This morning we left our beloved Kansas and entered Colorado. John and I grew up in Kansas but spent 10 years living in Boulder, finishing up our undergraduate degrees and starting a family. We absolutely loved living in Colorado. Out of all the places we traveled, Rocky Mountain National Park is just about our favorite place.
Temperatures started out cool but we knew it was supposed to end up over 100 degrees so we headed out at 6 am. Made it to Eads around 12:30 and headed to Kiowa County Public Library, housed in the basement of the Kiowa County Courthouse. As we entered the building, we met Vickie, Library Technician. She was so kind in her greeting and enthusiastic about the library. A very welcoming space with some cool resources available for check-out: a telescope; Colorado State Parks pass and backpack (that's right-- you can check out a pass to enter any Colorado State Park); and cake pans. They also had some great titles in the ongoing book sale. Books that don't sell after a year are packed up and sent the No Store in Denver. The No Store sells the books and allocates the $$ back into Colorado public libraries.
Today the Library Director, Kemma Alfano, was attending a philanthropy workshop. Vickie told us that Kemma's goal is to find a different space for the Library, preferably downtown. The library's current location is very limited in space with no offices for library staff. Their hours of operation are limited to the hours that the courthouse is open, so no evening and weekend hours. Kemma, we're sorry to have missed our chance to meet you. You have a great vision for what an expanded library could mean for Eads and Kiowa County.
And we want to make special mention of the library's outstanding service to cyclists passing through town on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. Vickie says many bicycle tourists come to the library and when the weather gets bad, they offer refuge to them in their basement library (no better place to be in a Colorado storm). And Kemma put together an amazing tourist guide to Eads with all kinds of helpful information for cyclists: where to eat, shower, and camp; ice cream (very important!!) grocery store, swimming pool, and local museum locations and hours. This was the first guide of its kind we have found during our trip and we think it is amazing. Going to recommend to other libraries along the TransAm.
Thanks to Vickie for sharing her time and enthusiasm. It was a great visit and good luck Kemma in finding funding. Eads and Kiowa County would really benefit from a new library building with expanded space and hours.