My first library memory is of Liz Stark reading aloud to my class in the library at West Elementary. Her voice was warm, and honey-coated, and I enjoyed listening to her very much. As a special treat, we could sit in the loft while we listened which was one of the most relaxing treats you could imagine! By the time I got to Lincoln Elementary, my librarian was my Aunt Pauline Elwick and everyone loved her. I felt proud to be related to such a warm and wonderful person. My high school librarian was Nancy Geiken; she and I remain close to this day as we both love singing harmony and have a shared love of farm-fresh honey and blueberries. Virginia Holsten was my librarian at the Vinton Public Library and could always make me laugh. I remember her giving me a hard time in high school for picking a John Steinbeck novel to take on vacation 😊
With all of these warm library memories, never was there a time in my life when libraries meant more to me than when I became a mother. I brought my children to the library weekly for Storytime with Sharon Rhinehart, and each trip was a time of joy for us all. I met up with friends for some social time while our kids listened and played, and they made friendships that last to this day. Once we left the library with our stack of books, we would go home and pile onto the couch and spend hours looking through them together. Reading with my kids was a lovely part of our daily routine, and I cherished every minute. Now that they're teenagers, my children still enjoy reading and I know that our visits to the library are partly to thank for that!
When our youngest son was in preschool there was an opening at the Vinton Public Library for a part-time Children's Librarian. I applied but was not offered the position. Amy Noe was hired, and she did a wonderful job; she and my son would play a game where she would pretend she couldn't see him and it always made him smile 😊 During that time Virginia asked if I had ever considered being a Library Director. I said no, it had never crossed my mind, but that question planted a seed. Working in a library! What a thought! I loved being there, I love books! Life took me in a different direction, however, and I took a job elsewhere.
When Virginia announced her retirement, I considered applying for the position but did not. I was happy with my job! When Virginia's replacement announced she was leaving, I considered applying but did not. I was happy with my job! Are you sensing a trend? In the Summer of 2022 when I learned the position of Library Director was once again available, I decided to apply, and it was the best decision I could have made. Thank you to everyone who has supported and encouraged me in my role here as Library Director and thank you to the incredible librarians who have given me such wonderful library memories. It gives me immense joy and satisfaction to work for the Vinton Public Library. I hope you've enjoyed my library story; I'd love to hear yours!