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Ward finds her library niche in PPLD’s mobile operation

Thu, Jan 2, 2014

One on One

IMG_0391Lisa Ward has lived all over the country and changed her career path a time or two, but says she has found both a city and a job that she truly enjoys. After graduating college with a degree in graphic design, Ward worked in a veterinary clinic for a couple of years before going to work for different libraries around the state. Now the 35-year-old Wyoming native serves as a mobile library specialist for the Pikes Peak Library District, focusing on serving senior assisted-living facilities throughout the region. Ward parked the PPLD mobile van last week to tell the Business Journal about her job as well as her involvement in the Colorado Springs community.

Can you tell me about your experience working for PPLD?

I’ve been with the library for six years. I’ve done a couple of different jobs, but the most recent is working with the lobby stop van in the mobile library department. We serve the senior assisted living facilities here in Colorado Springs. We got a grant through the Colorado Trust for the Healthy Aging Initiative, so we’re able to go out and take everything into the facilities so that the residents don’t have to get out. It’s a two-part service: One is the regular book checkout and the other is an interactive program to help them reminisce and bring back memories.

Can you talk about how your career path has changed?

Most of the jobs that I have done have been in customer service in one way or another. I’ve been able to carry that with me to this job, which is about 90 percent customer service. And as far as graphic design, which my degree is in, I’m able to design some calendars and some pamphlets and other things for my job.

How did you end up in Colorado Springs?

I was born in Cheyenne, Wyo., and moved several places with my dad, who worked for a large corporation. We lived in Atlanta, Tampa, Detroit, Jacksonville, and then I started traveling on my own and eventually came to the beautiful place called Colorado Springs.

What has kept you here in the Springs?

I love hiking and the mountains, and that the sun shines most days of the year. I have a really good job and enjoy serving the assisted living residents. I’ve met great people and have had a great time being a part of organizations like Leadership Pikes Peak. That was one of the major things that motivated me to stay — to see all the young people that are trying to make a difference and doing exciting things in the community.

How are you involved in the local young professionals community?

I graduated from Leadership Pikes Peak in the Leadership Now program in 2010 and what I learned was that a small group of people can do amazing things. That really stuck with me: There is a small group of people in this town that maybe don’t have that much power, that don’t have that much money, but they still can make such a big difference.

Do you think that this is a good environment for young professionals?

I do think that this is a good environment for young professionals, and I’ve seen that people are starting to decide to stay here rather than to go other places.

How do you see your career path evolving?

I would love to go back to school and get my graduate degree. I’d also like to use the leadership skills I have learned over the past few years to serve on more nonprofits.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to hike, camp, stay in cabins — all of that mountain stuff. I like to spend time with my dog and to hang out with friends. I also volunteer with nonprofits like Girls on the Run and serve on some boards, including Leadership Pikes Peak. 

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