Telling the Wyoming State Library Story
Since their inception, libraries have served as a source of knowledge and information for patrons from all walks of life.
In an effort to serve their communities to the best of their abilities, librarians are constantly learning, evolving, and offering a hand when others are in need of help. If you can’t find something online or in print, the best resource to seek out is a librarian. These individuals make it their mission to inform and empower, and Wyoming State Library is no exception to this magnificent feat.
Keep reading to learn more about WY State Library in this short highlight. We’ll cover the establishment’s history in brief, as well as some of the helpful resources and services that Wyoming librarians provide.
History of WY State Library
Wyoming’s state library, once called the Wyoming Territorial Library, was established in December of 1871. E.P. Johnson served as the first territorial librarian at the time, but the first State Librarian, Minnie Salughter, was appointed in 1890. Additionally, the name of the establishment changed from the Wyoming Territorial Library to the Wyoming State Library when Wyoming became a US state in 1890.
This location was originally designed to be a depository for government documents, and it originally shared space with the area’s Opera House. In 1897, the library was opened to the public, and in 1917, the library migrated over to the east wing of the state’s capitol building. However, the library didn’t stay put for long, and in 1937, it was again moved to share space with the state’s Supreme Court.
In 1968, the State Library and the State Law Library separated, becoming two independent entities.
Finally, the library became a division of the Department of Administration & Information in 1990, a move which likely powered the scores of accomplishments the WY State Library has achieved since.
Features, Activities, & Public Services
Libraries offer so much more than a chance to borrow books for free, though that’s enough of a public service to mention. Librarians who work at these establishments work tirelessly to create programs that benefit their communities. WY State Library offers an extensive number of services, tools, and programs, but in this article, we’ll cover just a few that stand out.
WY State Library collects and organizes a plethora of informational materials in both digital and printed formats. This collection and data management system creates accessible resource-sharing opportunities for both Wyoming residents and members of government agencies. The collection includes federal documents, patents, trademarks, state publications, histories, newspapers, legislative information, local destinations, and much more. Tens of thousands of documents are available to view and research in the library’s database.
On top of collecting and maintaining scores of informational pieces, the team at the WY State Library has organized its informational database to make finding specific documents easy for interested residents. The library also constantly updates resource formats so that printed, audio, or visual materials remain accessible when using the latest technology for viewership.
Wyoming State Library also hosts Telework Lab offerings for state employees, which presents remote workers, distance learners, and supervisors with support and resource materials. These labs provide instructions for mastering specific work-from-home programs (ex: Zoom), improving productivity when working from home, creating an ergonomic workspace, and making the most of distance learning.
The Telework Hub also provides part-time or full-time remote workers with access to network drives, printing services, and options that aim to keep work-related internet connectivity secure.
Wyoming Letters About Literature
While the WY State Library doesn’t directly host this contest, it’s a proud sponsor of the state’s annual Wyoming Letters About Literature event. In an effort to promote reading and writing as valuable and exciting practices, the contest accepts entries from young people throughout the state. The contest’s three age categories are 4th grade through 6th grade, 7th and 8th grades, and 9th grade through 12th grade.
Each age category has three winners by the time the contest ends. First-place winners receive a $150 Amazon gift card. Second-place winners receive a $100 Amazon gift card, and third-place winners receive a $50 Amazon gift card.
To enter, students need to submit a letter to an author (living or dead) discussing one of the author’s books that changed their lives upon reading it.
WY State Library hosts a learning platform called GoWYLD. With only a library card and access to the internet (which the library’s computer lab also offers), patrons can take advantage of limitless free resources. GoWYLD offers professionally-curated guides covering an array of subjects, access to an immense scholarly database, digital library options, eLearning tools, games and programs for Wyoming children, genealogical aids, map research, test preparation materials, and more.
Some of the more popular platform options include the following services.
BookFlix is a tool that converts children’s books into animated formats, both in terms of illustrations and text. This tool aims to get children interested in reading and help improve reading comprehension levels as early as possible
Libby is a free service that enables library patrons to access, borrow, and return thousands of audiobook titles, ebooks, magazines, and more. Using Libby makes it easy and affordable for Wyoming residents to consume various pieces of written content without having to battle with incompatible formats, high fees, and accessibility issues. Audiobook options present patrons with visual or learning disabilities with opportunities to enjoy books by removing the roadblocks printed material presents.
On top of these benefits, Libby also automatically returns book titles by their listed due date, meaning that patrons won’t incur any late fees if they forget about a book they’ve borrowed.
- LinkedIn Learning:
LinkedIn Learning is a platform that’s designed to help adults develop the skills they need in order to make a successful career change. The platform offers on-demand courses, webinars, TED talks, and a wide variety of resources that aspiring professionals can engage with. Each course offering aims to teach work-related skills and upon completing a specific course, participants can become better prepared to handle the everyday challenges that come up when they’ve secured a position in their desired field.
- WYLD Research:
WYLD Research offers researchers a vast selection of scholarly articles and other publications covering the topic they’re exploring. Each article is available for free so that students, professionals, and hobbyists can explore peer-reviewed, reputable information that will point their research projects in the right direction.
Libraries and their staff members work incredibly hard to provide their respective communities with tools and resources that patrons can access free of charge. The work they do is worth celebrating, so be sure to support your local library when you get a chance. Visit, volunteer, donate, or just spread the word about an event or program. Any effort you make is greatly appreciated and can make a world of difference.