The Wyoming Library Association has announced nominees for its 2017 election of a Vice President/President-Elect and a Representative to the Mountain Plains Library Association. The ballot will be released July 17 and is restricted to Active and Life members of WLA members. Voting will close August 3, 2017, and the successful candidates will be announced at the Association’s 2017 conference in Sheridan August 10-11.
If you are a WLA member who is eligible to vote, you will receive a ballot by email via SurveyMonkey. If you do not receive your ballot, please check your spam filter first, and if it is not there, contact Susan Mark at email@example.com or (307) 777-5915.
So without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to the five fantastic volunteers who have stepped forward:
Kate Mutch and Jennisen Lucas
Thank you for this opportunity to run for a position in the Wyoming Library Association.
I began as a volunteer in a small library (service population 2,500!) in Colorado in 1998 and went on to pursue my MLS through Emporia State University. In 1999, I became the director of that library. I moved on to a director’s job in Andover, Kansas. I was delighted to return to the west over 14 years ago to serve at the Natrona County Public Library where I am the Public Services Administrator.
Since coming to Wyoming I have enjoyed meeting and working with library staff from all over this unique and wonderful state. I have served on the Wyoming Library Association Awards Committee and currently am serving on the WYLD Governing Board, the WLA Legislative Committee, and the WYLD shared purchasing committee, and I am chair of the WYLD Training Committee. In an unofficial capacity I have been the “wrangler” of all things Overdrive in our eight-member consortia. On a local level I served as Secretary of the local Kiwanis Club for nine years.
One of the greatest things about librarians is the willingness to share with others — information, materials and even themselves. Wyoming libraries excel at this in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere. I believe working together to provide the best possible library service makes all of our libraries stronger. Over the years I have benefited personally and professional from those who have served to keep the organization moving forward, and I would be honored to serve the Wyoming Library Association as it promotes, improves, and supports libraries, librarians, and their many services.
There is a continued need to promote Wyoming libraries as a relevant and needed part of 21st century life. It is even more important than ever to promote the participation of Wyoming librarians and libraries in regional, national, and global library arenas; through WLA, Wyoming has a better chance of being successful with this.
What is your passion? I have a T-shirt from Gale that asks that question. I was challenged to answer it to fill in the blank on the shirt. I chose to write “Learning.” This is why I chose librarianship as my profession — because I have a passion for learning, both my own learning and that of those around me. For the past 15 years, I have been a school librarian, and I have been very active in my professional organizations, but prior to this career choice, I have worked in public libraries, academic libraries, and a law library. I have been co-chair of the Information Power committee and Wyoming’s School Library Interest Group’s recorder and co-chair, as well as serving as one of Wyoming’s delegates to the American Association of School Librarians, for which I have also served on a variety of committees, currently chairing the Beyond Words Grant Jury.
We often separate our various library types (school, academic, special, public) because we all have very different “needs” and “concerns,” but at the core, all librarians believe in the right of each individual to access the information they need to educate themselves. Libraries are not about books; they are about information, and more importantly, they are about education. As a school librarian, I am in a unique position to be identified as a teacher, as well as a librarian. This, however, does not make me unique among librarians. We all do this. Our youngest patrons start learning story basics, text features, and reading skills at the knees of our youth services librarians in the public libraries. Then they are sent to school libraries where good school librarians begin systematically fostering the skills of resource selection and evaluation, discrimination of information validity, and digital literacy skills. Our academic librarians then provide students with further, more in-depth training pursuant to specific subject materials, and our public librarian colleagues then pick up the trail again (although also continuing for those who encompassed the greatness of both public and school libraries throughout their school careers) to lead adults who continually educate themselves on new things that catch their interests or new information about old passions. So, all librarians are educators. Now to the question at hand: why vote for me as Vice President/ President-Elect of the Wyoming Library Association? I am running because I believe that communication between our various interest groups must happen to strengthen our organization and clarify our purpose for all libraries. United, we are strong, but we must also increase communication and collaboration with outside agencies, such as the Wyoming Department of Education, to share our purpose and our abilities to educate every citizen of Wyoming.
Mountain Plains Library Association Representative Nominees:
Nancy Venable, Cindy Moore, and Steve Boss
What a wonderful opportunity to represent the fantastic Wyoming libraries through the Mountain Plains Library Association! My prior experiences with MPLA have been through membership and attendance at joint conferences with the Montana Library Association and the Wyoming Library Association. Always, in any library networking, I have been impressed by the MPLA state representatives; they epitomize their vibrant and vital libraries and regions, wholeheartedly dedicated to their communities.
My background is in Wyoming public libraries and Montana school libraries with two years on the WLA Awards & Grants Committee and a diversity of Montana Library Association volunteer positions. These were great positions where I was able to be part of the positive movements that support libraries and their communities. Working with dedicated Wyoming librarians and building relationships that advocate our state’s libraries has definitely been a wonderful and rewarding experience.
I ask for your vote to support my belief in the power of Wyoming libraries and the stronger voice we have as an association member of MPLA. We benefit from this alliance because MPLA is an organization proven to keep a true perspective and eye on the future while supporting librarians and libraries. The issues addressed by MPLA are common to all of us in the information profession.
As the Wyoming MPLA representative, I would be committed to working toward the best in Wyoming’s libraries through the unique, knowledgeable, and diverse MPLA network.
It has been my good fortune to work in Wyoming public libraries since 2003, volunteering and working in school libraries before that. I began working in the Sweetwater County Library System at the White Mountain Library in 2003 and started an MLIS. program in 2004. I graduated in 2006 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and worked throughout SCLS libraries until 2012 when I moved to Powell and was Branch Manager in Park County. In 2013 I took the Albany County Public Library directorship and retired in 2016. I found I didn’t like retirement, the position of Assistant Director at the Converse County Library opened, and what an opportunity! I have now lived and worked in every corner and the center of Wyoming.
I believe very strongly in access without restrictions, the importance of libraries in our communities, exemplary customer service, and financial responsibility to our taxpayers. Mountain Plains Library Association has given me so much: grants for school, the MPLA Leadership Institute, and the support and friendship of librarians throughout the mountain western states. It would be a pleasure to return that goodwill and represent Wyoming libraries.
I am the Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Wyoming. I have had the pleasure of serving as the Wyoming State Representative for MPLA. Serving in this capacity, I was the 2015 WLA Conference Chair for the joint WLA/MPLA Conference held in Cheyenne. I have enjoyed working with and getting to know colleagues in both in WLA and MPLA.
This year I am helping with the WLA Conference to be held in Sheridan and am looking forward attending the upcoming joint NLA/MPLA Conference to be held in Lake Tahoe.