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Libraries: Local authors in the spotlight this weekend

by Cyndi Palmer
Sky-Hi Daily News
Jodie "Medicine Walker" Boxell is the author of "The Caretaker Monthly: Sharing the Journey."
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Three local authors will be the highlight of the Friends of the Library annual meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Granby Library Community Room ” held in honor of the Second Annual National Friends of the Library Week, Oct. 21-27.

Their individual presentations follow a short business meeting and election of officers for the coming year.

The program is “a celebration of the fact that Grand County has many published authors,” explains Joyce Clair, recording secretary.

Joanne Sundell, a retired nurse who writes Colorado historical romances, is the first featured author. She has been a Tabernash-area resident for at least 25 years and said she always looks for unusual heroines for her stories.

She has two published books: “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” and “A … My Name’s Amelia.” She also has another book titled, “The Parlor House Daughter” due to come out next December and she just started the research for her next book, another historical romance. The next story will probably be set in rural Virginia, where Sundell grew up, and takes place in the 1860s during the Civil War.

The working title is “The Quaker and the Confederate,” and might include tidbits on women who fought during the Civil War, she said. “And, of course, it’s always about old-fashioned romance.”

“It was very nice of them to invite me,” she said of the Friends of the Library. “I’m particularly pleased because the library is my primary market. The libraries up here have been wonderful to me. I really appreciate being able to reach out to librarians and library audiences.”

Jodie “Medicine Walker” Boxell will talk about his book “The Caretaker Monthly: Sharing the Journey.” Each chapter covers a month of the year and discusses our stewardship of the earth. The author, a Hot Sulphur Springs resident since 1995, is an avid mountain man and naturalist.

He said he is working on another book that will be more of a field guide. “Berries, Buds and Roots,” on plants and survival living, will include instructions for the gathering and preparation of helpful plants and is set to be released in the next couple years. He said it will have information contained in no other field guide.

Katie Gailey, the third featured author, is a teacher at Granby Elementary School. Gailey first came to the county in the early 1970s with the Rainbow Gathering group and made Grand County her home. She has written “Bloody Grand,” a historical novel about Grand Lake, and has another book coming out by the end of October called “Spirit Lake.”

The new book is also about Grand Lake, about a clan of people that came up to the area and made it their home 6,000 years ago. Gailey has six other books in the works, including a children’s book called “Kelty, the Courageous Cougar.”

“It feels good that people really enjoy my little hobby,” she said.

Volunteers from each library will also be honored as The Friend of the Year. Each librarian will be presenting awards to its outstanding volunteers. Those to be honored are Eleanor Holley, Granby Library; Jane Land and Cody Hensley, Kremmling; Barbara Wilcox, Juniper Library; Carol Schroer, Hot Sulphur Library; and Lisanne Smith, Fraser Library.

The Friends of the Library group is a nonprofit organization comprised of a group of citizens in the community who have a common concern for their library’s active expansion and participation in community life,” Clair said.

The group was established in 1985 and has raised money for all five county libraries ” in Fraser, Granby, at the Juniper Library in Grand Lake, in Hot Sulphur Springs, and in Kremmling.

More than $30,000 has been contributed so far in 2007 through their efforts.

The group helps support the library through activities that include volunteer service and fundraising for financial assistance for the continuing improvement of library inventories and programs. It has helped fund the children’s Summer Reading Program in all libraries. Other major events the group helps put on include a Hot Sulphur Springs Pie Sale Nov. 20, the Granby Christmas Book Sale Dec. 7 and 8, and the Annual Progressive Dinner fundraiser, also coming up in December (tickets go on sale Nov. 8).

Currently, over 300 members contribute annually to the Friends and many volunteer their time to assist with fundraising efforts and work in the libraries. The Friends have also contributed money to help build new libraries in Fraser, Granby and Grand Lake.

Officers for 2008 include: Vernie Tupa, president; Nancy Abbott, vice president; Marla Gall, treasurer; Joyce Clair, recording secretary; and Sue Haith, corresponding secretary. Other board members are Jeanne Sloan, Gail Foster, Martha Williams, Joan Dardis, and Ann Feucht.


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