Library Director Jean Casey announces retirement

by Marianne Morf

It seems fitting that Jean Casey is marking the 30th anniversary of her service as Clear Lake library director, as the library itself turns 125-years-old in 2014.  Both have been dedicated to preserving stories in our community.

Casey, who became the Clear Lake Library leader in January 1984, has announced her retirement, effective April 30.

“It has been extremely rewarding,” she said.  “Day to day you are doing things at the library to make lives better-- it may be lifelong learning opportunities, distance learning, researching health issue concerns, studying business careers-- every day there’s a great variety.”

Casey takes great pride in the fact that Clear Lake’s library remains relevant to the community.  She notes that as our culture has changed, so has the library.  

“There will still be books, but the format may change,” said Casey when asked if she believes libraries will continue to exist in these days of high technology.  “The library is a community center where people can gather and share their interests and knowledge.  I don’t see it going by the wayside.  As far as technology and instruction, we are still providing, but in changing ways.  The vast majority of those who come to the library want to come.  They are not compelled to come.”

And come, they do.  

The Clear Lake Public Library has approximately 7,850 registered users.  During 2013, the library checked out 136,874 print and audio-visual items.

As a high school student Casey worked as a shelver at the Mason City Pubic Library.  She credits Mason City Librarian Madeline Walls with encouraging and inspiring her field of study.  She went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of Iowa and then returned to Mason City as a reference librarian.

And while the mission of the library has remained - Read More Via e-Edition

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