New York, NY, June 7, 2008 It is no accident that more than 80 percent of the residents that Laramie County Library System (LCLS) serves have library cards. Cutting-edge technology, a newly constructed building, highly effective publicity, dedicated staff, exemplary service to the city of Cheyenne and the county, all of these reasons and more make Laramie County Library System of Cheyenne, Wyo., Library Journal and Gale Cengage’s 2008 Library of the Year. Each year LJ and Gale select a library whose high standards, innovative services, and commitment to their community make them extraordinary.

LCLS’s success is due in part to a recent and carefully planned vision that grew out of its relationship with patrons. After years of operating in a cramped and “dingy” environment, the library received 55 percent of the resident’s votes for a proposition that added a one penny per dollar sales tax to the state’s five percent for the sole purpose of building a new main library. The new library’s design embraces the capital city’s urban and civic character, as well as the wide open spaces of surrounding landscape. It also achieved a Silver certification as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), making it a shining example for local developers and citizens.

The main building, the system’s two rural branches, new bookmobile, partnerships with the community college and University of Wyoming, the 2003 launched Literary Connection, a two-day event featuring five acclaimed authors, and strong partnerships with agencies and organizations such as the YMCA, Cheyenne Boys and Girls Club, and Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, exemplify only a portion of LCLS’s outreach efforts.

In addition, LCLS offers targeted programs tailored for homeschooling families and age groups ranging from infants to seniors. More than 200 homeschool families get regular mailings and specific programs to meet their needs; small group computer classes are offered to older adults; and the 40 adolescents that make up the LCLS Youth Advisory Board meet monthly to discuss and plan teen services and collections.

Laramie County Librarian Lucie Osborn will outline LCLS’s success story when the library is honored at a special ceremony on Monday, June 30, during the annual American Library Association conference in Anaheim, CA. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.

For more information and to read the feature article that appears in the June 15th issue of Library Journal magazine, visit http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6568073.html.

Judges for the award were Norma Blake, State Librarian, New Jersey State Library; Leslie Burger, Immediate Past-President, American Library Association; Tina Creguer, Senior Vice President, Circulating & Trade Publishing, Gale; Meribah Mansfield, Director, Worthington Libraries, OH; Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost & Director of Libraries, North Carolina State University. Judges also included LJ’s Francine Fialkoff, Editor-in-Chief, John Berry, Editor-at-Large, Rebecca Miller, Executive Editor, and others.

For more information on the Laramie County Library System, contact Troy Rumpf
Manager, Community & Media Relations, Laramie County Library System, 307.773.7225 or TRumpf@lclsonline.org

For more information on Gale, contact Tina Creguer at 248.699.8442 or Tina.Creguer@cengage.com

For more information on Library Journal, contact Francine Fialkoff at Library Journal

646 746 6807 or fialkoff@reedbusiness.com