Librarian checking out after 25 years at work

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When Jacquie Boyd started her job as librarian at the Hayden Public Library, the town's 7,000-book collection was packed in a tiny storefront property across from the Hayden Town Hall.

Twenty-five years, about 16,000 books and a cozy new location later, Boyd reminisces about the many changes that have taken place during her long and rewarding career at the library.

"I think the reason I've been able to stay so long is because it's been a position of constant change," she said.

On Friday, Boyd will hand her "dream job" over to new director Ana Lash. Library staff will honor Boyd for her service to the library and community at an open house Saturday.

Although she was hired as a librarian, Boyd's title soon changed to library director, a position that involved oversight of everything from budgets to fund raising at the library.

"It's really like running a business, only our bottom line is patron satisfaction and developing our collection," she said.

A major aspect of her career was funding the library's present location at 201 E. Jefferson Ave. and working to develop the library's collections and automated system.

Just several years after she began working at the library, Boyd and her staff realized they needed more room and began gathering donations and raising funds for the first phase of the new library. Almost 15 years later, they approached the town with a bond issue to fund an addition to the building, which residents overwhelmingly approved, Boyd said.

"This library really does belong to the community. ... I think the community is proud of what we have here," she said.

Boyd worked closely with an architect to achieve the roomy ambiance -- complete with a stone fireplace and cozy reading chairs -- that patrons enjoy.

"That's something I've worked very hard doing, is creating this open visual so you have a warm feeling when you walk in," Boyd said.

There's hardly been a dull moment in Boyd's time at the library, which, with the advent of the Internet, has experienced an "evolution" of information and resources, she said.

In just 15 months, the library, with the help of dedicated volunteers, automated its card catalog system, Boyd said.

Making the library as useful as possible has been a major focus for Boyd, who emphasized that information resources are even more important in small towns that don't have the resource options found in large, metro areas.

Part of that focus has been her eight years of service on the Colorado Regional Library Board, which facilitated communication and sharing between seven library districts in the state. That position has been particularly demanding since the state eliminated the districts because of a lack of funding -- challenging the state library board to redefine a statewide system, Boyd said.

Contact with people and working with books will be what Boyd misses most about her job, she said.

In addition to updating materials and making sure they are relevant, Boyd helps choose about 1,500 new books to add to the library's collection each year, she said.

"The key to that is knowing the community and what their interests are," she said.

Popular genres in Hayden tend to be mysteries, though the community also enjoys the library's Colorado and West Routt history section. Occasionally, out-of-town visitors come to the library to research genealogy and their Hayden-area ancestors, Boyd said.

Boyd and her staff have put the greatest emphasis on expanding the children's collection and creating a comprehensive section of adult nonfiction, she said.

Overall, Boyd credits positive relationships with the Hayden library board and staff for her accomplishments as library director.

"That's been the key, the fact that I've worked with a very supportive library board and library staff," she said. "We work well together."

After retiring, Boyd plans to "take each step as it comes." She's looking forward to working on some personal projects and plans to look for a part-time job or volunteer work in the spring, she said.

"It's been such a wonderful opportunity. ... The memories will carry me through," Boyd said.

The community is invited to attend Boyd's open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the library.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

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