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Librarian goes from books to bytes

Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyRetiring town librarian Susan Boyd, who moved to Vail in 1967, talks about her career, life and technology Tuesday in her Vail Library office.
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VAIL ” Change excites Susan Boyd. And she’s seen plenty of it at the Vail library and in this valley.

Now change is imminent in her own life ” she’s retiring as the town’s librarian.

“I like change,” she said. “And people’s positive response to change.”



When she started in the early ’80s, the library had books, a microfiche machine, card catalogs and two typewriters.

“That was all libraries had in those days,” she said.

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Computers, DVDs and CDs are now prominent parts of the library, and Internet access is one of the library’s most popular offerings. Encyclopedias have disappeared from the shelves ” along with the entire reference section ” and are now all computerized.

Boyd, a native of Ohio, was working in Denver in the 1960s in clinical chemistry when she met Steve Boyd, a Vail ski patroller.

Back then, Ski Patrol would drive injured skiers to Denver in a station wagon for treatment. Boyd met her future husband on one such ambulance run, and moved to Vail full-time in 1967.



In the early days, Vail was a tight-knit community where everyone knew each other, Boyd said. She recalled going duck-hunting at the ranches in Avon.

“I loved living here when no one was here,” she said.

The library called her in the early ’80s and asked her if she wanted to work there.

“I hadn’t even thought about working, actually,” she said.

But she said yes, and worked in the library when it was in the basement of Town Hall. The library moved to its current location a year later, in 1983.

But Eagle County’s growth has been good, she said.

It’s allowed her three children to build families and careers here, she said.

“I am so glad we grew,” she said.

She’s most proud of the continuing education collection she has created. In fact, Boyd wants to take a few college classes once she retires.

“I’m totally into learning,” she said.

She hopes the Vail library will continue to be a gathering place for the community. Conversation is not forbidden there. In fact, Boyd was catching up with an old employee on Tuesday morning in the periodicals section.

“We are not the kind of library that goes like this,” she said, putting her index finger to her lips.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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