Wyoming Library Association Names RS Resident ‘Outstanding Hero’

Wyoming Library Association Names RS Resident ‘Outstanding Hero’

Jana Pastor was named Outstanding Hero by the Wyoming Library Association for her work designing, raising funds, and recruiting volunteers to create the Children’s Discovery Center in the Rock Springs Library.

ROCK SPRINGS — Rock Springs resident Jana Pastor has received the Outstanding Hero award from the Wyoming Library Association for designing, raising funds, and recruiting volunteers to create the Children’s Discovery Center at the Rock Springs Library. Jana raised more than $100,000 in cash and donations for the project.

Pastor was nominated for the award by Lindsey Travis, assistant director for the Sweetwater County
Library System. The Outstanding Hero award recognizes an outstanding person or group whose hard
work has made a difference to a Wyoming Library within the last two years.

Below is what Travis wrote on her nomination form:

In what way are they exceptional?
Jana Pastor designed, raised funds, and recruited volunteers to create the Children’s Discovery Center at
the Rock Springs Library. Because of her vision and tireless work, the library system and people of
Sweetwater County have an outstanding space to learn, explore and have fun. Jana’s vision,
volunteerism, and commitment added something unique to our library system and our community that
would not have been possible without her!

What specifically did this person or group do?
Jana had a vision that she made reality. In the summer for 2019, she came to the library system with an
idea for a children’s museum in Rock Springs. She thought it would be a great partnership with the
library, and a way to add value to the Rock Springs Library. We agreed that it fit perfectly into the library
and the library’s mission, specifically “to improve the quality of life in our communities” and
“encouraging a lifelong joy reading and learning for all, especially children.”

Over the next year and a half, Jana raised more than $100,000 in cash and materials donations for the
project. She researched ideas to create the best space possible for the families of Rock Springs. She
coordinated volunteers to build, paint, and create the space. She spent tireless hours planning and
putting together exhibits. Her commitment was inspiring.

Despite challenges such as the pandemic that kept the space from opening when originally expected,
she continued with her work to make a new fun space in the Rock Springs Library. The Children’s
Discovery Center officially opened to the public on March 22, 2021. And what an amazing space it is!
The Children’s Discovery Center is an interactive space for learning and free play. It includes exhibits that
explore wind energy, flight, and science. It includes a mini town with a grocery store, theater, fire
station, ice cream truck, doctor’s office, and vet clinic – all spaces for children to play, imagine and
discover. It also includes a construction room with LEGOs and other building blocks, and a magnet wall
to encourage creativity.

Jana’s work on this project deserves this honor. No one has been a better hero for the Sweetwater
County Library System than her!

How did the library benefit?
The library has benefited significantly from Jana’s work. The Children’s Discovery Center has brought
children and families to the library who hadn’t previously been library users. Through her fundraising
efforts, she helped create a bigger sense of community ownership in the library – many local businesses,
industry, and community members put time, money and effort into creating the space.

And most of all, without Jana, the library would not have had the benefit of having the space at all. The
library system did not have the time or resources to put something this amazing together. It truly added
something fun, unique and educational to the library that we would not have been able to create with
our existing funding.

What are the results for the community?
Jana’s work in creating the Children’s Discovery Center has truly improved the quality of life in
Sweetwater County. The Discovery Center gives children and families a place to explore and have fun.
Since it is located in the library, the Discovery Center has no admission fees, unlike similar children’s
museums in bigger cities. Because Jana was able to find donors to invest in this project and the
community, everyone benefits from it!

Since it’s opening in March, the Discovery Center has seen more than 5,000 visitors – that’s a great
success!

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Visit the Children’s Discovery Center
The Children’s Discovery Center is located in the Rock Springs Library at 400 C Street. It is open for
several one and a half time slots each day the library is open. Reservations are recommended to visit the
space, but walk-ins are welcome as space allows. Reserve your space at the Discovery Center by calling
307-352-6667.

The weekly time slots are:
Monday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.; 1:30 p.m.; 4 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 12:30 p.m.; 3 p.m.