Colorful streamers draped across the ceiling. A pinata, a decorative Latin American punching bag, awaits its fate. Latin music fills the air. It’s Dia De Los Ninos at the five-star Wilkinson Public Library. The event, a celebration of literacy for children of all cultural (and linguistic) backgrounds, takes place Friday, April 27, 3:30 p.m.
This year, however, Dia De Los Ninos, is bitter sweet. The day also marks the end of a Elizabeth Tracy’s eight-year career at the library. Elizabeth, the Youth Services manager, has recently accepted the directorship of the Whistler Public Library in British Columbia and bids her farewell during the mini festival.
Adored by all, Elizabeth unknowingly embraced the library profession when she began working in Kirtland, New Mexico as library assistant at San Juan College. After a short nine months in this position and with some prodding from the library director, Elizabeth chose to pursue a Masters of Library and Information Science at Emporia State University. Graduating in 2003, she returned to the area to work as the tour director for Mountainfilm in Telluride. That’s when the Wilkinson’s former director, Robin Magee, heard the rumor about a trained librarian living not so secretly among locals:
“Robin was a little offended I had not come to her for a job,” explained Tracy.
Over a plate of Chinese food at Shanghai Palace, Robin’s favorite restaurant, Elizabeth was told she would come to work at the library as her administrative assistant. Two days later, Tracy turned down the position of assistant library director position at the Art Institute of Denver to remain in Telluride.
“People always say you don’t choose Telluride. Telluride chooses you. What I can say is staying here was the best decision I ever made,” continued Tracy.
Over the next eight years, as Youth Services Manager, Elizabeth became a fixture in the community. During her tenure, she designed and executed more than 500 different children’s programs every year and redesigned the children’s area into a place for experiential learning. It was also Elizabeth who brought renowned authors and illustrators to Telluride, celebrities such as Alex Beard, Todd Parr, and Brian Selznick, who wrote the book that became the movie “Hugo.”
This week staff members and other friends from our community sat down with Elizabeth to reminisce about her time at the Wilkinson Public Library. To hear her conversation with Elaine Fisher, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Laura Kudo and more, click the “play” button below.
Anyone interested in bidding Elizabeth a fond farewell should bring their favorite Latin food to the community potluck and join in the fun at the Dia De Los Ninos celebration.