Meet the new youth services librarian

Hello, my name is Kathryn Tatnall. I am the new Youth Services Librarian at the New Ulm Public Library as of Feb. 1. I thought I would take the opportunity to introduce myself in this first article and we can get to books, literacy, and the love of reading in the coming months.

I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. I graduated from Kent State University with a degree in Education. I married right after graduation and worked for a year and a half as a pre-school teacher before having the first of four children. I could not bring myself to go back to work after my first child was born, so I began my journey as a stay-at-home mom. I loved being home with my kids. One of the things we did on a weekly basis was to visit to the public library. My family was well known there. My son chewed so many board books, I believed they should have named a shelf after him for all the money I gave them each week to pay for them. One afternoon, while driving home my oldest daughter remarked that when she grew up she wanted to be a librarian, or a teacher, or own a hotel where you could eat your meals with tigers. We did have a long discussion about liability with that last one. I told her that when I grew up I wanted to be a librarian. She quickly remarked that I was already old, pretty old, you know. So, I amended that to say, when “she” grew up I wanted to be a librarian. That is pretty much what happened. When she was sixteen years old I needed to go back to work and found a position in the children’s area of a large suburban/ urban library. In my 14 years there I did almost every job that could be assigned. I loved most of it and appreciated the experience of all of it.

I started work on my Masters of Library and Information Science in the fall of 2018, which coincidentally lead me to my position here in New Ulm. One of our assignments was a job site analysis. One of the websites featured jobs from each state and since my son, who lives near the Twin Cities, had been bugging me to move here I decided to investigate jobs in Minnesota. I would say that the rest is history, but it really is just the start of the story.

Moving into a new city the day of a snow storm was not the arrival I had imagined. My second daughter and I drove into New Ulm on Sunday, Jan. 28. If you’ll remember we had a snow storm that evening. The following few days were enough to send some less hardy souls packing. You’ll perhaps remember the rest of that week was the arrival of the Polar Vortex. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong. We got more snow, the basement flooded, my car got stuck in the garage, we got more snow, my furniture failed to arrive, we got more snow… but I’m still here. I am still charmed by this lovely place and welcoming people. Everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful. Whenever there was trouble, someone was there to help. From the plumbers who came out right away in 30 below temperatures, to the residents of my block, who pushed, shoveled, and plowed me out when I got stuck in the middle of the street on February 20th.

I am so excited to be here in New Ulm. I love seeing and hearing all the children and their families using the library every day. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.