After 19 years, library director starts new chapter
September 04. 2013 1:07PM
Since Deb Huska’s first day as Dell Rapids library director nearly two decades ago, she’s dealt with the challenges of keeping both an aging building and changing industry relevant – and she’s done it well and with a smile on her face.
Though still smiling, the past few weeks have been bittersweet for Huska as she’s said goodbye to her workplace of 19 years. Friday was her last day as Dell Rapids Carnegie Public Library director.
“You get to know people. It’s like seeing your family members come through the door, and to say goodbye to that, it is hard,” she said.
Leaving for a position with the school district, Huska said she’ll never forget the relationships she made as library director, both with patrons and the 103-year-old building.
From day one, Huska knew the building had character, and sometimes a mind of its own.
“The ceiling literally fell in on my first day of work,” she said, chuckling while sitting at the desk she’s had since August 1994.
At time the time, she might have wondered what she’d signed up for, but the crumbling ceiling was the start of big changes for the library.
Under Huska’s direction, the library was retrofitted over time to accommodate a digital library catalog and circulation system and added computers, and reorganized to simplify book locations and add space.
“We had no technology here. We didn’t have any computers to use at all,” Huska said.
Now, the library is equipped with seven computers designated for patron use, three for staff and two more used for searching library’s catalogs.
A background in technology suited Huska well as Dell Rapids library director, and she’s hoping it will do the same in her new position as technology instructor for the Dell Rapids School District.
Huska will advise the video broadcasting crew at the high school, and teach computer and technology courses.
Brittany Risty, a five-year employee at the library, will serve as interim library director.