The Park County Library Board has selected Karen Horner as its new system director. She will officially join the library on August 24.
Born and raised in California, Karen is currently the Cultural Services Agency Director and County Librarian for Mendocino County, California. In that role, she oversees five library branches, the bookmobile and outreach mobile unit, the county museum, and all county parks. She has an MLIS from San Jose State University and a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University in Agriculture, with a specialization in wildland/rangeland management.
She and her family have lived in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Hawaii. She’d been interested in relocating from California, so she jumped at the chance when this opportunity arose.
“I’ve been a lifelong fan of Wyoming,” Karen said, “and it’s always been on my list of states I would like to move too. I’ve visited Wyoming a few times, the first in 1989 to Cody as a tourist. The culture and lifestyle in Wyoming seem to suit my family, as we appreciate the isolation and ruggedness.”
She knows she faces challenges ahead in these unusual times. “This year saw libraries throughout the country close down, which was something I thought we would never see. We’re now exploring the future of public libraries and how they will move forward. As our community workplaces change, public libraries will continue to be the hub of the community, a place where people can access not only information online, but can access materials, books, and connect to their community.”
Her close-knit family is excited to relocate to Park County. She and her husband Marty have been together for over 30 years. They have two children, a son in college who works as a firefighter and a daughter who is a high school senior involved in FFA and sports.
“I look forward to connecting with everyone and becoming part of the community,” Karen said. “When everything else is changing, the libraries will still be bastions of familiarity and become even more relevant in serving their communities beyond online services.”