Web posted: 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2000
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McMurry sisters give
to community foundation
With the recent establishment of the McMurry Library Endowment Fund in the Wyoming Community Foundation (WCF), Wyoming public and community college libraries are encouraged to apply for available monies. The first deadline for application is Nov. 1, 2000, with written notification of awards by March 15, 2001.
In June 2000, the three daughters of Neil McMurry donated $5 million to the WCF. Carol McMurry, the oldest of the three, is a librarian, and libraries are to benefit from the gift. One million is earmarked for libraries, and interest from the $1 million will be used for the grant awards.
Grant awards can be used for the continuing education of library staff: professional, paraprofessional and volunteer. This includes training seminars and support for substitute staff. For smaller libraries, the awards can be used to support a substitute staff member during a regular staff member’s vacation.
For library staff members seeking an advanced degree, awards can be used to pay for tuition and books with a maximum of $1,500 in support funds.
To improve patron access to library books and materials, awards could be used to purchase informational software and hardware.
Collection development might also benefit from the monies. Submission of collection analysis is required when requesting monies for collection development.
The WCF’s John Freeman said ensuring long-term financial stability is another area the grant monies could be used. Awards could be used to retain outside technical assistance for boards and staff in their planning endowment-building or for a publication on the need for and value of an endowment. However, he added, generally monies could not be used to support the endowment itself.
Support of projects involving several libraries is also encouraged. The support of "bricks and mortar" capital construction projects have the lowest priority, and distributions from the fund are meant to supplement -- not substitute for -- government support.
For an application form, or to obtain more information, call the Wyoming Community Foundation at 307/721-8300. Additional information is available at
Future applications are due March 1, 2001 (for notification by June 15), July 2 (for notification by Oct. 15) and Nov. 1 (for notification by March 15, 2002).
- Interest from $1 million will benefit Wyoming libraries. First deadline is Nov. 1.
WSL takes two steps
Pursuing a master’s in Library Science (MLS) when the nearest accredited school is hundreds of miles away can be more than a little daunting.
The Wyoming State Library’s (WSL) Development Office has taken two steps recently to create more graduate-level educational opportunities for Wyoming librarians.
First, WSL sent out a Request for Information (RFI) to several graduate library programs in the western United States. The RFI invited these schools to bring part of their program to Wyoming for a summers-only program beginning in 2001 with a library management course.
Currently, Wyoming librarians often have to commute long distances to Denver or Salt Lake City. This proposal would ease the travel burden and also give these graduate schools the opportunity to bring motivated members of the Wyoming library community into their programs.
If several schools indicate interest in delivering a Wyoming program, a review process will select one graduate program.
In the second step, the WSL sent a letter to all American Library Association (ALA) accredited graduate library schools asking for common market status for Wyoming residents so that they could pay the in-state tuition rate instead of the higher out-of-state rates.
A letter from Lesley Boughton, Wyoming state librarian, explained that Wyoming’s librarians have rural diversity, resource sharing experiences and eagerness to succeed that could benefit the colleges offering MLS programs.
Common market status would lower the economic barriers for those in the Wyoming library community.
to bring MLS courses to Wyoming
Updated ‘Thousands of Magazines’
Updated brochures on Wyoming’s online databases are now available in quantity at no charge from the Wyoming State Library’s (WSL) Public Programs, Publications and Marketing (P3M) office.
The "Thousands of Magazines at the CLICK of a Mouse" brochures outline how to access and search the online databases.
Revisions reflect the availability of these electronic resources for all Wyoming residents, a licensing arrangement made possible through funding from the Wyoming State Legislature.
SIRS was added to the brochure and Electric Library was dropped.
New brochures are printed in maroon ink on cream-colored stock. Librarians with supplies of the old brochure, printed in blue ink, are asked to destroy them.
All public and academic libraries and schools with grades from 4-12 should have received a starter supply.
Librarians may request as many brochures as they can distribute.
Brochures are available from the P3M office at 307/777-6338 or
307/777-5453 or 800/264-1281, press 1, then 6, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The new brochure is also available as a PDF file at
Wyoming residents given access
to online databases
This summer, the online databases provided through the Wyoming State Library (WSL) became available to every resident of Wyoming.
These databases had been licensed initially for Wyoming Libraries Database (WYLD) libraries and their patrons.
Now, thanks to $240,000 in funding from the Wyoming State Legislature for the biennium, the state’s 480,000 residents may access these resources.
"It’s basically 25 cents a person a year," explained Lesley Boughton, Wyoming state librarian. "It’s cheaper than a candy bar."
That 25 cents allows each resident to search EBSCO, Wilson Web and SIRS Researcher for full-text articles from periodicals, academic journals and newspapers, consult the Britannica Online Encyclopedia and Novelist.
The databases are still password protected. However, Wyoming users can call their local libraries for user names and passwords.
The Internet makes these types of resources possible. Wyoming, with every school connected to the Internet, can now use these databases to enhance education for students in K-12.
"We recognize that the most heavy additional use will come from the school and that’s wonderful," Boughton said.
Previously, students could use the databases through their local libraries, but they could not access the resources from school computers due to the licensing arrangement. Now, Boughton said, "Every child in every school has the same access."
The online databases enhance the efforts of Wyoming librarians during the past 15 years to work collaboratively and share resources across the state.
Users who experience any glitches in service should contact the WYLD office immediately at 800/264-1281, press 1, then option 2, then press 1 for the help desk, and explain the problems.
For example, some school users received error messages that they had too many user sessions on EBSCO. The licensing agreement calls for unlimited access, so they should not have received those messages. There is often no way to recreate the technical problems if they are not reported immediately.
Thanks to Legislature funding
Space still available for United States
Census information offers a wealth of demographic information; the challenge is learning how to use it.
With that in mind, the U.S. Census Bureau sponsored three workshops in Wyoming to teach local government, librarians and the business community how to use the data that will be available from United States Census 2000.
Two workshops have already been held, but space is still available in the third, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2, in Cheyenne at the Hitching Post. There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is required.
The first workshop was held Sept. 21 in Casper in conjunction with the Wyoming Small Business Development Center’s Certified Business Counselor training.
The second was slated for Oct. 6 in Cody in conjunction with the Cody Country Chamber of Commerce’s October Fridays.
For more information on the Census data workshop, contact Chris Van Burgh, Wyoming State Library outreach librarian, at 307/777-3642, 800/264-1281, press 1, option 3, or
Those interested may also contact Jim White at the U.S. Census Bureau office in Denver at 303/231-5029.
Census 2000 data workshop in Cheyenne
Library Leadership Institute
Members of the Wyoming library community are often called upon to take leadership roles in many local and statewide efforts.
With that in mind, the Education and Leadership subcommittee of the Resource Sharing Council is developing the Library Leadership Institute, a program to identify potential leaders and provide them with introductory training on key components of leadership.
Dependent on funding, the program will begin in summer, 2001.
The institute is a tool for nurturing both degreed and non-degreed individuals in leadership to serve the Wyoming Library Association (WLA) and various committees or projects that affect local library, multi-county or statewide interests. It is not a training ground for future library directors nor a refresher on library administration.
First-year institute curriculum is expected to include self-assessment, leadership as an attitude, understanding change, team building, motivation and negotiation.
The subcommittee will select participants based on willingness and potential to make future commitments to library activism.
Selection will attempt to provide geographic representation and include paraprofessionals, non-degreed librarians, trustees and other appropriate supporters of libraries.
The subcommittee wants to minimize costs to participants, so no potential applicant excludes himself or herself based on library or personal finances.
An official announcement of the program will be issued in January with applications and nominations made available at that time.
Education and Leadership subcommittee members are Frances Clymer of Buffalo Bill Historical Center; Keith Cottam, University of Wyoming Libraries; and Crys Stratton, Laramie County Community College Library. WSL staff members Jerry Krois and Bobbi Thorpe serve as liaisons to the subcommittee.
to identify potential leaders
Wamsutter library becoming a reality
For the town of Wamsutter, the library is coming to town.
It may only be an old, unskirted trailer, but it will eventually hold 8,000 books. And the library’s bank account may only have a little more than $600, but if one Wamsutter resident has her way donations will keep coming in.
The trailer was once the office for Amoco Oil and was donated. Other donations range from land for the library to four computers, printers, Internet service and carpeting. BP Amoco also donated $5,000 for construction cost, the town of Wamsutter donated $1,000 and Union Pacific donated $500.
Spearheading this drive is Colleen Eifealdt. She rounded up the 8,000 books and has found replacements for the donated trees that died during the summer because of the hot, dry summer.
She and her husband, Judd, also talked the manager of the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper into donating new carpet.
Circulating a flier through the town that has a population of 681, she is asking residents to host garage sales, bingo games and book sales. She is also in need of weekend volunteers.
She has taken the lead in collecting recipes from residents and found a publisher to put together a "Wamsutter and Red Desert Cookbook" to help with fund-raising. Next on the "To Do List" is construction to include the renovations to bathroom, interior walls removed, phone and computer lines installed, and painting -- inside and out.
Students from the Colorado School of Mines have volunteered to catalog books.
New director settles into Uinta County
Dale Collum is the new director of Uinta County Library.
Most recently from the Pierce County Library in Tacoma, he is a Florida State University (FSU) graduate.
Collum also has experience as head of Reference Services at Palm Beach Library System (Boca Raton Branch) and as head of Extension Services at Montgomery City/County Library in Alabama.
Collum and his wife, Gail Haberland, both had an interest in Wyoming and "the western mystique."
His wife is also a librarian and FSU graduate. She is currently working at Bear River Books.
Collum said he was surprised how large the Uinta library, collection and services are.
The couple was also surprised at how "close the library community in Wyoming is."
Attending the recent Wyoming Library Association (WLA) meeting, Collum said a lot of people already knew who he was.
Many library budgets hold steady
Wyoming libraries this year balanced the need for books on the shelf with the need to pay the people to put the books on the shelf. Most budgets remained consistent or increased slightly, with pay increases for many library staff members.
or gain ground, but funding pay
increases still difficult
- Albany County Public Library took a 10 percent cut in their mill levy revenue last year, but gained back some of that for FY01 with a 5 percent increase.
- Susan Simpson, library director, said that the $102,655 they spent from the library's trust fund, Friends group and individual donations made a tremendous difference.
- Hourly staff will receive $1 an hour increase during this fiscal year and salaried staff received a 5 percent increase. The library's turnover was 56 percent last year, the highest Simpson had ever seen
- Big Horn County Library director Sandra Munger reported a $42,000 raise in the budget that will go to roof repair, pay raises and the book budget.
- Campbell County Public Library will develop its Books-on-CD collection more aggressively and adjust salaries, based on recommendations from a pay study done in the spring of 2000.
- The county will transfer money to the library budget at the end of the year to pay for the salary adjustments. Campbell County Library also received $20,000 from One Percent Sales Tax funds that went to the purchase of youth books, materials and programs.
- Carbon County Library System had hoped to reinstate the open hours they had during FY98-99, but did not receive enough of an increase to do so.
- The library budget was up $23,000 to $256,662. Staff received a 5 percent raise, and the book budget was trimmed by $268.
- Mill levy support, lowest in the state last year at 0.77, was 0.762 for FY01. Vicki Hitchcock, library director, plans to seek grants to buy additional books.
- Converse County Library's budget was cut about $10,000 from their initial request, primarily in materials and furniture/equipment. The materials budget was still higher than last year's, but not as much as Karen Hopkins, director, had hoped.
- They will either wait until the next budget cycle to purchase additional computer upgrades and replacements or ask their foundation to do fund-raising. The budget included a 19.4 percent pay adjustment so all hourly employees received a substantial raise July 1, the first major pay adjustment for nearly a decade.
- In Crook County, commissioners were generous with the library this year but expect next year to be leaner, said Jill Mackey, library director.
- Crook County Public Library was able to add one hour aweek and to hire a part-time employee for five hours per week at Moorcroft Branch Library.
- The county commission created a "Capital Construction Reserve" for unanticipated revenues, looking ahead to library expansion and renovation in the next few years.
- Fremont County Library System held steady with no significant operational changes as a result of its budget.
- Ada Howard, director, said employees should receive raises comparable to those of other county employees. The library was able to restore some "wiggle room" in some critically tight line items, but Howard reported the book line item is still inadequate.
- Goshen County has consistently allocated 1.7 mills to the public library for the last three years.
- Isabel Hoy, library director, reported that the new budget, totaling $194,863, provides $50 a month pay increases for each employee along with a materials budget of $30,600. The board was also able to establish cash reserve of $14,643.
- Hot Springs County Library saw an increase in its budget this year. While funds are still tight, the library was able to provide the first pay raise in 10 years to its employees and budget for $10,503 in books.
- The part-time employee also had a slight increase in hours.
sJohnson County's valuation increased 12 percent from increased oil prices, coal bed methane drilling and new home construction, increasing the amount of money available for the library.
- Johnson County Library employees received raises from 3 to 7 percent, the library will now pay for both employer and employee contributions to Wyoming State Retirement, and the materials budget increased $3,000 over last year.
- Laramie County Library System plans to add a half-time network assistant and a full-time person to do outreach.
- Merit and cost-of-living pay increases are planned. Money has been budgeted for completion of Burns Branch Library and for roof work.
- Lincoln County Library System cut its materials budget this year from $95,000 to $38,500 to raise the base salary 25 cents to $6.25 and give needed raises to longtime staff members in key positions.
- With this cut, no money is budgeted for audios, videos or reference; book budgets were cut for both adult and juvenile materials; and bookmobile purchases took a severe cut. Mary Lynn Corbett, director, reported that last year, the county commission came up with $32,000 in additional funds, bringing the budget to $592,635.
- This year, the library requested $712,000, with the bulk of the increase going to salaries, but received a final budget of $589,382.
- Natrona County Public Library System has reduced its public service hours from 60 to 50 and has begun the process to remove the Patent Trademark Depository Library.
- The library is also renegotiating the contract to continue service to the Town of Mills.
- Bill Nelson, library director, is investigating alternatives to address the library's long-term funding requirements.
- Niobrara County Library took a significant cut in its mill levy support and in its overall budget, down to $54,990.72 from $64,162.49 last year.
- Deb Sturman, director, expressed concern, explaining that valuation increased and the county maintained or increased all other budgets except for the fair board. Library and fair supporters packed a meeting of the county commission to oppose the decrease.
- The library will cut staffing and the book budget, if necessary, beginning in December.
- On a brighter note, the library received an anonymous $5,000 donation to be used to match individual donations. It also received a boost from the Lusk Town Council, who passed a resolution giving the library free municipal utilities and $250 per month support to provide Internet and computer access to Lusk residents.
- Park County Library staff received a 3 percent raise on base pay; no changes were made to hours or materials funding.
- A public survey, conducted by a task force, showed that library patrons wanted more, not fewer, services. This task force, the idea of former Cody reference librarian Mary Robinson, was credited with a huge impact on the library's budget.
- Platte County Library's mill levy was down, but it received public thanks from the county commission after completing the year with cash left in the budget.
- No major operational changes are planned. Employees received a 5 percent pay increase, and $6,000 is budgeted for shelving purchases.
sSheridan County Fulmer Public Library anticipates increasing salaries and adding part-time technology coordinator and program coordinator positions. The library's foundation will work to raise funds for HVAC and parking lot upgrades.
- "We are very pleased with the support the library continues to receive from our county commissioners," said Cathy Butler, director. Funding provided will enable the library to address programming and service needs identified in the community needs assessment conducted last year.
- Sublette County Library staff will receive slight raises, but the library will not add retirement benefits.
- The cash reserve was increased from $45,000 to $90,000, and the library added $12,000 for preliminary study and plans for an addition to Big Piney Branch Library. The total budget is $490,294.
- Sweetwater County Library System received the same appropriation as last year, which was insufficient to implement the next step of a pay plan for library employees or to bring Wamsutter on as the sixth rural branch library.
- The library board has cut various line items and eliminated the capital expenditures budget in an effort to save enough money for the pay plan.
- Teton County Library received a $291,239 increase in mill levy support for FY01.
- The library system plans to expand its hours at Alta Branch Library, add 4.5 FTEs, establish a new computer center and add health benefits for permanent part-time staff scheduled at least 20 hours a week.
- Uinta County Library reported that they will be able to operate normally under their budget, but they are always looking at alternative funding sources.
- Washakie County Library will receive $5,000 more in mill levy support for 2000-2001, for a total of $81,000. The library's budget is $191,100.
- Weston County Library's mill levy support was similar to last year's, but increases in insurance and other costs are tightening the budget.
- The library's budget is $189,605.85, more than $11,000 short of its request of $200,979.25.
- Carma Shoop, director, said the library will apply for grants to make up for computer replacement dollars that were cut and either reduce hours or approach the county commission for more money to cover the rest of the shortfall.
County Library budgets at a glance
|Big Horn||$42,000 budget increase