Grief and love are entwined emotions. To grieve you have known love; and to have loved, you will certainly know grief.
On Feb. 6 Wellington Public Library Director Gene Ann Trant lost her battle with lung cancer. She never smoked. Her husband lost his wife. Her two daughters lost their mother. Her four grandchildren lost their MiMa. At the library, we lost a great director and a great friend.
“For the past nine years she was a leader in her community, establishing connections with citizens and town employees, and modeling for the rest of us the central, anchor role of the local public library,” Colorado Library Consortium board chairwoman Mindy White said. “A member of the CLiC Board since 2011, she offered a voice of support and reason in every discussion.”
Gene Ann belonged to many library organizations, served on several boards and developed working relationships and friendships with many of her peers. She established the Wellington Public Library on the Aspencat program that connects our catalog with the catalogs of 35 other libraries.
In a time when some question the importance of having a library, her love of books and people made this library a thriving, integrated part of the community. When you look around this library you’ll see her handiwork in every detail, from the books she chose and cataloged and the employees she hired and trained, to the volunteers she worked with every day. Among her strengths, were her patience, determination and compassion.
If you will pardon me, Gene Ann always reminded me of the Sheriff Taylor character from the “Andy Griffith Show.” She always had time for everyone, knew how to handle every situation and managed to keep a sense of humor. It seems there were many times when we would be scurrying around trying to get something done and Gene Ann would calmly be working away, chatting with patrons and making more headway than the rest of us. For Gene Ann there was always time to hold someone’s new baby. Patrons looked forward to a chat with Gene Ann and many of us relied on her sage advice. We’d come to her with an issue and she would calmly say, “Well, let’s take a look at it.”
I write this not only for Kim, Melissa and myself, but for Alice, Doug, Kate, Staci, Justin, Bob, Deanna, Hildy, Carol and all her patrons and friends. Whether you worked for her, worked with her or was her friend, she brought us together and made us family.
March is “Read Across America Month” so the library will be having many Dr. Seuss events. Drop in anytime on March 6 to make a Hoo Instrument. Storytimes for March are the 12th and the 26th at 11 a.m. and will be featuring a very special Cat in the Hat — Wellington Mayor Travis Vieira!
On March 13 stop in and plant your very own Lorax tree and on March 27 compete in the library’s first paper airplane contest. Contestants will make their own paper airplane. Prizes will be given for longest flight and most original design.