As a young girl, Glynis Sturm spent a lot of time in the aisles of her local public library.
“I read all the Nancy Drew books,” she said. “I read everything.”
As a longtime associate librarian at the Stewartville Public Library, Sturm has parlayed her love for books and reading into an enjoyable career.
“To be able to work someplace where you can do what you love is pretty great,” she said.
She enjoyed her work:
Sturm sat at the library on Friday, May 27, welcoming guests who stopped by to congratulate her on her retirement, which took effect on Monday, May 31. Library work was wonderful, she said, because it gave her the opportunity to meet so many interesting residents.
“I’m really going to miss the people,” she said. “You get to know so many different people in town. It’s really nice to learn about the new families and to catch up with the people you’ve known for a long time.”
Mary Lynch, the former director of the Stewartville Public Library, hired Sturm in April 1989. Twenty-seven years ago, the library’s books, newspapers and magazines were housed at the current Stewartville City Hall.
“Everything has changed,” Sturm said. “We had one computer at the desk at the City Hall building.”
“He got the look-over”:
After growing up in Stewartville, Sturm earned a teaching degree at Mankato State University, after which she taught briefly in Ellendale. On a return visit to Stewartville, she met her husband, Steve, on a blind date.
“Delores Lofgren introduced us,” she said. “She knew me, and she asked if I’d be interested in this young man from St. James.”
She still remembers her first date with Steve.
“It was funny,” she said. “He’s from western Minnesota, so I was expecting the cowboy type. My six brothers were all sitting on he couch as he came in. He got the look-over.”
Steve and Glynis dated for nine months before they were married. They’ve lived in Stewartville ever since. They raised four daughters and have four grandsons and one granddaughter.
She loved the small staff:
Sturm has enjoyed being part of a small staff that included Pat Johnson, library director; Deb Lofgren, associate librarian, and Sam Edge, page.
“When you work with a small staff, everybody helps everybody,” she said. “We have a close working relationship. It’s not hard to come to work.”
As a librarian, she loved searching for books and materials for the library’s patrons.
“It’s fun to find new authors for people — to find things they really want to read,” she said.
She has especially enjoyed making deliveries to local day care centers to put books in the hands of young readers. Currently, the library is delivering books to six day care centers.
“It’s (available) to any day care center,” she said. “If they want books delivered, we’re more than happy to do it.”
Technology: pro or con?
Advances in technology have changed the way libraries operate and what they offer to their patrons. For example, some people enjoy e-books, the equivalent of reading a book on a computer screen.
“I personally like the feel of a book in my hands,” Sturm said. “Steve, on the other hand, likes e-books. He’s a technology person. It’s a form you need to make available for people, if that’s what they like.”
The importance of reading:
Libraries play an important role in a community because they make books and reading available to people at all socioeconomic levels, she said.
“I wouldn’t live in a community that didn’t have a library,” she said. “I think books should be available to everyone. Not everybody can afford to buy books. They should be available for information, and for recreation. That’s good, too. The availability is the key.”
Plans for retirement:
In retirement, she plans to travel and spend time with her grandchildren.
“I’ll spoil the grandchildren,” she said. “That’s at the top of the list. Steve and I plan to travel to England in the fall, and then each year to a different country. We want to get in some traveling while we can.”
When she travels, she enjoys seeing things she has read about.
“We went to Italy last September,” she said. “It was amazing. I love British literature, so I’m ready to be in England.”
Steve Sturm laid out the itinerary for the Sturms’ travel plans: England this September, Germany in 2017, Ireland in 2018 and Portugal in 2019.
“(Glynis is) excited about England,” Steve said. “She loves the culture, and we’re big fans of Downton Abbey.”
Steve said he’s looking forward to Glynis’s retirement.
“I’m very excited for her, to move into the next chapter of her life,” he said.