Garfield County Public Library executive director resigns |

Garfield County Public Library executive director resigns

Brett Lear’s last official day slated for Aug. 20

The Glenwood Springs Branch Library.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

The Garfield County Public Library District’s executive director plans to step down Aug. 20.

“The Garfield County Public Library District’s board of trustees has received and accepted the resignation of Brett Lear as executive director of the GCPLD effective Aug. 20, 2021,” GCPLD board president Adrian Rippy-Sheehy said in a Monday email sent out to library staff.

“As we move forward in strong support of our community libraries, we will keep all informed and involved in the processes of change together,” Rippy-Sheehy said in a follow-up email to the Post Independent on Tuesday.

The resignation comes following multiple complaints surrounding Lear’s supervision over administrators, support staff and various library affairs. Allegations made by former employees range from Lear creating a toxic work environment to openly discriminating against LGBTQ rights.

The Post Independent reported in July that some employees specifically expressed concerns regarding Lear’s propensity for lack of foresight and inability to take suggestions. Lear’s accused conduct comes amid the county library system trying to recuperate following the COVID-19 pandemic as well following through on a 2019 mill levy increase.

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The mill levy, which added about $4 million to 2020’s budget, aimed to increase library hours and improve buildings.

Meanwhile, the other major allegation surrounding Lear’s discrimination against the LGBTQ community stems specifically from a complaint made by a former employee, who left the district earlier this year. The employee, who is transgender, accused Lear of refusing to use pronouns in relation to addressing transgender people.

Since February, four branch managers have resigned. Meanwhile, at least 20 resignations have occurred since the beginning of 2021, according to library district board minutes.

In response, the library board held an executive session Aug. 5 in Parachute.

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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