An opening to remember

Cinthia Stimson


The 4 o’clock event drew a large crowd – at least 200 people, which wasn’t surprising considering everyone in Glenrock had waited patiently for a month for it to happen.
Parents stood with wide grins across their faces as their little ones giggled, laughed and wriggled around as if they had ants in their pants, their excitement almost palpable.
Soon, it was time for the fun to begin.

With a hearty helping of pomp and circumstance befitting a community’s favorite gathering place, the Glenrock branch of the Converse County Library was officially inaugurated during a beautiful grand opening ceremony Nov. 21.
Folks wanted to mark the day alongside dignitaries including County Commissioners, town council members and members of the Wyoming Freemasons, as well as the diligent and dedicated staff of the library.
Librarians Tamara Lehner and Rita Heath held a shiny ceremonial ribbon before the front doors as Glenrock Branch Manager Jennifer Kofoed sliced through it with a pair of sharp scissors.
Then, more than a dozen Freemasons from Glenrock and other parts of Wyoming stood in a semi-circle to perform a symbolic consecration of the library’s cornerstone.

In Nov. 2012, Converse County residents voted in approval of a Special Excise Project Tax (SPET) to fund the building of two new library buildings – one in Douglas and one in Glenrock.
The sixth penny on the dollar in 2013 and 2014 went to this project as well as a new Eastern Wyoming College Douglas campus, Kofoed said.
When the Glenrock library was built in 2014-2015, it was decided to separate the construction into two phases, she explained.
Designs for the renovation were completed by Humphries Poli Architects. Pope Construction was contracted for the renovation work, which was overseen by the Library Board of Trustees and Hal Hutchinson, serving as Owner’s Rep.
“The work completed this year was the second phase and included finishing the basement as well as remodeling parts of the main floor. All renovation costs were covered with existing SPET funds from when the original project was approved,” she said.

The Glenrock Library is a popular location among the town’s citizenry.
Checking out books, using computers or having a quiet place to relax and decompress at the end of a long day are just a few reasons patrons utilize the facility.
Riley Messer was one of the children anxious to get back into the library last week. She stood near a row of books, watching the goings-on around her.
She said she’s happy she doesn’t have to go to the library in Casper anymore.
“I’m excited that it’s open again. I like doing my homework here because it’s quiet. School is very noisy,” the 10-year old said emphatically.
“Also, it’s my mom’s happy place,” the youngster added.
The library remained open for most of the construction process, but a large portion of the collection was in storage.
“The library was closed Oct. 18 - Nov. 21 while everything was moved out of the library for a deep cleaning and the delivery of new furnishings and shelves. (Then came) unpacking and shelving all of the materials and new computer setups,” Kofoed said.

New features in the library include a quiet reading room, a MakerSpace, study rooms, meeting rooms, and children’s and teens’ rooms.
Kofoed said one of her favorite things about the library’s recent remodel is the MakerSpace.
“It’s a fairly new concept for libraries. This is a community space perfect for demonstrations and hands-on learning. This room will provide new opportunities to provide more programs. It’s also available for the community to reserve during library hours,” she said.
In Douglas, the library’s MakerSpace is used for a variety of programs from cooking classes and painting sessions to a sheep-shearing demonstration.
Now Glenrock’s residents will have the same opportunities at their library.
“Many people think that libraries are only for housing books and quiet study, but a MakerSpace allows us to put learning into motion,” she said.
A collection of over 20,000 items in a variety of material types and formats including print materials, audiobooks and DVDs are available for every age.
“We’re very excited to be open again. We’ve missed our patrons during the closure and we’re glad to be providing services again. We’d love it if everyone came to see the new additions at the library,” Kofoed enthused.

Converse County Library Board Director Vickie Goodwin was a keynote speaker during the grand opening ceremonies.
“Today we are opening up a library with space to seek and learn, to explore boundaries and uncover all that’s possible through knowledge,” she said, addressing the convocation of celebrants.
The Glenrock library is open Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours on Thursdays until 8 p.m. Saturday’s hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and they’re closed on Sundays.
For more information, call the Glenrock Library at (307) 436-2573.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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