Have a question? You'll find help getting it answered at Beaver Dam Community Library.

Information and community services librarian Anita Streich's day begins at 8 a.m. She helps get the library ready for when it opens to the public at 9 a.m.

She helps look for lost materials, unload the overnight book drop and runs reports from the day before, including statistics on checkout and circulation, and what and how often library equipment is used. Streich said those reports go to the city and state.

"It helps us to make sure that we are serving the public," Streich said.

Library staff often uses the hour before the library opens to move things around. Streich said they rotate collections and work to market books, just like a bookstore would.

Streich works in what used to be called the reference section and helps people do genealogical research.

"I connect people with resources," she said.

She said the reference collection used to be much bigger, but a great deal of the information moved online. She does public relations work for the library, creating brochures for library services, helping develop and schedule library programs and working to keep the reference collection organized so it's easy for people to find what they need. She also works to redesign the library's website starting with the genealogy and reference materials.

The information desk serves as her office, so she's always available to the public.

"I try to keep a balance," Streich said. "Not looking so busy with projects so that people know they can come talk to me."

She said everyday is different, and is dictated by what is happening at the library and the questions she is asked. She also fills in for co-workers who are busy with library patrons or who are out sick or on leave.

Streich grew up in Fox Lake, and studied political science and international relations at UW-LaCrosse. She also studied abroad in Spain, and said she enjoys traveling and was considering a career in the diplomatic service because she knew she wanted to help people.

While waiting to get into graduate school or law school, Streich said she volunteered at the Fox Lake library while doing research there. She cited its great historical collection and volunteered in the history room, cataloging materials.

"I have an interest in preserving history," Streich said. "...And then I fell in love with the library."

Streich will celebrate her 11th anniversary of working at BDCL in December. She said the best part about her job is the lifelong learning and being able to help people.

"I like the hunt for information," she said. "I like preserving local history and being able to connect people with their ancestors."

She said that the challenges include dealing with behavioral issues and keeping the library safe. Streich said that if she didn't work as a librarian, she thinks she'd be traveling or studying linguistics; specifically how people acquire a second language.

While she said she doesn't have a typical day, she spent a Thursday morning working on a project, preparing and reviewing questions for a book club, helping a library patron look up more information on a former Beaver Dam mayor and assisted a genealogist visiting the area in tracking down family history.

"Everyday I learn something new," Streich said.







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