After twenty-five years of being a librarian (the last nine years spent at the Crandon Public Library) I have made the decision to accept a new position as Forest County’s UW-Extension Youth and Family educator beginning February 1st.
Making the decision to leave the library was not an easy one for me. My role as “Miss Michelle” is fully ingrained into my personality. I take great pride in making book recommendations, suggesting program ideas and offering up the library as a resource for just about anything. I don’t foresee these things changing. And here’s why– I truly believe in the role a public library plays within a community. It truly transforms people. I believe the Crandon Public Library has the power to transform our community. Every day there are a core group of individuals who visit the library to read our daily newspapers. Every day there are individuals who use our computers to take classes, apply for jobs and connect with their family members in other parts of the world. Every day we provide learning materials and hands-on activities to the youth in our community. Every day we talk and share stories with community members who live alone and look forward to a friendly face at our desk. These are the things I will miss. The people I will miss.
There are things I will not miss. I will not miss the politics. I will not miss the lack of understanding of what it is the library offers to the community. I will not miss the idea that the library is a luxury item and not an essential service provided to the taxpayers of Forest county. I will not miss having to justify the existence of a public library because of Google.
I am excited about the UW Extension position and the opportunities it will offer to myself and Forest County. I no doubt will be collaborating with the library and I look forward to being a library patron and discovering new books on our shelves. (You miss that when you are the one who orders the books!)
A fond farewell from Miss Michelle!