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Dyckman Free Library Director, full staff in place

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch
(Top) The Dyckman Free Library staff stepped outside for a picture on Friday afternoon, Oct. 30, when the library hosted a walk-through Halloween Trick-or-Treat event, from left: Library Aide Katie Roiger, Library Director Lisa Steffl, and Library Aides Angela Mielke,  Patti Braulick, and Sarah Hinderman.  (left) Kids were invited to come to the library Friday afternoon to pick up a treat bag and mini-pumpkin. Pictured are Angela Mielke and Olivia Hinderman.

In August, Sleepy Eye Event Center Manager Lisa Steffl stepped in to manage Dyckman Free Library for the city. City Manager Bob Elston recently announced Steffl was chosen to fill the Library Director position. Elston said there were nine applicants for the position and Steffl was hired after interviews with three finalists.

“Lisa has both the education and experience for the job,” Elston said. “Many of the courses one would take for a Master’s in Library Science were part of the curriculum for her degree in Health Information Administration (formerly known as Medical Librarian). Lisa also has a proven track record with us as an exceptional employee and manager. She will bring those skills to the library.”

Steffl said she is excited to be at the library and has fond memories of bringing her own children. “We loved coming to the library with Gail and Carrie helping the kids and putting on fun summer programs,” she said.

Steffl has greatly enjoyed the work of managing the library also.

“It fits with my education in information sciences,” she said, “and I enjoy the organization aspect — for instance, going to a shelf and the book you are looking for is right where it is supposed to be!”

Steffl’s organizational skills were put to good use in managing the Event Center, as was her creative side. She said her work at the library also uses those traits.

“I’m a people person,” said Steffl. “I enjoy helping people plan events and wedding receptions at the Event Center and I enjoy helping people find what they are looking for at the library.”

The library now also has a full staff of part-time Library Aides — some on board for several months and a few new hires.

“We initially were using existing City staff, Sarah Hinderman and Angela Mielke, in August, but then added Patti Braulick and Katie Roiger in October,” said Steffl, “and Wendy Hoffmann started Monday.”

“The aides have fantastic backgrounds and degrees, from English, communications, and social work to science and teaching,” Steffl said. “We all love helping people and working with kids.”

Steffl and her staff had fun with a children’s event on Friday, Oct. 30, when they invited kids to stop in for a Halloween treat.

Steffl said, “We had a good turn out Friday for our first event, 46 kids stopped by!”

Steffl said they are looking forward to a time when they can offer more children’s programming and are considering a virtual story hour. She said she’d also like to have one or more book clubs.

“We have a steady flow of adult patrons using the library,” said Steffl. “We are happy to help people find books. Or they can order books, online or by calling, and just stop in briefly to pick them up.”

Steffl said there is a link to the library website on the city’s website.

Library hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Elston said he appreciates all Steffl has done at the library these past few months.

“I would like to say a very big Thank You to Lisa for doing two full-time jobs during this time frame, and to everyone else who worked at the library to keep it open,” he said. “That is a tremendous amount of dedication to the library and to the community!”

Elston said Steffl will continue with both positions through the end of the year while the city transitions to new leadership at the Event Center.