Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

Why Video Games Are a Good Fit for the Library

Row of video games on shelfReposted from the Natrona County Library blog

The three pillars of the Natrona County Library are advocating for literacy, education, and a thriving community. One collection you might not realize does all three of those things is video games.

How can the virtual worlds of video games promote literacy? Younger or hesitant readers can build confidence and learn new vocabulary in both a visual and audio setting when dialog is shown on screen. Instruction screens encourage young readers to practice so that they know how to play a game or where to go without help. Adventure or role playing games usually have many types of text-based documents hidden throughout the game that will come together to form the overarching storyline or help fill in the details of the player’s quest.

Learning valuable skills while having fun has a greater chance of the lessons sticking. Players can be taught how to use maps and compasses, inventory management, time management, and judgement on buying now or saving up for a better quality item. Logic and environmental puzzles are a common feature in current games. Sports games teach new players the rules of the game, and dance games teach moves without the embarrassment of peers watching. They also refine hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. Some games are richly enhanced with history and have players immersed in a world filled with historical buildings, people, and events. There are several spelling or math-based games that can sharpen skills without the boring repetition. There are also many games that allow the player to create and build their own characters, buildings, or worlds ranging from simple customization of avatars to basic coding and complex construction of realms.

Although video games are not often considered when trying to create a thriving community, they can play an important role if implemented correctly. Simple games such as the Pokémon Go app can bring people together in real life that might not otherwise meet, all while highlighting local landmarks. Co-op and multiplayer games require players to acquire and refine essential community skills, such as cooperation and communication across all age and skill levels.

Many Wyoming libraries carry video game collections. Search your local library’s collection in WYLDCat.

Park County Library System Launches New Seed Libraries

Park County Seed Library logoReposted from the Park County Library blog

The Cody, Powell, and Meeteetse locations of the Park County Library System are buzzing with volunteerism as they prepare to launch new seed libraries at all three locations. The most recent excitement includes the seed library logo contest and a call for seed sorting volunteers.

The library wrote: “We are so thankful for the generosity that we’ve received. It is our hope that we can nurture our communities’ rich tradition of cultivation through engaging programs, shared seed collections, and print resources for many years to come with the support of our wonderful volunteers.”

How the seed libraries work

What is a seed library? A seed library is a place where people can take seeds for free and return saved seeds by donation at the end of the season. Park County’s seed libraries will offer local residents seven packets per person per week. Each packet will contain approximately enough seed for five mature plants.

There will be no obligation to return seeds at the end of the season for those who do not feel confident seed saving. They also welcome donations of seeds that weren’t saved at home but still need a good home. The library is planning to offer educational opportunities related to all things plant science, especially gardening and seed saving.

Launching the project

Kurt Bailey won the logo contest in his run against six other amazing seed library logos. Each logo was a testament to the generosity and artistic talent alive and well in Park County. The seed libraries have received fantastic support not only by local artists, but also by garden clubs and local farmers.

The library branches will launch the seed libraries in Cody on March 23, Meeteetse on March 28, and in Powell on March 30. Details on the launches and upcoming seed library programming may be found on Facebook at @parkcountylibraries or on the library’s website.

Yellowstone Poster Exhibition at UW’s Coe Library

Aerial view illustration of Yellowstone National Park
“Yellowstone National Park,” a 1904 poster by Henry Wellge, is among works from the exhibition “Wonderland Illustrated” that will be on view at UW’s Coe Library through May 27. (UW Libraries Photo)

A first-of-its-kind exhibition that focuses on the history of Yellowstone National Park posters is on display at the University of Wyoming’s Coe Library through Friday, May 27.

“Wonderland Illustrated” presents posters and poster-style illustrations of the park spanning from the 1870s through 2022. The exhibition is located on Level 3 of Coe Library in the hall outside of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections.

The exhibition coincides with this year’s 150th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park. The posters in the exhibition serve the purpose of both advertising and art.

“This exhibition spans the history of printing, art, photography and advertising over 16 decades,” said Tamsen Hert, head of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections. “The images reproduced are found on travel brochures, postcards and maps — many of which are held in our collections.”

One poster — Henry Wellge’s “Yellowstone National Park” from 1904 — was recently purchased with endowment funds and is now part of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections. Wellge, a prolific bird’s-eye-view artist, designed the piece for the Northern Pacific Railroad, which used it to advertise the park. This is a unique piece, as posters such as this one were printed on soft paper and very few have survived.

UW Libraries also is collaborating with Montana State University (MSU) Library to host “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” June 5-8 at MSU. The conference will focus on collecting, preserving and using materials that document the history of Yellowstone National Park. Learn more about the conference at

For more information about the exhibition, contact Tamsen at (307) 766-6245 or

‘Democratizing Education’ Podcast Discussion Club Begins in February

Podcast Club scheduleWhat should “democratic” education look like? What are our obligations? What are our assumptions? What are the barriers — and how might we overcome them?

The University of Wyoming invites the UW community and educators around the state, including librarians, to join in a spring discussion series, “Democratizing Education.”

Learn more and register.

For each session, participants will be asked to listen to a podcast episode in advance and then to engage in facilitated discussion of key issues raised in the podcast. Topics will include race and education, open access, funding the system, disrupting ableism, leadership and change, and gateways to equity.

Join for one or more of six sessions throughout Spring 2022, beginning on February 1. Sessions occur 12-1 p.m. on Tuesdays. A Zoom link for the meetings and a file containing links to podcast links will be sent out to those who register.

If you have any questions, please contact Rick Fisher,

Rachael Svoboda Presented with Outstanding Librarian Award

(L to R) Jeff and Rachael standing in front of library bookshelf. Rachael is holding up an award plaque.
Former Wyoming Library Association President Jeff Collins with Rachael Svoboda.

Laramie County Library System’s Business Services Coordinator Rachael Svoboda was recently presented with the Wyoming Library Association’s 2021 Outstanding Librarian Award. The award acknowledges a Wyoming library employee who has gone above and beyond in providing services and resources to the community. It’s given to an individual who utilizes innovative thinking and planning to implement special projects and makes significant contributions to the library and wider community.

Rachael’s work to secure funding for and implement the Wyoming Library to Business program was one of her many incredible contributions to the community this year, and her dedication to providing comprehensive business services to anyone who needs them made her an exceptional candidate for the prestigious award.

Rachael received nine nominations for the award, and was acknowledged not only for her work in starting the Wyoming Library to Business program with a Libraries Build Business grant from the American Library Association, but also for her work with the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute, her dedication to library users, the successful application of a Community Navigator grant from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, being named as one of six national Libraries Build Business coaches, and her tireless commitment to expanding and growing Laramie County Library System’s own business resources, including the recent addition of a video recording studio.

In an award ceremony held on January 4, 2022, Wyoming Library Association’s President Jeff Collins noted that, “it would be impossible to cover all of what Rachael accomplished in 2021.” Wyoming State Library’s Federal Documents Librarian Tekla Slider stated in her nominating letter that, “As a native Wyomingite, Rachael strongly identifies with her roots and wants to see the entire state and its residents succeed. She values the contribution each individual, library, organization, and government brings to the whole.” When nominating Rachael, Executive Director and County Librarian for Laramie County Library System Carey Hartmann wrote, “Rachael knew the Library Build Business funds could aid many more libraries and help her achieve part of her vision to get business service expertise in more Wyoming Libraries.”

Rachael’s dedication to not only Laramie County Library System, but to the Wyoming library community as a whole is unparalleled. Having spent much of the past year traveling around the state installing new business stations and services, her dedication to expanding libraries’ impact for small businesses, job seekers, and those looking to start their own business is evident. Laramie County Library System is incredibly proud to have such a dedicated and hardworking employee on their team who continues to make an impact on the community, and congratulates her for her well-deserved Outstanding Librarian award.

Wyoming Digital Archives Exceeds 5 Million Documents

Wyoming State Archives logoThe Wyoming Digital Archives has exceeded 5 million documents uploaded! More specifically, the digital archives have 5,619,318 documents and are growing every day. This milestone comes less than 2 years after the 1 millionth document was added in February 2020.

In 2010, the Wyoming State Archives (WSA) and Wyoming Legislature began the search for a solution to the expense of physical storage, need to increase accessibility and searchability of records, and to aid in managing records with a keen eye to laws, regulations, and best practices, while maintaining the validity and authenticity of electronic records. This journey led the archives and legislature to create the Wyoming Digital Archives to preserve and manage born digital and digitized records that tell the story of Wyoming’s government and its people.

The Wyoming State Archives added its first document to digital archives in November 2013. Since then, it has grown exponentially.

As of June 2021, the digital archives include 189 users and host records from 19 different counties. The records originate from three City Clerks offices, 12 County Clerks offices, one School District, and three County Treasurers. The most recent partner to the digital archives is the Town of Meeteetse, Wyoming.

The State Archives is located in the Barrett Building first floor, 2301 Central Ave, Cheyenne, WY 82002. For further information, contact Sara Davis, State Archivist, by telephone at 307-777-8691 or email at

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.

Donors Add Telescope to Weston County Library Collection

Telescope on table
Weston County Library’s new telescope.

Weston County residents can try out a new hobby in the new year — astronomy! Thanks to Dan and Janet Pullen and the Island County Astronomical Society of Washington, the Weston County Library added an Orion Starblast telescope to their offerings. Library patrons can call or stop by the library for details on how to check it out for a night of stargazing.

The Weston County Library shelves hold many books on astronomy for both kids and adults, as well as the periodicals Astronomy and StarDate. In addition, Wyoming residents can check out numerous e-books on the topic, and even a digital version of Astronomy magazine, through OverDrive. The Libby app makes it easy to check out and manage e-content across all your devices.

The Island County Astronomical Society of Washington library telescope program began in 2008 with the New Hampshire Astronomical Society. They have delivered 95 telescopes to libraries across the United States.

Makerspace Launches at Laramie County Library

3D printer with sample items that were printed using it
3D printer at Laramie County Library. (Click for larger image.)

Laramie County Library System has launched the beginning of its Makerspace with two 3D printers, a video production studio, and specialized computers in its Cheyenne facility. The new services provide the community with access to advanced technologies that can be used for a wide variety of purposes, from personal projects to marketing for small businesses.

The library’s 3D printers are located in the Computer Center and in the Teen Lounge where employees handle all print requests. Individuals can upload files or provide online links in the library’s 3D printing form and pick up their printed materials from the library once they are finished. 3D prints are available in low, medium, and high detail, and if using the library’s filament, can be printed in one of nine different colors.

The Studio is Laramie County Library’s professional video production station that was made possible by a generous grant from Libraries Build Business. With a video camera, microphone, spotlights, green screen, ring lights and more, The Studio has all the required tools for video production, product photography, stop-motion movies, and other projects.

Laramie County Library also offers a pair of specialized computers that provide access to the entirety of the Adobe Creative Cloud including Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and InDesign; Adobe Acrobat; and SketchUp, a software program for 3D design.

Laramie County Library System is excited to begin offering these new services, and looks forward to seeing the community create projects for work, fun, and school. The addition of Makerspace technologies is part of the library’s continual effort to fulfill its mission to “be a hub for engagement, literacy and learning, and lifelong curiosity and discovery.”

Washakie County Library Celebrates Grand Opening

Group of people in a line in front of a library front desk holding a large red ribbon.
Left to right: Washakie County Library Director Karen Funk, Mandy Weaver, Tina Bear, Mike Healy (wielding the official ribbon-cutting scissors), Sarah Healy, Ladonna LaCroix, Teresa West, Karri Savage.

The doors are officially open! After all the planning, fundraising, and hard work that goes into opening a new library, the Washakie County Library held its grand opening on Saturday, December 11. The new library is located in downtown Worland at 801 Big Horn Ave.

“We’ve spent so much time looking back at the evolution of the Library in Washakie County,” Washakie County Library Director Karen Funk said. “Libraries are changing, but they’re still a resource that every community needs. All of us on the staff are excited to be part of that, for future generations to look back on. I feel we’re making history every day.”

Mike Healy was given the honors of cutting the ribbon. Mike was instrumental in the project by making a substantial private donation. The building was dedicated in honor of his late wife, Jean Bailey Healy, who passed away in 2009.

“One of the best parts of my job is to see everything our colleagues around the state do to serve their communities and make their communities thrive,” said Jamie Markus, Wyoming State Librarian. “This library will open doors of opportunity for all Washakie County residents. The board, the staff, and the entire community are to be commended for making this new library a reality.”

Two men shaking hands holding plaque between them.
County Commissioner Aaron Anderson. (right) presenting Mike Healy with a plaque in memory of Mike’s late wife.
Wooden plaque has image of woman on left. On the right, it reads: "This building is dedicated In Loving Memory of Jean Bailey Healy, avid reader and writer, who believed that the advancement of literacy and the arts is vital to our community. July 14, 1945-January 19, 2009"
The plaque in memory of Jean Healy.
Wide angle picture of numerous people in library.
The crowd enjoying the new library facilities.
Two children sitting at computers while a woman smiles in the doorway. A Christmas tree is in the background.
Children enjoying the computers.
White flower arrangement in front of display with historical photos and text.
Floral centerpiece and display on the library’s history.
People standing in line against a wall underneath a framed picture.
Washakie County Library staff (L to R): Karri Savage, Tina Bear, Karen Funk, Teresa West, Mandy Weaver, Ladonna LaCroix.

New Sensory Room at Casper College Library

Group of four students wearing face masks and seated in sensory room
Students in the new sensory room. (Click for larger image.)

In 2019, Casper College Goodstein Foundation Library received a $1000 Innovations Grant to create a Sensory Room in the library. They’re happy to announce the project, completed in collaboration with students from Casper College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) Club, OTA Program Director, Cassady Hoff MSOT, OTR/L, and Librarian, Beth Floyd, was recently finished and is ready for student and community use!

A little bit about the creation of the sensory library room: the OTA students looked at the individual and wanted to help create an academic environment that will help students gather their thoughts, regulate their emotions, and use their time wisely so they can have an optimal amount of academic success.

The intent was to create a safe room that will allow college students that have sensory sensitivities to regulate their emotions and needs in a college environment for academic success to complete their homework and study.

The OTA students spent time choosing the right location that would benefit the students that have the sensitivity needed as well as ensuring it would not disrupt other students in the library. The location was also chosen on the basis of easy access (ADA) and communication needs if needed. The room color, the desk setup, calming interventions, weighted blankets, noise canceling headphones, and lights were carefully selected to allow the college students to have their own choice of tools and equipment that would be beneficial to their own specific needs. This room is beneficial to help those that may have anxiety, attention deficit challenges, auditory challenges, or just high stress levels.

The room is available for student and community use by walk-ins and can be booked on the library’s website using the “Book A Study Room” link!