Off the ShelfLeaving with the best memories

As I finish my final weeks at New Ulm Public Library, I have been reflecting on nine years in this community and can’t believe how fast the time has passed. It seems just yesterday that Richmond and Connie Scharf hosted a welcome gathering for me with the Library Board, Library and City staff helped me settle in, and I was introducing myself to our regular patrons.

Fast forward to 2018. I’ve become the person welcoming new people to New Ulm, and I help new staff settle in. What hasn’t changed is that I continue to meet patrons who quickly become regulars. That’s one of the things I love most about the public library: It is a place where people meet, have fun, learn and develop relationships.

I’m leaving the library with several projects ongoing, and Assistant Director April Ide, Reference Librarian Leasa Sieve, Youth Services Librarian Jan Keaveny and Acquisitions Librarian Betty Roiger will guide the library through this transition.

Expect the Wanda Gag sculpture area and the planter to the north of the sculpture to be landscaped this summer. A Library Board committee is meeting to make a recommendation on a design this week, and the Wanda Gag Monument Committee, Inc. received a New Ulm Area Foundation grant to fund the project. This is the final touch on a jewel of the community.

The flooring project began this year with replacement of several worn areas throughout the library. I expect this to continue for two to four more years with library reserves used to fund the updates.

The Children’s Room Committee met for the first time last week. The group will continue to meet over the summer under Jan’s guidance with the goal of presenting a vision for the space to the new director.

The library is completing its contract with the vendor that has been providing the public computer stations for the past nine years, and we are considering switching to a Google solution that is more cost effective and retains the functionality. Library staff and the City’s IT manager sat in on a demo of the new system and provided positive feedback. This change would occur in late 2018 and would be spearheaded by staff at Traverse des Sioux Library Cooperative, our regional library system.

The Memory Lab will be installed in late summer under the guidance of April and Leasa, and I have no doubt it will be a popular service.

Your support of the library’s growth has been invaluable. Thank you for your investment in this public space, and thank you for letting me be part of it. I’m excited for all that is to come here at New Ulm Public Library.