Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

Comics Have Research Value at the AHC

An advocate for literacy and education, in 1994 Stan Lee participated in educational events open to the community at the UW campus. American Heritage Center – Events of 1994 – Stan Lee and Spider-Man April 12-14 Photo File, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

by Amanda Stow, Assistant Archivist
American Heritage Center

Comic book writer Stan Lee turned 95 in December, and he’s still at work.

Providing evidence to all his decades of work in the comic book industry, and its expansion to other entertainment media such as film and television, is the American Heritage Center’s collection of Lee’s papers, which continues to grow. Lee’s papers are a valuable educational resource, particularly to the University of Wyoming’s students.

Stan Lee signing comic books for former Wyoming First Lady Win Hickey, 1994 at UW. American Heritage Center – Events of 1994 – Stan Lee and Spider-Man April 12-14 Photo File, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Lee’s collection includes early twentieth century comics, manuscripts of his columns, and fan mail. Students and faculty in multiple disciplines use Lee’s collection to study literature, American Studies, social studies education, and more for research papers, theses, and curriculum development.

From his papers students learn about different facets of US culture from the twentieth century, including politics and social constructs, for example the Civil Rights Movement.

Comics from Lee’s collection often depict harsh realities of US culture and manuscripts; his columns discuss his reasoning for writing about particular social issues. Fan mail in the collection tell why particular characters or story lines are important to people, and from these letters students can learn about societal concerns at certain points in US history.

Open to the public, Lee’s papers are also a resource for anyone who is interested, whether for personal interest or for academic study. For these reasons, Lee’s comics and papers are frequently used, and are a valuable asset to the AHC and the education of its students and the wide number of communities it serves.

Rest easy, citizens, the AHC is on the job, promoting and protecting history and culture.

Reposted with permission from the American Heritage Center blog.

Sublette County’s Little Library Open for Business

From Sublette County Library

The Sublette County Little Library is officially in service. Open 24/7, the Little Library is unstaffed and no library card is needed. Built by the Big Piney High School Vocational Arts students and funded by the Sublette County Library Foundation, using the Little Library is simple… stop in and browse, take home and enjoy a book. When you are done with it, simply return it to the Little Library or to one of the Sublette County Libraries in Pinedale or Big Piney. There is also a book return for materials that need to go back to the two main libraries. Currently the Little Library is parked at the bus stop down at the entrance to Bargerville. It will be moved to various locations around the county. Updates on its current location will be placed on the library’s website and Facebook page.

Library Brings Internationally Celebrated Science Authors to Cheyenne

The Laramie County Library System is bringing international science stars and authors Dr. Jana Grcevich and Olivia Koski to Cheyenne on February 9 and 10 as part of its “Discover Space: a Cosmic Journey” exhibition.

Since the 2011 launch of the Intergalactic Travel Bureau at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, this new approach to science learning has inspired a virtual reality app, stage productions and the book, “Vacation Guide to the Solar System: Science for the Savvy Space Traveler.”

The authors will visit South High School on the morning of Friday, February 9, to introduce area students to their special style of science demonstration: Guerilla Science. Koski leads USA operations for Guerilla Science, a London and New York based organization that produces events and installations for clients and venues from Kensington Palace and the Smithsonian to Burning Man and the Glastonbury Festival.

On Friday night, the Laramie County Library is hosting an after-hours reception, the Guerilla Science Mixer. This 21-and-over program happens from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and will feature cocktails, a Guerilla Science demonstration and a chance for adults to meet the authors and get some time with the interactive Discover Space exhibits without the little ones.

On Saturday, February 10, the library is making the most of the authors’ visit with an Out of This World Young Writers Workshop for children grades three through twelve from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Grcevich and Koski will join local writers, educators and authors for writing seminars, lunch, prizes and a book signing.

Movie rights for the book “Vacation Guide to the Solar System” were won last summer by a production team at Paramount Pictures whose past credits include “Horrible Bosses”, “Vacation” and the upcoming “Game Night” with Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams. According to Variety magazine, the producers expect the movie to be similar in tone to “Jurassic Park” while based entirely on real science like the “Martian.”

Jana Grcevich, PhD, has worked as an astronomer and science educator at the American Museum of Natural History and Columbia University and hosted shows at the Hayden Planetarium. She received her undergraduate degrees in astronomy, physics, and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her doctorate in astronomy from Columbia University. Her research interests include dwarf galaxies and interstellar gas. In addition to research, she is deeply engaged in communicating science to the public and children and in finding new ways to understand science through art.

Discover Space: A Cosmic Journey is a travelling science museum at the library until March 27. It includes interactive displays, meteorites, games, costumes and special events and programs for all ages. It was developed by the Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) in partnership with the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the Afterschool Alliance. The project was made possible through support from the National Science Foundation.

Young Queen Victoria Visits Lander Library

From Tasha Reeves

Lander, Main Branch in corroboration with Wyoming PBS hosted a free preview screening of the first hour of the second season of the hit drama series from Masterpiece, Victoria. Along with being among the first to see the new episode, the audience had the privilege of meeting and seeing Lander’s own Young Victoria. Her Royal Highness (played by Adult Circulation staff member, Tasha Reeves) was interviewed by Branch Manager Anita Marple, who was also the creator of Victoria’s beautiful costume. The Queen was then given a tour of the Lander Library and had a chance to speak with the patrons.

Joanna Kail, the Executive Director of the Wyoming PBS Foundation stated, “The Fremont County Library in Lander is one of our most valued partners at WyomingPBS. The efforts they put forward to prepare, promote and attend our screenings make Masterpiece Theater come to life for so many Lander citizens.” Joanna had a nice table set up for the audience members and held a drawing for some nice goodies, including a beautiful Victoria/PBS basket.

UW Libraries 2018 Author Talk to Feature Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs

The University of Wyoming Libraries will bring author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs to campus on April 10, 2018. Reichs will deliver a free public talk at 1:30 p.m. in the College of Education Auditorium and will also speak at a fundraising dinner that evening for UW Libraries Development Board.

Reichs’s first novel, Deja Dead, became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Just a few other titles in her prolific Temperance Brennan series include Death du JourGrave SecretsBare Bones, and Cross Bones. Reichs was a producer for the television series Bones, based on her novels and real-life work experience. Two Nights is Reichs’s latest book and introduces her readers to a new heroine: Sunday Night.

Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada and a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Watch for more details on the UW Libraries blogFacebook, and Twitter. Or contact rlatimer@uwyo.edu for more information regarding this event.

iPads and Imagination

Reposted from Laramie County Library System
by Robin Papaleka

We’ve all been there. Your three year old is crawling under the table at the restaurant. Your seven year old is whining in the car. It’s so nice to toss an iPad or a phone into their lap and enjoy the peace and quiet! As the parent of a 3 and 4 year old, I struggle with this!  I somehow got the idea that my children must be entertained or occupied at all times.  According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, the overuse of digital media and screens can put kids and teens at risk of sleep problems, obesity, cyberbullying, and negative performance in school.  A report by Common Sense Media said children up to age 8 spend an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes a day on screens, and for 8- to 12-year-olds, the average was 4 hours and 36 minutes. (“How does your child’s screen time measure up?” CNN Wire, 15 Nov. 2017. Opposing Viewpoints in Context.) That’s between 15 ½ and 31 ½ hours a week!

At Laramie County Library our desire is help you unplug your kids and grow their minds and imaginations!  We have books for everyone, in fact the 2nd floor is arranged from birth to teen!  For babies we have board books as well as a Baby Music program, and don’t forget the very popular Baby Lapsit. For pre-school ages we have story times several times a week, and we are even doing a Pre-K STEM program in January for this age group. There’s chess club, Lego mania, Pokémon programs, and STEM programs for a variety of ages. That’s just to name a few of our unplugged, get-your-brain-moving programming for kids and teens!  We also have an I-spy table, a play book-mobile and book factory area, and the ELC (the Early Literacy Center) where kids can put on puppet shows, learn letters, make music, and engage in imaginative play.

What we offer is an example of what libraries do for children. If you live elsewhere, check with your local library for their programs.

But what if you can’t make it to the library and you forgot to check out books for that long road trip?  Boredom isn’t all bad.  Encouraging contemplation and daydreaming can spur creativity. (“Make time for boredom: the surprising benefits of stultification.” The Atlantic, June 2017, p. 23. Opposing Viewpoints in Context)  Just the very act of sitting and staring out the window with nothing to entertain you, forces the brain to imagine, wonder, tell itself stories, and do all the brain exercises that people have used for centuries before they had an iPhone in their hands, people like Einstein, Mozart, Rembrandt, or Galileo.

Let’s get back to the way things were. Let’s give our kids’ brains the unplugged freedom they long for!  And while we’re at it, let’s put our own phones down and read a book, or day dream a while, or imagine animals out of the clouds!

Happy Holidays from the Wyoming State Library Staff

One of our greatest joys looking back at 2017 has been working with our friends and colleagues in the Wyoming Library Community. It is truly a gift to work with all of you. Happy Holidays!

We will be closed Monday, December 25, for the Christmas holiday. We’ll be back at our desks bright and early on Tuesday, December 26, and open that day for our regular hours.

A Cowhand’s Christmas Carol at the Lander Library

The melodrama cast, L to R: Lonnie Bull, John P. Shade, Dr. Jeremy Norton, Anna Smedts, Tasha Reeves, Anita Marple

On Saturday, December 16, the Fremont County Library System–Lander and local business sponsor Edward Jones presented a melodrama to the public. “The Cowhand’s Christmas Carol…or, ’Twas Tired of Plum Pudding” consisted of three of the library staff (Manager Anita Marple, and Anna Smedts and Tasha Reeves of Adult Circulation) as well as Edward Jones’ own Lonnie Bull and John P. Shade. Dr. Jeremy Norton was also in the cast.

The community members who came to watch the melodrama filled the library’s Carnegie Room to capacity. One spectator commented that the performance was “fun, pure joy!” Another stated, “I haven’t laughed this much all year.” Edward Jones bought the majority of the costumes for the event and then donated them to the library in hopes that they could use them again for future productions. Library patron David Santana donated his time, sound, lighting and recording equipment in order to make the production even more appealing to the public.

Tasha Reeves, who directed the play, said, “We have noticed a need for this type of entertainment in the community. People want theater here. Our library has the beautiful Carnegie to perform in and people willing to make sure it happens.”

One spectator commented that the performance was “fun, pure joy!”

Anna, Anita, and Tasha are all smiles.

Top Ten Picks of 2017 From Albany County Public Library Staff

Inspired by the LibraryReads #libfaves17 Twitter campaign, Albany County Public Library Staff did a countdown of their favorites from 2017. Anything released in 2017 that the library circulates was eligible, regardless of format. All staff received an email asking them to contribute to a library-wide countdown.

“This was a fun way to allow all staff to share their favorites with the community,” said Megan Richardson, ACPL Adult Services Librarian, “and it also advertises that everyone on staff cares about providing quality materials for them to checkout and enjoy.”

The top ten selections are in the image at right, and you can see all the staff picks here.

The staff who weighed in were:

  • Nathan Bender, Technical Services Librarian
  • Tyler Brown, Adult Services Specialist
  • Bernie Burr-Wilkin, Interlibrary Loan Specialist
  • Cassandra Hunter, Adult Services Specialist
  • Seth Leininger, Facility Maintenance Specialist
  • Jared Mohr-Leva, Circulation Assistant
  • Monica Owens, Youth Services Librarian
  • Elizabeth Palmer, Circulation Assistant
  • Kennedy Penn-O’Toole, Young Adult Specialist
  • Megan Richardson, Adult Services Librarian
  • Allison Schultz, Circulation Assistant
  • Deb Shogren, Youth Services Specialist/Centennial Branch Librarian
  • Ashley Shoefelt, Circulation Assistant
  • Ruth Troyanek, Library Director
  • Kathi Wilhelm, Circulation Assistant

Star Valley Branch Library Gets Future Ready

Abbie Lancaster

Abbie Lancaster, Young Adult Services Librarian at Star Valley Branch Library, part of Lincoln County Library System, has been selected as a participant in the second cohort of Future Ready with the Library. The project, funded by IMLS, develops college and career readiness services for middle school students.

“What I’m most excited about,” Abbie said, “is that we get to broaden kids’ horizons at such a young age. Those middle grades can be weird and confusing for a lot of them. We’re hoping to get them excited for the future and all its possibilities.”

She added, “We want them to dream BIG.”

Star Valley is one of 24 libraries selected to participate in the second cohort of Future Ready. As LCLS’s leader on this project, Abbie will participate in a two-day orientation at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Denver in February and take part in a virtual community of practice through the rest of the year. The project requires participating library staff to commit approximately 2-3 hours per week throughout 2018.

In the Future Ready program, local libraries work with a community partner, although the Star Valley branch has not chosen one yet. Abbie’s first planned step is to gain feedback through an easy-to-complete and thought-provoking survey for teachers, special-needs aides, church leaders, and interested community members who spend time with young teens.

“My hope is to find out what parents and teachers and community members and the youth themselves think is needed for ‘adulting,'” Abbie said. “Not just one option, not just one skill set, but really opening up the doors for them. And we want the community to know the library has an intense focus on the well-being of our new adolescents.”

In addition to support for Abbie’s attendance at the orientation at ALA Midwinter, the Star Valley Branch Library will receive funds to put toward college and career readiness activities such as programming, and will receive YALSA materials.