From the Dean

April 14, 2022


head shot portrait of person
Ivan Gaetz
Dean of Libraries

At UW Libraries it feels like things are returning to normal, or near-normal, as cases of Covid in the State of Wyoming continue to drop and reported instances at the University recently have been in the single digits each week. However, mask use is still encouraged, especially for feeling vulnerable in any way. Many of us have masks ready for use if we know others appreciate it or should cases begin to spike due to new variants.  

By way of updates, we have almost completed processing the collection of approximately 4,000 volumes of quality books, mostly in the fields of the humanities. This involves adding items to our holdings to fill in the gaps with the remainder going to the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research (WIHR) located in the historic Cooper House, close to Coe Library.  Dr. Scott Henkel, Director of WIHR, is thrilled to have this impressive collection, and I am delighted we can keep the collection largely intact as a resource for humanities research and as tribute to the generosity of donor, John F. Cooke. We were also pleased to welcome John as our most recent addition to our UW Libraries Development Board. 

I wish to thank our UW Libraries Development Board for their strong financial support of our partnership with Montana State University Library in sponsoring the “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” Conference, to be held at the MSU campus, June 5 – 8, 2022. Our keynote for the conference is award-winning writer and documentary producer, Dayton Duncan. Public tickets will be available for that program beginning April 16. The formal conference is followed by an optional guided intercity bus tour of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, June 9 – 11. These events will help celebrate the sesquicentennial of the founding of YNP in 1872.  

UW Libraries and our Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections presented a terrific exhibit of iconic Yellowstone National Park posters over its 150 years. The items come from the collection of Larry Lancaster who gave a talk on the items at reception celebrating the exhibition on March 31st.  The “Wonderland Illustrated: Yellowstone National Park 150th Anniversary, 1872-2022” exhibit is located on level three of Coe Library and runs through May 27, 2022

In December, we officially opened a terrific new space on Coe Library level one repurposed as UW’s “Student Learning Commons.” See the report about the space published by the Wyoming State Library. This centralized, one-stop academic support network for UW students was made possible through funds from UW student fees, Academic Affairs, UW Libraries Foundation accounts and the Libraries operations budget.

UW Libraries, under the editorial direction of UW’s Instructional Design Librarian, Sammy Peter, and a team of other librarians from across the country, will launch the Journal of Open Educational Resources in Higher Education (JOERHE) later this year.  The JOERHE is an open access, open peer-reviewed journal that features content concerned with open educational resources, open pedagogy, open access, open data, and similar topics arising specifically within the context of higher education in the United States and Canada.

The noted, award-winning author, Jesmyn Ward, visits the UW campus on April 20 for a free public lecture (5 p.m. in the A&S auditorium) and various meetings with students and faculty throughout the day.  She is winner of the National Book Award for Fiction – twice! If you can’t join us in Laramie, the program will also be broadcast live via WyoCast. This event is sponsored by UW Libraries, the Honors College, and other academic units of the University.  

Thank you for your wonderful support of UW Libraries!  As we say, support for UW Libraries means support for all students, faculty and staff of the University, and a service for all residents of Wyoming.

Dean Ivan Gaetz



University of Wyoming Libraries

Dept. 3334

1000 E. University Ave. 

Laramie, WY 82071

(307) 766-3190

(800) 442-6757

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