Recently I was privileged to be in Naturita for an awards luncheon. One of my colleagues, Susan Rice, Branch Coordinator for the Naturita Community Library, was given an award for collaboration from the San Miguel Resource Center. I have been fortunate over my career to have worked with some very, very good people, and Susan is one of the best. She is incredibly good at what she does, and she is a genuinely good person.
When I hired Susan twelve years ago, I knew I was getting a good person. Susan knew everybody in town and, more importantly, she cared about everyone and about her community. I know she is active in many community organizations and has served on many boards and committees. Those traits and her boundless enthusiasm were what I was looking for in a branch coordinator. The library stuff I knew could be taught.
Susan is a personal dynamo, just the sort of person I like to manage. I just had to give her a few resources, a rough outline of a vision for the Naturita Library and she grabbed hold of it and didn’t look back. Honestly, I get tired sometimes when I talk to her and she tells me of all the good things she is doing for the kids of Naturita. She loves those kids and wants all of them to succeed and she does her darnedest to make it happen. Susan has come up with more programs and more events than I could ever dream up in my wildest imagination.
And collaboration? She works with anybody and everybody. Susan has a knack for gathering about her talented people to make things happen. And the West End has some very talented people. I thank Susan for introducing me to most of those I know from that area.
The Library District has been fortunate too, to have had Boards of Trustees who have recognized we are a District. We are one. The District needs to pay attention and spend resources for all of our residents. That has led to a contract with the Paradox Valley School and with the award winning Naturita Community Library. Rather than taking a parsimonious tone, Library Boards have recognized the need to spend what it takes to provide a good level of library service in each area instead of parsing out service according to income. I think this has led to a good balance of services and a solid core of service at each of our outlets.
At the award ceremony the comment was made that the Naturita Community Library has received awards at the national and the state level, but this was the first time Susan had received an award locally. I know the Library District and the Naturita Community received a fantastic award when Susan Rice came to Naturita and when she accepted a position with the Montrose Regional Library District. Congratulations on your collaboration award Susan. Well deserved.