By Cara L. Dempski
GLENWOOD CITY — The Glenwood City Public Library welcomed a new director during an August 25 open house held at the library.
The library’s board of trustees hired Marilyn Blumer after their July 12 meeting. The board unanimously voted that night to offer her the position.
Blumer previously worked at the Boyceville Public Library, and during her time there, the programming offered grew to include story time, “Creative Kids,” and a summer reading program. She was there for five years before accepting the position in Glenwood City.
It was her work with the library in Glenwood City that prompted her to apply for the position of director.
“I was working here (Glenwood City) part-time, and just saw some improvements that I thought I could help with,” Blumer stated.
Blumer would like to implement more programs at the Glenwood City library. Specifically, she would like to have programming available for students of the Glenwood City school district on early release days.
“Wed like to have programs with movies, things like that, so that students have a safe place to go,” Blumer said.
Blumer went on to say that she would like to change the programs and library in Glenwood City to match the needs of the community.
In Boyceville, she implemented a coffee time for parents during story time for the children, and procured seating and tables sized for children to encourage participation in the “Creative Kids” craft-making program.
So far in Glenwood City, she has separated the childrens and juvenile books from the adult books, making it easier for younger readers to find books specific to their reading level. Blumer said separating the books into age groups also saves adults from having to “dig” for books amongst the other ages.
Blumer also accepted the help of a few teenage volunteers in painting the kitchen and main room downstairs to prepare the space for use by larger groups.
Prior to working at the Boyceville library, Blumer worked home-schooling her children and was frequently at her community library with her children to pick out books to help with their educations.
Additionally, she had experience working with youth groups, and summer camps and churches to create learning environments that were friendly for everyone.
Blumer sees libraries in small towns as a source of community and a place to learn. It is a belief which stems from her childhood.
“I lived in a small town as a girl, and every Saturday, mom would take my sister and I to the library,” Blumer said of her experience. “We literally read every book in the children’s section.”
She also sees the importance of a small town library as a part of a community, providing a place to not just learn, but a place to do so together. She’s even looking forward to helping people who come to work with her as volunteers and discovering things each person is good at.
The library, to Blumer, can be the heart of a small community and can provide a place for people to go when they need help.
“You need a place where you can come and feel safe, – children and adults,” said Blumer. “We had parents in Boyceville who were so glad their children had a place to go because they got locked out of the house or missed a ride home.”
Blumer is also excited to have a float in the upcoming Rustic Lore Days celebration. She will also have some children and adults walking and handing out bookmarks and encouraging people to stop by and see the library.
“I am excited to be here, and can’t wait to start building up the library’s presence in Glenwood City,” Blumer said.