November - December 1998

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New State Librarian joins WSL

Lesley Boughton officially steps into her new role as State Librarian on Jan. 4.

Boughton comes to the Wyoming State Library from Casper, where she served as director of the Natrona County Library. Governor Jim Geringer announced her appointment in November, after she was chosen through a national search and selection process.

"I am impressed with Lesley's strong background in Wyoming library issues and her involvement in statewide telecommunications and education projects. This is an important position and I am pleased that the state of Wyoming will have someone of this caliber directing this division," said the governor.

During the nearly 20 years Boughton has worked in Wyoming libraries, she has been director of Carbon County Library in Rawlins and Platte County Library in Wheatland, as well as Natrona County.

She has been Wyoming representative to the American Library Association's policy making council and member of several ALA committees and task forces as well as the Patent and Trademark Library Association.

Boughton served as president of the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) and on numerous committees, chairing the continuing education and legislative committees. She received the WLA Distinguished Service Award in 1991.

She has also been a member and chair of the Wyoming Telecommunications Council, member of the Goals 2000 Panel, Wyoming Department of Education, and Technology and Education Project Request for Proposal committee.

Boughton received her bachelor's degree from Connecticut College in New London, Conn., and her master's in library science from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.

Jerry Krois has been the acting state librarian since April.

No plans to include State Library in reorganization

Plans to move the Wyoming State Library (WSL) to another agency came to a halt in December. This fall several reorganization options were suggested to deal with remaining functions of the Department of Commerce (DOC). Various proposals emerged involving the possible move of the State Library from the Department of Administration and Information (A&I) to another entity. Tucker Fagan, DOC director, was responsible for the plans and he met with numerous groups and individuals before making a recommendation.

Representatives from the State Library Board, State Library staff and Wyoming Library Association attended the legislative committee meeting. Both the Board and WLA adopted resolutions supporting a move into a new Department of Information and Technology as long as the State Library remained intact as a division and the WSL board stayed with a singular purpose. The new department was to have been responsible for information policy and technology planning.

WSL was not included in the revised plan approved at the Dec. 8 meeting of the Joint Interim Committee on Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources. Committee members voted to file a bill to take the remaining divisions of the DOC and create the new Department of Parks and Cultural Resources with the addition of the Pioneer Museum at Douglas. The recommendation also included moving the 27 state licensing boards into A&I. The State Library is not mentioned at all.

The committee and the entire legislature will have the opportunity to discuss the issue and hear additional input during the 1999 session which begins Jan. 12.

The Wyoming State Library has been in continuous operation since its inception on Dec. 16, 1871. It began as a territorial library and was an autonomous agency for 120 years. With major reorganization of state government, the library moved into the Department of Administration and Information in 1991.

Council to hear economic role of libraries

Lesley Boughton, State Librarian, and Keith Cottam, president of the Wyoming Library Association and director of libraries at the University of Wyoming, plan to speak to the Wyoming Business Council on Jan. 7 about the role libraries play in Wyoming's economic present and future. Boughton and Cottam will describe the range of existing partnerships through which libraries provide businesses with the information they need, including locating Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counselors in libraries, library pathfinders and guides to business resources, the WYLD database and the state and federal depository system for government publications.

The two library leaders plan to encourage the Wyoming Business Council to create partnerships with the Wyoming library community to ensure that the council as well as individual entrepreneurs have the information they need to be successful.

The Wyoming Business Council came into existence July 1, 1998. Co-chaired by Governor Jim Geringer, the council encompasses a variety of business development programs. Chief Executive Officer John Reardon is leading the early development phases.

Prometheus sculpture vandalized

A 16-foot bronze sculpture of Prometheus located in front of the Natrona County Library was apparently vandalized. The damage was discovered the morning of Dec. 22 when a maintenance worker found a piece of the sculpture on the roof.

The Prometheus sculpture was commissioned in 1972 by the Friends of the Natrona County Library and by a group of Casper residents and businesses. It was cast in Italy and unveiled in 1975. The sculpture weighs half a ton and is mounted in seven tons of concrete and reinforcing steel It represents Prometheus, a rebel against injustice, giving man the gifts of knowledge and culture.

The sculpture shows the Greek god Prometheus bringing fire from the heavens as a gift to humanity. Part of the metal representing the flame Prometheus held in his hands was sawed off. Police initially estimated the damage at $2,000, but it may cost more since some of the damaged pieces are still missing.

Natrona County's Prometheus was the creation of internationally-known sculptor Robert I. Russin, who was then an art professor at University of Wyoming(UW). Other works of his include the Lincoln Monument on Interstate 80 and the Nuclear Family in Prexy's Pasture at UW.

Town of Hanna re-opens library

The town of Hanna is no longer without a library, and the community celebrated with a grand re-opening Nov. 21.

The branch had been closed since Jan. 17, 1997, when frozen water pipes flooded the building. The library lost about 450 books in the flooding, but most of the collection was salvaged.

After attempts to relocate the library failed, the Hanna Town Council, Lions Club of Hanna, private volunteers, county library board and county commissioners joined forces to repair the current building at a cost of about $12,000.

Peggy Forister is now the library branch manager. She underwent training at the Elk Mountain and Saratoga branches to prepare for her new position. The branch resumed regular hours on Nov. 25.

WYLD Things

A WYLD reception awaits legislators

The Wyoming Library Association (WLA) will hold its annual legislative reception at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 11 in Cheyenne at the Hitching Post Inn.

Just prior to the event, there will be a briefing by the WLA legislative committee in the Cheyenne Club Room West at 5 p.m. WLA members are invited and encouraged to attend and to the legislators about libraries.

This year the focus will be on WLA's commitment to a statewide library card, now known as the "WYLD card." Each legislator will be given a WYLD paw print sticker for his or her library card to remind them that WYLD is a statewide cooperative event.

WLA members should bring a dish, treat or dessert to share, or contribute to the association to help defray expenses.

Monetary contributions may be sent to Laura Grott, and requests for electrical outlets should be emailed to Alice Hild Farris at

Conference focus on the Internet

Two Wyoming State Library (WSL) employees joined more than 2,000 librarians from academic, government, school, corporate, public and special libraries at the Internet Librarian Conference held in Monterey, Calif., from Nov. 2-5.

Chris Van Burgh, statewide outreach librarian, and Emily Sieger, state government information coordinator attended valuable sessions on Internet trends, digitization, search engines, training, metadata and Web page development and use. They also toured the exhibition hall to view demonstrations of software and electronic databases. They will be able to incorporate what they learned into future training and projects for the State Library.

Also at the conference were Wyoming librarians Paula Wolfe of the University of Wyoming, Marjorie Elwood of the Laramie County Library System and Dorothy Middleton from Cheyenne East High School.

Van Burgh and Sieger concluded that the Wyoming State Library is on track in terms of Internet training, use and selection of resources, but that there is a critical need for WSL staff to keep up with the rapid changes occurring.

They recommended:

Did you know?

Life magazine listed an increase in public libraries as number 32 on a list of 100 things to be thankful for... (Source: ALA)

Personel-ly Speaking

Women's kinship explored

The editors of Leaning into the Wind are putting out another call for manuscripts.

Their newest project is A Tough and Tender Kinship: Writing by Rural Woman about Women. Editors Linda Hasselstrom, Gaydell Collier and Nancy Curtis plan to prepare a selected collection of writings about the kinship between rural women in the interior West of the United States and Canada.

Writers may send true personal stories in prose or poetry form about women friends, neighbors, women they've observed who have influenced them. The content of the book will be shaped by the women who write it. The editors will make a special effort to present a book that reflects the ethnic and cultural diversity of women in the rural West.

The editors of A Tough and Tender Kinship are all writers, rural westerners and experienced researchers with interests in the history and culture of the West.

The editors will only accept true, first-hand stories from the original writer. They ask that people not send previously unpublished books, artwork, photographs, albums, tape recordings or unedited diaries.

Submissions may be sent to Women Writing, P.O. Box 169, Hermosa S.D., 57744. Complete guidelines are also available from this address. Deadline for manuscripts is April 1, 1999.

Deering honored for her poetry

Carol Deering of Riverton, director of library services for Central Wyoming College, has received recognition for her poetry.

Deering was awarded a one-week residency at Devils Tower by the Devils Tower National Monument's Writers in Residence Program, co-sponsored by the Park and Bear Lodge Writers of Sundance.

Deering also received a $2,000 literature fellowship for 1999 from the Wyoming Arts Council, which was announced at the annual ARTSPEAK conference in October. She has had poetry published in the 20th anniversary issue of the Owen Wister Review, and in the 1998 WyoPoets chapbook.

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