The Ten Sleep Library was selected as the 2020 recipient of the Wyoming Library Association’s Outstanding Library of the Year Award. This award recognizes an exemplary library for a significant special project completed within the last two years. The Ten Sleep Library is a branch of the Washakie County Library system.
“I’m just so honored that we were chosen,” said Karen Funk, Washakie County Library Director. “We’ve had a huge amount of support over the years. Whenever we’ve needed a hand, the community has stepped up. And the staff are incredible – they’ve worked so hard and put their hearts into this little library.”
Ten Sleep Library was honored for its expansion that included room for an after-school program. The expansion was funded by grants and both cash and in-kind donations, including a Wyoming Business Council grant for $136,177 and a land donation valued at $12,922 from Washakie County School District #2. The Washakie County Library Foundation provided $27,000 worth of additional new shelving.
The after-school program is supported through a grant from Washakie County Youth Alternatives and through private donations. “After the Bell” provides children with after-school care, activities, healthy snacks, and homework help after they leave the school building, giving their parents peace of mind.
To be named as WLA’s Outstanding Library, the staff, library board, community, or people served must all have been involved in the work for which recognition is sought, and the Ten Sleep Library excelled on that front.
“When we looked at the nominations, what set the Ten Sleep Library apart was its community support,” said Anna Street, WLA Awards/Grants Committee Chair. “The fact that such a small community could pull together the grants, donations, and partnerships to make this happen really impressed us. It’s a well-deserved honor.”
The Ten Sleep Branch Library and Washakie County School District # 2 work together as a cooperative to provide a combination school and public library that serves the Town of Ten Sleep and the outlying ranching and farming community.