It’s taken 20 years and lots of cajoling for Susan Rogers to finally take the full-time position as head librarian at the Nakusp Library.
A familiar face to many in the community from her place behind the desk, Rogers has been with the library since she started volunteering there in 1994. Four years later, she was hired on as an assistant librarian, a position she stayed in despite being offered the top job.
“I’ve always been a supportive person of leaders and people at the top,” she explained, when asked about her hesitation to assume the lead role. “To end up in the position responsible for it all is a different feeling, I guess.
Rogers took on the position on an acting basis in February 2013. The head librarian position was advertised, but finally the library board convinced Rogers to assume the duty on a permanent basis.
Rogers showed me her cluttered office, which she is slowly trying to clean up. Her new post means more time doing administrative work and less time helping patrons find books they want — something she said is her favorite part of the job.
“As head librarian I don’t do a lot of that anymore,” she said. “Patti and Cindy are sitting at the desk now.”
Rogers said she liked helping people. She’s an avid reader and a literacy advocate.
“I like the kids that come in here and even if they’re just coming to use the computer, I like interacting with them,” she said.
Last year she helped the library develop a strategic plan and revamp its policy manuals. Now, it’s a matter of implementing that plan, which has three main goals:
— Become an information centre for the Nakusp area;
— Build strong community connections;
— Ensure long-term sustainability.
Rogers isn’t planning any major changes to the library; popular programs like the summer reading club and author reading series will remain, but she does hope to add more programs like the historical slideshow that was held in January.
She also wants to do more to connect the library to reading centres in Edgewood, Fauquier, Burton and New Denver.
“Our patrons in those communities belong to this library but it’s not always easy to get in,” she said. “We’re trying to facilitate a carrier to take books and bring them back — do more of an outreach to those areas.”
Another plan is to purchase more e-readers for people to rent. The library has free e-book downloads, so the readers would allow people to try out the technology before buying it.