How to Become a Librarian in Wyoming

Wyoming Librarian Education

The state of Wyoming defines a public library as one that has “an organized collection of library materials; paid staff; an established schedule when it is open to the public; facilities that support the collection, staff and schedule; and full or partial support from public funds.” Each one of Wyoming’s 23 counties has a public library serving all residents of that county. In addition to the state’s 23 main libraries, Wyoming houses 51 branch libraries and two bookmobiles. 

The Wyoming Public Libraries report for fiscal year 2021 notes that 1.44 million visits to public libraries occurred that year. That amounts to 2.5 visits for every resident of Wyoming. Total collection usage, including both physical and electronic collections, was over seven million, amounting to 12.16 visits per person. All of Wyoming’s public libraries offer free Wi-Fi, which was used 214,597 times during 2021.

In addition to public libraries, there are other types of libraries throughout Wyoming. They include:

  • Academic libraries, such as those at the state’s colleges and universities
  • Federal depositories, such as the Wyoming State Law Library
  • Institution libraries, such as those within institutions run by the Wyoming Department of Corrections, Wyoming Department of Family Services, Wyoming Department of Health, and Wyoming Services for the Deaf Library
  • Medical and technical libraries, such as those within hospitals, foundations and the Department of Health
  • School libraries, which are found within each of the state’s 23 counties
  • Special libraries, including the Masonic Grand Temple Library in Laramie County, the Kemmerer State Family History Center in Lincoln County, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art Library and Archives in Teton County

With so many different types of libraries housed in Wyoming, there are many and varied employment opportunities for those who wish to become librarians. To discover how you can work a librarian in Wyoming, keep reading.

What Does a Wyoming Librarian Do?

Within the diverse types of libraries in Wyoming, librarians work, performing various job duties depending upon the type of library employing them. Some job responsibilities of librarians are pretty common to all librarians, such as:

  • Planning, executing and promoting library programs for library patrons of all ages
  • Completing reports and statistics for the library
  • Assisting library patrons in the usage of technology within the library
  • Furnishing reference and information services for library patrons
  • Developing collections for various library departments
  • Processing new library materials for circulation
  • Providing customer service to library patrons
  • Promoting the library in the greater community
  • Monitoring budgets and ordering supplies for the library and its programs
  • Training, scheduling and supervising the work of staff and/or volunteers

What Education is Necessary to Become a Librarian in Wyoming?

The standard degree for professional librarians in Wyoming is a Master of Library Science (MLS) or a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS). These degrees must be earned at a school that is accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). Wyoming does not currently house any ALA-accredited MLS or MLIS programs. However, you may study at a program in any state or online, as long as it has been accredited by the ALA.

School librarians in Wyoming must have a bachelor’s degree, a teaching certificate and an additional library media endorsement. A master’s degree is not necessary for K-12 librarianship in Wyoming. We will discuss certification for school librarians in the next section.

What Certification is Necessary for Wyoming Librarians?

Public librarians in Wyoming are not required to be certified. School librarians in Wyoming need a bachelor’s degree, a teaching certificate, and an additional library media endorsement. This involves completing a bachelor’s degree or higher approved teacher preparation program. Teacher preparation programs that are approved by the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board may be found at:

  • University of Wyoming
  • Black Hills State University
  • Chadron State University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Lesley University
  • Montana State University
  • Regent University
  • Rio Salado University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Valley City University
  • Western Governors University
  • Walden University
  • Moreland University
  • University of West Florida

Additionally, school librarian candidates must add an endorsement in library media. This usually comes from an institutional recommendation from the school at which you attended your teacher preparation program. More information on becoming a Wyoming school librarian may be found at GoWYLD.

Where Do Librarians Work in Wyoming?

Wyoming librarian jobs are advertised on the Wyoming State Library’s website. Such jobs may also be found on the ALA JobList, as well as within classified job site ads online. 

What Do Librarians Earn in Wyoming?

The annual mean wage for Wyoming librarians is $51,870 as of May 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Their hourly mean wage is $24.94. In the eastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area, librarians earn $24.23 hourly and $50,400 annually. In the western Wyoming nonmetropolitan area, they earn $24.38 per hour and $50,710 per year. Information on librarian wages within Wyoming’s cities was not provided by the BLS.

Job Prospects for Wyoming Librarians 

Wyoming librarians should be able to find various types of employment. As of January 2023, the following jobs for librarians in Wyoming were posted:

  • Assistant Librarian, Regional Medical Library/Public Health Specialist – University of Wyoming, Laramie
    • Salary: $53,000 annually 
    • You must have an MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited institution
    • You must be wiling to travel by vehicle and plane and transport and set up exhibit materials
    • You must have a valid driver’s license
    • Prefer candidates with experience working in health education or in a health services library 
  • Children’s Services Section Head- Johnson County Library, Buffalo
    • Salary: $32,760 annually
    • You must have a high school diploma or GED
    • You must have a background working with children and teens
    • You must pass a criminal background check
  • Library Director – Lincoln County Library System, Kemmerer
    • Salary: $70,000 to $75,000 annually
    • You must have a MLS degree from an ALA-accredited institution
    • You must have five years of library experience, including supervisory or managerial experience
  • Archivist – McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody
    • Salary: not stated
    • You must have a MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited institution, with a concentration in archival studies
  • Director of Library Services and Digital Literacy – Sheridan College, Sheridan
    • Salary: $60,927 to $76,158 annually 
    • You must have a MLS or MLIS degree from an ALA-accredited institution
    • You must have experience in library services, including leadership with an impact on institutional and student success