For nearly 15 years, Cricket Pylman has been a mainstay of the Vail Public Library, hosting story hours, supporting the summer reading program, and finding new ways for the library to serve the needs of the community. But now, Pylman is ushering in the next phase of her life: retirement, which will surely still include volunteering for events and shifts at the library.
Pylman’s role as children’s librarian will be Erin Stege, who previously worked part-time at the library.
“We know that his wonderful energy, love for children and sense of adventure will not only allow him to carry on the legacy of Cricket, but also bring his own special talents to this role,” read the post. Vail Public Library Facebook. announcing Pylman’s retirement and Stege’s new role.
Pylman’s first career was in pre-school education, initially moving to Vail for a job at The Learning Tree in town. A few years later, she started to be a substitute teacher in the library and after the kindergarten closed, the library offered her a job.
“I didn’t go there looking for the job, but we magnetically attracted each other because it was just a good fit for me,” Pylman said. “I love libraries; I used to take my kids to story time when they were little and loved Vail Library so I knew it was a place I would be happy to work at.
For her, the best part of her job was getting to know the families and children, not just those who were local, but those who visited the library and the city, year after year.
“I’m a people person and I love my interactions with kids and their parents and I’ve absolutely loved my time on the desk, just checking on people too, it’s been ‘adult time’ for me ever since I am very child-centered and work primarily with children,” Pylman said. “Just getting to know the families well – tourists and local families – was nice.”
Over the years, Pylman has been responsible for or helped bring a number of important programs to Vail’s library. This included helping bring the summer reading program to Vail, bringing Touch-a-Truck to town, transitioning to virtual storytimes during the pandemic, and even launching the StoryWalk in Bighorn Park.
“In short, Cricket puts a smile on everyone’s face, no matter what their age. She is warm, inclusive and dedicated to the library’s children’s services,” said Jo Norris, Head Librarian for Technical Services at the Public Library of Vail “For me, Cricket’s legacy is a strong set of services for children at the Vail Public Library. Cricket nurtures the library’s little users and their families. She has worked hard to connect with the valley schools and provide library time and library cards to students at Red Sandstone Elementary, Vail Mountain School, and Children’s Garden of Learning.
Specifically, the StoryWalk that was created and installed at Bighorn Park in East Vail in 2020 is what Pylman called his “swan song.”
“It was just a dream of mine, and being Vail, we did it in a very polished, polished way,” Pylman said, adding that it’s not just a wonderful way to be. outside, but that it helps to bring reading to the children. and families in a new and different way.
StoryWalk is a series of 21 frames around the park’s small pond, which guide participants through a page-by-page book every 20 or so steps. The library changes the book every four months or so with different titles for children, with stories in English and Spanish. Currently, and in July, the book on display is “The Gruffalo”, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
It’s these programs — along with all the others the library has to offer — that Pylman wants to spotlight as she bids farewell to her full-time job at the Vail Public Library, not her retirement.
“Let’s not cry, let’s celebrate the library and that it’s thriving and a fun place to find activities – go visit the library,” she said. “The biggest message is that I’m just someone who was lucky enough to work there and get to play with all those kids and their families, but it’s still going on.”
“The library always has something going on — and not just this library but all libraries,” Pylman said.
While the library certainly offers children’s story times and traditional library services, it also offers a number of additional programs intended to help community members of all ages not only read and learn, but also with each other.
This includes things like crafts for kids (including in May an opportunity to create terrariums), virtual book clubs for adults, opportunities for adults to try out various mindfulness and lifestyle activities. healthy living, Girls who Code, a teen advisory board and more.
“I was cleaning up my files and stuff, and I was watching some of the other after-school programs, and we have writing workshops, and we have book clubs — so much has fallen with the pandemic and stuff and I’m really excited for Erin, who can start all over again, because the masks sort of come off, we get through this, or so I hope,” Pylman said.
This summer, the library will see a return to much of the programming that pivoted or took a step back during the pandemic. Her summer calendar of events includes everything from outdoor concerts (Engagement Parties) in her garden, the summer reading program with events across the valley, the return of Drum Safari and even a Foam Party – for which Pylman said she was returning to, retired or not.
And as the library has evolved to meet the needs of the community with certain programs and resources in the past – including during the pandemic – it will continue to do so in the future.
“I see the Vail Library as moving into the future with a commitment to providing equal access to diverse materials, services and events,” Norris said. We continue to grow and adapt to the needs of the user community, including services, programs, access to print and online collections.
To take advantage of all the Vail Public Library has to offer, visit VailLibrary.com. Or visit EVLD.orgto learn more about what the Eagle Valley Library District – which has branches in Avon, Eagle and Gypsum – has to offer.
Journalist Ali Longwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.