The Outrider The Outrider The Outrider

October/November 2001
Volume 33,
Number 10 and 11

 Around the State


 WSL: In
 the Spotlight

 Outrider home page

 P3M home page

 WSL home page


Retreat provides idea exchange
Full story

Long-time library director retires
Full story

Letters About Literature, River of Words contest materials still available, deadlines near
Full story

WLA annual conference well received
Full story

Ebooks available for loan to schools, special libraries
Full story

Wyoming Facts with Statewide Information Serivces
Full story

Retreat provides idea exchange

  • In October, library directors from around the state gathered for a retreat to “check out” new ideas and exchange information.

The annual directors’ retreat is now in its third year. The meeting was held Oct. 24-26 in Torrington, and 23 of 32 directors attended the event.

Workshops were held on evaluation and assessment, conflict resolution, time management and multi-tasking.

Emily Sieger, WSL state government information coordinator, gave a presentation on “Evaluation and Assessment for Libraries.”

She introduced library directors to the basic concepts of “outcome based evaluation,” a process that is growing in popularity, especially with funding contributors such as the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Sieger’s presentation focused on understanding the difference between “outputs,” the number of products produced, and “outcome,” the positive change that results from a program. She provided a list of resources for further research and “will gladly provide a copy to anyone who wants one.”

Lynn Achter from Mediation Services of Cheyenne, presented a workshop on conflict management, and Dee Ludwig from Eastern Wyoming College gave a presentation on multi-tasking and time management.

Lesley Boughton, Wyoming state librarian, facilitated discussions with the directors on the current issues Wyoming’s libraries face today.

Jerry Krois, deputy state librarian, said evaluations of the retreat and the programs were high, and that attendees liked the time slots for interactive discussions that were built into the retreat.

Long-time library director retires

  • After 18 years of commuting to work, one of Wyoming’s long-time library directors has decided to return to the nest and do just that for awhile – nest.

Helen Higby, who was hired in 1986 by the Sweetwater County Library Board, retired from “library life” September 2001. Higby spent 15 years “creating a system” out of the libraries in Sweetwater. She also worked at the Wyoming State Library for three years, and her “very first paying job was in a New York library shelving books.”

While working in Lander shelving books, Higby realized if “I wanted to progress in the field, I would need the specialized education.”

At that time, the University of Denver held classes in the summer, and Higby attended and earned her master’s of library science.

When hired as director for Sweetwater County, the system consisted of the “headquarters” in Green River, the Rock Springs Library, and the library currently under construction in Northwest Rock Springs. Her goal was to make libraries “user friendly” for the public and offer library users the best possible service.

Higby also worked toward forming a library staff and management team, which met monthly to discuss new initiatives, hurdles, technology, policies and procedures. She also met monthly with her staff to keep the lines of communication open, and she always treated her staff as professionals.

Technology was also high on Higby’s list to better the libraries. She recognized its potential to revolutionize the way libraries could serve the public while believing computers could never replace librarians.

Higby credits the WSL for its vision and leadership in technology and praises the Wyoming Legislature for recognizing the value of a statewide library network. She likes to boast about Wyoming being the first state to connect all its public libraries into one network.

“As a librarian, I liked putting people with the information they needed using library services,” she said.

Higby said when looking back over her career in Wyoming, she’ll remember the colleagues around the state she worked with and is very proud to have been able to work with them. She’s also proud of the library system she built.

“I’m proud of that,” she said. “I know there are 12 or 15 people in the state that if we were given the task to go to the moon and back, we would have done it,” she said.

In 1994, Higby was named Librarian of the Year by the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) and has served as the organization’s president. She has also served on and chaired WLA’s Legislative Committee and found great satisfaction in lobbying members of the Legislature.

So what does one do after 18 years of commuting, advancing an education, serving on committees and creating an entire library system?

“I’m going to spend some time nesting,” Higby said, “and I’m going to enjoy it.”

Letters About Literature, River of Words contest materials still available, deadlines near

  • Help your students get their creative juices flowing by participating in the Letters About Literature and River of Words contests sponsored by the Wyoming Center for the Book at the Wyoming State Library.

The deadline for the 19th annual Letters About Literature essay contest is fast approaching. All entries must be postmarked on or before Saturday, Dec. 1, 2001. Winning entries will be announced in April 2002.

Students will compete on two competition levels: Level I for grades 4 to 7, Level II for grades 8 to 12. State semifinalists will receive $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place. All semifinalists will receive certificates of recognition.

Judges will select one national winner for Level I and one for Level II. The winning students at the national level will each receive a cash award of $500.

The official contest packet, including the required entry coupon, additional excerpts from winning letters, past winners and samples to help students polish their essays, are available

The contest is sponsored by the Weekly Reader Corporation, The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and the Wyoming Center for the Book.

For more information about Wyoming’s participation, contact Candice VanDyke at the WCB at 307/777-6338 or

The River of Words environmental art and poetry contest encourages students in kindergarten through 12th grade to learn more about their watersheds and the natural environment.

Entries will be judged in four age groups: Category I (K-Gr. 2), Category II (Gr. 3-Gr. 6), Category III (Gr. 7-Gr. 9) and Category IV (Gr. 10-Gr. 12).

Prizes and certificates will be awarded to the first- and second-place state-level winners in each age group. At the national level, eight grand-prize winners win a trip to Washington, D.C.

Educator’s guides and information packets are also available at no charge.

All entries must be postmarked by Feb. 15, 2002.

Wyoming’s participation is funded through the WCB at the Wyoming State Library, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the United States Geological Survey - Water Resources Discipline, Wyoming District.

For more information, contact Courtney Herceg at the WCB at 307/777-5453,; or visit row.html or

There is no entry fee for either contest.

WLA annual conference well received

  • More than 175 people attended the Wyoming Library Association’s annual conference, Sept. 26-29 in Cody. This year’s theme was “It’s Time to Tell Our Story.”

Lesley Boughton, Wyoming state librarian, said, “The programs were well received and the vendors were very positive.” Of special interest was the Integrated Library Systems (ILS) Vendor Showcase, which included seven vendors: 3M Library Systems, Endeavor, Epixtech, Ex Libris, Inc., Gaylord Information Systems, Sirsi Corp., and The Library Corp.

Each vendor had four 45-minute blocks to demonstrate their latest ILS system and emphasize features of their system’s staff modules.

Boughton said the seven showcase vendors would bid on the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the new state integrated library system.

There were more than 25 programs at this year’s WLA conference offered by various groups and individuals.

Annual awards were also presented at the banquet: Amy Shelley, Laramie County Library System children’s services manager, is the Librarian of the Year; Debra Adams, Teton County Library assistant director, received the Distinguished Service Award for her leadership at that library, as well as her service and contributions to Wyoming libraries and to librarianship; and Laramie County Community College Library received the Georgia Shovlain Award for its remodeling project.

The 2002 WLA conference will be held Sept. 18-21 in Casper. Future conferences will be held in Evanston, 2003; Sheridan, 2004; and Jackson, 2005, which will be a joint conference with the Mountain Plains Library Association.

Ebooks available for loan to schools, special libraries

  • The Wyoming State Library (WSL) will loan to Wyoming school or special librarians the Rocket ebooks it has purchased.

Jerry Krois, Wyoming deputy state librarian, said the books can be loaned for two to four weeks. Included in the loan are instructions for using the software, a support sheet on ebooks, and articles and Websites that focus on ebooks. An evaluation form will be included for users to fill out and return.

Anyone borrowing an ebook does need to have access to the Internet.

Those interested in borrowing an ebook should contact the WSL reference staff at or 800/264-1281, press 1 to continue, select 1 and then 1 again.

The ebooks were purchased with funds from the Library Services and Technology Act, Fall 2000.

The WSL began the project last year testing Rocket eBooks to learn more about the technology and about human response to the product. WSL staff members tried out the small, hand-held machines for readability, ease of use and availability of materials. One WSL staff member said the readability is better than that of a standard computer screen, and the ergonomics are fairly good.

With an ebook, “electronic book,” the user downloads material to a portable reading device instead of purchasing a printed version. The machines are designed to allow users the ability to download and delete full books but not to edit, print, copy text or send the files to another device. Downloads are fast and easy and are available in three forms: public domain materials (includes books, papers, reports and ephemeral), individually purchased downloads and collection purchases.

Although book titles are still more common in print than in ebook format, as the technology progresses, some books may be available only in the newer, electronic format. For example, Stephen King released “Riding the Bullet” in electronic format only. In a recent survey of library directors, two county libraries indicated that they were expecting to purchase or receive an ebook device in the near future, so the technology is still fairly new to Wyoming.

Ebooks do present some questions in terms of service models.

“Are you prepared to give somebody a $270 piece of equipment to read a book?” Krois said.

There are still questions whether this technology will endure, be replaced because of evolving international standards or be transformed into a more useful device with telephone and Internet capabilities.

Questions concerning ebooks may be directed to WSL eBook Committee members: Krois, Brian Greene and Linn Rounds.

The Rocket eBooks can be accessed at

Wyoming Facts with Statewide Information Services

  • Each issue, the Wyoming State Library Statewide Information Services (SIS) staff answers frequently asked Wyoming-related questions from all over the world.

Wyoming FARQ 3: How do I obtain a copy of a birth/death/marriage/divorce certificate?

A: Marriage, divorce, and death certificates that are 50 or more years old are opened to public inspection. Birth certificates are restricted for 100 years. The policy applies to the full calendar year; every January 1 a new year is opened to the public. Therefore, on January 1, 2002, marriage, divorce, and death certificates filed in 1951 will be opened to public inspection.

Prior to 1908, the filing of birth and death certificates was not required in Wyoming. In 1907, the State Bureau of Vital Statistics was entrusted by the State Legislature to register birth and death certificates. The law took effect in January 1908, but was not implemented until 1909. The registration of marriage and divorce certificates was added to the agency’s duties in 1941. To obtain copies of marriage and divorce certificates prior to 1941, one may have to contact the office of the county clerk in which it was issued.

There are two main places to obtain these types of records. One is the Wyoming State Archives, and the other is the Vital Records Service within the Department of Health. The Wyoming State Archives has the older certificates, which are open to public inspection. Requests for information from or copies of certificates which are not open to the public should be referred to Vital Records Service.

Around the State | Briefs | WSL: In the Spotlight | Outrider home page | P3M home page | WSL home page | State |