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Sue Wofford, Secret Weapon

A Familiar Face For 27 Years

By Tara Bannon Williamson

Park Hill Branch Librarian

Sue Wofford and Malcolm discuss being two years old. Photo by Amy Rickert Hyde

Twenty-seven years ago in March of 1991, Sue Wofford began working at the Park Hill branch library. (And, no, she has no current plans to retire, so don’t ask.)

Her first position at the library was as a shelver, though she was promoted to circulation clerk before long.

Wofford and her family actually moved to the Park Hill neighborhood 14 years before that, and immediately began to visit the library regularly. Her home, a few blocks from the library, is the only home they have ever owned. Her two sons grew up in the neighborhood. They celebrated 43 years of marriage with her husband Hal, who passed away last year after living with brain cancer for several years.

She remembers when the Park Hill branch library was the home to a toy library, established on March 29, 1979. The toy and game library founders were Linda Canaday, Linda Metcalf and Gina Abegg. Wofford made many friends through the library when she started to attend storytimes led by Mr. Lee Martin when her sons were small.

Looking back, it is no surprise Wofford wound up working at the library. Growing up in Connecticut, she always spent time at the little town library where her mom volunteered. She rode her bike to the library every day when she was in middle school and stamped cards with due dates, volunteering just like her mom.

During her 27-year work tenure in Park Hill, she has seen the library change and broaden its role in the community, its staff being engaged in listening, and hiring social workers. She is especially proud of the many museum and Denver Center for the Performing Arts tickets that can be checked out for free through the library’s website.

“There’s a lot of great stuff to do in this city, and it doesn’t all take money,” she says.

Wofford says she feels blessed to be serving her community. She loves seeing people from the neighborhood and connecting them with books, movies and music. She is the genius behind our “Did You Miss This?” display that is always stocked with great items.

Wofford is a proud grandmother of two grandsons. When they were younger, they attended the Early Excellence Preschool and she volunteered to do storytimes. Still dedicated to the diverse student body, Wofford continues to read there though her grandsons are now in elementary school elsewhere.

Wofford has also been a dedicated member of her book club for 32 years. Most of the members of the book club live in Park Hill, or did at one time. Each fall, this group of intrepid readers makes a pilgrimage to the Literary Sojourn in Steamboat Springs.

Wofford was the first one to email me to welcome me to my new position when I started at the Park Hill branch library. She is my secret weapon because she is always introducing me to people in the neighborhood and bringing me amazing ideas and leads for our programs. She also told me about the Park Hill food bank when I started and suggested the brilliant idea of having a food donation bin at the library, which is now nearly always full.

It’s happened so many times, I’ve lost track. Someone will walk into the library and do a double take when they see her sitting behind the desk. “You worked here when I was a kid….” they’ll say, as they trail off, wondering if they’ve time-traveled while a wave of childhood memories wash over them. She’ll smile and laugh, and self-consciously smooth her beautiful silver hair. “Welcome back,” Wofford says, “it’s good to see you!”

She loves her family, her library and her community. Her years of dedication continue to benefit all of us in Denver.

Pauline Robinson Branch Events

Tech Help Appointments | Mondays and Tuesdays, noon – 1 p.m.

Get technology assistance from one of our in-house experts on your own device or a public computer. Learn the basics, such as email, social networking, word processing and eMedia. Call the library at 720-865-0290 to schedule an appointment for Monday or Tuesday.

Preschool Storytime | Wednesdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for 3-5 year olds and their parents or caregivers.

Did You Know? Making the Most of your Library Card | Thursday, May 10, 2 p.m.

There are so many things you can access and do at the library. Find out what you don’t know about the library and all the perks the come with your library card.

The Pauline Robinson Book Club | Saturday, May 26, 12 p.m.

This month’s selection: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mibue. Drop-ins are welcome.

Park Hill Branch Events

All Ages Storytime | Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their parents or caregivers. Craft activity immediately follows the program.

Baby Storytime | Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their caregivers. Play and social time immediately follow the program.

Toddler Storytime | Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers.

Choir for the Tone Deaf | Tuesdays, May 1 & 8, 4 p.m.

Learn the basics on how to sing by understanding your instrument better, breathing and how to reconnect with the joy of singing. Open to all vocally challenged individuals who long to overcome inhibitions or shame in order to warble in public.

Community Center Stage: The Greater Park Hill News | Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 p.m.

The Greater Park Hill News is an award winning, monthly publication that has been in continuous production since 1961. Hobnob with the editor and writers, learn about the history of the paper, and enjoy refreshments and activities suitable for all ages in a celebratory atmosphere.

No Strings Attached Book Chat | Saturday, May 5, 11 a.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

Revenge of the Fifth: Origins of the Force | Saturday, May 5, 2:30 p.m.

Before Star Wars was a cultural phenomenon, it was just a dream in the mind of George Lucas. Drawing from such diverse sources as samurai sagas, Westerns and sci-fi serials, the legendary auteur fashioned a modern-day myth that changed Hollywood forever. Presented by former Denver Film Society Programmer Ernie Quiroz, this presentation will explore the films that influenced Star Wars, itself among the most influential film of the last 40 years.

Magic Club | Monday, May 14, 4:30 p.m.

Do you already play Magic: the Gathering, or are you interested in learning? Stop by two afternoons a month to play and meet other teens. Ideal for ages 10-17. *No meeting Monday, May 28—library closed.

Teen Advisory Board (TAB)  | Tuesdays, May 8 & 22, 6 p.m.

Join the Park Hill TAB. Help plan events and projects, talk about your favorite books, music, movies and make your opinion count. Plus snacks. Ideal for ages 13-18.

Ramble Colorado: The Wanderer’s Guide to the Offbeat, Overlooked, and Outrageous with Author Eric Peterson  Wednesday, May 9, 6:30 p.m.

Author Eric Peterson takes a long and hard look at his home state of Colorado in search of inner peace, hidden treasure, and his stomach’s top capacity for beer. Oh, and he finally learns to ski. Books available for sale and signing.

Tween Book Club | Thursday, May 10, 4:30 p.m.

Book: Framed by Gordon Korman

Activity: design a picture frame

Mother’s Day Gift Making | Friday, May 11, 4 p.m.

Shhh… it’s a secret! Make a gift and card for someone special in your life. Ask for details. Ideal for ages 3-10 accompanied by an adult.

Kids’ Book Club | Tuesday, May 15, 3:30 p.m.

Book: Dog Diaries: Buddy by Kate Klimo

Special guest speakers from the Northglenn Puppy Club to discuss guide dogs! Ideal for grades 2-3, but any child interested in guide dogs is welcome! (Adults may attend with their child.)

with Author Robert W. Smith | Tuesday, May 15, 6:30 p.m.

The Parkinson’s Playbook is a complete resource for Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers, providing them with the knowledge needed to proactively defend themselves against the progression of Parkinson’s disease with energy, vitality, and confidence. Author and Parkinson’s patient Robert Smith will deliver an enlightening and engaging guide to help tackle Parkinson’s head on.

Drag Queen Story Time | Wednesday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.

Join local drag sensation Shirley Delta Blow for a night of literary lunacy. Part story time, part drag show and part history lesson, Shirley will read her favorite books to help you bring out your inner diva. It’s all good clean fun. Shirley is just a big city girl with small town dreams. She hosts Drag Decades at the Clocktower Cabaret and Bingo! at the Alamo Drafthouse Sloans Lake.

“Ragtime” Jack Radcliffe | Thursday, May 17, 6:30 p.m.

“Ragtime” Jack Radcliffe has been performing for more than 40 years and was inducted into the Old-Time Music Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Bring a camp chair or a blanket and enjoy Jack’s unique performance with uplifting wit and historical anecdotes on the lawn.

Be Present: Learn How to Meditate | Fridays, May 18 & 25, 4 p.m.

Meditation reduces tension, increases focus, boosts immunity, and creates an overall increased sense of wellbeing.  Anne Walker is an experienced practitioner of Shamatha meditation. As a certified meditation instructor, she will walk you through this simple technique that teaches you mindfulness of body, breath, and mind.

How to Spot Fake News | Tuesday, May 22, 4 p.m.

Are you puzzled about telling real news from fake news? Join savvy researchers Robin Filipczak and Ross Mays and learn the tricks and tools reference librarians use to evaluate the credibility of news stories.

The Colfax Museum | Wednesday, May 23, 16:30 p.m.

Revel in the tall tales, legends, myths, and history behind the nation’s longest, wickedest street, and the namesake of this colorful avenue, Schuyler Colfax. Jonny Barber, who recently opened Colfax Museum, will share his 14 years of research and collected photographs.

Ukuleles: Easy to Play, Easy to Love | Wednesday, May 26, 6:30 p.m.

Learn to read standard sheet music and ukulele tablature to play melodically and harmonize using chords and lyrics in this adult-level class. Get tips for buying, tuning and maintaining your ukulele. Loaner ukuleles are available. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

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