Two candidates are vying for the director position at the Mancos Public Library.
Charlene Swanson and Jared Boudreaux were at the library Saturday afternoon mingling with citizens curious to know about their backgrounds and ability to lead the library.
Previous director Lee Hallberg vacated his position in early December, and library employees Midge Kirk and Bernadette Tuthill have served as interim directors.
While the in-between period has been challenging, staff has been supportive, Kirk said.
“It takes a village, and we’ve got one,” she said.
Peggy Littlejohn, president of the Mancos Library District, said it has been a struggle to find a director. A third candidate removed himself from consideration, she said.
“It’s a big job, but we have a very stable staff who will help guide the director,” she said.
A Montezuma County resident for 27 years, Swanson worked at the old Mancos library in 1999.
Of course, it was much different back then, and it was smaller in size.
She was present for the opening of the current library in 2009.
For the past three years, she has worked at Fort Lewis College in reference and interlibrary loan, and also taught a class.
It’s been rewarding for her to see students she recognized from Mancos now attending Fort Lewis, she said.
She also worked at the library in Bayfield.
Originally from Waterford, Connecticut, Swanson’s journey out West began when she studied at the University of California Santa Cruz.
In 2011, she received her master’s degree in library science from the University of Wisconsin Madison online.
“I’ve gone out and done a lot of adventuring at other libraries,” she said.
Now, she says it’s time for her to return to where it all began for her, and to give back to the Mancos community.
And, she wanted to make clear her love for dogs. Swanson’s fond of her “athletic-looking” black Labrador named Rocky.
Making a weekend trip to appear at Saturday’s meet-and-greet, Boudreaux is eager to trade hot Louisiana for the mountains of Southwest Colorado.
“I feel like I’ve basically had my fill of Louisiana,” he said. “I’m ready to spread those wings and get out of there.”
He’s from Buras Louisiana, and previously served as a library director in Assumption Parish, where he oversaw five libraries.
“None of them were as nice as this building,” he said.
During that time, he began his master’s degree in library science online, but said he felt he was getting better experience dedicating more of his energy to the role of director. He plans to one day resume his master’s.
He received a degree in English from Nicholls State University with a concentration in film studies.
Currently, he works for the state of Louisiana, but misses being immersed in the community and “feeling like you’re doing good.”
Moving from one remote location to another wouldn’t be an issue, Boudreaux said.
He feels that there is more growth opportunity in Mancos. Here, he said, there is more tourism and openness to change than where he is from.
Boudreaux displayed his sense of humor in a reply to a question about housing – whether he had found housing or would live in a tent.
“I probably don’t want to live in a tent, but I’m not ruling it out,” he said with a laugh.