By Pamela Rensing
MASCOUTAH – For 15 years, “Marian the Librarian” has been instrumental in making the library an educational part of Mascoutah for local children and adults. From the special readings of books to children by invited guests to the high-quality technological improvements, Marian Albers has truly made her mark in this community.
On Friday, January 28, Marian will say good-bye to her library family to spend more time with her real family – her husband Jerry who is also retired, their son, and their daughter who lives in Indiana.
Marian was a library assistant at Mater Dei High School in Breese from 1990-1996, and Director at Smithton Public Library from 1996-2006. She started at Mascoutah Public Library on December 6, 2006 following in the leadership footsteps of Linda Zacharski.
“The biggest change has been technology,” Marian said. “From T1 to fiber optic, wireless throughout the building not just one room, circulating laptops and Internet Hotspots, and probably the most popular has been purchasing ebook databases, the Cloud and Hoopla. Hoopla isn’t just books, it is also movies and music.”
She said that she was most proud of the Library becoming more involved in organizations, participating in community events, hosting school visits, and performing skits at the annual Fall Fest and Mascoutah Senior Center. She loves the huge increase in the number of children participating in preschool storytimes and summer reading.
“Before the pandemic, the library hosted two preschool storytime hours a week which was an increase from just a few a month. The Summer Reading program was one day a week and for several years now it has been held three days a week for different age groups due to the increase in children participating. We started including 1-4 year olds a few years ago on Mondays, along with the usual age groups 5-8 year olds on Tuesdays and 9-14 year olds on Thursdays,” she said.
“I’m going to miss my staff and especially the people I’ve come to know over the last 15 years the most. I have made some dear friends and acquaintances , either through the library, the Mascoutah Evening Lions, and the Mascoutah Tuesday Woman’s Club and will truly miss seeing all of these wonderful, caring, generous people who made me feel so welcome here,” she said. “I have shed a few tears already and I know I will shed a few more before I leave. I have truly enjoyed my time as director here.”
The Mascoutah Public Library Board of Trustees appreciated all of Marian’s hard work throughout the years. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, congratulations to Marian Albers, Library Director of 15 years for exemplary service to the Mascoutah Public Library. The Board thanks Marian for her vision, knowledge, community outreach, commitment and professionalism that she shared with vibrant enthusiasm,” stated Nancy Larson, president of the Library Board of Trustees. “At her request there will be no celebration marking her retirement however she would welcome best wishes from cards and electronic communications. As this chapter closes, Marian looks forward to a much deserved retirement. With heartfelt gratitude for ‘Marian the Librarian’s’ 15 years of service, the Board gives an enthusiastic welcome to her successor, Joel Pikora.”
Being retired, doesn’t mean being bored. Marian already has a full calendar of upcoming events. “I’m a board member of the Special Needs Foundation for Community Link. I’m also on the fundraising committee and we are currently planning a Gala event to celebrate Community Link’s 50th year to be held in April. My family are members of the Massey Harris Collector’s of Illinois, an antique tractor group, and we plan to attend more shows and events. However, I’m really looking forward to a rainy day when I can curl up with a good book and just read!”
Congratulations, Marian! We hope you have a very Happy Retirement!