Garfield County branch librarian spots filled |

Garfield County branch librarian spots filled

Linda Lewis will be managing the New Castle and Silt Branch Libraries starting this spring.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent |

The three western communities of Garfield County have started a new chapter with new library directors. Stephanie Freas, Linda Lewis and Cydney Clink were selected to lead library branches.

Freas, director of the Rifle library, hails from Newark, Ohio, and carries a total of seven years of library experience under her belt.

“The library is a huge part of the community here, which is really exciting,” Freas said. “I feel like I’m making a difference in the community every day just by coming to work.”

Linda Lewis, originally from Ludington, Michigan, will be managing the New Castle and Silt libraries with 12 years of experience. Her background includes work in both public and prison libraries.

“Everyone here is so dedicated, I really love it here,” said Lewis. “The people are great, the libraries are beautiful, the area is fabulous. I’ve got nothing but good things to say and good things in my heart right now.”

Cydney Clink will be directing the Parachute Branch library beginning at the end of April. Laurin Arnold has also been hired as the new director for the library in Glenwood Springs.

The hiring process for the new branch managers was a collaborative effort between Garfield County Libraries Executive Director Jesse Henning, the assistant executive director and human resources.

“We were looking for people who are passionate about the library and librarianship,” Henning said. “We were looking for true believers in the mission of public library and what we stand for here in the community.”

The branch positions became open when employees took new positions elsewhere, as well as one employee who took voluntary layoff for retirement.

“We had a number of our managers go to pursue other career ambitions, as well as retirement,” he said. “Since each of our communities are so different, we wanted to make sure we found the right person for each place.”

Earlier in 2016, the district also made the decision to lay off eight employees because of a budget reduction for 2017.

Overall, the new directors say they feel positive and foresee a bright future for the communities. According to Lewis, challenges still lie within managing the library budget.

“There are definitely challenges of course,” she said. “We are wanting to provide more services to our community, and are just simply being hindered by the budget.”

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