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LOZIER RETIRES FROM AZTEC LIBRARY

 

Karen Lozier, who has worked at Aztec Public Library for 27 years, is retiring at the end of May, 2017. We spent some time with Karen reflecting on her almost 30 years of service in the community.

Karen was asked about the changes she has seen in her 27 years at the library. She replied, "I started at the library when it was still called The Altrurian Public Library. Kathi Browning was the library director. There were only two staff members. We did everything that needed to be done including patron services, storytime, shelving, purchasing and, my personal nemesis, maintaining the card catalog. I know people come in saying that they miss the old card catalogs, and I understand, it's an old favorite, but it was a lot of work to create and maintain!

We used to stamp the books with the date they were due and wrote library card numbers on the cards in the books which we then kept filed for their return. It was a big deal when we got a computer for circulation and then five more for patron use in the library. Now we have 26 computers for library use, e-books and e-audiobooks, scanning, faxing...seems like science fiction in comparison."

Karen has many stories to tell about the library over the years. She starts out, "In the past the library has moved all its books and holdings three times. First when we put new carpeting in that little building by City Hall which is now Finance Department. We moved everything from one side of the building to the other, laid the carpet, then moved it all to the other side and laid carpet on that other side. It was a huge ordeal. We swore it was the last time we would undertake anything quite so big and time consuming. But we were wrong. The next time we moved the library was when we took the asbestos off the ceiling. Everything had to come out of the building. All the books were boxed up and put in the fire department, the shelving went outside and Leanne Hathcock, the library director at the time, and I worked out of the room that is now the City Manager's office. It looked like the CDC had come and taken over with hazmat suits and the whole nine yards. We swore we would never do that again."

She continued, "Again we were wrong. We got a new building. Everything moved from one building to the other. Then we tried to keep it all organized, but boxes get mixed up and we ended up having to search the next box for the next shelf. We swear we are never doing that again."

When asked about highlights of her career at the library, Karen said, "Storytime has been a big part of my job for all of those 27 years. Now my storytime kids are bringing their children in for storytime. Or my storytime parents are bringing their grandchildren in for storytime. It's so good to see them again. One of my story timers grew up to be a teacher to my grandson in his elementary school."

In closing, Karen had this to say: "It is with a heavy and a light heart that I go. I am excited about my impending retirement and the opportunity to spend more time with my grandchildren, but I also leave with a heavy heart as the Aztec Public Library has been my second home for so many years. I have tender feelings for this library and its patrons.

 

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