Wyoming State Library Marks its 150th Anniversary

Dec 6, 2021

WSL logo with "150 Years, 1871-2021" in textOn December 16, 2021, the Wyoming State Library will mark 150 years of providing quality library services to the residents of Wyoming.

In 1871, the Second Territorial Legislature approved legislation creating the Wyoming Territorial Library with the “charge and custody of all books, maps, papers, charts, engravings, paintings and all other things properly belonging to the library, or directed to be deposited therein, and shall also keep a regular file of all newspapers published in the territory which shall be donated thereto.” On December 16 of that year, Governor John A. Campbell signed into law the creation of the Territorial Library, now the Wyoming State Library.

Today, the Wyoming State Library is charged by statute to serve as the state documents depository, to receive and manage federal funds intended for libraries, and to extend and develop library services throughout Wyoming.

The library maintains a collection of items that date back to territorial days and has managed federal library funds for statewide benefit for 60 years. Support for libraries now includes consulting services and a money-saving central acquisitions program. In the late 1900s, the State Library developed and implemented the statewide WYLDCat shared library catalog and added electronic resources available to everyone in Wyoming. More recent is the addition of e-books, e-audiobooks, and more that make reading materials available from anywhere at any time.

“When your history spans a century and a half, you certainly see some things change,” said Jamie Markus, Wyoming State Librarian. “We’ve adjusted our mission over the years, but what hasn’t changed is our dedication to serving the people of Wyoming. We’re proud of our achievements, and we look forward to the next 150 years.”

The WSL’s 150th anniversary will be celebrated at the Wyoming Library Association Legislative Reception on February 17, 2022. The event will be held at the State Library.

What the WSL does for Wyoming

Not everyone is aware of all the services the Wyoming State Library provides. The WSL:

  • Serves as the depository for state and federal government documents, making government information accessible to legislators, researchers, and all residents of the Equality State.
  • Is charged with the development and extension of library services throughout the state, supporting Wyoming’s 23 county public libraries, eight academic libraries, nearly 300 school libraries, and numerous special libraries.
  • Supports libraries at the 13 Wyoming State Institutions, so they can better provide vital library services for their residents or inmates.
  • Has, since 1959, received and managed federal funds to improve library services to all Wyomingites.
  • Manages the WYLDCat statewide library catalog, which is used by 108 libraries, including every public and community college library in Wyoming, to catalog 3.3 million items, and circulate over 9,000 items per day.
  • Supports an interlibrary loan network that allows libraries and patrons to borrow materials from more than 16,000 libraries, and
  • Offers Wyoming residents over 120 GoWYLD.net library resources to serve their information needs, covering everything from e-books and e-audiobooks to driving test preparation, car repair manuals, business plan builders, and scholarly research articles.
  • Provides online access to nearly one million items across six online digital collections. These resources make Wyoming’s history accessible through legislation, state publications, trademarks, inventors, places, and newspapers.
  • Houses a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center.

Wyoming library workers — and all Wyoming residents — should know that the State Library is there for them. Contact the WSL at statelibrary@wyo.gov or (307) 777-6333, or find contact information for individual employees on our staff page.

If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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