Bonnie Stahla has been named the new Director of the Crook County Public Library. She will take the reins from longtime director Jill Mackey who is retiring July 1.
Bonnie has lived in Sundance since 1994. She was initially hired as the library’s Technical Services Librarian in May of 1999, but quickly moved into children’s services when that position opened up later the same year. In that role, she grew the outreach program to reach numerous daycares and home childcare providers, two preschools, and K-4 at the elementary school. For in-library events, she went beyond the existing storytimes to add several special events through the year: tea parties, maker days, and more. She also hosts elementary classes for events throughout the year. Of course, since it’s a small library she wears other hats touching all aspects of library services — children’s and YA collection development, answering phones, issuing cards, and giving library tours.
Her involvement in the wider library community includes coordinating Wyoming Reads in Crook County since its inception and serving on the Buckaroo Book Award committee for many years. Bonnie is a graduate of the Wyoming Library Leadership Institute.
Bonnie was attracted to the position because she thought it would be interesting and fun to become a larger part of the community, not just as the Youth Services Librarian. She felt she could bring her years of experience and knowledge of how the library worked to the position. She admits feeling a little torn about no longer being “Miss Bonnie” for the younger crowd.
“I’ve grown to love all the kids I’ve read to over the years,” she said.
She plans to build on Jill Mackey’s many years of leadership. “We have an awesome library system in Crook County and I want to continue to make it even better,” she said. “Jill has done an excellent job bringing all the libraries in our system together, and I want to continue that. Staff members from all locations meet once a month to share ideas, build friendships and relationships, and have fun! Now when you call on another library you really ‘know’ that person on the other line.”
As director, she wants to expand and grow relationships with other entities in the communities Crook County Public Library serves and get to know the patron base through each branch. She also has a great interest in expanding programs that serve all ages.
“I want to bring families into the libraries as a whole, not just reaching the kids for some things and the adults for other things,” Bonnie said. “Intergenerational programming — getting seniors and little ones involved together — is something I’ve wanted to try but never had the time in my other position.”