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Susan Heusser-Ladwig keeps Perham reading

Perham Public Library Director Susan Heusser-Ladwig poses for a portrait in the library. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Perham Public Library Director Susan Heusser-Ladwig poses for a portrait in the library. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Meeting Susan

Perham Public Library Director Susan Heusser-Ladwig didn't always aspire to be a librarian. Heusser-Ladwig went to Gustavus Adolphus for a history degree, but soon fell in love with working at the college library.

"I really liked it, I did all sorts of different things, in various areas. I just enjoyed all of it," she said.

After earning the history degree, Heusser-Ladwig didn't want to do the only thing she could do with a history degree — teach — so she found an alternative in a library science degree.

Now Heusser-Ladwig is the curator of the library's more than 34,000 books, videos and magazines.

Heusser-Ladwig says there's so many things she likes about working in the library, it's hard to think of her favorite part.

"If I had gotten a job in a larger library, it would have been segmented. You either do catalog and coding, or public services, which is like reference work, or you did children's services," she said. "In a library the size of ours, you do everything. I really like that. I'd be really bored if I were just sitting in the back room cataloging all the time."

Instead of toiling away in the backroom, Heusser-Ladwig does everything from chatting about new recommendations to regularly maintaining the library collection.

"I have a tendency to put that off as the last thing, but it's really important," she said. Heusser-Ladwig regularly combs through different sections to weed out outdated material and bring in newer material.

She says it's fascinating to see checkouts increase in an area after she's updated a certain section.

"People don't even realize that they're drawn to that area," she said.

When it comes to bringing new material into the library, Heusser-Ladwig said she and her staff read book reviews, best seller lists and professional journals to bring in good quality material. 

For full article, go to: Perham Focus

Source, image(s), credits & more: Perham Focus | Carter Jones