Library Director Suzann Holland will be leaving the Oskaloosa Public Library with a wealth of knowledge gained.
Holland recently accepted a position as a library director in Monroe, Wisc., which is about 30 miles south of Madison.
“It’s much closer to family for me,” said Holland.
Not only will she be closer to family members, but Holland will also live in the same area as former Oskaloosa YMCA Director Aaron Phillips, who moved away from Oskaloosa recently.
Holland first began as director for the Oskaloosa Public Library in June of 2003. At the time, she took over the position from Nancy Simpson, who had retired from the job. Simpson currently works at The Book Vault on the square in Oskaloosa.
Before assuming her role as director of the Oskaloosa library, Holland worked for Southeastern Library Services, which is funded by the State Library of Iowa. She had also worked in Milwaukee, Wisc., previously.
Above all else, Holland said she’s happy to have been able to work with such a dedicated staff in Oskaloosa.
“I’m leaving the library as it was when I first began — with a great staff providing great service,” Holland said. “It’s been a positive learning experience for me. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this library.”
When Holland first arrived at the Oskaloosa Public Library, she said she didn’t have much managerial experience. However, both Oskaloosa city employees and her library colleagues helped Holland to become educated in the ways of being a library director.
“I’m taking a lot of knowledge gained with me,” she said. “There are quite a few people that are surprised that the library is actually a city department. It is supported by Oskaloosa tax dollars just as police and fire and public works are. I think it’s really important for people to use what their tax dollars are paying for.”
So, what exactly has Holland been called to do as library director?
She has been in charge of her staff, material selection, financial matters, and simply helping patrons find items they’re looking for.
“You put out a lot of fires that come up,” said Holland.
Children’s Librarian Linda Fox and OPL Technician Paulette Groet will take over as interim co-directors of the library once Holland leaves June 18.
“Between them they have nearly 50 years of experience at this library,” said Holland. “They’ll be at the help until a new director is hired.”
Of course, Holland said she will miss a lot of things about Oskaloosa.
“I’ll miss the staff,” said Holland. “I’ll miss the people. I’ll miss this beautiful building. I’ve made a lot of friends here, so I’ll definitely be back to visit.”
Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org