A former employee has found her way back to the Delta County Libraries, and her return will be evident in all five libraries over the next few months.
LaDonna Gunn started working for Delta County Libraries in 2007. She began as the Cedaredge Library teen librarian, then moved to the Hotchkiss administrative offices in 2009 to work on grants and public relations. Gunn relocated with her husband to Elko, Nev., in 2012, where she continued to develop grants for Delta County Libraries for almost another year before she became the youth services librarian for the Elko-Lander-Eureka County Library System in northeastern Nevada and worked at the Elko County Library.
Now, Delta County Libraries is fortunate to have hired Gunn back as a regional manager. At least at first, she will be working with staff in all five libraries, filling in management gaps throughout the district.
"I am excited to have LaDonna back," says interim district director Lea Hart. "Her skills and experience will be of great benefit to the district. Initially, we are planning to utilize her as a connection for all of our libraries, improving communication with staff and the community and adding consistency to our services across the county."
In the basement of the Hotchkiss Library, Gunn is a whirlwind of organization, sorting papers, moving furniture and setting up a work area to suit her needs. At one point, she opens a desk drawer, pulls out a file folder tab and exclaims, "Hey, this has my handwriting on it." In reality, a whole lot more than Gunn's handwriting has lasted at the libraries during her time away. Grant funding, program organization and marketing procedures are just some of the past improvements she made that have successfully carried the libraries through the last few years.
Gunn's grant writing led to the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding of numerous library computers and other equipment near the end of 2010. Much of this technology is still in use. Gunn elaborates on some of her other projects that have had a lasting effect, explaining, "We received a couple of LSTA [Library Services and Technology Act] grants. The first brought in several online databases: Grolier, Mango, and Optimal Resume. The second partnered with PACE to provide seniors with access to current technologies. We also received the Workforce Virtual Centers, and, finally, the three state historical fund grants for the rehabilitation and preservation of the Delta Public Library Carnegie building."
Gunn's enthusiasm for getting back out in this community is apparent as she says, "I love that this position brings me in touch with people, both staff and community members. Since I believe that libraries are such an integral part of our communities, I really enjoy being part of an organization that connects people with each other and information and empowers them to realize their dreams."
Although Gunn is organizing a desk in the Hotchkiss Library, her chair will sit empty many days as she travels around the District. Community members who worked with her in the past will recognize her as she moves in and out of the libraries, and Gunn will be happy to greet both familiar and new patrons throughout the county in the months to come.