Category Archives: Wyoming Library News

What a Wyoming Library Card Can Do for You

WSL Interlibrary Loan Technician Robyn Hinds shows off a Wyoming State Library card, available to State of Wyoming employees and good at libraries across the state. Check with your local public library about all the services their card can access.

Celebrate Library Card Sign-Up Month in September by getting a Wyoming library card, or by rediscovering the many ways to use one. Your library card is the key to discovering and learning at your library, online, and at great places around the state.

More than 367,000 Wyomingites use their library cards to check out books, magazines, and more; to learn job skills; or find the latest health information. Public library programs for all ages draw 377,000 participants; more than 300,000 of those are children and teens. Summer reading keeps kids reading and learning while school’s out and helps combat the “summer slide.”

Best yet, a card from any public or community college library, or from the Wyoming State Library, works statewide! Not to mention, it accesses the wealth of databases, ebooks, audiobooks, digital magazines, and other electronic resources in

There are so many different ways to utilize your local library — explore the benefits of a library card today!

Senator Enzi and Librarian of Congress meet with Wyoming Librarians

Dr. Hayden and Wyoming State Librarian Jamie Markus pose for a picture during the reception.

On Friday, September 6, 2019, Wyoming librarians welcomed Senator Mike Enzi and Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden to the Wyoming Library Directors Retreat preceding a special reception at the Laramie County Library open to all Wyoming library staff.

Dr. Hayden joined Senator Enzi and his wife Diana for an afternoon storytime. The guests read Born to Ride: A Story About Bicycle Face by Larissa Theule, The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, and The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen to the delight of both children and adults in the audience. Storytime was followed by a closed meeting, but not before Dr. Hayden had taken a few moments to chat with the younger library patrons.

During the meeting, Senator Enzi and Dr. Hayden spoke personally with library directors from all of Wyoming’s major library branches for an hour and a half. Afterwards, the guests of honor, directors, and library staff were welcomed to a reception celebrating the special visit.


Dr. Hayden, Senator Enzi, and Diana Enzi introduce themselves to their storytime audience during Dr. Hayden’s visit to Wyoming.

The Wyoming State Library would like to thank Senator Mike Enzi, Diana Enzi, and Dr. Carla Hayden for joining us and empowering the minds of library leaders throughout our great state.

Find more photos from this event on our Wyoming State Library Facebook page.

UW Receives Grant to Digitize Newspapers

UW Assistant Librarians Amanda Lehman and Bryan Ricupero review Wyoming newspaper microfilm available in Coe Library. Lehman and Ricupero are co-project investigators of a nearly $209,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant that will be used to digitize Wyoming newspapers. (UW Photo)

From UW News

A University of Wyoming project is among 215 humanities projects nationwide selected by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to receive a total of $29 million in grants.

UW Libraries received nearly $209,000 to be used over the next two years for the Wyoming Digital Newspaper Project, says Amanda Lehman, an assistant librarian in Digital Collections and co-project investigator.

The Wyoming Digital Newspaper Project involves digitization of 100,000 pages of Wyoming newspapers — dating from 1863 to 1963 — as part of the state’s participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP).

“It’s a great chance to support the land-grant mission of the university and to create a permanent record of Wyoming’s history through the Library of Congress,” says Bryan Ricupero, a UW metadata librarian and co-project investigator. “It makes a significant amount of content available to people around the world.”

The Wyoming State Archives and UW Libraries are the two primary repositories for collections of Wyoming print and microfilm newspapers. UW Libraries is digitizing paper copies of the Branding Iron, the UW student-run campus newspaper. To date, over 30,000 pages — in TIFF and PDF formats — are available online from the UW Libraries Digital Repository.

In partnership with the Wyoming State Archives, a selection board, gathered from around the state of Wyoming, will prioritize newspaper titles for the first round of digitization.

Master copies of all microfilmed titles are currently held at the Wyoming State Archives and are available for UW Libraries to duplicate and digitize. Much of this microfilm was created during the National Newspaper Project, to standards compatible with the NDNP.

Given this unrestricted access, experience with digitization projects and the specialized staff needed, UW Libraries is excited to provide the oversight and support for a successful project, Lehman says.

“We see this as a chance to broaden access to Wyoming’s historic record,” Lehman says. “As we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Wyoming Territory granting unrestricted suffrage to women, this project aims to help reveal diverse histories in our state.”

In addition to Lehman and Ricupero, the project team includes Samantha Huntington Cook, a UW instructional design librarian, as project facilitator. The grant will fund the salary and benefits of a two-year project specialist; a graduate and an undergraduate student; and digitization costs, storage and supplies for the project.

NEH is an independent federal agency created in 1965. It is one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the United States. NEH grants typically go to cultural institutions, such as museums, archives, libraries, colleges, universities, public television and radio stations, and to individual scholars.

Historical Records Grants Awarded

The Wyoming State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) has awarded grant funds to five Wyoming organizations that are promoting preservation of and access to Wyoming’s historical records.

The Eastern Shoshone Tribe Archives received $2,500 to sponsor a two day record records management workshop from Native American Development Corporation/American Indian Consulting Services. Tribal staff members will learn best practices for managing their current records, as well as how to identify records of historical or legal value for permanent retention.

Hoofprints of the Past Museum in Kaycee will use their $1333.25 grant to convert sixty-seven VHS tapes of oral history interviews and local historical tours to digital format. They will then mount these files on their website for public access.

The Hot Springs County Museum and Cultural Center in Thermopolis will use their $2,500 grant to digitize photographs and other historical records of the coal towns Gebo, Crosby, and Kirby, resulting in a searchable collection on their website.

The Professional Land Surveyors of Wyoming organization will use a grant of $1,685 to digitize and index civil engineering and land survey records, including plans and notebooks, for public access. They are seeking a useful online platform to make these often hidden materials accessible to the general public.

The University of Wyoming Coe Library will use their $2,400 award to convert over 700 stereograph photos of Yellowstone (digitized under a SHRAB grant this year) to 3-D images. This process will allow online viewers to see the images in the lifelike way in which they were first made available.

The grants are available to Wyoming cultural heritage organizations for projects to process, preserve, and provide increased access to historical records. Projects eligible for funding include digitizing historical records, providing access to them online, processing collections of historical records, and attending training that will improve the organization’s ability to complete these types of projects.

The Wyoming SHRAB promotes the identification, preservation and dissemination of the state’s historical records, by encouraging and supporting ongoing training programs for state, triba,l and local governments, local repositories, organizations, and others involved in records care in Wyoming. The program is administered by the Wyoming State Archives, which is part of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources. Funding for these projects is made available through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

UW Libraries Award OER Grants

From UW News

University of Wyoming Libraries recently awarded open textbook grants to seven faculty members and one graduate student to implement open educational resources (OER) in their classes this fall.

The open textbooks resulting from the grants are projected to save UW students more than $138,000 each semester.

“With the Alt-Textbook Grant Program, University of Wyoming Libraries hopes to continue to encourage the creativity and innovation we have seen from past applicants,” says Hilary Baribeau, an assistant librarian in Digital Collections. “By creating open textbooks and course materials, faculty at UW help meet student needs and encourage student success at a time when the costs for textbooks are higher than ever.”

Grants are awarded to instructors who adopt, adapt or create new open textbooks or other materials for their courses. Grant awards range from $1,500 to $3,000.

The grant recipients are:

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 

Karen Vaughan, an assistant professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, and Ruben Aleman, a Ph.D. student in the department. The grant will support the creation of 3D digital soil samples that students can use in a laboratory setting, saving students field trip expenses to disparate sites to study soil. Vaughan and Aleman will collaborate to create an interactive, 3D soil catalog that demonstrates varying soil structures. The models will be used in Vaughan’s “Introduction to Soil Science” course.

College of Arts and Sciences 

Kaatie Cooper, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism. Cooper teaches “Visual Communications” and will use OER resources to replace the current textbook as well as teach students how to use free, open source design software and Adobe Creative Cloud products. By combining multiple current OER resources, she will create a book that will contain both text and workbook-type activities.

Scott Crawford, a statistics associate lecturer, and Ken Gerow, a statistics professor and associate head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Crawford and Gerow are collaborating to create their own statistics textbook that will be used for their courses, “Statistical Methods” and “Statistical Methods for Biologists.” Their initial intention was to seek out a publisher for this book; instead, they opted to create this as an open resource textbook to make it freely available to other statistics professors.

Scott Freng, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology. He teaches “Research Methods in Psychology” and will adopt an open resource research methods textbook for his course. According to Freng, the available open source materials better reflect current research trends and issues in psychological research. The open access materials also incorporate more engaging digital content, and Freng plans to adjust his coursework to better cater to the new text.

Eric Quade, an assistant lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. He teaches “Calculus III” and will use the grant to create a question bank. The question bank will be stored online, and it will be accessible to all UW and Wyoming community college calculus instructors. The questions will be based off a currently available, open source text.

College of Health Sciences

Elizabeth Goodwin, an associate lecturer in the School of Nursing. Goodwin teaches “Healthcare Informatics” and will adopt currently available, online open source materials. The grant will be used to develop modules and assignments specific to the open resource materials. The materials created will be used in partnership with Wyoming community colleges in conjunction with the Revolutionizing Nursing Education in Wyoming (ReNEW) statewide curriculum.

UW Libraries will award another round of grants for the 2019-2020 academic year. Proposals for that award period are due October 15. The grant award committee will prioritize proposals for high-enrollment classes and those that include UW and community college partnerships.

For more information, visit


Libraries and Changing Times

Reposted from Laramie County Library System
By Deanna Comer, LCLS Reference Specialist

This past weekend I was visiting with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. The usual topics of conversation came up and I was asked a question I so often get when I tell people I work at the library; Are libraries dying?

With the explosion of the internet and the digitization of so many materials, it has brought some to question the necessity of libraries and the roles they play in today’s society. Steve Denning’s article in Forbes, Do We Need Libraries? claims, “Libraries everywhere are under threat. After all, who needs a library today, when it is possible, without even getting out of bed, to find and read almost any book or article that has ever been published?”

In Jon Reiner’s America’s Public Library Crisis he writes, “Walk into a library in any city and you’ll witness a death match between old and new, a clash deeper than the cracks in the Carrara marble. The preservation of the past bolted to the promise of the future has made libraries ground zero of a vanishing world.”

There are plenty of articles and opinion pieces about libraries being obsolete. The prediction of the library’s demise are a real detriment to libraries’ future stake holders. The presidential Budget Proposal FY 2020 is proposing a permanent elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Such a proposition threatens to end all federal funding of public libraries. This purports a serious budget crisis for libraries nationwide.

If libraries are to survive it’s time to look into what’s really going on. Are they simply ruins gathering dust in the wind or are they a cultural epicenter bridging the past and future? I looked to the American Library Association for some answers.

According to the Public Libraries in the United States Survey published in December 2014:

  • There were 1.5 billion in-person visits to public libraries across the U.S. This was a 10-year increase of 20.7 percent
  • More than 92.6 million people attended the 4 million programs at public libraries…a 10-year increase of 54.4 percent.
  • Over 2.2 billion materials were circulated in public libraries…a 10-year increase of 28 percent.
  • There were 271,146 public access computers in public libraries, representing a 1-year increase of 3.7 percent

These statistics prove just the opposite of the widely spread rumors pertaining to the death of libraries. With the increase in circulation and in-person visits alongside increased program attendees and computer access it seems as though libraries are reaching out to and succeeding in meeting people’s needs.

The library isn’t an outsider to the changing times but rather an active participant. Laramie County Library’s vision is to “Provide opportunities that empower everyone to reach their full potential.” It’s our duty to evolve with the people, to break down socioeconomic barriers and to advance personal and community initiative.

The 2015 State of America’s Libraries Report from the American Library Association shows the following:

  • Digital literacy continues to grow as an important library service. Research shows that families are increasing their access to digital media, but they lack the knowledge to use it effectively in a way that enables learning.
  • Makerspaces are trending and provide evidence that libraries are continuing to evolve beyond the traditional focus on collections.
  • Academic, public and school libraries are experiencing a shift in how they are perceived by their communities and society. No longer just places for books, libraries of all types are viewed as anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces.
  • From offering free technology workshops, small business centers and 24/7 virtual access to e-Books and digital materials, libraries are transforming communities, schools and campuses.

The internet does provide instant access to an endless array of information and provides means to communication that is revolutionary in its ideal. However, “the online world doesn’t employ professionals to guide people through the inquiry process and to help them discern fact from fiction” (Stinson). It’s a vast confusing world and we all could use a little help in differentiating what is accurate from what is plain fraudulent. The librarian along with the navigational tools the library offers can aid in preventing the spread of misinformation.

Customs, art, beliefs, and institutions regularly come under attack and libraries are no different. But libraries have an advantage. They adapt to, preserve, and even help to define culture. Libraries stand as a physical and digital realm to exchange cultural ideas. The preservation and accessibility to resources is critical to societal progress.

The all too common question of “Are libraries dying?” can be answered by the acknowledgement that as long as there are human aspirations then libraries will remain not only relevant but arguably an indispensable groundwork for human achievement.

Works Cited

ALA Library Fact Sheet” American Library Association,
Dennings, Steve. Do We Need Libraries?

Public Libraries in the United States Survey” Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Reiner, John. America’s Public Library Crisis

Stinson, Brenda. Skelly’s Wrong on Library Relevance

Library a Resource for Community in Crisis

The day after the mines closed, Campbell County Public Library saw a steep increase in the use of its Technology Center.

Campbell County Public Library System (CCPLS) and its employees joined the ranks of the shocked on July 1 as Blackjewel Holdings, LLC, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and abruptly shuttered the operation of Campbell County’s Belle Ayr and Eagle Butte mines, immediately putting 580 people out of work. As members of the community, and by their very nature as librarians, CCPL staff began to make plans to reach out to local miners.

The first step when they heard the stunning, unexpected news, was to communicate support through social media: “Our hearts go out to all employees of Blackjewel Mines and others affected by mine closures. We stand ready, willing and able to assist with any and all with resume writing, computer services interned access, job search assistance, etc.”

As soon as July 2, CCPL saw a steep increase in patron use of the Technology Center and reference services. Displaced workers came to the library to work on new job prospects, to file for and seek out relief, and to use the library as a hub for information on what to do next. Compared with Reference Department statistics from July 2018, average use increased 64% over two weeks, with a bulk of those statistics coming from job search related questions.

Since the mine closure, CCPL Reference Department staff worked to coordinate with the local Wyoming Workforce Services branch and attended informational sessions for displaced workers to be able to provide patrons with the most up to date and accurate information. Two Saturday resume writing open sessions were held July 6 and 13, and community-sponsored free Technology Center services (printing, copies, faxing, etc.) are being provided to library patrons affected by the mine closures.

CCPL Youth Services continues to provide regular programs and services for children and teens, including free summer reading programs and access to computers within the Children’s Department for parents who need computer access but have children with them.

Through the recent turbulent times for their friends at the coal mines, Campbell County Public Library has been, and continues to be, a community meeting space and resource for access to technology, assistance with online forms, technology skills training, and more.

Park County Archives Joins DPLA

Yellowstone Lake, Park County Archives

Yellowstone Falls, Park County Archives

From the Colorado Virtual Library

The Park County Archives has added almost 15,000 items from their historic photograph collection to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) through the Plains to Peaks Collective, a partnership between the state libraries of Wyoming and Colorado. Their vast collection includes over 20,000 images relating to the town of Cody, Park County, and the region. Park County was organized in 1911 and its boundaries include most of the Shoshone National Forest, one of the first nationally protected land areas, and part of Yellowstone National Park. Researchers exploring this collection can discover beautiful scenic views and learn about early visitor experiences within these two regions.

The collection also holds images of notable Park County ghost towns such as Marquette, which is now found under the Buffalo Bill Reservoir; Kirwin, a turn-of-the-century mining camp which at its peak was home to 200 people — miners and their families; Wiley, the center of a failed 3 million dollar irrigation project that went bankrupt in 1909; and the Elk Basin oil field camp built by the oil company to house employees and their families.

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Park County Archives

The Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a War Relocation Authority (WRA) facility, that confined Japanese Americans from August 1942 and until November 1945 is also represented in this rich collection. Nearly eleven thousand evacuees were interned there making it the 3rd largest city in Wyoming.

The Park County Archives joins their fellow Wyoming institutions in DPLA: the Wyoming State Library, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming, and University of Wyoming Art Museum.

The WSL supports Wyoming’s involvement in Plains to Peaks using federal Library Services & Technology Act funds through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. If you would like to become a PPC partner or if you have questions about sharing your collections with the DPLA contact Leigh Jeremias, at


Happy Faces at Wyoming Reads

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon and State Librarian Jamie Markus reading to students at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

Wyoming First Lady Jennie Gordon and State Librarian Jamie Markus reading to students at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

Mark down 2019 for another successful Wyoming Reads celebration. This event, held at locations in all 23 counties, gave a hardback book to keep to every Wyoming first-grade student. More than 7,500 students received a book to cherish that they picked from this year’s selections.

Wyoming Reads is a program of the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation. It began in 1999 as “Casper Cares, Casper Reads” and expanded statewide in 2006. John Jorgensen established the Sue Jorgensen Library Foundation and the annual celebration to honor his late wife’s commitment to literacy and books. Wyoming Reads uses the State Library’s Central Acquisitions program to purchase books at steep discounts to stretch donated dollars.

We hope you enjoy these pictures of the day’s happenings. (Click photos to see full size.) You can find more on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Students eating pizza at the Rawlins Library.

Enjoying a bite to eat at the Rawlins Library, Carbon County Library System, during Wyoming Reads.

Students holding up their books during Wyoming Reads at Park County Library in Cody.

Students holding up their books during Wyoming Reads at Park County Library in Cody. Each child chose a book of their choice from a list of six titles.

Wyoming Reads at Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library

Wyoming Reads at Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library

Guernsey-Sunrise School students at Platte County Public Library

Guernsey-Sunrise School students at Platte County Public Library

Jerry Jones reading to students at Natrona County Library. Jerry is NCL's Youth Services Coordinator.

Jerry Jones reading to students at Natrona County Library. Jerry is NCL’s Youth Services Coordinator.

Students enjoying some sunshine during Wyoming Reads at Natrona County Library.

Students enjoying some sunshine during Wyoming Reads at Natrona County Library.

Green River High School students acted out stories for the first grades at Wyoming Reads at Sweetwater County Library.

Green River High School students acted out stories for the first grades at Wyoming Reads at Sweetwater County Library.

Crook County first graders gathered at Devils Tower for Wyoming Reads.

Crook County first graders gathered at Devils Tower for Wyoming Reads.

First grade students with their new books at Niobrara County Library.

First grade students with their new books at Niobrara County Library.

A rapt crowd of students at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

A rapt crowd of students at Laramie County Library in Cheyenne.

Crowd of students at Fremont County Library - Lander.

What a crowd at Fremont County Library – Lander!

The first graders from Pinedale Elementary came to the Sublette County Library in Pinedale and had a great time.

The first graders from Pinedale Elementary came to the Sublette County Library in Pinedale and had a great time. They had six guest readers from the community.

Wyoming Reads in Lovell at the Hyart Theatre.

Wyoming Reads in Lovell at the Hyart Theatre. Middle school students read to the different groups of first graders and also dressed up as Mickey and Donald. Students watched the movie Finding Nemo and then they came on stage as their librarians read their names and their principals handed them their new books and library cards.

Students showing off their new books during Wyoming Reads at Greybull Public Library.

Students showing off their new books during Wyoming Reads at Greybull Public Library.


Rawlins Library Renovation in the Works

Architect's rendering of the new entrance to the Rawlins Library.

Architect’s rendering of the new entrance to the Rawlins Library.

The Rawlins Library is looking forward to some renovations, thanks to the recent passage of a 6th penny specific purpose tax.

The Rawlins Library is the central library for Carbon County Library System (CCLS). Since 1981, the library has occupied the second floor of the Carbon Building, a county administrative building. The 6th penny tax will generate funds for projects all over Carbon County, and the library’s share will come out of the $27.5 million designated for remodeling the Carbon Building and the Courthouse.

The library will be moved from its current home on the second story down to the ground floor of the building. “The steep staircase that’s now our main entrance will no longer be necessary,” said Jacob Mickelsen, Executive Director of CCLS, “nor will the world’s slowest elevator.”

Instead, patrons will enter through an outdoor plaza area directly into their new, much more accessible library.  New floor plans include designated, organically separated spaces for children, teens, and adults. Major technology infrastructure improvements should future-proof the facility for decades to come. Other planned improvements include a Wyoming history room, a dedicated computer lab, all new spaces for children and teens, and a creation station/makerspace.

“In short, patrons can expect all the same services they currently enjoy — and some new ones —in a space that’s accessible, modern, and welcoming,” Jacob said.  He added that the Carbon Building is a historic structure, “and this project allows the county to protect and respect the past while embracing the future.”

Jacob and the library board and employees are looking forward to working with the project architects in the coming months to flesh out the remodel plans, and they hope to have a construction timeline soon. The library is phase three of a twelve phase plan, “so we ought to have our project commence sooner rather than later.”

The Carbon County Library System has been a part of daily life in Rawlins since 1925, and has changed immensely since its start as one small room at the local school. The library quickly grew to occupy half the ground floor of the courthouse, and moved to its current location 38 years ago.

“A library must change and grow with its community,” Jacob said. “We’re excited to help usher the CCLS into its next iteration and keep serving the public for another century.”