After 18 years of service to the Wyoming State Library, the last seven as State Librarian, Jamie Markus is departing later this month. He will join the University of Wyoming Libraries as the Assistant Dean for Resource Discovery & Management. He has been serving UW Libraries as an adjunct faculty member since late in 2022.
“I’ve loved my time working for the Wyoming State Library and enjoyed the opportunity to be part of so many amazing projects,” Jamie said, “but what I’ll miss most is the people, the truly dedicated team that works here at the WSL.”
Jamie joined the Library Development Office in May of 2005, shortly after graduating with his MLS from Indiana University. He moved up to Library Development Manager in 2009. In June of 2015 he was named Interim State Librarian, a position he served in for a year before becoming Wyoming State Librarian in 2016.
He is a past president of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA), was the 2011 WLA Librarian of the Year and was named a 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker. In 2014, he was honored as a White House “Champion of Change” for promoting libraries as essential partners in community outreach efforts. In 2022, he took office as President of the Western Council of State Libraries, made up of 22 state library agencies west of the Mississippi River. He is currently a member of the Leadership Wyoming Class of 2024.
Under Jamie’s leadership, the WSL has had many accomplishments, not the least of which was navigating through the challenges and opportunities created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The State Library’s responsiveness and guidance during that difficult time earned it recognition as the Wyoming Library Association’s Outstanding Library of 2021. Federal funding in response to the crisis through ARPA and CARES benefited the state’s libraries and were expended with input from the Wyoming library community. An additional $13.2 million in pandemic funding through the U.S. Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund will support library construction through a competitive subgrant program.
In his years as State Librarian, five of the six resources in the Digital Collection Suite — Wyoming Places, Publications, Legislation, Inventors, and Trademarks — were moved to the cloud. The WSL collaborated with the University of Wyoming to combine their online newspaper collections in the Wyoming Digital Newspaper Collection. The State Library partnered with UW and the Colorado State Library to form the Plains to Peaks Collective, a service hub of the Digital Public Library of America. This enabled not just the WSL, but also libraries and cultural institutions across the state, to add hundreds of thousands of digitized resources to the DPLA and make those items available through the nationwide portal. The search interface for the statewide library catalog, WYLDCat, was updated to Aspen Discovery, enriching the patron experience. Jamie oversaw the consolidation of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines into one digital platform, OverDrive, and expanded access to those materials. The Wyoming Virtual Library is the only statewide OverDrive Consortium that counts all public and academic libraries as active members. Also during his tenure, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden visited with library directors at the annual Directors Retreat as part of her first visit to Wyoming, and the State Library celebrated the 150th anniversary of its creation in 1871.
“It’s been a privilege to lead this organization”, Jamie said. “The State Library team knows how to accomplish amazing things. I look forward to seeing where they go next.”
Jamie’s last day at the Wyoming State Library is October 20. He is filling the position at UW left vacant by Deborah McCarthy’s retirement. She joined UW Libraries in 2004 as the Head of Technical Services and later assumed the role of Assistant Dean for Resource Discovery & Management in 2018.