By Zenaida Sengo
The Grand County Library hosted a farewell party on Friday, Jan. 4 for Charlotte Hurley, known as Miss Charlotte to the children who’ve enjoyed her library youth programs for the past 13 years.
Most of the colorful tables and chairs awaiting plates of cake stood just a foot above the ground, indicating the size and stature of her vast mini-fan club, which trickled in and out with their parents to give Miss Charlotte a warm goodbye hug.
“I hope everyone has a chance to have a job they love so much they feel guilty getting paid for it,” Hurley said. Though Miss Charlotte has enjoyed reading stories and conducting creative and educational programs for youth at the Grand County Library since 2005, a new chapter with her family beckons. She is relocating to St. George to be closer to her parents.
She said she looks forward to spending some quality time with her mother, helping her father with science projects and being closer to her own children in California and Salt Lake City. She said she would greatly miss her position at the library and reflected fondly upon her experience. “I found myself here. I love working with children and talking to their families. I love reading and I love helping people find their love of reading.”
Hurley posed with an intricate Charlotte’s Web diorama and the bestselling children’s novel. Her colleague Tom Spruill created the intricate and realistic rendition of the classic book for Hurley in the months leading up to her departure. Spruill said it was a particularly special experience to make the artwork for Hurley, who he said is “such an inspiration.” All the barn animals had their gaze turned up to Charlotte perched in her web, a creature who spun messages to enable the survival of a young pig. In the story, eventually, after egg-laying, Charlotte fades away as the pig secures his survival and her young spiders hatch, most of which bid their goodbyes, too.
Hurley mentioned the touching details Spruill added into the artwork, such as hidden initials of her daughter and son-in-law. “Everything is handmade,” Hurley said. “I hope it survives the trip.”