & Trademark Resource Center.


(U.S. Patent No. 7,627,935. This patent was granted in 2009 to Deborah R. Ostrum.

This handy device keeps your loved ones close after passing on. This adorable urn even comes with a voice recorder/player for realistic sound!


(U.S. Patent No.748,284). Patented in 1908 by Joseph Karwowski. Never want to be without your departed loved one? Here is a method of preserving them forever. Simply enclose them in sodium silicate and glass!


(U.S. Patent No.9,610,207). Patented in 2017 by Marc A. Fort. Here is a more realistic way to display your loved one’s ashes. Simply place their ashes into this retainer bearing an image that resembles your loved one and hang on the wall.


(U.S. Patent 766,171). Patented in 1904 by Edwin S. Crosby and Ell Ray Henry. This handy device provides for the means to signal both audibly and visually that the departed are not truly departed. Good to have, just in case…


(U.S. Patent No.6,193,578). Patented in 2001 by Thomas Carl Weber. On a lighter note, here is a fun way to house your fish! House your fish in a unique home while impressing your guests with your “Mad Scientist” décor!

Library Use on Snapshot Day

Patrons at Natrona County Library on Wyoming Snapshot Day.

Wyoming libraries are busy, serving their communities day in and day out. Our Snapshot Day tally tells the story of how our libraries are used, both physically and electronically. On just one day,  Tuesday, October 8, 2019, Wyoming’s public and community college libraries:

  • Circulated 14,126 items, including 5,544 children’s items
  • Saw 6,163 downloads and renewals of ebooks, downloadable audiobooks, and digital magazines
  • Issued 278 new library cards
  • Added 839 items to their catalogs
  • Had over 3.43 million items available to Wyoming’s residents in their collections
  • Provided 904 patron computers at public library outlets

From data collected annually by the Wyoming State Library, we estimate that on an average day, there are:

  • 9,147 visits to public libraries
  • 1,600 people using a public library computer
  • 1,077 reference questions answered in public libraries
  • 836 children and teens who attended programs at their public libraries
  • 43 meeting room uses
  • 797 wireless internet sessions
  • 7,603 retrievals of information from WYLD databases

The 78 electronic resources offer articles, ebooks, scholarly sources, downloadable audiobooks, courses and tutorials, and much more. These are available to every Wyoming resident, 24 hours a day. On October 8, there were:

  • 4,000 WYLDCat sessions, nearly 30,000 searches, and 3,488 unique users.
  • 532 RBDigital Audiobook checkouts and 202 RBDigital magazine checkouts
  • 288 Cloudlibrary checkouts
  • 855 Chadwyck-Healey Literature Collections sessions
  • 30 sessions and 38 document views (of 18 unique reports) in CQ Researcher
  • 478 visitors to Culturegrams (between October 7 and October 8)
  • 273 sessions and 1,148 queries to Encyclopedia Britannica Online (all versions)
  • 2,102 sessions, 5,554 searches and 1,026 retrievals in Gale
  • eight logins to Pronunciator, a language-learning resource

In addition, there were 1,350 hits to the GoWYLD Portal page from 486 unique users, and 468 views of the subject guides.

Happy Wyoming Snapshot Day 2019!

The Paw Patrol at Meeteetse Branch Library, Wyoming Snapshot Day 2018.

Today, October 8, 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.

Library Snapshot Day originated in New Jersey and is now celebrated nationally. Learn more about it on the American Library Association website.


Snapshot Day Only One Week Away

Alpine Branch Library, Wyoming Libraries Snapshot Day 2018

Wyoming Snapshot Day will be held October 8, 2019, 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 8 doesn’t work for me. May I do another day?
Yes! Please do. Just pick a day somewhere near the 8th 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.

What’s the deadline for signing up?
None. If you decide the morning of October 8 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.

Paw Patrol on the Road in Wyoming

High fives all around with the Paw Patrol at Johnson County Library.

Paw Patrol visiting Sweetwater County Library System.

Want a little more “pawsitivity” at your library? The State Library has Paw Patrol costumes available to Wyoming libraries. They’re great for programming, parties, community engagement, advocacy, fundraising, making new friends, and more! To borrow the Paw Patrol costumes, contact Robyn Hinds at the WSL at or (307) 777-7282. If Robyn is unavailable, you may always call our main desk at (307) 777-6333.

The pups have been appearing around the state, including at the Sweetwater County Library System and the Johnson County Library. See the photos below, see what those library directors have to say, and contact Robyn to get on the schedule and bring Paw Patrol to your library.

Sweetwater County Library System

Sweetwater County Library System held a Paw Patrol event at the Green River Library in January 2018 and one at the White Mountain Library in Rock Springs in April 2018. Both drew 300 or more attendees. The library partnered with the Rock Springs Fire Department for the White Mountain Library event.

“When we are forever trying to come up with the next big and amazing program to bring people to the library, this is too easy,” said Jason Grubb, Library Director.

“People come because they want to see the characters. Find a date, find some people to wear the costumes — we used volunteers — and promote the event.” Jason said organization and preparation are simple. He recommends a craft for people to do while waiting to see the characters and a brief safety message that the local fire department can provide.

Sweetwater County has also brought in Clifford, Give a Mouse a Cookie, and one of the Wild Things in addition to the Paw Patrol. “We order costumes frequently and do nothing more than advertise the event as ‘come out and meet them,’” Jason said. “Our community is extremely receptive to these type of events.”

Johnson County Library

Library Director Steve Rzasa said Johnson County Library had their visit with the Paw Patrol a while back and the kids had a blast! Cynthia Twing and Megan Herold donned the costumes.

Who’s behind the masks?

Why, it’s Megan Herold and Cynthia Twing!

Big hugs with the Paw Patrol.

September 2019 Outrider Now Available

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

Saving Money at the Library

Photo credit: Lincoln County Library System

Your patrons save money when they use your library. But are they aware of just how much? A new feature added in the latest upgrade to the WYLD system lets them know.

When enabled by libraries, a message will appear at the bottom of printed and emailed receipts tallying the total cost of the borrowed materials: “Congratulations! Borrowing from your library saved: $xxx.xx.” The value displayed is the sum of all item prices. This feature demonstrates the value of the library with every checkout.

Librarians are excited to share this information with their patrons — multiple WYLD libraries are already implementing this update! Contact the WYLD Office at the Wyoming State Library at to learn more.

Wyoming Snapshot Day Set for October 8

Wyoming Snapshot Day 2018 at the Ten Sleep Branch School Library

Wyoming Snapshot Day 2019 is on the calendar for Tuesday, October 8. On Snapshot Day, we gather photos and stories from libraries around the state to share how libraries make a difference in their communities every single day.

The event is less than a month away, so sign up now! We already have more than 30 libraries on the list, and we’d love to add yours. Contact Susan Mark, Wyoming State Library Outreach Librarian, at or (307) 777-5915 to participate.

WSL Closed on Labor Day

Planned Labor Day events for 1922 in Rock Springs, via the August 18, 1922, ROCK SPRINGS ROCKET in Wyoming Newspapers

The Wyoming State Library will be closed on Monday, September 2 for Labor Day. We will re-open on Tuesday, September 3. If you’re curious about the origins of the holiday, the U.S. Department of Labor offers a brief history.

While the first Labor Day celebration was held in 1882, the first mention of the holiday in Wyoming legislation was in 1921 when House Bill 106 proposed to designate November 11 as “American Day” and to replace Arbor Day in the list of legal holidays with Labor Day. The bill passed the house, but failed in the Senate. In 1923, Chapter 6 of the Session Laws added “the day that may be appointed by the Governor as Labor Day” as a holiday in State Statute. Read more on the legislative history of Labor Day in Wyoming Legislation, one of the Wyoming State Library’s six digital collections.