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Offer extended to library director candidate

Nov 19, 2013 - By Kelli Ameling, Staff Writer

As expected, the Fremont County Library Board of Trustees has voted to offer the position of county library system director to its final candidate.

The board met during a special meeting Tuesday in Lander to decide whether to offer the job to Tracy Cook, of Montana.

The trustees entered into a brief executive session with the search committee before coming out to make the motion.

Board member Kevin Tippets, of Riverton, moved to extend the offer to Cook, with vice chairwoman Jackie Meeker, of Lander, seconding the motion.

The motion passed unanimously.

The candidate

Cook went to high school in Cheyenne and attended Laramie County Community College, eventually graduating from the University of Wyoming with an undergraduate degree. She earned a graduate degree from the University of Arizona.

She has family who lives in Worland and made side trips to Lander and Riverton while visiting those relatives.

Cook recently worked as a consultant for the public libraries in Montana but said she wanted to try something new and challenging.

On Monday, Cook visited all three branches of the Fremont County Library System and participated in a meet-and-greet event in Lander. She gave a short presentation on the future of libraries, noting the future has much to do with the community in which a library exists.

In her opinion, Cook said libraries could be technology centers, community centers and/or just a place for people to connect.

"I don't feel comfortable saying one way or the other," Cook said. "It's based on what the community needs."

Cook said she is passionate about community input, and she thinks the director position requires, among other things, being in the community, gathering information and data, and using that information to the library's advantage.

Touching on technology, she said people embrace both the digital and print worlds and said a library should have its foot in both.

She also said technology advances could be beneficial to library systems, if they are used in the right way.

Cook said it is important that the library branches cooperate on all aspects, similar to the cooperation shown by the libraries on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

In other business

During the special meeting, the Fremont County Library Board of Trustees also approved opening the Riverton Branch Library from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 8 for students to study.

"This is a wonderful (resource) we provide to the community," Newton said.

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