Susan Mark Retires After Over Two Decades of Service

Jan 9, 2024

Susan skiingAfter over twenty years with the Wyoming State Library, Susan Mark, Outreach Librarian, will be retiring in early February of 2024. “We are incredibly happy for Susan, though maybe not as happy as she is to reach her official retirement date. Susan has been a keystone library promoter for our Wyoming library community. We will greatly miss her knowledge and expertise in the library profession and at the State Library,” said Abby Beaver, Interim State Librarian.

Susan began working as a public information specialist at WSL in October of 1998. After several years, she left to work in the non-profit health industry and then served as director of the Laramie County Library Foundation. Returning to WSL in 2004 with a good background in grant-writing, she earned her MSLS from Clarion University in 2005 and credits the patience and support from the management and from her colleagues at WSL, as well as financial assistance from the Wyoming Library Association’s Nora Van Burgh Grant and the McMurry Foundation, as being essential to her success. Susan became the Statistics Librarian in WSL’s Library Development Office, serving as the State Data Coordinator and running the Public Library Survey. She returned to the Marketing Office at WSL in June of 2015. “I’ve effectively held the same exact position three times, despite changes in the job titles,” Susan said.

Susan is pleased to be ending her career at WSL on a high note with $12.6 million dollars having been approved for construction grants to five Wyoming public libraries.  “It was a challenge to effectively build a construction subgrant program from the ground up,” said Susan.  “We were fortunate to have former State Librarian Jamie Markus’s leadership securing the funding and to have the help of WYDOT and the State Budget Department as we learn the ropes.  It was definitely a team effort and a lot of work to make these projects a reality.”  She is so happy Wyoming communities will benefit from this endeavor.

Susan has made many contributions during her time at WSL including the creation of the Wyoming School Library Survey, reinstating The Outrider newsletter in 2015, and instituting Snapshot Day, which continues to drive home how important libraries are to their communities.

Susan thanks everyone at the Wyoming State Library who has been so supportive of her over the years. “There isn’t a single thing I’ve accomplished here on my own—it’s been a team effort, and what an incredible team it is.” She sends a special shout-out to Jamie Markus, who was her supervisor for over half of her time at WSL, as well as to Abby Beaver, who Susan says has provided great leadership during this transitional time between State Librarians.  “I look forward to seeing who the next state librarian is and what the WSL will accomplish,” Susan said. She also thanks the Wyoming library community for their support, community, and friendship: “Wyoming libraries do great things, and I’m just glad that I was able to be a part of it.”

Susan’s last day at WSL will be February 1.  After that, you’ll probably find her traveling, exploring her favorite “playground,” Medicine Bow National Forest, with her husband while skiing, camping, and hiking to her heart’s content, or at home working on creative writing, sewing, crocheting, or cooking. “My plan is to cross-country ski as much as humanly possible during the remainder of the 2023-2024 season.  The goal is at least 20 outings, at least 100 miles,” Susan said.

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