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New library director in Manawa

Sue Vater Olsen is the new Sturm Memorial Library director. Emily Conroy Photo

Vater Olsen takes the helm

By Emily Conroy

Sue Vater Olsen, the new Sturm Memorial Library director, has been busy situating herself in her new position and is excited for what the future holds.

Originally from Loyal, Vater Olsen has lived in the Manawa area since 2000 and worked at the Scandinavia Public Library for the last 19 years. She is happy to work closer to home.

Vater Olsen previously worked at Plexus as a manufacturing engineer, however after the dot-com bubble burst in early 2000 she started looking for a new job.

“The library was a place that was open and impressed me,” she said.

Vater Olsen plans to continue with the children and adult programing at the library. One of the programs is Storytime, which recently started again after a brief hiatus due to Covid-19.

“We’re hoping to capture some young families that way. They can have a time that they can interact both with us at the library … with other families too and make those connections,” she said. “I think young parents sometimes feel a bit isolated and it’s an opportunity to be social.”

As an avid reader, Vater Olsen has thrived in the library. She enjoys both fiction and non-fiction books, however she appreciates non-fiction that aligns with her interest in science.

This appreciation of science is echoed in one of her favorite things to do as a librarian, which is answerinf reference questions.

“It’s like those little puzzles, looking for information and hopefully finding resources that are applicable,” she said.

Vater Olsen and the library staff will also be putting together some adult programming, which includes a book group that meets monthly as well as Bibliobingo, where participants read books to paly Bingo and win a prize.

Vater Olsen is currently working on learning and understanding all of the processes at the library.

“While there are state statutes that we need to follow, how things get done is often unique to each library,” she said.
Although Vater Olsen is concentrating on learning all there is to know in her position at the library, she is especially looking forward to the summer programs. She aims to gather children of all ages for reading challenges and entertainment such as performers and educational speakers.

Being able to help maintain a child’s literacy skills outside of school, as well as Storytime with infants and reading challenges by tracking numbers of books read or time spent reading, it has become a big part of the year.

“It’s always a lot of fun and we enjoy the activity working with kids when they are out of school,” she said. “There is a lot of science about how reading starts at really, really young ages.”

For more information on upcoming programs go to www.manawalibrary.org or find the Sturm Memorial Library on Facebook for updates on events and activities.

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