Eagle Valley Library director leaving after 10 years
Eagle Valley Library District Director Linda Tillson is relocating to become the Flagstaff City-Coconino County Public Library director in early March. Tillson served as director for EVLD for 10 years. During her tenure, she worked with what she describes as a “truly outstanding and dedicated staff” to place emphasis on responding to community needs and providing top-notch library service.
Some highlights of EVLD accomplishments in the past ten years include the development of the Onecard program, which enables Eagle County students to use their student IDs as library cards; a renovation and expansion of the Eagle Library and the removal of fines from overdue children’s materials.
During the pandemic EVLD worked with Eagle County to be named as an essential service in order to serve the community in its time of need. EVLD libraries did not close but instead immediately formulated a plan and provided curbside service, while carefully following the guidance of the Eagle County Public Health Department. This was so unusual that Tillson was interviewed by the New York Times in April of 2020. Following publication of the NYT article, other libraries around the country began contacting the district to learn more about how services were being delivered while ensuring minimal risk for staff and the public. During a time filled with unknowns, changes and widely differing opinions, Tillson commented that she was, “continually inspired by the resilience, innovation and true caring for the community EVLD staff members demonstrated.”
In response to needs articulated by the community via surveys in 2014 and 2021, the library district expanded operating hours at the Gypsum Library, implemented auto-renewals of checked-out materials, added self-checkout kiosks, built a more robust eBook and eAudiobook collection and reduced wait times for bestsellers. Using information gleaned from the same studies, the library also created the Spark Studio, a digital media lab.
Tillson will miss working with the engaged and supportive EVLD board of trustees, dedicated and passionate library staff and the wonderful communities of the Eagle Valley but also looks forward to serving the diverse Flagstaff and Coconino County communities and being closer to her grandchildren.
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A farewell party will be held on Friday, Feb. 24th from 5-7 p.m. at the Eagle Library.