After nearly 33 years at Campbell County Public Library System, Sue Knesel is retiring. Today is her last day at the library in Gillette, where she is the youth services librarian. Darcy Acord, currently the youth services coordinator, will be moving into Knesel’s position.
Knesel has a lifetime in libraries, starting as a library page when she was 16. She worked at New York Public Library, and trained under Augusta Braxton Baker. “If you’re in youth services, you know she’s the guru of storytelling,” Knesel said.
Knesel moved to Wyoming for her husband’s job in the minerals industry. She started at CCPLS in October 1983 as an assistant at the George Amos Memorial Library. Although they had just opened the current library, she found herself at the branch in the old building.
She’s seen tremendous changes during her career in librarianship. When she started, she was filing card catalogs. “I’ve seen that whole electronic revolution,” Knesel said. “We went from electric typewriters to computers, to put it mildly, then on to databases.” She’s also seen services to children evolve. For example, when she began, there was little to no nonfiction for preschoolers.
Knesel has been a leader in the library community, very active in the Wyoming Library Association. “I think I’ve actually served on every committee in WLA – among them the legislative and nominating committees, and (of course) youth services.
“Sue is an outstanding ideas person who has a lot of passion for libraries and children,” said Terri Lesley, CCPLS director. “Not only is she a community leader in services to youth and youth literacy, but she has developed and implemented outstanding services for children and teens in Campbell County. She has also mentored many library employees and other librarians across the state. She will be greatly missed by all who had the chance to work with her.”
She’s looking forward to traveling and spending more time with family, including with her four grandchildren. Wyoming has been good to her, she said.
“I’ve appreciated knowing everybody in Wyoming. My joke is that I can break down in any town in Wyoming, and I’ll know someone.”