ASSOCIATES (2012, July, v. 19, no. 1)


Trish Palluck, Cheyenne, Wyoming

State Government Publications Coordinator
Wyoming State Library

Where do you work and what do you do?

I am the State Government Publications Coordinator at the Wyoming State Library in Cheyenne, Wyoming. All state agencies, boards and commissions are required by state statue to deposit copies of their publications with the State Library. It is my responsibility to oversee the processing and maintenance of these documents at the state library as well as distributing copies to other libraries participating in our depository program. One of the biggest challenges right now is tracking and processing state publications that are only available electronically on websites. My other responsibilities include coordinating the statewide resource sharing project. I also supervise the Access Services staff. They provide cataloging, processing, stack maintenance and interlibrary loan for the State Library.

How did you get involved in library work?

I started my library career as a clerk in the Government Documents Division of the State Library. It was the benefits the state offered that attracted me, not the position. I had every intention of moving to another state agency as soon as the opportunity presented itself. That was almost 34 years ago. The desire to move to another agency quickly diminished as I discovered I had a genuine interest in library work. I applied for different positions within the library to learn new skills and to expand my library work experience by moving between work units. Besides being surrounded by co-workers that were willing to share their knowledge and skills to help me succeed, I was encouraged to participate in any training, conferences or other continuing education opportunities that I felt would be useful to me in performing my work.

Describe Support Staff activities in your area.

A Paraprofessional/Support Staff section existed within the Wyoming Library Association from 1999 – 2010. The association dissolved all existing sections and formed topical Interest Groups in 2011. The main reason for establishing a paraprofessional section was to encourage non-MLS library workers to join and participate in WLA. Paraprofessionals and support staff continue to be an integral part of the Wyoming library community by serving on committees and serving the Wyoming library community in leadership roles of the Wyoming Library Association, and the WYLD consortia network. A number of parapros/support staffers volunteer to share their knowledge on specific subjects by presenting at WLA’s conferences or the series of continuing education webinars hosted by the State Library each spring.

In closing I would like to say that Wyoming is truly fertile ground for support staff interested in sowing seeds and harvesting. The segregation between library workers is non-existent. Support staff accounted for 89% of the 448 positions in our public libraries as reported in the 2011 public library statistics. The cooperation among the professionals and the paras/support staff is exemplary. Educational opportunities continue to abound, some even with financial support. I can honestly say I continue to thoroughly enjoy my work. I truly appreciate all the mentors, both professionals and support staff, and the opportunities I have been given over the years.