New assistant director at Waupaca library
By Angie Landsverk
Emily Heideman started the new year with a new position at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Jan. 2 was her first day on the job as the library’s new assistant director and IT coordinator.
She was promoted to the position after being the teen librarian for about 4 1/2 years.
Heideman replaces Dominic Frandrup, who resigned last summer to become the director of the Antigo Public Library.
“It was more responsibility,” Heideman said of why she was interested in the position.
The library’s staff sent a letter of support to the Library Board, endorsing her as a candidate for the position.
Library Director Peg Burington said, “After working for the library for (almost) five years, Emily was ready for a new challenge, and because she was fully qualified for the open position, I asked the Library Board to consider interviewing her.”
Burington said she is proud to have an internal candidate promoted from within the organization.
“Familiarity with our processes and procedures is a real plus. Having been a part of our team for so long, she is fully vested in our mission and vision and understands our focus on exemplary customer service,” Burington said.
In regard to the now vacant teen librarian position, Burington said the library plans to fill it with part-time employees until the opening may be filled later this spring.
Heideman is a Fond du Lac native and graduate of Fond du Lac High School.
After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
“I started out as an education major,” she said. “I changed my major at the last minute.”
She did so just before her final year of college.
Heideman did her clinical experience in an eighth-grade classroom and had reservations about whether she wanted to be a teacher.
After spending three weeks that summer in Russia and Estonia as part of a three-week study abroad program, she decided to change her major and graduated from UW-Oshkosh the following spring with a history degree.
Heideman worked at a veterinary clinic while she thought about how she could use the history and also work with people.
“It all pointed to library science,” she said.
Her first thought was to work with archives.
While enrolled in UW-Madison’s library science master’s degree program, she worked at the Wisconsin Historical Society, helping to digitalize photos of old tractors.
Archiving bothered her allergies, and she also found it to be solitary work.
Heideman decided she would like working in a public library.
She was set to receive her master’s degree in library science when the teen librarian position at Waupaca’s library became available.
Heideman applied for and was offered the position.
She began working at the library in July 2013, graduated from UW-Madison the next month and then got married a month later.
Her husband Dustin works in IT for Waupaca County. The couple’s daughter Amelia is 17 months old.
Heidemen enjoyed being the teen librarian.
“I could say I was a professional nerd,” she said.
She liked being a person teens knew cared about them and their interests.
As the teen librarian, Heidemen worked with technology a lot.
That is how she developed an interest in doing more work with computers and technology.
Much of the assistant director position involves working at the library’s reference desk and assisting people.
“There’s never a dull moment at the reference desk,” Heideman said. “You can never guess what a person’s going to ask.”
She said many who call the reference desk do not have a computer or access to one.
The IT coordinator part of her position means Heidemen has to maintain the library’s computers and printers and make sure equipment works for the library’s various programs.
“One of my goals for the year is to train staff how to troubleshoot little things,” she said.
Another goal she has is developing a PC replacement plan for staff and patron-use library computers.
Outside of work, Heidemen has varied interests.
“Like every librarian, I like to read,” she said.
Heidemen likes to read nonfiction and fragmented or twisted fairy tales.
She said “We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart is one of her favorites.
In addition, Heidemen enjoys gardening, spending time with her family’s three cats and one dog and binge watching.
Some of her favorite shows are “The Crown,” “Victoria” and “Outlander.”
Heidemen is also a typewriter enthusiast.
“I have always been fascinated by the mechanics of these sturdy machines, and I love that they work very much the same way they did decades ago,” she said.
She currently owns nine typewriters of various brands and says she is always on the lookout for her next acquisition.
“I believe the oldest one I own is from 1914, though the serial number is illegible so I haven’t been able to authenticate that,” Heidemen said. “I have a personal goal of learning how to restore these machines because typewriter repairmen (or women) are not as common as they once were.”