Gale and Library Journal Name Laramie County Library System (WY) 2008 Library of the Year

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., June 27, 2008— Laramie County Library System (LCLS) is the winner of the 2008 Library of the Year award, sponsored by Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and Library Journal magazine. Established before Wyoming was even a state, the Laramie County Library System is the oldest continually operating county library system in the United States. Located in Cheyenne, the LCLS was established in 1886 and was housed on the third floor of a business building. 

Last year, the library settled into a new three-story, 100,000-square-foot building.  In Wyoming, a county can add a one penny per dollar sales tax to the state’s five percent. Thanks to a vote by a supportive community to impose that sixth penny tax, $26.9 million was raised for a new bookmobile, renovations to one branch, and the new main county library.  Supporters were gratified when even people who voted against the tax (because they felt the old library was fine), later appreciated the impact of the new library.

Serving a population of more than 85,300 where an impressive 80 percent hold library cards, the library provides services that benefit the community and beyond, including a bookmobile service that travels throughout the county reaching people who otherwise would not have access to the library like at-risk children in low-income housing areas. 

“On a personal level, this represents everything that I’ve tried to do with my life,” said Laramie County Librarian Lucie Osborn.  “I believe that we have an obligation to make life better for people and in essence to leave the place better than we find it.  With our jobs, we have the potential to touch so many people, to make individual lives better. An award like this truly represents the best of our staff, our community and ultimately, of Cheyenne and Wyoming.”

“We congratulate the Laramie County Library System for their outstanding work and commitment to providing their community with the tools, programs and support they need to get the most out of their library experience,” said Gale President Patrick C. Sommers. 

Osborn and the Laramie County Library System will be honored at a special ceremony on Monday, June 30, during the annual American Library Association conference in Anaheim, CA. The award is accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize.

For more information and to read the feature article appearing in the June 6th issue of Library Journal magazine, visit www.LibraryJournal.com.

Judges for the award were Norma Blake, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library; Leslie Burger, Immediate Past-President, American Library Association; Tina Creguer, Vice President, Marketing Communications, Gale, part of Cengage Learning; Meribah Mansfield, Director, Worthington Libraries, Ohio; Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost & Director of Libraries, North Carolina State University, Raleigh.  The panel also includes Library Journal’s John N. Berry III, Lynn Blumentein, Francine Flalkoff, Josh Hadro, Rebecca Miller and Norman Oder.

About Cengage Learning and Gale
Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, delivers highly customized learning solutions for colleges, universities, professors, students, reference centers, government agencies, corporations and professionals around the world. Gale, part of Cengage Learning, serves the world’s information and education needs through its vast and dynamic content pools, which are used by students and consumers in their libraries, schools and on the Internet. It is best known for the accuracy, breadth and convenience of its data, addressing all types of information needs – from homework help to health questions to business profiles – in a variety of formats – books and eBooks, databases and microfilm.  For more information visit: www.cengage.com or www.gale.com.