Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

Diversity at the Lincoln County Library

By Kellie Humphries, Youth Services Librarian, Lincoln County Library

February is Black History Month! With this celebration and all that has happened in the past year, it caused me to contemplate diversity. Webster’s defines diversity as “the condition of having or being composed of different elements.” But what does that mean? What is diversity? I remember learning in biology classes that the more diverse an ecosystem was the healthier it was. It was also more apt to survive drastic changes.

When looking at people and libraries, the same applies. The more we as people are exposed to diverse situations, people, ideas, and places the more we grow. Healthy, positive interactions with people who are different from us create amazingly strong relationships. Libraries are great places to unmask new ideas and experience different diverse peoples.

At the Lincoln County Library System we strive to have a diverse collection of materials. We have materials about, and written by, a variety of people from an array of races, genders, nationalities, sexual orientation, and family situations. We strive to have books that anyone can relate to, where they can see themselves in the books they read and in the illustrations in the books and on the covers.

Some of my favorite diverse books or authors are:

For kids: “Ways to Welcome” by Linda Ashman, “Go Show the World: A celebration of Indigenous Heroes” by Wab Kinew, “The Arabic Quilt: an immigrant story” by Aya Khalil, “Say Something!” by Peter H. Reynolds, and “All are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold

For upper elementary students: Any Rick Riordan book, the Aru Shah series by Roshani Chokshi, the Tristian Strong series by Kwame Mbalia, and “The Dragon Pearl” by Yoon Ha Lee.

For teens: “The Music of What Happens” by Bill Koningsberg, “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes” by Atia Abawi (Wyoming Soaring Eagle Book Award nominee 2019-2020), “Parachutes” by Kelly Yang, “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds, the “Killer of Enemies” series by Joseph Bruchac, “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas and “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know” by Samira Ahmed.

For adults: “Boyfriend Material” by Alexis Hall, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man” by Emmanuel Acho, “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, “HUMANS” by Brandon Stanton, “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride, “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins and any books by Jodi Picoult, Ha Jin, and Jamie Ford.

Come check out any of these great books, or other diverse titles, at the Lincoln County Library System or your local library

Albany County Public Library Announces Bill Forgiveness

Albany County Public Library logoAlbany County Public Library will no longer charge overdue fines on any check out items. Overdue fines had been temporarily suspended during the pandemic for all patrons. The ACPL Board of Directors has voted to make this a permanent change.

“We asked staff to do a cost benefit analysis and determined that this was the best move for our community,” said Board Chair, Scott Shoop. “For me this is an equity issue. Overdue fines can block access to members of the community, so this change will help lower barriers and increase access.”

Collecting fees has not been a significant source of revenue for ACPL. Income from overdue fees falls into the library’s operating revenue area of the budget. This area is already a small portion of the overall budget, and overdue fees were the smallest share of operating revenue.

To celebrate ACPL going fine free, the ACPL Board of Directors is doing a one-time fine forgiveness on all past library bills before Feb. 1, 2021. Any bills posted by ACPL prior to that date have now been waived and patron accounts have been reset to $0.

Patron library cards are blocked when fines reach $25 dollars, so this fine forgiveness will unblock all patron cards.

“We are so grateful for our community and the outpouring of support we have received this past year,” said Library Director, Rachel Crocker. “We know that 2020 was a hard and complicated year and that many in our community are struggling. We hope this one-time fine forgiveness will help.”

While the library is eliminating overdue fines, fees for lost or damaged items and shipping costs for inter-library loans will not change. Printing costs will also remain the same.

The change follows national trends and recommendations from the American Library Association.

AHC Primary Sources for Wyoming History Day

Female student in period dress with hat standing at podium.
A past Wyoming History Day student makes her presentation during the 2019 competition. UW’s American Heritage Center, which hosts the annual event, has developed a website with digitized materials to help students with their projects. (UW Photo)

From UW News

A website recently launched by the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC), a Wyoming History Day (WHD) participant, now boasts digitized materials on 12 popular topics within the AHC’s collections — with more planned.

The website provides online delivery of historical materials to WHD students to help create their projects and presentations. WHD is an affiliate of National History Day (NHD), with the competition running across the entire school year through district meets and then the state competition. The top projects compete at the national level.

WHD participants, as well as scholars and the public, can find contextualized resources relating to the 2021 NHD theme of “Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.”

Current resources are available on subjects such as UW’s Black 14 football players; Chief Washakie; Heart Mountain Relocation Center; women’s suffrage; the first U.S. female governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross; the Rock Springs Massacre; the Pony Express; Project Wagon Wheel; radio, television and film; the Second Red Scare; women photographers and filmmakers; and architecture. All can be accessed at

UW’s AHC created the website with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries awarded last fall. The IMLS grant will enable the AHC, in coming months, to provide materials for 30 topics held in nearly 90 collections.

In past years, students have visited the AHC in person to use its collections. Wyoming’s weather and winter roads often have made the trips difficult but, with the travel restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are no longer possible. The IMLS grant enables the AHC to digitize holdings for the History Day competition and to build and host the website to make those digital copies available to students across Wyoming and around the nation.

The WHD website will be updated each year to accommodate the new annual History Day theme. It allows the AHC to continue to provide a comprehensive and consistent location for distributing digitized materials. This will alleviate Wyoming’s problem of rural access to primary sources and educational materials, even when COVID-19 finally recedes.

The AHC has coordinated WHD for more than a decade, hosting the state competition in Laramie every April. This year’s competition will be held virtually due to the pandemic.

For more information, call Green at (307) 766-2300 or email

Natrona County Library Launches New Bookmobile

Woman speaking in front of bookmobile that has image of an outdoor scene on its side.
Natrona County Library Director Lisa Scroggins speaking at the library’s bookmobile launch party.

Today, January 29, the Natrona County Library debuted their new bookmobile, complete with a wheelchair lift for expanded access and an exterior design that is an homage to what makes the community so unique: the great outdoors. The new bookmobile will gradually resume mobile outreach services in February, with select stops at local daycares and preschools.

In the fall of 2019, the library secured funding from both Natrona County and the City of Casper through optional 1¢ funds to purchase a new, more reliable bookmobile to serve the community. In February 2020, after an extensive RFP process, the library signed on the dotted line with LDV Custom Specialty Vehicles to build a brand new bookmobile.

LDV crafted a vehicle that provides an enhanced user experience, with a specialty wheelchair lift to empower even more people to access the bus, and snap-out shelving that will also serve as removable book carts. With the lift, the bookmobile drivers can load and unload these carts, creating the ability to customize collections for certain audiences and provide lobby-stop services to better meet the needs of the community.

The new bookmobile was delivered to the library in late December 2020 after 10 months of build-out, and is set to hit the streets in early February. The new bookmobile replaces one that has served the community’s readers for 16 years. COVID-19 meant a temporary suspension in bookmobile services beginning last March, and it is with great excitement that the library slowly resumes their mobile outreach services with their shiny new ride.

In 2004, the Library purchased a bookmobile to replace the beloved Old Blue, a relic of the 80s. In 2013, the Library gave that bookmobile a facelift with a colorful new wrap, and this is the bookmobile that’s been driving around town and parked in front of daycares, nursing homes, and many other local organizations over the past several years. The library’s bookmobile is a vital part of its outreach services, taking materials to people who might not otherwise be able to come into the Library.

The library has been working directly with staff at many of their regular stops to ensure community safety as they resume these services.

“I’m eager to get back on the road and see the patrons on my route,” said Lee Tschetter, Natrona County Library’s bookmobile driver. “Keeping everyone healthy while providing access to materials is our primary goal right now, but I’m looking forward to expanding our bookmobile services even more once it is deemed safe to do so.”

Why is the Library Important to You?

We asked library patrons that question on Wyoming Snapshot Day last month. Here is a selection from their responses. You can read them all on the Snapshot Day website.

Alpine Branch Library

“I would never have survived the virus without our wonderful library. The pick up service was a life-changer for me. A million thanks! I really am nuts about the Alpine Library.”
Nancy Hale

Glenrock Branch Library

“The library is important to me because there are all my friends here and there are so many books to escape into, and there are computers which hold my favorite games.”
Patron under the age of 18

Big Horn County Library

“It’s a great place for my kids to learn. They have any book imaginable and provide Storytime and crafts to them. The information available is priceless and the staff is great.”
Rebecca Burbridge

Lincoln County Library

“I enjoy the library. The librarians are nice, they help me with the internet which I can’t afford at home. It is a nice place to relax and lots of good books to read.”

“Because I know when I come in I will get help.”

Crest Hill Elementary School

4th and 5th grade students

“Libraries are important to me because they are one of the only ways I get to read more books and I get to learn a lot from books.”

“It’s a safe place and it’s a non-judgmental place.”

Star Valley Branch Library

“Libraries help people get smarter and help people get a better imagination.”
Porter, age 10

“I love the way you guys are always up on the newest tech and trends! (and books!)”

Ten Sleep Branch/School Library

“I love my Ten Sleep Library because I always find wonderful and interesting information, and the staff is phenomenal.”
D. G.

Guernsey Branch Library

“In a rural community the library is vital for education and entertainment.”
Wendy Robertson

Meeteetse Branch Library

“I wouldn’t know what to do without all the expert assistance I receive and always with patience and a smile.”

Campbell County Public Library

“It provides a place for me to study and get all the resources I need for writing papers for college. This is very important because my education is being done all online.”

“I would not be able to get library materials if Dana [Outreach Specialist] didn’t bring them for me. As I have very limited mobility, books are an important outlet for me.”

Park County Library

“I love to read and the library always has new books. Also, the library staff is so friendly and informative.”
Jean Collier

AHC Virtual Exhibit of Laramie Maps

Laramie Wyo. Map, 1913, created by Bellamy and Son, Civil Engineers. Image from the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center.

From UW News

The history of Laramie can be told in many ways: It can feature famous people, significant events, the influence of the railroad or the growth of the University of Wyoming.

UW’s American Heritage Center (AHC) created a virtual exhibition, titled “A History of Laramie Through its Maps,” that tells Laramie’s story through 11 maps of the town and the county.

The map exhibition was curated by John Waggener, reference archivist at the AHC, and published by Hanna Fox, head of the center’s digital Photography Lab. The maps in the collection depict the growth of Laramie.

Laramie owes its existence to the Union Pacific (UP) railroad, which platted Laramie in July 1867. This was almost a year before Laramie was incorporated in May 1868, just a few days before the UP tracks arrived. The plat map shows the narrow lots along First, Second and Third streets and then more sizable lots farther away from the tracks.

The fourth map indicates, in 1887, that West Laramie had just been platted to be 12 blocks wide instead of 10, which was larger than Laramie, as well as a prospective northern addition that did not take off as planned.

“Wyoming University,” established in 1887, was originally two blocks wide and four blocks long in an area planned as a city park. By 1913, it was four blocks square, but still on the edge of town. In this collection of maps, the university did not reach 15th Street until 1946.

For many decades, Laramie only had Undine Park as seen first on the 1887 map, next to a new addition called “Park View.” Washington Park does not appear until the 1946 map, when Laramie had finally grown eastward to build a residential area near it.

For more information about other AHC virtual exhibitions, click here.

AHC Launches New Wyoming History Day Website

Young History Day participant in hat holding "Power of the People" sign
A past Wyoming History Day participant presents her project during the competition at UW’s American Heritage Center (AHC). The AHC recently launched a new Wyoming History Day website. (Hanna Fox Photo)

From UW News

A new website to support Wyoming History Day (WHD) was recently launched by the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center (AHC).

WHD, an affiliate of National History Day, brings together hundreds of Wyoming middle school and high school students in an annual competition to explore key themes of historical events and how they helped create today’s world.

Created by the AHC, the website provides online delivery of historical materials — original primary sources held at the center — to the students as they create their projects and presentations. The competition runs across the entire school year, through district meets and then the state competition. Top Wyoming students and their projects compete at the national level.

The new WHD website can be found at

UW’s AHC created the website with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) CARES Act Grants for Museums and Libraries awarded in September. The website will begin operation with six topics and items drawn from 15 collections, but the IMLS grant will enable the AHC, in the coming months, to provide materials for 30 topics held in nearly 90 collections.

Read more about the project.

Sublette County Snapshot Day 2020

Friday Oct 23 was our Annual No Carve Pumpkin and Shredding Truck events. Like everything during Covid, it looked different this year. Five pallets of pumpkins were delivered to the library, craft kits were pre-assembled so patrons could grab a pumpkin and a kit to go. This program is for adults and children! We also have a commercial shredding truck available for patrons and businesses to bring paperwork that needs discarded. It was chilly, but sunny! Those five huge boxes of pumpkins were gone in a little over an hour.

– Jenn Burton

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Sublette County Snapshot Day    

Laramie County Receives Compassion-in-Action Award

Pictured left to right: Ed Boenisch of Compassionate Cheyenne, Beth Howard of Compassionate Cheyenne, Carey Hartmann Executive Director Laramie County Library System, Linda Franklin of Compassionate Cheyenne
Pictured left to right: Ed Boenisch of Compassionate Cheyenne, Beth Howard of Compassionate Cheyenne, Carey Hartmann Executive Director Laramie County Library System, Linda Franklin of Compassionate Cheyenne

From Laramie County Library System

Laramie County Library System was honored with the Compassion-In-Action Award from Compassionate Cheyenne in a small ceremony at the library earlier this month. The award, which seeks to recognize organizations or individuals who are helping foster compassion throughout the community, acknowledged the library’s efforts to welcome and support every single member of the Laramie County community. The award extends to all library facilities including the libraries in Cheyenne, Burns, Pine Bluffs, and the Bookmobile.

Ed Boenisch nominated the library in January of 2019 and Beth Howard, a member of the Compassionate Cheyenne working group, presented the award. Howard read from Boenisch’s nomination, stating, “The Library, like many others in the country, has consistently opened its doors to the homeless and those in need of support. The Board of Directors and the Executive Director and all employees have committed to this compassionate service and have made it a priority through staff training. Without this long-term commitment, those in our community who find themselves on the margins would not have these comprehensive services, caring and support.”

Boenisch’s nomination cited the library’s modern computer lab, which provides access to the Internet for individuals from all walks of life; its warm, welcoming, and accessible building that provides a safe place during the cold winter and hot summer months; and an abundance of library resources available for free to those in the community. Howard went on to recognize the library’s efforts in serving the community during the COVID-19 crisis by providing contactless pick up of library items and by safely reopening its building.

Executive Director Carey Hartmann accepted the award certificate along with a $100 donation from the Sunrise Rotary Club, with funds provided by RBC Wealth Management. Hartmann said that the award was extremely meaningful for Laramie County Library System and stated, “all employees at the library care deeply about the people that we serve.” She continued that to have the library’s efforts acknowledged during these difficult times provided great meaning for the organization.

5 Things About the State Archives

Front of the Barrett Building where the Wyoming State Archives is located.

From the Wyoming State Archives

In celebration of American Archives Month in October, archival entities throughout the country highlight the importance of records and historical documents. While most people have heard of state archives, many are not aware of what they do. In celebration of American Archives Month, here are “5 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About the Wyoming State Archives!”

  1. You can access the Wyoming State Archives from home.
    Many of the State Archives digital resources are available online. Things like historical photographs, newspapers, maps, oral history interviews, and the Wyoming Blue Books, a one-stop shop for information on the history of Wyoming government, and a variety of other information. Just go to and start browsing!
  2. What do you want to know about your Wyoming? You can research your family, town, school and lots more! Got a question about Wyoming history? We probably have an answer.
    The Wyoming State Archives is THE resource for Wyoming information and history. Information on historical events, the famous and infamous, community history, is available. Plus, reference archivists are available to help you with your informational search. The Archives is an invaluable tool for student research. With decades of combined experience using the materials, if they don’t have an answer to your question, they usually know where to look for it. There’s a reason why many authors visit the archives to research information for their books and articles.
  3. The Archives has a database of historic Wyoming Photographic collections.
    The Wyoming State Archives houses the photographic collections of J.E. Stimson, Frank Meyers, Thomas Carrigen, Miller-Meyers and Fendley. These historical photos are available for framing, use in books, etc for a small fee. Start looking now and you’ll be lost in history before you know it. And, you can come in to see our 250,000 photo collection any time, too!
  4. Archives are digital, too.
    This year the State Archives added the 1,000,000th file to our Digital Archives. You spend your work days on your computer, and so do state employees. The State Archives has a secure way to save and manage all those digital files, so the state’s history will be preserved, no matter what format the records are in.
  5. You can be a part of history.
    The Wyoming State Archives, along with the Wyoming State Museum and American Heritage Center in Laramie, is documenting the COVID-19 pandemic and requests public submissions. Items like diaries, written accounts, videos, vlogs, pictures, and other documents will provide researchers in the future a better picture of life during the current pandemic. Collecting these items now will ensure that the memories survive. The more stories that are added, the more complete a picture scholars of the future will see. We welcome submissions from any and all viewpoints, and communities large and small.
  6. BONUS – The Archives is a darn interesting place to visit.
    Whether you are researching Butch Cassidy, the Tea Pot Dome, Matthew Shepard, or the many and various other stories and people associated with the Cowboy State you will find a variety of resources and information about the topic.

American Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the important of records of enduring value. Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to information that has lasting value, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records.

The Wyoming State Archives is located in the Barrett Building first floor, 2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne WY 82002. For further information, contact Kathy Marquis, State Archivist at 307-777-8691 or message her at

The State Archives is accessible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines. If you require special assistance, contact (307) 777-7826.