The job of technology coordinator for Delta County Libraries includes a huge variety of tasks, from answering patron questions about iPads to swapping out printers and computers to selecting the new hold music for the district phone system. District director Lea Hart explains, "This job requires technical knowledge, customer service, creativity and a good deal of flexibility." All skills, in fact, that suit Markee Travis, who has held the job since early 2016, when library district IT changes made the position a necessity.
Travis was not new to the libraries in 2016. She has been a part of Delta County Libraries for more than 16 years, gracing the circulation desk at the Cedaredge Library before she switched to the technology position. Hart says, "Markee stepped into this position when we really needed her," and since then, she has been more than willing to put in extra evening and weekend hours to get work done when the libraries are closed. Hart continues, "She has offered so much, in so many ways, to the libraries and to the people of Delta County. We are really going to miss her."
On Aug. 15, Travis retired from the library district, intending to spend more time exploring creative and artistic pursuits, as well as enjoying the outdoors. Her creativity comes through even as she says her goodbyes, emphatically telling her coworkers, "As I reflect upon the past 16 years, tsunamis of nostalgia crash upon the shorelines of my psyche."
Travis' creativity served her very well in her library career. Assistant district director LaDonna Gunn recalls, "I remember one time when weeding adult fiction that we were amazed at some of the really good books that we were going to discard. We thought it was a shame, so Markee created an 'Endangered Species' display for anything that was in jeopardy of being discarded. It worked. All we needed to do was bring those items to the attention of our patrons and those items started circulating."
"Markee is a master at selling anything 'library'," says Gunn. "If a patron came in commenting about how much they disliked mysteries, Markee would have them walking out the door five minutes later with a mystery in their hand. And, when they returned the book two weeks later, they were hooked on mysteries."
Travis' love for libraries and library patrons is clear. "In my 16 years with Delta County Libraries, I have enjoyed being able to serve the public and share my resources," she says. "Though I have given much, I have received far more in return. It has been an honor to work in the library world."
Travis' position will be taken over by Paonia Library staff member Josh McIntire, who jokingly says he would like to be considered the "tech guy" as he moves through the libraries. Hart is enthusiastic about McIntire filling the role, explaining, "I believe Josh has the right blend of skills that make a person successful in this job. It is hard to see someone as wonderful as Markee leave us, but it sure helps to know that we already have a really good person in place."
Library staff hopes that Travis will not get swept away by those waves of nostalgia, but if she does, she can always call the libraries and ask to be put on hold to listen to the catchy hold music that she personally selected.