Rachel Crocker

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Albany County Public Library

What personal accomplishment are you most proud of?

As an undergrad at the University of Wyoming, I really had no idea where my International Studies degree would take me. I certainly never imagined it would take me on an adventure that included working with libraries and librarians on four continents, and then happily back to Laramie. In the midst of that, I might be most proud of simply embracing a winding path — meeting new people with wildly different backgrounds, engaging with new perspectives, and collecting new skills along the way.

What is your primary personal development goal/business goal for the next 5 years?

In the next five years I really want to continue working on being a better manager and leader. Libraries in general have experienced a lot of institutional change in the last decade and these changes only promise to continue. I want to continue to develop the skills needed to help people navigate and thrive in these types of changing contexts. Much of my current work is operational. Leading in this area means making sure that everything happening behind the scenes of the library is setup to ensure our staff have the resources and tools they need to offer exceptional services to the Albany County community.

What is your biggest philanthropic achievement?

All of my professional career has been in education and non-profit work. Non-profit work is always a team sport, and my greatest achievements have come from getting to plant seeds with people and then watching them grow and thrive. Years later, I still get to see librarians post about awards and accolades they have received for projects that were generated out of training workshops I led. The achievements are theirs, but it is a joy to empower and encourage people to take their good ideas and turn them into reality.

What action or event that you’ve been a part of do you believe has made the biggest difference in Laramie? Or, which action or event are you most proud of?

I’ve only been back in Laramie for a year, but I am immensely proud to show up to work everyday at the Albany County Public Library. The ACPL staff inspire me on a regular basis with their deep care for and commitment to serving all segments of the Albany County Community. In any work environment there can be a lot of hurdles that can get in the way of staff doing their best work. In my year at ACPL, I have worked to remove some of these hurdles so the staff can focus on providing the best possible service to our community.

What excites you most about the future of Laramie?

Laramie is a community that has embraced change. It is exciting to see Laramie’s commitment to economic development, growing a technology sector, and developing a rich and thriving arts community. I’m also impressed by Laramie’s commitment to the non-profit work within the community. I’m excited to see how these areas continue to intersect and how we collectively ensure that the changes and growth in Laramie benefit everyone in the community.

What do you think has helped make you successful in your endeavors?

Doing things afraid. Mustering the courage to head down an unknowable path has led me to some pretty incredible opportunities, and taking on a project that seemed way outside my experience has allowed me to prove my skills to others (and myself!) I’ve also had to let go of my perfectionism and my love for a perfectly formed plan. A well made plan absolutely has its place, but I’ve had to learn how to “move fast and break things.” My most successful endeavors have usually depended upon being able to jump into the deep end of a project, identify quickly what isn’t working, and make small changes along the way.

What advice would you give to other young professionals in Laramie?

Seek out difference — different people, different experiences, different perspectives. Working alongside people who approach and even understand a problem in a fundamentally different way allows you to develop a more nuanced set of problem solving skills.

20 Under 40Jacob Chavez2018