Search begins to find successor to retiring library director

The search is under way for a new director of the Mesa County Libraries following the announcement the woman who’s worked in the position for nearly six years plans to soon retire.

Eve Tallman said she expects to retire in August, shortly after the completion of a new central library in Grand Junction.

“I really love libraries, and I love my work. And yet I’ve got a lot of things I’d like to accomplish that are hard to do with a more-than-full-time job,” Tallman said.

Barry Blanchard, president of the Mesa County Public Library Board of Trustees, said the board has begun searching for a successor.

Meanwhile, Blanchard said he’s grateful for the leadership Tallman has provided. “Mesa County citizens have been the tremendous beneficiaries of having Eve serve as the library director with her great vision, leadership and managerial skill,” he said. “Unquestionably, Eve has been a guiding force in helping raise the bar and deliver exceptional library services to our communities.”

Tallman was hired as director in 2007 after serving as director of the Grand County Library in Moab, Utah. Tallman was involved in the planning, funding and construction of a new library there that in 2007 was selected as the best small library in America in an awards program sponsored by the Library Journal and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

As director of Mesa County Libraries, Tallman has been involved in the relocation of branch libraries in Clifton, Fruita, Orchard Mesa and Palisade to better facilities.

Construction is nearly complete on an expansion and improvement project at the central library that will add 9,000 square feet and renovate the interior of the building. The central library is scheduled to reopen in June.

“The people of Mesa County have sought a new central library for well over a decade, and we’re finally getting it done,” Tallman said.

At the same time, the Mesa County Libraries implemented a plan to improve collections and service while offering better hours, more comfortable facilities and modern technologies. Library use in Mesa County has increased more than 30 percent and more residents hold library cards than ever before.

“Now we look to the future to identify our next director and the challenge of replacing an individual who has been an integral part of our successes over the past several years,” Blanchard said.