Books are a passion for Pat Conway
Post Independent Staff
“Library, library more than a book,” may have been a literacy campaign slogan in the 1970s, but it holds true today with people like Pat Conway, who manages the Glenwood Springs branch of the Garfield County Public Library system.
Conway has worked for the Glenwood Springs library at 413 9th Street, since November 1994 and has been the branch manager since 1997.
She and her husband, Alan, moved to the area in 1993 from Westminster in the Denver area.
“It was a mid-life adventure,” Conway said. “We worked for a year at the Avalanche Ranch in Carbondale before I saw the library advertising for a position. We were changing our lives and I’d always wanted to work in a library.”
Conway, who had worked in a library as a volunteer in high school, worked her way up through the ranks of the library system before being named manager. She now has nine staff members that she supervises.
“I started out at the ground level and I’ve done all the jobs (my staff) has done,” she said. “I’m responsible for hiring and evaluating staff, book ordering, weeding out and developing collections, taking care of the building, overseeing adult, teen and kids programming and implementing library policies.”
Basically, she runs the whole branch operation under the Garfield County Public Library board.
“I’m responsible for all the operations and the scheduling and I’m the advisor to the Friends of the Library, which is a wonderful group,” she said.
In her years as branch manager for the library, one of the biggest changes is that of the formation of a library taxing district, which was approved by voters in 2006.
“That has since given us a lot of latitude to develop and improve the libraries,” Conway said.
But personally, Conway’s position at the library is more than just a job. It’s a passion that includes literature and people.
“The best part is that I work with books and people who love books,” she said. “And it’s a joy to see the kids get their first library card.”
Although she’s done other things in her life, Conway says she loves her job at the library and intends to stay with it.
“I absolutely love it,” she said. “I’ve really found my passion ” and even my worst day is a good day. Every day I know I’m contributing something back to the community.”
The hazards of being a librarian who loves to read may be the opportunity that’s presented to her.
“I love to read,” Conway said. “I like a lot of different types of things – non-fiction and fiction.”
But her favorite, she admits, is probably non-fiction.
“I really enjoy Jon Krakauer and authors like that,” she said. “But I read all types of non-fiction.”
Conway says that for the time being, she intends to stay working at the library.
And with Conway at the helm of the Glenwood Springs branch, the library is definitely more than a book.
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