Hi! My name is Marian Baker Gierlach and I have had the privilege of being the Ash Creek School librarian and a Cochise County Library branch manager since 2001. I began working for Ash Creek in 1998 as the Kindergarten aide but was then hired by both the school and the County Library District to run the joint use library. I enjoy my job so much that I intend to continue doing it until I’m ready to retire.
I was born and raised in the northeast and moved to Tucson with my family shortly after I graduated from Friends Academy in Locust Valley, NY in 1968. I then studied at Wheelock College in Brookline, Massachusetts where I focused on early childhood education and the visual arts. I later received an Associate of Fine Arts Degree from Pima Community College and, after being hired for the library position, I attended four consecutive years of the Arizona State Library Summer Library Institute at the University of Arizona.
In my adult life I have had a few different careers including, mother of three wonderful children, 20 years as an artist/designer and craftsperson, 10 years as a founding member of a Tucson based wildlife conservation organization and now, a librarian. I couldn’t be happier with my present career since two of my passions are books and children. I also enjoy hiking, camping, gardening, raising small livestock and spending time with my family.
My husband, Peter and I moved to Sunizona with our daughters Sarah and Katy in 1995 to escape the urban sprawl that was encroaching on our northwest Tucson homestead and so Peter could start a small native plants nursery. Both girls graduated from Ash Creek and Valley Union High School. They are now living and working in Tucson but frequently come “home” to our beautiful valley and mountains to visit.
As part of the school library program, all students come to the library with their class once a week to check out books to read for enjoyment, to fulfill classroom assignments and supplement classroom curriculum. I enjoy working with the teachers to make sure the library program dovetails with whatever they are currently teaching and to ensure that the library schedule meets their and their students’ needs. I also love reading aloud to students to help them develop an enjoyment and appreciation for stories and the printed word. It is so rewarding to witness that time when a child becomes a fluent reader. It is also my great pleasure to match up kids and books while helping them find materials on their reading level and about a subject they are interested in. We have quite a few avid readers among our students and my challenge is to keep them supplied with books they will enjoy so they will become lifelong readers.