Public libraries in Mancos and Cortez are featuring displays through February in honor of Black History Month.
Although the displays are presented in the libraries, the displays were put up by Gloria Thatch-Woody, an occupational therapist who lives and works in Mancos. She has installed the displays each year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before COVID, Thatch-Woody put on Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration days at The Grange in Mancos where those in attendance would eat breakfast while she spoke about King. After COVID, Thatch-Woody began utilizing the libraries as a way to teach about Dr. King’s legacy.
“The display has Martin Luther King and a lot of what he said,” Thatch-Woody noted.
She says her displays include many different articles and other materials people can read and see. “It has some books, articles, things that I have collected over the years, and they are all about Black history in this country,” she said.
Included among the resources is information on slavery, legislation written outlawing interracial marriage and the Black Tuskegee Airmen of World War II.
She said her copy of one of American sociologist, socialist, historian and civil rights activist William Dubois’ book is included, and “People can pick it up and look at it.”
The Cortez Public Library’s display includes fewer resources than the Mancos display, but Thatch-Woody notes there are many resources there as well, including photos and other articles that can be viewed in the library’s display case.
Thatch-Woody said she received a note from one of the Mancos librarians recently letting her know many in the community are appreciating the display.
“I got a note from the Mancos librarian,” she said. “She said that a lot of people have been looking at the exhibit. The nice thing about it is you walk up to this long table and then Martin Luther King is up on a tripod; you can stand in front of it. They said they’d gotten an excellent response to it.”
The Cortez library is open Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m., but closes at 3 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Friday and Monday, and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
The Mancos library is open Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. with closing times at 3 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday.