The area served by Wyoming’s Cody Library, the main location of the Park County Library System, is remote — closer to Yellowstone National Park than to any urban center — and its community of just over 10,000 has limited access to quality internet, meeting spaces, and health and business resources. To help fill those gaps, Cody Library prioritizes its community’s wellness through a wide range of tools and collaborations. These include the library’s Health Resource Center, with a collection curated in partnership with the Cody Medical Foundation, and an Outreach Garden, which provides hands-on education and nature literacy. Well-used meeting rooms, a café that employs special needs adults, wellness and nature backpacks to check out, and a seed library, among many offerings, allow Cody Library’s staff of 10 to deliver a wealth of support and services—and eliminating late fees and expanding open hours removes traditional barriers to service.
Library Director Karen Horner had this to say about the award:
Park County Library is pleased and honored that the Cody Library was selected to be the Runner Up/Honorable Mention for Best Small Library in America 2023 by Library Journal. This is a huge honor and for anyone that has visited the Cody Library knows it is well deserved.
The Cody Library exemplifies what makes an amazing library and the impact it can have in a rural community. The Cody Library also represents what all Park County Libraries excel at doing; providing excellent customer service, quality programming and community outreach.
As the Library Director, my intention was to nominate our whole library system as all three libraries, as well as our Mobile Outreach Van, provide excellent libraries and services for nominated the Cody Library to represent what makes Park County Library System excellent.
Anyone that has visited the Cody Library is struck by the beauty of the library building and the location of the library. But what really makes the Cody Library stand out is the patron experience received once someone enters the library and the awareness of the extension of that experience out in the community where ever we go to deliver outreach.
The Cody Library is an amazing library with wonderful staff dedicated to providing quality customer experience that make everyone feel like they are a part of our library family. The Cody Library has a collection that reflects the community, a growing Library of Things that include an abundant seed library, switch games, Rokus, puzzles, nature backpacks, STEM kits, board games, mental health kits and much more.
The staff have done such an amazing job in creating a library that really reflects what makes a library central and important to a community.
Congratulations, Park County Library, Cody!