The Calhoun Memorial Library is proud to welcome Emily Resendiz to its staff as the library’s new director.
Resendiz, originally from Cumberland, moved to Chetek in 2009. “I fell in love with Chetek and all that it has to offer.” Resendiz can often be seen riding on her bicycle to work and around town.
Resendiz explained that she is no stranger to the Calhoun Memorial Library. She started bringing her children to storytime to listen to Carol Burnham which is when she and her kids fell in love with the library.
Resendiz, being an avid storytime visitor with her kids over the years, is looking forward to bringing a new element to storytime, “I am most excited about storytime with the kids.” The library director mentioned that it will be more interactive and messy than before, “I want the kids to be hands on, and there will be fun, messy activities for the kids to do.” Resendiz said the library is a great place for kids to do fun activities such as making slime or learning how to make apple juice. Best of all, parents are not responsible for cleaning up any of the messes made, and it’s completely free. This offers children the freedom to be curious and creative without the hassle of cleaning up the mess. “I want the kids to have fun making something while also learning something new.”
Resendiz brings extensive experience to the library, having worked previously at CESA 11 in Turtle Lake, running their library and at the Barron Public Library as its youth services director and its interim director. “I love working with kids and want to encourage them to continue their learning journey.”
As the new library director, Resendiz is looking forward to getting to know her community on a deeper, more personal level. “People are my first priority and will always come first,” Resendiz said. “The paperwork can always wait until later.”
One thing Resendiz has observed since starting as library director is the age groups that frequent the library on a weekly basis, “There aren’t a lot of kids in the 11 to 15 age group that frequent the library at the moment.” Resendiz has a deep love and passion for libraries and is looking for new and unique ways to connect with the community through her new position,“I am hoping to start a storytime with the school and the Chetek Kids Club in the months ahead.” Her hope is that by coming into the school, she can grow connections with students and, ultimately, encourage young adults to come to the library and reinvigorate readership in the community.
One notable characteristic of Library Director Resendiz, is her ability to think outside the box. The new library director is looking forward to generating more community involvement at the library during her tenure. She explained that one method she used for encouraging young adults to come to the Barron Library was through offering a “Library Lock-In” for kids when teachers had conferences or kids had the day off from school. Resendiz said parents were highly receptive to the idea of leaving their kids in a safe environment that offered supervision, breakfast, lunch, games and books at kids’ disposal. Resendiz said there are many logistics to be considered, but she would love to see this event implemented at the library in the future.
Resendiz has a deep love and appreciation for libraries that started in her childhood. “My mom used to take me to different libraries when we would travel, and it was always amazing how warm and inviting they were, even as strangers walking through the door.” Resendiz appreciates the environment cultivated at the Calhoun Memorial Library, “What is so wonderful about the library is how there is no judgement. People come through the door to enjoy everything the library has to offer and that’s it.”
The library is a place to offer encouragement to members of the community, “For some of our patrons, we may be the only encouraging interaction they experience in their day-to-day lives, making it vital we remain people oriented.”
The community has been kind enough to offer Resendiz a warm welcome at the library and have given her words of encouragement as she begins to write a new chapter for the Calhoun Memorial Library. “The community has told me how much they are going to miss Carol, and I told them that I am going to miss her, too,” Resendiz explained, “Carol has been a big part of my life and my children’s because I became acquainted with the library through bringing my kids to listen to Carol at storytime.”
Resendiz officially started at the library Aug. 29 and has been working closely with Burnham to glean as much as she can from Burnham’s experience. Resendiz explained she has no intention of replacing Burnham, “No one can replace Carol or match the service she has given to the community for the past 17 years.”
Burnham is looking forward to what Resendiz has in store for the library and is sure that she will take the library to new heights, “Emily will take some things to a whole new level here at the library and I am looking forward to seeing what she can accomplish in her position as library director.”