Rebecca Wisniewski discovered the Waupaca Area Public Library 15 years ago.
It was after she and her husband, Tom, moved here with their three young daughters.
“Somehow, I came to the library,” she said. “It was such a warm, embracing, welcoming place. It fostered a love of reading.”
Not quite two years later, Wisniewski started homeschooling their children. Library staff members encouraged her.
Then, when a support staff position became available in the children’s department, Sandy Grambsch, who was the children’s librarian at the time, encouraged Wisniewski to apply.
Wisniewski enjoyed working at the library and left her position after she and her family moved to Stevens Point.
Now, she is back at the Waupaca Area Public Library as the new teen librarian. She began on Oct. 18.
“I think one of the greatest gifts I gave my children was the love of books, the love of reading,” she said. “It made such an impact on me and my family and is something I wanted to be part of.”
In addition to her previous experience at Waupaca’s public library, Wisniewski worked part time at the Portage County Public Library in Stevens Point for about five years.
“I worked in the children’s department, but they kind of gave me the teen population. I was able to do programming with the teens,” she said. “I got a good taste of the importance of having teen services and a space for the teens. This particular spot is important.”
Wisniewski learned last July of the opening at Waupaca’s library.
A couple books her youngest daughter wanted were available there, and Wisniewski decided to drive to Waupaca to pick them up.
“I was standing at the desk and was told Melissa (Carollo) just gave her notice today,” she said. “I had always thought about wanting to come back here if there was a position.”
Wisniewski was hired to be the interim teen librarian and then applied for the position.
“I’m having a great time. My favorite part of the job is when I get to be in here with the teens,” she said.
Wisniewski, who holds a degree in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, decided to create a rotating weekly schedule at the Best Cellar, which is the name of the library’s space for teens.
The library’s Student Library Advisory Group always meets from 4-5 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month. Before that meeting begins, Pizza & Pages is held, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
Added to the schedule are Creative Endeavors on the second Thursday, Get Your Head in the Game on the third Thursday and Writers, Ink on the fourth Thursday. All run from 3:30-5 p.m.
In addition, open knitting continues to be held from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesdays. In the future, Wisniewski hopes to build a service aspect into the open knitting night.
“The concept of a public library is an incredible thing. I think about this particular library, and all the programming we do,” she said. “So, to be part of what I think is the best resource in a community is really the best thing – to be an advocate for the library and the patrons who use it.”