A new book reader, dog lover, outdoor enthusiast, and hard-working librarian arrived in town a few weeks ago. Her name is Emily Goad and she has been hired by the Delta County Libraries to manage the Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia libraries. Until early this summer, Kit Stephenson held the job, but her decision to leave the area created the opening that has now been filled by Goad.
A few years ago as the recession deepened, the Delta County Libraries Board of Trustees approved a restructuring of the management level of the library district which consolidated positions and reduced costs, at the same time shifting focus from individual libraries to a more unified district approach. The change is proving effective for both budgeting and communication as one manager, now Goad, circulates around the North Fork libraries and another, Lea Hart, supervises the Delta and Cedaredge libraries.
Hart does not hide her excitement about Goad, after a busy summer without a North Fork manager. "I'm ecstatic to have a co-manager again. To be really cohesive, we need the regional managers to work together. We rely on each other. I love her enthusiasm."
District director Annette Choszczyk is equally pleased with the new arrival. "Emily is driven to reach out to her new community, and this drive, paired with her library experience and her wonderful personality, is exactly what we were looking for in a new manager," she explains.
That personality includes a sense of humor that could help Goad through the challenges of learning a new job in a new area. Goad looks slightly devious as she seizes on an opportunity to describe herself. "Maybe we can make up a background for me? I'd like to say I am really an archaeologist."
She becomes serious when talking about her goals for the job. "The North Fork Valley is rare in that there are so many types of people living here. The opportunity to reach out to so many diverse people is exciting." She continues, "Libraries have always been important to me because everybody has equal access to library services and I am extremely passionate about keeping it that way."
Goad hails from Wisconsin, where she has worked in public libraries for the past seven years in various positions, after attending graduate school there to earn her degree in library science.
"While it is true that Emily has not lived in Delta County before, we are wondering if we can trace her ancestry back to the Goads who settled in the area over 100 years ago," says Choszczyk, who continues wistfully, "Wouldn't it be exciting if it turned out that a long-lost Delta County family member has returned to take her place in our community?"
Regardless of her family heritage, Goad is pleased with her introduction to Delta County so far. "The people here have been incredibly friendly and welcoming."
Those who have not yet met Goad will have an opportunity to visit with her during a meet-and-greet event that will be scheduled soon at the Paonia Library. Patrons can say hello, eat cake, and pretend to know something about archaeology. Goad will likely do the same.
Paonia Elementary School second grade teacher Jodi Simpson is passionate about pedagogy. She understands that the important things kids learn in school isn't accomplished through testing, but by experiencing life and all its wonders.