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Honors & Awards

2008 Library of the Year
USA Today – Top 10 Libraries
LEED Certification
LCLS Wins Big at 2009 Annual Conference

Laramie County Library System Named 2008 Library of the Year

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 Library Journal and Gale Cengage 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 Gold 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.

For more information and to read the feature article that appears in the June 15 issue of Library Journal Magazine, visit 

USA Today — Laramie County Library is One of the Nation’s Top Libraries

Even though the new Laramie County Library in Cheyenne opened just six months ago, it has already received a spectacular honor.

Nancy Pearl, author of “Book Lust” and a regular commentator on National Public Radio, recently provided USA Today with a list of her 10 favorite libraries in the country. The new Laramie County Library was part of that list.

“Words can’t begin to describe what this acknowledgment means,” County Librarian Lucie Osborn said. “This recognition is for more than just the library building – it’s for our staff, our patrons and our community.”

Pearl visited the library when she was in Cheyenne last September. At that time, she was speaking at the Wyoming Library Association’s annual conference.

“What really stands out for me is the library’s second floor,” Pearl said in the article. “There’s a loft area for reading, and kids of all ages can exercise their imaginations at an interactive center where they can create their own short animated films.”

In September 2007, the Laramie County Library in Cheyenne opened a new three-story, 100,000 square foot facility that features an interactive literacy center for children created and installed by Burgeon Group, five large meeting rooms, eight study rooms, a 50-station computer center and training classroom (plus 23 more stations just for kids and teens), a new coffee house, a quiet reading area that serves as the community’s living room, expanded collections of books and audio-visual materials, multiple self-check stations, and much more.

Additionally, the library is currently awaiting word on whether they will receive silver or gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. If so, the library would be only the second building in Wyoming and one of just a handful of libraries nationwide to accomplish such a distinction.

“We’ve said from the beginning that we want this library to be a destination for the community and the region,” Osborn said. “I think this article does justice to the amazing work of all the people involved in this building project.”

The article is part of USA Today’s “10 Great” series, which can be found at

The library is located at 2200 Pioneer Avenue in Cheyenne. For more information about the library, you can also call 634-3561.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certification

In need of a new library to house its growing collections, Laramie County designed and built a new library in Cheyenne, WY that achieved a LEED® Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® for New Construction program. It is the first public building in Wyoming to achieve LEED® certification.

Completed in August 2007, the Library’s total construction cost was $16.7 million for the 103,593 square foot facility ($161 per square foot). The library was funded by a voter-approved tax passed in November 2003 that increased the sales tax by 1 cent to raise $26.9 million and a donation of $1.7 million by the Laramie County Library Foundation. The Library received a grant from the Wyoming Business Council, Energy Office, which uses funds from the Stripper Well Petroleum Violation Funds program. This grant assisted in covering some of the costs relating to engineering, design LEED® consulting, modeling and documentation, and fundamental building commissioning.

During Construction We:

  • reduced the building footprint with a three-story structure, thereby increasing open spaces
  • recycled post-construction waste and used materials with recycled content
  • used local and regional materials
  • utilized low-emitting adhesives, paints, carpet and composite wood
  • covered all the duct work to keep the building and the air clean
  • flushed the building systems prior to occupancy

We’re Helping the Environment By:

  • creating and following a thorough recycling policy
  • managing and treating storm water
  • reducing water usage by 50% with less thirsty landscaping and native vegetation
  • reducing water usage by 30% via efficient plumbing systems
  • controlling erosion and sediment on our site
  • monitoring the amount of carbon dioxide we emit
  • optimizing the energy performance of heating/ventilating/air conditioning units and lighting
  • flooding our building with daylight in 90% of our space with the use of light louvers
  • we are educating the public by giving tours emphasizing the our LEED® accomplishments
  • with a projected annual energy use of 72.3 kBTU/ft2, we are projected to save $39,000 a year

We Encourage You toTravel to the Library Wisely By:

  • riding the bus – a city bus stop is located at the library, and two more are within 1/4 mile
  • pedaling their bike – we’ve provided numerous bicycle storage racks
  • carpooling – two or more people in a vehicle can park in more convenient, marked spaces

LEED® Score Card View»
LEED® PowerPoint Download»
Presented by Lucie Osborn at the Kansas Library Association/Mountain Plains Library Association 2009 Conference.

Architecture – Laramie County Library Building’s Conceptual Design

The conceptual design for Laramie County Library System evolved out of a series of public meetings and focus groups aimed at establishing the aspirations of the Laramie County community. Public meetings clarified the unique character of the City of Cheyenne. As a capital city, it has a strong urban and civic character, yet its people embrace the wide open spaces of the surrounding landscape. Sited on the seam between the downtown and residential areas, the library takes cues from its civic neighbors while nodding to less urban precincts to the north and west.

The basic form of the building is a simple, flexible box that provides a dignified home for books, reading, and information. This simple brick volume is overlaid by curved forms that respond to the context and mark unique functional aspects of the library.

The project achieved a LEED® Gold Certification. AMD performed extensive energy modeling on a variety of building systems to support Energy Savings Company (ESCO) style implementation of energy efficient and cost effective solutions.

Related Information


Anderson Mason Dale Architects
Principal Architect: Andrew Nielsen
Project Architect: John Everin

Anderson Mason Dale Architects is an architectural firm located in Denver, Colorado. For the past 30 years their staff of 50 has provided a full range of services for their clients including the planning, programming, and design of buildings for colleges, universities, schools, libraries, justice facilities, cultural venues, and housing. This breadth of experience has enabled them to produce large and technically demanding projects throughout their region. During this time they have also produced a variety of smaller scale projects which afforded them unique opportunities to make positive contributions to the community. They have twice been awarded the American Institute of Architects Firm Award for “a distinguished body of work” within their state or region. They have also received more than 50 AIA project design awards.

Tobin & Associates, P. C.
Principal Architect: Ken Tobin

Tobin & Associates was founded in July of 1984 by Kenneth A. Tobin, AIA. The firm’s office was located in Lander, Wyoming until the spring of 1990, at which time the firm was relocated to Cheyenne, Wyoming. On July 1, 2003, Tobin & Associates merged with Associates West of Lander, Wyoming. This merge brings additional depth to the firm as well as a combined history of successfully completed projects. In our rapidly changing Wyoming economy, Tobin & Associates, P.C., has made the decision not to specialize in a single building type or use. Their intent is to provide a valued service to our past and future clients through a diverse and fresh approach to their unique design needs and challenges.

General Contractor

FCI Constructors, Inc.
Project Manager: Becket Hinson

FCI Constructors began building in Colorado in 1978, expanding to Arizona and the surrounding region in 1986. Proudly, they’ve recently moved into Wyoming. Since 1998, FCI has been recognized as one of ENR’s Top 400 Contractors with revenues exceeding $290 million.

Laramie County Library System Wins Big at Annual Conference

The Laramie County Library System (LCLS) and its supporters came away with five of the ten major awards at the 2009 Wyoming Library Association conference.

These winners are:

Unsung Hero: Julie Eatmon, LCLS Volunteer Specialist. This award acknowledges Eatmon’s efforts in organizing individuals to help move the entire library to its new location, managing the library’s new book sale room, and general excellence in coordinating thousands of volunteer hours for LCLS each year.

Meritorious Service: The Honorable Doug and Susan Samuelson. For distinction in their roles as advocates and benefactors for LCLS, the Samuelsons were awarded this honor. This includes their generous gift to make the interactive literacy area “My Library Place” one of the most successful and popular areas of the new library. The award also recognizes Rep. Samuelson’s work in helping pass the Public Library Endowment Challenge Program.

Trustee Citation: Denise Kelsey, LCLS Board of Directors. Kelsey was honored for dedication to LCLS, particularly her work during many crucial aspects of the building project. This includes two stints as chair of the board of directors, as well as chair of the political action committee that helped with the successful campaign, which she accomplished while she was not on the board.

Media Support: Karen Cotton. The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle’s features and entertainment reporter, Cotton was recognized for her body of work that helped promote many events and services at LCLS, including extensive pieces about the new library and the summer reading celebration.

Andy Fisher Award: Laramie County Library System. Presented to a county library that has achieved a special goal of outstanding merit, LCLS won this award for its new library facility (which was named the nation’s Library of the Year in 2008), and for all of the work by various people associated with the organization in making this building a reality.