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 Q&A interview with Library Director Brittany Larson


DiscoverMuskego.com recently had the opportunity to interview the city's new library director, Brittany Larson. Ms. Larson, who started in the role last month, succeeds Pete Loeffel, who left to become director of the Wauwatosa Public Library. Visit the Library's page on the city's Web site, and contact her at blarson@cityofmuskego.org or 262-971-2100. Here are upcoming programs at the Muskego Public Library.

PMuskego Public Library Director Brittany Larsonublished on November 8, 2017.

A little about your background, whatever you’d like to share.

I have lived and worked in Waukesha County all my life! In college I studied writing, German language, and art (only drawing and painting, don’t ask me to sculpt, I can’t do it!). I received my Master’s in Library and Information Science from UW-Milwaukee. I previously worked at Carroll University’s academic library as their interim library director and am excited to now work for the Muskego Public Library.

What do you like to do when you are not working?

I enjoy watching movies with superheroes, wizards, or zombies. I like to cook, read, and go for walks with my dog and daughter (6 months old!). My husband and I recently had our wood burning fireplace repaired. I am excited to sit in front of a nice fire with a good book once the snow starts falling. If anyone has tips for building the perfect fire, let me know!

Was there a particular defining moment or factor that made you realize, “I need to do this with my life!” (pursue library science as a career)?

I was working as a college student part time in a university library. It was very satisfying to have patrons walk in with questions, and leave feeling empowered because of the answers they received. I remember thinking, “I like connecting people with answers. I wish this part time job didn’t have to end”. It was then I realized I should study to be a librarian.

Where do you see the future of libraries taking us?

I believe the core function of libraries will always be to protect and promote information and ideas. The format of that information has diversified and evolved. Libraries must continue to remain on the forefront of these transformations so that we can continue to preserve the information of our changing times and not lose information during these format shifts.

In your own words, why are libraries important? What is your personal philosophy on libraries?

To me, the digital age has only emphasized the importance of libraries. Libraries have never just been about storing books. They honor, encourage, and protect the creation and discussion of information and ideas. Since the internet has allowed us to exchange ideas and information at a much faster rate (and in much larger quantities), libraries have become an important vehicle to manage and support this exchange.

We understand you just started the role here in Muskego, but do you have any particular goals already that you’d like to set out to accomplish?

The Muskego Public Library, thanks to a hardworking library staff and supportive library board, already provides excellent library services. I am excited to be a part of this. I’m thrilled to step in and help support the children’s area redesign that is already in the planning phases. I am also looking forward to getting to know the library staff so that I can help support them as they deliver amazing library services to the community.

We understand the children’s area is about to get a major overhaul. Can you speak to that a little bit, and what families can expect when the new revamp is completed?

This is a very exciting project. The children’s area redesign will create a space where children of all ages can interact with their library environment. Envision bright colors, soft seating, a revitalized program/craft area, and a makerspace to encourage exploration and invention. The collection layout has been studied to provide easy and intuitive access for families. Community experts and families have helped give the library feedback during this process to make this a safe and cheerful library space for children to learn and grow. We are excited for the project to begin in January 2018 and look forward to open the space to families in Summer 2018!

What do you like to read for enjoyment?

I enjoy science fiction, fantasy, young adult literature, and mysteries. Of late I have enjoyed reading the Flavia de Luce mystery series. The first book is titled, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Everyone should check it out, we have a copy!

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your career?

I am most proud of the versatility I have experienced in my career. I have held a variety of positions within libraries, so I am comfortable covering a wide range of tasks: reference, teaching classes, security, circulation, management, and technology. I like to do it all and am happy to help people in any way I can!

What would you still like to accomplish?

Professionally, I am looking forward to developing my skills as a public library director, as well as possibly publish book reviews for professional publications. Personally, I am hoping to learn how to bake edible bread (key word: edible) and travel back to Germany. The mountains were stunning.

Closing thoughts – anything else that you’d like to share with our readers?

I’ve appreciated the warm welcome from the City of Muskego and look forward to getting to work! Also, Cookie Dough is my favorite ice cream.


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