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Library Corner: Recognize MLK Jr. Day by serving the community

Polly Gallagher, executive director of GCLD
As we come up on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, your local library can help connect you to many organizations in Grand County that serve the community.
Courtesy WhiteHouse.gov

More than 70 charitable organizations exist in Grand County with 225 nonprofits.

We have groups dedicated to youth sports development, education, health and human services, local media, housing, and community improvement, to name only a few areas of focus. As we recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day through his commitment to service, we recognize Grand County as a community of volunteers dedicated to serving their fellow citizens.

Grand County Library District depends on volunteers in multiple areas of support, from sharing the overall vision and purpose of the organization to meticulously shelving books in each of our branches.



The vision and policy of our organization is directed by a group of seven committed volunteers who are appointed by the county commissioners to serve on the GCLD Board of Trustees.

“Libraries have always been an important part of my life. As a young girl, I pored through the juvenile collections. Later, as an adult, when my family moved, I would locate the public library in each new town and city. The opportunity to serve on the GCLD Board brought my love for libraries full circle,” shares Board President Sally Leclair. “They have always been an important part of my community.”



Financial support and community engagement are provided through dedicated individuals of the Grand County Library Foundation and Friends of Grand County Library. Financial support and community engagement are provided through dedicated individuals of the Grand County Library Foundation and Friends of Grand County Library, Inc.

Committed to raising funds to enhance library programs and services, fostering literacy and learning, and encouraging broad-based public support, use, and enjoyment of Grand County libraries, consider the words of Friends’ Board President Kelly Shockey:

“I have always had a great love for books. Books, to me, are amazing because of the wonderful things they can do. Books can teach, take you into a story where you can become a part of it. When I was introduced to the Friends of the Grand County Library Board, I felt it was a great opportunity to share my love of books, as well as a chance to help distribute books into our community. I also felt it was a great way to help support programs that encourage our community to read, as well as visit our libraries.”

In each of our individual branches, we also have volunteers engaged in a variety of work, including shelving materials, display creation, and program support.

“I volunteer with GCLD because they give me the opportunity to enrich the lives of children and young adults in our community. Through my annual comic-making workshops, I have the chance to demonstrate to developing minds that reading and writing are not only a whole lot of fun, but they’re also tools which can be used to build a rich and rewarding life,” states Grand County comic Mister V, volunteer host of multiple programs for all ages through GCLD.

These devoted volunteers provide hours of time, as well as expertise.

“My decision to help create and lead the GCCoW isn’t entirely selfless. When I moved here from Los Angeles in 2016, I began looking for my tribe. I knew there had to be other writers in Grand County, but the challenge was to find them and connect,” comments GC Community of Writers leader and author Martin J Smith. “Organizing the group brought those writers together into a community of ambitious, like-minded people. Every one of them is trying to tell important stories about life in this wonderful part of the world, and it’s a privilege to help nurture those stories and those writers.”

Adults aren’t the only individuals eligible to share time and talents. Our teen volunteer program is intended to provide an early work experience. Interested teens must complete an application process, participate in an interview, and have a reference check completed. Once accepted into the program, a training period occurs dependent upon the area of interest (circulation or programs) and coaching is provided regarding workplace skills and opportunities.

As we come up on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, consider how you are building the community in which you wish to live. Visit your local library to learn more about the organizations in Grand County that serve our community, check the community bulletin boards or program calendar for events supporting or sponsored by local organizations, and ask about resources available through GCLD to support local volunteer organizations.

“Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve. This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” -Martin Luther King Jr.


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