Last week at the Wyoming Library Association conference, the Wyoming Association of Community Development Extension Professionals presented WLA with its “Friend of Community Development” award. The award was presented by Juliet Daniels, Community Development Educator, University of Wyoming Extension
Daniels and Kimberly Chapman wrote in their nomination letter:
“We are nominating the Wyoming Library Association, on behalf of their members throughout the state, in recognition of the work that their members do in the area of community development. The Wyoming Library Association provides leadership and serves as a collective voice and advocate for the advancement of Wyoming libraries.
“Wyoming libraries play a key role in our communities and provide a number of valuable services that enhance community development. At the most basic level, we appreciate Wyoming libraries for providing the community development team and the rest of our Extension colleagues a space where we can teach our programs. We also appreciate their commitment to lifelong learning and recognize how the educational programs they provide contributes to our collective quality of life.
“Our libraries serve as a vital community hub; a welcoming place for community members to gather and engage with one another, which supports democratic practices. Oftentimes during election season, libraries provide space and/or host candidate forums and contribute to citizen’s ability to learn about the issues and better engage in the election process.
“Additionally, community libraries provide a variety of services that are otherwise not available for vulnerable populations in our community. Libraries typically provide free computer, internet, and other technology-related services to all patrons; some of the biggest beneficiaries of this service are economically-disadvantaged members of our communities. They serve home-bound audiences through book delivery, bookmobiles, and e-book lending. Libraries also support literacy and school-readiness programs for pre-kindergarten youth.
“These are some of the many reasons that we value our libraries and the work that the Wyoming Library Association does to support its membership. Libraries are an integral part of a healthy community and deserve to be recognized as such.”