Starting any new job is exciting and challenging, but Elise Forte, the new Palisade Branch Library manager, sounds happy to be on the job.

“April 7th was my first, 1st day. I did work on Friday (April 3) with Karen (Maheux) here to advise me. But Tuesday I was on my own,” she said with a smile evident in the tone of her voice in a phone interview.

She was appreciative of all patrons who greeted her, whether they were the regulars for the scheduled activities on the busiest day of the week, or whether they were just dropping by for a book, movie or computer time.

“It was a little crazy here, because we have a lot of things going on Tuesdays after (the branch library) being closed on Sunday and Monday,” she admitted. She met the Ladies Knitting Club at 10 a.m. and then introduced herself at 10:30 to the Story Hour kids and parents.

“Everyone who came in welcomed me and made me feel accepted,” Forte said. She knew a few faces from when she subbed for former Palisade librarian Maheux a few times in the past.

The first week seems to be a smooth transition of leadership for the Palisade Library.  This 29-year-old native of Grand Junction and mother of one is busy getting to know the community before she makes any suggestions to change activities or changes to the facility.

“I’m excited about the possibilities, but no plans,” yet she explained. “I want to see what the community would want. Right now I am in a learning curve and filling Karen’s shoes.  I want to know what the local patrons want at the library.”

Elise Forte is a 2003 graduate of Grand Junction High and received her bachelor’s degree in English literature at Mesa State College and a Master’s in Library Science at Emporia State University in Kansas before she was hired at Mesa County Public Libraries two years ago.

In her third year, the Palisade job opening was posted, so she applied. Now she is ready to move her six-year-old daughter Evelyn into our community and settle down to stay.

Elise is finding her forte in managing the books, films, computers, and activities while retired manager Karen Maheux is, “Enjoying life,” according to the new librarian, Maheux has plans to pop by the library some time to check out a book or say hello to friends and patrons.