December 1999

[Document URL: http://will.state.wy.us]

Governor gives approval
State Library budget
goes to JAC for review

On Dec. 1, Gov. Jim Geringer gave his approval to Wyoming State Library’s (WSL) standard and exception budget requests for the next biennium and passed it on to the Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC) for review.

The budget must clear JAC before it’s submitted to the full Legislature for approval when it meets in February.

WSL requested $7.2 million in budget authority for the biennium. Of that, $3.6 million would come from the state’s general fund and $1.1 million from federal funds. The remaining $2.5 million comes from other funds, such as Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD) user fees that are used to offset the cost of the statewide catalog system.

Increases in WSL’s proposed budget are in three areas in response to the growing needs of Wyoming libraries and patrons: database licensing, central acquisitions and telecommunications fees. State library staffing would remain steady with 28 full-time positions and one part-time.

The exception budget portion of WSL’s request covers unusual or one-time expenses. An exception request for $240,000 would expand the licensing for some of the state’s electronic resources.

"Significant interest"

Currently, WYLD has additional databases, such as EBSCO and Wilson, which are licensed for use by WYLD libraries and their patrons. The licenses do not cover use in school libraries, and Lesley Boughton, state librarian, said the school community showed "significant interest" in having those licenses expanded.

WSL’s request would extend those licenses to cover every resident of the state of Wyoming, regardless of where they accessed these electronic resources.

"It gives every resident of Wyoming access to these databases, and it protects the vendors," Boughton said.

Also in the exception budget is an increase of $450,000 in spending authority for WSL’s central acquisitions, reflecting growth in libraries’ use of that program, not any increase in overall spending at the state level. Participating libraries establish accounts and place orders for materials through central acquisitions to take advantage of the aggregate buying power and streamlined process the office provides.

Telecommunications fees

The standard budget request reflects the yearly operating needs of WSL and includes large increases in telecommunications fees this biennium. This reflects the new cost-sharing structure, which is based on IP addresses, for the state’s leased network.

With Geringer’s support for WSL’s budget, Boughton said shortfalls in state revenue may be the larger issue when the Legislature meets.

"The budget itself is quite reasonable," Boughton said. "The question is whether or not the state can raise sufficient revenue."

Children’s Book Week celebrated around the state

Children’s Book Week (CBW), Nov. 14 to 20, was celebrated around the state, and the national theme was "Plant a Seed -- Read."

In Campbell County, the library held the 20th annual CBW Bookmark Contest, and events ranged from special story times and a puppet presentation to toddlertime programs and an ice cream social.

Glenrock County Library invited third- through eighth-graders to submit an original short story. The "best of the best" was published in the Glenrock Independent’s Dec. 9 issue.

A preschool carnival with Arthur and an Afterschool Reading Club with Arthur were just a few of the activities held at the Laramie County Library System. Tales for Tots, and a Reading Roundup celebrated the week.

The Lincoln County Library invited young readers to checkout and read a book. They then drew a "gold coin" from the library’s treasure chest to buy a prize.

At Niobrara County Library, a book signing by Douglas author Sherry Fields, Molly Magrew and the Pencil Crew, was held. It is a read-aloud bedtime book.

Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library donated a "Born to Read" romper to Kyra Whitney Campbell for being the first child born during the week. Special programs were also presented.

A week of activities were held at the Sweetwater County Library System and included read-ins, a bookmark exchange and a visit from Ronald McDonald. The book character Clifford attended, and Athletes for Literacy read stories.

White Mountain Library had a different speaker each day who talked about culture, customs and foods of foreign countries.

Teton County Library sponsored a bookmark-making contest and a Harry Potter book discussion. A Kids’ Thanksgiving Hootenanny featured performers who talked about their musical instruments and entertained those attending.

Uinta County Library held an essay contest using the theme, "Why Your Library Books Were Late." The best essay was selected and the author’s library fines were forgiven. For the week, the library also accepted nonperishable items for fines. Donated items were given to the Elks for Christmas baskets.

Lyman Branch Library also asked library users, preschool to 12th grade, to give their most ingenious excuse for having an overdue book. The winner received a Children’s Book Week T-shirt. The library showed "Arthur and the Lost Library Book" and exhibited a collection of prints.

New director sets up shop in Uinta County

Ieleen "Lee" (Gregory) Mason became Uinta County Library’s newest director on Nov. 29.

She came to Uinta County from Clarion Free Library in Northwest Pennsylvania where she was the library director. She holds a master’s of library science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

At Clarion Free Library, Mason also was the LAN administrator. She said this experience has given her strengths in the area of technology.

Mason was attracted to Uinta County because she and her husband both enjoy the West. She said her new post allows her the opportunity to take on more responsibility as she advances in her library career.

As director, Mason said she would like to improve Uinta County Library’s technology, expand the network and get into the Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD) system.

She replaced Frank Swan, who retired in July.

Dubois Library could move to Stalnaker Street

Expansion of the Dubois Library building is out; however, the purchase of another building may be in.

The Dubois Friends of the Library are considering purchasing a building on Stalnaker Street with about 3,400 square feet.

The existing building, which has about 1,294 feet, would have to be doubled to meet national library standards for a community the size of Dubois. Although there is room to expand the building, parking has always been a problem, and expanding the current building would leave no room for parking.

The price for the lot next to the existing library is much higher than expected. Although the land is appraised for $36,000, the owner of the property is asking $110,000. Two underground fuel storage tanks are also buried on the land.

The new proposed building, owned by Kay Connally, has good parking and good visibility. Preliminary cost estimate for the project is about $400,000. The proposal will be presented to the Fremont County Commission in January or February.

Trustee Corner
Step back in new year

By Jerry Krois
State Deputy Librarian

As we enter a new year (I won’t let the millennium enter into this article), let’s step back from the routines and take a fresh look at Wyoming libraries and the communities we serve.

Are we responding to changing demographics and interests of the community? Are we developing and nurturing community partnerships that have real impact? Are we responding to community needs by being open the best hours to serve them? Are we ensuring that staff are equipped to deal with increasingly sophisticated technology and library users already familiar with that technology?

Do we routinely get feedback from users and non-users on practices, policies and purchases? The recent phenomenon of online book purchasing through and , as well as the growth of online subscriptions to information, reaffirms that we are a society of readers and information seekers.

Are your library statistics reflecting this trend? If not, do you know the reasons why? The number of families with home computers and Internet access increases monthly. Are you asking residents what the library should be doing and offering in this new environment?

Step back and ask yourself what it means to have a great public library in your community. Step back and ask yourself if the library is relevant to community goals and initiatives. Step back and take a breath, then jump into the new year with renewed commitment to energize the library as a vital entity in the community, to establishing policies that nurture not restrict, and to be an advocate for library advancements.

‘Connect for Kids’ to kickoff Library Week 2000

Libraries across the country are invited to join in hosting "Connect for Kids Day" on Saturday, April 8, 2000, to kickoff National Library Week 2000.

The national event focuses attention on the variety of resources available to children and their families at the library and in their communities.

"Connect for Kids Day" is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) with support from the Benton Foundation to highlight the central role of libraries and librarians in connecting parents and children with education, recreation and other services.

For ideas and information, see the ALA Web site at http://www.ala.org/kidsday.

A free poster/tip sheet will be mailed to all public libraries in January.

The Benton Foundation has developed a Connect for Kids Web site at http://www.connectforkids.org.

For more information or to request a poster/tip sheet, contact the ALA Public Information Office at 800/545-2433, ext. 5044/5041; fax, 312-944-8520; or email, pio@ala.org.

PPPM office offers materials to librarians

Materials produced by the Public Programs, Publications and Marketing (PPPM) office of the Wyoming State Library (WSL) are made available at no charge to librarians throughout the state.

These items include:

For more information, or to receive any of these materials, contact PPPM at 800/264-1281, press 1, option 6; at 307/777-6338.

ALA creates Century Scholarship for disabled

A new scholarship has been created to increase the number of people with disabilities in the library and information sciences profession.

The annual $2,500 Century Scholarship is funded by an anonymous donor and administered by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The scholarship will be given to an individual or individuals for the first time at the 2000 ALA annual conference in Chicago. The application deadline is April 1, 2000.

Information is available online at http://www.ala.org/ascla/centuryscholarship.html and at http://www.ala.org/work/awards/scholars.html#ASCLA.

Three Wyoming authors named
to San Francisco Top 100 list

Three Wyoming authors’ books have been named to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Fiction Books of the 20th Century West.

Angel Fire, written by Wyoming author Ron Franscell is a contemporary literary fiction about two brothers’ necessary relationship from their childhood in a small Wyoming town to the horrors of a much more complex world.

Franscell is a newspaperman and novelist who lives in Gillettee. The book was published in 1998.

Two other Wyoming writers’ books appeared on the list; Owen Wister, The Virginian; and Annie Proulx, Close Range.

Wister’s 1902 novel is set in Medicine Bow, and Close Range was published this year.

Directory 2000 information sought

Once again, the Public Programs, Publications and Marketing office of the Wyoming State Library (WSL) is compiling a print directory of Wyoming libraries.

Wyoming Libraries Directory 2000 publication is planned for April. Librarians should expect to receive their directory update forms sometime in January along with a printout of the library’s listing. County library directors will be responsible for all branch and trustee information; no survey forms will be sent to public library branches or trustees.

Please check to make sure that all information is accurate and complete. Unless we hear from you, information will be printed exactly as it appears. All information is from the online directory at http://cowgirl.state.wy.us/directory/.

The directory lists the following:

Since the WSL mailing lists are based on directory information, schools not in the directory are not contacted. This year, school librarians will be asked to glance at the other schools in their districts to see if any have been omitted, to try to make the school library listings more accurate.

Please be as complete as possible when returning survey forms. For example, if your library has a new trustee or employee, we need to know whom they replaced, so that person’s name can be removed from the database.

Librarians may check their information at any time through the online directory at http://cowgirl.state.wy.us/directory/ and make updates with the form at http://cowgirl.state.wy.us/directory/libraryform.cfm.

Librarians may also place their orders for the Wyoming Libraries Directory 2000 at the time they make their updates.

There is no charge for directories for participating libraries. Questions or comments may be directed to Susan Vittitow, WSL public information specialist, at 307/777-6338 or 800/264-1281, press 1, option 6;.

Former Platte County library director dies

Ruby E. "Peggy" Preuit, former director of the Platte County Public Library, died Dec. 12 in Platte County.

She was the director of the library for 25 years and retired in 1979.

After her retirement, she served as director of the Platte County Heritage Committee to publish the book, Platte County Heritage. Preuit was also the chairwoman of the Wheatland Chronicle Committee, which produced the "Wheatland Chronicle for the Wyoming Centennial."

She was president of the Wyoming Library Association and a member of the Platte County School Board. Preuit received the Historian of the Year Award in 1991 from the Platte County Historical Society.

Preuit was a member of the Prairie Ramblers Square Dance Club, Mountain View Farm Bureau Women Club, Author’s Link, Wyoming Historical Society, Platte County Historical Society and Wheatland Study Club.

Friends may donate to the Platte County Library Foundation.

Former ALA president dies; fund established

Margaret Chisholm, a past president of the American Library Association (ALA) and former head of the University of Washington Graduate School of Library and Information Science, died of cancer Nov. 21, 1999, at age 78.

Chisholm served as the 1988-89 president of the ALA.

Under Chisholm’s leadership, the University of Wyoming Library School developed an emphasis on information technology. Her daughters, both librarians have established a fund in her name.

For information, contact the school at 206/543-1794 or email slis@u.washington.edu.

Wyoming librarians considered
‘official custodians’ of public records

It’s 10 minutes before closing time; five patrons are waiting to have their materials checked out, a teen-ager desperately needs change for the copy machine, and another patron has decided it’s the perfect time to pay a fine.

To top things off, a man is requesting to see the titles of all books and tapes his neighbor has checked out for the last five years and also wants to know about the neighbor’s computer-time use at the library. Pop quiz: Do you give him access to the information?

No; at least not in Wyoming and a majority of the other states.

Librarians are considered "official custodians" of these types of records that fall under Wyoming’s public records laws.

"Official public records" include any documents necessary to isolate and prove the validity of transactions. In the past, this has related to records of materials checked out of a library. However, in today’s electronic society another record kept by the library must also be considered -- the sign-in sheet for Internet use.

Cannot be released

Under Wyoming’s Open Meetings, Open Records Laws, "library circulation and registration records except as required for administration of the library or except as requested by a custodial parent or guardian to inspect the records or his minor child" cannot be released.

Bruce T. Moats, a Cheyenne attorney specializing in open meetings/records law and attorney for The Wyoming Press Association, said although circulation and registration records from the library are included in the law, materials accessed by minors are treated differently.

"It’s a matter of privacy," he said. "It’s personal information. There’s not a corresponding need to have it."

However, "parents can access the records of their children," he said, "this is a common exception."

Moats said law enforcement officials, through a court order, could obtain the information but this is limited to criminal cases.

Wyoming law also extends to school libraries but not to private libraries.

New dilemmas

As more libraries are able to offer patrons Internet access, librarians are facing new dilemmas. Internet access includes chat rooms, emails, sites that may offend others, and sites that could provide dangerous information.

During any Internet session, the user leaves a history of sites they have visited, and depending on the software sites, the user visited can accessible. While librarians may not be able to control the viewing of a users’ page history by someone else, under the Wyoming open records laws they can deny access to the sign-in sheet detailing who used the computer.

Moats said this area falls under the "registration" portion of the law, and to his knowledge no court case in Wyoming has attempted to challenge it.

The American Library Association (ALA) reports that in recent months, "libraries across the country have received requests seeking information concerning ‘patron and staff complaints about patrons accessing inappropriate material on public Internet terminals.’"

General guidance

The Freedom to Read Foundation asked the ALA to prepare a memorandum providing general guidance for a library to use if it receives such requests. While the ALA did not provide an opinion on the subject, a general discussion of the issue has been posted on the Web site.

Key issues include:

Libraries should identify the relevant "open records" or "freedom of information" law governing requests for public documents.

Before responding to any request, a library should determine whether one or more of the exemptions listed on the site allows the library to withhold some or all of the requested information. In fact, in some instances a library exemption may prohibit a library from producing the requested material.

The Web page’s URL ishttp://www.ala.org/alaorg/oif/foiamem.html.

To illustrate how important it is for libraries to follow the open records law of their state, the Unabomber Case is a good example. In a search of the EBSCO Database, available through WYLD, an article in the May 1, 1996, issue of the "Library Journal" stated, that as reported by The New York Times, the FBI obtained information on materials borrowed through the Lewis & Clark Library, Helena, Mont., by Theodor J. Kaczynski, "The Unabomber."

"The Unabomer" and library records

Federal agents visited all the libraries in Kaczynski’s hometown to determine what materials he either borrowed directly or through interlibrary loan. They received information about Kaczynski from a Lewis & Clark one-time volunteer.

" 'Any statements attributed to the so-called Lincoln librarian were not by a Lincoln librarian: they were by a one-time volunteer who is not a librarian and who was breaking the confidentiality of the library records law,'"said Debbie Schlesinger, director of the Lewis & Clark Library.

Information obtained from the library by the federal agency was used in the case against Kaczynski.

Libraries can also create a media headache by not releasing public information. All staff should know what records are open, which are not, and should be ready to deal with requests for information.

Frontier Days becomes a ‘Local Legacy’
for LOC 200th anniversary

Wyoming is adding a little of the "Old West" to the Library of Congress’ 200th anniversary celebration to be observed in 2000.

The state’s "Local Legacies" project, featuring Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD), was unveiled to the public and presented to Sen. Craig Thomas in December at the Cheyenne Frontier Days’ Old West Museum.

Lesley Boughton, state librarian, spearheaded the team that produced the display, which includes reproductions of Frontier Days’ posters, photos and memorabilia from the Old West Museum and Wyoming State Archives. A video showcasing rodeos, parades and a 21-page book are also included in the display. "What we did was nominate Cheyenne Frontier Days as a contribution to the Library of Congress’ project," Thomas said.

Shirley Flynn: author and CFD historian, provided the narrative portion of the project. The narrative, along with posters and artwork, was incorporated into a booklet "Cheyenne Frontier Days" and produced by the Wyoming State Library. "She was really the key team member," Boughton said.

Thomas said the Library of Congress’ Local Legacies project illustrates that the strength of the country is in its communities.

"You ought to be proud," he said.

Around the State

Database makes a Web connection for human services

Human resources now have a comprehensive "connection" in Wyoming through the Connect Wyoming Human Services Gateway Web site.

Funded by a grant through the University of Wyoming, the program was initially started by the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities as a resource guide for people with disabilities but it developed into a database for human resources.

The site’s URL i http://wind.uwyo.edu/connect.htm.

The site lists programs and resources available statewide and local resources specific to each county. A 2,000-keyword search will help locate information.

The project is funded by a grant from the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, Department of Commerce.

Carbon County works on development
of library's Internet policy

Chat rooms used for the "right reasons" and emails have survived the latest round of development for Carbon County Library’s Internet policy.

Along with members of the board, library personnel continued work on the policy in November while focusing on dealing with policy violations and consequences.

Violations of the policy will range from copyright law or software licensing infractions, attempting to breach security measures and transmitting threatening, obscene or harassing materials.

The board also agrees it’s the parents’ responsibility to restrict Internet use of patrons 18 and under. All users will be required to sign "an acceptable use agreement," and users under the age of 18 must have a consent form signed by a parent.

State library staff email addresses change -- slightly

Wyoming State Library staff email addresses have changed slightly.

All email addresses ending in @missc.state.wy.us have been shortened to @state.wy.us.

However, the old addresses will continue to work for now. All @will.state.wy.us and @wyld.state.wy.us addresses will remain the same.

New ALA resource aids Internet policy development

A new resource from the American Library Association (ALA) will help librarians developing and communicating policies on Internet use.

"Libraries, Access and Intellectual Freedom" includes the Freedom to Read Statement and Development of Materials Selection Policy and can be used in conjunction with ALA’s "Intellectual Freedom Manual, Fifth Edition."

The price is $40. ALA members receive a 10 percent discount, ISBN: 0-8389-0761-X, to order, call 800/545-2433 and select 7.

Molly Magrew saga continues

Molly Magrew and the Pencil Crew Bedtime Book, was written for a grandson far away. It has also given a 17-year-old Douglas high school senior another taste of the art world.

Sherry Fields wrote Molly Magrew as a poem for her grandson who lives in Montana. She then called a Douglas High School art teacher looking for a student to illustrate the book. Isaac Horn was recommended.

The book is available in bookstores and gift shops across Wyoming or at P.O. Box 940, Douglas, Wyo. 82633.

Portions of the books can be viewed at http://www.mollymagrew.com.

Fields is working on the next Molly Magrew book for her other grandchildren.

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