Meet Juniper (Grand Lake) Library’s Sue Luton
View from the Stacks
For many people in Grand County, the saying, “I wasn’t born in the Rocky Mountains, but I got here as fast as I could,” certainly holds true. Sue Luton, Branch Manager of Juniper Library in Grand Lake, a Massachusetts-born Coloradan, celebrates life in the Rockies every day. At the Juniper Library, Sue has seen many changes over the past 23 years, from a small room over the firehouse to the Juniper Library of today. Named after The Juniper Women’s Club, a group dedicated to raising money for children’s books, the current library was completed in 2006 on the same spot as the old firehouse. A part of the Grand County Library District (GCLD), the library has access to materials located not only in Grand Lake and the four other Grand County Libraries, but also the collections of most Colorado libraries. In addition, the District provides opportunities for Internet, wi-fi, and many online resources that bridge geographic barriers.
Sue grew up surrounded by a large family outside of Boston, on Lake Quinsigamond, learning to swim and ice skate. She fondly remembers visiting the Quinsigamond Carnegie Public Library. It was a safe, comfortable place where she eventually volunteered throughout junior high school. After graduating from high school, Sue followed her dream of living in Colorado. Like many newcomers, she worked at a variety of places, including Cold Springs Greenhouse and the Silver Creek Ski Area where she taught little ones to ski. She says she can still ski better backwards than frontwards, due to the lessons from Johnny Kovacs at Ski Idlewild.
When asked what she is most proud of as Branch Manager of Juniper Library, Sue quickly answers, “how far the library has come.” From a small tucked-away library, the Juniper Library now is a vital center in the town square. The Library hosts a weekly story time for toddlers and little ones. In fact, some of the moms attended as children themselves. There are frequent adult programs such as “Arm chair Travelers” and author talks. The Brown Bag Book Club has met at the Juniper Library for over 10 years. Children are made to feel like the library is a home away from home, having the opportunity to come to the After School Fun Club each Thursday. They arrive on the school bus from Granby to find pizza and drinks waiting before diving into the games and fun learning activities planned for the day.
Volunteers also play a large part in the success of the Juniper Library. Currently, three year-round Grand Lake residents share their love and support for libraries on a regular basis. You’re likely to meet Barbara Wilcox, Joan Richmond, or Christine Rourke when you stop in for a visit. Some of the summer volunteers are retired librarians who enjoy browsing the collection as they shelve books and straighten materials. Many others help The Friends of Grand County Library raise funds which purchase additional books, online resources, and provide funding for youth programs such as the Summer Reading Program.
“I am grateful for the support the Juniper Library receives and for the bonds I’ve formed with the people I’ve come to know and trust here in Grand County,” said Sue.”
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