Through 'Friends' group, she will remain involved
Big accomplishments over big changes is the hallmark of Susan Stone's time as director of the Storm Lake Public Library. That time is quickly coming to an end as Stone plans to leave the library she has worked at for the past seven years in June.
The decision came on her 5-year-old son Isaac's birthday. She looked around and asked herself 'where have these last five years gone?'
"It is never a good time to make a massive life change," Stone said. "It is just time for me."
Stone says the decision is so she can spend more time with her husband and two children. She also plans to pursue other interests, such as her love of art history. She will teach part time at Buena Vista University and Iowa Central Community College.
"The hours are more flexible so I will be able to work and have more time with my kids," she said.
Stone worked for the library four years while she was attending Buena Vista University. After graduation, she came to work full time as director. Her first challenge came in the form of a computer bug.
"When I got here, it was 1999 and the computers were not Y2K compliant," she said. Her first task was to upgrade the computer system.
While upgrading the system, Stone also determined it was time for a software upgrade. Since then the computer system has been upgraded to include an on-line catalog and wireless Internet for the public.
Other changes have included a new security system and a new lighting system, and moving the entire collection to allow for repainting and other renovations.
"The ultimate goal is to make the library more customer friendly," Stone said. "We hoped to make the place more comfortable and more inviting."
She has built up the facility's multi-media resources and uses, and during her tenure, a number of new events have been added.
These include children's celebrations such as a recent tea party, picking up on events such as the anniversaries of famous books for kids; and the popular Storm Lake film festivals held for the first time in 1005.
With June 2 quickly approaching, Stone says she will not forget the library where she has spent so much time working.
"I'll keep supporting the library," she said. "With the Friends of the Library group, I will be able to keep my hand in it."