Locals 2012: Sherry Holland | SteamboatToday.com

Locals 2012: Sherry Holland

Sherry Holland is more than a librarian because today, the media center at Strawberry Park Elementary School is much more than a library.

With the advent of digital and social media, today's children consume information and read in a completely new way.

"It's exciting right now because no day is the same," Sherry says. "I'm working with something that opens the world to these kids. They're becoming more critical in their thinking and more inspired."

Although the school has a couple of Nooks, 40 iPads and 25 iPod Touches, Sherry never loses sight of the value of the physical book and the transformative powers of stories.

"It builds language and understanding of each other," she says. "It builds compassion and an understanding of the humanity in all of us."

Sherry has been working at Strawberry Park for 12 years and has lived in Steamboat Springs since 1981, when she worked for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Northwest Colorado. She has two grown sons in Wyoming but hundreds of children per year in which to cultivate a passion for stories, literature and writing.

She does that with her undeniable energy, cheery sense of humor and unwavering passion for allowing kids to just be kids through exploring the literary world.

Local resident Blair Seymour has had three sons go through Strawberry Park. Two of them participated in the student council program Sherry runs, and all of them have taken part in her extracurricular book clubs. But Seymour says that's not all Sherry does beyond her librarian duties.

"She puts on these book fairs twice a year, but she goes above and beyond," Seymour says. "She dresses up, decorates the entire library and has a weekend event for parents. She has so much enthusiasm — she's always super upbeat and going a million miles a minute. My kids love her."

Seymour adds that the book clubs, which Sherry runs before and after school, have directly impacted her children and their love of books. "They love reading, and part of it is from her," she says. "She directed them to books they've really enjoyed."

Sherry says the book clubs offer some of the highlights of her job. "I see these kids flourish from first to fifth grade," she says. "I love seeing how they become such great readers and lovers of books and stories."