|Wauneta Library aided by strong leadership|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 17 December 2015 00:00|
Joyce Bley, left, will step down as chair of the Wauneta Library Board in January after 21 years of service in that capacity. Here, she and long-time library director/librarian Ruth Hohl stand next to some of the newest historical artifacts on display at the library, two telephones donated by Lisa Bradley. (Sheri Hink-Wagner | Johnson Publications)
By Sheri Hink-Wagner
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta community is blessed by a wonderful library, thanks in no small part to excellent leadership.
The library, which features many resources for the community, has benefited over the years from a dedicated board and director.
Ruth Hohl has served as the director/librarian of the Wauneta library since December 1981. Joyce Bley has served as the library board chair since February 1994. She recalls how she became chair after attending two meetings as a board member.
Bley recently announced she will be stepping down as chair of the board in January 2016 and indicated Jan Coone will take over as chair.
Bley will continue to serve on the library board in another capacity.
“I thoroughly enjoy reading and I’ve enjoyed my time as board chair, I really did,” Bley said.
During Bley’s tenure as board chair the library has seen many upgrades and changes. One of the most notable was the undertaking of moving the library from its previous location 309 North Tecumseh to its present location in October 1995.
Bley and Hohl recalled how the local Boy Scout troop helped move books between the buildings.
The current building was gifted to the library by the Masonic organization. Later, the Village of Wauneta joined the library in the previous Masonic Hall.
Since the move the library has updated its space in the building with new windows, a new furnace, new air conditioner, new lighting and new paint on the walls.
The library board recently took classes to become certified, completing the process to become a certified library last fall. Other library board members include Doretta Anderson, Sharon Haarberg and new member Jeanette Gerih. Virgina Lawson recently left the board when she moved out of town.
Those who visit the library are able to enjoy locally painted artwork that has been donated over the years.
The library also boasts several artifacts of local history for all to see and enjoy. The most recent additions are two phones donated by Lisa Bradley which were used when her father owned the local telephone company.
Bley commended Hohl for the “amazing job” she’s done over the years at the library.
The library features a large collection of children’s books, large print books, computers for public use, DVDs, VHS movies, access to ebooks, audio books, Spanish language books, several new junior high and children’s books as well as collections of books on the wars.
Last year, the library board updated their facility by taking out the old stage and creating a children’s reading area.
Bley credits the library’s many donors and volunteers for its ability to continually update its facility, add new materials and host summer reading programs.
“We have an amazing community, as far as I’m concerned it’s just unreal,” Bley explained. “Our community has been so giving to our library.”