There’s a new sheriff, well director, at Matheson Me-morial Library following Lisa Selje’s retirement. Her last day was Sept. 30 and Chad Robinson, who has held the role of adult services librarian for several years, is the new director. (Heather Ruenz photo)

Library director retires from Elkhorn’s Matheson Memorial

By Heather Ruenz

Staff Writer

Lisa Selje, who has served as director at Matheson Memorial Library for the past 13 years, is about to embark on a new adventure, that of retirement.

Selje, whose last day was Sept. 30, said she has seen many changes at the library over the years, from an increase in children’s programming including more after school events to more book clubs and other programs for adults.

“A lot of things have changed to get people in here,” she said. “I started my library career overall in 1980 – when we didn’t event have computers – so there have also been many changes in technology.”

Selje, who laughed when asked if her plans for retirement would be “traveling and time with family” but that’s precisely what she has in the works.

“I do hope to travel more, I’m going to help with my parents, and I have two grandchildren who are 3 with another coming in February, so plenty to keep me busy,” she said.

Selje, who is a master gardener, hopes to also spend some time using her green thumb and said she would like to volunteer at the library to stay connected.

Her replacement for the director role will be a familiar face as Chad Robinson, who has been the adult services librarian for several years.

Robinson, who is originally from Texas but lived in Green Bay – and worked at the Brown County Library – prior to being hired at Matheson. He said as soon as he and his family came to Elkhorn, he knew he had made the right choice.

“I loved it here right away. The community really reminded me of where I grew up,” he said.

Robinson said he knew he was interested in becoming a director at some point so continued his education and earned his master’s degree.

“I really wanted to be the director here so am very excited. I’ve been here for many big changes and look forward to more,” he said.

According to Robinson, the biggest challenge is getting the word out about all the library has to offer.

“If everybody knew, I think we’d be much busier than we are,” he said.

Selje agreed.

“The outreach has always been a challenge. But I know Chad will keep working at it,” she said. “One of the good things about a library is we see the whole community – from young to old, and not many places get to do that.”

The transition was planned to include an overlap, which allowed Selje to cut back on her hours yet spend time with Robinson. One of the main duties for the director is the hiring of library staff.

“We mostly have part time staff but about 18 people right now,” he said.

Robinson said the list could go on and on about what the library offers but named the ones that came to mind: eBook, audio and video streaming; many non-conventional items for people of all ages such as maker kits; free tech help with smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.; a full slate of adult and youth programming; a variety of crafting projects; local speakers and performers; and access to what he described as “tons of databases for everything from homework help to driving tests.

“We also do seasonal things such as tax prep, and groups hold meetings here like the memory café, which will now be held here consistently,” Robinson said.

He said the library is again accepting volunteers, and the best way to get involved is by joining the library’s friends’ group. To learn more, stop in and talk to Robinson.

Selje said she knows Robinson will be a success in his new role.

“He will do a great job. The staff and community really like him and appreciate him,” she said.

Robinson said working with Selje “has made the six years I’ve been here so far a true pleasure. She’s been a great mentor, a great role model and a good friend. And I’m genuinely sorry to see her go.”

 

 
 

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