Eagle County librarians let go for Literacy Project | VailDaily.com

Eagle County librarians let go for Literacy Project

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Cricket Pylman

VAIL, Colorado – As it turns out, librarians make excellent bartenders. They know how to tell a good story, control a crowd and become friends with even the toughest patrons. They’re firm, yet likable.

Cricket Pylman and Kari Thorne are no exceptions. These two children’s specialists – from the Town of Vail and Avon Public libraries, respectively – will show off their skills on Wednesday at Larkspur’s guest bartender series.

“I can’t say no to such a good cause, and I know my friends won’t either,” said Pylman, whose popularity among Vail’s toddlers is legendary. “It’s important for all of us to realize just how important literacy is.”

This year, Larkspur launched a new series to help nonprofits raise money while bringing in off-season business. The guest bartenders work alongside Larkspur’s staff, shaking cocktails for the cause and receiving a share of tips.

“We are thrilled to have two of our best known and much loved supporters behind the bar,” said Colleen Gray, executive director of The Literacy Project. “So much of our free tutoring happens in the libraries, and Cricket and Kari have been our cheerleaders.”

The Literacy Project provides free tutoring and services to adults and children in Eagle County through a variety of programs including individual sessions, classroom applications, book delivery, early childhood education and workplace literacy skills. More than 500 people benefit from the programs each year.

“Literacy is an issue we all must accomplish in order to become positive members of society,” said Gray. “We believe that English language reading and speaking skills can be achieved by everyone.”

Organizers from the Literacy Project will show a short film that demonstrates its free tutoring programs and services.

In addition to tips, a silent auction featuring items from Roxy, The Bookworm, Larkspur and other local businesses will contribute to the fundraiser. Larkspur also has donated one chef’s table dinner for four.

For more information or to make a donation to The Literacy Project, call 949-5026 or visit http://www.literacyprojecteaglecounty.org.

Once upon a time Cricket Pylman was born to tell stories. After graduating from the University of Vermont and spending what she calls “a few dark years” in Breckenridge, she saw the light and joined Moe Mulrooney as a pre-school teacher and eventually co-director at The Learning Tree. Here she met and nurtured many of the children of the valley. Cricket now hosts the much-loved Children’s Story Hour program at the Vail Public Library and maintains a quiet but determined quest to have more 2- and 3-year-old friends than anyone else her age.

Favorite libation: A glass of Zinfandel.

Kari moved to the valley in the fall of 1998 right after finishing a master’s degree in library and information science. She was hired as the community relations librarian for the Eagle Valley Library District the following year. The past four years have been happily spent as the children’s librarian in Avon (the best job in the world!). She has no experience as a real bartender outside of pouring 3.2 draft beer and serving pickled pig’s feet in college.

Favorite libation: Chardonnay or an occasional margarita.

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