Eagle Valley Library District director Charlyn Costello Canada to retire

Charlyn Costello Canada, director of the Eagle Valley Library District, plans to retire May 31. Every public library in Eagle County was built under her direction.

Charlyn Costello Canada, director of the Eagle Valley Library District since its inception in 1993, will retire on Friday.

Canada, a graduate of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, has enjoyed a long and successful career of library leadership in Eagle County. Forty years ago, in the summer of 1973, Canada was hired as the director of the Vail Public Library. Mid-career, she was contracted to organize and open the Eagle County Information Center and History Museum in 1991, and she was librarian for Minturn Middle School for two years prior to her appointment as director of the Eagle Valley Library District.

Up and down the Eagle River Valley, Canada has left a legacy of libraries. Garnering the support of host municipalities, every public library in Eagle County was built under her direction. Her professional accomplishments include the construction of the Vail Public Library in 1983, the Avon Public Library in 1995, the Eagle Public Library in 1997 and the Gypsum Public Library in 2011.

“Often skiers tell me which library is their favorite as we ride up a chair lift. Each of the libraries enjoys a beautiful setting, fabulous architectural details and sumptuous reading areas, but patrons find a staff member or a nook that draws them back again and again,” Canada said. “I got to help design libraries I would want to use, and I am looking forward to doing just that in retirement, but when the staff call ‘shelving’ over the P.A. system, I will probably help shelve.”

Since Canada took the helm of the Eagle Valley Library District in 1993, annual library use has increased by the hundreds of thousands. In 1993, 73,021 people visited Eagle Valley Library District libraries. In 2012, the libraries hosted 364,389 visitors. During her tenure, the Friends of EVLD group has flourished, and the Eagle Valley Library Foundation to endow the libraries was established.

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“Charlyn literally helped build this district from the ground up,” said Michael Brown, president of the district board. “Her vision and her exceptional team have produced the outstanding community libraries that our valley enjoys today.”

To honor Canada’s work, join and maintain an annual membership in the Friends of EVLD or Vail to support the programs offered by your favorite library. A public reception will be held for Canada at the Avon Public Library from 4 to 6 p.m., May 31.

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