Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

Libraries and Voting

From Laramie County Library System
By Kasey Storey, Communications Coordinator

Voting and public libraries go hand-in-hand. Think macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, or rock and roll: that’s how well libraries and elections go together.

I know, it’s a big claim to put elections and libraries up there with such iconic duos, but just think about it. Public libraries are proponents of free and accessible information, information about proposals, ballot measures, candidates, voter registration, locations of polling places, and more. Libraries provide all sorts of information that will help individuals become well-informed voters.

Libraries are also invested in and dedicated to civic engagement and communal betterment. Public libraries host forums, events, and panels that allow people to gather and share ideas while becoming more involved in their community. Libraries aim to foster intellectual thought and communal conversation in hopes of creating a stronger community. Most everyone who goes to the polls, regardless of party affiliation or beliefs, has the similar goals in mind when they cast their vote: to be engaged, to make the community stronger, and to help improve the lives of their fellow community members.

We read books, listen to music, watch movies, surf the web, and analyze articles while in the library. The media we consume informs the way we engage with our community and helps us shape the ideas we have for its betterment. These ideas turn into votes when we go the polls, and we elect those we believe will help those ideas come to fruition.

The Laramie County Library System is especially dedicated to helping Laramie County voters, and we have resources to help you make informed decisions on Tuesday, November 6. On the third floor at the Ask Here Desk, we have an Election Binder full of pertinent information for Laramie County voters. The binder has a list of key election dates, a map where you can find your voting district for the state senate race, voter registration information, restoration of voting rights information, sample ballots, the League of Women Voter’s Voter Guide, and a list and map of voting centers. We also have brochures with some key information that you can take home with you.

(WSL note: Not in Laramie County? Check with your local library for their voting resources.)

As you can see, libraries and voting are an excellent duo. They go hand-in-hand like mac and cheese, rock and roll, and peanut butter and jelly, and, iconic as those duos are, none of them have made quite the same impact on the world as libraries and voting have.

Casper College Readies for 5th Book Drive

Click image for full-size PDF

The Casper College Goodstein Foundation library is getting ready for its 5th Annual K-12 New Book Drive to benefit Wyoming Food for Thought.

The library sponsors its book drive to support the College’s mission of community building, literacy, and lifelong learning. They also use this event to draw attention to the problem of food-insecure families in Natrona County, by partnering with the Wyoming Food For Thought Project.

Wyoming Food for Thought distributes weekly bags of food to K-12 students who are in food-insecure situations to get them through the weekend. Donations to the library book drive add a new book (ages K-12, all genres) to the winter food bag over the holiday break for the child or teen to keep, read, and treasure. Nonperishable food items are also appreciated.

The K-12 New Book Drive helps raise community awareness of food-insecure families within Natrona County and also gives those families the gift of reading. Last year Casper College Library collected approximately 800 books — enough to give one to each food-insecure child served by Wyoming Food for Thought. The need for food bags (and books) is expected to be at the same level this year.

The Tate Museum Gift shop, Verda James Elementary, Dean Morgan Middle School, and Fort Caspar Academy partner with the library as drop off points for book donations. Collection spots are also found around the college, and library staff can pick up donations from anyone on campus who can’t make it to a collection spot.

Not in Casper? (Or just don’t want to leave the house?) The library has an Amazon wish list of titles you can donate online.

Questions may be directed to the Casper College Goodstein Library at or (307) 268-2269

Teens Create at Charcoal & Quill Guild

Helen Pugsley with some of the teens in Charcoal and Quill Guild.

From Goshen County Library

Helen Pugsley said that when she interviewed for her job with with Goshen County Library Director Joan Brinkley, “Joan mentioned that there weren’t many resources for teens available at that time. During my job interview is when we started laying plans for Charcoal and Quill Guild.”

Charcoal and Quill Guild is a group for creative teenagers. Once a week youths between the ages of 13-18 meet in the back room of the library, have tea, homemade cookies provided by the guild goers that enjoy baking, show each other the art work they made for that week, and do a small art project. “A lot of people can’t believe that kids write and draw outside of English class and art class! When I was younger it was practically a compulsion. The type of kids my friends and I were are the ones I know how to reach. These kids are passionate about being creative and I think everyone needs an adult to fuel that at their age,” Pugsley said.

Camaraderie along with the art

Up to once a month, Charcoal and Quill Guild invites guest creators — artists, writers, poets, film makers, sculptors that have made a career out of their artistic abilities. “I feel that it’s important to show these youths that you can make a career out of art.” Pugsley explained. “And I don’t want to be the only example of that.” (Pugsley is a published author as well as a recreational artist.)

What keeps teens coming back to Charcoal and Quill Guild? In their own words:

“Friends, tea, and most importantly I get to express myself in ways I usually can’t.”

“Yes,” one continued, “We’re all different and here we get to show it.”

“Here I can just be… Me! I feel so safe.”

Family Night

The Charcoal and Quill Guild displays their work in the library’s young adult section on top of the book shelf — both the crafts the teens made during the guild’s hour and things they’ve written and drawn at home.

“We’ve had people who write poetry, draw, fashion design, wood burn, sculpt, edit videos, paint — you name it. Sometimes the hard part is figuring out how best to show the public Goshen County’s teenagers’ works.” Pugsley said. “We have a whole Facebook album.”

Part of the idea is to get the youths used to exhibition. “The more you do it the easier it gets.” This past April Charcoal and Quill Guild even held an open house in the library. The teens had to prepare their art to display, dress nicely, and act like professional artists. “The kids were phenomenal. Their parents and I were so proud of them! Everyone worked so hard to make it a wonderful experience. Especially the parents.”

Goshen County library staff and Charcoal & Quill Guild members all dressed up.

Charcoal and Quill Guild meets once a week on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. Anyone between the ages of 13-18 who has yet to graduate high school is welcome.

Boogers, Books & Boys!

Reposted from Laramie County Library System

Think of all the people you know who are avid readers. What percentage are men and what percentage are women? Surveys consistently find that women read more books as a pastime than men.

As a mother of two little boys, this is concerning for me. Strong readers experience success at school in a myriad of ways. In a study of 17,000 subjects published by The Guardian, Dr. Alice Sullivan found that reading for pleasure was linked to greater intellectual progress in vocabulary, spelling and mathematics. In fact, the impact was around four times greater than that of having a parent with a post-secondary degree. So much of school involves reading that if a child falls behind in this area school becomes less fun, which results in the child falling further behind, which culminates in school being less fun. You see the downward spiral. Boys especially dislike doing things they don’t feel good at, particularly in front of their peers. On his web site,, teacher and author Jon Scieszka writes,“Because the majority of adults involved in kids’ reading are women, boys might not see reading as a masculine activity.”

So what are some ways to get your boy reading? First of all, pick books that interest him. Here are some suggestions:

  • Non-fiction books (Even for little kids. You can find your 3 year old plenty of truck books.)
  • And yes, funny in ways moms don’t appreciate…you know, boogers and farts.
  • Books with pictures, comic books or graphic novels
  • Adventures
  • Boy protagonists. We all want to see ourselves in the hero.
  • Book versions of their favorite TV shows; Paw Patrol, Ninjago, or Teen Titans Go for instance. I know it’s not classic literature, but the point is to get your kid reading.

Secondly, get Dad or Grandpa or Uncle Kevin reading to your boys. Even if it’s once a week. Boys should see men read to know it’s not only a pastime for girls.

Next, of course, read. Kids do what they see modeled for them.

Lastly, make reading special and fun. There are lots of ways you can do this. One friend of mine made a reading tent for her kids complete with a painted tree on the wall, twinkly lights, plush pillows and a tent roof. My mom used to tell us “today we are going to have a read-a-thon.” We could check out as many books as we wanted, we made snacks, got a pile of blankets and pillows, and she would read to us for hours. A coworker of mine told me she and her brother were not allowed to read at the table except once a week, when their mom would take them out for dinner and they all brought a library book and got to read the whole time they ate! She loved it.

Library Use on Snapshot Day

Picking a book to check out at Alpine Branch Library

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 9, 2018, Wyoming’s public and community college libraries:

  • Circulated 13,042 items, including 4,882 children’s items
  • Issued 101 new library cards
  • Added 963 items to their catalogs
  • Had over 3.13 million items available to Wyoming’s residents in their collections

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

  • 9,225 visits to public libraries
  • 1,645 people using a public library computer
  • 1,167 reference questions answered in public libraries
  • 855 children and teens who attended programs at their public libraries
  • 47 meeting room uses
  • 921 wireless internet sessions
  • 6,694 retrievals of information from WYLD databases

The 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 9, there were:

  • 1,048 Encyclopedia Britannica sessions
  • 2,916 sessions using the Gale databases, with 1,898 full-text retrievals
  • 824 sessions using the Chadwyck-Healey databases
  • 348 ebooks and audiobooks downloaded from CloudLibrary
  • 436 RBDigital audiobook and digital magazine downloads
  • 25 logins to Pronunciator, our language learning resource

What Do You Love About Your Library?

What do you love about your library? Why is the library important to you?

We asked library patrons these questions on Wyoming Snapshot Day this week. Here is a selection from their responses. You can read them all over on the Snapshot Day website.

Elk Mountain Library
“The library is a place where I can get away from the house and be able to go to my online meeting. I also use the library for my obsession with GRAPHIC NOVELS!! :)”
Teen patron

Rock Springs Library
“The activities for my child that inspire her, encourage her, and create a love for the written word! I also love the feel — surrounded by books full of adventures just waiting for me to experience!”

Converse County Library
“I can see the world — anytime — here, and the library makes the information age real.”
George Yarborough

“The Douglas Library is my favorite place in the world!”
Kelly Easton

Weston County Library
“I bring my two younger kids up every week to get books on a specific topic. Then we spend the rest of the week reading and learning with all our fun books.”
Stephanie Cunningham

La Barge Branch Library
“La Barge Library is important to me because I like having easy access to the resources offered — be it books, movies, magazines, etc. It’s important in such a rural area to have the constancy of our local library.”

Meeteetse Branch Library
“I love books and learn so much.”

“I think it’s so neat that the branch library and the school library is combined in Meeteetse. Very nice place.”

Riverton Branch Library
“Love, love, love books and welcoming public places with free Wi-Fi.”

“I’ve always been a library patron. I would be in a world of hurt without books. I can’t imagine a world without libraries.”

Thayne Branch Library
“Nothing beats the feel and smell of a book and the comfort of a library. I hope my children and all future generations always have access to a library.”
Emily Hall

“It’s a great place to be. The people who work here are excellent, friendly, and helpful. I like the book selection. It’s nice to see activities for kids. That is so important.”

Powell Branch Library
“Libraries hold vast amounts of life and knowledge in the form of books. The fact that libraries provide free access to basically any book on the planet, to young and old, is invaluable.”
Caiti Bieber

“I have visited a library every week for 40 years. I began by bringing my children. Then I continued. I love to read, explore new places, learn about cooking, nature, crafts, etc.! My library card is the most important card in my wallet.”
Sandy Frost

“Calm! I love how I am immediately at peace when I walk through the doors. The relaxed atmosphere, the quiet, the friendly staff are nice to have in today’s crazy world. I love our library!”
Lacee Hooper

Greybull Branch Library
“The wonderful people at the library give me the joy of reading — I’ve traveled the world from this little library.
Janna Stamstad

Sublette County Library
“I love bringing the students to the Library every Tuesday. The kids are learning about various topics and themes, and incorporating song and dance to the themes of the books. It is a great outlet for kids to reach their full potential.”
Preschool teacher

Alpine Branch Library
“Our entire week revolves around story time! My kids love it! Living in a small town, we are so happy to have something uplifting and fun to do.”
Tina Crowther

Gillette College Daly Library
“Our library has everything I need to be successful! It’s a wonderful place to either get some work done or have some quiet time.”

“Libraries are where all my dearest memories are.”


Kids on Snapshot Day

We estimate that every day, 855 children and teens attend programs at their public libraries. So of course, libraries collected a lot of photos of the little ones enjoying storytimes and crafts on Wyoming Snapshot Day. We picked a few of our favorites — which one do you think is most adorable? Share in the comments! (Click to embiggen.)

See more Snapshot Day photos on our Flickr photostream.

Alpine Branch Library — we admire a girl who’s not afraid of spiders

Riverton Branch Library — dancin’ feet

Natrona County Library — happiness is visiting the library

La Barge Branch Library — letting us know there’s a deer outside that window

Powell Branch Library — not camera-shy one bit

Star Valley Branch Library — proud of her library craft

Washakie County Library – a bunch of cuties, only slightly easier to herd than cats

Meeteetse Branch Library – making friends with Marshall from Paw Patrol

Big Piney Library – showing off their favorite books during a classroom visit

Niobrara County Library – she’s peering over those glasses like a little librarian in training

Platte County Public Library — that face you make when the library has a tarantula

White Mountain Library (Sweetwater County Library System) — the library always has the best toys

Multimedia Concert at Laramie County Library Explores Heart Mountain Experience

On Monday, October 8, from 6:30-8pm, the Laramie County Library will host an “immersive and intimate” multimedia concert, No No Boy, performed by Julian Saporiti and Erin Aoyama

The performance integrates original music with historical photographs and videos to portray the experiences of World War II Japanese incarceration camp survivors, while also exploring the performers’ own family experiences with the Vietnam War and the Heart Mountain Internment Camp in Wyoming.

Live concert with archival projections

One of the main goals of the performance is to “illuminate histories that have remained in the dark,” by shedding light on the Asian American experience and using it as a vehicle to “investigate topics like immigration, refugees, memory, and war.” The concert allows viewers to consider a history that oftentimes goes unexplored when considering World War II, and brings to consideration Wyoming’s own role in the internment of over 10,000 people of Japanese descent.

Both performers are PhD students at Brown University passionate about shedding light on the Asian American experience. Saporiti received his MA from the University of Wyoming. During his time in Wyoming, he made several trips to the Heart Mountain Concentration Camp, the same place where Aoyama’s grandmother was imprisoned.

Erin and Julian created this multimedia experience to “recover the past” and give musical voice to several powerful and painful stories in hopes of preventing them from ever happening again.

To learn more about the No-No Boy performance, listen to a song about Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and watch a trailer for the upcoming event, visit

The No-No Boy event is part of the traveling exhibit The Way We Worked, which is currently on display at the Laramie County Library. The exhibit engages viewers with a history of work, an aspect of American society that has had an impact on all of us — past, present, and future. The exhibition will appear throughout the main library and includes complementary local exhibits and programs at all branches.

The event is free to the public. The Way We Worked has been made possible in Laramie County by Wyoming Humanities. The Way We Worked, an exhibition created by the National Archives, is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress.

Wyoming Reads 2019 Books Announced

Wyoming Reads has announced the book selections for the coming year, and a great lineup it is! The program encourages literacy by providing a book to every first grade student in the state. In 2018 nearly 8,000 children participated.

Each child gets to pick the one title they’d like to keep from six picture book choices. Sample kits are sent to schools in the months before the event so that students can familiarize themselves with the choices and decide which one they love most. This year’s books are:

  • Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings
  • We Don’t Eat Our Classmates! by Ryan T. Higgins
  • The Princess and the Pit Stop by Tom Angleberger
  • Twig by Aura Parker
  • Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson
  • Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap

Students will receive their books during the Wyoming Reads celebration on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

Wyoming Reads is supported by the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation with the help of generous donors, volunteers, and collaborative partners. Libraries across the state host their local Wyoming Reads celebrations. The Wyoming State Library’s Central Acquisitions Program acquires these books at discounts up to 40 percent, stretching donor dollars.

Preserve Your Personal Digital Files with the Wyoming State Archives

October is American Archives Month, a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance 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.

Have you been wondering how you can securely save all those digital photos and documents on your computer, phone, tablet, and in the Cloud?As part of  this month’s observance, the Wyoming State Archives will offer a program, “Helpful Tips for Creating and Preserving Your Personal Digital Records,” at 6:30 p.m. on October 25 in the Wyoming State Museum Multi-Purpose Room located in the Barrett Building, 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne.

They’ll help you understand what questions to ask, what file formats and storage media to use, and how you can keep your memories alive for the next generation (or even for you in just a few years!)

Trying to save and access digital records over time sounds like a daunting task. The good news is that there are some basic steps that can help. In fact, saving digital/electronic records presents the same basic challenges as saving paper records — and then some.

Format matters
Digital records deteriorate over time, — just like old news clippings – and the digital medium they’re created on makes a difference, too.

If care isn’t taken with how paper records are stored — they could be lost, destroyed or damaged over time.  The same is true for digital/electronic records.  A flash drive is not a storage medium.

You may have a box of photos with nothing showing the people’s names, where the photos were taken, and when. So, years from now family members won’t know who they are or why they’re significant. The same is true for digital/electronic records. Call it metadata or description, it’s meta important!

During the program, Digital Archivist Cindy Brown will address these topics and give you the tools you need so your precious memories and files won’t be lost or destroyed. You may shoot for the bare minimum required to preserve your digital/electronic records — or you may be an archivist at heart and go “all in.”  It depends on what you have, and how you want to use it.

Visit the Wyoming State Archives to discover the many resources available for family and local history, academic research, or just personal curiosity about our state’s history. Or visit virtually: their website ( and explore the has online resources to explore under the Find It in the Archives tab.

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

For more information, contact Kathy Marquis, Deputy State Archivist at the Wyoming State Archives at (307) 777-8691 or