HAILEY — LeAnn Gelskey, Hailey Public Library director, has been named Idaho’s 2019 Librarian of the Year by the Idaho Library Association. Her efforts were recognized at a local level during the Hailey Public Library’s Centennial Bash where the library board and staff, elected officials of Hailey and the community celebrated the library’s 100-year anniversary.
Gelskey has worked for the Hailey Public Library since 2001 when she joined as a part-time employee. She was soon promoted to a youth programs librarian position, then to co-director with Nancy Gurney and finally to library director in May 2010. Gelskey is accredited through the American Library Association/Allied Professional Association. She was the first in the state of Idaho to receive this certification. Gelskey has also guided several of her employees toward higher education.
One of Gelskey’s most significant contributions was the Phoenix project when the Hailey Public Library was given a modern function and appearance within the space of the historical Fox/Brown building. She also assisted with digitizing the Mallory collection for the library several years ago.
Gelskey works with a board, the Friends of the Hailey Public Library and most of the non-profits in the community.
She implemented the Little Free Library book-houses around town, has distributed books through the Hunger Coalition’s summer lunch program and to prisoners in the local county jail. Gelskey launched the Souper Supper program, leading city staff and volunteers in the task of serving dinner once a month.
“LeAnn has brought to the Hailey Library such amazing energy,” Geegee Lowe, who worked with Gelskey as library staff and interfaces with her through the Friends of the Hailey Public Library, said in a statement. “She has created an incredible community gathering place as well as a progressive library for all ages. And it’s still a great place for a good read. I so appreciate LeAnn’s perseverance to make the Hailey Library an outstanding treasure for our town.”
The Idaho Library Association will formally present the award to Gelskey during its annual conference in October.