Bauer to retire from library
27 years of reading to children in Iola
By Holly Neumann
After 27 years of service, Lisa Bauer is retiring from the Iola Village Library.
“I started out working for director Elizabeth Berkholtz seven hours a week and every third Saturday, with my main focus being Preschool Story Time,” Bauer said. “When Robyn Grove became director, she hired me full time.”
Bauer is in charge of the library’s children’s programming, which she said she enjoyed over the years.
“It brings me joy to see the faces of the children having fun, seeing them interact with a book they really enjoy and doing crafts and activities with them,” Bauer said. “I have children coming to story time this year whose father used to come when I first started at the library.”
Bauer said her biggest accomplishment is overseeing a growing Preschool Story Time group that looks forward to coming each week and really enjoys what the library has to offer.
“In a time when so many parents both work and children are in day care, we continue to have parents seeking out a place to bring their children for story time and to socialize afterward,” she said. “Friendships are formed for children and their parents that continue long after the children are too old to come.”
Bauer said she is proud of the expanded children and programming space added to the library 3 1/2 years ago.
“The space is bright and colorful and has room for larger groups to meet,” she said. “There is plenty of room for preschool activities, Lego building, summer reading programs, adult programs, book club and more. We have already added additional shelving for our growing book collection.”
Changes in technoloogy
The biggest change Bauer has seen over the years is how computers have become so essential to what she does and how much information is available online whether planning a program for children or helping a patron with information.
“I had very little computer experience when I started and learned on the job,” she said.
Bauer offered a few words of wisdom to the person that will fill her position.
“Comfortable clothes and shoes and a positive can-do attitude is necessary,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take advantage of the other children’s librarians in the OWLS system with years of experience. They are all willing to help someone new and all have wonderful ideas to share.”
Bauer doesn’t have any concrete plans for her future.
“I am a take-one-day-at-a-time person,” she said. “I look forward to spending more time with my husband and family, quilting and sewing, reading all the books I have not gotten around to reading, joining the Mystery Book Club as a patron and possibly doing some traveling.”
Her last day of work is April 15.