Change can be a scary thing. However, it can often bring about positive results. Take it from me, a guy raised in the Midwest who had never been west of Kearney, Nebraska. That all changed when I accepted a job with the Eagle Valley Library District. Having been out here for three and a half months, I can definitely say I made the right choice!
Before moving to Eagle in July, I had never been to Colorado, let alone in the mountains. Born in Minnesota, my family moved to Omaha, Nebraska when I was about six years old. Soon after, we left the big city and moved to a small town called Plattsmouth. After graduating from high school, I began my college career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Big Red!) Four years later, I graduated with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in History and Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Having initially begun my college education in the Meteorology program, I realized halfway through my first year that this wasn’t what I wanted to do. A quick meeting with the academic advisor for the History Department convinced me that what I really wanted to do was pursue a degree in history and use this as a springboard into a Master’s program in Library Sciences. While completing my degree, I worked for the Nebraska State Historical Society, which reinforced me desire to pursue a degree in this field.
From Nebraska, I moved up to Madison, Wisconsin, where I started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the School of Library and Information Studies. A passion for history and preserving it led me to focus on the archives track while in the program. I gained practical experience in this field by working at the Wisconsin Historical Society, and interning at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. This past May, I received my Master’s Degree from UW-Madison. Thus began the process of applying for jobs.
Enter the Eagle Valley Library District, which was in need of a new Local History Librarian. Two interviews later, I was offered the job, which I gladly accepted. Next came that task of finding an affordable place to live, which I quickly found out can be a difficult thing to do in this area. I began to wonder if I would find anything, a question I have been asked by almost everyone I have been introduced too out here. Thankfully, a place opened up about five days before I made to move to Eagle! I started at the library on July 16 and have enjoyed every second of working here. From learning the history of Eagle County to making connections with long-time locals, one thing is for sure, there is never a dull moment in Eagle County!
In September, I had the pleasure of going on a History Hike to the McCoy Fossil Beds and the Brooks Water Wheel. This hike was organized by the Walking Mountains Science Center and the Eagle County Historical Society. The hike was an enjoyable experience for me as it gave me the chance to learn about the history of the county, both-prehistoric and somewhat more recent while being outside in nature. Opportunities like this are part of what makes working in this field so enjoyable. I look forward to many more great experiences that await me on this fascinating journey!