Wyoming Library Association Awards Honor Service to Libraries

At last week’s Wyoming Library Association (WLA) conference at Little America in Cheyenne, the organization honored several people for their service to and support of the state’s libraries.

Librarian of the Year:
Claire Francis, Uinta County Library

Claire Francis

(L to R) WLA Awards Chair Megan Herold, Uinta County Library Adult Services Librarian, Uinta County Library Director George Strawley

Claire is recognized for her devotion to and improvement of the Uinta Library in times of need. She repeatedly and willingly assumed responsibility when the community needed her. And she stepped up not for the credit or career, but wholeheartedly for the sake of serving.

The Librarian of the Year award recognizes the significant accomplishments of a library employee who has in the past year improved library service to customers, contributed to WLA and the profession, or contributed to the library’s community.

Bill Van Arsdale

Bill Van Arsdale

Distinguished Service Award:
Bill Van Arsdale,
University of Wyoming Libraries

A long-time University of Wyoming librarian, Bill has played a significant role in every improvement and innovation the research library system has experienced since the 1990s. Not only did he invent, create, and build a new system to better serve staff and students, but he is an incredible mentor for his colleagues.

The Distinguished Service Award recognizes the significant accomplishments of a library or foundation employee who has been part of the Wyoming library community for at least the past five years and their contributions toward the improvement of library service to customers, contributions to WLA and the profession, or contributions to the library’s community.

Milstead Award:
Learning Resource Center and Shannon Smith, University of Wyoming Libraries

Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith

The Learning Resource Center is devoted to increasing digital literacy. Shannon developed several curricula for middle school students to engage them in building their own computers and to increase their learning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Students as well as teachers have greatly benefited from projects, technology, and teachings provided by the LRC and Shannon Smith.

The Milstead Award recognizes a Wyoming library that accomplished a significant project or service that benefits children and/or teens.

Representative Tim Stubson

Representative Tim Stubson

Community Supporter Award:
Representative Tim Stubson

Representative Tim Stubson is a strong supporter of Wyoming libraries. His leadership in the development and passage of HB 76 (Public library endowment challenge program amendments) during the 2015 legislative session was essential to its success. The amendment to the Wyoming Library Endowment Challenge allowed libraries to create fundraising partnerships, and it extended the deadline for libraries to raise endowment funds eligible for state match.

The Community Supporter Award recognizes a supporter of the library, who is not an employee or volunteer. The person can be an elected official, financial benefactor, or other individual.

Bonnie Cohee

Bonnie Cohee

Trustee/Volunteer Award:
Bonnie Cohee,
Campbell County Library System

Bonnie was one of the first volunteers to sign up when Campbell County started their volunteer program. She has worked 18 years and more than 2,600 hours for the children’s department, fulfilling any request they had for her. Many other organizations in Campbell County benefit from Bonnie’s volunteering commitment.

The Trustee/Volunteer Award recognizes an individual or a group that has accomplished outstanding volunteer service and accomplishments for a library


Vicki Wallace

Vicki Wallace

Unsung Heroine/Hero Award:
Vicki Wallace, Big Horn County Library

Vicki’s outstanding customer service on a daily basis, attention to detail, and the ability to not only thrive in the face of change, but to also forge on with an uncompromising positive spirit, has made her a beacon of light at the Basin Library in Big Horn County.

The Unsung Heroine/Hero Award recognizes someone who works in a library and is essential to the organization. This can be for a major or minor achievement, something unusual, or even a noble deed.


October is American Archives Month

And today, October 1, is Ask an Archivist Day.

American Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance of records of enduring value. Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to information that has lasting value, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records.

Listings for many Wyoming archival collections may be found in our Libraries Directory under the special libraries category. These include wonderful collections such as the Wyoming State Archives and the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center.

The Twitter conversation has already started. The Chairman of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States will be taking questions on Twitter at 3pm ET @USNatArchives.  Use the hashtag ‪#‎AskAnArchivist‬ to follow along on Twitter and ask away!

Learn more about American Archives Month.

Banned Books Week Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, 2015

From the American Library Association

BBW-logoNew York — Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read by encouraging read-outs, displays, and community activities that raise awareness of the ongoing threat of censorship.

Young Adult books will be the focus of Banned Books Week in 2015. Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will run from September 27 through October 3, 2015, and will be observed in libraries, schools, bookstores and other community settings across the nation and the world.

In recent years, the majority of the most frequently challenged books in libraries have been Young Adult (YA) titles. Six YA titles were on the list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2014, according to the American Library Association. Attempted bans on books of all kinds also frequently occur under the guise of protecting younger audiences.

“Young Adult books are challenged more frequently than any other type of book,” said Judith Platt, chair of the Banned Books Week National Committee. “These are the books that speak most immediately to young people, dealing with many of the difficult issues that arise in their own lives, or in the lives of their friends. This Banned Books Week is a call to action, to remind everyone that young people need to be allowed the freedom to read widely, to read books that are relevant for them, and to be able to make their own reading choices.”

Learn more at www.bannedbooksweek.org



Laramie County Library Gives Tweens Their Own Space

Laramie County tweensThanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the Laramie County Library System (LCLS) now has a unique space for 3rd through 6th graders on the second floor.

The space, located under the bright orange WOW and YAY signs just west of the floor chess board, combines over-sized bean bag chairs, a Joke-of-the-Week wall, drawing space, and a board that promotes STEM concepts such as force, motion and other engineering concepts through movable magnetic tubes.

The most recent addition to this space are the LED light boards, designed to teach simple programming skills using Adruino and Raspberry Pi technology. In the fall, youth will be able to take a class to learn basic programming on these devices. The light panel can be checked out, as long as it remains on the floor, so tweens can program words or shapes to display for friends and family.

Tweens and their families are encouraged to visit the second floor Ask Here desk for additional information and to check out dry erase markers.

Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew Confirmed as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services

From the Institute of Museum and Library Services
Read the full news release

Kathryn K. Matthew

Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew

Washington, DC — Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew’s nomination to be director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) was confirmed by the United States Senate on Tuesday night. The Institute, an independent United States government agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.

Dr. Matthew will serve a four-year term as the Director of the Institute. The directorship of the Institute alternates between individuals from the museum and library communities. She succeeds Maura Marx, who served as IMLS Acting Director since January 19, 2015, following the departure of IMLS Director Susan H. Hildreth, at the conclusion of her four-year term.  Marx is currently the deputy director for library services.

Biographical Background

Dr. Matthew’s career interests have centered around supporting and coaching museums and other nonprofits, large and small, who are focused on propelling their programs, communications, events, and fundraising offerings to a higher level of success.  Dr. Matthew’s professional experience spans the breadth of the diverse museum field.  Through her many different leadership positions, she brings to the agency a deep knowledge of the educational and public service roles of museums, libraries, and related nonprofits.

Dr. Matthew received a B.A. from Mount Holyoke College, an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow IMLS on Facebook and Twitter.

Job Opening: Natrona County Public Library Director

NCPL Logo - Color - v4-01-01

Natrona County Public Library in Casper, Wyoming, is seeking applicants for library director.

The director plans, manages and directs the operations, programs, services, and personnel of the Natrona County Public Library System. Key responsibilities include: managing and directing library operations; ensuring high quality library programs and services; developing and maintaining short and long term plans for the library; representing the library and coordinating departmental activities with other divisions, departments, outside agencies, community organizations and the media; and staying abreast of new trends and innovations in the field of public library management.

Learn more at http://www.gossagesager.com/natronacountyad.htm.

New Pew Report: Libraries at the Crossroads

From the Pew Research Center

A new Pew Research Center study, “Libraries at the Crossroads,” shows that the public is interested in new services and thinks libraries are important to communities.

American libraries are buffeted by cross currents. Citizens believe that libraries are important community institutions and profess interest in libraries offering a range of new program possibilities. Yet there are signs that the share of Americans visiting libraries has edged downward over the past three years.

Many Americans say they want public libraries to:

  • support local education;
  • serve special constituents such as veterans, active-duty military personnel and immigrants;
  • help local businesses, job seekers and those upgrading their work skills;
  • embrace new technologies such as 3-D printers and provide services to help patrons learn about high-tech gadgetry.

Public Wants Libraries to Advance Education, Improve Digital Literacy and Serve Key Groups

Learn more at www.pewinternet.org/2015/09/15/libraries-at-the-crossroads.