LE GRAND — After over 30 years as the Le Grand Pioneer Heritage Library director, Shelley Barron has retired, leaving the library under her successor Stacia Foster’s care.
Barron announced her retirement in the spring, and Foster began training for her new position in March. After several months of working with Barron after hours and on weekends, Foster has taken the reins and is excited to dive into her role as director.
“It’s big shoes to fill. And (Shelley) knows everything. Learning from her was great, I mean, patrons would come in and she knows everything about national parks, about animals. She’s so knowledgeable. It’s impressive,” Foster said.
Prior to taking on the director position at the Le Grand library, Foster spent 24 years working with at-risk students at the East Marshall Middle School building in Gilman, and for the last three years, she has worked in the middle school library as a librarian.
In the summer of 2021, Foster took a job as the temporary director of the Gilman Public Library and realized she really enjoyed it. At the end of the summer, she went back to the middle school library, but her interim job had piqued her interest.
When her son graduated, Foster decided to pursue a career outside of the East Marshall School District and chose to apply for the library director position in Le Grand, something she was drawn to because of her lifelong love of literature. Foster said that passion was sparked by adventures she had as a child growing up in Grinnell.
“My sister and I used to — the library babysat us during the summer, and then there was a bookstore in Grinnell, and I don’t know why they let us, but they’d let us lay on the floor in there and look through books,” Foster said. “I love to read. I love books. I just love everything about it.”
Foster is currently working towards earning her library director endorsement online. While larger libraries often require a bachelor’s degree, the Pioneer Heritage Library is a tier 3 library which only requires the completion of the endorsement program.
Planning library programs and getting to know library patrons are just two aspects of the position she is looking forward to, but learning the new position and all its nuances is also an exciting prospect for Foster — whether it’s deciding what content is ordered or being responsible for the administrative tasks that come with running a library.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or
T-R PHOTOS BY SUSANNA MEYER — Stacia Foster has recently taken the reins as the Le Grand Pioneer Heritage Library director, as her predecessor, Shelley Barron, has retired from her position after over three decades.
New Le Grand Pioneer Heritage Library Director Stacia Foster rearranges the books on a shelf at the library. Prior to her new position, Foster worked at the middle school in Gilman for 24 years. Three of those years were spent as a librarian in the middle school library.
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