MEQUON - When Frank L. Weyenberg Library Director Linda Bendix sails off into retirement in May, she will have the satisfaction of a job done well.
"I think we've accomplished a lot here," she said.
Bendix said the availability of information on the internet, as well as electronic reading, has impacted library services. She said while the library isn't the only game in town anymore when it comes to offering information; it has added value not found elsewhere.
Since she started, the library is now doing a lot more programming to bring patrons inside. One of the programs Bendix said is a bit unique and a product of the generosity of the Library Foundation are the quarterly fine arts events.
The library was the first in the state to offer circulating Kindles years ago, Bendix said. The Kindles, which were pre-loaded with popular titles, were introduced after a patron inquired about them.
The library has scaled back a bit on its Kindle offerings as many people now have their own devices, Bendix said. She added that a library not only has to adjust with the times but also have its own flavor that reflects the community.
"A community library should reflect its community," Bendix said. "Libraries need to change to meet the needs of the community."
One area Bendix said she sees libraries thriving in the future is through offering reliable information from educated librarians and staff. She said the availability of information online can be very overwhelming and complex, which leads people back to the library to take advantage of staff training to help discern what is good and accurate information.
"Libraries have always been a forerunner of equality of resources," Bendix said.
Information aside, Bendix said libraries are also community gathering places — citing how Mequon-Thiensville doesn't really have a cultural center outside of the library.
Bendix said circulation of physical materials is up along with "door count" (the number of people visiting the library) at the library, 1345 N. Cedarburg Road.
Bendix has been working in libraries since she was in high school shelving books at the Racine Public Library. She earned a master's degree in library science and English, and her career path brought her to the Frank L. Weyenberg Library 12 years ago.
When asked why she decided to retire now, she simply said there are "other things" she wants to do. Bendix said she plans to relocate following her retirement to be closer to family.