After more than five years as director of the Cortez Public Library, Eric Ikenouye is heading to Oregon, where he will continue his library work.
Last week was his last in Cortez. He is moving on to serve as director of the Albany Public Library in Oregon.
“Honestly, I’ve loved being the library director in Cortez,” Ikenouye said at a City Council work session Jan. 14. “It’s been an honor to serve this community.”
Ikenouye came on to the post in June 2014. Prior to arriving in Cortez, he worked as a librarian in Utah, at the Westminster College library, Salt Lake City Public Library, and at the Western Governors University library.
“Eric’s move is a wonderful opportunity for him and his family, but Oregon’s gain is most definitely our loss,” Cortez Mayor Karen Sheek told The Journal.
She pointed to many projects he has supported and initiated, including expanding the library’s community programming, implementing regular entertainment programming, bringing in a variety of local authors, gathering community input on a prospective library expansion, and helping to develop a five-year capital-improvement plan for the library.
Ikenouye was also heavily involved in local public arts programs, serving as staff liaison for the Cortez Community Public Arts Committee.
“He has overseen a number of great public arts programs, including the Gallery Windows program on Main Street and the development of a map illustrating the city’s public murals, with locations and a brief description of each,” Sheek said. “He has supported our outstanding library staff and has set the bar very high for the next director.”
Cortez City Manager John Dougherty said the city will advertise for a new library director until a qualified candidate has been found. Currently, Alissa Baxstrom is serving as the interim director until a permanent replacement joins the staff.