'It's home': New manager of OCC Library grew up on WestsideOct. 22, 2017
In becoming the new manager of the Old Colorado City Library, 2418 W. Pikes Peak Ave., Janina Goodwin has returned to her old neighborhood.
The first 16 years of her life were spent on the Colorado Springs Westside, including schooling at the former
In the years since, she's applied herself educationally, ultimately gaining a master's degree in library and informational sciences - all the while watching libraries evolve in the digital age.
With the smart phone, social media and other innovations, “things have changed so much,” she said, pointing to the library's increasing spectrum of online resources on top of the traditional printed materials.
She herself is an example of the modern world, having attained her master's from Emporia State University in Kansas without having to actually go there.
Goodwin gave up a bigger library - she was manager of the downtown Rawlings branch of the Pueblo City-County Library District - to take the Old Colorado City opportunity.
She'd been employed in the Pueblo district since 2011. But the six years before that she'd worked for the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD). Part of that time she was also working on her master's.
The Old Colorado City branch is one of several in the PPLD.
“This is closer to home and to family,” Goodwin said of her new position. “I loved Pueblo, but I'm attached to this community. When I drive to work, I take streets I walked on when I was a kid. It's home.”
Her Westside upbringing, influenced by parents and other family members, helped her learn to value libraries, she recalled. Their free access to information and the role they can play in boosting literacy are features Goodwin particularly appreciates.
A phrase she's picked up is that “libraries are democracy's first responders.' I'm proud to carry that on.”
One service Goodwin thinks library card-holders can especially benefit from is the free availability of various databases that would otherwise require subscription fees. Topics include health, finances, business, jobs, retail product analyses, classes on line, genealogy and even speedy language-learning.
Looking to the future, she said she has no major vision in mind for the Old Colorado City branch. But she also knows that digital innovations are ongoing. “Things are changing so much,” she said. “A month from now we could have a totally new service.”
Goodwin replaces Trish Blakely, a 15-year PPLD employee who had served as interim manager since July 2016 (after Joceylne Sansing left for Wisconsin) and now returns to her former position as branch supervisor. Under a PPLD policy finalized in the last year, Blakely could not become permanent manager because she lacks a master's degree.
Westside Pioneer article