City library director hired by WITC
New Richmond Public Library Director Scott Vrieze will trade one New Richmond library for another.
After spending the past eight years at the Friday Memorial Library on First Street, he has been hired by WITC to serve as the director of Learning Resources for the college's four campuses in New Richmond, Ashland, Rice Lake and Superior.
"These learning resource centers (LRCs) provide information materials -- really library-type materials -- for students and faculty at those WITC campuses. In a sense it's a library director over there for library settings. They call it something different because they do so much electronic sorts of things, and they do a lot of distance learning, so they need that remote access to their resources."
When Vrieze starts at WITC on Monday, he said he expects to do a lot more technology support. He'll oversee a team of LRC technicians who keep classroom technology up and running.
"I've always enjoyed that aspect of library work," Vrieze said. "It's the 'information' in my library information science degree."
Another big part of the job that will be different will be the type of people he'll serve. As the public library director he said he sees a huge cross-section of the community, from kids checking out children's books to seniors checking out mystery novels to young adults using the building's computers and wireless Internet access to fill out job applications, and more. At WITC, he'll see primarily students and faculty.
"I will miss that aspect of the job," Vrieze said. "At WITC I probably won't see as many babies as I see here."
In addition to the variety of library patrons, he said he'll remember how welcoming the community was toward him.
"This community has really embraced me and welcomed me here," said Vrieze, a Woodbury resident. "It's been a great place to work, and a great place to interact with people in the community and get to know people. I will miss that community aspect of it.
While he will miss being a key member of New Richmond library community, he said he looks forward to his new challenge, and he already has lofty goals for transforming WITC's learning resource centers.
"My goal is to make it as easy as possible for their students to access the materials they need," Vrieze said. "That can be in person. That can be remotely. That can be through the Internet. It could be on the phone. It could be through email. Whatever ways people access information today is how it will be provided."
Jennifer Rickard will serve as the interim director of the New Richmond Public Library while the library board searches for a permanent replacement.