Read On! Anniversary (6 Years)

Six years ago, I took a major step outside my comfort zone to become the Director of the Thomas J. Harrison Pryor Public Library. I left a 10-year career (and my first library job) at the Joplin Public Library in Joplin, MO to come back home to NE Oklahoma.

In Joplin, I started at the entry-est of entry-level positions while I went to school for my Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. I was promoted to my first official Librarian position serving Joplin’s teens. It was an amazing job in an outstanding library that taught me so much about myself, public service, and librarianship. After 10 years as the Teen Services Librarian in Joplin, I realized my energies and priorities had changed. It was time to move on.

Despite once vowing never to go into library administration, I began applying for management positions in the areas around Joplin. I applied in Pryor because I grew up in the area, Pryor was closer to my husband’s job, and the interview would be “good practice” if and when I interviewed at bigger libraries.

My intention was to practice with Pryor, but I was sure this was a good library for me when I went into the meeting room for my interview. The Library Board was relaxed and friendly, they gave me a copy of the questions they were going to ask, and they seemed to get my humor. By the time my interview was over, I was pretty well smitten with the Pryor Public Library.

Now, six years later, Pryor continues to feel like Home. Things are very different at the Library than they were when I first started – we have a bigger staff, interact with our community more often and in new ways, and have begun a major construction project. Being the Director of the Pryor Public Library continues to push me out of my comfort zone, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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