It’s that time of year when we reflect on what makes us thankful, and for me it’s the Library board of trustees. What does it mean to be a Library District trustee? If you asked them, I suspect each of them would have a different response. Making a difference, contributing expertise, fulfilling a personal passion, and ensuring a legacy for their community would all be reasons they would cite. One thing they might not mention is the enormous personal sacrifice that every board member makes, especially those that serve on a board that spans a county the size of ours, and the energy it takes to be involved with a growing organization. As volunteers, their focused time, energy and attention is what makes them so valuable to a community resource like the public library. When your heart is in the effort, it makes all the difference in the outcome of your work.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank and recognize all seven dedicated individuals who make the work of the Library District possible through their tireless commitment. The current library board of trustees comprises seven representatives from all six communities: Lanny Kroh (Carbondale), Marilee Rippy (Glenwood Springs), Michael Weerts (New Castle), Dan Becker (Silt), Nella Barker (Rifle), Bernie Grove (Parachute) and Bill Lamont (at large). As a group, they have attended countless meetings over the past five years with constituents, local government, potential funders, library staff, contractors, financial planners, architects and consultants, in the effort to complete the Library District’s six design and construction projects. These have been critical times for the Library District, and it was essential that we worked together to achieve these lofty goals. For them, I know it’s been a true labor of love.
Each board member has an equal say in the strategic direction of the Library District, and all of them work together to ensure that public library services in Garfield County are equitable to all. The beauty of this particular board has been its ability to work together for the greater good of each community and to ensure that the taxpayer is honored in every decision. They are a stellar group of individuals to whom we owe a deep debt for their guidance, insight, wisdom, grace, generosity and humor during their tenure. Two of our board members are leaving at the end of this year, and though change will be hard, we are excited to welcome two new trustees to join us.
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. We could not have done it without you.
Amelia Shelley is executive director of the Garfield County Public Library District.