Story by Tim Hauserman ·
Lifelong Tahoe local Anne Greenwood has been a devoted mother of two, a substitute teacher, a minister for weddings in the wilderness, an instructional aide, a park employee, and a purveyor of a children’s clothing line, but it was when she took on a part-time job at the Tahoe City Library that she “immediately knew this was the job I had looked for my whole life,” said Greenwood.
Greenwood’s library supervisor quickly discovered she had an aptitude for the business and suggested that she pursue it for a career. She began working on her master’s degree remotely in between traveling to her son, Logan’s, and daughter, Maiya’s, Ultimate Frisbee tournaments and band performances. Once she received the degree, she scored her dream job as the King’s Beach librarian.
Greenwood was born in Truckee, and after graduating from North Tahoe High School got the travel bug, spending six years wandering around the United States, much of it with her long-time friend Denise Pillsbury. Eventually, she ended up at Sonoma State and obtained a bachelor of art in Environmental Education. It was after marrying Doug Greenwood and getting pregnant that she started a clothing line with two other partners called Running Wild, which produced silkscreen shirts depicting endangered species. While the product was good, she said that their marketing skills were not, and the business folded after five years.
Once she returned to the mountains, with two children in tow, she said that she focused on spending time with her kids and enjoying the Tahoe lifestyle. Backpacking is one of her favorite activities, either by herself or with the family. She completed the Tahoe Rim Trail two years ago, and plans to take on the High Sierra Trail and summit Mount Whitney this summer. But also keeping her busy was her new business, Wilderness Weddings. The idea originally came to her when she married Doug on top of Half Dome.
“We couldn’t find anyone to do the ceremony there, so to do it legally we had to go to Sugar Pine Point,” Greenwood said. She then spent 10 years performing nondenominational ceremonies in beautiful, outdoor settings.
Now, she says that she has found her place as the Kings Beach librarian. Greenwood says that she’s had a love of books her whole life, and has been a part of a book club composed of a strong group of Tahoe ladies for more than 25 years. It’s not only her love of books that gives her joy at the library, she says, it’s also because she feels that “the community is so great in Kings Beach, the people really take care of each other. It is fun to connect people with the resources they want and need.”
The library has become a hub in Kings Beach, a place where she can help people fill out job applications or keep in touch with their families in other parts of the world. Greenwood says that she believes strongly in outreach to the community whether it is through regular computer classes to help people understand Facebook, or helping people learn how to read or speak English.
“We are really striving to stay abreast of current trends. There is an iPhone support group and a once a month drop in class for computer questions,” she said.
And, the library received a grant to develop the Tahoe collection of books and resources.
“My goal is to have everything about Tahoe in there,” Greenwood says.
She is quick to laud the contributions of the Friends of the Library, who “use their muscles, minds, hearts and community connections” to support the library. They provide materials and organize events like book signings, book sales and are a part of the SnowFest Parade.
Friends of the Library president Heidi Bushway Verkler is happy to return the adulation, “Anne Greenwood is a true asset to our diverse little community library. She is welcoming to all … the kids who come in for story time, the tourists looking for a resource about Tahoe, the locals who make their weekly pilgrimage to the library, and the seasonal workers looking for a computer and printer.”
It is often thought that it is important to find our true calling after college or at least while we are still in our 20s, but Greenwood’s story is a reminder that we might find our life’s passion and purpose at any age, we just need to be ready to embrace it when it comes.
For more information on the Kings Beach library, call (530) 546-2021.