Public Library has a new director--Lisa Stamm.
Stamm was selected
by a hiring committee under the guidance of Interim Director Phil Baugher.
She succeeds Leea Yelich, who moved on earlier this year after serving two
and a half years.
Stamm grew up in
Bloomington and is coming to the WPL from Indianapolis. She holds a Master
of Library Science from Indiana University, where she was the recipient of a
Career Transitions Executive Leadership Program scholarship from the
Institute of Museum and Library Services. The program allowed her to spend
her last semester of graduate school as a resident at the Indianapolis
Public Library Foundation. During this residency, she honed skills in grant
writing and fundraising.
experience working as a reference and outreach librarian for blind and
disabled library patrons, an acting branch manager at a multi-branch public
library, and an assistant director for a standalone public library. She came
to library work from a corporate job and recalled that she would often
retreat to a nearby library on her lunch break. On one of those days, she
had a memorable conversation with two librarians and had a realization.
“Suddenly, I stopped walking in the middle of the sidewalk, and said to
myself, ‘That's what I want to do! I want to do what they're doing,’" Stamm
Stamm told the
Chesterton Tribune that her goals for the WPL as director are to
continue what she dubbed “superb service” already in place and examine ways
to expand, enhance, and modify current services to better fit the Duneland
community. “Each community is different, and what works in some libraries
doesn't work so well in others. The key is to ask and listen to the
community about what it is they would like the library to provide and try to
make that happen in accordance with the overarching library mission and
vision,” she said.
She said it’s
difficult to choose, but her favorite books are "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and
the End of the World" by Haruki Murakami, "The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar
Wao" by Junot Diaz, and "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen.
Stamm reported that
she can barely wait to start Monday, April 2 and had only good things to say
about her experience with the WPL so far. “Every single person I've
encountered, both inside and outside of the Westchester Public Library, has
been incredibly welcoming, friendly, and professional. It's not always
simple to move from one city to another, but the helpfulness, warmth, and
insider tips from everyone I've met and been working with so far has made it
a bright and happy transition.”