Goodbye, Montrose. This is my last column for the Daily Press: as of April 3, I have resigned from the Montrose Library. This is a planned move. It has been my intention for some time to move closer to family on the Front Range. With my husband’s retirement this spring, we have the flexibility now to make the change.

For the past few years I’ve been hearing, ‘You’ve been at the library a long time, haven’t you?’, and, ‘I remember you from when I was a kid!’. I don’t think the underlying message is ‘when are you ever going to leave’, but after twenty-five years, I think the library is ready for a fresh perspective.

I moved to Montrose from rural Wyoming in 1994. Back then the library was still in the old building on South First Street. I came on board as the sole reference librarian, though our staff was still small enough that we all did some of everything. Plans for the new library were underway; it was an exciting time as we envisioned the best possible library for Montrose.

I have grown along with the library. Though I’m leaving as an administrator, I am still at heart a reference librarian. Finding answers to your questions, helping you get the information you need, providing in-depth research on your behalf — this is the work I have loved the best, and the way that I’ve gotten to know many of you.

After weeks of social distancing, I’m already missing my coworkers, patrons, and volunteers, especially the regulars I used to see every day — you know who you are. I miss your friendly faces and our chats in my office or over the reference desk. I’m sorry I won’t be there to welcome you back to the library when we reopen.

I am heartened by the positive changes at the library over the past few years: the mil levy increase; our dedicated, creative staff and volunteers; a supportive Board of Trustees; and the surge of goodwill in the community. Despite this recent challenge, the future certainly looks bright! I am confident that the library is in good health and good hands.

I’ll be in town until mid-May. If we’re still distancing ourselves, I may miss the chance to say goodbye in person. Know that I’m thinking of you and wishing you well! Maybe we’ll wave at each other in the toilet paper aisle.

Tania Hajjar is the former assistant director of the Montrose Library

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