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Barnes stepping down as director of library services at Vail Public Library

March 12, 2024, 11:20 am

The Town of Vail recently issued the following press release on Lori Barnes stepping down as the director of library services at the Vail Public Library:

The Town of Vail’s Director of Library Services Lori A. Barnes has announced she is stepping down from her role at the Vail Public Library. She has held the position for just under 17 years.

Lori A. Barnes

From her first day in 2007, she was committed to elevating the reputation of the library and was one of the first to ensure that the word “public” was added to the library’s official name. The adoption of Vail “Public” Library was an intentional statement so customers knew that they were welcome. Barnes not only welcomed everyone to the library, she implemented a robust interlibrary loan program that is widely known throughout the state.  

Increased programming opportunities slowly evolved beginning with the annual Summer Reading Program in 2008. Other achievements included the revitalization of the Friends of Vail Public Library in 2010. As the Friends group grew, they brought a willingness to volunteer and provide for the library. Over the years, the Friends have contributed tens of thousands of dollars which has assisted with projects such as the implementation of RFID and self-check technology in 2010, and a portion of the comprehensive renovation that was completed in 2013. Barnes initiated the annual Champagne Celebration as a “thank you” to donors. In 2023, this celebration was exceptionally special as the event marked the end of a year-long celebration of the library’s 40 years in its current building. More recently, Friends’ dollars have underwritten projects such as the digitization of the historical Vail Trail newspaper and the Storywalk at Bighorn Park. 

Deputy Town Manager Kathleen Halloran says Barnes’ reputation in the community is unparalleled, not only in providing excellent customer service for patrons of the library, but also in the partnerships she created throughout the Eagle Valley. Her focus on regional collaboration continues to be showcased by the One Book One Valley Community Read which she started 13 years ago. 

Halloran thanked Lori for her passion in serving the community through library services and beyond. “Lori has elevated the experience at the Vail Public Library, which serves not only our local community but our visitors as well. She implemented a number of public engagement programs during her tenure such as ‘Evenings of Engagement’ for adults, a partnership with Red Sandstone Elementary school and Bravo! Vail musical performances. Lori’s positive energy will be missed at the Town of Vail.” 

For more information on the Vail Public Library, visit www.vaillibrary.com.  

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