Letter to the Editor: Libraries build communities

To the Editor:

When I became library director at Robey Memorial in 2014, I remember feeling a lot of things - mostly anxiety. I had been living in Waukon for two years but working at Meehan Memorial Library in Lansing, a much smaller town with a much smaller library. Not being a northeast Iowa native, I worried about whether I would fit in with the community. I worried about whether I would get along with the staff, the board, and the patrons. Basically, I worried about everything.

But it wasn’t all anxiety. The other feeling I had, the stronger feeling, was one of excitement. Robey was just completing an amazing renovation, and it felt like a privilege to be invited to take the wheel at such an important turning point for the library. I felt honored that the board of trustees was giving me a chance to lead.

Five years later, I still find myself both anxious and excited every day. Anxious about meeting and exceeding the community’s expectations for their library, and excited about bringing in new programming and outreach opportunities. Through it all, I have been privileged to work with a talented, professional, creative group of librarians. Chris Kerndt, Ellen Krousie and Ellen Thiele make me a better librarian every day.

Robey Memorial Library is a special place. If you haven’t visited in a while, please consider using National Library Week as an invitation to come in and say hello. I hope you’ll see what I do: a welcoming community space that has the power to bring out the best in all of us.

Cate St. Clair
Library Director
Robey Memorial Library


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